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Testing Grounds

Upcoming Calendar
Testing Grounds

0377

Lichen Kelp Studio

Lichen Kelp

Studio Program

01.10.19 - 30.04.20

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Lichen Kelp
0377
01.10.19 - 30.04.20

During her studio time, Lichen will also work on a project called ‘E skin’. It is an interactive electronic textile based on cuttlefish skin, which operates as a dazzling invisibility cloak and investigates the act of camouflage as a political practice. The textile will be developed into a wearable costume for performance.

0376

Justin Balmain studio

Justin Balmain

Studio Program

01.10.19 - 30.04.20

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Justin Balmain
0376
01.10.19 - 30.04.20

Justin will be preparing an exhibition in Tromsø, Norway, and a seminar program at ERforS, drawing from cryptographic inscriptions created for spiritual, physical, and metaphorical protection against the suspected magical properties of a Black Mirror (held within the museum’s collections).

0375

James Voller Studio

James Voller

Studio Program

31.10.19 - 30.04.20

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James Voller
0375
31.10.19 - 30.04.20

During his time at Testing Grounds, James will launch his new artist-run public art agency, focusing on increasing the diversity and scope of installations in and around Melbourne. The artworks generated will explore the space between temporary and permanent methodologies.

0374

Emilie Walsh studio

Emilie Walsh

Studio Program

01.10.19 - 30.04.20

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Emilie Walsh
0374
01.10.19 - 30.04.20

During Emilie’s time at Testing Grounds, she will focus on her special practice, particularly with viewing devices, investigating the impact on her work in public space. She will also work on producing a new body of work for a solo show programmed at Forty-five Downstairs Gallery in late January 2020.

Emilie is a Melbourne based artist currently finishing her PhD at the Victorian College of the Arts on the narratives and imagination of adventure. She works with a range of media, from video to printmaking and 3D printing. She is also a comic book artist and her works have been published in The Lifted Brow and by Tree paper comics.

drawing ][ education ][ residency ][ Studio Program ]

0372

Bridget Chappell Studio

Bridget Chappell

Studio Program

01.10.19 - 30.04.20

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Bridget Chappell
0372
01.10.19 - 30.04.20

Bridget is developing the project “To (Phase) Cancel The Cops”, encompassing the development of custom phase cancelling technology and its presentation as a performance-installation. The project explores the philosophy and acoustic science of phase cancellation, and its practical applications against urban politics of dis-appointment.

0371

Ava Amedi Studio

Ava Amedi

Studio Program

01.10.19 - 30.04.20

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Ava Amedi
0371
01.10.19 - 30.04.20

During Ava’s time on site, he will work on a project called ‘Where Are You Now?’. It will address a problem that many artists face: the expectation to speak in grandiose terms about their practises when in public, a constant projection of excellence for those who consume their work. Through the intimacy offered by an interview with a small audience, ‘Where are you now?’ will instead allow artists to take stock of where their careers currently stand.

0370

Aphids Studio

Aphids

Studio Program

01.10.19 - 30.04.20

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Aphids
0370
01.10.19 - 30.04.20

During their time at Testing Grounds, Aphids will workers of the gig economy to create a new live artwork called Easy Riders, which asks: how much of our daily lives should be lived by others? What are the moral and social implications of outsourcing? And who do we become once we become fully outsourced?

0362

Master, Slave

House of VnHoly

Event

02.08.19

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House of VnHoly
0362
02.08.19

New work and collaboration between light and performance artists House of Vnholy and experimental sound artist Jannah Quill. MASTER, SLAVE is an exploration of the histories of hierarchy and the way in which we use/misuse technology in our contemporary time.

Technology has become very much a day to day tool which we develop, design and utilises to enhance, enrich and attempt to simplify our everyday lives. Technology, being a solid foundation to how HØV now create their work, we want to investigate the way we use technology, or more interestingly the way we take advantage of the technology we have created for ourselves. Exploring the meaning of ethical production of the technological, does the technology we create ever become sentient? Do they take on characteristics of the human condition? From learn- ing and uploading new information to becoming old, out-of-date and defunct, is there a trajectory to which humans create technology as slaves to their own convenience? Who is slaving who?

