PhD at Digital Ethnography Research Centre

I’m pleased to announce in February I will be embarking on PhD study at the Digital Ethnography Research Centre (DERC), Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia.

A 3.5 year practice-based research period to study lens-based performance on video sharing networks, gesture and interface online and the influence of algorithmic cultures on the social body.

The support offered by a Design and Creative Practice ECP scholarship for the duration of the study will greatly support my practical outcomes, including new performance work, large-scale film making projects and exhibitions.

My research blog is now online and serves as a public platform for outcomes related to the PhD.

DERC focuses on understanding a contemporary world where digital and mobile technologies are increasingly inextricable from the environments and relationships in which everyday life plays out.

DERC excels in both academic scholarship and in our applied work with external partners from industry and other sectors.

DERC approaches this world and how we experience it through innovative, reflexive and ethical ethnographic approaches, developed through anthropology, media and cultural studies, design, arts and documentary practice and games research.

Our research is incisive, interventional and internationally leading. Going beyond the call of pure academia we combine academic scholarship with applied practice to produce research, analysis and dissemination projects that are innovative and based on ethnographic insights.

DERC partners and collaborates with a range of institutions in Australia and globally, including other universities, companies and other organisations. This includes collaborative research projects, conferences, symposia and workshops, and international visits, fellowships and publications.

The Digital Ethnography Research Centre (DERC) was established in December 2012 by Larissa Hjorth and Heather Horst with the aim of consolidating and further developing RMIT’s strength in international digital innovation. The Centre is now Directed by Sarah Pink who will be taking it into its second stage of development from 2016.

DERC members are aligned into Labs to represent their research interests, DERC Labs include:

Data Ethnographies Lab
Design+Ethnography+Futures (D+E+F) Lab
Bio Inspired Digital Sensing-Lab (BIDS-Lab)
Digital Transformations Lab
Visual Impact
Migration and Digital Media Lab

All those moments will be lost like tears in the rain

The artists Sarah Burger and Ceel Mogami de Haas are initiating an audio exhibition in relation to their ongoing project Tu’i Malila based on their common interest in the film Blade Runner by Ridley Scott (1982). For the occasion of this procuration at the Médiathèque they relate their research to the polymorphic work of Chris Marker as it is collected in the Fonds Christophe Chazalon at FMAC and invite eight artists to question, redistribute, and interpret it. The exhibition is introduced by Terence Broad’s video work Blade Runner – Autoencoded

Sarah Burger, Matthias Gabi, Ana María Gómez Lopez, Alexis Guillier & Méryll Ampe, Arvo Leo, Ceel Mogami de Haas & Mathieu Arbez-Hermoso, Lena Maria Thüring, Emile Zile

With the support of
Ernst und Olga Gubler-Hablützel Stiftung, Fondation Leenards, ProHelvetia, Fondation suisse pour la culture

Fonds d’art contemporain de la Ville de Genève (FMAC)
Rue des Bains 34
1205 Genève

Ouverture du mardi au samedi de 11h à 18h, ou sur rendez-vous
Ouvert pendant les fêtes du 26 au 30 décembre 2017
T +41 22 418 45 40

Emile Zile and Philip Brophy in conversation

Join Emile Zile and Philip Brophy for a conversational and unmoderated exchange as they select, screen and discuss each other’s video work. Both artists move horizontally between visual art, filmmaking and performance, working beyond the confines of strict categorisation. Their methods and tools are post-cinematic: scavenging and re-presenting the moving image material that surrounds them.

11 September 2017, 6.30pm
Free entry, bookings requested

Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Federation Square Melbourne


Australiana to Zeitgeist

Melissa Loughnan’s new book ‘Australiana to Zeitgeist: an A to Z of Australian Contemporary Art’ is now available in stores, published by Thames and Hudson.

I’m contained within V for Video but equally happy with S for Spam Filter, N for Networked Performance, P for Pathos of Social Media or C for Caveman Home Cinema.

Emile Zile and Sven Lütticken in conversation

Within the framework of the exhibition “Liquid Cooled: new works by Emile Zile”, LIMA organises a public screening and discussion night. The artist Emile Zile and art historian and critic Sven Lütticken will talk about Zile’s work within the context of the LIMA Collection – ranging from early gems from the seventies (Douglas Davis, Dan Graham) to Zile’s current body of work. Performance on television, social media and the performativity of the mass media will be recurrent themes.

