Tag Archives: ANAT

Alchemy: Masterclass for New Media Artists + Curators


In 2000 ANAT (Australian Network for Art and Technology) convened ALCHEMY: the International Masterclass for New Media Artists and Curators.

The Masterclass took place in Brisbane in May and early June 2000. 16 tutors and 42 participating artists and curators explored new media practices, critical concepts for cross cultural collaboration and generally had an extraordinary time exploring with and playing in the newly opened Brisbane Powerhouse – Centre for the Live Arts, who partnered with ANAT on the realisation of this project.

Participants had 24 hour access to the equipment and the building and the project provided participants with an incredibly rich learning environment, both technically and conceptually. The masterclass engaged with a diverse range of topics. Themes included: science discourse; curatorial practice; net art practice; Indigenous and regional Asia Pacific issues; and performance and hybrid practices.

Participants for Alchemy were selected from a call for proposals distributed internationally in late 1999. The participants were chosen through their proposals, with reference both to the thematics and with geographical and cultural considerations also taken into account.

Alchemy participants:

Brook Andrews (NSW) Caroline Farmer (SA) Christian Thompson (Vic)
Clare McGrogan (Qld) Dena Curtis (NT) Gongxin Wang (China)
Hartanto (Indonesia) Jenny Fraser (Qld) Jo Law (WA)
Keith Armstrong (Qld) Kim Machan (Qld) Mae Adams (Vic)
Megan Rainey (SA) Monica Narula (India) Patricia Adams (Qld)
Raewyn Turner (NZ) Rebecca Youdell (Qld) Sam James (NSW)
Sarah Neville (SA) Shilpa Gupta (India) Steve Bull (WA)
Bruce Gladwin (Vic) Chris Dempsey (Qld) Christiawan (Indonesia)
Deborah Lawler-Dormer (NZ) Edwina Bartleme (Qld) Grisha Coleman (NY)
Jane Schneider (Qld) Jernej Kozar (Slovenia) Kamal Krishna (Qld)
Kelli Mccluskey (WA) Lisa Anderson (Qld) Jernej Kozar (Slovenia)
Mari Velonaki (NSW) Mike Stubbs (UK) Partha Pratim Sarker (Bangladesh)
Peter Toy (WA) Raul Ferrera (Mexico) Rolando Ramos (NSW)
Sarah Ryan (Tas) Sheridan Kennedy (NSW) Sophea Lerner (NSW)
Vanessa Mafe-Kean (Qld)


Alexei Shulgin (Russia) Nina Czegledy (Canada) Mongrel (UK)
Geert Lovink (Aust and Netherlands) John Tonkin (Aust) Rea (Gamileroi/Wailwan)
Shudahabrata Sengupta (India) Sara Diamond (Canada) Marko Peljhan (Slovenia)
Tess de Quincy & Laura Jordan (Aust) Blast Theory (UK) Mike Stubbs (UK)

The project provided for an intensive and productive period for exploration, conversation and the generation of dialogue and new ideas. The masterclass included daily presentation and discussion periods, workshops, skillshares, and skills development opportunities. Weekly BBQ and performance events provided opportunities to network with local Brisbane artists and curators; evening events provided opportunities for lead tutors to present their work in public forums, and a performance evening at the conclusion of the masterclass provided participants with the opportunity to present work in progress to the greater Brisbane community. Technical Management: Martin Thompson; Project Management: Charity Bramwell; Project and Technical assistant: Tim Plaistead.

Please note these are historical sites – some links may no longer work

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deep immersion: scientific serendipity

deep immersion: scientific serendipity

Justine Cooper (NSW) at Museum of Natural History, New York

Justine Cooper (NSW) at Museum of Natural History, New York

In 1998, ANAT initiated Scientific Serendipity, a program which focussed on the interaction between art and science, providing a framework for the development of projects and commissions which directly engage with science, scientific visualisation techniques and technologies. This project initiated a number of residencies/research projects for Australian artists hosted by Australian and international scientific organisations. The aim of the residencies was to investigate the discrete discourses surrounding sciences and media arts and encourage the generation of unexpected and ‘alchemic’ outcomes.

