Wednesday, 23 June 2004

2004 screen gallery exhibition

As a key part of 2004, the Screen Gallery at ACMI hosts a spectacular major exhibition including a dazzling array of 15 large-scale and intimate interactive installations, screen-based and online works, and featuring specially commissioned new works by seven of Australia's leading video, gaming and new media artists.

Visitors to the 2004 exhibition at ACMI will descend into the subterranean darkness of the Screen Gallery, the largest of its kind in the world, to experience an otherworldly visual and sonic environment - from an erotically-charged interactive game, disturbing and yet glamorous fetishised characters, nightmarish visions, a food fight played out in ultra slow-motion, camp Oz-rock stereotypes and a pioneering example of the artistic and experimental artificial intelligence technology. 2004 is a stunning kaleidoscope of new media art at its most compelling.

The 2004 Screen Gallery exhibition includes works by some of the most significant artists to have emerged in the past decade including: Shaun Gladwell, Monica Tichachek, the Kingpins, Philip Brophy, Troy Innocent, David Rozetsky, and a multi-disciplinary collaborative work by indigenous artists David Dale, Jonathon Jones, andDavid Page

In addition, the exhibition features challenging and never seen before work by leading art/science collective symbioticA, a very different type of 'splatter film' by Marcus Lyall, an unsettling exploration of surveillance by Alex Davies as well as three works from 2004's Networked art program - the stunning 3D landscapes of Peter Murphy'sPanoramic VR Weblog; The Line Ahead, Zina Kaye's real-time visual representations of radio-scanned transmissions live from Melbourne Airport, and the swirling deluge of images in Tim Plaisted's Surface Browser.

According to curator Alexie Glass 'The 2004 screen gallery exhibition at ACMI has been conceived to capture the energy, spirit and diversity of the themes and ideas engaging artists living and working in Australia right now. It's fantastic to introduce audiences to new works by a select group of emerging and established artists, all of whom are working at the frontier of new technologies and screen art.'

2004 Screen Gallery exhibition highlights include:

A sci-fi writer's wet dream MEART: the semi-living artist  by SymbioticA is a part robotic, part organic installation with a 'brain'. The MEART brain is literally constructed out of 64 cultured nerve cells growing in a neuro-engineering laboratory in Atlanta (USA) and its 'body' is a robotic drawing arm capable of producing two-dimensional drawings at ACMI in Melbourne.

During the exhibition the rudimentary 'brain' and the robotic 'body' communicate with each other in real time to produce drawings of visitors. Disturbing for some and exciting for others, MEART suggests future scenarios where humans will create/grow/manufacture thinking entities, raising far reaching questions about the nature of creativity and the ethics of breeding artificial intelligence. This extraordinary display of bio-technology comes from the groundbreaking Perth-based art/science collective SymbioticA (whose controversial collaboration with Stelarc, ¼ Scale Ear, was shown at NGV in 2003)

The Body Malleable by Philip Brophy is a none-too-subtle 'digital' meditation on the sexual nature of computer games - and it gives a whole new meaning to the phrase 'hands-on'!

In this work your finger is the joystick that propels the sequences of ambiguous and sexually suggestive animations. Fusing the aesthetics of Japanese anime with quasi-modernist styled biomorphic forms, Brophy invites the viewer ever so nicely to 'please insert your finger gently'.

behind the mountain is a multidisciplinary collaboration by Darren Dale, Jonathon Jones, and David Page, three Indigenous peers - a filmmaker, a visual artist and a sound composer - raising awareness of the need for the repatriation of the remains of over 10,000 Indigenous ancestors denied proper burial rites.

Shaun Gladwell, Godspeed Verticals - Shaun Gladwell is a fascinating hybrid of professional skateboarder, video-maker provocateur and painter. Godspeed Verticals is a mesmerizing dual screen installation where time and motion are slowed down, and pared back, as BMX bikers perform gravity defying stunts within the minimalist contours of urban architecture - in carparks, train stations and public thoroughfares.

The Kingpins, The Dark Side of the Mall - art performance artists and part pranksters, the all female drag group the Kingpins are renowned for their parodies of rockers, rappers and boy banders delivered with a loud yet beguiling intelligence and humour. Set in a suburban shopping centre, Dark Side of the Mall features their MTV histrionics set to classic Oz rock hit 'Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again?' In their inimitably high camp style, they even manage to answer this track's rhetorical question with a brilliantly vulgar retort straight from the bogan's bar stool.


Media inquiries:

Brendan Wall ACMI 03 8663-2406,  0417 852 118,

Danielle Poulos ACMI 03 8663-2415, 0417 540 543,

A CD of superb high resolution images is available for media.


Principal sponsor

Ernst & Young

Exhibition Partner

John McCaughey Memorial Prize Trust

Support sponsors

Macquarie Bank

Sofitel Melbourne

Federation Square Management


Taylor Made Signs

This project has been assisted by the Commonwealth Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

Further information

Claire Butler
Communications Coordinator
[direct phone] 61 3 8663 2415 [fax] 61 3 8663 2498 [mobile] 0434 603 654
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