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Lives Interrupted – Lecture and Classes at University of Wisconsin Madison

If you are in Madison on 7 November come along to hear about my research into how phones are shifting our perceptions of everyday life, theatre and our relationships.

I’ll also be visiting classes with undergraduate and postgraduate students. Looking forward to connecting with emerging artists in Madison.

Lives Interrupted: Rethinking theatre and smartphones through transmedia dramaturgy

Live theatre and funerals: the two places survey respondents report that it is inappropriate to use your smartphone. Dinner tables, classrooms, bedrooms, rock concerts and almost all other aspects of public and private life have been colonized by a device less than a decade old. Understanding why smartphones remain taboo at live theatre events reveals what is special about both media and how they function as stages of remediation in our lives.

Set within wider trans- and ‘spreadable’ media discourses and the thawing of monolithic media ownership through fan culture, this paper begins to draw parallels between developments in theatre and other media that have had to move ‘over the top’ of existing communications infrastructure to enter a digitally networked culture. If theatre is the original transmedia art form where all the signifying elements of the stage work in parallel but in proximity within an overarching mise-en-scène, then can it provide a model for understanding experiences of performance distributed across media channels more broadly?

This talk is part of an ongoing practice-led research inquiry into possible ‘transmedia dramaturgies’ of performance in proximity to smartphones. The research has already led to Vanitas a hybrid event deployed over smartphone apps, installation, real-world locations, phone calls, SMS and email that premiered at the 2016 Festival of Live Art in Melbourne.

ASTR Minneapolis November 2016

Wednesday 2 – Sunday 6 November

I am joining the Theater and Transmedia working group at the American Society of Theatre Research in Minneapolis this November. Looking forward to making contact with American colleagues. Please get in touch if you are interested in meeting up to discuss research collaborations.

My paper Towards a Transmedia Dramaturgy is my contribution to the group. Please say if you would like to read a copy.

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Arts House Talks November 2016

This November join us at North Melbourne Town Hall to meet the following great artists in conversation with me directly after their shows:

Tremor – Ashley Dyer and company –  Thursday 17 November 2016 –  More details…

Permission to Speak – Chamber Made Opera, Tamara Saulwick and Kate Neal – Thursday 24 November 2016 – More details…

 

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Welcome to Melbourne

Guest post welcoming international delegates to PSi 2016 Performing Climates July 2016 

As an immigrant to the world’s most ‘liveable’ city it is my pleasure to share a couple ideas for things to do before, after or during the conference that might give you a sense of where you have landed. Here are a couple of personal suggestions, maybe one will take your fancy.

Wominjeka, you are on Boonwurung and Wurundjeri Land…

Australia is home to the world’s oldest continuous human cultures. Taking the time to engage with the many facets of indigenous culture will provide the most distinctive and satisfyingly Australian experience of Melbourne. One of the best ways to do this as a tourist is to take a walk led by an indigenous guide, this will change the way you see the city, the faces around you and Australia’s flora and fauna. The Koorie Heritage Trust offers several walks, and I can recommend the Birrarung Falls Walk. Also The Royal Botanical Gardens offers an Aboriginal Heritage Walk through one of the finest parks in the world. If you don’t have time to book into a walk, or Melbourne’s winter is keeping you indoors, visit the First Peoples exhibition at the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Melbourne Museum, it’s brilliant.

Botanical Gardens and Shrine of Remembrance (free)

After a long flight it is good to get outside. If it is not raining head to Royal Botanical Gardens and wander until you get lost amongst the plants that are often kept in greenhouses in other countries. It is a brilliant park with trees from around the world. The Shrine of Remembrance  on the edge of the park offers stunning FREE viewing platform with arguably the city’s best vista. Almost all the trams from the university go there directly: 3, 5, 6, 8, 16, 64, 67, 72. Get off at ‘Shrine of Remberance’ or ‘Domain Interchange’. Couldn’t be easier.

Penguins and St Kilda (free)

Few Melbournians are aware that penguins can be seen in at the end of St Kilda pier at dusk. Yet somehow every new visitor and tourist knows to make the pilgrimage to encounter the Little penguins  The sunset in the water and the view back to the city is particularly impressive at dusk and you are 90% guaranteed to see a penguin. Have a walk along the wintery beach and into Claypots St Kilda for a seafood dinner afterwards. Take tram 3a, 16 and 96 to St Kilda Beach.

Flinders Lane Cocktail Crawl

What better way to see Melbourne than through a martini glass? For a true night on the tiles you only need to come to my street, Flinders Lane where I’ve lived for the last five years. Follow these simple instructions. Arrive at the 55th floor Lui Bar at 5:30pm, order a house-infused macadamia nut vodka cocktail and take your seats for sunset and the breathtaking view. Once the sun and second cocktail have gone down, so should you. Head along Flinders Lane (or catch the tram on Collins 3 stops) and attempt to find Eau De Vie a speak easy with no sign on the door, no windows and only a Narnia-esque street lamp to indicate passage to higher spirited world. It is worth searching out their brilliant flaming cocktails to shake off your winter chill. Once warmed keep going past all the tempting eateries to the very end of the Flinders Lane, and find another secret door into Hihou a brilliant, small Japanese bar, and ask for a booth. Hihou overlooks Treasury Gardens, a prime possum hangout (see Possums). Three amazing award-winning cocktail joints on one straightforward crawl.

Possums (free)

Ever met a marsupial? This is your time. You can’t come all this way without seeing one. Koalas, kangaroos, wallabies and wombats all live wild nearby Melbourne and can be easily spotted if you hire a car. But even in the city you can see a possum, which are loathed by Australians but beloved by visitors. More feline than their American cousins, and far cuter, just head out to a park at dusk and you will see them on the ground and in the trees.

