Jill Bennett is Professor of Experimental Arts and founding Director of NIEA and has been Associate Dean Research, College of Fine Arts since 2006.
A writer and curator, she has published widely on visual culture, new media and transdisciplinary aesthetics. Her research is particularly focused on aesthetics (broadly understood as the analysis of sensori-affective perception and interaction) and its 'practical' deployment both in art/exhibitions and in social and scientific areas beyond traditional art practice. Her latest book is Practical Aesthetics: Events, Affects and Art After 9/11 (IB Tauris, Radical Art: Radical Aesthetics, 2012), for which she received the Sterling and Francine Clark Fellowship (Clark Institute, Massachusetts) in 2009 and an ARC Discovery Grant.
Her previous books include Empathic Vision (Stanford UP), a study of art and traumatic events and several monographs on new media art. In 2011 she published Living in the Anthropocene, an essay-monograph on the cultural aspects of Anthropocene, for Documenta13 (Kassel, 2012) and its 100 Notes series. She is currently working on a series of cross-disciplinary curatorial projects in this area, including with Synapse:The International Curators' Network and the Haus der Kulturen Der Welt, Berlin.
Jill's research on sensori-affective experience and interactivity has led to collaborations with the Creative Robotics Lab (NIEA and Australian Centre for Field Robotics, University of Sydney) and the iCinema Centre for Interactive Cinema. She is author of the monograph, T_Visionarium: a User's Guide on iCinema's immersive interactive virtual environment and is currently collaborating on further ARC projects with iCinema, including Atmoscape, an immersive interactive modelling of atmosphere.
Jill leads the Curating Cities ARC Linkage Project with the City of Sydney council, Object: Australian Centre for Design, University of Cincinnati and Carbon Arts. Growing out of the 2010 HotHouse symposium on art and ecology at the Sydney Opera House, Curating Cities develops experimental public art, promoting urban sustainability. In 2011 the project develoepd a series of curated exhibitions, workshops/conferences and school/student initiatives, including Curating Cities:Sydney-Copenhagen (Customs House, Sydney) launched by Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore, the Lord Mayor of Copenhagen and the Crown Prince and Princess of Denmark. As part of this project, Jill is co-authoring (with Saskia Beudel) Imagining Sydney (UNSW Press), a book that will provide a brief for interdisciplinary public art/media art labs in 2012.
Through NIEA, Jill convenes regular international conferences. In 2012, these included Sense of Planet, which is the basis of a forthcoming book edited with Professor Douglas Kahn. Other book projects in production include Thinking in the World with Mary Zournazi.
In addition to Curating Cities:Sydney-Copenhagen (2011), Jill's curated exhibitions include REAL Emergency (2009) and Prepossession (Sydney and Belfast, 2005).
Jill has been a member of the Australian research Council’s College of Experts (since 2010), a member of ERA Evaluation Committee (2009), and a recipient of the VC’s award for Excellence in Postgraduate Supervision (2007). She previously founded the Centre for Contemporary Art and Politics at UNSW, and was COFA's inaugural Director of Postgraduate Research from 2002-2006.
Dennis Del Favero is an ARC Australian Professional Fellow at the College of Fine Arts and the Faculty of Engineering, Director of the iCinema Research Centre and Deputy-Director of the National Institute for Experimental Arts at UNSW, Visiting Professorial Fellow at ZKM, Germany, Visiting Professor at University IUAV of Venice, Italy and Visiting Senior Fellow at City University Hong Kong. He has held numerous solo exhibitions including at the Sprengel Museum Hannover, ViaFarini, Milan and Neue Galerie, Graz, and participated in major group exhibitions including Battle of the Nations War Memorial, Leipzig (joint project with Jenny Holzer), Biennial of Seville, and the International Film Festival Amsterdam. He is editor of the Digital Arts Edition published by Hatje Cantz, Germany and is currently a member of the Australian Research Council ERA panel for the Humanities and the Creative Arts and of the Australia Council Visual Arts Board. He also a Board member of the National Institute for Experimental Arts. He is currently engaged in interdisciplinary art and science research projects that aesthetically explore the dynamic relationship between human and non-human systems through the experimental reformulation of animal, atmospheric and landscape imaging using digital media, undertaken in collaboration with UNSW Centre for Autonomous Systems, Centre of Excellence in Climate System Science, SBS Online Television, Museum Victoria, ZKM Centre for Art and Media Germany, City University Hong Kong and the University of Pittsburgh.
Professor Ross Rudesch Harley is the Head of School of Media Studies, the Deputy Director and a Board Member of the National Institute for Experimental Arts. He is an artist, writer, and educator in the field of new media and popular culture. His work crosses the bounds of media art practice, cinema, music, design, and architecture. His video and sound work has been presented at the Pompidou Centre in Paris, New York MoMA, Ars Electronica in Austria, and at the Sydney Opera House.
