Testing Grounds

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Testing Grounds

Upcoming Calendar
Testing Grounds

Filter Events: [ architecture + ] [ art critiques + ] [ artist collective + ] [ arts event + ] [ black box + ] [ buying time residency + ] [ canopy + ] [ choreography + ] [ clear box + ] [ collaboration + ] [ community + ] [ connect9 + ] [ dance + ] [ design + ] [ development work + ] [ discursive project + ] [ education + ] [ endurance art + ] [ exhibition + ] [ feminism + ] [ festival + ] [ film + ] [ first nations + ] [ for Kids + ] [ fringe + ] [ grounds + ] [ installation + ] [ kids workshop + ] [ LGBTQIA+ + ] [ Melbourne International Comedy Festival + ] [ music + ] [ open box + ] [ performance + ] [ performance art + ] [ photography + ] [ pre-festival residency + ] [ projection + ] [ public art + ] [ queer + ] [ research project + ] [ residency + ] [ shadow + ] [ site-specific + ] [ sound art + ] [ spoken word + ] [ student + ] [ theatre + ] [ vca + ] [ video art + ] [ visual artist + ] [ visual art + ] [ white box + ] [ workshop + ] [ writing + ] [ yirramboi + ] Select 

0051

Zone Four

Peter Blackburn

Performance

10.11.16 - 20.11.16

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Peter Blackburn
0051
10.11.16 - 20.11.16

Zone Four was a performance about young people and their relationship to art, authority and the transit system. Four new staged works by young writers mentored through ATYP’s Fresh Ink initiative included We Apologise by Georgia Symons, You Love It by Holly Brindley, Top Up by Fiona Spitzkowsky and Platform 13 by Angus Cameron.

The project utilised the entire site, prior to the official opening of Testing Grounds. It was directed by Peter Blackburn as part of the VCA Directors’ Season 2016.

clear box ][ grounds ][ performance ][ student ][ vca ]

Zone Four performance in Clear Box. Image: Lachlan Woods

Performers in Clear Box. Image: Lachlan Woods

0057

Transition

Yandell Walton

Projection

25.11.16 - 12.12.16

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Yandell Walton
0057
25.11.16 - 12.12.16

Yandell Walton combines architectural space with the projected image, merging the actual and the virtual. Often creating site-specific work for non-traditional and public spaces, she investigates notions of impermanence in relation to environmental, social and political themes. History, time and the traces we leave behind us have previously been explored through a series of works that focus on the movement of light and figures through architectural space. This commission for Testing Grounds, Transition, further developed this body of work, projecting moving bodies across the barn doors of the Clear Box, giving the site the sense of being occupied even when empty.

0056

Untitled

Andrew Atchison

Installation

25.11.16 - 09.12.16

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Andrew Atchison
0056
25.11.16 - 09.12.16

Installed in time for the Testing Grounds re-opening celebration, Andrew Atchison’s over-size sculptural mobile hung from the overhead structure of the site over three weeks. The free, endless movement and recombination of the various elements around a central anchor point was inspired by the idea of complexity within individuals.

 

 

canopy ][ grounds ][ installation ]

0058

Thinking Out Loud

Michael Prior

Installation

25.11.16 - 12.12.16

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Michael Prior
0058
25.11.16 - 12.12.16

Michael Prior automates material to create self-generating compositions of motion and sound. Relationships between sculptural elements grow through rhythm and chance, speaking to people’s fundamental impulses to interpret patterns. The artist is interested in the aesthetics of transduction: the transfer of energy from one form into another, the visual and sonic potentials of these events and their composition into works of art.

Over several weeks of development during the building of the new Testing Grounds site, Michael improvised site-responsive sculptural works, taking cues from the new structures, the weather, the sonic position and other people present. The works were on display for the re-opening celebration.

installation ][ white box ]

0052

Formation Evaporation

Rebecca Jensen

Performance

25.11.16

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Rebecca Jensen
0052
25.11.16

Formation Evaporation was a dance work choreographed by Rebecca Jensen and performed by an ensemble of participants at the reopening celebration for Testing Grounds.

grounds ][ performance ]

Formation Evaporation

0053

Jesus! Live! Here! Tonight! #1 (Spinning)

Kat Henry

Performance

25.11.16

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Kat Henry
0053
25.11.16

Jesus! Live! Here! Tonight! #1 (Spinning) was the first of a trilogy of long durational works directed by Kat Henry, featuring an ensemble of performers who undertook the singular activity of spinning on the spot for the duration of 60 minutes. This arduous task was set to a specifically composed piece of music by S.S. Sebastian. The work asked both its performers and audience to consider the transcendent possibilities created by acts of extreme physical endurance over long periods of time. It was performed as part of the Testing Grounds re-opening celebration in November 2016.

