Ionat Zurr SymbioticAWhat does it mean to teach experimental art?

From her partial perspective, SA teaches art and life, art and biology, technology is life itself

so evocative and experimental that all pedagogy at symbiotica is unpredictable

life is unpredictable

working with life ends up as a failure

we are located within the scientific school

people are taken out of their comfort zone, acquiring new languages

not about same language or agreement but about communication, agreeing to disagree

The clinician does not do the work, the students do the experiments themselves

students also come from the sciences and are introduced to the arts

“true hybrid” students

explaining to science supervisors “what is art” is the best challenge

this results in intersting expressions that are experimental, about communication

if we’re talking about this




experimental process, we don’t know the results

we have a hypothesis (do a hypothesis)

you’re not allowed to publish failures in the sciences, you are allowed to publish your failures in art

some of our failures are the best works we do

the language (verbal, in a more conceptual sense) to be able to cross disciplines

Alex White Digital Learning producer

community making, community development
projects around electronic art and experimental music

intersections of creativity and technology

who gets to have those experiences?

space between community, technology, creativity

25k students per year

modifying space continuously

connecting students remotely, supporting educators in the building

developing programs that experiment with art processes and emerging technologies

two projects (Alex, I missed the name of these artists! Please let me know LK)

distance learning program called “digital excursion”–building on established histories of distance learning to experiment with two way video connection. how could students participate in and have unpredictable experiences with an artwork remotely

experiments with conceptual powerpoint art

create experiments, not workshop

performed by art educators at MCA

discussion is followed by post excursion activities

designed for high school students

subtle critique of other artists

ideas like appropriation and materiality

a work that isn’t trying to carry a message or be representational

2) How do we approach sound and video art based programs?

Long duration, several hours

workshops take only 60-90 minutes

teaching the program rather than teaching the ideas

Adobe Premiere, how to use menus etc

militaristic modes of new media instruction

working with a developer to build a new video editing tool with a simplified interface

DJ deck setup with fade, effects, etc

No menus

no complicated steps

Another one for sound.

Tara Morelos

iMovie experiment

Dlux media arts, full purpose org supports artists (please add your text, thanks Tara!! Tough to keep up)


(Paul is a CI on this project)

sample of works from Curtin Gallery

in entirety is 12 works

materiality of works ranges across many tech and formats

education program around archive

program goes into schools

archiving experimental and revealing evidence of experimentalism through artist interviews & documentation of how artists come to work with media art

their understanding of the development of the practice in Australia

dissemination of experimentation to teachers by way of integrated modules aimed at teachers

disrupt education system

a good device for bending young minds

ed space is difficult to work within

modules use mobile devices and tech

these are common tools
workshops are process based

Experimentation makes strange with technology, culture, forms of life, grabbing these modalities and extending them into unexpected situations

new visual language

DLAB has been around since 2011, works with young women from aboriginal and rural backgrounds with little previous interest

confidence building, collaboration, role modeling

we made the way by walking it: experimental workshops draw on expertise of elders, scientists, and participants

model was brought to us by NAME (Tara, sorry I didn’t catch this! Please fill in –LK)

mobile media lab in rubbish bin (is there a picture we could use?)

drawing on our large network of history with artists etc

rolling out in 4 locations dubbo, catherine, MISSED THE REST! (Tara, sorry I didn’t catch this! Please fill in –LK)

art projects relevant to participants and unique to location

modular learning approach

identifying key skill areas

what existing skills there are

Bianca Beetson

From Dreamtime to Machine time

Student works

students resilient to doing anything beyond dot work

dot work sells


Not doing a great job with names! please help full in, Bianca, can’t see them all from my spot!

Lost language machines

Digital drawing pad works redrawing identity

identity is central to what they’re learning

making artwork out of fairy floss

push beyond skills you bring/are comfortable with and immerse in experimental processes
push from first year dots to immersive installation

smell, sound, tapestry, interesting from a male perspective

Moving from “how do” questions to “what if” questions?

what if you set it on fire, cut a hole in it, push boundaries, take risks

what do they want?

encouraging happy accidents

i love happy accidents in my department


decolonizing language

decolonizing visual and written language of the colonizer

embracing new media, accessibility, importance of accessibility

affording a camera, creating works on smartphone

working from history of located media, exhibiting from smartphone

how to work around licenses for software

creating new audiences through social media; flash mobs are frequent

art and politics class

art for art’s sake

just do it, just keep trying, doesn’t matter if it doesn’t have a deep concept

how do we develop conceptual art: through experimentation

they think they have to make work connected to history and culture

influence from contemporary space

using art as a form of nonviolent protest

mapping the indigenous art industry

what happens when an aboriginal artist makes work that “doesn’t look black enough”?

preconceived ideas of what black art is

artists have an obligation to look at history and tradition

how do we do cultural restoration through new media work

don’t resist new media

resistance is futile

we all knew then, what we know now, dots, are one of the best forms of communication

critical thinkers
Highlights from Question Time

the excitement of technologies; resisting the excitement

what is missing with the rebellion

we might like the struggle

how do we rebel against excitement to find experimentation?

it’s not about the technology,

the experimental is about quality of ideas, interaction, process

learn by doing every minute

developing language to empower someone to be experimental

if we’re thinking about experimentation it’s also about play, play with purpose

purpose seeks results, not necessarily commercial results, but for the medium itself

experimentation can involve ideas, understanding, reflection, historical reflection

artists being the ones to develop a new language that is more reflective, with different purpose.

problem finding vs problem solving

what we have learnt, is that there are endless possibilities, the inability to define art matters.

at what point do you move from problem finding to problem solving, and does that moment mean entering process rather than experimentation?

an experiment is something that can fail

sometimes failure is the result

failure can be good in both science and art

the core aspect is freedom to be experimental

we look forward to outcomes of infinite nothingness and practicality