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March 30: Mike Cooper & Kellie O’Dempsey

I’m very pleased to announce that lap-steel guitar maestro Mike Cooper will be performing at Southern Cross University in Lismore on March 30th. Mike’s performance will be preceded by renowned artist and live drawing performer Kellie O’Dempsey.

Mike’s performance will be accompanied by live visuals by SCU media artist Associate Professor Grayson Cooke, and Kellie’s performance will be accompanied by live electronic sound by SCU music lecturer Dr Matt Hill.

This FREE performance will take place at 8pm on March 30th in the Whitebrook Theatre on SCU’s Lismore campus.

Mike and Kellie will also give a masterclass and research symposium the next day, Friday March 31st, at 10am in Studio One29 on the SCU Lismore Campus. Both events are free and open to the public.


About the Performers

Photo: Greg Weight

Mike Cooper plays lap steel guitar and sings, he is an improviser and composer, song-maker, a visual and installation artist; film and video maker and radio arts producer. For the past 50 years he has been an international artistic explorer  constantly pushing the boundaries of improvisation and performance. Initially a folk-blues guitarist he is as responsible as anyone else — and more so than many — for ushering in the acoustic blues boom in the U.K. in the mid ’60s. He ranges freely through free improvisation, his own idiosyncratic original songs, electro-acoustic music, exotica, traditional country blues, folk, pop songs, and ‘sonic gestural’ playing utilising open tunings, extended guitar techniques and electronics.



Photo: Kellie O’Dempsey

Kellie O’Dempsey: Focusing on live art and performance drawing, Kellie O’Dempsey develops inclusive, site-specific installations and performances. Hybrid in form, works can incorporate projection, video, collage, architectural space, gestural line, performance and digital drawing; her interdisciplinary approach experiential and emergent. Creating in both solo and in collaborative formats with sound artists and contemporary dance practitioners, this diverse practice investigates notions of transformation through improvisation and happenstance. O’Dempsey’s public and private production enables an inclusive form of cultural interaction via performance and play.  The performance drawing works invite the audience to engage directly with the visceral process of making. Kellie’s performances include; Art after Dark, Pier2/3 18th Biennale of Sydney, MONA FOMA, Hobart, and The Firehouse, New York, White Night Melbourne Group shows include: 2014: Is this Art?- dLux Arterial Gallery, Sydney/ A general map of caves, Hawkesbury Regional Gallery NSW/ Finalist, Sunshine Coast Art Prize 2013: Drawn to experience, POP Gallery Queensland College of the Arts. Kellie is currently completing a Doctorate in Visual Arts at Queensland College of Art in Brisbane.

UNSETTLED Crowdfunding is GO!

For the past 18 months, I’ve been working with Dea Morgain on a project in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia. The Flinders is an incredible area – on the edge of the outback, surrounded by saltbush and salt-lakes, the Ranges are these massive crusts that rise out of the plains. The Flinders are areas of immense importance to the Indigenous people of that area, the Adnyamathanha people, and they were also the site of very intense colonial usage in the 19th century.

Given the region is filled with ghost towns and the crumbling remains of 19th century buildings, our project takes the figure of colonial ruin as a way in to re-assessing the stories we as Australians tell ourselves about our colonial past. We’re partnering with the State Library of South Australia and the Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association, and plan to exhibit the project at the State Library in Adelaide in 2017.

And we’re raising funds to make this happen. Maybe you can help?

We have been offered MATCH funding from the Australian Cultural Fund, who will match whatever we raise from a crowdfunding campaign up to $10,000 – providing we hit the target…! So – view the video above and CLICK HERE for the campaign website.

“AgX” exhibition at Brenda May Gallery, Sydney

bmg_agxI’m very excited to announce that next year, both “AgX” films will be exhibited at the Brenda May Gallery in Sydney. One of the few Sydney commercial galleries who focuses on media arts, the Brenda May Gallery features video works in their “black box projects” space, and come January 29, “AgX” will open as part of their gala exhibitions opening 2016. Details on the “AgX” showing at the gallery can be found here.

“Frack” up for Screengrab media art award

screengrabI’m very happy to announce that my virtual fracking project “Frack” is to be exhibited in the Screengrab International Media Arts Award in December. Convened by Mitch Goodwin from James Cook University, this is the 7th year this award has been run, one of Australia’s few major forums for the celebration of media arts. Shortlisted works will be exhibited at Pinnacles Gallery in Townsville QLD between December 2015 – February 2016.

Music video for “Trick or Treating” by The Moviolas

I’m very pleased to announce that the music video I’ve produced for The Moviolas “Trick or Treating” has now been released.