Four residencies were held over 1999 – 2001. The host organisation provided a work space, some technical support and the critical context of a science research community. ANAT provided artist fees, materials support and some travel and living expenses. Three of the residencies (Oron Catts & Ionat Zurrr, Justine Cooper and Adam Donovan) were hosted in science institutions and the fourth by David Rogers was conducted independently with some support from members of the scientific community.

The program was initially conceived as part of the extended programming series deep immersion, developed in collaboration with Francesca da Rimini.

The deep immersion series also included deep immersion: creative collaboration, a series of online virtual collaborative residencies; deep immersion: regional realities a program which looked to develop networks between artists in Australia and Asia; and deep immersion: theology, a experimental research thread (led by Samara Mitchell) examining the crossroads of science, technology, ethics and religion within contemporary cultural practices and social structures.

deep immersion: scientific serendipity was further developed and refined in collaboration with Honor Harger and co-curated with Linda Cooper.

More information about the scientific serendipity residencies is available here.

A publication documenting the program, edited by Julianne Pierce, artist interviews conducted by Kathy Cleland plus illustrations, statements from host organisations, and with contributions by Linda Cooper, Terry Cutler and a commentary by Rich Gold is available to read on the ANAT web site here.

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National Indigenous School in New Media Art

Group photo2The inaugural ANAT National Indigenous School in New Media Art took place from 3 – 24 July, 1999 at Northern Territory University in Darwin. Brenda L Croft (Gurindji) Indigenous artist, curator, writer, lecturer and consultant co-curated and managed the project. Tutors were: Rea (Gamileroi/ Wailwan); Cameron Goold; Skawennati Tricia Fragnito (Mohawk First Nations, Canada). All the participants – participating artists, tutors and project staff alike – learned from each other as much as from the teaching aspects of the school. Many people in the Indigenous and arts/cultural communities in Darwin warmly welcomed the participants, and ended up participating in many of the activities as well as looking after and entertaining the group throughout the three weeks.

Whilst the artists focused on the development of skills, the sharing of knowledge, and their own artwork, a key aspect of this project was that artists were also influenced by their surroundings.

The fourteen artists selected to participate in this project were:
Kathleen Arbon, Arabunna, lives Darwin, NT
Sandy Carter, Ngarrindjeri, lives Renmark, SA
Jason Davidson, Gurindji, lives Darwin, NT
Jenny Fraser, Bundjalung, lives Brisbane, Old
Fiona Giles, Ngarrindjeri, lives Renmark, SA
Lindsay Haji Ali.Yawuru, lives Broome, WA
Joanne Hamilton, Wiradjuri, lives Sydney, NSW
Gordon Hookey, Waanyi, lives Sydney, NSW
Clara Inkamala, Western Arrernte, lives Hermannsburg, NT
Keith Munro, Kamileroi, lives Sydney, NSW
Carol Panangka Rontji, Western Arrernte, lives Hermannsburg, NT
John Smith Gumbula, Wakka Wakka/ Gurang Gurang, lives Brisbane, Qld
Karl Telfer, Nurrangga/Kaurna, lives Adelaide, SA
Christian Bumbarra Thompson, Bidjara, lives Melbourne, VIC

‘The workshops allowed for interaction between students which strengthened our class and living relationships. The school offered a strong creative base that is important for Indigenous people. All in all, NISNMA gave me the knowledge to comfortably venture into the exciting world of new media.”

Everyone who came through the school during the period remarked upon the terrific ‘vibe’ that the project created in the Fine Arts School of NTU. The participants skill level varied considerably, so whilst some were getting a ‘crash course’ in new software applications, others were getting a ‘crash course’ in simply using a computer to access telecommunications networks and generate and manipulate images and generally getting a feel for where they might be able to use these skills in the future. The project was unique in the incredible sense of sharing and community it developed and input from tutors and students alike was incredibly enthusiastic and enriching. The 1999 ANAT National Indigenous School was developed in partnership with the School of Fine Arts, Northern Territory University, Darwin, with enthusiastic support from Chris White.

Two residencies also resulted from the program:

  • Jason Davidson (NT) at 24Hr Art, Darwin
  • Christian Bumbarra Thompson (Vic) at Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne.
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resistant media: Perspecta99

resistant media

screenshot, resistant media

screenshot, resistant media

resistant media: Perspecta99 was a web exhibition and listserv developed for Perspecta99: Living Here Now, Art and Politics.

