Art After Dark

Nite Art is back for 2014 to highlight the city’s many architectural and cultural assets once the sun goes down.

This nocturnal evening of events invites Melburnians on an after-dark walk to explore the city’s art spaces. Artist-run initiatives, curated architectural spaces and major museums across the CBD and North Melbourne are simultaneously opening their doors for one-night only on Wednesday 23 July, 2014.

A man holding a portrait of himself in front of himself

A piece shown in the TV show ‘Public Hangings’

As part of program, ACMI is presenting a special selection of moving image artworks in our Australian Mediatheque from 6pm to 10pm. Pieces have been selected from the ACMI Collection with a focus on the foundations and early work of Australian video artists.

This collection of video works, interviews and experimental collaborations have been picked from a range of sources aiming to reflect the zeitgeist of Australian video practice from 1982 to 2002. Australian video artists were and are innovative, treating video as a fluid medium by which to document, remix, appropriate, animate and explore political and social ideas.

Everything from a strong DIY ethos to video making and distributing, as well as the beginnings of cyber culture in 1990’s, make up this diverse history.

The 43 minute program of moving image artworks for the evening includes:

Dial “T” for Terror [excerpt]
Robert Randall, Frank Bendinelli, 3:55 mins, Australia, 1984

‘Randelli’ is the collective name for two artists, Robert Randall and Frank Bendinelli, who work in close collaboration. The deconstruction of popular culture film and television works is the major theme of Randelli’s work. This excerpt (a re-imagining of Alfred Hitchcock) illustrates the artists “love of the cinema and … television” and how they work to “push video into a new direction using those influences.” (1)

Body over a bright pattern

A still from the artwork ‘Dial “T” For Terror’

For Want Of [excerpt]
Jayne Stevenson, 2:17 mins, Australia, Black & White and Colour, 1984

Jayne Stevenson (former member of seminal Melbourne band Tsk Tsk Tsk) has described her work as “a crime romance story that unfolds through various styles of song”. The dark, film noir feel of the piece highlights the ambiguity of the characters desire to catch the unknown protagonist.

Give Me Liberty: Honeysmack [excerpt from Projekt No. 5]
Philip Brophy, 4:50 mins, Australia, Zomba Records, 2002

After a series of experimental mixed-media works exhibited in art and non-art contexts over many years, Philip Brophy has consolidated his interests to produce a range of audiovisual works focussing on his key interests in pop, sex and music. (2)

Jon McCormack [excerpt from Artists in Cyberculture]
Frances McGivern, Jonathan Cohen, Jon McCormack, 3:23 mins, Australia, Ronin Films, Cracked Metal Productions, 1993

An excerpt from Artists in Cyberculture – a short film in which the artists record their work at the Third International Symposium on Electronic Art, Sydney, 1992. Jon McCormack is an Australian-based electronic media artist and researcher in computing. Inspired by the complexity and wonder of a diminishing natural world, his work is concerned with electronic ‘after natures’ – alternate forms of artificial life that may one day replace the biological nature lost through human progress and development.

Computer code making artwork

A still from the film ‘Artists in Cyberculture’

Mind’s Eye
Gregory Godhard, 5:02 mins, Australia, 1998

An experimental animation made with over 1,200 photographs. The film revels in situationist surreality and takes the viewer on a roller-coaster journey through a series of locations.

On Sacred Land [excerpt]
Peter Kennedy, John Hughes, 5:20 mins, Australia, Black & White and Colour, 1983

On Sacred Land is the moving image component of an installation work designed by Peter Kennedy and featuring a large ‘history painting’ (On Sacred Land, 1983-86, oil on canvas, 270 x 840 cm, 1983-86). This work critically engages representations of ‘Aboriginality’ in a context alert to the 1980s contestation of land rights and indigenous self-determination. (3)

Repeat Performance
Robert Rooney, 3:05 mins, Australia, Silent, 1982

Robert Rooney has been one of the most significant names in Australian conceptual art since the late 1960s. Working across a range of media – from paint on canvas to still and moving image works – Rooney’s work is featured in the collections of major Australian art institutions. This hypnotic study of a human body in rhythmic movement uses repetition and changing light to create a mesmerising study of ceaseless motion.

Swell [excerpt from Projekt No. 2]
Laresa Kosloff, 2:37 mins, Australia, Silent, 2002

Laresa Kosloff makes performative videos, Super 8 films, hand drawn animations, sculpture, installations and live performance works. Her practice examines various representational strategies, each one linked by an interest in the body and its agency within the everyday. (4)

Our Potential Allies
Peter Callas, 5:41 mins, Australia, 1999

Our Potential Allies is an intuitive and ironic critique of Eurocentric belief-systems founded upon the dichotomy of self (the West) and the Other. Callas appears on the left monitor in black and white facial paint – the so-called ‘mask of primitivism’ – while compressed news imagery appears upon the right. (5)

Man in costume mirroring a monkey

A still from the piece, ‘Our Potential Allies’

Uplands Gallery [excerpt from Public Hangings – Series 1. Episode 8]
Steven Honegger, Daniel Von Sturmer and Meri Blazevski, Matthew Griffin and Anthony Hunt, 6:02 mins, Australia, 2003

Public Hangings was a local television program on the arts produced for and broadcast on community television (Channel 31) in Melbourne, Australia from 2002. Enjoying a cult following, the program – produced by Irish art critic and London gallery director, Andrew MacKenzie – roamed the streets of Melbourne in search of opening nights and visual vox pops. The program’s style made the avant garde accessible and provided an insight into a vibrant underground city culture.

This collection is fascinating viewing, so don’t miss out on your chance to stay up late in our Mediatheque and watch this specially curated program for Nite Art!

Nite Art 2014 at ACMI runs from 6pm to 10pm. Wednesday 23 July, 2014.


(1) Source: 2001, KE Software, Griffith University Art Collection. Viewed 15/07/2014 []
(2) Source: Philip Brophy [website]. Viewed 14/07/2014 []
(3) Source: Art Gallery of New South Wales. Viewed 14/07/2014 []
(4) Source: Laresa Kosloff. Viewed 15/07/2014 []
(5) Notes by Rachel Kent, reprinted courtesy of the author and d/Lux Media Arts

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