Art and Technology Conference 1985

The following documents are selected proceedings from the above mentioned conference.

Held in Goolwa, South Australia, August 16,17 and 18, 1985.

National Conference 1985: Program

National Art and Technology Conference 1985: Comments

National Art and Technology Conference 1985: Workshop

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3 Responses to “Art and Technology Conference 1985”

  1. Simon Biggs Says:

    The idea of this meeting was first suggested at another meeting, between myself, Peter Ellyard, Louise Dauth and Andrea Hull (Australia Council) at the EAF in about April 1984. It was the debrief meeting after the Interface exhibition (co-curated by myself and Claudio Pompili) and we were asking ourselves what next? How do we take the momentum and make it into something more structural and permanent?

    It was decided to have an away day and invite people from around the country to make it all happen. Francesca Da Rimini (who had been the curatorial assistant on Interface) had the job of putting it together. I wasn’t involved in that as I was in Sydney at the CSIRO during the period in question. I would ask Francesca about the nitty gritty of the organisation and why who was chosen, etc. Louise Dauth and Peter Ellyard had the key oversight of the whole thing, so they are the place to go for the big picture. If it wasn’t for their institutional backing, with the Australia Council in the background offering quiet support, none of this would ever have happened and ANAT would not exist.

    One correction. Frank Bendinelli and Robert (was it Robert?) Randall were there as well. I definitely remember them being there as they often took a position contrary to many others. Always useful to have another view, of course. I am not sure if Joan Grounds was there? I don’t remember the Queenslander’s being there either, but they may well have been. I seem to remember Tim Gruchy being there, but that could be a false memory. I think there were about a dozen of us. I do remember the weather was poor (very stormy) and we didn’t go to Granite Island (at least I don’t remember it – and I know it well as it is the area in which I grew up). Graham’s Castle was a guest house and small pub in the sand dunes near the beach and the wind howled the whole time we were there.

    As for what was discussed and what came out of the meeting – I am afraid my memory of that is very faint. The main point I remember was that we decided that whatever came out of the process it would not be a big institution with a lot of infrastructure but rather a light footed and adaptable network. We wanted to avoid creating a dinosaur or medialab type of thing, which could have happened if we had made that choice. I think time has proved us right in that deliberation. There were some at the meeting who wanted something more institutional in nature. Some also argued for it to be based in Sydney or Melbourne. I am not sure if we came up with the name at the meeting or not. You have the document of outcomes already up on the MASS site and that obviously contains those points that were written up. One has to assume they were the same as what we discussed and verbally agreed. I think Francesca minuted the meetings, with Louise on hand as well. Stephanie (Britton) was also very involved in that aspect of the project and was a continual presence during the discussions and planning prior to the event. Julie Lawton may have been involved as well in the organisational side of things.

    Sorry my memory of the two days is so poor. It was a long time ago and I have no notes or records to hand about it. I wonder if I ever did. I wasn’t as organised then as I am now. I had a couple of computers in my studio in 1984/85 but they were strictly for making art. I didn’t have any word-processing software and it had never occurred to me to use a computer for administrative purposes. I was an artist so why did I need to do administration ;). As I said, that as a long time ago and things change.

  2. Donald Brook Says:

    You are right. I was there. The Goolwa thing threw me. I seem to remember a cold, dismal building way out in the wilder the country somewhere in the Adelaide hills, rather than at the seaside.
    The paper I gave was, I think, the one that I attach herewith. It doesn’t seem to appear in my list of publications, and therefore (perhaps) was not published anywhere at the time. Or if it was, I never saw it, or neglected to list it.

    You are welcome to publish it if you like, although Mr Gates has made sure (through his abominable updates of Word) that some of it comes up now as garbage, especially around the footnotes.

  3. Jill Scott Says:

    Actually, I have good memories about this event. Louie Darth had invited us all to take part in the event and what came out of was that we could become the founding committee of ANAT. There was- Jean Marc Le Pechoux. Director of the Video Paint Brush Company (The Randellis and I were in the middle of being Artists-in-Residences in the famous on their Quantel Paint Box and Harry)
    Le Pechoux, The Randellis (Melbourne Film Fest), myself (COFA), and Ann Marie Chandler (UTS) and also Simon were all invited to be the Board members and we spend the next months setting the agenda. This is why there was a direct emphasis right from the beginning on “hands on* access to technology and science and we recommended that artist-in-residencies be an integral part of the ANAT future. Louise then wrote a grant for support to the Australia Council and ANAT was funded. We spent three years on the Board, before another was elected.