Experimenta, one of Australia’s leading media arts organisations, is dedicated to showcasing dynamic and challenging contemporary art that intersects with digital media, science, technology, and design, has announced its first major artist commissions for the upcoming Experimenta Make Sense: International Triennial of Media Art.

The selected artists are collaborative practitioners, UNSW Art & Design Associate Professor, Anna Munster and Senior Lecturer, Michele Barker; Melbourne-based artist, Antoinette J. Citizen; and Sydney-based sound artist, Gail Priest.

From a competitive field of more than 80 high calibre proposals, Experimenta’s Artistic Director, Jonathan Parsons, says that “the selected works display an imaginative response to the curatorial theme and demonstrate the creativity and vibrancy of the Australian media arts sector.”

Anna & Michele, Antoinette, and Gail’s works will tour galleries and arts centres across Australia from 2017-2020 as part of Experimenta’s next triennial. In the words of Michele and Anna “Experimenta’s dedication and partnerships with leading public art museums and galleries across Australia means that artists such as ourselves have a fantastic opportunity to reach new audiences with work that is fresh, thoughtful, and enabled by new media and technologies.”

For this major touring show, Anna and Michele are creating an immersive, sub-aquaticscape installation titled pull, the goal of which is to transform audience bodily perceptions of time and space by referencing the essential and powerful pull of ocean tides. 

Michele sets the scene of the work by saying “imagine you’re at the beach swimming and a large wave forms. Just as it’s about to break, you dive deep, pulled below. But your senses instantly change – being under the wave is so different from the airy milieu only meters above. There is calmness, viscosity, a pounding silence and an energy, transforming the sensing body in this submerged moment. Time expands; body, breath and the watery environment bend and diffract. Suddenly, the wave breaks and you return to the surface, air, and your body’s habitual rhythms.”  

pull will be presented through a multi-channel, audiovisual installation that draws out the experience of this one all-encompassing moment. To re-enforce the sense of being pulled underwater, the installation will present the moment from two different perspectives: the filmic one – shot underneath a wave – and the capture of that experience as motion-tracked data.  Without narrative, and designed as two seamless replays of that moment, the visual and sonic elements will produce highly cinematic and mesmeric experience.

Experimenta Make Sense: International Triennial of Media Art will tour nationally from 2017-2020.