National Experimental Arts Forum 2015

in Collaboration with Leonardo Education Arts Forum and National Institute for Experimental Arts.


Experimental Arts Q&A

We do need to have artists discussing and reflecting problematic mediaThe conversation becomes a weird binary around materialism and the immaterialvideo and sound are material

the excitement of technologies; resisting the excitement

what is missing with the rebellion

thinking about rigor, critical thinking, developing a visual vocabulary

relying on “ease”

we might like the struggle

how do we rebel against excitement to find experimentation?

beyond students, artists also have this resistance

moving away from working with the screen

doesn’t have to be working electronically

working with ipads and laptops, yes, but it’s also about whatever you’re doing with the screen, you are working in other spaces

it’s not about the technology,

the experimental is about quality of ideas, interaction, process

technology is in multiple locations

moving to socially engaged space can be experimental

learn by doing every minute

technologies of painting, the tubes of paint allowing for landscape painting

it’s what it adds to art that is the important question

tech enables, we’re the drivers, hopefully

trying to define words for what experimental might be about

developing language

developing language to empower someone to be experimental


apologia for fine arts from Paul, foreclosed by time constraints

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

changes and revolution for which we lack language

artists are the best people, the supposed lack of boundaries

to be the counterbalance to the utilitarian neoliberal purposes

biology as a test case

new ontologies and understandings

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.

some art but not all art has become iterative of itself, mimicking itself (artists looking at themselves)

Is this true?

teaching sci students sci and art students art: when students take a science course they imagine the experimentation in the lab. In an art course, getting students to experiment is harder; they have “mastered a technique” and have commercial outcome desires

chip away at their baggage? expectations?

not defining an essence of something

dematerialization in art

70s, 80s, Lippard, removing the idea of the fetishized object

what good vibes here.

experimental art in general or in relation to technology?

as an art historian, in a modern or contemporary art concept, if art isn’t experimental, it isn’t art


does all art think it’s experimental?

institutional art vs art art

no privileged medium
you could be experimental with oil painting

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

art does something new and challenges things

Chipping away needs to be done by getting rid of final exhibitions

consequence of practice based practice being put into monumental artworks

the stuff of the studio

curatorial challenges

teaching to produce something that can be shown

students of cage; they struggled after learning from how to do something new

the vast opening leaves nothing left to do

frustration at vast openings
as a scientists i do experiments all the time

looking to experimental medicine and experimental art, interchangeability

yes please

an experiment is something that can fail

sometimes failure is the result

failure can be good in both science and art

amazing and good are different words

you can do experimental art not based on technology

chipping away happens crossing between disciplines

what is art, what does it mean to the scientist/biologist?

maybe the chipping away happens in crossing the disciplines

last question


vocabulary from art epistemology

missing the vocabulary of politics

australian art, is it product oriented, europe doing philosophy, more freedom?

there is always a philosopher standing behind you, squeezing you

the core aspect is freedom to be experimental

making money means everyone stops and tries to find their line of aesthetics

different connotations of experimental

experimental tends toward new media

“with media”

experimental never came up until extra long artist residency

expectations of huge outcome

instead, changing mindset, excorcism,

wow that was a lot of stuff

we’ll try our best

we’ll circulate some things to read, comment on and edit

we look forward to outcomes of infinite nothingness and practicality

risk taking

take out taking?

half of it?

operating in the area of “I don’t know”

tough, i already wrote it down, paul

problem finding is an area of not defining too soon




let’s all quietly imagine a glass of wine

space around education and art

steam stem

problem finding : why there needs to be art in stem space

going into situations with “build a bridge” thoughts

we’ll distribute some links

ooh the wiki

you could also come find me outside the room and i’ll type it in, or you can.

thank you.

we’ll link to the interview from Paul too

we work at UNSW

Never stand still

last desperate thoughts

political about experimentation

we need to be more radical


no prescriptive pedagogy

generational differences re rebellion

what are we rebelling against?

who are the avant garde?

scientists, geoengineers have avant garde ideas

the trouble with the arts re invisibility until it’s visible

codifying art

hell bent on seeing things that resemble art

opening ourselves up to experimentation