Tully Arnot Epiphytes work in progress - plants
Nutational Follies, 2017 (Dancer Eugene Choi, photography by Zak Arnot)

ACMI and the Mordant Family VR Commission present

In Conversation with Tully Arnot


This event has ended and tickets are no longer available.


Thursday 30 April 2020


A work-in-progress look at the artist's first VR commission.

Tully Arnot's work Epiphytes (working title) is the 2019 recipient of the $80,000 Mordant Family VR Commission. Epiphytes will be presented at ACMI in 2021.

Epiphytes will offer users a unique opportunity to explore the ways in which plants move and communicate through sound, sight and touch, and to speculate on forms of human–plant communication. The work is being developed in consultation with Associate Professor Monica Gagliano, a pioneering researcher of plant sentience and communication.

Join the artist, in conversation with curator Shelley McSpedden, as he presents the first work-in-progress look at Epiphytes and discusses the process of creating his first virtual reality project.

The Mordant Family VR Commission is a partnership between Catriona Mordant AM and Simon Mordant AM, ACMI and the City of Melbourne.

Tully Arnot Epiphytes work in progress
'Epiphytes' in progress


Tully Arnot is one of Australia’s leading visual artists. Arnot’s work utilises found objects, tech and the manufactured items of modern life to create absurdist sculptures and installations. His work is designed to challenge the way we interact with ourselves and technology. Arnot has exhibited across Australia, UK, Germany, Belgium, Italy, China, Russia, and New Zealand. His work has increasingly incorporated video, documentary, performance and experimental media as a means for understanding how technology mediates our relationship with the natural world. Arnot's work addresses the role of automation and simulation, often looking at robotic and less-sentient substitutes for humans and human interactions. Many of his projects investigate innovations in plant robotics, as well as emergent research into plant communication and consciousness.

Shelley McSpedden is a curator with a passion for contemporary visual art. Prior to joining ACMI, she worked across a number of visual arts organisations, including Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA) and NETS Victoria. She has also held research and teaching roles at Monash University and RMIT, and has written extensively across a range of arts publications.

Event duration

60 mins

This is a free online event

Tully Arnot and Shelley McSpedden will be online to answer any questions after the talk – just open the video in YouTube and type your questions in the chat window on the right hand side.

Watch on YouTube