Final assessment planning

Please complete this document: Major-project-form 

Here is a list of equipment at our disposal: MEDA301 Equipment.  Please try to identify exactly which items you would like to use and why.

Please email the completed document to as soon as possible.

Note that if your work consists of a single screen video with stereo sound we will watch it on the large projector. There is no need for you to install it elsewhere. Please provide Glenn or myself with the final video file by Monday 18 June 4pm. I recommend using a high quality video compression format and submit it on either a fast USB stick or Blu-ray disc. 

If your work is a single screen video with stereo sound and a single large projection is not how you would ideally like it installed then please come to the assessment day prepared to explain the ideal exhibition form and why. Consider adding a post to your blog about final display constraints and what an ideal installation would look like – i.e. dimensions of space, type of screen/projection, looped or scheduled, seated or carpeted, and so on.

Black Boxes








W12: Reading, Writing, Planning

This week’s reading:
Round Table: The Projected Image in Contemporary Art
Malcolm Turvey, Hal Foster, Chrissie Iles, George Baker, Matthew Buckingham and Anthony McCall
October, Vol. 104 (Spring, 2003), pp. 71-96
The MIT Press –

Please read it prior to class and answer the following questions:
1) Which discussion theme/topic raised in the article is most relevant to the project you are working on?
2) The discussion occurred in 2002, what issues or questions would you add to a contemporary context?





Basic Questions

Technology-based, reproducible, and variable, media art poses unique challenges for the exhibitor. Exhibition strategies and standards for media art are constantly in flux as artistic practices evolve, technology develops, and viewing contexts change. However, one can identify basic professional protocols, guidelines, and definitions that will assist in ensuring that video artworks are exhibited with respect for the artists and the integrity of the works, whether they are part of a major museum exhibition or a cinematic screening. Sometimes the most fundamental questions are the most important ones to ask. What kinds of playback and display equipment are recommended? What is the preferred format for exhibiting video in a gallery and why? What format is best for a theatrical screening? And what do you really mean when you say “single-channel video“? The answers to these and the other basic but crucial questions below might be seen as a starting point for demystifying the process.


UOW Library

Author-date (Harvard) reference guide:
*download the complete guide at the bottom of the screen for more detailed information

Arts, English and Media database guides:
Visual Arts, Graphic Design & Photography –
Communication & Media –

Teach yourself research guide:


JOHN AKOMFRAH (b. 1957 Ghana)






  • Practice: (1) don’t wait, (2) there are no mistakes, (3) receptive to possibilities
  • Montage: juxtaposition, bricolage, bring together fragments, the third meaning – dialectic, new meaning emerges from collision
  • Archive / library / collection / historical expanse – memory, mortality, image as immortality, surplus of fictions, intervention, regimes of representation
  • Inspiration: Tarkovsky – ‘border (limits) of cinema’, Stuart Hall – archive, post-colonialism
  • Transmedia context: cinema/TV/gallery – each zone has its own demands, be clear / courage to name germinations, sculpt forms of address as transformations
  • Social commentary
  • Migration: crossing seas/refugee-ship/death, diaspora, origins
  • Cinematic tropes: montage, time-remapping, dramatic re-enactment
  • Multi-screen: proximity, simultaneity, dialogue, association rather than counterpoint, reflections, emergence, dramaturgy/construct
  • Location / place


KADER ATTIA (b. 1970, France/Algeria)

Kader Attia, J’Accuse 2016, teak, steel rebar, single-channel digital video, projection, colour, sound, installation view, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Nagel Draxler, Berlin/Cologne © the artist. Photograph: Andrew Curtis

Attia explores ideas around cultural exchange and the complex relationship between non-Western cultures and Europe, after decolonisation, through his art. –
  • Memory/amnesia, past/future
  • Images and memory
  • Immigration, in-between space, journey
  • Exhibition as statement
  • ‘Charged’ objects, wunderkammer
  • Repair, injury, fixing, evolution, mimicry, destruction, fragmentation, untold stories, successions of states
  • Broken object, repaired object, tradition / modernity
  • Politics and poetry, ethic of art
  • Paradox – veil of illusion, chaos
  • La Colonie – cafe / agora / workshops / conference, public discursive space, gap between representation and the act


[Martin Molin’s detailed documentation of the making of his instrument: the music box here shows a demanding iterative process.]

