Leisa Shelton Mapping Australian Media Art (interview still).

Past Program2020-10-06T14:56:34+11:00

Our past program page is a work-in-progress. It contains highlights from the programs of Modern Image Makers Association (MIMA, which later became Experimenta), and Experimenta Media Arts Inc. Experimenta holds a comprehensive database of past program information, and an extensive archive of program paraphernalia. Please contact us for more information.

experimenta international biennial of media art 2003-2016

experimenta media arts inc. 1996-PRESENT

Heide x Experimenta

Experimenta was excited to partner with Heide Museum of Modern Art to produce public programs for Heide’s major exhibition TERMINUS by artists Jess Johnson and Simon Ward.


1 February 2020 at Heide Museum of Modern Art, Bulleen, VIC
Michael Lyon from Virtual Reality Cinema explored the new wave of virtual reality works by artists in a three hour hands-on workshop. Participants learnt about the best production approaches and accessible equipment techniques for VR 360 filmmaking and produced a 1 minute VR clip featuring the grounds and landscape of Heide.

Mixed Realities: Virtual Reality Symposium 

8  February 2020 at The Capitol, 113 Swanston Street, Melbourne (VIC)
Symposium speakers: Emma Roberts and Ben Joseph Andrews, Isobel Knowles and Van Sowerwine, Sojun Bahng, Mohamed Cames.

The Mixed Realities: Virtual Reality Symposium program invited practicing artists, creative technologists and cultural institutions to come together for a day of conversational exchange and practical insights. Presentations explored the conceptual and technical opportunities of virtual world-building and the presentation complexities of gallery installation and audience engagement.

Read more here 

SPECTRA: The Art and Consequence of Collaboration

16 July—6 Sep 2019,
UTS Gallery, Sydney (NSW)

Spectra is a group exhibition featuring the work of Australian artists and designers working at the nexus of art and science. Illustrating the extraordinary potential for both disciplines, each work provokes new ways of experiencing and interpreting the world around us.

Read more here.

Curated by Experimenta. Produced by Australian Network for Art and Technology

the hybrid society by cake industries

18th August 2019
QUT Gardens Point campus, QLD (roaming)

With the rise of the social media influencer, and the many who follow them, a self-perpetuating loop has been created existing mainly in a virtual space, accessible primarily through small glass rectangles. The physical embodiment of this loop, influencers and consumers, humans and devices, have become hybridised into man-machines. Their obsession with their devices and themselves knows no bounds as they walk amongst us.

Read more here.

Commissioned by Experimenta and Robotronica. Supported by the Australia Council for the Arts.

A DRONE OPERA – Matthew Sleeth

A Drone Opera was presented for the first time in Sydney at Carriageworks on 10 June 2019 

Matthew Sleeth presents a cinematic three-channel video installation featuring custom built drones with live video feeds, laser set-design, opera singers with an original libretto that combine to drive a narrative of desire, fear and destruction. Loosely structured around the myth of Icarus, the installation is a poetic exploration of our broader love affair with new technologies.

A Drone Opera was performed at Carriageworks, Melbourne 10 June -28 July, 2019. A Drone Opera short film also screened at Sydney Film Festival 6 and 16 June. 

“While Sleeth’s live work might have been read as a cathartic psychological exercise which allowed audience members to own, then release, their anxieties about drone surveillance, Sleeth’s new large three-channel video presentation highlights serious concerns about the military uses of the devices.”
Steve Dow, Art Guide Australia, 28 June 2019

Experimenta Presents: Filmmaking Beyond the Cinema.

Sunday 23 June 2019, 
St Kilda Town Hall, Melbourne VIC

Three sessions presented by artists that are pushing the boundaries of conventional filmmaking. Featuring Isobel Knowles And Van Sowerwine; Lee Ramseyer Bache (The Little Projector Company); and Xanthe Dobbie.

Click here to read more.

This session was programmed by Experimenta Media Arts. Adobe Presents: The Big Picture Filmmaker Development Program is part of the 2019 St Kilda Film Festival, proudly produced by the City of Port Phillip.

Image Credit: Installation view from ‘Out In The Open’ by Isobel Knowles And Van Sowerwine, 2016, Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne. Photo by Bryony Jackson


4 —28 October 2018,
SASA Gallery, Adelaide (SA)

Experimenta was excited to be working with our colleagues at ANAT on Spectra 2018, Australia’s pre-eminent art/science gathering showcasing the best research and creative work being produced through interdisciplinary collaborations between Australian artists and scientists.

As part of the Spectra program, Experimenta curated the exhibition: ‘The Art and Consequence of Collaboration’ was a group exhibition illustrating the extraordinary creative potential of art and science research collaborations. From a reimagined periodic table of elements, to the re-staging of an AFL game using GPS and performance data, to the visceral and earthy scent of gaseous rocks, each of the works selected provokes us into new ways of experiencing and interpreting the world around us.

Read more here.

Spectra 2018 was proudly presented by the Australian Network for Art and Technology (ANAT), in partnership with the University of South Australia and Experimenta Media Arts, in association with colleagues from the arts and science sectors, and with additional support provided by Arts South Australia.


Leisa Shelton responds to a perceived lack of knowledge about the history of media art in Australia with her ongoing work Mapping Australian Media Art.

In this participatory project, Shelton sits at a table in the gallery and invites individuals to join in a conversation about significant encounters they have had with media art in Australia – to name the artists that have made an impression on them and marked us as a culture. Notes from each conversation are documented on an individual archive card, stamped and signed, and placed in a handcrafted archive box.

The work has been performed at the National Experimental Art Forum, Perth as well as throughout venues on the Experimenta Recharge national tour. Read more.

Image: Leisa Shelton, Mapping Australian Media Art (installation view) 2014–16, performance, desk, chairs, archive cards, rubber stamps, stainless steel archive boxes, custom built plinth, 90 x 236 x 38cm, archive box installation designed and fabricated by James McAllister/BARBOUR and Tom Burless/TOMIKEH, Image courtesy RMIT Gallery, Photography Mark Ashkanasy


APP now available!

Created by artist Michaela Gleave, composer Amanda Cole, and programmer Warren Armstrong, A Galaxy of Suns is large-scale choral work and associated smart phone app that ‘plays’ the stars as they rise and set over 360˚ of the horizon – for any location on Earth. Operating on a galactic scale this project is a collaboration across contemporary art, music, astronomy and design.  A Galaxy of Suns works with the native potentials of smart device technology to create a unique experience of the cosmos accessible to audiences wherever they find themselves in the world.

Tracking the Earth’s motions through space, A Galaxy of Suns documents in real-time the audience’s precise position in relation to the stars, sonifying stellar data to create a sound and visual composition unique to their location in space and time.  Using the GPS data automatically recorded by smart phones and operational without network access, the project works with parameters such as location on the horizon, brightness, size, age and chemical composition of stars, and translates them into sonic and aesthetic variables including rhythm, pitch, volume, panning, colour and light intensity. 

If you are in Bristol on the 8th September you can experience A Galaxy of Suns as part of the Bristol Biennial 2016: In Other Worlds. Buy tickets here.

A Galaxy of Suns – The Performance premiered at Dark Mofo at Dark Park, Hobart, on the 10th and 11th June 2016. 

Download your version here:

iOS  https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/a-galaxy-of-suns/id1124035028?ls=1&mt=8

Android  https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.agalaxyofsuns.general

For more information visit http://www.agalaxyofsuns.net, http://darkmofo.net.au/a-galaxy-of-suns/

Produced in association with Experimenta Media Arts

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
This project is supported by the NSW Government through Arts NSW.

Image courtesy Michaela Gleave and Anna Pappas Gallery Melbourne.

Simulacrum – Cake industries

Using contemporary experimental processes, media artists Cake Industries (Jesse Stevens and Dean Petersen) invite members of the community to participate in a 3D scanning and printing portraiture project. Through a community participative process the venues on the Recharge National Tour reach out to the community to select their own archetypes.

Simulacrum aims to bring back the importance of the capturing of one’s likeness, to mark it as being an important and special occasion, with the outcome being something worthy of marvel and intrigue. Much of the process harks back to the earliest photography called Daguerreotype, in which complicated and experimental processes in the early to mid 19th century were used to capture likenesses. These images weren’t simply pigment on paper, but were actually chemically etched representations that became physical objects unable to be reproduced. Due to the specialised nature of these early Daguerreotypists, entire towns would come to see a travelling specialist to have their portraits taken, which resulted in both an important occasion, as well as significant collections of portraits kept even to this day.

After each program – the fifteen new 3D portraits of local community ‘archetypes’ are placed inside the Simulacrum frame.

Image Cake Industries Simulacrum 2014 – 3D printed portraits, frame, LED lights, motors, 92 x 130 x 25cm. Image courtesy of the Artists

A DRONE OPERA – Matthew Sleeth

A Drone Opera premiered to sell-out audiences at Arts House at Meatmarket, Melbourne, on 10-13 September 2015. For enquiries about future performances and touring, please contact us.

“A Drone Opera, an exciting high-tech, high-art spectacle”  Andrew Fuhrmann, Realtime Issue 129, 2015

A Drone Opera viscerally explores the rapidly developing technology of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), colloquially known as drones, and their social and cultural impact. Artist Matthew Sleeth directs an experimental multimedia performance featuring drones, their pilots and opera singers, combined with a new sound score, laser light design and moving image.

Feeling the drones’ air displacement and hearing their rotor sound, audiences will experience this robotic technology first hand, shifting their knowledge of drones from political abstraction into embodied experience in time and space. Curious about their potential to re-shape our world, Sleeth has designed, built and programmed customised drones specifically for the performance context.

Sleeth’s largest work to date, A Drone Opera featured an inspiring line-up of collaborators, including experimental artists Kate Richards, Robin Fox, Phil Samartzis and Susan Frykberg, lighting designer Bosco Shaw and choreographer Shelley Lasica.

A Drone Opera was performed at Arts House, Meatmarket, Melbourne, 10-13 September, 2015.

Unique theatrical spectacle, unleashing a new world of possibilities for fusing art and technology”
Cameron Woodhead, The Sydney Morning Herald, 11 September, 2015

“We’re at the interface between technology and art, between two types of creativity: scientific invention and its aesthetic inflection”
Andrew Fuhrmann, Realtime Issue 129, 2015

“A piece of innovative theatre making bold attempts to transport its viewers to a dystopian fantasy”
Tom Beasley, Theatre People 2015

Read more


Experimenta presented two projects for the inaugural White Night Melbourne Saturday 23 February 2013: Melbourne artist Dylan Martorell’s Kerelan Touch Music and Japanese artist Nobuhiro Shimura’s Red Shoes.
Martorell’s installation combined touch, sound recordings and discarded materials, to create a sculptural instrument for multiple users in the Campbell Arcade, based on a piece he exhibited at the Kochi Muziris Biennale in India with support from Asialink.
Shimura’s work was site-specific, his playful projections drawing upon everyday materials and objects, such as paperclips, matches, buttons and sneakers often repurpose everyday sites into exhibition spaces. Red Shoes was installed in Lingham Lane.

