Article categories: Issue 59
January 26th, 2010

In this issue of Filter we take a look at the expanding field of locative, mobile and wireless media arts practice. Precipitated by the emergence of location-based and mobile devices, a growing body of international creative work is being influenced by the possibilities and potential of emerging portable media and technologies. Artists are utilising and expanding these technologies to create performative, visual, online and sound works that engage with issues such as place, surveillance, tracking and communication. ANAT has invited guest writers to provide an overview and introduction to the field as well as outlining some projects happening both in Australia and overseas.

ANAT has developed and supported several projects to date which engage with wireless and location-based media. In early 2004 we were part of the Blast Theory Adelaide Thinkers in Residence partnership which supported the development of the mixed-reality game I Like Frank in Adelaide. Most recently, ANAT has worked with partners SA Film Corporation, ABC New Media and Digital Services, m.Net, Adelaide Film Festival and DFEEST to present the miniSeries (creative content for mobile phones) project. We are also working with national partners dLux Media Arts and AIMIA on the Mobile Journeys program of workshops, forums and exhibition development.

Many of our members would also be aware that in December 2004 the Australia Council for the Arts announced a major organisational restructure, including the abolition of the New Media Arts and Community Cultural Development Boards. This announcement came as a complete shock and surprise to the arts sector as there had been no consultation undertaken with the sector and broader public prior to the announcement on December 8. Since the announcement, many meetings, public forums and letter writing campaigns have urged the Australia Council to provide background materials to the restructure as well as calling for a moratorium on the proposed changes.

Despite this, it appears as if the restructure is to go ahead. The decision to axe the New Media Arts Board remains surprising and shocking as the sector has a high international profile; continues to develop new audiences; supports creativity at the highest level; and develops partnerships across education, IT, science and industry. For the Australia Council to claim to be an arts catalyst, it is overwhelming that it abolishes one of its most innovative and visionary Boards.

ANAT together with the national new media arts sector are committed to maintaining and developing a dynamic and active new media arts community in Australia. We will continue to work with the many artists, artsworkers, theorists, writers, academics et al who invest their time and energy into nurturing a creative new media arts community, putting a spotlight on Australia and ultimately enriching our cultural landscape.

Julianne Pierce
Julianne was the Executive Director at ANAT from 2000 to 2005.

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