Markets and Brunch

The Queen Victoria Markets sprawl between the edge of the CBD and North Melbourne. It’s huge and worth visiting to see the amazing fresh produce and to pick up a bargain from the clothes and ambient goods section, which includes souvenir stalls. There is A LOT to eat there and is an easy walk from campus. At least once in your visit you should go for a good brunch. Australians take brunch to another level with some seriously innovative thinking going into mid-day concoctions. See the separate food guide we put together for you, or search out a few of the top spots. My rank order would be The Grain Store,  Hardware SocieteAuction Rooms and Proud Mary (the last two also particularly good for coffee too).

Day Trips or Longer

If you are thinking about bigger trips I would suggest the following. The best thing to do is hire a car with some friends and take your time. But there are also organised day trips with Gray Line.

Healesville Sanctuary and Yarra Valley (animals and wine in the countryside)

See the animals at the sanctuary and then travel round the vineyards sampling as you go. Easily done in a day with one sober driver, even better to stay over somewhere with an open fire.

Great Ocean Road (animals, rainforests and beaches)

One of the finest stretches of road in the world. Get out to some unspoilt beaches, rugged cliffs, rainforest and maybe even the Twelve Apostles. It is possible to get to the Apostles and back in one long day, but better to stay over. Or just go to Cape Otway and then come back. There are a few places where you can almost always see kangaroos, koalas and platypus. Just ask if you are going.

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Hungry for Art and Social Practice: creative strategies examining the politics and performance of Melbourne food culture

Friday 8 July, 1:30- 3pm, Arts Hall, University of Melbourne

A PSi 2016 Performing Climates Curated Panel

Melbourne is not simply the city for Foodies but has also become a site of everyday art intervention exploring changing food culture in the contexts of climate change and mass migration. Within this burgeoning field, social practice artists and arts producers are using a range of affective, political, artistic and discursive strategies to engage the public, industry and consumers. Performatively staged as a live dinner party, this delicious discussion is hosted by Marnie Badham and Robert Walton examining the creative engagement strategies of three artistic projects regarding food in Melbourne. After presenting media-rich content to illustrate each project, dinner guests will discuss this burgeoning field in the context of new forms of contemporary art and social practice.

Distinguished Panel

Professor Laurie Beth Clark and Associate Professor Michael Peterson, Department of Art, University of Wisconsin discussing Foodways Melbourne.

Kendyl Rossi, Creative Projects Producer, Federation Square discussing Fed Sq Food Offerings

Angharad Wynne-Jones Artistic Director, Arts House, City of Melbourne and Tipping Point Australia discussing The Supper Club

Dr. Jen Rae, Centre for Cultural Partnerships, VCA and Dawn Weleski, Conflict Kitchen, Pittsburgh discussing Fair Share Fare

Image of Cassie at Firecracker‘s Food Body for The Supper Club: Revolting Body at Arts House 2016

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2016 Season 1 Arts House Events

Artists Q&As

Very excited to be returning to Arts House to meet the following outstanding artists whose practices I have been following for many years. Looking forward to seeing you there.

ILBIJERRI Theatre Company and Jacob Boheme, Blood on the Dance Floor (Thursday 2 June)

Melanie Jame Wolf/Savage Amusement, Mira Fuchs (Thursday 9 June)

Nic Green and Company, Trilogy (Saturday 25 June)

Dalisa Pigram & Rachael Swain of Marrugeku, Cut the Sky (Thursday 7 July)

Download the whole programme here.

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ART–FOOD–POLITICS 

The subject of what we put in our mouths – the foods, drinks, health supplements and guilty pleasures – is the famed obsession of the city of Melbourne. We are more sensitive than ever to origins and impact of our food, and aware of our small part in a bigger system of food production within a finite ecosystem. Our food choices have aesthetic, environmental, social and ultimately political repercussions – and artists around the world increasingly draw upon this rich intersection in their work.

Moving beyond dry and often hard to swallow knowledge, this event invites you to play with your food and savour new flavours of thought.

Presenters and discussants for the evening include VCA Artists in Residence Spatula&Barcode (Profs Laurie Beth Clarke and Michael Peterson, University of Wisconsin), Dawn Weleski (artist and Co-Director of Conflict Kitchen USA) and Dr Jen Rae (CCP, Refuge Project).

This event is curated and hosted by Marnie Badham, Centre for Cultural Partnerships (CCP) and Robert Walton, VCA Theatre.

When: 6–8pm Thursday 14 April 2016

Where: Founders Gallery, VCA, 234 St Kilda Rd, Southbank

Cost: FREE but bookings essential via Eventbrite.

Refreshments will be available.

A smartphone thriller told through the secret language of flowers.Created by Robert Walton and Jason Maling 20-21 May 2017, Arts House & Melbourne General CemeteryMore dates in the pipeline!

Vanitas Premieres at Festival of Live Art

2-11 March 2016

Vanitas, my new ‘smartphone thriller’ launches tonight at the Festival of Live Art at Arts House in North Melbourne.

More Information

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Launch dates for “It’s All Allowed: The Performances of Adrian Howells”

Deirdre Heddon and Dominic Johnson’s new book about the performance work of Adrian Howells will launch this year. I contributed a small chapter on Adrian’s pedagogy and can’t wait to read the rest this brilliant book cover to cover.
Launch dates:
Gilmorehill Centre, Glasgow, Saturday 18 June, 7.30pm
BAC, London, Monday 4 July, 7.30pm
Get your order in now at www.intellectbooks.com

Festival of Live Art Program is Launched

Excited to be part of this amazing biennial festival right here in Melbourne!

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