Artists: Francesca da Rimini/ Doll Yoko, Scot Art/ System X, Melinda Rackham, Josephine Starrs, Rick Vermey, Andrew Garton, Sam de Silva/ Antimedia.

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med•ia te: School for New Media Art Curation

med•ia te

med•ia te: the ANAT National School for New Media Art Curation, evolved out of a recognition that to nurture art which utilises technology, adequate education of curators and arts workers must also be undertaken. As new technologies become increasingly critical to art practices, it is important to provide skill-based education for curators wishing to extend their practice into this area, med•ia te was a world first in providing this type of training.

The school was held in association with Contemporary Arts Services Tasmania (CAST), in Hobart, Tasmania, 28 March -11 April,1999. Trained curators, technicians and theorists from Australia and overseas provided intensive training, in a two week masterclass teaching environment, that gave curators both a technical and a theoretical understanding of new media art exhibition practice.

The international tutors for the school were Sara Diamond, Director of Banff New Media Centre in Canada, and Tapio Mäkelä, a Finnish curator, artist and writer. Expert national tutors were Linda Wallace, Shiralee Saul, Peter Hennessey, Jason Gee and John Tonkin. Honor Harger was the med•ia te project manager.

Tasmanian artists and curators who gave artist’s talks or presentations about their work included PK Khut, Leigh Hobba, Sean Bacon and Matt Warren, and Martin Walsch.

A highlight of the school was a ‘school excursion’ to Bruny Island on the final day, where participants, tutors, members of the CAOs (Contemporary Art Organisations) network who were in town for a meeting, and local artists travelled to Cape Bruny to visit David Haines and Joyce Hinterding at the lighthouse, where they were spending three months tracking and capturing images and sound from weather satellites, sampling sounds from guy wires in howling gales and filtering radio frequencies emitted by the Southern Aurora to manipulate and develop into video and sound installations. The residency was initiated by the artists following Hinterding’s participation in the ANAT National Summer School in ’97.

Participating curators and artsworkers for med•ia te were: Sharon Pacey (QLD); Beth Jackson (QLD); Michael Dagostino (NSW); Brad Webb (NSW); Jacqueline Phillips (NSW); GeraldineTyson (NT); Adele Hann (SA); Jenny Aland (SA); Sally Rees (TAS); Tessa Dwyer (VIC); Kylie Message (VIC); Michelle Glaser (WA); Katie Major (WA)

Screen Shot 2013-02-01 at 1.12.39 PM


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ANAT National Summer School (1996 – 1999)

ANAT National Summer School

From 1996 to 1999 I managed the 7th to the 10th ANAT National Summer School. The School was unique in that it provided the only intensive training program in Australia devised specifically for practicing artists interested in gaining media and technology skills in a collaborative learning environment. Run as a three week residential intensive with 14-15 participants and several lead tutors, the program happened over the Australian summer and each iteration culminated with a public presentation and “open studio” event with participants, tutors, visiting lecturers and local artists.

1996 National Summer School

John Tonkin, These are the days, 1994

The NSS in Computer Generated Art and Interactive Multimedia for Artists was held at the Institute of the Arts Lab at the Australian National University in association with the Australian Centre for the Arts and Technology (ACAT).

Tutors for the school were Linda Dement and John Tonkin, two of Australia’s leading new media artists. Marciano Telese, from the Australian Centre for the Arts and Technology (ACAT) also conducted sound workshops during the School. Additional lectures: John Colette, Shu Lea Cheang, Lyn Tune.