The Moviolas is a project by Phil Hayward and Waldo Garrido to produce music inspired by the soundtracks to horror films. I’m involved producing visual materials for the project, which will soon involve live performance as well as music video. The album, “Dark Shadows”, is now available on High Res Audio at:

WRO Media Art Biennale

wro2015Very freaking excited that my “AgX” work is being shown in the WRO Media Art Biennale in Wrocław, Poland. The biennale opened May 13th, and runs until June 30th. Since its first edition in 1989, the WRO Media Art Biennale has been a major European forum for experimentation and discussion of media art, exploring new and emerging themes in contemporary culture and technology. This year’s edition, “Test Exposure”, is no exception, featuring over 150 artists from all around the world. Showing “AgX” in its full dual-screen manifestation in such a context is a huge privilege – and if i wasn’t already in the middle of marking and too many student enquiries and heading off to New Zealand to perform The Ice Suite at a Steampunk Festival, I’d be in Poland drinking vodka and looking at amazing art!

“AgX” at Currents New Media festival in Santa Fe


2015 is a good year to be melting photographs with acid: the “Agx” project has just been accepted into the Currents New Media Festival in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I’m very excited to be taking part in this festival, it’s a really innovative exploration of media installation and performance, all wrapped up in the rich space of New Mexico’s desert environment. Not sure yet if I’ll be able to make it over, but hopefully? Maybe? Santa Fe has a fake Western town used as a set for Hollywood Westerns, the Bonanza Creek Ranch! I NEED to visit!

AgX international exhibition – Taiwan and Berlin

Upcoming excitingness: my “AgX” project is about to receive two international screenings/exhibitions. Unknown

Firstly, one of the videos from the AgX project, “HNO3” (the strong acid sequence!), will be exhibited in Taipei in the 4th Taiwan International Video Art exhibition, which opens at the Hong-Gah Museum on October 31. An appropriate date no doubt, given the this year’s theme of the exhibition is “The Return of Ghosts.” This looks to be a fantastic exhibition with an incredible stable of international artists taking part.And I’m super excited to actually be going to Taipei to check it out!

And secondly, the OTHER AgX video, “H2O2”, will be screened in Berlin in early November, as part of the STATE Experience Science festival, the theme for which this year is STATE of Time. My film has been curated into this festival by New York’s Imagine Science Film Festival.

Seems like it is a good time to be destroying photographic negatives with acid…

Live A/V in Australia – ebook

The ebook version of my “Live A/V in Australia” project has just been published by UTS ePress. LIVEav_0This is a free downloadable e-publication available in iBook or PDF format, it contains writings about the issues facing practitioners of live audio-visual performance in Australia, plus video interviews with practitioners (hence it is about a 400-meg download). It is published as part of the MediaObject journal’s dedication to “exploring and documenting practice-based projects not based primarily in text.” Check it out!

Down Under Berlin – Outback and Beyond Performance

logo_leftThe Outback and Beyond show is continuing its various international manifestations in the coming weeks – most particularly with a performance at the Down Under Berlin: Australian Film Festival, which is happening in Berlin on the 12th-15th of September.

Mike Cooper and I will be performing the show at the Kino Moviemento cinema, Kottbusser Damm 22, 10967 Berlin. The performance is on Saturday 14th September at 8.15pm in Cinema 3.

We are also performing the show a week earlier in Oslo, as part of The Dream That Kicks performance series curated by media artist Greg Pope. This performance will be on 8th September at the Norsk Filminstitut Cinemateket.

Outback and Beyond wins award in Japan Media Arts Festival

It’s official: the “Outback and Beyond” show I do with Mike Cooper has won a New Face award in the ‘Art’ category of the Japan Media Arts Festival. In February 2013 we will be travelling to Tokyo to accept the award and perform the project at the festival. VERY EXCITED!

The Japan Media Arts Festival is a major festival run by the Japanese Agency of Cultural Affairs each year, developed “to promote the creation, development and understanding/awareness/appreciation of Media Arts.” This is the 16th year it has been running, and this year it received over 3500 entries. View more details here.

The “after | image” project

I’m working on a project with my colleague Amanda Reichelt-Brushett, an artist and environmental scientist. It’s an “archive destruction” project – we are taking time-lapse macro photography of photographic negatives being destroyed by acid. The “archive” we are working with is my collection of negatives from when I studied photography at high school, the remnant evidence of my youthful obsessions, ripe for dissolution by way of sulphuric acid and hydrogen peroxide…

More info on the project’s page: click here.

Kellerman: EXPANDED

I performed a new work recently at the 2011 SICRI Small Island Cultures Conference in Airlie Beach. This work is “Kellerman: EXPANDED,” a meditation on the undersea films of Australian champion swimmer and silent film star, Annette Kellerman. In this show, I’m mixing some Kellerman films (one starring her from the 1920s, and another one that is a biopic from the 1950s) plus other footage, to a soundtrack mixing excerpts from Mike Cooper’s “Rayon Hula” CD (available on Room40: with songs from Phil Hayward’s “Tidelines” CD on the music of the Whitsunday Islands.

The show also features audio recordings of conference attendees talking about their experiences underwater, AND, even more exciting, it features live silent-film inter-titles provided by the audience using RSS feeds; I’m using a re-jigged version of the RSS Quartz patch in VDMX to capture blog comments written by the audience in real time, and I’m mixing them in to the film as they arrive. So, all the inter-titles you see on the video below have been supplied by the audience in real time.