Molin is the key member of the Swedish band Wintergarten. He is well known for inventing musical instruments that performs his compositions. The best known is probably the Marble Machine. He has also gained a following on the detailed video documentation of his making and tutorials on his working processes. The music box (above) uses ‘punch card’ music roll that can be ‘programmed’. At the end of his tutorial, he asks if anyone would be interested in mechanising the laborious hole-punching process and this is what happened…


In the second assignment, Critical Analysis, you are asked to:

  • choose one work that you feel strongly about
  • research the artist, his/her intention in creating the work, the central ideas he/ she is conveying in the work
  • critically analyse the work in terms of its craft
  • describe the physical presentation of the work in details
  • assess how well the artist achieves his/ her ideas or intention through the work’s material manifestation.
  • speculate on the reasons the artist may have made certain decisions (for example, the exhibition space, technical details in the install, the choice of materials used and so on).

The intention of this analysis to ‘reverse-engineer’ a work, to understand how ideas are transformed into physical, material forms through experimentation, production, presentation and/or exhibition.

How do we do that?

Paul Carter writes:

Materials are actively forming and informing, patterning and re-patterning themselves and their surroundings… their activity can reasonably be described as discursive. To say this means, thought re-materialisng discourse. When this occurs something else emerges. The image/ text, or non-discursive/ discursive opposition tends to melt away, and a third, material discourse emerges. (180)

So we may analyse and critique in words:

  • Analysis and critique are two key steps in creative practice education (critique sessions are the mainstay of disciplines such as art, design, architecture, and filmmaking).
  • This trains practitioners to speak the language of Carter’s “third, material discourse”.
  • Practitioners need to be informed about all the contexts  that may influence their works from economic pressure of the marketplace, the political situation of funding, sourcing materials, to modifying or inventing new methods/ processes .
  • Creative works cannot be separated from the material cultures within which they emerge from.
  • Practitioners/ makers need to understand how materials play a part in realising their ideas.
  • By materials, I don’t mean just physical material; digital media has its own materiality

Analysis: Biennale of Sydney 2018

Start with analysis of the work/ objects you have chosen from this exhibition. ‘Reverse engineer’ or work backwards to find out:

  • how was the work made?
  • What materials was used?
  • What kinds of processes were used?
  • Was there much experimentation involved? What purpose did these experimentation serve?
  • What decisions were made?

Now here is the hard questions:

  • Why were these decision made?
  • Why these materials?
  • Why these processes?
  • How did these ‘serve’ the ideas explored?
  • And what are these ideas explored?

From ideas to making

This is a short feature on Limor Fried (aka Ladyada), founder of Adafruit Industries. Identify the ideas she talks about in terms of making.

Michel Gondry is a innovative and extremely creative maker. He has made many well-known music videos (e.g. for the Chemical Brothers and the White Stripes). He is probably best known for his animation works. Animation is an old technique that is continuously being transformed through ideas and new technologies. Gondry is excellent at problem-solving using this form of expression. Have a look at the following video where Gondry talks about his work Is the Man who is Tall Happy? based on his interview with Noam Chomsky. Write down the different ideas he is exploring, at the same time, write down what animation techniques he is using to explore these ideas.