2013 Experimenta Presents: Site Overlay / Acoustic Survey by artist Geoff Robinson 

Site Overlay / Acoustic Survey was a series of three events using sound, performance and installation to explore the relationship between three Melbourne interior, exterior, built and botantical environments. It featured performance contributions by local artists Ernie Althoff, Tim Catlin, Alice Hui-Sheng Chang, Matthew Davis, Aviva Endean, Helen Grogan, Rosalind Hall, Dylan Martorell and Charlie Sofo. The events presented audiences with a new insight into the sonic environments of the RMIT Design Hub rooftop, the Forest Gallery at the Melbourne Museum and Long Island at the Royal Botanic Gardens. The Site Overlay / Acoustic Survey project was supported by Experimenta Media Arts and funded by the Arts Development Project Grants through Arts Victoria. Performers: Ernie Althoff, Tim Catlin, Alice Hui-Sheng Chang, Matthew Davis, Aviva Endean, Helen Grogan, Rosalind Hall, Dylan Martorell and Charlie Sofo.

2013 Australia Day at Federation Square

As part of Federation Square’s Australia Day Weekend program, Experimenta Media Arts presented a screening of three animations from the Dust Echoes series, produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in association with Djilpin Arts Aboriginal Corporation. The Dust Echoes series is a collection of twelve Aboriginal dreamtime stories collected from the Wugullar (Beswick) Community in Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory that tell stories of love, loyalty, duty to country and Aboriginal custom and law.



Selectively Revealed explored the notion of what is public and what is private in our contemporary times. Employing a variety of screen-based practices and contemporary video-making techniques, each artist chooses precisely what – or what not – to reveal about themselves and those around them. Selectively Revealed presents the artist as performer, subject, voyeur and social

Curated by Clare Needham (Experimenta) and Sarah Bond (Asialink). Featuring: Peter Alwast (NSW), Catherine Bell (VIC), Julia Burns (NSW), Penelope Cain (NSW), Christopher Fulham (ACT), Isobel Knowles & Van Sowerwine (VIC), Anastasia Klose (VIC), Jess MacNeil (NSW), Angelica Mesiti (NSW), Ms&Mr (NSW), Anne Scott Wilson (VIC) and Michael Zavros (QLD).

Venues: Korea: 26 October – 11 December 2011 – Aram Art Gallery, Seoul, Taiwan: 11 February – 13 May 2012 – National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei, Thailand: 4 June – 21 July 2012 – Chulalongkorn University Art Space, Bangkok



Curated exclusively for Federation Square’s ‘The Light in Winter’ Festival, Experimenta presented a short programme of screen based works by Australian and international artists screening on Federation Square’s Big Screen throughout June 2012. Experimenta Illumination included artists Timothy Casten (Australia), Joe King & Rosie Pedlow (UK), Bruce Mowson (Australia), Nicolas Provost (Belgium) and Sandra Selig (Australia). Together these artworks explore curious moments of life and light. King and Pedlow revisit the sighting of ‘unexplained lights’ in Rendlesham Forest thirty years on; Provost’s hypnotically recomposed aerial shots of the Las Vegas skyline reveal its beauty and madness; Selig reflects quietly on the night time; Casten explores the ambiguity of gesture and familiarity on screen; and Mowson films a woman as she experiences Melbourne in a new light. Experimenta Illumination screened from 1 June – 1 July twice a day.

2011 screengrab

Curated exclusively for Federation Square, Experimenta presented a short programme of recent Australian screen based works in December 2011.

Featuring: Jess MacNeil, Kate Murphy and Emile Zile.

2011 selectively revealed

A touring exhibition in partnership with Asialink, exploring notions of public, private and secret spaces. Curated by Sarah Bond and Clare Needham.

Featuring: Peter Alwast, Catherine Bell, Julia Burns, Penelope Cain, Christopher Fulham, Anastasia Klose, Isobel Knowles & Van Sowerine, Jess Macneil, Angelica Mesiti, Ms & Mr, Anne Scott Wilson, and Michael Zavros.

2010 pop-up at Melbourne art fair

Featuring: David Kousemaker & Tim Olden; Cake Industries: Jesse Stevens & Dean Petersen, Lachlan Tetlow-Stuart, and Adam Synnott.

2010 move on asia tour

Move on Asia was an exhibition of single-channel video works launched as part of AAF (Asian Art Forum). It toured to Alternative Space LOOP as part of No Soul for Sale, Tate Modern, London, UK and at Para/Site Art Space, Hong Kong.

Featuring: Daniel Crooks, Peter Alwast and Angelica Mesiti.

2010 world expo screening program

This screening program at the Australian Pavillion of the World Expo in, Shanghai, China showcased a diverse range of single-channel video works with unique visual and conceptual approaches to the complex terrain of video. The artworks explored ways in which we individually and collectively construct, navigate, survive, interpret and dream the world in which we live.

Featuring: Stuart Ringholt, Rowan McNaught, Sary Zananiri, Isobel Knowles, Penelope Cain, and Jimmy Gilchrist.

2010 december reflections

An Experimenta commission with Australian animator, James Gulliver Hancock on the big screen at Federation Square. December Reflections appropriated the tradition of on advent calendar. Each new day of December revealed a unique, hallucinatory animation to celebrate the festive season.

Featuring: James Gulliver Hancock

2010 experimenta at ngv kids corner

Immersion, an interactive artwork by Australian artists Angela Barnett, Andrew Buchanan, Darren Balingall, Chris MacKellar and Christian Rubino was commissioned by Experimenta in 2007 and featured as part of Light Play, the second exhibition at NGV’s Kids Corner. Immersion allowed audiences to use their shadows to interact with exotic sea creatures whilst exploring the depths of the ocean.

Featuring: Angela Barnett, Andrew Buchanan, Darren Balingall, Chris MacKellar and Christian Rubino.

2010 epi-thet

epi-thet is a mixed media sound installation activated by the audience created by Melbourne artists Madeleine Flynn, Tim Humphrey and Jesse Stevens. The artwork, presented by Melbourne International Arts Festival and supported by Experimenta, uses data from public domain genetic databases to create sound and image. 

Featuring: Madeleine Flynn, Tim Humphrey and Jesse Stevens

2010 illumination

Curated exclusively for Federation Square’s The Light in Winter festival, Illumination presented screen based works exploring curious moments of life and light.

Featuring: Timothy Casten, Joe King & Rosie Pedlow, Bruce Mowson, Nicholas Provost, and Sandra Selig.

2010 for i will fly to you


For I will fly to you
, by animator Felicia Yee, writer Isabella Mead and sound by Nick Van Cuylenberg, combines text and animation and sound to create a multi-layered interactive experience.

2008 PLAY++

Play++ explored the application and interaction with Ludic Interfaces, which are characterised as inherently playful, flexible and cooperative. Experimenta commissioned five media artworks that involved touch, movement, sound, shadow and pressure in response to interaction with visitors

Featuring: Priscilla Bracks, Gavin Sade & Matt Dwyer, Angela Barnett, Andrew Buchanan, Darren Ballingall, Chris MacKellar & Christian Rubino, Narinda Reeders & David MacLeod, David Lawrey & Jaki Middleton, Stephen Barrass, Linda Davy, and Robert Davy & Kerry Richens.


Presented with FACT and ICA (UK), Under the Radar exhibited a showcase of Australian media artists at the forefront of media technology. Expressions of Australian humour in relation to geographical positioning and historical context were explored through video and art works involving interactivity and play.

Featuring: Stephen Barrass, Linda Davy & Kerry Richens, Daniel Crooks, Alex Davies, Shaun Gladwell, David Haines, Joyce Hinterding, Steven Mieszelewicz, Nimrod Weis & Asaf Weis, Narinda Reeders & David MacLeod, Van Sowerwine, Isobel Knowles & Liam Fennessy, Craig Walsh, Tan Teck Weng. Video Program: Emma-Kate Roghan, Daniel Crooks, Aleks Danko, Joan Grounds, Marcus Lyall, Van Sowerwine, and Grant Stevens.


Explored the dynamics and conditions of globalisation and localisation in the contemporary networked world within the city of Sendai, Japan. Collaborative project between Australia and Japan, beginning with artist residencies and information gathering in Sendai, Japan, followed by the research and development of new works for group exhibition.

Featuring: Alex Davies, Craig Walsh, Lieko Shiga, David Haines, Joyce Hinterding (Haines/Hinterding), The SINE WAVE ORCHESTRA, and Norimichi Hirakawa.


Experimenta’s Prototype positioned technology as central to modernity, with its history dependent upon a complex network of progressive and interdependent prototypes. Artists featured in this exhibition used technology as their material, inventing new technologies or engaging in the hybridisation of existing technologies, thus creating prototypes. The works were emotionally engaging, experiential, tactile and intimate, emphasising a human resonance with technology.

Featuring: Stephen Barrass, Richard Brown, Jane Crappsley, Chris Henschke, Isobel Knowles & Haima Marriott, Christopher Mether, Ben Morieson; Ian Mott, Marc Raszewski, Jim Sosnin, Bruce Mowson, Simon Norton, Martin Walch, Amy Youngs, and Elizabeth Vander Zaag.

2001 WASTE

Waste explored issues pertaining to the excesses of contemporary culture, environmental and corporate waste, technical obsolescence and historical residue. Artists from Australia, India, Korea and USA explored these issues of waste alongside the regeneration and recycling of ideas through installation and interactive media. Visitors to Waste could order a hand written letter to a friend from Bombay, experience an interactive haircut, create music with obsolete machines, explore the unsavoury world of a 3D kitchen, turn pornographic images into flowers and search outer space for places to dump junk. 