0057

Impermanence

Yandell Walton

Projection

25.11.16 - 12.12.16

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Yandell Walton
0057
25.11.16 - 12.12.16

A commission for Testing Grounds by projection artist Yandell Walton, Impermanence responded to the unique site and combined sculptural installation with video projection. Set up in the back section of the shipping container section of the Clear Box, Impermanence projected images of dance and movement against a besser-brick wall.

The work extended on Walton’s practice which combines architectural space with the projected image, merging the actual and the virtual. Often creating site-specific work for non-traditional and public spaces, she investigates notions of impermanence in relation to environmental, social and political themes. History, time and the traces we leave behind us have previously been explored through a series of works that focus on the movement of light and figures through architectural space.

0054

The Departure: The Hunt

The Hunt

Performance Art

25.11.16

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The Hunt
0054
25.11.16

The Hunt descended on Testing Grounds and performed a solo show in the Black Box – a slow-moving ritual of sustained horror and breathtaking transformation.

The Hunt is musician Christopher Gray, designer Grace Purton-Long and performer Bridget Mackey.

The Hunt combines industrial noise, performance and lights to create a dark and shifting world that disrupts the comforts of the human realm.  The trio engages the audience’s senses to create a visceral live experience. Since their first show in 2015, The Hunt has performed at various galleries and events in Melbourne, Australia.

'The Departure' by The Hunt

0055

Studio Exhibition 2016

SAE

Exhibition

16.12.16

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SAE
0055
16.12.16

School of Audio Engineering (SAE) took over Testing Grounds showcasing the work of their talented students. A night of celebration included sound and music, photography and video, installations, print media and more. 

0023

Plane and Field

Beth Arnold

Installation

22.12.16 - 22.03.17

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Beth Arnold
0023
22.12.16 - 22.03.17

For three summer months, from December 2o16 to March 2017, Beth Arnold’s installation work Plane and Field cast rainbows all over the Testing Grounds site, produced by panes of safety glass installed throughout the superstructure. The intent of the installation was to harness the refractions of light created by everyday safety glass, encouraging viewers to participate in the incidental delights of our built environment.

Depending on the sun and the time of day, subtle rainbow spectrums were cast onto the ground, the furniture, or the bodies moving through the site. Visitors were intited to pick up umbrellas from next to the bar to ‘chase’ these rainbows around the site, often discovering them in unexpected places like the shadow of a bench, or bending up a metal pole.

This project was based on Arnold’s observations of glass in our urban environments; much of the glass used now is safety glass with a polished, arrised edge which acts as a prism. It is this standard edge finish which casts these incidental rainbows. The installation used this same glass, reminiscent of louvre windows and industrial glass, but strays from its functional application to focus on the rainbow effect.

Plane and Field was a site-specific project based in sculptural practice and was accompanied by a publication and a series of performances where the artist and collaborators moved among the rainbows over hour-long periods. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

canopy ][ grounds ][ installation ][ site-specific ]

0011

Midsumma Artist Residency: Lesley Turnbull

Lesley Turnbull

Pre-Festival Residency

04.01.17 - 31.01.17

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Lesley Turnbull
0011
04.01.17 - 31.01.17

Lesley Turnbull, a Scottish/Australian lens based artist was in residence at Testing Grounds in the lead up to the 2017 Midsumma event ‘Horizon’.

Through photography – sequential, fragmented or otherwise – Lesley explores the ambiguity of human identity and the transformative potential of landscapes. Her most recent body of work, shot in Northern Scotland, speaks to an inherent tension between freedom and remoteness. Lesley’s work is exhibited in Australia and Europe, and paste ups from photographs taken during her residency were displayed on the Testing Grounds wall for months after her residency.

0018

Zlatna Video Project

T.R. Carter and Stephen Gilette

Development Work

04.01.17 - 06.01.17

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T.R. Carter and Stephen Gilette
0018
04.01.17 - 06.01.17

The White Box was used to development content for a music video clip for artists Bojan Stojanov and Jen Knight, from electronic group Zlatna. The collaboration included experimentation with light, performance and green screen techniques. Using various techniques, such as shadow play and movement, they also generated a collection of video imagery that were projected over the band throughout the evening of their album launch. The projection was metrically in sync with the sound using Ableton live to create rhythmic gate style effects to add movement and texture to sustained sounds.

development work ][ film ][ projection ][ shadow ][ white box ]

0025

Artist Residency: Kat Henry

Kat Henry

Buying Time Residency

09.01.17 - 02.02.17

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Kat Henry
0025
09.01.17 - 02.02.17

Kat Henry is a theatre director and performance artist working across the mediums of plays, opera, music theatre, rock concerts, physical theatre and live art. She is particularly concerned with physical endurance and durational performance, combined with an elegant visual aesthetic and an experience of transcendence for her audience. The Testing Grounds Buying Time residency allowed Kat to explore ideas of duration and a striking physical aesthetic that is site responsive.