Participants were: Elizabeth Abbott, Mt Gambier, SA; Alastair Page, Hobart, Tas; Phillippa Harvey, Sydney, NSW; Louise Paramor, Melbourne, Vic; Eliza Hutchinson, Melbourne, Vic; Shiralee Saul, Melbourne; Jeremy James, Canberra, ACT; William Seeto, Brisbane; Russell Milledge, Cairns, Qld; Laurens Tan, Woollongong, NSW; Ann Morrison, Sydney; Mark Themann, Melbourne, Vic; Tony Newport, Adelaide, SA; Trinh Vu, Adelaide, SA



1997 National Summer School in internet design and web authoring

Participating artists: Sean Bacon, Tas; Anita Kocsis, Vic.; Anne Robertson, SA; Rick Vermey, WA; Gillian Morrison, Vic; John McQeenie,Tas; Lisa Burnett, Qld; Di Barrett, SA; Cam Merton, WA; Damian Castaldi, NSW; Leesa Willan, NSW; Glen O’Malley, Qld; Martin Thompson, SA; Joyce Hinterding, NSW. Lead tutors were Lloyd Sharp, Josephine Starrs, and Jason Gee; with guest lecturers, Dave Sag, Leon Cmielewski, and Josephine Starrs. This was a particularly extraordinary cohort, who went on to establish the art collective nervous_objects. I’m still looking for documentation of the work they did online!

1998 National Summer School

ANAT’s ninth summer school focused on Internet Design and Web Authoring and was held at the IMAGO Multimedia Centre/ Film and Television Institute Digital Arts Studio in Fremantle from 13 – 31 January 1998. Tuturs were Lloyd Sharp, Francesca da Rimini and John Tonkin.

Participants: Keith Armstrong, Brisbane, QLD; Isabelle Delmotte, Sydney, NSW; Leah Irving, Perth, WA; Robyn Backen, Sydney, NSW; Joy Hardman, Alice Springs, NT; Jun-ann Lam, Melbourne, VIC; Di Ball, Brisbane, QLD; Timothy Hancox, Brisbane, QLD; Brian Martin, Hobart, TAS; Lisa Beilby, Darwin, NT; Simone Hockley, Adelaide, SA; Paul Thomas, Perth, WA; Tim Burns, Perth, WA; Teri Hoskin, Adelaide, SA; Trevor van Weeren, Darwin, NT.

1999 National Summer School in Science and Art

Rodney Berry, Feeping Creatures

This Tenth National Summer School, at Metro Screen, Sydney, NSW, 11 – 29 January, 1999 addressed the interaction between art and science as a key component of our research and investigation into this area. The school investigated the discourses surrounding sciences and media arts and encouraged the generation of unexpected and alchemic outcomes.

Tutors were: John Tonkin, Mr Snow, Horst Kiechle, Dennis Wilcox, Justine Cooper, Paul Brown, Sophea Lerner, Andrew Lyons, Suzanne Buljan, Stephen Jones, Ben Simons, Derek Kreckler, and Metro’s Digital Media Manager, Brad Miller. As well as the intensive program at Metro, the artists also participated in workshops at Sydney’s Vislab facilities, and contextualised their training with excursions, studio visits and outings to performances and radio shows by Triclops International, Gravity Feed, Skadada, and Zina Kaye.

To contextualise the school, a satellite event, entitled anamorphosis, combined a forum with an open day of the school, giving the public and media an opportunity to view the work-in-progress produced by the students. Paula Dawson, internationally renowned holographic artist, contextualised the science focus of the Summer School within the framework of her own practice. She made reference to the skills she developed as a participant of the Summer School in 1990; Rodney Berry discussed his artificial ecology, Feeping Creatures. Ionat Zurr and Oron Catts, artists from Perth, discussed the Tissue Culture and Art research project.

Participants: Rodney Berry, Sydney, NSW; Liz Hughes, Sydney, NSW; Geni Weight, Adelaide, SA; Melinda Burgess, Werri Beach, NSW; Solange Kershaw, Sydney, NSW; Jordan Wynnychuk, Melbourne, VIC; Lea Collins, Canberra, ACT; Gordon Monro, Sydney, NSW; Ionat Zurr, Perth WA; Adam Donovan, Brisbane, OLD; Stephen Poljansek, Hobart.TAS; Jeremy Yuille, Brisbane, OLD; Chris Fortescue, Sydney, NSW; Rea, Sydney, NSW


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sceenarts header image

The screenarts web site was a repository for Australian internet art projects and related exhibitions, which was active from 1998 – 2003. It was developed by the Australian Network for Art and Technology, and funded by the Australian Film Commission.

Screenshot from screenarts website (via waybackmachine)

Screenshot from screenarts website (via waybackmachine).