Featuring: Stuart Bailey, Steven Ball, Michelle Barker, Anita Beckman, Marcus Bregner, Kim Bounds, Chris Caines, Evans, Chan, Mark Chan, Young-hae Chang, Lee Chatametikool, Tse Ming Cheng, Shao Xiong Chen, Afa Chiang, Yau Ching, Club Beta, Leon Cmielewski, Ann Marie Corna, Patrick Connolly Burns, Justina Curtis, Oerd van Cuijlenborg, Sally Dorsett, Natasha Dwyer, John Eaton, Jesper Fabricius, Fedderson Hillary, Mengbo Feng, Ruth Fleishman, Cecile Fontaine, Michaela French, Matthew Fuller, Andrew Garton, Gridthiya Gaweewong, James Guerts, Greg Giannis, Michelle Glaser, Tina Consalves, Richard Grant, Olier Griem, Shilpa Gupta, Lisa Gye, Ian Haig, Molly Hankwitz, Hawkins Gay, Chris Henschke, Nicole Hewitt, Megan Heyward, Zoltan Horvath, Felix Hude, Matt Hulse, Husein, Andrew Hutchinson, Hye-Jin Im, Katrien Jacobs, Jivin Kanjanaskul, Kirsten Kelly, Kueng HungByoung-Jik Kim, Chang-Kyum Kim, Hae-Min Kim, Nurri Kim, Martin Klapper, Brooke A Knight, Prapon Kumjim, Eun-Jung Kwon, Valentina La Piana, Jamsen Law, Jo Law, Eun-ha Lee, Wei Liu, Wei Liu, Locomoptik, Lovink Geert, Kim Machan, Ttim MacMillan, Robin Macpherson, Bruce McClure, Alex Meagher, Maargie Medlin, Iain Mott, Natalene Muscat, Varsha Nair, Preenun Nana, Dale Nason, Jary Nemo, Barbel Neubauer, Sang-Ghil Oh, Jun’ichi Okuyama, Hee-Jun Park, Hye-Sung Park, Ellen Pau, Kamol Phaosavasdi, Greg Pope, Melinda Rackham, Gennady Revzin, Paul Rodgers, Alice Ruzickova, David Ryan, Michael Shaowanasai, Julie Sheils, Chui Shun, Sumugen Sivanesan, Lee smith, Owen F Smith, Byoung-Dohn Sohn, Josephine Starrs, Esther Stocker, David Thrussell, John Tonkin, Sarah Tutton, Franscois Vogel, Gong Xin Wang, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Kirsten Winters, Meichun Wu, Marie-Louise Xavier, Fudong Yang, Won-Kon Yi, Mi-yeon Yoon, Jie-suk You, Pei Li Zhang, Zhao Liang, and Zhou Xiaohu.

2000 orbital: Visions of a future Australian landscape

The artworks exhibited in Orbital eclipse current trends in Australian media art practice to harness digital, spatial and sculptural environments. Further, these engaging time based media installations examine contemporary Australia and its social, political, geological and topographic landscale in a but to reconcile a more humane and sustainable landscape for future generations of Australians.

Keely Macarow, Curator

Featuring: Brook Andrew and Raymond Peer, Nigel Helyer, Megan Jones, Nicola Loder, and Margie Medlin.

1998 GAME THEORY (Game Play & Click Click, you’re dead)

Game play investigates the current state of play in relation to the art of game and the game of art; within its playful parameters viewers will be able to experience a broad range of games based artworks by contemporary Australian artists.

Featuring: Moira Corby, Ian Haig,Peter Hennessey, Sarah King,Peter Morse, Dominic Redfern and Laurens Tan.    

Click Click, you’re dead. ‘The new generation of computer games are not as simplistic as early games such as ‘Space Invaders’ and ‘Pong.’ In the mid 90’s, game designers moved beyond two-dimensional aesthetic interfaces and created complex interactive and virtual worlds using the cinematic language of the narrative and incorporating highly developed soundtracks and conceptual tropes. However, the aesthetic pleasure of playing a computer game is entirely different to the narrative pleasures gained from the cinema. The games included in this international program of CD-ROM interactives are a mixture of innovative works by independent artists playing with concept and structure, and commercial games which are noted for their excellent game play.’ (Femke Wolting, Netherlands)

Featuring: Robyn & Rand Miller, Theresa Duncan, Oddworld Inhabitants/GT Interactive, Rodney Allen & Green Blatt, Youn H. Lee, Eky Wand, Doug Tenapel, Westwood Studios, Clive Gillman, Ijsfantein: Sander Hassing, Hayo Wagenaar & Jan Willem Huisman, Millenium Interactive, Activision, Zombie Virtual Reality Entertainment, Tim Nye, John Hulme, Michael Wexler, and Douglas Gayeton.

 Modern Image Makers association (mimA) 1986-1996 

1996 Screening: the body remembers

Featuring: Jill Scott

1994 Experimenta festival

A major survey of Australian and international experimental film, video, electronic and sound art.

Featuring: 1/2 a Slub, Steve Adam, Marc Adrian, Ernie Althoff, Ian Andrews, Arnaldo Antunes, Arf Arf, Douglas Bagnall, Steven Ball, Digby Banks, Maria Rita Barbagallo, Tim Barrass, James Barret, Yann Beauvais, Maurice Benayoun, Gregory Bennett, Marcus Bergner, Bériou, Rodney Berry, Sutapa Biswas, Nicole Blachon, Moucle Blackout, Olivier Bougnot, Stan Brakhage, Joan Brassil, Jim Bridges, Barry Brown, Warren Burt, Julie Byrn, Peter Callas, Mark Caro, Mike Cartmell, Celia Catunda, Peter E Charuk, Maya Chowdhry, Eric Coignoux, Michael T Collery, Corolyn Connors, Simon Crosbie, Cassidy J Curtis, Juanita Custance, Eric Darnell, Rachel Davies, Graeme Davis, Dirk de Bruyn, Ian De Gruchy,  Sherre DeLys, Alnoor Dewshi, Cushla Dillon, Natasha Dwyer, Melanie El Mir, Cerith Wyn Evans, Valie Export, David Farringdon, Greg Ferris, Ann Marie Fleming, Cécile Fontaine, Robin Foster, Michaela French, Richard Frenken, Robert Frith, Katherine Fry, Phillip George, Knut Gerwers, Gitanjali, Gregory Godhard, Emil Goh, Andree Greenwell, Joan Grounds, Khaled Hakim, Ross Harley, Joyce Hinterding, Mike Hoolboom, Harumi Ichise, Troy Innocent, Herb Jercher, John Johnston, Moira Joseph, Tom Kantor, Kain Karawahn, Yoichiro Kawaguchi, Michael Kelleher, Sean Kerr, Silvia Kirchhof, Utako Koguchi, Sue-ellen Kohler, Renate Kordon, Derek Kreckler, Indu Krishnan, Mark La RosA, Tessa Laird, Michael Lee, Jennifer Leggett, Joanne Lewis, Edwin Lim, Rose Lowder, Sabine Mai, Chris Mann, Jeannie Marsh, Lucille Martin, Masa, Mara Mattuschka, Dora Maurer, Miles McKane, Deirdre McKessar, Shaheen Merali, Cam Merton, Mahalya Middlemist, Bernd Mittelhockamp, Shani Mootoo, Zaba Moreau, Ikue Mori, Francois Morin, Peter Morse, Kiko Mostrorigo, Iain Mott, Yukako Murayama, Eihachiro Nakamae, Meena Nanji, Mark O’Rourke, Michael O’Rourke, Nick Ostrovskis, Vivian Ostrovsky, Frank Osváth, Natuko Otuki, Ooni Peh, Maani Petgar, Debra Petrovitch, Robin Petterd, Gary Popovich, Frank Pröscholdt, Mark Raffety, Sher Rajah, Marc Raszewski, Jürgen Reble, Toby Reed, Lisa Reihana, David Rimmer, Glenn Rogers, Johannes Rosenberger, Martine Rousset, Rik Rue, Anna Sabiel, Steve Sanguedolce, Jochen Schmidt, Lee Smith, Pete Spence, Glenn Standring, Stelarc, Amanda Stewart, Maria N. Stukoff, Asako Sumil, Alia Syed, Tanya Syed, Yuko Takahashi, Mohammed Tayebi, Neil Taylor, Nicole Tharau, Marcelle Thirache, Kika Thorne, John Tonkin, Garine Torossian, Margaret Trail, Andreas Troeger, May Trubuhovich, Sarah Turner, Veronica Vaevae, Matthias Wagner, Tamás Waliczky, Tracie Walsh, David Watson, Ralph Wayment, Geoffrey Weary, Peter Wells, David Whelan, Paul Winkler, Tony Woods, Hideo Yamashita, Emi Yosidome, Thomas Zancker, and Angela Zumpe.

1992 Experimenta festival: perplexities 

Video art festival exploring the evolution of video art whilst questioning the role of the artist in society, and the nature of ‘personal’ filmmaking in relation to events, times and histories.