0012

Tilde New Music and Sound Art Festival

Tilde

Festival

21.01.17

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Tilde
0012
21.01.17

Tilde was an all day celebration supporting modern notated music, free improvisation, sound art, and computer music. Taking over the whole of Testing Grounds, Tilde 2017 offered a supportive and open space for practitioners in these fields to explore new works, to test out ideas, and to share their insights with the next generation of music makers.

festival ][ grounds ][ music ][ sound art ]

0025

Nychthemeron: Motel

Kat Henry

Performance Art

01.02.17 - 02.02.17

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Kat Henry
0025
01.02.17 - 02.02.17

To conclude her Buying Time Residency in the Clear Box, Kat Henry devised and tested a 24 hour performance. In Nychthemeron: a full period of 24 hours, Kat planned on not eating, sleeping, or talking for 24 hours as a method to interrupt her usual habits of “spending time”. Over the performance, Kat also invited people to visit her in the Clear Box periodically to consider alternative possibilities of how they could be spending their time. While the combination of street noise, heat, and the open door approach took a toll, the performance contributed to both Kat’s understanding of her own practice and Testing Grounds staff understanding of the unique site conditions outside usual operating hours.

0045

Midsumma Horizon

Midsumma

Arts Event

04.02.17

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Midsumma
0045
04.02.17

What does a queer future look like?

Testing Grounds hosted the new-art extravaganza Midsumma Horizon, showcasing some of the country’s best experimental and queer artists. With the White Box taken over by projection fest Queertech.io, intimate performances filling the Black Box, spectacular stagings in the Clear Box, and the grounds pulsing with performance, it was a brilliant exploration of unfixed identities, radical perspectives, and queer politics.

QueerTech.io, is an internet-art project of works from around the globe curated by Alison Bennett.

arts event ][ canopy ][ exhibition ][ installation ][ LGBTQIA+ ][ projection ]

Image by Sarah Walker

Image by Sarah Walker

Image by Sarah Walker

0005

While the Hour

While the Hour

Residency

06.02.17 - 25.02.17

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While the Hour
0005
06.02.17 - 25.02.17

What if time were multi-layered and prone to mutating?

In February Testing Grounds hosted a three week residency for artist collective While the Hour, who explored the peculiarities of the present moment through a series of workshops and events over their residency time. Events included: two ‘Restivals’, featuring performances, lectures, talks, and readings among soft architecture and hammocks; creative writing workshops; durational writing exercises; and drawing workshops. These events were the first public-facing work done by the newly-formed collective, helping define and refine the group’s artistic aims and the scope of their work. Their works-in-progress became an experiential offering to the public: an invitation to explore our place in the universe and to consider human’s connection to the planet and its possible futures.

Members also used the residency to produce installations including a perpetual-motion sculpture, rock carvings, and a chain-link work connected to the earth itself. The collective fully embraced new ways of thinking and relating to concepts of time not only through their work, but through their commitment to staying overnight on site for the middle week of their residency.

0026

Community Reading Room (CRR)

Torika Bolatagici

Discursive Project

08.02.17 - 25.02.17

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Torika Bolatagici
0026
08.02.17 - 25.02.17

During the three-week installation at Testing Grounds, multidisciplinary artists were invited to activate the space and respond to the book collection; there was a children’s area with books, a reader-in-residence program and talks and workshops. The project at Testing Grounds concluded with a performance by Sydney-based collective Black Birds who brought their new work ‘Third Culture’ to the Reading Room in a 45-minute performance that dissected the experience of Brown/Black Third/Cross Cultural Kids. The performance included verbatim, music and moved spoken word.

Community Reading Room is a pop-up destination for research, community discussion and engagement around international visual arts and culture. It is envisioned as a safe-space for individuals who identify as First Nations and people of colour to encounter texts that acknowledge and place their lived experience and practice at the centre, rather than the margin.

Founded in 2013 by Torika Bolatagici, the CRR has been presented at Colour Box Studio (2013) and Footscray Community Arts Centre (2014). The CRR is a discursive project that invites the general public to consider the inclusivity of public spaces and to contemplate how our institutions of knowledge privilege particular ways of knowing and being.

0032

Art, Beer & Critiques (ABC)

ABC Group

Art Critiques

09.02.17

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ABC Group
0032
09.02.17

ABC is/was an ongoing series of informal discussions where visual artists present new work in development to a cohort of artists for peer-to-peer reviewing in a  fun and casual setting. Too often visual artists work alone in their studio with little to no feedback or engagement with their work until exhibition. These sessions are just as much about creating a social context for arts practice as it is about the intended outcome of work.

These sessions occur once a month. Email ABC to find out more information or about securing a spot as a presenting artist in the next session.

ABC is a free flowing and open collective or cohort of artists. Anyone is welcome.