Terry Smith , FAHA, CIHA, is Distinguished Visiting Professor at the National Institute for Experimental Arts, University of New South Wales and Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Contemporary Art History and Theory in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Pittsburgh.
Professor Smith is in residence at NIEA each winter, when he runs master classes and seminars. He is working on the Australian Research Council ARC funded iLand project with Professor Dennis Del Favero. and the iCinema Centre investigating the relationship between landscape and climate change by building the world's first networked landscape visualisation system.
He is the 2010 winner of the Franklin Jewett Mather Award for art criticism conferred by the College Art Association (USA), and in 2011 received the Australia Council Visual Arts Laureate Award. During 2001-2002 he was a Getty Scholar at the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, and in 2007-8 the GlaxoSmithKlein Senior Fellow at the National Humanities Research Centre, Raleigh-Durham. From 1994-2001 he was Power Professor of Contemporary Art and Director of the Power Institute, Foundation for Art and Visual Culture, University of Sydney. He was a member of the Art & Language group (New York) and a founder of Union Media Services (Sydney). During the 1970s he was art critic at these Australian newspapers: Weekend Australian, Nation Review, Times on Sunday; he continues to write for art journals and magazines throughout the world. A foundation Board member of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, he is currently a Board member of the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh and a Board member of the National Institute for Experimental Arts (NIEA) at COFA, UNSW.
Smith is the author of a number of books, notably Making the Modern: Industry, Art and Design in America (University of Chicago Press, 1993; winner of the inaugural Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Prize 2009); Transformations in Australian Art, volume 1, The Nineteenth Century: Landscape, Colony and Nation, volume 2, The Twentieth Century: Modernism and Aboriginality (Craftsman House, Sydney, 2002; joint winner of the Art Association of Australia and New Zealand Book Prize, 2003); The Architecture of Aftermath (University of Chicago Press, 2006), What is Contemporary Art? (University of Chicago Press, 2009), Contemporary Art: World Currents (London: Laurence King; Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice-Hall, 2011 and 2012), and Thinking Contemporary Curating (New York: Independent Curators International, 2012).
He is editor of many other books including In Visible Touch: Modernism and Masculinity (Power Publications and the University of Chicago Press, 1997), First People, Second Chance: The Humanities and Aboriginal Australia (Australian Academy of the Humanities, 1999), Impossible Presence: Surface and Screen in the Photogenic Era (Power Publications and the University of Chicago Press, 2001), with Paul Patton, Jacques Derrida, Deconstruction Engaged: The Sydney Seminars (Power Publications, 2001; Japanese edition, Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 2005), Contemporary Art + Philanthropy (University of NSW Press, 2007), and with Nancy Condee and Okwui Enwezor, Antinomies of Art and Culture: Modernity, postmodernity and contemporaneity (Duke University Press, 2008).
Douglas Kahn is Professor of Media and Innovation at the National Institute of Experimental Arts (NIEA), the University of New South Wales. Until recently, he was Professor in Science and Technology Studies, and Founding Director of Technocultural Studies at the University of California, Davis.
Kahn is a historian and theorist of the media arts with concentrations in sound, electromagnetism, and natural media. He is author of Earth Sound Earth Signal: Energies and Earth Magnitude in the Arts (University of California Press, 2012); Mainframe Experimentalism (University of California Press, 2012); Noise, Water, Meat: A History of Sound in the Arts (MIT Press); editor of Wireless Imagination: Sound, Radio and the Avant-garde (MIT Press); and Source: Music of the Avant-garde, 1966-1973 (University of California Press).
Associate Professor Mari Velonaki has worked as an artist and researcher in the field of interactive installation art since 1995. Mari has created interactive installations that incorporate movement, speech, touch, breath, electrostatic charge, artificial vision and robotics. In 2003, Mari's practice expanded to robotics, when she initiated and led a major Australian Research Council art/science research project 'Fish-Bird: Autonomous Interactions in a Contemporary Arts Setting' in collaboration with robotics scientists at the Australian Centre for Field Robotics.
In 2006 Velonaki co-founded, with Dr David Rye, the Centre for Social Robotics, a centre dedicated to interdisciplinary research into human-robot interaction in spaces that incorporate the general public. In 2007, Mari was awarded an Australia Council for the Arts Visual Arts Fellowship and in 2009 she was awarded an ARC Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship.
Associate Professor Velonaki is the director of the recently established Creative Robotics Lab at NIEA. The Creative Robotics Lab will provide a cross-disciplinary research environment dedicated to understanding how humans can interact with mechanical and robotic devices within the context of experimental arts and social robotics.
Velonaki’s artworks have been exhibited worldwide, including: Victoria & Albert Museum, London; National Art Museum Beijing; Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Korea; ZENDAI Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai; Wood Street Galleries, Pittsburgh; Millennium Museum - Beijing Biennale of Electronic Arts; Ars Electronica, Linz; Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art; Conde Duque Museum, Madrid; European Media Arts Festival, Osnabrück; Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand; Arco, Madrid; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; Queensland Art Gallery/GOMA; Art Gallery of New South Wales; Ton-Build-Spektakel, Zurich; Aros Aarhus Museum of Modern Art, Denmark.