Featuring: Judith Adam, Michelle Andringa, Katsumi Aoi, Arf Arf, Pentti Arnio, Stephen Atkinson, Tony Ayres, babyfacebaby, Hanno Baethe, Patricia Balfour, Steven Ball, Tim Barrass, Virginia Barratt, Sadie Benning, Kathryn Bird, David Blair, Claus Blume, Paul Borderi, Maureen Bradley, Thea Brejzek, Tom Brozovich, Jan Bruck, Egon Bunne, Bureau of Inverse Technology, Emil Frantisek Burian, Liz Burke, Warren Burt, C-Hundred Film Corporation, Christopher Caines, Remo Camerota, Barbara Campbell, Shane Douglas Carn, Monty Cazazza, Daryll Chapman, Andreas Coerper, John Conomos, David Cox, Ainsley Crabbe, Marie Craven, Critical art ensemble, Simon Crosbie, Sammy Cucher, Cyberdada, Heiko Daxl, Dirk de Bruyn, Alnoor Dewshi, Keral Dodal, Irene Dodalova, Don’t shoot the messenger, Christopher Döring, Ralf Drechsler, Dumb and The Ugly, Melanie El Mir, Barry Ellsworth, Jackie Farkas, Dean Farrow, Danny Fass, Michael Felstead, Anne Ferran, Greg Ferris, Helen Finegan, Gabrielle Finnane, Monika Fionke-Stern, Force Fed, Penny Fowler-Smith, Fric, Andrew Frost, Stephen Frost, Paul Gaffney, Guylaine Gagnon, Gang, Carl M George, Tanja George, John Gillies, Rose Godde, Gregory godhard, Shalom Gorewitz, Gran Fury, Marina Griznic, Bettina Gruber, Tim Gruchy, Alexander Hackenschmied, Ian Haig, David Haines, John Halpern, Michelle Handelman, Ross Harley, Gusztav Harnos, Thomas Allen Harris, Karel Hasler, Nick Hayden, Darcy Herberick, Ali Higson, Michael Hill, Gavin Hodge, House of Colour, John Hughes, Svatopluk Innemann, Troy Innocent, Adem Jaffers, Laleen Jayamanne, Natalie Jeremijenko, Sheridan Jobbins, Susan Johnston, John Jolley, James Kalisch, Kain Karawahn, Itaru Kato, Hajime Kawaguchi, Joe Kelly, Mitchell Kelly, Charles Kenway, Mami Kikuchi, Elmar Klos, Leone Knight, Derek Kreckler, Jan Kucera, Jun Kurosawa, Mark La Rosa, Mike Ladd, Michael Lee, Jiri Lehovec, Carol Leigh, John Lindell, Sarah Lidner, Llurex, Emile Artur Longen, Thomas Luck, Marcelle Lunam, Antal Lux, George Maas, Fiona Macdonald, Chris Mann, Dusan Marek, Horst Markgraf, Veronica Martel, Julie Martin, Faye Maxwell, John Maybury, Michael Maziere, John McConchie, Jon McCormick, Curt McDowell, Tony McInneny, Shane McNeil, Rhohesia Hamilton Metcalf, Andrew Muldoon, Patti Munter, Dale Nason, Robert Nery, Sean O’Brien, Gary O’Keefe, Sebastian Oliveiro, Ollie Olsen, Vito Orazem, Nick Ostrovskis, Frank Osvath, Sophie Outram, Esther Koohan Paik, Rotraut Pape, Gloria Toyun Park, Jayne Parker, Jane Parkes, Floride Pavlovic, Norma Pearse, Antonin Pech, David Perry, Maani Petgar, Jennifer Pignataro, Frantisek Pilat, Jane Polkinghorne, Jane Pratt, Raskin, Colin Reck, ReproVision, Kate Richards, Jenni Robertson, Dee Russell, Liro Ruut, Sadahisa Saiio, Atsushi Sakurai, Michael Saup, Wolfgang Schemmert, Volker Schreiner, Bill Seaman, Hiroyuki Sekine, Laki SIderis, Shelly Silver, Aina Smid, John Smith, Greta SnideR, Yuji Sone, pete spence, Linda Sproul, Howard Stringer, Maria Natascha Stukoff, Cordelia Swann, Moira Sweeney, Csaba Szamosy, Laurens Tan, Teatro dell’IRAA, The Sydney Front, Albie Thoms, Shinya Tsukamoto, Sarah Turner, James Twentymann, Tony Twigg, Purity Vallance, Cathy Vasseleu, Otakar Vavra, Maria Vedder, Philipa Veitch, James Verdon, Edite Videns, Petr Vrana, Lawrence Wallen, Jude Walton, Katrin Willem, Chris Windmill, Paul Winkler, Maeve Woods, Marie Woolley, Cenek Zahradnicek, and Angela Zumpe.

1990 Westworld Stories

A selection of films and videos reflecting life in the major urban centres: media landscapes, schizophrenic fictions, works of everyday violence, dislocation and fragmentation.

Featuring: Catherine Lowing, Chris Windmill, Nick Ostrovskis, Ashley Scott, Dalia Shalef & Jane Stewart, Chris Knowles, Kathy Drayton, and John Cumming. 


Featuring: Melanie El Mir, Gabrielle Finnane, Ted Colless, Robert Nery, Paul Winkler, Stellarc, William Lang, the Tyndalls, Shelley Lasica, Christian Lebrat, Tina Keane, and Ellie Epp.

1990 Australian Artist Screening: HINDSIGHT

Screening of super8 film works. ‘Hindsight brings together two film makers who share a curious tendency to point a camera back toward the video screen. Both are part of the Sydney movement Metaphysical TV- characterised by its re-workings of tv images and sounds.’

Featuring: Stephen Harrop and Andrew Frost

1988 experimenta festival

Featuring 69 artists, including: Warren Burt, Michael Lee, John Nixon, Jill Scott, John Hughs, Joan Brassil, Paul Winkler, Ross Harley, Barbara Campbell, Noelle Janaczewska, Sally Prior, Mark Titmarsh, Peter Callas, John Gillies, Maggie Fook, Toula Anastas, Sabrina Schmid, Ross Gibson, Lesley Stern, George Alexander, Elizabeth Grosz, Kris Hemensley, and Felicity Collins.


“An image is a sight which has been created or reproduced. It is an appearance, or a set of appearances, which has been detached from the place and time in which it first madeits appearance and preserved – for a few moments or a few centuries. Every image embodies a way of seeing… When we ‘see’ a landscape we situate ourselves in it.” John Berger, Ways of Seeing, 1972

Featuring: Tom Psomotragas & Trevor Graham, Warren Burt, Jonas Balsaitis, Michael Lee, Maggie Fook, Nick Ostrovskis, Paul Winkler, David Corke, and A & C Cantrill.

1987 border crossings

Border crossings presents film and video artists exploring cultural differences. Not only is there a wide variety in their approach, but all the films and videos treat their subjects in a highly innovative and experimental way, which are themselves outside the mainstream of film culture. Interestingly, the film and video makers are also outsiders to the culture which is being addressed in their work.

Featuring: Marcus Bergner, John Dunkley-Smith, Mark Titmarsh, Peter Callas, Luigi Aquisto, Geoff Weary, Mark Worth, and Dirk De Bruyn.

1986 screenings of experimental film and video

may screening

Featuring: Lynsey Martin, Marie Hoy & Marcus Bergner, A&C Cantrill, Dirk De Bruyn, Maggie Fook & Chris Knowles, Bill Mousoulis, David Chesworth, Randelli, Nigel Buesst, Peter Tammer, Chris Lofven, Philipe Mora, Brian Robinson, Peter Lyssiotis & Ettore Siracusa.

september screening

Featuring: Virginia Fraser, Varcha Sidwell, Nick Ostrovskis, Marcus Bergner, Joanne Hampton, Nicholas Nedelkopoulos, Maria Barbagallo, Ruben Mow, Vikki Riley, Frank Lovece & Tornell Lovece, Michael Buckley, Bill Mousoulis, A & C Cantrill, Gil Brealey, Robert Rooney, Karen Von Bamberger, Maria Kozic, Paul Fletcher, Graeme Hare, Daryl Dellora, Aleks Danko & Joan Grounds, and James Clayden.


Screening of works exposing hand-working, pixellation and scratch effects. 

Featuring: Neil Taylor, Randelli, Dirk De Bruyn, Nick Ostrovskis, Kelly Hoare, Michael Lee, Ian Kerr, Noel Richards, Sabrina Schmid, Graeme Cutts, Lynsey Martin, Marie Hoy, Chris Knowles, Sue Mccauley & Michael Buckley, Ivor Cantrill, Warren Burt, Marcus Bergner, A & C Cantrill, Jim Walker, Jim Wilson, and Jonas Balsaitis.

melbourne: the place

Screening looking at work which has the city of Melbourne as the landscape or temperament.

Featuring: Nick Ostrovskis, Bill Mousoulis, Ettore Siracusa, Jane Stevenson, Peter Tammer, A & C Cantrill, Lynsey martin, Dirk de Bruyn, Anne-Marie Crawford, Warren Burt, Randelli, Michael Lee, Nigel Buesst, Rada Grmusa, Daryl Dellora, John Dunkley Smith, and Bill Anderson.

new works

Screening of new works or works-in-progress.

Featuring: Dirk De Bruyn, Randelli, John Nixon, A & C Cantrill, Michael Buckley, Warren Burt, Michael Lee, John Cumming, James Clayden     Performance: Chris Knowles, Marcus Bergner, David Chesworth, and Marie Hoy.


Three programmes examining ‘popular ideals’, social and political values and the fusion of music and image displayed through the mass media.

Featuring: A & C Cantrill, _/- (Directions), John Hughes & Andrew Scollo, Lynsey Martin, Rolando Caputo, Randelli & Other; Marcus Bergner, Michael Buckley & Marie Hoy; Jayne Stevenson, Michael Lee, Dirk De Bruyn, Warren Burt, Anne Carter & David Chesworth, Maria Kozic, Angie Maher, and Joe Bogdanov.


A special screening of highlights from automania at the Coburg Twin Drive In. Featuring filmmakers, artists, and writerson the subject of the car, its culture, movement and text. ‘They are called old bombs but really they are new bombs. The planned obsolescence of the car and the junk culture it created was also a road to subversion…’

Text: Ted Hopkins, Jean Kittson, Suzanne Spunner, Joanne Burns, Gerald Murnane, Stan Anson, Chris Mann. Images: Paul Greene, Peter Lyssiotis. Film: Chris Knowles, Dirk De Bruyn, A & C Cantrill, Marcus Bergner, Michael Buckley & Sue McCauley, Marcus Bergner & Marie Hoy, John Cumming, Philip Tyndall, and Peter Tammer.

1986 yearbook tapes

The ‘Yearbook’ tapes were the first major project of Modern Image Makers Association (MIMA) (later to become Experimenta), featuring a comprehensive compilation of Australian Film and Video Art set across three one hour videotapes, showcasing 16mm, Super 8 and VHS formats. The works included feature a broad range of narrative and experimental approaches, including cinematic, structuralist, hand made and avant garde work from 1960-86. Distinctively Australian in their depiction of urban and rural landscapes and sensibility, the ‘Yearbook’ films celebrate the aesthetic qualities and technical accessibility inherent in these predominantly domestic forms of technology. The ‘Yearbook’ compilations extended the boundaries of experimental film to elucidate distinction between film and video, inspiring new discourse for the valuation and analysis for emergent video culture, independent of film criticism.

Early Australian experimental film artists, both geographically removed from traditional cultural centres and often isolated from fine art and film making practices due to lack of finance and resources, often sought alternative methods for showcasing and distributing experimental film and video works. MIMAs ‘Yearbooks’ are a valuable resource to the comprehensive early history of Australian experimental film prior to digital formats; the yearbooks and associated screenings initiated MIMA’s first national tour in 1987.

Featuring: Vol.1: (Pre 1980) Nigel Buesst, Chris Lofven, Michael Lee, John Nixon; John Hughes, Andrew Scollo and Peter Kennedy, Dirk De Bruyn, Randelli, John Dunkley-Smith, Warren Burt, Robert Wallace, David Chesworth, William Anderson. Vol.2: (1980–83) Dirk De Bruyn, Randelli, Jayne Stevenson, Nick Ostrovskis, David Chesworth, Robert Rooney, Michael Lee, Graeme Hare, Paul Fletcher, Chris Knowles, John Dunkley-Smith, Marcus Bergner, Ettore Siracusa. Vol.3: (1983–86) Jean Marc Le Pechoux, John Hughes, Peter Kennedy, Michael Lee, Ian Kerr, Chris Knowles and Maggie Fook, Dirk De Bruyn, Bill Mousoulis, Jayne Stevenson, Randelli, Anne-Marie Crawford, David Chesworth, Neil Taylor, Michael Buckley and Sue McCauley.

 experimenta history

Experimenta Media Arts: 1986-1996

By Gemma Lumley, 2012


The following essay and time line are the result of my internship at Experimenta Media Arts which formed part of my Executive Master of Arts at the University of Melbourne. The internship lasted 12 weeks, beginning in March 2012. As I currently work for Experimenta as Administration and Program Coordinator, I was already familiar with and closely involved with the workings of the organisation, including operations and program curating. Therefore I was interested in learning about the side of the organisation that seemed to have been over looked for a number of years, the history of the organisation. This was particularly pertinent as in 2011 the organisation quietly celebrated 25 years of operation. In 2012, Experimenta wants to make the fact known they have been around for a quarter of a decade and producing a research essay and time line about the organisation was a perfect fit.