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Body of Information

Body of Information

Lynne Sanderson, video still, Primal Debug

Lynne Sanderson, video still, Primal Debug

Australian video and interactive work in Canada

In October 1997, while Director of the Australian Network for Art and Technology (ANAT), I was invited to present a program of Australian video and new media artworks at Gallery Connexion in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. New Brunswick had been touted as a great centre for new technologies, evidenced by the fact that former Premier, Frank McKenna has been able to lure so many important players in this industry to the province. The general feeling in the arts, however, was that they have been left behind on the so called information highway.

Body Of Information is a selection of work which interrogates a range of issues faced by Australian artists; exploring identity, critiquing the de-centred subject, interrogating heritage, tearing up conventional notions of interface design and colonising the information body of digital media. The program provided an insight into Australian digital and screen arts practices at a time when artists are questioning the impact of information technologies on local identity and the body: texually, culturally, politically and in flesh-form.

From October 29 to November 4 1997, I was in residence at Gallery Connexion and screened a selection of videos that focused on the diverse practices of Australian video artists.

She also presented a seminar on Art and New Technologies, during which she showed work by artists who use the internet and CDROM technologies. Talks were presented at the University of New Brunswick and the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design, Fredericton. Amanda also presented work at Gallerie Sans Nom in Moncton on November l. On November 7 Amanda presented work at the Kingston Artists Association Inc. in Kingston, Ontario. Her visit to Kingston was assisted by Algonquin Travel. The project was supported by the Canada Council.

Body of Information program

“One could initially feel that the development of a “global village” would primarily reduce a sense of personal location, but in fact it may empower us to operate on a local level, enabling us to consider the global while remaining physically stuck in the local (and sometimes confused by that fact).” Mindvirus 3.7

Ian Haig – Astroturf
Lynne Sanderson – primal debug
Moira Corby – My memory your past
Francesca da Rimini & Josephine Starrs – White
Derek Kreckler – Decoy
Alyson Bell – Here I Sit
John Tonkin – Man Ascending
Ian Andrews – Programme
Gordon Bennett – Performance with Object for the Expiation of Guilt (Violence and Grief Remix)

CDROM works
Brad Miller & McKenzie Wark – planet of noise
Linda Dement – Cyberflesh Girlmonster
Josephine Starrs & Leon Cmeilewski – User Unfriendly Interface
Mindflux – Mindvirus 3.7


Primal Debug … animated video 1997

Dong_La International Festival, 1999

In May 1999 ANAT was invited to present the video component of the Body of Information program at the DongA-LC International Festival of Comics & Animation (DIFECA) in Soeul, Korea. Given ANAT’s focus on exploring possibilities for collaboration and exchange in our geographic region, we were very excited by this opportunity. The video program was presented three times a day for two days during the Festival.

Body of Information was developed for presentation at the Gallery Connexion in New Brunswick, Canada in November 1997, and the Australian Embassy in Seoul, in consultation with the DIFECA, approached ANAT to re-present the work in a Korean context.


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deep immersion: creative collaborations


To follow are a range of online residencies I conceived and developed at the Australian Network for Art and Technology from 1997 – 1999. This page is still a work in progress, and some links may be broken as these are historic projects.

deep immersion: creative collaborations

In 1997 ANAT with support from the Australia Council, activated the deep immersion project with a series of online residencies ‘deep immersion: creative collaborations’.One of ANAT’s primary aims since its inception has been to facilitate situations whereby artists can spend concentrated periods of time researching new ideas, acquiring new skills, forming fruitful collaborations, playing with new media and developing new bodies of work.

The overall intention was to foster and facilitate placements and relationships whereby artists can come together (flesh meeting or remote mind links) to germinate and hothouse their ideas, test their hypotheses, develop new processes and create new works through a period of ‘deep immersion’ in a suitable ideas/technology culture.

The first two residencies within this framework of this project were undertaken in 1997 by Terri-ann White and Keith Netto. In 1998 the final two residencies were undertaken by low key operations and nude productions and elendil.

On October 25, the deep immersion: creative collaborations initiative was officially launched at an event at the Mercury Cinema in Adelaide, the central website linking to the four individual projects was unveiled at an event featuring artists presentations by Keith Netto and elendil. The two projects by low key operations and nude productions and Terri-Ann White were available for viewing in the foyer of the Cinema.