0026

Dewey Disengagement System

Stéphanie Kabanyana Kanyandekwe

Residency

10.02.17 - 24.02.17

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Stéphanie Kabanyana Kanyandekwe
0026
10.02.17 - 24.02.17

Rwandan-British composer and artist Stéphanie Kabanyana Kanyandekwe was Reader-in-Residence during Torika Bolatagici’s Community Reading Room project. During her time at Testing Grounds, Stéphanie presented a performative presentation of her work-in-progress: ‘Dewey Disengagement System’. Through live music and an interview with her career-librarian father, Stéphanie highlighted some of the faults underpinning the Dewey Decimal System of categorising information for libraries and catalogues. Drawing on graphic score translations created from narratives found within the Community Reading Room and Stéphanie’s personal collection, the presentation outlined the religious and colonial framework within which Dewey worked, and considered alternative systems in the current Information Age.

0028

Nothing to Do with a Plant

Thomas Woodman

Residency

16.02.17 - 03.05.17

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Thomas Woodman
0028
16.02.17 - 03.05.17

Over the coming months, Thomas Woodman will work intermittently in and around the range of spaces at Testing Grounds. These choreographic and dance practices will involve: travelling with a plant, retracing its history, moving with and independently of it (in and out of sync), recovering and reinterpreting movement histories, replanting, having lunch, listening, reading, using touch to sensitise and desensitise the body to the space, adjusting anthropocentric hierarchies and their power structures, humming away, interviewing, observing and questioning plant interests, desires, feelings and thoughts.

Throughout this study, ideas of quick release and rapid consumption coincide with meandering thoughts and the act of slowing down and killing time. A text message is sent as a snail ambles towards something on a warm day. Woodman engages in a multi-sensory noticing of the plant to propose and inform alternative futures. How can the human experience be dictated by the plant? Does this diminish the anthropocentric bias?  Where is the human in the plant and the plant in the human? 

The knowledge generated by this research is inherently precarious and unstable.

 Thomas’ days in residency at Testing Grounds are: 16.02.17; 22.03.17; 30.03.17; 12.04.17; 03.05.17-05.05.17; 28.06.17-30.06.17; 26.07.17-28.07.17.  Research is also being conducted at the Temperance Hall, South Melbourne with space provided by Phillip Adam’s BalletLab.

dance ][ research project ][ residency ][ white box ]

0022

Introduction to Projection Art

Gertrude Street Projection Festival

Masterclass

22.02.17 - 25.02.17

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Gertrude Street Projection Festival
0022
22.02.17 - 25.02.17

Lead by accomplished projection artist Yandell Walton, a group of emerging artists were selected to develop skills and knowledge about projection art over a 4 day workshop. Taking over the grounds, they learned about the artform of projection, developed technical skills and projection mapping techniques, and learned about project development. Each participant developed a proposal for a site specific artwork that will be considered for exhibition in the 2017 GSPF program, with 3 selected for continued guidance as part of the Gertrude Street Projection Festival (GSPF) Mentorship Program. The masterclass provided these emerging artists with a framework to develop new projects and to create opportunities for growth in their practices.

0026

Black Birds present: Th(i)rd C(u)lture

Black Birds

Performance

24.02.17 - 24.02.17

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Black Birds
0026
24.02.17 - 24.02.17

Th(i)rd C(u)lture was a new performance work by Sydney-based all-female theatre group Black Birds, developed especially for the closing event of Community Reading Room. Directed by Emele Ugavule and starring Ayeesha Ash & Angela Sullen, the 45 minute performance explored the struggles of being mixed race in a country that you don’t belong to through movement, spoken word & music. The show told the story of the performers and their journeys as young girls both born outside of Australia (Grenada & the United States of America), their struggle through teen-hood to find community and likeness around them growing into young adults.

This free event attracted over 60 viewers, spilling out onto the grounds on a balmy February evening.

music ][ performance ][ spoken word ][ white box ]

0046

Contingency

Andrew Rewald

Residency

01.03.17 - 23.03.17

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Andrew Rewald
0046
01.03.17 - 23.03.17

During his three week residency in the Clear Box at Testing Grounds, Andrew Rewald filled the space with edible weeds growing from upcycled plastic food containers, arranged in intersecting circles and crossed lines symbolic of the processes of food production, preparation, and consumption. Through the edible weed installation and Andrew’s research materials – pinned images and piles of books on food, agriculture, urbanisation, and art – Contingency considered the nexus between the urban ecology and food security in context with sustainable agriculture practices.

On Thursday March 23, to mark the end of the residency and share his research and creative process, Andrew hosted an edible weed tasting. Featuring dishes like tempura dandelion and foraged weed pesto, the act of sharing food grown in the Clear Box acted as a powerful metaphor for the possibility of redefining our relationship to food consumption, industrial production and transportation processes, and food security. 