Currently, no comprehensive history about the organisation exists. There is a small blurb on Experimenta’s ‘About Us’ section of the website, Experimenta and its original incarnation, Modern Image Makers Association (MIMA), is referenced in a few key texts about media art such as Darren Tofts Interzone and in 2010, I wrote an as yet unpublished history of Experimenta for a different Masters subject at the university of Melbourne. However, the organisation tends live mostly in foot notes of books, articles and CVs (artists and arts administrators alike), so attempting to write an essay about the organisation from the inside out was a task that could prove useful and insightful for past and current Experimenta supporters.


Experimenta’s records are well kept, but throughout the years of moving from office to office, staff and volunteer changes, there were boxes of half sorted advertising and print material that needed ordering. With assistance from another Experimenta volunteer, Vera Schomers-MacAlpine, we went shifted through all the material and ordered it year by year, from 1986 – 2011. Since some items do not have dates printed on them, it was necessary to match those items with items that did have dates. In the latter years, Google searching helped turn up (mainly broken but still there!) websites that included dates. Once all the boxes were sorted (initially, there is still work to be done such as consolidate the information and weed out articles that have incorrectly filed despite our best efforts etc.) I begun constructing a timeline that included major exhibitions per year, major staff changes, funding and partnerships. I have done my best to represent the organisation in the timeline I constructed, but it is no where near conclusive. Experimenta retains very good records, but making sense of it can be difficult sometime and I would encourage anyone with an (scholarly) interest in the history of media art or experimental film to ask us for access to our records. The more that is written, the bigger the picture will be revealed.

Secondly, I conducted a number of interviews with previous staff members. The staff members I could get hold of; Amelia King, Shiralee Saul and Keely Macarow, Liz Huges and Fabinne Nicholas, all occupied managerial roles at Experiemnta at different stages and at least Keely Macarow had been associated with the organisation (as a volunteer, later curator and then Artistic Director) almost since its inception. Saul and Macarow were also artists, Saul with a particular interest in game culture and Maracrow with an interest in both experimental film and media art. King, Hughes and Nicholls were arts administrators. I conducted face-to-face interviews with King, Saul and Macarow, but established contact via email (Saul introduced me to King) and sent them all the same set of questions to form the basis of the interview. In the end, however, none of the interviews were so formal as to be constructed around questions. Rather, the interviewees tended to open up and talk very generally about the organisation. They became more specific as the interview went on, but I found these three past employees had not thought a great deal about their time at Experimenta for some time and their memories were not particularly linear. During these interviews, Saul and Macarow spoke openly and frankly about their experience with Experimenta, especially about the relationships between staff and board members. King was slightly more measured. I typed up interview notes and emailed them to the interviewees for their comments and thoughts. None of them wrote back. I conducted email interviews with Hughes and Nicholls in 2011. They were to form part of my other essay however both responses came too late so I will include them in this essay.

Finally, in addition to shifting through Experimenta’s records which also included newspaper clippings, MIMA newsletters and copies of Filmnews newspaper, I turned to academic journals, online archives (such as the AFC, Australia Council, RealTime Magazine) for information about funding, government policy, exhibitions, and reactions to exhibitions as well as books on media art. Experimenta’s records and my interviews would form the base of my essay however, again, this is an attempt to provide a history of the organisation from the inside out.


Experimenta Media Arts is a not-for-profit media arts organisation based in Melbourne. It was established in 1986 as Modern Image Makers Association (MIMA) which provided screenings and film distribution for experimental films. During its twenty-six year history, the organisation has shifted and changed with the times, staff, artists and funding bodies to be what it is in 2012: one of Australia’s leading media art organisations that curates and tours screen and media art exhibitions nationally and internationally. It also commissions new media artworks, runs education and public programs, and advocates for and supports the media art industry. In some ways this is similar to Experimenta’s origins, but in other ways it is vastly different. While the organisation has been around for twenty-six years and remains important in people’s memories and thoughts about media art in Melbourne, Australia and internationally, the organisation’s history exists predominately in footnotes and general references about media art and experimental film. Apart from an essay I authored in 2011 which has not been published, a comprehensive history of the organisation is yet to be written. This essay will expand on my previous research by looking more closely at MIMA’s (I will use this name when referring to the organisation up until its name change in 1996) program from 1986 until 1996. The essay will also examine the organisation through a number of interviews conducted with past staff members which provide valuable insight into the inner workings of the organisation including why it made specific decisions, and how it shifted over time from being an organisation for experimental film and video into media art. In a way, I will attempt to examine the organisation from the inside out.

Early years and the first Experimenta Festival: MIMA 1986 – 1988

MIMA was established in 1986 after the Australia Film Commission (AFC) and Film Victoria recognised a need to increase support to experimental film in Victoria. In 1985, the AFC’s distribution officer Peter Page and cultural activities co-ordinator Murray Brown convened a meeting in Melbourne attended by approximately 25 people, mostly artists and academics. Brown and Murray encouraged the attendees to form a committee and put forward a funding submission to the AFC and Film Victoria to establish a mode of distribution and screening for experimental film. The committee, which consisted of artists Corinne Cantril, Drik de Bruyn, Chris Knowles, Robert Randall, Michael Lee, Sue Goldman, Stephen Goddard and Frank Bendinelli, were successful in their submission and in 1986 Modern Image Makers Association was incorporated. MIMA was awarded $40,000 from the AFC and $25,000 from Film Victoria.[1] The grants were awarded on the specific basis that MIMA would run experimental film screenings at the Glasshouse Theatre at RMIT University throughout 1986, and allowed the association to employ a part-time Administrator, John Smithies. The second outcome funders wanted to see was that MIMA curate and produce three hour-long YEARBOOK tapes, along with notes, which could document Victorian film and video art that would be distributed around Australia through the Australian Film Institute (AFI) and used as an educational resource. YEARBOOK one was 1960 – 1980, YEARBOOK two was 1980 – 1984, and YEARBOOK three was 1985-1986.

The organisation structured itself as an Artist Run Initiative (ARI). On one of the first pieces of printed ephemera MIMA produced it described itself as:

An association of professional art film and avant garde videomakers. MIMA…is engaged in activities which will enhance the profile and quality of Victorian art/film video and its makers…The work of Victorian art film and avant garde videomakers received little consistent exposure through existing exhibition and distribution outlets. The material is usually short – from five minutes to one hours and therefore is considered ‘difficult’ to programme and distribute through the usual channel for film/videotapes. MIMA’s activities for 1986 will challenge these preconceived notions and prejudices.[2]

MIMA initially employed only one person, the Administrator, and management consisted of a large volunteer board many of whom were professional artists or filmmakers. The organisation also allowed anyone to join as a member for a fee of $5 which would entitle them to contribute to management and policy decisions as well as to contribute curatorial projects and participate in curatorial decisions. In later years, as we shall see, this structure would become cumbersome and unmanageable as individuals and groups emerged with different objectives for the organisation’s direction.

There were a number of debates and criticisms around experimental film at the time MIMA was established, which continued throughout the life of MIMA. One of the main debates, which would contribute to MIMA’s ambiguous position between the visual art world and the film world, was the difference between experimental filmmakers and film and video artists who made films.[3] This debate was particularly pertinent, since art funding bodies and collecting/exhibiting art institutions in Australia often didn’t recognise experimental film as art and yet experimental filmmakers wanted their works to be shown in art galleries and receive art funding.[4] The film funding bodies were more willing to provide assistance, which meant that MIMA had to position itself largely as a film organisation rather than a visual art organisation. Another important issue here was the interchangable nature of the language and terminology that surrounded art film and video. Some artists used the term ‘experimental film/video artist’ whilst others preferred ‘avant garde artist’ to describe the kind of work they were producing. Both terms were criticised by academics and other artists alike, and indeed MIMA never seemed to rectify the discrepancy (if one really existed). This essay will use the term ‘experimental film and video’ to describe the work the artists involved at MIMA were producing, as it is one term which has survived with the least criticism. However, MIMA was certainly for artists, and instead of calling their showing of experimental film/video ‘screenings’ they often called them ‘exhibitions’. (In an attempt at clarity, this essay will use ‘screening’ for any screenings/exhibitions MIMA presented which showed just film or video on one night only, and will use ‘exhibition’ to denote any gallery installations.) For experimental filmmakers and film and video artists, these debates have never really been resolved in Australia.

The second main criticism in the late 1980s, that was no doubt linked to the first debate, was that while Australian film and video artists such as Arthur and Corinne Cantril[5] and Dirk De Bruryn[6], were being recognised internationally by major institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the same artists were barely known in Australia. Indeed these artists were heavily involved in MIMA during its first few years and no doubt contributed a certain amount of experience, but also particular agendas, to the organisation.

The year 1986 was a successful one for MIMA. It held 12 screenings in Melbourne and the YEARBOOKS were completed as a thorough reference on Victoria’s experimental film and video artists.[7] Off the back of this success, in 1987 MIMA announced its first national tour of Super 8 prints and films. The tour was wide reaching and included cities and regional centres such as Geelong, Hobart, Sydney, Darwin, Perth, Adelaide, Albury, Wagga Wagga, Canberra, Bendigo, Ballarat and Townsville. MIMA also continued its screening programme in Melbourne, this time at the State Film Theatre located at 1 MacArthur Place on the last Friday, Saturday and Sunday of each month from May to October. MIMA touted 1987’s programme as a ‘programme of contemporary works that cover a large range of subject matter: experimental narrative, personal history and recollections, the camera as an extension of the body, popular culture and experiments with TV and video feedback’.[8] This included the popular, and well covered by the media, exhibition ‘The Imaged Body’ which showcased works that investigated the body, sexuality and eroticism. As Julie Schreiber, a MIMA coordinator, commented, it was a sad but true fact that sexuality in Australia was so repressed that the only way in which it was explored was through experimental film. Perhaps this was why, out of the number of exhibitions MIMA put together in 1987, ‘The Imaged Body’ was the most popular.[9] MIMA also actively tried to invigorate artistic and critical writing about art film and video in the Sydney newspaper Filmnews stating ‘there remains here a general lack of critical discussion and debate, such as would provide a more elaborate cultural context for this kind of work. MIMA now seeks to change this situation by sponsoring critical writing which will appear regularly in Filmnews’. [10] Indeed Filmnews was one of the most significant publications for MIMA and could be relied upon to cover, and at times both criticise and promote, MIMA’s activities. During 1987, MIMA screened 204 individual artworks, mainly by Victorian-based artists.[11]

MIMA grew even further in 1988, expanding its mandate to include interstate and international artists as well as including installation artworks along side theatrical screenings of film and video performance. In 1988 MIMA launched its Open Screening Programme, which was an opportunity for film and video artists to bring along their own films and have them screened to an audience after MIMA’s formal screening programmes concluded in the evenings. MIMA also held School Screenings for secondary-school students studying art film and video production. The format of these sessions, held at the State Film Theatre, included a one hour screening followed by a lecture and discussion by an artist film and video maker Robert Randall.[12] MIMA also expanded to include sound artists in their programme such as Chris Knowles, who MIMA supported in a performance and lecture as part of the Melbourne Music Show.[13] But by far the biggest change to MIMA’s program was the launch of their ‘Experimenta’ festival.