David Silvera Tawil was born in Mexico City where he obtained his BE (1st Class) in Electronics and Telecommunications at the Universidad Iberoamericana (2002). He received a MEngStud (Hons) in Mechatronics (2007) and a PhD in artificial skin and human robot interaction (2012) from the Australian Centre of Field Robotics at The University of Sydney. Dr Silvera Tawil was awarded with the highest score for the BE in Electronics and Telecommunications degree in 2002, best student project at the EDN innovation awards in 2007, the Australian postgraduate award in 2008, best paper at the Australasian Conference of Robotics and Automation in 2009 and best presentation in The University of Sydney student conference in 2011. David is currently a Postdoctoral fellow at the Creative Robotics Lab at NIEA, The University of New South Wales. Dr Silvera Tawil's long-term research interests are in the area of human-robot interaction, humanoids and—in particular—social robotics. He aims for humans and robots to share the same physical space, interacting and communicating in similar, intuitive ways and working, helping and cooperating as peers to achieve both shared and independent goals. His current research David’s previous research involved interactive interfaces, remote laboratories for distance learning, artificial robotic ‘skin’ and touch interpretation in human-robot interaction.
Personal Website. https://www.sites.google.com/site/silveratawil/
Dr. Jennifer Biddle is ARC Future Fellow and Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Contemporary Art and Politics (CCAP), in the National Institute for Experimental Arts (NIEA) She is founding Coordinator of the PhD program in Visual Anthropology/Visual Culture at the College of Fine Arts, a leading national program specializing in practice-led Indigenous and Asia Pacific research. She is a visual anthropologist of Aboriginal art, language, emotion and culture. Her interdisciplinary research and writing spans the fields of linguistics, ethnology, art theory, philosophy and ficto-criticism.
Dr Biddle has conducted fieldwork with Warlpiri in Central Australia for over twenty years. Her first book breasts, bodies canvas: Central Desert Art as Experience (UNSW Press) provides a groundbreaking analysis of the vital role that women artists have played in the Papunya Tula art movement, and the ‘feminisation of the Dreaming’ taking shape. Her current ARC Future Fellowship project entitled Remote Avant-garde: Experimental Indigenous Art undertakes an ambitious, multifaceted comparative analysis in order to identify how experimentation is enabling art to communicate directly with global audiences and markets. In 2012, in partnership with desArt, she co-convened the first national forum on experimental art practice in Desert arts Same but Different: experimentation and innovation in Desert Arts, a now annual event, see: http://www.niea.unsw.edu.au/events/20130219/same-different-experimentation-and-innovation-desert-arts-ii
Felicity Fenner is an Australian curator of contemporary exhibitions including Primavera 2005 at Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art, Handle with Care, the 2008 Adelaide Biennial of Australia Art and Once Removed, Australia's group exhibition at the 2009 Venice Biennale. She is a contributing editor of Art Asia Pacific and publishes regularly in a variety of journals including Art in America, Art and Australia and Artlink.
At the University of New South Wales, Felicity is Chief Curator at the National Institute for Experimental Arts, Deputy Director of the Centre for Contemporary Art and Politics and Senior Lecturer in the School of Art History and Art Education. She has been a member of the City of Sydney’s Public Art Advisory Panel since its inception in 2007 and is completing a PhD on recent curatorial strategies in major international exhibitions.
Brenda L Croft is from the Gurindji/Malngin/Mudpurra peoples in the Northern Territory on her paternal side, and Anglo-Australian/German/Irish heritage on her maternal side. She has been involved in the arts and cultural sectors for three decades as an artist, arts administrator, curator, academic and consultant. Since March 2012 Brenda has been a Senior Research Fellow with the National Institute for Experimental Arts, College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales. In 2011, Croft was awarded an Australian Research Council Discovery Indigenous Award 2012 and is currently undertaking her PhD.
Still in my mind: Gurindji experience, location and visuality draws inspiration from the words of revered Gurindji elder and kadijeri (senior law man), Vincent Lingiari, ‘that land... I still got it on my mind’, a profound statement reiterating his deep commitment to his Gurindji/Malgnin peoples and their customary homelands on Wave Hill in the Northern Territory. On 23 August 1966, alongside his compatriots, Lingiari led the ‘Gurindji Walkoff’ commencing an 8 year-long strike by Aboriginal stockmen and their families working at Wave Hill Station, owned by British Pastoral Company Vestey’s.
A retelling of this story from an Indigenous perspective forms the basis of this project, Croft is a direct descendant of these senior Gurindji/Malgnin elders and these familial relationships underline the significance of this project in ensuring that living family members maintain Indigenous cultural practices of obligation and responsibility for transmitting knowledge through kinship connections.