In week 6, you formed groups based on your interests in a number of areas identified as follows (please let me know if I have left you out):

Eliza Appel, Blake Foggo, Liam Walker, Toby Wilkinson, Chris Boyd, Saverio Pirrottina

Christina Donoghue, Emily Duncan, Jessica Dryburgh, David Guveski, Mia McRobert, Chantelle Hyde

Angus Rigby-Wild, Geoff Lee, Angela Cullen, Ryan Catbagan, Daniel Lavin, Mark Johnson

April Misiluti, Brittany Spencer, Rebecca Neilson, Hayden Starr, Andrew Hodsden, Jei Strolin

Blake Sykes, Lee Butler, Alex Mead, Alex Pham, Dylan Le, Adam Weir

Zoe Majstorovic, Ceren Tabak, Noelle Jackson, Olivia French, Carah Fiseris, Matthew Lawrence

Activity: Experiment

1.On the sheet of paper provided write down:

  • Working title of project (no longer refer to the project as ‘yours’, give it a life of its own and be prepared to kill it if you have to)
  • A key material the project might consist of
  • A significant idea or theory the project relates to
  • Identify a tradition or genre the project responds to
  • An aim or goal of the project
  • The personal motivation or personal relevance behind the project

2. Circle or underline the two most important aspects of the project OR two areas you are having trouble with

3. Outline a single experiment / model to undertake today that will develop the project – detail on sheet of paper

4. Spend 10 minutes on each group member discussing projects by way of the two significant features identified in step 2 and the activity of step 3. Suggest alternative research and development activities for each project and suggest ways in which you might help other projects.

5. Discuss how you each want to spend the next two hours (and next few weeks) and if you require assistance or wish to the share in any of the other project’s development/experimentation. Some of the projects might benefit from similar experimentation.

6. Let your tutor know your plans and any assistance required.

7. Scan/photograph sheet of paper for blog. Document discussions and work-in-progress for blog.


Conquest of Space: Sci-F & Art

Andrew Frost explores how a very specific genre of popular culture – sci-fi – with its storylines and themes has come to influence contemporary Australian art. (available until 21 April 2018)

Real Mass Entrepreneurship

Simon Denny went to Shenzhen, where there’s been a boom of “mass entrepreneurship.” Self-identified makers are moving to this high-tech pioneer village, the “Silicon Valley of hardware,” to make it—believing the only limitations for creative people are imagination and effort. (available until 2 May 2018)


Week 7 is devoted to individual consultations and project development.










232_DMC GALLERY 8:30-12:30

ACTIVITY: Individual Consultations 8:50am-11:30am

MAT               AARON

8:50                Eliza               April

9:00                Blake F           Brittany

9:10                Liam               Rebecca

9:20                Toby               Hayden

9:30                Chris B           Andrew H

9:40                Christina        Jei

9:50                Emily              Blake S

10:00             Carah              Lee

10:10             David G          Alex M

10:20             Mia                  Zoe

10:30             Chantelle        Geoff L

10:40             Angus             Ceren

10:50             Dylan              Jessica

11:00             Angela            Olivia

11:10             Ryan               Noelle

11:20             Daniel             Alex P

11:30             Mark               Adam W


233_G01 Lecture Theatre 8:30-10:30

SCREENING: 8:45 – 10:15am Leviathan (2012) dir. Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Verena Paravel

232_G04 Computer Lab 8:30-11:30

SCREENING: 9:00 – 10:45am Cremaster 3 (excerpt) dir. Matthew Barney

232_G05 Computer Lab 8:30-11:30

ACTIVITY: Research / Essay

05: Gemeinschaft



  • Thoughts on Biennale of Sydney – Superposition
  • Artistic Director Mami Kataoka statement
  • Review by Andrew Frost
  • Chosen artworks? Other venues?
  • Questions regarding Assessment 2?
  • Discuss research strategies
  • Outline expectations for Assessment 3 – 6×6 working groups, individual or collaborative projects

Activity 1. Proposal Marketplace

  1. Write TWO major themes of your proposed project onto the A4 sheet provided e.g. gender & cinema
  2. As a group cluster similar themes into six groups of six proposals
  3. Opportunity to shuffle groups