The Experimenta Festival, which was held across a number of Melbourne venues from 18 – 27 November 1988, was billed as Australia’s first national exhibition of film and video. It was put together on a budget of about $82,500, contained work by 69 artists, and attracted audiences of about 10,000.[14] MIMA noted they thought the title, ‘Experimenta’ emphasised the ‘practical viewing, making and performing of film and video art as a means for artists to gain authority over their work through experience…to achieve this, MIMA wants to get as many artists as possible to Melbourne in November to screen, install and perform their work to other artists and the public.’[15] ‘Experimenta’ included film and video installation, presentation of live performances, screening of latest Australian and international film and video art works, and lectures and seminars of film and video work. Venues for ‘Experimenta 88’ included the State Film Theatre, National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) and 200 Gertrude Street Gallery. The ‘Experimenta’ festival was also significant for MIMA in that it successfully secured funding support from not only the AFC and Film Victoria, but also other major government funders including the Victorian Ministry for the Arts, Visual Arts/Craft board of the Australia Council, Western Australian Department for the Arts, South Australia Department for the Arts, and the Queensland Film Industry Development Office.

The Experimenta Festival in 1988 became a biennial event, held in November over ten days every two years in 1990, 1992, 1994 and 1996. Each year, the ‘Experimenta’ festival became more and more ambitious, showing an increasing number of artists who were working across all kinds of media including video and film, but also installation video and film, media art, computers, CD-ROM art and kinetic sculptures. MIMA established partnerships with many other Melbourne organisations including venues from the NGV down to smaller organisations such as the Centre for Contemporary Photography, and festivals such as the Melbourne International Film Festival and the St Kilda Film Festival. MIMA also secured in-kind sponsorship from a range of supporters from community radio stations to hardware stores. The Experimenta Festivals were presented by MIMA, but each festival had its own dedicated committee, which more or less allowed MIMA to continue running its yearly program. However, between the late 1980s and into the early 1990s, MIMA changed quite dramatically and by the mid-1990s it was no longer closely associated with film and video art but more closely associated with media art (at the time commonly referred to as ‘new media art’).

Funding for MIMA and for ‘Experimenta’ fluctuated dramatically over the years, and whilst it may not have been too obvious to their lay audience (audience members who were not official members of the organisation) the tiny budgets and amount number of volunteer hours the organisation demanded continued to increase pressure on the board and small staff base of between two to three part-time staff members of the organisation.[16] MIMA continued to exhibit a large number of works including exhibitions and screenings, upheld a number of key partnerships throughout the years, presented ‘Experimenta’, toured exhibitions around Australia and internationally, and serviced their membership base. Eventually, the vast amount of output the organisation produced with small budgets and even smaller staff members (permanent staff members were usually only part-time and staff numbers ranged from two to eight during ‘Experimenta Festivals’) came to a head in 1998 when there was all but a complete change in board and staff members, and MIMA, which by 1996 had changed it’s name to ‘Experimenta Media Arts’, ceased running the ‘Experimenta’ festival.[17] At around this time, MIMA had also begun to reduce its exhibition output and its membership base.[18] There were a number of pressures that boiled up within the organisation during the late 1980s and early 1990s, including what has been mentioned previously. But experimental art was also changing, incorporating digital and ‘new’ media more often than film and video; indeed the latter mediums were falling out of critical favour. Governments and their arms-length funding bodies were also shifting their priorities towards ‘new media’. Each of these factors contributed to the shift in MIMA’s direction, but internally MIMA was also dealing with conflicting opinions and goals and personality clashes. The second part of this essay will examine all of these factors to determine how and where the shift that occurred at MIMA in the 1990s, by looking at the organisations output, and by also referring to a number of interviews conducted with key staff members who were employed by the organisation at various times throughout its history.

From the Inside Out: MIMA 1989 – 1994

As we have seen, MIMA was originally established to provide a mode of distribution and screening for Victorian experimental film and video, but its expanding mandate was slowing outgrowing this foundation. The ‘Experimenta’ festivals proved popular with audiences. Government funding bodies were onboard with investing in new forms of experimental art, which in the early 1990s was no longer film and video, but digital technology and multimedia.[19] Conversely, MIMA’s screenings of film and video were less well attended but still heavily funded. By 1994 MIMA was attracting subsidies of around $5,000 for a screening to which just 20 or 30 people would attend.[20] A split of agendas between experimental film and video artists and media artists was opening up contributing to a certain amount of volatility within the organisation that board and staff members had to negotiate.[21]

The Experimenta Festival of 1990 attracted audience figures which topped 6,000, and MIMA assisted in bringing out international artists such as Tina Keane from the United Kingdom, Canadian Philip Hoffman, and guest curator from France, Christian le Brat.[22] Meanwhile the experimental film and video art programme was showcasing slightly more established filmmakers and artists such as Tracey Moffatt and Jane Campion who MIMA screened as part of their Australian Art Series, ‘Feminist Avant-garde Film – An Australian perspective’. MIMA’s program for 1990 also included ‘Images of Synthesis’: a program which screened animations, many of which were short computer animations made for companies’ television commercials. Simon Crosbie wrote in Filmnews that screening of such work did not represent MIMA, its ethos, or its audience.[23] 1991 saw MIMA back on track and they sought to actively engage their audience by running ‘Film Workshop: An Historical Disturbance of Memory’. This workshop, which was run over two days included screenings of historical/experimental films including Agnes Varda’s ‘Len Lye’, a practical explanation of work practice, home processing of Super 8 and 16mm black and white film which would be shot during the workshop, a lecture of how to have independent experimental films shown overseas, and an open screening of work.[24] MIMA also held seminars such as ‘Sound in Cinema: A Seminar’ whose speakers included established experimental film artists Arthur Cantrill, Philip Brophy and David Chesworth.[25] Screenings for 1991 included ‘Private Visions: Japanese Video Art of the 1980s’, ‘America in the 80s’ and ‘New Works: A selections of video and computer art from the Sixth Australian and international video Festival’, and finally in association with Melbourne Cinematheque, the University of Melbourne Student Union and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, MIMA screened Andy Warhol’s ‘Empire’ for the first time in Melbourne along with ‘Chelsea Girls’ and ‘Lonesome Cowboys’.[26] Thus MIMA was working hard to ensure their audiences stayed engaged in experimental film and video by running information sessions and screening established artists and filmmakers from both Australia and overseas. Despite the impressive schedule, however, internally MIMA was fracturing.

The ARI structure that MIMA had been established with was becoming cumbersome and unruly. Members who paid an annual fee, which by 1990 was $20 (up from $5 in 1986), were still entitled to contribute to MIMA’s policy and curatorial decisions. This meant the organisation had a wide albeit small membership base which included filmmakers, experimental film and video artists, media artists, members from the Super 8 film group. And each of these groups had a different agenda. Keely Macarow who began working with MIMA in around 1989 as an office volunteer and who would later (after sometime living abroad in London) become Experimenta Media Arts’ Artistic Director in 1998, recalled how differing agendas between experimental filmmakers and media artists were prevalent right from the very beginning of MIMA.[27] Macarow suggested that such relations contributed to a certain volatility within the organisation. Shiralee Saul, who also began working with MIMA in its early days in 1989 and 1990 as a volunteer (becoming Chair of the Board then General Manager from 1996 – 1998 and curating a number of programs for MIMA/Experimenta) also recognised the different agendas and personality clashes. Saul noted that eventually some staff members literally refused to work with one another.[28] In the early 1990s, MIMA’s direction and indeed its purpose as an organisation was conflicted. This was played out to an extent in its slightly sporadic programming, and it would still take a number of years to resolve this conflict.

MIMA continued with its biennial ‘Experimenta Festival’ in 1992, billing it as a major exhibition of Film and Video Art from Australia, USA, Britain, Germany, Finland, Czechoslovakia and Eastern Europe. MIMA produced a large, glossy catalogue in conjunction with Experimenta ’92 which contained not only the program but also critical writing about the state of experimental film and video, as well as digital media. Since ‘Experimenta ‘92’ was held just days after Sydney hosted the Third International Symposium on Electronic Art (TISEA), MIMA’s festival attracted even more media attention in Melbourne by writers, who covered and/or promoted both events. Whilst this kind of coverage may have seemed logical at the time it was slightly ironic since MIMA had, despite having similar objectives to TISEA (which had also been awarded a large sum of money by the federal government) been excluded from TISEA’s program completely.

MIMA’s screening program for 1992 was slightly smaller in scale than it had been in previous years. There were fewer screenings by international artists and the program included installation works such as ‘This. That. The Other’ by Steven Ball, Sylvia Mackie and Maeve Woods at the Linden Gallery in St. Kilda. Further, MIMA’s newsletter, that was distributed approximately every two to three months to members, alluded to problems in funding from the AFC which suggested MIMA’s already lean budgets were run on a month to month basis. MIMA’s newsletter also contained a call out to volunteers with cars and utes who might help with moving material and installation items for Experimenta ’92.[29] They also called for volunteer installers as well as volunteers willing to accommodate interstate and international guests.[30] After seven years of operation, MIMA was still running the organisation as an ARI, a loose collective of people, however this would change 18 months later with the appointment of Director Amelia King who had a strong background in arts administration and almost no (personal or professional) stake in experimental film and video or media art.