The work done in this residency extends from his previous work investigating diet as a marker of identity in diverse urban and rural contexts. Andrew is motivated by the impact of consumer culture behaviour and the globalisation of food industries on our understanding of what it means to have access to food. From corporate food production practices to foraging for edible weeds his work continues to investigate indicators of social disorder and dis-empowerment – but also empowerment – for individuals and communities alike.

0044

Where the Breath is Kept

Laura Lethlean

Development Work

01.03.17 - 19.03.17

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Laura Lethlean
0044
01.03.17 - 19.03.17

Playwright Laura Lethlean took up residence in the Black Box for three weeks in March 2017 to work on her play Where the Breath is Kept. During the residency, Laura used the space as a research facility to explore the impact that space and confinement can have on process, form and content in writing. Part set-design-trial, part giant pin-board, part writers den, elements of the space were designed to echo a solitary confinement cell – the setting of the play. Laura also invited visitors to contribute to her process through anonymous feedback boxes. At the end of the three week residency, a four-actor reading of her new draft took place in the space.

black box ][ development work ][ theatre ][ writing ]

0019

Urban Landscapes

RMIT- Art in Public Space

Workshop

01.03.17 - 03.03.17

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RMIT- Art in Public Space
0019
01.03.17 - 03.03.17

An intensive workshop is designed to inspire new students coming into the Master of Arts – Art in Public Space program, Urban Landscapes gave candidates a hands-on experience in their first week of study. Students explored the condition of the laneway surrounding RMIT Building 50; its relationship to other laneways on campus; and along the journey between RMIT and Testing Grounds with a quick response proposition delivered at the end of the workshop. Students also heard from guest artists leading a workshop at Testing Grounds every afternoon, including drawing without a pencil and listening to the superstructure.

education ][ grounds ][ open box ][ public art ]

0037

Indeterminate States

Skye Kelly

Exhibition

03.03.17 - 18.03.17

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Skye Kelly
0037
03.03.17 - 18.03.17

Sculptures and installations that change in volume and colour and smell over time, consisting of suspended plastic bladders, liquid gelatin, cascading bubbles and other transitive materials.

The exhibition focused on a certain class of materials to create a space that blurs the line between abject and beauty as the artworks examine the mutable boundaries created by material indeterminacy within objects and their spaces of display. On opening night bubbles cascaded down the bladder to fall on the ground, slowly setting into a fixed state.

Skye Kelly is an artist living and working in Melbourne.  She is currently undertaking a Masters of Fine Art (Research) at RMIT.  Her work investigates a range of indeterminate, transitive materials through a sculptural framework.  Recent materials utilised include gelatine, fat, toffee and hydrophobic sand.  She is interested in exploring the latent potentials of these unstable materials, and how their inherent properties and behaviours can be used as a catalyst for sculptural outcomes.

0009

Size Doesn’t Matter

Size Doesn't Matter

Arts Event

10.03.17

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Size Doesn't Matter
0009
10.03.17

Initiated as an unofficial fringe festival to Dance Massive (a biannual festival for contemporary dance) this project was developed as an alternative platform for performance, choreography and dance in Melbourne. It questioned the methods for the presentation of contemporary dance and facilitated a dynamic, malleable and inclusive structure. A diverse range of artists proposed performances, practices and discourse through proposals that were formatted through a ‘live feed’ for the 6 hour duration. The facilitators of this open event were interested in creating a durational space and ecology of happenings, but didn’t program ‘events’ in a strict sense.

choreography ][ dance ][ fringe ][ grounds ]

0073

Speak Up

Testing Grounds x Parlour

Exhibition

17.03.17 - 25.03.17

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Testing Grounds x Parlour
0073
17.03.17 - 25.03.17

For Melbourne Design Week 2017, Testing Grounds joined forces with Parlour to produce an outdoor exhibition of large-format activist-inspired typography.

Testing Grounds invited Erin Callaghan, a young Melbourne-based multi-disciplinary designer, to develop Speak Up. The project was part of Testing Grounds’ commitment to foregrounding emerging and experimental creative practice, and Parlour’s advocacy and activism around gender equity in architecture.

Utilising the multi-functional outdoor grid system and hanging frames at Testing Grounds, Erin – with collaborators Millie Cattlin and Warren Taylor – designed a typographic project using content sourced from Parlour’s guest-hosted Instagram account.

architecture ][ design ][ exhibition ][ grounds ]

0064

Smashing Things With Hammers

Testing Grounds

Kids Workshop

18.03.17

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Testing Grounds
0064
18.03.17

Smashing Things With Hammers was a free half-day workshop for kids run by Testing Grounds, introducing young artists to process art through destruction and reconstruction of everyday objects. Lead by artist Ceri Hann and Testing Grounds Program Manager Arie Rain Glorie, a group of kids (and some adults) took a mallet to a range of crockery, decommissioned electronics, old toys, and mantlepiece ornaments before rebuilding them as new objects. At the same time, participants heard about the history of installation art, and the idea of deconstruction as a skill that professional artists use to generate creative process, ideas and discourse.