Entrance: € 7,50 / 5,-
Free entrance with: Cineville pass
Language: English

Arie Biemondstraat 111
1054 PD Amsterdam
The Netherlands
+31(0)20 389 20 30

This programme is part of the exhibition Liquid Cooled: new works by Emile Zile
LIMA is proud to present its first exhibition of new works by the Australian artist Emile Zile. Liquid Cooled will present prints, video works and a performance by the artist who currently has a residency at the Rijksakademie voor Beeldende Kunsten.

Experimenta Social

Image credit: Ikea Roof Terrace detail, Joe Hamilton 2014

Experimenta Social is a series of talks, discussions and demos to provide proximity to some of Australia’s most adventurous contemporary artists, researchers and creative technologists.

This artist led series is curated and hosted by Emile Zile in collaboration with Experimenta and explores practices at the nexus of Art and technology, science, culture and design. You will hear from artists sharing their latest projects and researchers presenting projects that grapple with the concerns of our time. Beyond inconsequential debates over the role of Media Arts in a post-media world, Experimenta Social will combine activated audiences drawn from contemporary art, social research, electronic art and non-professional spheres for lively debate and discussion.

Experimenta Social will take place every second Wednesday from mid-August 2016:
17th and 31st August, 14th and 28th September, 12th and 26th October
ACMI X Studio, Level 4, 2 Kavanagh Street, Southbank, VIC 3006.

Session 6: Australiana, The Mongrel and Amnesia

For the last Experimenta Social in this series we invite Philip Brophy and Eugenia Lim to reflect on Australian identity, place and belonging. Using pop cultural forms as a lens to view Australian society, both Eugenia and Philip uncover latent meanings and interpretations through their video works, writing and installation. Expanding on his AFTRS Classics of Australian Cinema book that uses Priscilla Queen of the Desert as a map of Australian identity, Philip Brophy will deliver an expanded illustrated version of this book.

Philip Brophy After a series of experimental mixed-media works exhibited in art and non-art contexts over many years, Philip Brophy has consolidated his interests to produce a range of audiovisual works focussing on his key interests in pop, sex and music. Brophy continues to lecture and present on film sound and music internationally, specializing in horror, sex & exploitation, film sound & music and Japanese animation. He is widely published in all three areas, and his book 100 MODERN SOUNDTRACKS has been translated and published in Japan.

Eugenia Lim is an Australian artist who works across video, performance and installation. Interested in how nationalism and stereotypes are formed, Lim invents personas to explore the tensions of an individual within society: alienation and belonging in a globalised world.

Session 5: WORDS

Holly Childs and Christopher LG Hill deal with words, words as objects, words as recombinative forms. The internet and the street have conflicting voices, a sense of lawlessness, a place for infinite recombination and juxtaposition. Both these artists reflect the autonomous zones of the club, the artist-run initiative and the street in their writings, performances and installations. We are proud to invite Holly Childs and Christopher LG Hill to reflect on the impact of writing over networks, language as power, the power of networked speech at Experimenta Social 5.

Holly Childs is a writer and editor. Her work explores the use of digital networks in contemporary culture. Recent presentations of her work include: as art writer within Adam Linder’s choreographic service Some Proximity at MCA, Biennale of Sydney (2016); Danklands [Swamped in 3 voices] for Capitalist Surrealism curated by Liquid Architecture at NGV, Melbourne (2015) and as curator of both Quake II, Arcadia Missa, London (2014) and at Slopes, Melbourne (2014). She is the author of two books: Danklands, published by Arcadia Missa and No Limit, published by Hologram, Melbourne. She was an Associate Producer at Next Wave 2015-16, and founding editor of Next Wave’s online publication Worm Hole. In 2016-18 she is a Gertrude Contemporary studio holder.