MASTER, SLAVE uses these questions to explore a series of lighting and sound-based installations where we work with and explore the hierarchy of the human and technology, purposely slaving the objects to become lifeless or deformed, to become unpredictable and passive.

art party ][ event ][ site-specific ][ sound art ]

0359

Personal Space

Holly Macdonald & Rosslyn Wythes

Performance

05.07.19

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Holly Macdonald & Rosslyn Wythes
0359
05.07.19

A project where audiences are invited to be involved in building a hollow soft clay object. The object that emerges from each collaborative effort records and is shaped by the evolving space between participants and the conversations they are having. Each build is performed in a 40 minute time frame. This is intended to bring the slow process of making in clay closer to the immediate time of dance. ‘Personal Space’ is a collaboration between contemporary dancer Rosslyn Wythes and ceramicist Holly Macdonald. It is one of several works in development that bring together dance and ceramics in an enquiry into the relationship between these two mediums.

collaboration ][ dance ][ interactive ][ open box ]

0356

Colombian Festivals & Vego Baked Bean Energy Jaffles

Laura González Saavedra & Erica McCalman

Jaffle Symposium

06.07.19

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Laura González Saavedra & Erica McCalman
0356
06.07.19

The first of a series of discussions as part of the Jaffle Symposium 2019, talking about the proliferation of festivals in post-war Colombia and what Australia might learn from this, with art historian Laura González Saavedra and festivals producer Erica McCalman, while eating vego baked bean energy jaffles around the fire. 

Laura González Saavedra is an artist, art historian and curator from Bogota, Colombia. Laura has worked as a lecturer on Contemporary Latin-American art and practices in conflict nations, worked for Espacio Odeón -Contemporary art exhibition space- (Bogotá), the Museum of Modern Art Medellín (MAMM) and Feria del Millón (an international art fair for emerging artists in Bogotá).

Erica McCalman is a producer, project and production manager with Ballardong (Noongar), Irish convict, Scottish, and Cornish heritage. She is currently Special Events Producer at Darwin Festival and is a consulting producer for Melbourne Fringe festival & Yirramboi festival. Erica was an Associate Producer for Next Wave 2014 and has worked with Performing Lines, Sydney Festival, Blackfella films and Performance Space. Her production credits include works within Melbourne Fringe, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Adelaide Festival and Brisbane Festival.

education ][ event ][ festival ][ grounds ]

0356

Seaweed & Ocean Bread Jaffles

Seaweed Appreciation Society international

Jaffle Symposium

27.07.19

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Seaweed Appreciation Society international
0356
27.07.19

The second of a series of discussions as part of the Jaffle Symposium 2019, talking about ten weird and wonderful applications for seaweed with the Seaweed Appreciation Society international (SASi), while eating ocean bread jaffles around the fire.

The Seaweed Appreciation Society international is a group research exercise in investigating marine habitats, culinary uses for seaweed and ocean regeneration. Together they explore, peruse and digest marine algae. Co-founded by artist Lichen Kelp and Liquid Architecture co-artistic director Danni Zuvela.

Lichen Kelp works with scientific principles of experimentation, colour chemistry and chemical reactions to investigate the materiality of process, replicating changing weather patterns and reimagining nature. Danni Zuvela is a curator with an interest in experimental practice stemming from her academic background and ongoing research. From 2014-2018 she worked at The Walls Art Space on the Gold Coast, where she was Deputy Director. Together with Joel Stern, she co-directs Liquid Architecture, Australia’s leading organisation dedicated to sound and listening.

artist talk ][ community ][ education ][ grounds ]

0356

Fatbergs & Three Cheese Jaffles

Science Gallery Melbourne

Jaffle Symposium

03.08.19

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Science Gallery Melbourne
0356
03.08.19

The third of a series of discussions as part of the Jaffle Symposium 2019, talking about about fat, with artists Mike Thompson, Nina Sellars and Tanya Ha, while eating deliciously fatty three-cheese jaffles around the fire.

This very special discussion coincided with the Science Gallery Melbourne’s ‘Disposable’ exhibition, featuring a fatberg being grown by Mike Thompson and Arne Hendricks.

