Experimenta Social #30 — Experimenta

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artwork by Tom Penney.

Experimenta Social #30:
Challenging The Code

Wed 18 Sep 2019, 6PM – 8:30PM

Technology dictates the way we engage, behave and act in the world. Social posts, predictive txts and photo-filters are just some of the digital tools we use to operate within the online structures of the internet-age. How aware are we of the limitations of these software tools and the data sets and algorithms that drive them? For artist’s who employ digital technologies, to what extent do these tools prescribe the limits of creative practice and experimentation?

Our speakers this month are artists and curators who push the boundaries of these technologies and critically examine and reflect on the social and cultural impacts of these digital tools. Roslyn Helper is the Director/CEO of New Wave, her artistic practice is centred on experimenting with technology based art and sound. Dr Tom Penney is an academic and digital artist whose research and practice involves 3D imaging, games technology and digital art.


Experimenta Social is presented in partnership with ACMI X, and supported by Marc Besen AC and Eva Besen AO.

About the Speakers

Roslyn Helper

Roslyn Helper

Roslyn Helper is an artist and writer interested in the effects of new technologies on human relations, psychosomatics and politics. Prior to joining Next Wave in 2018 as Director/CEO, Roslyn directed Underbelly Arts, a biennial festival and ongoing platform committed to uncovering, developing and showcasing experimental artists from across Australia. She has also curated exhibitions and events for ISEA (2013), This in Not Art (2013), Vivid Ideas (2014) and the Brisbane Powerhouse (2015), as well as numerous DIY and artist-run spaces nationally.
Roslyn’s thinking and practice is inextricably linked to the contemporary environment: the networked society, automated taxonomies and hierarchies of information, free market economies, crowd-sourced cultural capital, and the increasingly blurred online/ offline divide. She is dedicated to promoting and presenting work that illuminates, challenges and furthers us via new modes of expression.

Dr Tom Penney

Dr Tom Penney

Dr Tom Penney is a lecturer in Digital Media at RMIT University and digital artist. His practice involves 3D imaging, cross-reality (virtual and augmented reality) games technology, artificial intelligence and digital design. Tom was one of the first contemporary artists in Australia and the world to use the game engine Unity3D, 3D photogrammetry and laser-scanning for critical and experimental purposes in the post-internet and post-digital art contexts. His teaching and design of educational studios focuses on digital interaction, immersive environments, experience design, media art and 3D imaging. This involves technical as well as soft skills, work-integrated-learning and critical theory. He has shown work and published through exhibitions, journals and conferences including Media International Australia, The Feminist Journal of Art and Digital Culture, The International Journal of Contemporary Humanities and the International Symposium of Electronic Art.
His PhD research project “Critical Affection” developed an expanded notion of “critical play” and “affection-image” in digital media and games through contemporary art practice. Much of this drew on a series of artworks that critically represented gay online dating apps. His current research develops a theory of how the ubiquity of sorting algorithms in digital experience design enables personal micro-fascisms across a variety of social media platforms. Tom has previously worked in an augmented reality fashion company, as well as teaching art and design at Curtin and Monash Universities.