Working Groups

  • Discuss overarching group thematic
  • Spend 15 minutes each sharing individual project proposal and intentions
  • Mind map proposals onto a single sheet of paper
  • Agree on a draft workshop schedule:
    W5: 1,2,3,4,5,6
    W6: 1,2
    W7: 3,4
    W8: 5,6
    W9: 1,2,3,4,5,6
    W10: 1,2
    W11: 3,4
    W12: 5,6
    W13: 1,2,3,4,5,6



Personal What is your story? what right do you have to tell this story? Pedigree? Intentions?
Intellectual What ideas are you engaging with? i.e. theories and concepts
Creative  What influences your creative production? i.e. artistic traditions
Political What are the historical and social contexts of the research? i.e. governing ideologies
Material What is the physical dimension to the research? i.e. production technology and artefact




Modes of Production Part 2: Collaboration

The Modes of Production seminar series aims to both theoretical and practical trends in contemporary media arts practices. The discussion intends to compare and contrast the nature of creative production between (i) the single artistic author, (ii) collaborative or team based practices, and lastly (iii) organizational and institutional modes of production.

The Artist (RE-CAP)

Australia Council Report (2017) – how much Australian artists earn and how they earn a living

“The fundamental processes of creativity, the pursuit of an artistic vision and the passionate commitment to art that characterises art professionals—these things remain at the  heart of what it is to be a practising artist. For many artists the real challenge is to keep hold of these core values in such a rapidly changing environment.”

Making Art Work: A summary and response by the Australia Council for the Arts

Can artists earn a living from creative work?
Average total incomes for artists remain 21% below the Australian workforce average, and income from creative work has decreased by 19% over the last seven years.

How are artists’ skills and capabilities aligned with future workforce needs?
Artists’ skills and capabilities are considered to be among those least likely to be automated and increasingly sought in the workforces of the future.


What is ‘The Artist’ as a creative mode of production?

The artist in history…

creative genius, master of craft, cultural critic, philosopher, celebrity

The artist as an individual…

subjectivity, liberalism, existentialism, phenomenological, expression, “a unique vision”

The artist in their practice…

control, direction, clarity


Andreas Gursky (b. 1955)
Rhine II
chromogenic colour-print mounted to acrylic glass
image: 73 x 143in. (190 x 360cm)

In 2011, a Rhine II print was auctioned for USD$4.3 million (then £2.7m), making it the most expensive photograph ever sold.

Rhine II provenance

Personal son and grandson of commercial photographers, art school, university professor
Intellectual Becher School, objectivity, typography, art history, photography, globalisation
Creative  Becher objectivity / typographies, advertising, fine art, photography, “when reality corresponds with the composition of a painting”
Political globalisation, objectivity, simulacra
Material art object, fine art tradition, largest photographic print possible, catalogues, art sales



Q: How does a collaborative mode of production influence provenance? For example, how would your proposals vary as individual or collaborative projects?


Q: Is a creative collaboration different from being employed by company?


Q: Does collaboration suggest a mutual interest in working with each other?


Q: Is collaboration inevitable or are some creative processes unique? For example, are Gursky’s relationships with his lab printers, photo-tech developers, or his peers at the Becher School collaborative?


Q: Why do we celebrate film directors as the creative author?


Collaborative method

  • Socratic method e.g. Plato’s Symposium


  • Dialectic vs didactic


  • Hegeleian Dialectic


Contamination as Collaboration – Anna Tsing The Mushroom at the End of the World (2015)

How does a gathering become a “happening,” that is, greater than a sum of its parts? One answer is contamination. We are contaminated by our encounters; they change who we are as we make way for others. As contamination changes world-making projects, mutual worlds – and new directions – may emerge. Everyone carries a history of contamination; purity is not an option. One value of keeping precarity in mind is that it makes us remember that changing with circumstances is the stuff of survival. p28

Case studies

Q: How does the collaborative nature or these case studies influences the provenance of their work?