This project was curated by ANAT’s Director, Amanda McDonald Crowley, and conceived in collaboration with Francesca da Rimini.


Terry Ann White, Trace, 1997

Terry Ann White, Trace, 1997


Terri Anne White: Terri Ann White of Perth, WA undertook a residency in 1997 with trAce (Nottingham, UK) who provides information about writing resources of all kinds and offers an arena for literary debate between writers and readers working in cyberspace and beyond.

Terri Ann worked from Perth, and in discussion with Sue Thomas of trAce developed ways for other contributors to trAce to participate in this project in the spirit of collaboration, critique and exploration of the online environment. One of Terri Ann’s aims was to explore ideas about memory, from the individual act of memory to its transmutation into collective memory, and especially to the complexion that collective memory acquires through social symbolism, ritual, and tradition.



Michael Hogg and Claire McGrogan, aka low key operations and nude productions developed work entitled please press play, with AltX in Colorado, USA. Combining their respective individual areas of practice, the two artists created a hybrid work combining elements of music, poetry and the spoken word.

SonicForm, was a web based sound project by Keith Netto who worked with Electric.Music.Group [EMG], an experimental web project, online since 1995. It was set up as an outlet for artists working in a range of technologies who wanted to extend their work to the Internet.

SonicForm, was a platform for web participants to become integrally involved in the project by inviting them to go out into their local environment to source sounds for submission to SonicForm. These sounds, will be combined with those sourced from others in the SonicForm ‘community’, to become part of the online environment: this is a project premised on collaboration.

Says Netto of the project “We wander across the expanse of the net, one hyperlink to the next, in search of the next quick fix, the html-hit that provides us with transitory info bliss. The net is a place designed for the immediate satisfaction of individual desire. It’s culture has become dominated by the forces of edutainment and commerce. My intention is to create a space which can expand and deepen; a place for the reinvention of the idea of creative interactive community. Net based communities need not be bound by culture, geography or lifestyle, they can span these boundaries as conduits of communication. I intend to use SonicForm as a vehicle to explore the notion of an online communities combined with Artificial Life to create something that is a living expression of a net community.”

*Water writes always in *plural, 1997

ANAT, as a joint initiative with the Adelaide based Electronic Writing and Research Ensemble, commissioned Perth based writer Josephine Wilson and Brisbane writer Linda Carroli to undertake ‘virtual’ residencies simultaneously in 1997.water-always-writes-in-plural_1997-300x300

The intention was that the writers worked collaboratively via the internet to produce work hypertextually. The writers/ artists worked at their own location and were therefore in-residence virtually. The Perth Institute for Contemporary Art and the Institute of Modern Art in Brisbane are providing the writers with computer and internet access and the environment from which to work.

Carroli a freelance journalist, arts writer, essayist and researcher, has published in a range of art journals including Eyeline, RealTime, and Periphery and has curated a number of exhibitions, most recently as the Exhibitions Coordinator at Metro Arts in Brisbane. “I am hoping to extend my writing practice by addressing, in the context of writing and virtuality, contingent ideas about process, participation and performance. This project will provide me with a space in which to make connections between the theory and the practice, perhaps blurring a few boundaries in the process.”

Wilson’s recent work has been in two fields: narrative fiction and writing for performance. Her recent performance work The Geography of Haunted Places, which drew on post-colonial and feminist theory in dialogue with contemporary political issues received high acclaim when it toured recently throughout Australia and in London. Reviewing the play at the Performance Space, Stephen Dunne wrote “This is everything contemporary performance should be – playful, intelligent, self aware, technically superb and confronting.”

This project was collaboratively curated with Jyanni Steffensen and Linda Marie Walker of the Electronic Writing and Research Ensemble.


Francesca Da Rimini – Makrolab residency

Marko Peljhan’s Makrolab was installed on Rottnest Island off the coast of Fremantle (WA) as part of the Perth Festival of the Arts (February). Makrolab is a ‘self-sustaining survival environment’ which has radio signaling and tracking devices installed. Marko invited artists to submit proposals to be in residence for short terms during the project. ANAT worked with Marko to identify Australian artists and also provided small amounts of support for travel and living expenses whilst in residence in the lab. The two artists supported by ANAT to work at Makrolab were Francesca da Rimini and Leesa Willan.

