The Mordant Family VR Commission

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About the commission

A partnership between Catriona and Simon Mordant AM, ACMI and the City of Melbourne

In 2017, ACMI joined forces with Australian collectors and philanthropists Catriona and Simon Mordant AM, and the City of Melbourne to launch The Mordant Family Commission, Australia’s first VR and mixed reality commissioning program.

Open to mid-career and established visual artists, the Mordant Family VR Commission supports gallery-based practitioners to move into VR, encouraging experimentation and enabling the creation of ambitious artworks that push the limits of technology to engage audiences in new ways.

Awarded annually over three years, the Mordant Family VR Commission recipient will be granted $80,000 for the development and creation of a new work. Commissions will be selected by a panel of national and international industry experts including Seb Chan, chief experience officer, ACMI; Fiona Trigg, senior curator, ACMI; Mark Pesce, inventor, author, educator, broadcaster and entrepreneur; Natalie Kane, curator of digital design at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and Rebecca Coates, Director, Shepparton Art Museum, and will be co-chaired by Simon Mordant and ACMI Director and CEO Katrina Sedgwick.

Watch the info session

How to apply

Applicants must complete the application form and submit a one-page proposal outlining the project, including the form the work is likely to take; an explanation of the subject, themes and ideas, as well as details of artistic and technical collaborators.

In addition a one-page production schedule, a one-page budget and up to three examples of previous work (no more than five minutes duration).

Applications close Sunday 11 March, 2018, 11.59pm AEST.

    Applications should be submitted via email with an application form.

    The successful applicant will be announced in May 2018.


    The Mordant Family Commission supports:

    • Australian artists who have an ambitious new work using VR or other mixed reality technology

    • mid-career and established Australian artists who have a track-record working in the visual arts sector

    • projects created by individual artists or artist collaborations

    • projects that are ready to enter development and production in May 2018 and will be ready for presentation by December 2018

    Artists need to be able to commit to the production period and it must be possible for ACMI to maintain regular contact throughout the production process.

    To be classified as an Australian artist, the artist must be either:

    • born in Australia
    • in Australia as an approved temporary resident for a minimum of two years, and/or a permanent resident of Australia
    • an Australian citizen

    We will not fund projects retrospectively.

    In summary, the commission is looking for a project that:

    • is centred around mixed reality technologies

    • is ambitious and experimental

    • explores the limits of technology and audience engagement

    • is by an Australian artist or artist group

    • can begin production in May 2018 and be completed within the year

    • is by an Australian citizen or Permanent Resident.

    More information

    2017 recipient

    The inaugural Mordant Family VR Commission recipient was Dr Christian Thompson, one of Australia’s leading visual artists.

    Thompsons’ proposed work Bayi Gardiya (Singing Desert) is a bold, ambitious and new virtual reality work. In it he invites audiences to walk through the landscape of his childhood, where they will witness a simple yet profound aesthetic gesture of the artist singing in his traditional Bidjara language, a language that has been recognised as extinct.

    Learn more about his previous work here.