Twenty twenty has been a year of extremities, marked by intense highs as well as crushing lows. Overall, I am thankful for the opportunities that have come our way, and especially Simon and I are looking forward to collaborating on the Ars Electronica Newcastle Garden guided by the talented Kristefan Minski, a long time collaborator of Ars Electronica in Austria and Australia. Simon and I are participating as artists in the Biomes exhibition curated by Bernadette Drabsch and Alex Callen. As well as performing, I am curating the Biomes Performance Experiment, a webXR room hosted on the multi-user social platform Mozilla Hubs. Alison Bennett from RMIT is already expert in this emerging platform, and she has created an incredible point cloud garden to immerse the experiment within. The artists are diverse in sonic and aesthetic force, all hailing from Aotearoa/New Zealand and Australia:
Alison Bennett (AU)
Jahkarli Romanis (AU)
Jon Drummond (AU)
Huw Jones (AU)
Nicole Carroll (US/AU)
Adam Manning (AU)
Amelia Bessenyei (AU)
Clinton Watkins (NZ)
Go Nuclear (NZ)
Rewa Wright & Simon Howden (NZ/AU)
Mum & Dad (AU)
A little press below:
And a curatorial description:
Program Title: the Biomes Performance Experiment
Theme: Post-Anthropocenic Ecology
Curator: Rewa Wright
Description: Newcastle is a city at the crossroads of ecology and technology, where an industrial infrastructure gives way to a vibrant culture of artistic experimentation. In the Biomes Performance Experiment an interdisciplinary community of artists join forces to explore the nexus of bio-art, sound and technology. In this hybrid spirit, we weave together bespoke handmade electronica, experimental software, and emergent audio-visual phenomena, in performances that generate a virtual space that is profoundly in resonance with the Post-Anthropocenic materiality of Newcastle. Following on from Australian-Italian thinker Rosi Braidotti, Post-Anthroposcenic thinking proposes that in order to live sustainably on Planet Earth, we must balance human well-being with care for the environment. In order to meet this challenge, Braidotti, Donna Haraway and others emphasise the need to reconsider our behaviour in favour of inclusive strategies that shift attention to the needs of nonhuman others. The Biomes Performance Experiment generates a series of performances connected to its own Mozilla Hubs room ( accessed through the main Biomes Newcastle Garden), a virtual crossing point at the axis of bio-art, experimental media, a meeting place for perspectives that sow the seeds of this paradigm shift.
Date and Time: As well as performances, there will be live artists discussions, scheduled during the Ars Electronica Festival, 9-13 September, all available through Ars Electronica Newcastle Garden and through the Ars Electronica Mozilla Hubs Platform. https://hubs.mozilla.com/ZaX8A9Q/biomes-performance-experiment/
What are we doing?
In collaboration with VR/XR artist Alison Bennett, First Nations artists Rewa Wright (Ngāpuhi and Te Uri o Hau) Jahkarli Romanis (Pitta Pitta), are building an intercultural series of 3D photogrammetry point cloud rooms using Mozilla Hubs as the platform, through which we can stream audio, play pre-recorded video, and host artist live telematic multi-user performances. This is the Post-Anthropocenic Ecology
of the Performance Experiment. Into these liminal and evolving mediatic spaces, a community of sound artists and electronic musicians are invited to experiment with collaborative and networked performance, to co-create a contact zone, fit for the future beyond the now.