After the workshop, participants and Testing Grounds staff sat down for a big lunchtime picnic spread, to debrief, share ideas, and enjoy each others’ company.

 

0008

Adult

Jamieson Pearce

Film Screening

23.03.17 - 25.03.17

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Jamieson Pearce
0008
23.03.17 - 25.03.17

Jamieson Pearce’s short film Adult screened at Testing Grounds as part of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival from Thursday 23 to Saturday 25 March. More than a film, Pearce created an immersive installation in the Black Box, juxtaposing a porn shop with a domestic living room. The installation framed the story of motherhood, sexuality and grief, based on the short story ‘Porn 1’ by Christos Tsiolkas.

black box ][ film ][ installation ][ queer ]

0067

Concept Generation

Ben Landau

Workshop

23.03.17

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Ben Landau
0067
23.03.17

An extension of Ben Landau’s previous work critiquing the innovation culture of contemporary design industries and the corporate world, Concept Generation was an interactive workshop where ideas were exchanged for beer and peanuts. Playing up slogans like “Fail fast!” and “Love what you do!”, Concept generation created an artificial pressure cooker for tackling nonsense problems, the solutions of which were traded for a beer before starting again.

Presented as part of Melbourne Design Week 2017.

0061

Sound, Site, Dance

Footscray Community Arts Centre

Residency

23.03.17 - 07.04.17

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Footscray Community Arts Centre
0061
23.03.17 - 07.04.17

The Amplified Elephants and Footscray Community Arts Centre Artlife performers took over Testing Grounds for a three week residency, culminating in an original performance of sound art and dance. The site responsive work was inspired by the hyper-urban space of Testing Grounds and explored themes of identity politics, belonging, and improvisation, using the site of Testing Grounds as an instrument.

This residency marked the beginning of a research phase for the ensemble as they developed new work for touring in 2017. More info, reflections, and photos are available in Footscray Community Arts Centre’s write-up on their residency here: http://footscrayarts.com/news/elephants-amplified/

Megan Hunter and Steven Tran; image by Jonathan Sinatra

Wade Cameron and Steven Tran; image by Susan Doel

Keyboards tied; image by Susan Doel

0035

Parlour Autumn Salon

Parlour

Talk

24.03.17

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Parlour
0035
24.03.17

The Parlour Autumn Salon ran as part of Melbourne Design Week 2017, featuring eminent Melbourne architects Shelley Penn and Amy Muir in conversation. 150 architect practitioners and enthusiasts were also treated to a glass of wine and sausage sizzle, giving an opportunity for networking, swapping stories and strategies, forming new networks and reviving older ones.

Kicking off at 6:30 with an introduction to Testing Grounds from director/designer Millie Catlin, and a welcome from event organiser Justine Clarke, the highlight of the night was Amy Muir and Shelley Penn conversing about shared interests, career stories, and advice gleaned from hard years of practice. A large contingent stayed until closing at 10pm.

architecture ][ education ][ feminism ][ open box ]

Image by: Tobias Titz

Image by: Tobias Titz

Image by: Tobias Titz

Image by: Tobias Titz

Image by: Tobias Titz

0016

Spiritual Botox & The New Wage

Jule Small and Ceri Hann

Performance

05.04.17 - 08.04.17

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Jule Small and Ceri Hann
0016
05.04.17 - 08.04.17

Jule Small and Ceri Hann took on the Melbourne International Comedy Festival itself, critiquing the institutionalisation of both comedy and art.

The copy for the show said it all (in a way)…

An open forum chat show that explores relations between the art world, capitalism, implications of progress and the ideas that give rise to comedy.

Where does personality end & brain damage begin?

A self-help chat show.

I wouldn’t piss on Pauline Hanson if she was on fire.

An imagination prolapse.

Ads shit on your brain.

A multiverse of lies.

More skin toner for Didi the chihuahua.

Has anyone seen my Chewbacca bong, the one that sounds like him as you inhale?

Stop scrolling & deal with your feelings.

Missing Perth man found playing bongos in Thailand…

0024

Paintings

Kitty Norster

Exhibition

07.04.17 - 22.04.17

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Kitty Norster
0024
07.04.17 - 22.04.17

‘Paintings’ was an installation of 300 small, lattice-grid pattern paintings (Liquitex on canvas) by Melbourne artist Kitty Norster.
The exhibition was Norster’s most recent work from a series that began in 1999 and the artist’s second solo show at Testing Grounds.

