Virtualities was one of Australian earliest exhibitions at the nexus of art, science and technology. Exhibited in 1995 at Scienceworks in Melbourne, it featured some of Australia’s most significant artists including Patricia Piccinini, Peter Hennessey & Ian Haig. The exhibition explored the increasing potential held within the ‘virtual worlds’ of the computer to stimulate imagination and impart information.
Virtualities was a pivotal part of the centenary of Australian cinema celebrations. It explored the extension of the moving image into virtual spaces – a pivotal transition point for film and media cultures.
This shift was reflected in Experimenta’s own evolution. Originally formed in 1986 as MIMA (Modern Image Makers Association) by a collective of experimental and avant garde film and video makers, ten years later in 1996 Experimenta took on a new name and began to focus on supporting contemporary art that intersected with media, science and technology, and design.
In an interview at the time with the curator of Virtualities, Peter Morse, he observed that:
“ the most fluent example of an interactive technology is probably something like a book. It doesn’t need to be plugged in, it’s portable, engineered to use your imagination and intelligence. You can scroll through it extremely rapidly. When computers are like this, terms like ‘virtuality’ will not really have a currency because it will be an inherent part of the technology and the discursive spaces that are constructed within and without it.”
A prescient observation when we consider how intrinsically technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and interactivity are embedded in our every day lives.
For further reading, follow these links to view the brochures and articles found in our Experimenta archives: