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Working the Screen 2000

More sites, events and artists


Johnny Ice, Digital Detective is a weekly multimedia comic about futuristic cop Johnny, “working with cheap clients and even cheaper technology.” There are plenty of soundbytes and animations within the 13 edisodes, and more to come. [expired]

PreFab, curated by Shiralee Saul & Helen Stuckey, is an exhibition of VRML sites exploring the “pleasures and potentialities of the digital suburbs”, allowing viewers to explore the virtual homes of architects and multimedia artists including Horst Kiechle & Jamie C Paynter. [expired]

Sydney@rt maps a maze of artists from non-English speaking backgrounds, using music, video, digital images, writing labs and animation to investigate Sydney life; some are incredibly confronting like the abusive woman who rings the Multicultural Arts Alliance with a diatribe against migrants. Real or fiction? Artists featured: Justo Diaz, Misako Sugiyama, Tiet Ho, Zoja Bojic, Vahid Vahed. [expired]

The Fine Art Forum online gallery always features interesting digital artists, both Australian and international, and explores crossovers between arts and sciences, and the use of medical technology. An upcoming exhibition in August is eyesee where new Indigenous artists explore digital media. [expired]

Melbourne’s Next Wave festival (see Alex Hutchinson review, RT 38) featured a wide range of web works under the banner Wide Awake: dreaming at twilight, including Matt Gardiner’s temple of dreams, a virtual drive-in cinema, and fest on the net ( [expired]), online festival coverage including net radio, video of performances and reviews compiled by RMIT students.

University of SA’s mag net ( [expired]) promotes the work of students from the Department of Communications with a multimedia channel showcasing animation, interactive works and digital video, while design students at UWS have put together gleematrix, a nifty site commissioned by gleebooks, which looks at the art of writing in a digital context. [expired]

gleematrix: Juliana Wong’s teasing site of manga gifs and text should keep you busy for a while. That’s if you can find your way into the site. Persevere. Tiny glimpses, almost unattainable, offer frustration and fun. [expired]. KK

The Australian Multimedia Catalogue has been updated and is available on the website of the Australian Film Commission ( - expired]). The catalogue lists 740 interactive multimedia titles recently completed or currently being developed by Australian multimedia developers. The catalogue is produced from the Multimedia Projects Database maintained by AFC Research and Information. This database is also used to produce a hard copy version of the catalogue which is distributed free to distributors and at major international markets such as Milia and E3.


Helen Grace’s Before Utopia, A Non-official Prehistory of the Present is a really good read. That’s something you can’t often say of a CD-ROM. It’s a multi-layered history of art, politics and visual art politics from the mid 50s to 1990 with the Art Workers Union (NSW) at its centre. Grace has done the editing, collating, curating and timelining—at the centre of the work is a string of years to click your way through, each marked by a choice quotation and an image—a photo or a poster. Then you click into the year of your choice to find a table of 3 columns—Art, Union, World—each with events, documents, interview transcripts and images. If you want to go further into the documents, you can and, beyond, into the extensive artist/writer bibliographies. The glimpses of Art Workers Union posters designed for parties and protests are powerfully evocative of more combative political times as are the often vigorous documents and diatribes taken from notes, minutes, jounals, catalogues, BUGA UP graffiti and the press. Grace hasn’t written a history, she’s facilitated the making of one. It’s up to you to put it all together. It’s an invaluable resource, easy to use, and, as she says, the CD-ROM format allows it to be sooner or later added to—something you find yourself often inclined to. One complaint—the single loop of music (it’s all I got) could drive you mad unless you’re addicted to the band, but even then... Turn off the sound. Before Utopia is not a whizz-bang CD-ROM but it does what it sets out to do and does it well. Media.Culture Books, Series Editor McKenzie Wark. Distributed by Pluto Press. KG

Uncle Bill, created by Debra Petrovich and produced by Julianne Pierce, forecast in Working the Screen 1999, is about to be launched as part of an installation at Artspace in August. A sneak preview revealed a haunting evocation of a disturbing relationship, shot in black and white and mixed in with historical/home movie footage. You work your way through a house and the surrounding landscape in a regional industrial town, triggering recollections and anxieties. KG

Kiersty Garbett’s Parasite follows the journey of a parasite through the human body—a street system with road signs to vital organs. It was recently exhibited at the e-media gallery at the Contemporary Centre for Photography in Melbourne.


