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7-16 June 2013

 Da Contents H2

July 24 2013
Past-present tensions
Keith Gallasch, Naala-Ba (Look Future), Carriageworks and ISEA2013

July 3 2013
Data noise & the limits of dance
Keith Gallasch, Myriam Gourfink & Kaspar Toeplitz, Breathing Monster

June 26 2013
Nailing the virtual
Virginia Baxter, Keith Gallasch, The Portals

Night work
Keith Gallasch, Embodied Media, Night Rage

Palpable virtualities
Keith Gallasch, Paula Dawson, Holoshop: Drawing and Perceiving in Depth

The big connect
Somaya Langley, The Portals

Transformational walking
Anne Phillips, Long Time, No See?

June 18 2013
Musical multiverses
Gail Priest, Polysonics

Rainbow over ISEA
Keith Gallasch, Electric Nights

realtime tv @ ISEA2013: Zydnei, Troy Innocent

June 17 2013
If a system fails in a forest, is anybody listening?
Urszula Dawkins, If a system fails in a forest…, 107 Projects

June 16 2013
In the digital age, love your stationery obsession
Urszula Dawkins, Durational Book

Painting by algorithms
Keith Gallasch, Ernest Edmonds: Light Logic

June 15 2013
Home, sweet home
Urszula Dawkins, disSentience, Sleeth, SelgasCano, Tin Sheds

Pop up pleasure zones
Gail Priest, Electronic Art Pop-Ups, The Rocks

June 14 2013
Aural ecologies, mechanical and musical
Urszula Dawkins, EchoSonics, UTS Gallery

June 14 2013
Heck, baby, I shoulda seen it comin…
Urszula Dawkins, The Very Near Future, Alex Davies

More than meets the eye
Virginia Baxter, Keith Gallasch, Point of View

New tools and old skool grammars
Gail Priest, Macrophonics II

realtime tv @ ISEA2013: The very near future, Alex Davies

Start by leaping off a small stool
Urszula Dawkins, ISEA Closing Keynote Address: Julian Assange

June 13 2013
A curative dose of spontaneity
Lauren Carroll Harris, pvi collective, Deviator

M e d i a a r t t h e n a n d n o w
Darren Tofts, Catching Light, Campbelltown Arts Centre

Olfaction, decay & speculation
Gail Priest, Raewyn Turner & Brian Harris, Ian Haig, Nandita Kumar, Verge Gallery

Riding the theta waves
Urszula Dawkins, Theta Lab, George Poonkhin Khut and James Brown

Run for your lives [2]
Keith Gallasch, Running the City, COFA, UNSW

To re-map and reclaim
Lisa Gye, Mapping Culture [panel]

Turning the media back on itself
Lisa Gye, Mark Hosler, Adventures in Illegal Art

June 12 2013
Outside the labyrinth…looking in at someone waving
Urszula Dawkins, SoundLabyrinth, Mark Pedersen and Roger Alsop

realtime tv @ ISEA2013: semipermeable (+), SymbioticA

Run for your lives [1]
Keith Gallasch, Marnix de Nijs, Run Motherfucker Run

June 12 2013
The uncanny in the gallery
Keith Gallasch, Mari Velonaki, Simon Ingram, Petra Gemeinboeck & Rob Saunders, Artspace

June 11 2013
realtime tv @ ISEA2013: EchoSonics, UTS Gallery

The science and art of tangible things
Urszula Dawkins, Synapse: A Selection, Powerhouse

Touch me there
Gail Priest, ISEA Artist talks: Siu, Baumann, Velonaki

June 10 2013
Being Stelarc
Gail Priest, Stelarc: Meat, Metal, Code: Engineering affect and aliveness

Life and death, and the membranes inbetween
Urszula Dawkins, semipermeable (+), SymbioticA

realtime tv @ ISEA2013: Catching Light, Campbelltown Arts Centre

June 9 2013
'Pure' experience, in the round
Urszula Dawkins, Pure Land, iCinema

Data lives
Gail Priest, Genevieve Bell, Mark Hosler, Paolo Cirio & Alessandro Ludovico

realtime tv @ ISEA2013: Velonaki, Ingram, Gemeinboeck & Saunders, Artspace

June 8 2013
Knowing your place in Cartesian space
Gail Priest, Ryoji Ikeda, datamatics [ver 2.0]

Stars and starlings, pixels and picknickers
Urszula Dawkins, Ryoji Ikeda, datamatics [ver 2.0] & test pattern


Yunkurra Billy Atkins & Sohan Ariel Hayes, Cannibal Story Yunkurra Billy Atkins & Sohan Ariel Hayes, Cannibal Story
Naala-Ba, curated by ISEA Indigenous Creative Producer Merindah Donnelly, was a brisk, enjoyable and thoughtful contribution to the ISEA2013 program, if providing little evidence of or information about the much wider Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engagement with electronic media.