0060

The Australian Youth Dance Festival 2017 Opening Ceremony

Ausdance Victoria

Festival

14.04.17

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Ausdance Victoria
0060
14.04.17

On 14 April 2017 Testing Grounds hosted over 150 young dancers from across Australia for the opening ceremony of the 2017 Australian Youth Dance Festival. Under the artistic direction of Adam Wheeler, the festival provided new opportunities to young people to access some of the finest dance experiences available in Australia. The opening ceremony included performances, a Welcome to Country, a BBQ, and a flash choreography session in the middle of the Grounds, kicking off a festival that brought together young dancers nationwide to share and learn together, forge strong relationships between young dancers, and meet their future colleagues.

black box ][ clear box ][ dance ][ festival ]

0015

The Hunt Creative Development

The Hunt

Work in development

21.04.17 - 05.05.17

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The Hunt
0015
21.04.17 - 05.05.17

Over two weeks, multi-disciplinary artist group The Hunt took over the Black and White boxes at Testing Grounds to develop a new work, culminating in a one-night showing of performance and installation. The group (Bridget Mackay, Grace-Purton Long and Christopher Gray) worked with curator Arie Rain-Glorie as an out-side-eye to extend on their previous work using sound, performance and imagery to create haunting and visually arresting performance vignettes. For this development, they set a self-imposed challenge of only using easily sourced domestic materials on an ultra-low budget. The resulting work featured an installation of grass collected from the grounds, lighting, and video footage of rehearsals set up in the White Box, a 15 minute staged performance in the Black Box, and a 10 minute performance throughout the grounds – drew on horror genres in film, fashion and literature to transport the audience into an unsettling fever-dream headspace.

Video documentation still from development: table cloth, styrofoam balls and elastic bands draped on person.

0050

The Imagined Archive of Out of Home Care

Monash University and the Imagined Archive project

Residency

26.04.17 - 28.04.17

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Monash University and the Imagined Archive project
0050
26.04.17 - 28.04.17

Missing Pieces: An Imagined Archive Project was an art residency for young people (aged 16-30) who have experienced out-of-home care. Over three days at the end of April 2017, the project presented an open studio / drop-in centre with free workshops and a variety of art stations, encouraging individual experimentation & the creation of collaborative works. The aim of the project was to reframe the keeping of records about children in care to include views from their own perspective. Presented by the Setting the Record Straight for the Rights of the Child and Monash Faculty of Information Technology.

 

education ][ open box ][ visual artist ][ workshop ]

0007

Songs of the Sea

BegOpCoOp

Music

27.04.17 - 28.04.17

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BegOpCoOp
0007
27.04.17 - 28.04.17

Songs of the Sea was a new work by opera collective BegOpCoOp, staged in the Clear Box at Testing grounds over two nights – Thursday 27 & Friday 28 April. Featuring projections, percussion, keyboards, poetry and singing, Songs of the Sea presented subversive opera, a rollicking meditation on cultural dislocation and gender identity explored through sea characters and mythologies.

clear box ][ music ][ performance ][ projection ]

0093

Testing Night

RMIT-Art in Public Space

Development Work

05.05.17 - 05.05.17

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RMIT-Art in Public Space
0093
05.05.17 - 05.05.17

Three artists undertaking RMIT’s Master of Art – Art in Public Space used the Testing Grounds site as a canvas for their practice lead research. tMariah Bakhtir, Ryoko Kose and Helen Gray created site specific works, presented in a public showing on 5 May 2017.

grounds ][ installation ][ public art ][ student ]

0062

Yirramboi Festival Creation Lab

YIRRAMBOI First Nations Arts Festival

Work in development

09.05.17 - 12.05.17

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YIRRAMBOI First Nations Arts Festival
0062
09.05.17 - 12.05.17

Part of the inaugural Yirramboi First Nations arts festival, Creation Lab was a 5-day workshop intensive for selected First Nations artists from around the world. The whole Testing Grounds site became a playground, workshop, and meeting place, providing a space for international First Nations collaboration, exchange and the seeding of new works.

Artistically, the Lab invited participants to challenge the role and influence of western performance methodologies and explore dramaturgy through the cultural lens of First Nations peoples. With facilitation and feedback from some of Australia’s preeminent indigenous artists, the week concluded with an impressive showing of work developed through the week including spoken word performance, dance, projection, sculpture, and installations.

Creation Lab was presented by the British Council and Australia Council for the Arts, with support from Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, City of Melbourne and Arts NSW.

festival ][ first nations ][ residency ][ yirramboi ]

0004

An Act of Showing

Anabelle Lacroix and Maria Miranda

Exhibition

17.05.17 - 27.05.17

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Anabelle Lacroix and Maria Miranda
0004
17.05.17 - 27.05.17

An Act of Showing brought together 22 Artist Run Initiatives and Aboriginal Art Centres from around Australia and around the Asia-Pacific region, with each initiative/centre contributing a work that spoke of their distinct sense of place and community. Set as a material conversation between these places and communities, the project – curated by Anabelle Lacroix – was the culmination of a broader research project into Australian artist run initiatives by Maria Miranda. Questions guiding the project included: How does place matter for artists? Why do ARIs exist in specific places? What is the place of practice?