Experimenta’s Orbital, shown simultaneously at CCP and the Lux Centre for Film, Video and Digital Media in London, has just finished. It featured artists Brook Andrew, Raymond Peer, Megan Jones, Nicola Loader, Margie Medlin & Nigel Helyer exploring, through digital media, Australia’s cultural and topographical landscapes and issues surrounding salination, biological & technological ecosystems, cultural identity & colonialism (see review in RealTime 39).

Octopus no. 1 at 200 Gertrude St Melbourne (until August 16) is the first in a series engaging with the “changing perception of objects according to the tenets of the digital, the virtual and the technological realms.” Curated by Max Delany, artists include ADS Donaldson, Julia Gorman, Michael Graeve & Sandra Selig.

James Angus’ new works at Experimental Art Foundation, Adelaide (until August 5), play with scale, using digital technologies to calculate and model shapes and objects falling from high altitudes at the moment of collapse. Chris Chapman, director, writes that “dynamics software, CAD and stereolithography [are used] to realise in actual physical terms an imaginary, or as the artist suggests, ‘virtual event’.”

Marrugeku Company, a collaboration between Stalker and Kunwinjki people from Kumbbulunya in the Northern Territory, is developing Crying Baby, a large-scale outdoor inter-cultural performance employing physical theatre, Kunwinjki dance, music, film, installation, weaving, sound art and composition. Funded by the New Media Arts Fund of the Australia Council.

Recent publications

Go online, slip in the ensemble logic CD-ROM, and you have access to a host of electronic Writing Research ensemble and associated writers. As editor Teri Hoskin says in her “post-face”, “what this book wants to do is to open up portals, or spaces between projects/events—to restructure the structure without shifting a tag, sans touching a stone or a strut.” A handsomely produced book of text offers a foretastes of the works. Contributors include Linda Marie Walker, Linda Carroli, Josephine Wilson, Bill Seaman, Sue Thomas, Mark Amerika, Katie More, Dylan Everett and more.

Artlink, Vol 20, no 1, Reconciliation? Indigenous Art for the 21st century, includes Susan Angel’s “Remote area computer art: multimedia talent emerges at Yuendumu”, focusing on the work of Donovan Rice.

Photofile #60, August 2000. Edited by Mike Leggett, this edition includes Darren Tofts on Murray McKeich; Les Walkling on the industrialisation of image manipulation tools; Leggett on the discontinued Photoshop ‘rival’, Live Picture; Edwina Bartleme on queer theory and digital aesthetics as she prepares Queer Transgressions for the Brisbane Powerhouse; Ricky Cox on internet opportunities for photographers; plus the work of the Perth-based group of media artists, Retarded Eye. The issue features work by Patricia Piccinini, Caroline Brunet, Marty Saint James, Xiao Xian Liu and Rebecca Cummins along with reviews of recent exhibitions. Published by Australian Centre for Photography. [expired]

ART Asia Pacific, Issue 27, For images and information alone, this is an impressive issue. It includes Japan’s Dumb type; interactive art in Japan; Korean video art; Melbourne’s Federation Square; electronic art in Malaysia; Taiwan-born Shu Lea Chang’s provocative New York site and online works; and the boom in mainland Chinese video installation. Kathy Cleland writes about New Zealand’s Maureen Lander and John Fairclough, Sydney-based artists Melinda Rackham and Justine Cooper, and Canberra-based, Hong Kong-born Juliana Wong. With assistance from MAAP, a selection of articles will appear on

Ashley Crawford, formerly Editor of the late lamented 21.C and new media correspondent has been appointed Editor of the New York-based Artbyte magazine. It’s glossy and informative and occasionally glimpsed in Australian inner-city newsagencies. Congratulations Ashley.

RealTime issue #38 Aug-Sept 2000 pg. 18

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