Talking PLACE is an opportunity to come together and discuss the motivations and ideas behind experimental and site-specific arts programming occurring across regional Australia.
Professor Sarah Miller AM has worked in many capacities in the arts since starting out as a performance artist in 1983. She has been a performer, writer, producer/curator, and artistic and executive director working across the visual, performing, hybrid and new media arts.
Successive directorships of Performance Space, Sydney (1989 – 1993) and the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts Ltd (1994 - 2006), saw her producing and presenting exhibitions, seasons, festivals and events locally, nationally and internationally, while working to ensure that artists, groups and companies be valued and encouraged in the making of their work. She received a prestigious Sidney Myer Performing Arts Facilitator’s Award in 2003.
Sarah has written extensively about the arts and cultural policy. She was the Western Australian editor for RealTime Arts (1994 – 2004) and a contributing writer until 2015. Appointed to the University of Wollongong in 2007, where she is Professor of Performance, Sarah has held several senior governance roles including, most recently, Head of the School of the Arts, English and Media (2013 – 18). In 2019, she was appointed a member of the Order of Australia.
Michael Cohen is a site‐based performance and event creator and is director of City People. For eight years Michael was Creative Producer at Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority (SHFA).
During his time at SHFA he led the organisation's annual cultural programme including the curation of major commissions Nomanslanding (2015) an international collaborative floating art installation, The Rocks Boatshed (2014) ‐ a temporary Aboriginal arts and culture venue and The Rocks Windmill (2013) a pop up installation and arts venue. Michael was Co‐Artistic Director of Theatre Kantanka (1996-2006), Co‐Director of Sydney's fringe festival, Live Bait (Bondi Pavilion 2004) and Programme Director of Newcastle Live Sites (2004‐8).
Michael led the development of Bundanon's Siteworks series with the science-art collaboration Ten Trenches in 2009. He subsequently co-convened Siteworks 2010 and in 2017 returned with another science-art collaboration The Bundanon Medieval. Michael has a doctorate in Performance Studies (2002 University of Sydney) and has published numerous articles about site‐based and interpretive work, international spectacle and festival.
Most recently I co-founded Cementa, a contemporary arts festival in rural NSW.- Alex Wisser
Alex Wisser is an artist and creative producer. He started his career in Artist Run Initiatives, founding and acting as co-director at a number of art spaces and initiatives in Sydney.
In 2013, Alex co-founded Cementa Contemporary Arts Festival in Kandos NSW, and in 2016 co-founded The Kandos School of Cultural Adaptation. His individual arts practice focuses on large scale, long term projects like Cementa and Kandos School of Cultural Adaptation through a cross disciplinary, community engaged practice exploring the potential of art to participate in everyday cultural contexts, especially the regional context in which he lives and works.
Linda Kennedy is a Yuin woman from the South Coast of NSW. She is an architectural designer and design activist with a focus on decolonisation. Her independent design studio, Future Black, was established in 2017 as a development of her blog Future-Black.com – Decolonising Design in Australia’s Built Environment.
With a foundation on Linda's manifesto titled Future Black - Decolonising Design in Australia's Built Environment (2014), her work advocates for and practices an overall shift in design process, design thinking and design practice to place value on Black ways of knowing and doing as an integral priority whereby Country and community come first in all projects of design within the built environment.
Dr. Marco Marcon was born in Italy and migrated to Australia in 1985. He has been awarded degrees by the University of Rome, Murdoch University and a PhD by the University of New South Wales.
Marco has worked as editor of Praxis M, the former Western Australian journal of contemporary art, and taught at several universities. In 1998 he co-founded the International Art Space (IAS), an organisation that he has been managing ever since. In 2009 Marco created spaced, an international recurring event of socially engaged art involving the participation of regional and rural communities throughout Western Australia. Marco has curated several exhibitions and published numerous essays and articles in magazines, books and exhibition catalogues. In 2012 he was awarded the prestigious Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship.
Having grown up on the family farm in southern Riverina, NSW, Ian has long been interested in rural and regional Australia. As a printmaker and multi form artist his practice references memory, place, and the competing interests of society, politics, the environment and industry.
Prior to his current position as director of Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery and the ACRE Project, Ian was Educational Manager of Visual Media Studies at Sunraysia Institute of TAFE and lectured in printmaking for La Trobe University Mildura. He has been a board member for the Public Galleries Association of Victoria, sat on assessment panels for Regional Arts Victoria and the Australia Council and currently sits on the board of South West Arts Inc. Ian is a musician and resides in the small river town of Moulamein NSW on the banks of the Billabong Creek and Edward River.
Dr. r e a is an interdisciplinary artist, curator, activist, cultural educator, creative thinker whose ongoing practise-led research, takes its development from new and critical discourses exploring intersectionality and positionality, through the cultural convergence of Aboriginality; within the creative arts and technology, history and colonialism, the body and identity, gender and queer politics.
r e a is a descendant from the Gamilaraay/Wailwan/Biripi nations’ of Indigenous Australia, from the central western region of New South Wales. r e a recently completed a doctorate in Visual Anthropology at UNSW Art & Design and is Lecturer in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Unit at University of Queensland.
With a twenty-year history of art and social justice practice in Canada and Australia, Marnie’s expertise sits across socially-engaged art, the politics of cultural measurement, and participatory research methodologies.
Marnie is Vice Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow and teaches in the Art in Public Space at the School of Art, at RMIT University. Previously at the University of Melbourne, she was granted Melbourne Social Equity Institute and Early Career Researcher awards to develop her current book on ‘the social life of artist residencies’. Marnie serves as Chair for IAS International Art Space in Western Australia.
Vic McEwan is the Artistic Director of The Cad Factory, an innovative arts organisation based in regional NSW. He explores experimental and contemporary arts practice in partnership with diverse sectors.
Vic was the 2015 Artist in Residence at the National Museum of Australia and the recipient of the Inagural Arts NSW Regional Fellowship 2014/16.
Vic’s practice involves working with sound, video, installation and performance, with a particular interest in site-specific work. He is interested in creating new dynamics by working with diverse partners and exploring difficult themes within the lived experience of communities and localities.
Vic aims to use his work to contribute to and enrich broader conversations about the role that the arts sector can play within our communities. He sits on the Inagural NSW/ACT Arts/Health State Leadership Group and is a board member of Music NSW.
Ross Gibson is Centenary Professor of Creative and Cultural Research at the University of Canberra. In this role he works collaboratively to produce books, films and artworks and he supervises postgraduate students in similar pursuits.
During the early 2000s he was Creative Director for the establishment of the Australian Centre for the Moving Image at Federation Square in Melbourne. Prior to that, while working at the University of Technology in Sydney, he was a Senior Consultant Producer during the development and inaugural years of the Museum of Sydney. Over the past twelve years he has held Professorial posts at UTS and the University of Sydney
Recent works include: the books The Summer Exercises (2009), 26 Views of the Starburst World (2012) and Stone Grown Cold (2015), the video installation Street X-Rays (2005) and the serialised photographic poem, AccidentMusic, published online weekly with the Justice & Police Museum in Sydney (2010–2013).