Christopher LG Hill __________laces on shoes then some words biodegradable people of such in places hard ruptures some other words including Christopher L G Hill an artist untitled poet unknown everythings anarchist Y3K ignorant teacher porpoise torture bunyip trax collaborator friend facilitator curator lover anti
power dexta daps falling words scrolling noise wall gardener monochrome co-label boss walking sips a homebody mirriad dancer plate and platter considerate participator dishwasher wind and sounds from the currawong graffiti bencher fine food
eater exhibitions tweeter @clghill moorhenrafft fog fatiguée dj cognitive labour/gunic slack conversation comas or spittle independent representing our self and others born melbourne 1980c.e lives World new tab and window shopper expel binary
dialog dispersed library open doors


In the fourth Experimenta Social session we dive into working with community in the creation of artwork. What is the potential of working with non-artists in large-scale community work? Where are the fault lines between stakeholders, funding organisations, venues and audiences? Are distinctions between expert, artist and non-artist valid? What are the ethics of participation in the realm of the non-expert? How are new approaches to social practice being defined by leading practitioners in the field? We are proud to present the work of two independent Australian artists who also have elaborate and sustained engagement with the non-artist, James Hullick and Lara Thoms.

Lara Thoms recently received a two year Creative Australia Fellowship to explore site-specific and participatory possibilities in contemporary art. Lara was commissioned to create a large scale public work Ultimate Vision: Monuments to Us as part of the Museum of Contemporary Art’s C3WEST program, a publication of the same title was released by the MCA in 2014. Other works include ‘Exposition’ for the Melbourne Art Fair with Jason Maling, ‘The Experts Project’, (2011- 2013) where she spoke with 150 ‘unofficial experts’ as part of Local Positioning Systems at the MCA, and the ‘Funeral Party’ (2016), working with a funeral director to create an art event for Dark Mofo.

James Hullick is a composer, community arts worker, sound artist and producer. His projects have been presented internationally for a variety of ensembles and electronic formats. Innovative sonic terrains that James continues to work through include: recursive compositional techniques, perceptual music making, real time scores, sound making machines and community arts projects. In 2011 James founded The Click Clack Project, an organisation that combines community sonic artists with professional sonic artists. James recently completed a three-year Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Melbourne. He was awarded an Australia Council Fellowship (2015) and received the Michael Kieran Harvey Piano Scholarship (2015-16).


The acceleration of networked communication has led to a proliferation of platforms for distribution and dissemination of knowledge. How do the disruptive efficiencies of digital distribution play against hundreds of years of copyright legislation that has known authorship and publishing in a very narrow channel? Where do the cracks in appear when a digital platform leverages it’s speed and efficiency against the monoliths of cultural gate-keeping? We are very happy to host Sean Dockray in the upcoming Experiementa Social to present alternative platforms for knowledge dissemination including and The Public School.

Sean Dockray is a Melbourne-based artist, a founding director of the Los Angeles non-profit Telic Arts Exchange, and initiator of autonomous knowledge-sharing platforms The Public School and With a focus on social systems, time, and impermanence, Dockray’s practice often emphasizes an active, critical engagement with technology. As a recent research fellow the Post-Media Lab at Leuphana University, he explored the physical infrastructure of the sharing economy, focusing on Facebook’s new northern European datacenter. His written essays address topics such as online education (Frieze), the militarization of universities (in Contestations: Learning from Critical Experiments in Education), property within “the cloud” (in Undoing Property), book scanning (Fillip), traffic control (Cabinet), and radio (Volume). Between a BSE in Civil Engineering and Architecture from Princeton University and an MFA from UCLA (Design|Media Arts), Dockray worked for Plumb Design in New York and consulted for a variety of cultural producers including Laura Kurgan Architecture, the Center for Land Use Interpretation, the Not a Cornfield public artwork, and the Milosevic trial video archive.


Uniting dramatic energy and new media technologies is not a new challenge. Artists have consistently explored the overlap of technology and drama. From Italian Futurists privileging the new sounds of 1910s new media, namely the car and the machine gun, to 1960s developments around democratised broadcast technologies and the opening of video art to the body as exemplified by Nam-June Paik and Charles Atlas. Working at the intersections of performance, installation and new technology Martyn Coutts and Matthew Sleeth will unpack their elaborate individual practices and delve into what rehearsal decisions make technology invisible, how do technical advances drive creative decision making and what is the potential for media art on stage.

