An Interactive History

Background: The history of video art in Australia is rich and innovative, albeit a little misunderstood. 

The thing that we call video art is more a relationship between artists and technology rather than describing a particular kind of technology.

Andrew Frost

It was post war immigrants who pioneered the aesthetics of lasers we see at our concerts today. A Nimbin music festival in the 70’s developed an early form of Youtube. And the most expensive video art ever to be sold was filmed by a local skater here in Bondi beach.

Despite this, our creative legacy is often overshadowed by sporting triumphs, dangerous animals and heroic viral videos.

Objective: To overcome the stigma, a group of curators, artists and historians from dLux Media Arts set about building an exhibition that would simplify the complexity of australian video art.

Approach: 

We travelled across the nation, interviewing video artists on their works, their influences and their role within the greater chronology of Australian art.

These intimate conversations inside artists studios and workplaces where these artists reside revealed the way works were built and received by the public.

Meanwhile, artist Annie McKinnon led a team of programmers and engineers in the design and construction of a device which played the interviews.

Each face of the tetrahedron would activate a specific video when placed onto the touch sensitive plinth, not only showing the history of video art by demonstrating its current technological ability.

Resolution: 

Over 48 videos across 12 plyths shone a light on performance art, 16mm avant garde, web-art, coding, hand painted animations and custom designed camera tools.
The exhibition toured Australian art galleries accompanied by live seminars and an online educational suite to help Australian’s grapple with understanding the value of australian media art.

We made an educational suite comprising over 45 videos that were played using an custom made plinth.

Artists:

Kurt Bereton, Leon Cmielewski, Daniel Crooks, Daniel Mudie Cunningham, Stephen Fearnley, Stephen Harrop, Sue Healey, SODA_JERK, Janet Merewether, Kate Richards, Kathy Smith, Josephine Starrs, Mark Titmarsh, & John Tonkin.

Tour dates:

13 Feb – 5 Apr 2015 – Artspace McKay

6 Jun – 18 Jul 2015 – Tamworth Regional Gallery

27 July – 12 Sep 2015 – Western Plains Cultural Centre

21 Sep – 31 Oct 2015 – Grace Cossington Smith Gallery

16 Nov 2015 – 25 Jan 2016 – Riddoch Gallery

26 Feb – 2 Apr 2016 – Logan Art Gallery

29 Apr – 26 Jun 2016 – Burnie Regional Gallery

12 Jul – 21 Aug 2016 – Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery

14 Sep – 22 Oct 2016 – Deakin University Art Gallery

7 Nov 2016 – 1 Jan 2017 – Orange Regional Art Gallery

3 Feb – 5 Mar 2017 – Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery


An example of one video which played on the screens
We also created a series of educational videos for the general public to help understand the complex and often misunderstood role of media art

In Addition the Scanlines Exhibition, we created introduction videos and mini-docs for other video arts exhibitions such as the Garegen of Forking Paths, Art Month, The Biennale of Sydney and Channels Festival.