Staff — Experimenta

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Meet our team

Jonathan Parsons
Artistic Director

Jonathan Parsons has over twenty five years of experience working as a curator, artistic director and creative producer in Australia and internationally. He initiated and was the Creative Director of Robotronica (2013 – 2019), a biennial festival of robotics and interactive design at QUT in Brisbane.  He was the Director of ISEA2013 (International Symposium on Electronic Art) an international festival of art, technology and ideas in partnership with Vivid Sydney.

He has artistically led and collaborated on a broad range of cultural programs and events across all art forms including for the State Library of Queensland, Queensland Art Gallery, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Riverfestival, Byron Bay Writers Festival, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival, Pacific Wave Festival, Adelaide Festival of the Arts, Awesome Festival and the London International Festival of Theatre.

Dr Melentie Pandilovski
Executive Director

Melentie has over twenty-five years of experience working in the arts in Australia and internationally. Having led successful operations and managed multidisciplinary teams in Australia, Canada and Europe. Most recently he has been the Director of the Riddoch Art Gallery and Manager of Arts and Cultural Development at the City of Mount Gambier. His knowledge of international as well as Australia’s art milieu will bring highly valued experience to the national reach of Experimenta’s programs.

Melentie brings a wealth of leadership experience in the arts; before taking up his position at Riddoch Art Gallery he was Director of Video Pool Media Arts Centre in Winnipeg, Canada (2011-16). Previous to that he was Director of the Visual Cultural Research Centre, Euro-Balkan Institute in Skopje, Macedonia (2009-11); Director of the Experimental Art Foundation in Adelaide, Australia (2003-2009), and the Contemporary Arts Centre in Skopje, Macedonia (1998-2003). He has organised and curated more than 200 projects including exhibitions, symposia, conferences and workshops, in Europe, Australia, Canada, and the U.S.

Melentie is also an art theorist, historian, and writer. He was Editor of Art in the Biotech Era (2008); Energy, Biopolitics, Resistance Strategies and Cultural Subversion (2012); The Apparatus of Life and Death (2012); Marshall McLuhan and Vilém Flusser’s Communication and Aesthetic Theories Revisited (2015).

Nicky Pastore
Senior Producer

Nicky has over ten years’ experience as a Creative Producer, and has immersed herself in numerous creative projects and initiatives. Through her work with Experimenta, she has led the presentation of their flagship Triennial touring exhibition, developing complex exhibition design and dynamic audience engagement opportunities for regional and metropolitan galleries across Australia.

Across all aspects of her work, Nicky fosters a passion for socially engaged practice and strives to create inclusive pathways for artistic development. Through her role as Festival Director of the Gertrude Street Projection Festival (2014-2018), she was responsible for managing the delivery and programming of a highly successful public art event, developing an artist mentorship program and implementing key strategies to ensure the ongoing growth of the video-arts industry.

Leela Schauble
Marketing Manager

Leela Schauble is a visual artist, digital marketing all-rounder, and digital producer. She’s passionate in using creative, engaging and new ways to create and deliver content in a continually changing digital environment.

She has worked and consulted for Monash Gallery of Art, ArtsHub and Screenhub, The Substation, Chamber Made, Channels Festival, Hyphenated Biennial, Australian Art Orchestra and SEVENTH Gallery.

Her artistic practice primarily aims to explore the relationship between technology and the natural environment. Leela completed a Master of Fine Arts Research at The Victorian College of Fine Arts in 2017. She is a prize-winning photographer who has exhibited in ARI’s, commercial galleries, and festivals. She has also undertaken several Artist in Residence programs, which heavily shapes her practice, including; The Artist Immersion Program with LABVERDE within the Amazon Rainforest and sailing to the Arctic Circle.

Lubi Thomas
Curator-at-large

Lubi Thomas is an experienced curator working in the field of digital/new media arts and associate practice areas. In the past decade, she has developed and delivered an extensive range of exhibitions, projects, festivals, events, residencies and mentoring programs, as well as, public and education focused programming. Site-responsiveness is a key element in her practice, working closely with artists, creative technologist, and their collaborators to produce works and cultural experiences for a variety of audiences. Lubi’s master’s Curating in Uncharted Territories proposes a methodology for cultural programming development and sustainability for sites engaged in the display of, and engagement with, experimental creative practice.

Lubi takes a networked and site-responsive approach to programme structures, audience engagement, and partnership development. She has developed cultural programming frameworks for The Cube Brisbane, Creative Industries Precinct QUT, and Qld State Library.  Lubi has developed key partnerships with LEGO Education, Ars Electronica, FACT Liverpool, EMARE, and the Australia Council for the Arts to support these programming sites.  Lubi wears many hats with her key activities being as an Independent Curator and Artist, Experimenta’s Curator @ Large and curatorial advisor to Digital Placemaking Institute. Lubi works and consults locally, nationally and internationally.

Jessica Clark
Associate Curator

Jessica Clark (palawa AU) is an independent curator with a background in art history and art education, and current PhD candidate at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne. Recent independent and collaborative curatorial projects include: In and of this place (2021) in partnership with NETS Victoria and Benalla Art Gallery, Experimenta Life Forms: International Triennial of Media Art (2021-2023), one (&) another (2020), and VIETNAM – ONE IN, ALL IN (2019-2020) in partnership with Country Arts SA. Jessica is alumni of the PIAD First Nations Colloquium, South Africa (2019), Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Cultural Keepers Program (2017-2020), Wesfarmers Indigenous Arts Leadership Program (2018), and the First Nations Curators Program for the Venice Biennale (2017). 

Erin Milne
Program Associate – Performance

Erin Milne is an independent producer whose practice, Bureau of Works, fosters contemporary and experimental performance in Australia and around the world. Erin has extensive experience as a producer of live performance and interdisciplinary projects, spanning theatre, dance, installation, music, new media and visual art.
The company focuses on creating strategic opportunities for artists, supporting the creation of new work and exploratory form, and developing contexts that foster risk-taking and ambition.
Erin is a sought-after collaborator with some of Australia’s most distinctive and ambitious artists, including: one step at a time like this, All the Queen’s Men, Madeleine Flynn & Tim Humphrey, Ridiculusmus, Jodee Mundy Collaborations, Gold Satino, Lz Dunn, Michaela Gleave, Anna Tregloan, Lemony S Puppet Theatre, Too Close to the Sun, Alice Will Caroline, Lara Tumak and Chris Kohn & Collaborators.
Erin has recently been appointed Program Associate – Performance for Experimenta Media Arts, and acts as a Consulting Producer to Punctum Live Arts Inc and other organisations on an ad-hoc basis. She is currently Chair of Elbow Room Theatre and a Board Member of Chamber Made. Website: https://bureauofworks.com.au/

Jo Cumbrae-stewart
Office & Accounts Manager

Jo commenced her accounting career with Ernst & Young Chartered Accountants (E&Y), after completing a Bachelor of Commerce at University of Melbourne.
After leaving E&Y to travel, Jo returned to Melbourne and worked in financial positions with a number of advertising agencies including George Patterson Bates. Jo then took up a role as Business and Finance Manager with art gallery and consultancy, Australian Art Resources (AAR). After returning from maternity leave, Jo managed AAR’s art rental business, The Art Trust, before joining the Experimenta team in 2006.