The project was guided by the ideas of writer Chris Kraus around ‘radical localism’, which underlines the importance of the local places of art-making compared to global-centrism. An Act of Showing highlighted how ARIs create “an opportunity to remain in one’s own community and assert an alternative ethos”; an ethos crucial to the survival of art because ARIs create a sustainable and rich culture built from the ground up.

The exhibition included creative responses from AirSpace Projects, Articulate Project Space, BUS Projects, BLINDSIDE, Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Cooperative, c3 Contemporary Art Space, Cementa, FELTspace, One Place After Another, Open-Contemporary Art Center (Taipei), Raygun Projects, Ruang MES 56 (Yogyakarta), Trocadero Art Space, The Laundry Art Space, The Walls, Waringarri Arts, Watch This Space, and West Space, and featured a lively 3 hour roundtable with nine invited speakers interrogating the problems and opportunities of artist run spaces.

Curated by Anabelle Lacroix. A research project directed by Maria Miranda.

exhibition ][ grounds ][ visual artist ][ white box ]

0038

Wrought & Hewn

Liss Fenwick & Atticus Bastow

Exhibition

17.05.17 - 27.05.17

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Liss Fenwick & Atticus Bastow
0038
17.05.17 - 27.05.17

A collaboration between photographer Lisa Fenwick and sound installation artist Atticus Bastow, Wrought & Hewn was a multi-site response to industrialised landscapes, using photographs, installations, and soundscapes to create a link between constructed environment and the disrupted natural environment from which it arises.

In the Clear Box, List Fenwicks’ Wrought presented a photographic exhibition including images of a decimated river, the rural Queensland community nearby, and the products of the industry that ties both together.

In the Black Box, Atticus Bastow’s Hewn presented a sound installation experienced through multiple speakers in front, beside, and behind the viewer, with the space structured by an installation of quarried rock, acacia branches, and suspended perspex panels. The sonic and components of the work were created from documentation of three separate instances of industrialised landscape; a vehicle manufacturing plant, a defunct quarry, and an oil refinery, tracing the narrative of resource transfer from unearthing of raw materials through to their eventual manufactured ends.

The collaborative exhibition was capped by an artist talk given by both artists on the final afternoon of the show.

0031

Ports of Call

Morgan Jones

Residency

01.06.17 - 21.06.17

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Morgan Jones
0031
01.06.17 - 21.06.17

For three weeks in the middle of a Melbourne Winter, artist Morgan Jones took up residence in the white box to workshop ideas and continue his research into time, labour, the sea and imagination, in preparation for a journey aboard a cargo ship from Genoa, Italy to Sydney, Australia in late 2017.

During his residency, Morgan opened the doors and created an open studio, inviting visitors to work, play, rest, eat drink tea, and experiment with ideas alongside him, including helping to stitch together his ongoing sail of teabags.

0048

Another Space

Centre For Projection Art

Projection

02.06.17 - 30.06.17

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Centre For Projection Art
0048
02.06.17 - 30.06.17

A group exhibition, which brought together seven contemporary artists from the United States and Melbourne. The project highlighted artists working with digital media investigating digital culture.

Because of our increasing dependence on the virtual world of the Internet, we inhabit a space where the physical and virtual are increasingly overlapping. The artists in this project attempt to access this ‘in between’ space embracing contemporary culture through their use of technology as a tool for creating.

Artists include Sean Capone (USA), Xanthe Dobbie (Melbourne), Lauren Dunn (Melbourne), Carla Gannis (USA), Brett Phares (USA), Keaton Fox (USA) and Aaron Christopher Rees* (Melbourne). The exhibition is curated by Yandell Walton.

Supported by Experimenta Media Arts and City of Melbourne.

clear box ][ exhibition ][ grounds ][ public art ]

0141

Polito

Robert Downie & Finnian Langham

Live Music

02.06.17

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Robert Downie & Finnian Langham
0141
02.06.17

Art-techno collective Polito performer for the First Friday of the Month celebration in June 2017, bringing their distinctly performative approach to dance music to the Testing Grounds site. Set up outside next to fire pits, the duo crafted mesmerising, entirely improvised long form music, laying down evolving beat foundations with real-time synthesis over a mesmerising hour performance.

black box ][ grounds ][ music ][ sound art ]

0141

Experimenta Social 9: Moving Image

Experimenta

Talk

14.06.17

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Experimenta
0141
14.06.17

Testing Grounds hosted the second half of Experimenta Social 9, a discussion both formal and informal about projection art, digital media works, and specifically the ‘Another Space’ exhibition at Testing Grounds. The evening started at ACMI X at 6pm with talks by innovative post-video artists Xanthe Dobbe and Aaron Christopher Rees who discussed the development of their new projection-based works and the futures of the moving image. The session then moved to Testing Grounds at 7:30pm featuring projects presented as part of the ‘Another Space’ exhibition.

clear box ][ grounds ][ projection ][ video art ]