Insurgent modes for urban reconnection: Scaling, augmenting, and counter-mapping public space

Wed 9 Mar 2022

This is a past program.
ACCA Foyer

Insurgent interventions, through dance and movement, augmented reality, and counter-mapping offer radical and creative reconnection to public space.

Creative practice researchers: Prof Carol Brown, Dr Troy Innocent, and A/Prof Linda Knight, chaired by Rachel Iampolski will address how artistic practices offer insurgent modes for developing reconnection with urban spaces after a prolonged lockdown, and sustained anxiety around public spaces.

The panel will share their practical and creative approaches for being in the world and the key role that insurgent artistic modes will play in redeveloping our confidence in public space. The experimental visual art practices, digital and gestural drawing, sound art and sonic practices, walking, creative movement, performance and installations explore emotion and affect, aesthetics, the sensorial as well as conflict, tension and congestion, and activism and play in the post-pandemic urban space. Collectively the panel advocates for the generative potential of insurgent modes for urban reconnection.

Professor Carol Brown is a New Zealand born dancer, choreographer, artist-scholar and director. Her research practice focuses on site dance and expanded choreography. Carol completed one of the first practice-led PhDs in Dance (University of Surrey).  Formerly Choreographer in Residence at the Place Theatre London, her work has been sited internationally including through residencies in Barcelona, Prague, Ahmedabhad, Philadelphia and Wanganui. Her choreography has been presented by festivals including Roma Europa, Dance Umbrella, Brighton Festival, Ars Electronica and the New Zealand International Festival of the Arts. Recent works include the rooftop performance LungSong (EcoWest Festival, Auckland 2019), the interactive dance-architecture, Singularity (Ars Electronica, Linz 2017) and the site-specific performance PAH in collaboration with Gillian Whitehead and Star Gossage (Auckland Arts Festival 2015). Carol’s work has been acknowledged through a NESTA DreamTime Fellowship, the Jerwood Choreography Prize, and the Ludwig Forum International Prize. She writes regularly for peer-reviewed journals on performance, technology and space and has contributed chapters to key texts on site dance, digital dance, collaboration, and choreography. In July 2019 she was appointed Head of Dance and Professor of Choreography at the University of Melbourne.

Associate Professor Linda Knight is an artist and academic who specialises in critical and speculative arts practices and methods. Linda devised ‘Inefficient Mapping’ for fieldwork in projects informed by ‘post-‘ theories, and her book Inefficient Mapping: A Protocol for Attuning to Phenomena is published by Punctum. In her role as Associate Professor at RMIT University, Australia, Linda creates transdisciplinary projects across early childhood, creative practice, and digital media. Linda is Director of the Mapping Future Imaginaries research network, an international group of academics, designers, artists and industry specialists who undertake projects focused on our future lives and the world. Together with Jacina Leong, Linda is also a founding member of the Guerrilla Knowledge Unit, an artist collective that curates interface jamming performances between the public and AI technologies.

Linda has an extensive international profile in social practice projects commissioned by local governments and councils. Since arriving in Australia Linda has curated and produced seven children’s arts festivals including consultant curator, Out of the Box (QPAC, 2012, 2014, 2016), executive producer, QUT Art Day (2011, 2013) and executive producer, Creative Currents (Brisbane Children’s Hospital, 2015, 2017).

Linda has exhibited in Australia, UK, USA, Canada, NZ, and South America and has been awarded arts research grants and prizes worth over $770,000 with international reach and impact, most recently this includes an Australian Research Council Discovery project that designs novel technologies for framing and enabling young children’s active play.

Dr Troy Innocent is an urban play scholar, artist gamemaker and VC Senior Research Fellow in creative practice research at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia where he develops projects that connect public art, digital design, media studies and landscape architecture. He explores multiple ways of being in his works of design, sculpture, animation, sound, light and installation using methods of multiplatform storytelling that connect objects with their environment to build speculative worlds, games people can play. These worlds explore connections between language and reality, engaging with the contemporary mediascape through his unique aesthetic language that traverses geometric abstraction and digital iconography and has 25 years’ experience in gallery-based exhibitions, symposia and site-specific projects. Innocent develops augmented reality games that blend physical objects with digital interfaces to reimagine everyday urban environments in playful ways; situating his work in Aarhus, Melbourne, Bristol, Barcelona, Istanbul, Ogaki, Sydney, Tampere and Hong Kong. He is creator of 64 Ways of Being, an urban adventure platform combining audio walks and mixed realities to situate players in new experiences of place. Drawing upon posthumanist philosophy and speculative fiction, he works with the city as a material, creating experiences that ask players to reimagine, remake and reconnect with their world.

Rachel Iampolski is an emerging researcher and creative producer interested in praxis situated within the public realm. Rachel is completing a PhD at the Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University exploring the informal, citizen-led reclaiming and repurposing of public space and built urban form and teaches in the Sustainable Urban Planning faculty. She is an Early Career Advisors for Public Space at City Space Architecture, as well as a founding member of the Alliance of Praxis Research. With a strong interest in praxis and creative research outputs, drawing on a Masters of  Arts and Cultural Management, Rachel works as a freelance producer and curator exploring creative works that intersect public space, having most recently produced events at First Site Gallery, MPavillion, the Festival of Urbanism and Melbourne Design Week. She established and leads the creative and tactical urbanism platform, Public Street, which explores the role and politics of urban space through walks, reading groups, spatial interventions, and publication.