Whether it’s speculating on the future, capturing signals from space or bathing a sausage dog, prepare to have your senses overwhelmed by UNSW Art & Design grads at the MCA Australia.  

This Friday, alumnus Dara Gill is curating Futures at the MCA ARTBAR, transforming the museum into a surreal futuristic environment where the weird and wacky collide with science and academia. This ARTBAR will get your neural pathways mutliplying, heart pumping and sci-fi imagination ever-expanding as artists, including a veritable who’s who of UNSW Art & Design graduates, play with utopias, dystopias, heterotopias and e-topias.

Did the sci-fi films of the 80s get it right? Do we even exist if we’re not online? What does the food of the future taste like? This is your chance to be part of a futuristic dance workshop, participate in a survey-based installation on a tropical island, or imagine life in 2050.

Participants from UNSW past and present include artists Vaughan O'Connor & Ben X. Tan., Michaela Gleave, Josh Harle, 110% (made up of Kieran Bryant, Beth Dillon and Lachlan Herd), UNSW CREATE, Baden Pailthorpe, Claire Finneran and Alex Kiers and academic Andrew Frost.

If you can’t make it to Futures there’s plenty of uncanny technology on display at Energies: Haines & Hinterding. This exhibition is David Haines’ and A&D alumni Joyce Hinterding’s first major museum survey, running from 25 June to 6 September.

Energies: Haines & Hinterding expands beyond the MCA’s gallery walls, with graphite antennas stenciled on the building’s glass facade, attracting electromagnetic energy from the atmosphere. Many of the works consist of television signals and radio waves connected to energies emanating from far away stars in the Milky Way.

This exhibition curated by MCA Curator and A&D graduate, Anna Davis incorporates a wide range of public engagement programs presented in conjunction with the exhibition, including artist talks, free art-making workshops, a three-day Energies in the Arts international conference co-presented with the UNSW Art & Design (13–15 August), and opportunities to trial the groundbreaking virtual reality platform Oculus Rift.

Last but by no means least, one more A&D artist is changing the MCA in weird and wonderful ways. Alumni David Capra has been commissioned to create a work for the Museum’s Jackson Bella Room in 2015.

Situated in the National Centre for Creative Learning (NCCL), the Jackson Bella Room is a dedicated, interactive space for students with specific learning needs to explore the work of contemporary artists.

David Capra’s work Teena’s Bathtime is a playful artwork that invites audiences to assist in giving the artist’s sausage dog a bath. Drawing on animal assisted therapies, the installation encourages physical participation and exploration using multiple senses.

Capra's is the fourth Bella Commission since the MCA re-opened in 2012. Previous commissioned artists and collaborators include; Emily Floyd, Hiromi Tango and UNSW A&D graduates Brown Council.