King was appointed as Director of MIMA by the board in early 1994 just as MIMA was preparing for Experimenta ’94. King recalls that her job description was to ‘professionalise’ the organisation and tighten management.[31] When King entered the role, she found an organisation that had no formal management or operational structure and no strategic plan. She also noted that some staff members literally didn’t speak to each other, though she stated that this is improved during her tenure and that at other times staff members constituted a ‘really good team’. King’s background was in arts administration and management, and whilst she praised staff members such as Shiralee Saul and Peter Handsaker, both of whom King worked with to present Experimenta ’94 and Experimenta ’96, King said she rarely had input into artistic or curatorial decisions.[32]

At the time of King’s appointment, MIMA’s program was still running film screenings along side the Experimenta festivals. She emphasised, however, that when she joined the organisation, board members were very interventional.[33] King recalled it was at board meetings that the film program would be conceived entirely and was expected to be implemented by staff. King also noted that there was very little discussion about management and operations at those early board meetings. This fact illustrated that it was those with an interest in experimental film and video, rather than the media artwork, who were dominating decision-making within the organisation despite the obvious shift that was going on towards digital media and technology. Despite the heavy-handedness of the board towards decision making, they did more or less leave it up to MIMA staff to curate the festival program, which by 1994 had become MIMA’s primary offering. King was not overly concerned with the kind of content MIMA exhibited; she was more than happy to leave those decisions up to the people employed to make them, such as Saul and Handsacker. Since it was King’s primary aim to professionalise the organisation, she saw that to do this major changes needed to be applied to the structure of MIMA from the board down to members. Changes King implemented involved lessening the creative control that board members had; emphasising their role as operational directors; and engaging new board members who had skills outside of art, such as lawyers, accountants and communication professionals. King recalled that after these changes some board members had lost much of their power over the organisation and, after a year or two, those members who had become disenfranchised had settled into other organisations which better suited their agenda, such as the Super 8 film group.[34] With the appointment of King and the changes she implemented, MIMA had put in place the foundations to respond to a new era of digital media art.

Changing Times: 1994 – 1996

In October 1994, Prime Minister Paul Keating announced his new Creative Nation arts and culture policy.[35] The policy was all encompassing, and ranged from what it was to be Australian to multimedia and CD-ROM creation, and tied cultural capital to financial capital for the nation. It advocated a total of $84 million dollars to be spent in the arts and culture sector over four years.[36] Creative Nation solidified the government’s stake in digital media and e-commerce. As John Conomos pointed out, the government outlined five key strategies for the making and marketing of new multimedia technology, this included; ‘(a) the establishment of the Australian Multimedia Enterprise, (b) a series of national multimedia forums (c) the creation of co-operative multimedia development centres (d) the Australia on CD program for use in schools and (e) financial assistance to key funding sites like the Australian Film Commission to assist its entry into multimedia production.’[37] It was the last strategy that no doubt benefited MIMA the most, since the AFC was awarded $5.25 million for new programs under the mandate.[38] A press release from the AFC stated that with their increased funding they had;

‘…created a specific set of guidelines relating to criteria for support for Multimedia works. These guidelines identify interactivity and non-linearity as the key characteristics of works eligible for AFC support. Further, projects must be related to the “entertainment arts” and be capable of physical distribution rather than being works designed for installation. The new guidelines began operating after receiving Commission approval in June 1995.’[39]

The emphasis on digital media and technology was symptomatic of changes that had been occurring within the AFC and other funding bodies such as the Australia Council for some time. Now there was federal government policy that mandated the change. While the cash would take some time to trickle down to organisations such as MIMA, they continued their program.

The Experimenta Festival of 1994 was run by Peter Handsaker across multiple Melbourne venues. It worked to establish and solidify partnerships with major venues and smaller sponsors. At the time, Handsaker predicted that the festival would attract around 50,000 people even through it was run on an extremely tight budget of around $164,000.[40] 1994 also saw the conclusion of MIMA’s successful touring exhibition ‘Diversionary Tactics’, a screening program of two two-hour programmes in three formats, VHS, U-Matic and 16mm, curated by MIMA in 1992 with the support of the Australian Exhibitions Touring Agency to tour to an extensive list of 21 regional art galleries across Australia and eight destinations around the world.

In 1994 and 1995, MIMA continued to hold film screenings in theatres across Melbourne. The program, however, was leaner than in previous years and almost didn’t go ahead in late 1994 when MIMA lost one of its theatres. In 1995, however, MIMA produced two significant exhibitions. The first was ‘Virtualities’ which was installed at Scienceworks, a new venue for MIMA, and was an ‘educational and informative exhibition suitable for both children and adults, revealing the exciting work being done by contemporary artists in high-tech media… curated under the auspices of MIMA, it forms part of the Century of Australian Cinema… [and] is an exhibition of Australian computer, video and electronic experimental arts’. The exhibition included Ian Haig, Moria Corby, Peter Hennessy and Patricia Pinccini amongst others. The second significant exhibition was ‘Digital Cinema’ at the Linden Gallery. The exhibition, which was an exhibition of new digital works by Australian artists, was touted as a way of furthering MIMA’s commitment to supporting artists and filmmakers who were incorporating and exploring applications for digital technology in their work. If 1995 seemed like a quieter year, 1996 made up for it. 1996 was a festival year, and Experimenta ’96 was bigger than it had ever been before. On top of that, MIMA begun to associate itself with a number of other cutting-edge exhibitions, festivals and fairs.

Experimenta ’96, entitled ‘Short, Sharp and Very Current’, was held across four floors of the disused Power Station in Lonsdale Street in the heart of Melbourne. It was billed as ‘… a multimedia extravaganza. Four floors of installations, continuous film and video screening, performance and sound art events by Australian and international media artists plus a festival bar and club all in one unique multipurpose venue.’[41] Despite the scale and a $24,000 grant for the festival under the Kennet Government’s Arts 21 Strategy, the festival ran on a tiny budget of about $140,000 which was subsidised by a lot of in-kind support.[42] In addition to ‘Short, Sharp and Very Current’, Saul along with Dr Peter Morse and in conjunction with the Melbourne International Film Festival, curated ‘Robotica: Visions of a robotic future past and present’. This exhibition was installed in the Melbourne Lower Town Hall and investigated the use of robotics in artistic practice as well as life. Saul also curated ‘Domestic Disturbances’ which formed part Experimenta ’96 and was installed at the NGV. ‘Domestic Disturbances’ investigated the use of technology in the home and in particular how it impacted on home and family life. MIMA also participated in ‘Interact ‘96’, a multi-media and interactive technology trade fair brought to Melbourne by the state government who invested $1 million in the show. MIMA provided the only non-commercial offer at Interact.

1996 was also the year MIMA officially changed its name to ‘Experimenta Media Arts’. Saul noted that this was because the name Modern Image Makers Association no longer reflected the organisation’s goals.[43] The name change marked an important milestone, in that it signified a maturing of the organisation. MIMA had almost completely figured out what it was, who it existed for and what it did. It had maintained a model, that of a biennial festival of media arts, along which screenings of film and video and it continued to present one-off projects and touring exhibitions. It was however, still a vast programme run on a small budget. Both Saul and King commented that it was the sheer amount of work, much of it unpaid volunteer hours in the end, that drove them out of the organisation.[44] Between 1997 and 2002, under the Artistic Direction of Keely Macarow and later Director Liz Hughes, the organisation reduced its output, prioritising quality over quantity. This meant that instead of running the biennial festival, Experimenta Media Arts ran a small and tightly-curated number of screenings throughout the year and presented a major exhibition in November of each year. The organisation operated with this model until it launched its new model in 2003 with Experimenta House of Tomorrow.

Not Really a Conclusion

As alluded to in the previous section, MIMA/Experimenta Media Arts has a rich history past 1996. This includes establishing and maintaining a commissioning program, presenting a biennial of Australian and international media art, one-off projects, international touring, screening programs, running public programs and workshops, and commercial consulting. Experimenta has continued to shift and change with the times, with artists they represented, with funding bodies, with staff and stakeholders. It has also continued to mature. This history, however, is beyond the scope of this essay. Instead, what I have attempted to do is to cast some light on the foundations of Experimenta as an experimental film/video and media art organisation. What I discovered was that MIMA has an intense history stemming from its founding members right through to the changing nature of experimental film/video art and media art and MIMA’s programme. While MIMA was established to provide a means of distributing and screening for experimental film, the mandate slowly begun to change after MIMA curated its first Experimenta Festival in 1992 which included installation work. For most of its existence, MIMA has run on a tight budget, and its programme often reflected what funding bodies and governments wanted to see. This was the case when it was established by grants from the AFC and Film Victoria, and it was the case in the mid-late 1990s when funding bodies begun to allocate funds that were the result of the Keating Government’s Creative Nation policy. MIMA’s organisational structure as an ARI, coupled with a number of individuals who held particular agendas, contributed to a certainly volatility within the organisation. This was mostly counterbalanced by staff and board members who did work well together and by the fact MIMA still managed to produce excellent and cutting-edge programming. So while Experimenta today is rather different to MIMA in 1986, it still continues engage in activities that enhance the profile of media art in Australia and around the world.

[1] NA (1986), ENCORE, 13 – 26.

[2] MIMA (1986), information brochure.

[3] Gemma Lumley (2012), Interview with Keely Macarow, RMIT, 22 May 2012.

[4] The Melbourne Times (1986), ‘Making a name in avant-garde film’, The Melbourne Times, 14 May 1986.

[5] Ibid.

[6] The Herald (1986), ‘Avant-garde looks for the spotlight’, The Herald, 16 May 1986.

[7] MIMA (1987), Press Release/Open Call, 1987.

[8] MIMA (1987), Press Release for Experimenta, 1987.

[9] Sue Ostler (1987), ‘The Imaged Body’, Beat, issue 69, 25 November.

[10] Filmnews (1988) ‘From the Cutting Room Floor’, Filmnews, Vol 18, No.1 February 1988.

[11] MIMA (1987), Press Release/Open Call, 1987.

[12] MIMA (1987), Schools Screening brochure, Modern Images Makers Association, 1987.

[13] MIMA (1987), Chris Knowles Program brochure, Modern Images Makers Association, 1987.

[14] Megan Backhouse (1994), ‘Movie with the times’, EG, The Age, Friday 11 November, 1994.

[15] MIMA (1988), Expeirmenta Festival Press Release, Modern Images Makers Association, 1988.

[16] Gemma Lumley (2012), Interview with Amelia King, Experimenta Media Arts, Level 7, 225 Bourke Street, Melbourne, 4 June 2012.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Gemma Lumley (2012), Interview with Keely Macarow, RMIT, 22 May 2012.

[19] Lumley (2012), Interview with Amelia King.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Lumley (2012), Interview with Keely Macarow

[22] MIMA (1990), Experimenta Program brochure, Modern Images Makers Association, 1990.