Yunkurra Billy Atkins & Sohan Ariel Hayes, Cannibal Story

Martu (Western Desert, Pilbara region) artist, lawman and storyteller Yunkurra Billy Atkins collaborated with Perth-based media artist Sohan Ariel Hayes to create an engrossing animation that tells an alarming traditional tale of skeletal earth spirits, the Cannibals of the film’s title and how they savaged Atkins’ Dream Time ancestors living around Lake Disappointment (“white fella name my country”).

Atkins’ unfolding landscape is bordered with slithering snakes is realised in solid colours heightened with dots. When the black-skulled Cannibals emerge, they rush towards us, appearing to break through the thickly painted two-dimensional plane, but without spoiling the integrity of the artist’s inheritance and adaptation of traditional painting. You can see a very brief example of this on Vimeo.

The birth of a greedy baby Cannibal, quite human in appearance, signals disaster for the pale-skinned, big-jawed Martu. The Cannibals attack, striking off heads and limbs and emptying bodies into the salt lake into which the Martu, bound to be eaten, slowly sink amid mud and bones. As for the Cannibals, “They alive, not dead…,” says the storyteller at the solemn end of this skilfully animated, lively and visually accomplished seven-minute film.

Naretha Williams, Shifter

Naretha Williams, Shifter Naretha Williams, Shifter
At the end of long dark curtained passageway, projected at almost human scale on a vertical screen, is the image of a young woman, head down, standing amid small candles. She looks up at us with a direct gaze, almost defiant, her body moving in a minimal, gestural dance over which a super-imposed self slowly appears, ghost-like, hands hovering over a face marked in white as if for a ceremony. As in many Aboriginal works, contemporary or traditional, the sense of an ever-present spiritual dimension is near palpable.

The maker and performer of Shifter is Melbourne-based Wiradjuri artist Naretha Williams—described in the program note as “creat[ing] work that explores, questions, provokes and dismantles ideas around identity, culture, esoteric knowledge and contemporary shamanics.” She has a very evident interest in co-existing selves, “shifting and morphing, yet holding the same space”—hence the title of this 3.50-minute video loop.

Gordon Hookey, Terraist

Gordon Hookey, Terraist Gordon Hookey, Terraist
With the title Terraist, Brisbane-based, Waaynyi (Southern Gulf of Carpentaria) artist Gordon Hookey converts “Terra Nullius” into a provocative act of reclamation, at the same time reappropriating the kangaroo as a symbol from White Australia in his funny but pointedly political animated film.

Line drawn animation briskly sketches a tent city over which Canberra’s Parliament House forms and people mass about the tents. They are revealed to be kangaroos (Hookey’s favoured image of resistance), three of them forming before us in close up, defiant, fists raised, their fur filling with colour (ochre-ish red, yellow, brown). Acquiring sunglasses they appear stylishly authoritative as well as tough, their eyes taking on the hues and shape of the Aboriginal flag. It’s as if their very being, a source of great energy and luminescence, is enough to change the world in a mere 1:53 minutes.

You can watch Terraist here and then let Gordon Hookey take you on a guided tour of the work here.


Naala-Ba, a program note tells us, means ‘look to the future’ in the technically extinct Dharug language, although specific words have been collected and adapted ( The exhibition displays works that are potent in their own right, if not exemplary of the range of strengths of Indigenous artists’ engagement with electronic media.

In an ISEA program that looked back to electronic art’s past as well as celebrating its present, it’s a great pity that digital works by Rea, Karen Casey, Warwick Thornton (as with his 3D installation, Stranded in 2011 and Mother Courage at ACMI this year and others were not exhibited. Instead two animations and a video work comprised Naala-Ba and Christian Thompson, with a haunting sound work (the winning entry for me), was a finalist in the video-dominated Anne Landa Award for video and new media arts exhibition at AGNSW.

Naala-Ba (Look Future), curator Merindah Donnelly, Carriageworks and ISEA2013, Carriageworks, 8-16 June

© Keith Gallasch; for permission to reproduce apply to [email protected]

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