SYDNEY, the buzzing and beautiful city is well known for myriad activities, however my short time there was mainly restricted to present at Artspace, one of the most interesting venues of diverse events. The Artspace mandate is to "encourage critical considerations of a wide range of contemporary visual art practices from performance to conceptual installations and beyond". In February, Inhwan Oh (Korea) has created an exquisite site- specific installation using cedarwood incense powder - his work concerns notions of place, time, language, identity and the visibility of gay culture. At the end of February, the Exploding Dandy conference event explored contemporary sexualized presence, the relevance of queer performance and the dandy. In addition to its showcase program, Artspace manages five studios for visiting artists. In Sydney, the artists and digital consultants Zina Kay and Mr. Snow provided me with generous accommodation close to the beach in Cooge - check out http://laudanum.net.

BRISBANE. Back in 2000, I had the good fortune to participate in the Alchemy master classes in the newly opened Powerhouse, an ingeniously renovated industrial building. Over the last two years, Powerhouse presented a long list of exhibitions, performances, concerts and conferences. Several "Alchemy" friends turned up for my presentation - Molly Hankwitz and David Cox brought fresh material from their Archimedia projects, Lisa Anderson from her Writing the City, public installation&collaborations project and Patricia Adams her new CD.

Kim Machan director of MAAP (Multimedia Art Asia Pacific Inc.) hosted me in Brisbane. Since 1998 MAAP has promoted innovative art and technology in Australia and the Asia Pacific regions, through showcasing four festivals. "Excess" the latest event was presented online and at the Brisbane Powerhouse in October 2001. Kim is working hard on the next fest, which might take place in China.

There was no time to see all the thriving Brisbane sites- but I did visit IMA (Institute of Modern Art) which has moved recently to its current elegant quarters. In addition to an exhibition program, IMA produces yearly an impressive array of publications and supports an artist residency program. The splendidly renovated building includes a modern theater space and houses several organizations focused on performing arts.

PERTH. The first Biennale of Electronic Arts in Perth under the direction of Paul Thomas is scheduled for the summer of 2002. The Fourth CAiiA conference takes place at the same time here. These events and the connected conferences and exhibitions will be of great interest to digital artists, educators and theorists - keep this in mind.

SymbioticA, the unique bio-art initiative by Oron Catts, Ionat Zurr and Guy Ben-Ary, is part of the University of Western Australia, Perth. In addition to ongoing research, exhibitions and publications, SymbioticA offers this year a course in bio art for students and also accepts visiting research fellows. It was a great experience to visit the lab, meet the scientists, and to discuss the project in Oron&Ionat's riverside home.

ADELAIDE. On the evening of March 1, large crowds gathered at four city squares of Adelaide and the processions paraded to the heart of Tandanyungga, otherwise known as Victoria square. Adelaide is built on the land of the Kauma nation and on festival opening night respects were paid both to Kauma people and to the ceremonies performed by indigenous people from across the globe. Zulus came from South Africa, Gyuto Monks from Tibet and Narrungas from Western Australia. It was a magical evening and while the list of festival concerts, films, workshops, theater, exhibitions and conferences is endless, I will highlight the conVerge events. The exhibition of installations presented in the Art Gallery of South Australia, included an impressive array of Australian artists, presenting the work of Nigel Helyer, Patricia Piccinini, Justine Cooper, Ionat Zurr&Oron Catts and Martin Welch among others. The conVerge symposium( March 3-4, 2002), organized within the framework of the Festival, explored points "where art and science meet" in the context of sustainable futures. Amanda McDonald Crowley our convenor (and associate director of the festival) brought together an impressive line up of presenters and topics ranging from bioeconomics to knowledge systems and ecology. We had interesting discussions following our presentation sessions and good Australian wine to conclude the day.

Adelaide is the home of ANAT the Australian Network for Art and Technology. The Anat Team produced an efficient, very well promoted schedule and in collaboration with other Australian organizations, generously supported my tour. Beyond my gratitude I have been always been impressed with ANAT: the range of events they are supporting, their informative newsletters, projects, workshops, conferences, local and international events etc., From many viewpoints Anat is to be considered as a model for membership based organizations.

Admittedly from an outsider's point of view, the animated new media scene in Australia (poised in an amiable, friendly atmosphere) is stimulating, varied and captivating. Hopefully this bird's eye view of Australian initiatives will encourage others to explore the country in greater detail. Moi.Moi.

Nina Czegledy 3.24.02




YEAR01 FORUM INDEX


August Black (left) and "language developers"
in the O-ish workshop, Maria Island
Norie Neumark in the Netloft, Hobart, Tasmania


Daily companion, Maria Island