[23] Simone Crosbie (1990), ’Doubtful pleasures: Simone Crosbie reviews MIMA’s ‘Other Pleaures’ season’, Filmnews, Feb 1990, Vol 20, no.1, 1990.

[24] MIMA (1991), Film Workshop brochure, Modern Images Makers Association, 1991.

[25] MIMA (1991), Seminar brochure. Modern Images Makers Association, 1991.

[26] MIMA (1991), ‘Empire’ Screening Press Release, Modern Images Makers Association, 1991.

[27] Lumley (2012), Interview with Keely Macarow.

[28] Ibid.

[29] MIMA (1992), Newsletter of MIMA, October 1992, Modern Images Makers Association, 1992.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Lumley (2012), Interview with Amelia King.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Ibid.

[34] Ibid.

[35] Commonwealth Cultural Policy, Creative Nation (1994) http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/21336/20031011-0000/www.nla.gov.au/creative.nation/contents.html (accessed 28 May 2012)

[36] John Conomos (1996), At the end of the century: Creative nation and the new media arts, Media and Cultural Studies, Vol.9, No. 1, 118-129.

[37] Ibid.

[38] McKenzie Wark (1996), ‘In the shadow of the military-entertainment complex, Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, Vol.9. No. 1.

[39] Australian Film Commission (1996), Australian Film Commission, News Archive, Australian Film Commission and Burning the Interface, 12 September 1996, http://afcarchive.screenaustralia.gov.au/newsandevents/mediarelease/1996/release_198.aspx (accessed 15 June 2012)

[40] Backhouse, 1994.

[41] Experimenta Media Arts (1996), Expeirmenta Media Art 1996 Program Brochure, Experimenta Media Arts, 1996.

[42] Greg Burchall, State Supports arts projects, The Age, 5 June 1996 and Jim Schembri, ‘Artists filling spaces with their own power’, Metro Arts, The Age, 6 November 1996, B6.

[43] Gemma Lumley (2012) Interview with Shiralee Saul at Mr Tulk café, Melbourne on 24 May 2012 and Kathy Cleland (1996) ‘Interview, EMAgining the Future’, RealTime 15, On Screen, October – November 1996

[44] Lumley (2012) Interview with Amelia King, Lumley (2012), Interview with Shiralee Saul.


Australian Film Commission, 1994/5: Australian Film Commission, Annual Report 1994/5, Film Development, 1994/5, http://afcarchive.screenaustralia.gov.au/archive/annrep/ar94_95/6_fd.html (accessed 1 June 2012)

Australian Film Commission, 1996: Australian Film Commission, News Archive, Australian Film Commission and Burning the Interface, 12 September 1996, http://afcarchive.screenaustralia.gov.au/newsandevents/mediarelease/1996/release_198.aspx (accessed 15 June 2012)

Australian Film Commission, 2004: Australian Film Commission, ACF Archive, Experimenta calls for submissions from ACT, 2004, http://afcarchive.screenaustralia.gov.au/newsandevents/afcnews/skills/experimenta_act/newspage_115.aspx (accessed 15 June 2012)

Australian Film Commission, c.2009: Australian Film Commission, ACF Funding Archive, Approvals, c.2009, http://afcarchive.screenaustralia.gov.au/funding/approvals.aspx?view=results&keyword=Experimenta&area=all&type=Industry+and+Cultural+Development&start_month=&start_year=&end_month=&end_year= (accessed 15 June 2012)

 Australian Screen, 2012: Australian Screen, Australian Film and Television Chronology, Chronology: 1970, http://aso.gov.au/chronology/1970s/ (accessed 1 June 2012)

Backhouse, 1994: Megan Backhouse, ‘Movie with the times’, EG, The Age, Fri day 11 November, 1994.

Bereson, 2005: Ruth Bereson (2005), ‘Advance Australia-Fair or Foul? Observing Australian Arts Policies’, The Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society, Vol. 35, No. 1, 49-59

Burchall, 1996: Greg Burchall, ‘State Supports arts projects’, The Age, 5 June 1996.

Cleland, 1996: Kathy Cleland, ‘Interview, EMAgining the Future’, RealTime 15, On Screen, October – November 1996

Commonwealth Cultural Policy, 1994: Commonwealth Cultural Policy, Creative Nation, 1994, http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/21336/20031011-0000/www.nla.gov.au/creative.nation/contents.html (accessed 28 May 2012)

Conomos, 1996: John Conomos (1996), At the end of the century: Creative nation and the new media arts, Media and Cultural Studies, Vol.9, No. 1, 118-129

Craik, 2007: Jennifer Craik, Re-visioning Art and Cultural Policy, Chapter 2 Historical phases in arts and cultural policy-making in Australia, Castin a ‘Creative Nation’, ANU epress, 2007, http://epress.anu.edu.au/anzsog/revisioning/mobile_devices/ch02s07.html (accessed 15 June 2012)

Crosbie 1990: Simone Crosbie, ’Doubtful pleasures: Simone Crosbie reviews MIMA’s ‘Other Pleaures’ season’, Filmnews, Feb 1990, Vol 20, no.1

Experimenta Media Arts, 1996: Expeirmenta Media Art 1996 Program Brochure.

Filmnews, 1988: ‘From the Cutting Room Floor’, Filmnews, Vol 18, No.1 February, 1988

Lumley, 2012: Gemma Lumley, Interview with Keely Macarow, RMIT, 22 May 2012.

Lumley, 2012: Gemma Lumley, Interview with Shiralee Saul at Mr Tulk café, Melbourne on 24 May 2012.

Lumley, 2012: Gemma Lumley, Interview with Amelia King, Experimenta Media Arts, Level 7, 225 Bourke Street, Melbourne, 4 June 2012.

Lumley, 2011: History of Experimenta, University of Melbourne, 2011. Unpublished.

Martin, 1994: Adrian Martin (1994), ‘Hold back the dawn: Notes on the position of experimental film in Australia 1993’, Media and Cultural Studies, Vol. 8, No. 1, 292-301

MIMA, 1987: Press Release/Open Call, 1987, Modern Image Makers Association.

MIMA, 1987: Press Release for Experimenta, 1987, Modern Image Makers Association.

MIMA, 1989: Experimenta Sponsorship Proposal, 1989, Modern Image Makers Association.

MIMA, 1987: Schools Screening brochure, Modern Image Makers Association.

MIMA, 1987: Chris Knowles Program brochure, Modern Image Makers Association.

MIMA, 1988: Expeirmenta Festival Press Release, Modern Image Makers Association.

MIMA, 1991: Film Workshop brochure, Modern Image Makers Association.

MIMA, 1991: Seminar brochure, Modern Image Makers Association.

MIMA, 1991: ‘Empire’ Screening Press Release. Modern Image Makers Association.

MIMA, 1992: Newsletter of MIMA, October 1992, Modern Image Makers Association.

NA 1986: ENCORE, 13 – 26 March 1986

Ostler, 1987: Sue Ostler, ‘The Imaged Body’, Beat, issue 69, 25 November 1987.

Schembri, 1996: Jim Schembri, ‘Artists filling spaces with their own power’, Metro Arts, The Age, 6 November 1996, B6.

The Herald, 1986: ‘Avant-garde looks for the spotlight’, The Herald, 16 May 1986

The Melbourne Times, 1986: ‘Making a name in avant-garde film’, The Melbourne Times, 14 May 1986

The Sun Metro Extra, 1986: ‘A Season of Art, innovative films’, The Sun Metro Extra, 22 May 1986

Wark 1996: McKenzie Wark, ‘In the shadow of the military-entertainment complex, Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, Vol.9. No. 1

Further Reading

Barass, 2008: Stephen Barrass (2008) ‘Creative Practice-Based Research in Interaction Design’, ACM Computers in Entertainment, Vol.6, No.3

Buchanan, 2008: Andrew Buchanan (2008), ‘ Predicting User Behavior – The Creation of the Immersion Installation’, ACM Computers in Entertainment, Vol.6, No.3

Burt, 1994: Warren Burt (1994), ‘Installation at experimenta: Flighting the “so-what” factor in electronic art’, Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, Vol. 8, No.1, pp.58 – 68.

Cubitt and Thomas, 2009: Sean Cubitt and Paul Thomas, eds. (2009) ‘Re:live: Media Art Histories. Refereed Conference Proceedings. Published by The University of Melbourne & Victorian College of the Arts and Music.

Leggett, 1999: Mike Leggett (1999), ‘Burning the Interface: Artists’ Interactive Multimedia 1992 – 1998’. Master of Fine Arts (Honours, MFA), College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales.

Hobba, 1987: Leigh Hobba, ‘Here’s the chance to participate in a celebratory experience of media’, Mercury, 28 March 1987.

Charlton, 1987: Susan Charlton,‘Images from the South’, The Sydney Morning Herald, SMH Metro, Nov 27, 1987

Chandler, 1992: Jan Chandler, ‘A feast of film and video art’, The Melbourne Report, November 1992

Mangan,1994: John Mangan, ‘Limelight’, The Age, 11 November 1994.

Muller, 2006: Lizzie Muller, A Grand Tour of Australian Media Art: Lizzie Muller interviews Darren Tofts, RealTime, Issue 71, 2006 http://www.realtimearts.net/article/71/8031 (accessed 15 June 2012)

van Niekerk, 1996: Mike van Niekerk, City to host expo, Computer Age, The Age, 2 July 1996, D1

Palmer 2008: Daniel Palmer, The Critical Ambivalence of Play in Media Art, Abstract, International Symposium of Electronic Arts, Singapore 2008, http://www.isea2008singapore.org/abstract/d-h/p447.html

Radbourne, 1996: Jennifer Radbourne (1996), ‘Creative Nation: A policy for leaders or followers?’, Journal of Arts Management, Law & Society, Vol. 26, No.4.

Sefton-Green, 1998: Julian Sefton-Green, Digital Diversions: Youth Culture in the Age of Multimedia, Psychology Press, 1998, http://books.google.com.au/books?id=4tC7FKi6nsIC&lr=&source=gbs_navlinks_s (accessed 15 June 2012)

Tofts, 2009: Darren Tofts, Eds. Sean Cubitt and Paul Thomas, Re:live: Media Art Histories 2009: Conference Proceedings, The University of Melbourne and Victorian College of the Arts and Music, Melbourne, 2009, http://mat.ucsb.edu/Publications/burbano_MAH2009.pdf#page=161 (accessed 15 June 2012)

Tofts, 1996: Darren Tofts, Your Place or Mine? Locating Digital Art, Experimenta Media Arts, Melbourne, 1996, https://www.experimenta.org/mesh/mesh10/10toft.html (accessed 15 June 2012)