Francesca da Rimini developed a poetic web diary Ghost Fields during her residency.

(Slovenian artist Marko Peljan first came to Australia as part of ANAT’s Code Red project, undertaken in collaboration with The Performance Space and curated by Julianne Pierce. Marko traveled to Brisbane after the Makrolab project, to participate in the Alchemy Masterclass.)



LOGIN was a series of residencies for emerging visual artists to develop web-based projects.

In 1998, the pilot year of the project involved four residencies for Australian artists, run in partnership with members of the Contemporary Art Organisations (CAOs) network. 200 Gertrude Street (Melbourne), 24 Hour Art (Darwin), Canberra Contemporary Art Space and Boomalli (Sydney) hosted the physical component of the residencies.

The LOGIN: residencies provided the participating artists with access computers and the internet, as well as the critical and cultural context of the host arts organisations. The artists also had access to server space, some technical support and the support of an online community. The online environment is currently a site of some of the most politically challenging and aesthetically innovative art projects. It’s a context where traditional artforms meld and mutate, and where traditional notions of authorship, exhibition and publishing dissolve into and out of each other.

The intention of LOGIN: was to provide emerging artists with an opportunity to explore, experiment and participate in the connectivity of the internet. Artists were given opportunities to develop new skills and create new works, which may encompass web-based interactive artworks, virtual environments, web-tv programs, web-based software or artificial life projects, CUSeeMe and Real Audio performances.

Lisa Beilby, a new media artist who works with photographic media and the internet, completed her residency with 24 Hr Art in Darwin in January 1999. Lisa  created a work entitled thing, a constantly evolving reactive multimedia virtual space, thing prods, cajoles and quizzes the interactor/s into a meandering network of shifting pathways made of lush and challenging sound, visuals and intellectual / psychological adventures.

Beilby describes the website as ‘something which exploits the more insidious aspects of human nature and human psyche with and without the Interactor/s consent‘.



For her residency, Anita Kocsis, an artist who works in installation and painting within a digital context, began an adjunct to an architectural model of her mind processes, called Photonpsycho (a visual protoplasm). Her residency project was undertaken in collaboration with Melbourne organisation, 200 Gertrude Street. Her project, Neonverte, is a web based installation, built as a Garden. The installation component of the project featured elements from the site as well as a VRML glide-through of areas of Neonverte.

She wrote of the project, “My main methodology has to do with an interest in a multidimensional transformative practice rather than adhering to the transcriptive language the web provides. These ideas also intersect within the constructs of the net-collaborations. The outcome is continual.”

Dysfunctional, unpredictable and rapidly growing, the internet is drawn into the funnelweb of Kocsis’ garden site. As Anita stated: ‘to climb to the top of a tree is no easy task. The kids in Enid Blytons ‘Folk of the Faraway Tree’ knew it. They had to contend with interruptions. Yet they still climbed to see what new land had arrived. As far as I can recall some of the lands were shockers, like the ‘land of smacks’. The minute they got there they wanted to get out. Yet it was never so easy.’



Michael Barac is an artist and programmer who has used digital media technologies to create works for web, video and photographic environments. His residency was undertaken in collaboration with Canberra Contemporary Art Space, during which Barac explored contemporary political debates regarding Australia’s constitution, focusing the pragmatic
representation of Australia as a Republic. He focused particularly on the icon of the flag, constructing an alternative flag forum, where internet users can partake in the creation of a flag that evolves with time.

His aim was that once audience members have created their flag they can submit it via a form button in Netscape and it is automatically added to a web page. He says, ‘It’s my hope to monitor votes from visitors to the site and have a program generate a flag in a quasi-democratic way. Either votes are collected or you add the details of the flag that you made to a grand pool of details where the most popular characteristics generate a collective flag.’

Web participants may determine each mutation of the ever metamorphosing flag, by voting, or intermingling different designs. He says of the project, “I would like people to participate and have fun in some way. It would be an opportunity for people to feel involved…creating more discussion, particularly about what it means to be Australian“.


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