04: 21st Biennale of Sydney

This week we visit the 21st Biennale of Sydney.

Remember that assessment 2 involves a critical analysis essay about an artwork on display. Your choice of artwork should be part of this year’s exhibition but is not limited to the Cockatoo Island venue.

As the assessment outline stipulates:

The focus of this visit is to examine the application of media, materials, and technologies in current media arts and design practices.

Choose one work that you feel strongly about and provide a critical analysis of the work: its intention, process, and outcome. Research the central ideas the maker/ designer/ artist is exploring, how he/ she experiment with existing and new technologies, and his/her evaluation of the work exhibited. You can begin by describing the physicality of the work in detail, the materials and technologies used, and the nature of processes. You may speculate on the reasons the artist/ designer/ maker may have made certain decisions in the works’ making. How well does the maker/ designer/ artist achieve his/ her ideas or intention through the work’s material manifestation?

The intention of this analysis to ‘reverse-engineer’ a work in order to understand how ideas are transformed into physical, material works through exploration, experimentation, production, and presentation.  Please refer to detailed assessment outline on MOODLE. The assignment will be discussed in class.

Find a template worksheet to consider here: MEDA301_EXCURSION_WORSKHEET

Biennale of Sydney travel – meet at Circular Quay Wharf 5 for 10:37am F3 ferry to Cockatoo Island ($6 – OPAL CARD)

Travelling from North Wollongong – catch 8:39am train to Central, change to platform 17 / 20 / 21 for city loop to Circular Quay

Contact: Aaron 0418652672

Media artists to look out for on Cockatoo Island include (but you can select any artwork from the entire Biennale):

Ami Inoue
Born 1991 in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan
Lives and works in Kyoto, Japan
Ami Inoue combines personal stories with an ethnographic approach, producing works that reveal the gulf between modern life and a more ‘primitive’ means of survival. When her grandfather abandoned hunting after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, Inoue inherited the practice and now documents her methods as a hunter living in the city. Her videos often feature tranquil images of nature contrasted with clinical urban scenes, suggesting a contemporary disaffection between the natural and human-made worlds.

Suzanne Lacy
Born 1945 in Wasco, USA
Lives and works in Los Angeles, USA
Suzanne Lacy is widely regarded as a pioneer of socially engaged and public art. Working across installation, video and performance, Lacy confronts issues relating to gender identity, sexual violence, labour, poverty, incarceration, racism, aging and youth culture. Often working in collaboration with members of communities and other artists, Lacy’s projects merge art with activism, generating dialogue and providing a conduit for change.

Nicholas Mangan
Born 1979 in Geelong, Australia
Lives and works in Melbourne, Australia
Nicholas Mangan dismantles accepted histories, often relating to geopolitics and the environment, reformulating them to reveal alternative narratives. Frequently starting from a single object or event, Mangan unlocks the complex dynamic between human action and the state of nature through a process of disassembly and reformation.

Dimitar Solakov
Born 1987 in Sofia, Bulgaria
Lives and works in Sofia
Working primarily with video and photography, and more recently integrating drawing into his practice, Dimitar Solakov is interested in connections; the bonds that exist between people, the relationship between human beings and nature, and the links between different ideas and belief systems. Examining our interpretation of the past from the perspective of the present, Solakov investigates the subjectivity of history and how information presented as fact can often be based on insufficient evidence and distorted narrative.

Su-Mei Tse
Born 1973 in Luxembourg
Lives and works in Luxembourg
A classically trained cellist, Su-Mei Tse grew up in a culturally diverse and musically rich environment as the daughter of a Chinese violinist father and a British pianist mother. Tse’s practice combines photography, video, installation and sculpture, often centring on music and the sonic potential of our surrounding environment. Considering sound as an expansive medium, Tse investigates the way visual acuity and auditory sensitivity can influence our perception of the world around us.

Martin Walde
Born 1957 in Innsbruck, Austria
Lives and works in Vienna, Austria
Martin Walde’s process-driven practice exists at the nexus of art, nature and science, working across a range of mediums to create works that are simultaneously experimental and analytical in nature. Exploring concepts of time and the way objects occupy space, Walde’s works are often realised through active participation from the audience. Communicating abstract concepts in a multitude of ways, Walde encourages the viewer to reconsider accepted ideas and question their understanding of the materiality of the world. Since the 1980s Walde has developed artworks that consciously exclude explanatory texts on the basis that the provision of instruction manipulates the viewer’s experience. By deliberately creating ambiguous situations, Walde introduces an alternate reality where control and authority must be renegotiated.

Wong Hoy Cheong
Born 1960 in George Town, Malaysia
Lives and works in George Town and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Visual artist, educator and political activist Wong Hoy Cheong reimagines and reconstructs histories in an effort to transfer power and authority to the marginalised ‘Other’. Working across a wide range of media, including drawing, painting, photography, performance and film, Wong’s practice is assertively political; permitting the existence of multiple versions of any one story, and suggesting historical accuracy is neither possible nor desirable. Within this framework, Wong broaches concerns in relation to colonialism, migration, identity and globalisation to produce multi-layered works that are speculative rather than definitive.

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