Matthew Sleeth is an Australian artist living and working between Melbourne and New York City. His conceptually driven practice uses a range of media, including sculpture, photography, video and public installation. In 2015 Sleeth directed A Drone Opera which featured unmanned aerial vehicles in an experimental multimedia performance featuring
drones, their pilots and opera singers, combined with a new sound score, laser light design and moving image. A Drone Opera also featured collaborators Kate Richards, Robin Fox, Phil Samartzis, Susan Frykberg.

Martyn Coutts is an Australian interdisciplinary artist concerned with ideas of the live, the interactive and the mediated body. His work has been shown in theatres, online, public space and galleries throughout Australia and the Asia Pacific. His works include Operation, Computer Boy and I Think I Can with Blood Policy, the Wayfarer series of works with Kate Richards, Thrashing Without Looking with Aphids, Visible City (the keynote project of the 2010 Melbourne Fringe) and SAC35 for Salamanca Arts Centre.


Citt Williams is currently a PhD candidate at Digital Ethnography Research Centre RMIT and is researching large-scale mapping of global systems such as climate change, animal migration and ecosystem modification. With a background in filmmaking, policy development and environmental science she has developed and shot independent documentaries in India, Nepal, Tajikistan, Siberia, Japan, Papua New Guinea, France, Borneo and Australia. From 2003-2005, Citt was the Executive Producer at the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association.

Joe Hamilton is a Melbourne-based artist working at the intersections of big data, global imaging and Capitalist Realism. Hamilton is part of a new movement of post-photographic artists that have less use for a camera than a database. Sourcing raw material from stock photography, open source mapping data and a 3D scanning techniques, Hamilton’s work uncovers a sense of contemporary visuality that privileges machine processing over the lens’ humanist inheritance.

This is a free event.

This project is supported by the Besen Family Foundation and the City of Melbourne, and presented in conjunction with ACMIx


I follow Yoko and Yoko follows me at MCA Sydney


An invitation arrived to respond to Yoko Ono’s instructional film scripts. The suggestion of a film. Film as it exists in a proposition, an invitation, a request to think. ‘Visualise peace’ Yoko says. Visualise film. #summerofyoko

Q. Which Yoko piece(s) are you responding to and how?

A. I am taking Yoko Ono’s current day Twitter feed as an unrequited instruction set. I follow Yoko Ono and Yoko Ono follows me.

Q. If we imagine a spectrum in which predetermined structures, scores, instructions sit at one end and  spontaneity, intuition, improvisation at the other – where does your work sit in that spectrum? Or is that spectrum faulty to begin with?

A. I have a structure within the walls of the MCA. The technology of the image projection. The design of the seats. We have voice, light, human will. I feel energised by unbridled human energy in tightly controlled environments.

Postscript. I don’t believe in freedom in art. It can only be given by imposing a structure or rule set upon it. There is no freedom. There is no restraint.

New performance
‘I follow Yoko and Yoko follows me’
Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney
6 February 2014, 6:00-9:00pm


Jessie Scott on Larry Emdur’s Suit (2002) and the death of analog television broadcasting in Australia.

There’s Emile, part Edward Scissor Hands/part Wu Tang Clan, ably filling the frame with studied awkwardness; not just in a video, On Television. The cognitive dissonance of seeing this for the first time was astonishing: it wasn’t just any TV – it was ultimate prime time chew-cud: The Price is Right. There he is cracking wise with plastic fantastic Larry, playing the game, not giving away the joke, carefully treading the line between performance and reality. A line that, in the wake of the 90s talk show phenomenon, and before reality TVs total dominion, had suddenly become very blurred. It was prescient – a death knell to hackish old analogue, sent from the past to the future, sincere, hysterical and knowing.

Full article available at

Watch Larry Emdur’s Suit at


Jack installed at Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria


Melbourne Now celebrates the latest art, architecture, design, performance and cultural practice to reflect the complex creative landscape of Melbourne.

This ambitious and far-reaching exhibition across The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia and NGV International presents the various ways in which visual artists and creative practitioners profoundly contribute to the society in which we live, and to Melbourne as a city with a unique and dynamic cultural identity.

ngv-logo r1200341_15529735