Personal, Creative, Intellectual, Political, Material


Soda Jerk
Dominique and Dan Angeloro
“Formed in Sydney in 2002, Soda_Jerk is a two-person art collective that approaches sampling as a form of rogue historiography. Working at the intersection of documentary and speculative fiction, their archival practice takes the form of films, video installations, cut-up texts and lecture performances.” –


Barbara Cleveland (prev. Brown Council)
Diana Baker Smith, Frances Barrett, Kate Blackmore, and Kelly Doley
“Barbara Cleveland’s projects are informed by queer and feminist methodologies that draw on the historical lineages of both the visual and performing arts.  Their recent video and performance works are deliberations on history and memory as embodied action, as fiction, as mode of collaboration.”


ALASKA Projects

“ALASKA Projects is a Sydney based Artist Run Initiative established in 2011.
Situated across two disused spaces in a Kings Cross car park ALASKA Projects established an exhibition program that crosses visual arts, dance, performance, music and film. To date ALASKA’s achievements are born out of our core objective to support artists to realise dynamic and innovative work. A commitment to diversity is at the centre of ALASKA’s philosophy.”


Frontyard Projects
“A Not-Only-Artist Run Initiative. A pro-active, flexible space for practical skills-sharing, community cultural engagement and critical research. Our aim is to challenge, facilitate and nurture collaborations between people with a passion for culture and to build a more resilient and sustainable independent arts community for the future.”



“Assemble is a multi-disciplinary collective working across architecture, design and art.
Founded in 2010 to undertake a single self-built project, Assemble has since delivered a diverse and award-winning body of work, whilst retaining a democratic and co-operative working method that enables built, social and research-based work at a variety of scales, both making things and making things happen.”


Lauren Boyle, Solomon Chase, Marco Roso, and David Toro

“Its cultural interventions are manifest across a range of media and platforms, from site-specific museum and gallery exhibitions to ongoing online projects. Most notably these include, DIS Magazine, co-founded with Nick Scholl, Patrik Sandberg and S. Adrian Massey III in 2010 as a virtual platform that examines art, fashion, music and culture, constructing and supporting new creative practices.
Since being founded, the magazine has expanded into an international community of writers, photographers, musicians and DJs. Recent ventures include DISimages, 2013, a fully operational stock photography agency that enlists artists to produce images available for private and commercial use, and DISown, an ongoing retail platform and laboratory to test the current status of the art object.
Across its various endeavors, DIS explores the tension between popular culture and institutional critique, while facilitating projects for the most public and democratic of all forums—the Internet.”



“teamLab (f. 2001) is art collective, an interdisciplinary group of ultratechnologists whose collaborative practice seeks to navigate the confluence of art, science, technology, design and the natural world. Various specialists such as artists, programmers, engineers, CG animators, mathematicians and architects form teamLab.
teamLab aims to explore a new relationship between humans and nature through art. Digital technology has allowed us to liberate art from the physical and transcend boundaries. We see no boundary between ourselves and nature; one is in the other and the other in one. Everything exists in a long, fragile yet miraculous continuity of life.”

“Founded by mathematical engineer Toshiyuki Inoko in 2001, teamLab is comprised of artists, programmers, engineers, computer animators, mathematicians and architects who collectively ascribe to the descriptive “ultra-technologists.” As a practice, names of teamLab members are not cited in works, they have a flat organizational structure and emphasize collaboration over individual genius. They are also very particular about the spelling of their name (small ‘t,’ big “L”). Their mission is to explore how humans relate to nature in an age when much of our life is governed by technology.”





– Expression? Shared experience? Multiple perspectives, community/co-operative


– diverse contribution / contamination, multiplicity, collaborative method (relationship to audience)


– co-operative, community, diverse contribution / contamination, dialogue (method), validation


– validation, momentum


– space, resources, skills, ownership?