Mike Thompson is a designer, researcher, and educator, drawn to the dark corners of biotechnological research, and co-founder of experimental, art/design research collective Thought Collider. Together, Hendriks and Thompson are known as the agents driven to build the worlds first floating island of fat – the Fatberg in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Nina Sellars is a curator of the Harry Brookes Allen Museum of Anatomy and Pathology, University of Melbourne, and an artist and researcher who works with human adipose tissue (aka fat). Viewing fat as a critical organ of posthumanism, Nina explores the ways in which fat challenges, and subsequently may be seen to transform, our understanding of anatomy in the twenty-first century.

Tanya Ha is an award-winning Australian environmental campaigner, best-selling author, science journalist and communication consultant. Tanya is Director of Engagement at Science in Public, where she media trains scientists and is heavily involved behind-the-scenes in National Science Week. She is also a member of the executive of Science and Technology Australia, an Associate of the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, and an advisory board member of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science.

artist talk ][ event ][ exhibition ][ grounds ]

0356

Sasquatches & Marshmallow Jaffles

Sibyl Kempson & Mark Pritchard

Jaffle Symposium

17.08.19

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Sibyl Kempson & Mark Pritchard
0356
17.08.19

The fourth of a series of discussions as part of the Jaffle Symposium 2019, talking about the place of mythologies and rituals in urban landscapes with dramaturg Mark Pritchard and playwright Sibyl Kempson while eating marshmallow jaffles around the fire.

Sibyl Kempson’s plays have been presented in the United States, Germany, and Norway and in 2015 she launched the theatre and performance company 7 Daughters of Eve in NYC. Her project, 12 Shouts to the Ten Forgotten Heavens, a 3-year cycle of rituals for the new Whitney Museum of American Art in the Meatpacking District of NYC, began on the Vernal Equinox in March 2016, recurring on every Solstice and Equinox through December 2018. Other recent projects include true pearl, a new opera with David Lang for the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston and Sasquatch Rituals at The Kitchen in NYC, both in 2018. Her plays are published by 53rd State Press, PLAY: Journal of Plays, and Performance & Art Journal (PAJ).

Mark Pritchard is a dramaturg with a focus on new writing and hybrid dramaturgies, trained at the Victorian College of the Arts, PACT, and the University of Wollongong. Mark is the New Work Manager at Malthouse Theatre, and in 2019 he established the Centre for Dramaturgy and Curation. As Dramaturg for Malthouse Theatre, Mark has worked on a number of plays, including Atomic by Amelia Chandos Evans, Going Down by Michele Lee, Heart is a Wasteland by John Harvey, Little Emperors 小皇帝 by Lachlan Philpott, Turbine by Dan Giovannoni, Love & Information by Caryl Churchill and Blak Cabaret by Nakkiah Lui.

0356

Accidental Arts Precincts and Heavenly Blue Cheese Jaffles 

Testing Grounds

Jaffle Symposium

24.08.19

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Testing Grounds
0356
24.08.19

The last of a series of discussions as part of the Jaffle Symposium 2019, talking about how there is no such thing as an accidental arts precinct with Max Coffman, Executive Director – Agencies and Infrastructure, Creative Victoria and Hannah Clement, Project Director – Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation, Development Victoria, while eating heavenly blue cheese jaffles around the fire.

Hannah Clement is the Project Director – Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation for Development Victoria. She is an experienced and highly regarded project management practitioner with more than 20 years’ experience in Australia and overseas. She has delivered a suite of projects across Victoria’s creative industries including the Vision 2020 refurbishment of the State Library Victoria and Geelong Performing Arts Centre Redevelopment. She holds a Bachelor of Engineering and Bachelor of Science from the University of Melbourne and a Masters in International Urban Development and Environmental Management from RMIT.

Max Coffman leads a team that is responsible for overseeing Victoria’s seven major arts organisations, as well as infrastructure projects across the arts portfolio. His team also has responsibility for Creative Victoria’s corporate operations. Since migrating to Australia from the United States in 2009, Max has held leadership roles in the planning and infrastructure portfolios in the Department of Premier and Cabinet, and with the Office of the Coordinator-General, which delivers the Metro Tunnel and level crossing removal projects, among many others. Max holds an undergraduate degree in international affairs from Georgetown University in Washington, DC, and a Master’s Degree in urban and regional planning from Portland State University in Oregon.

community ][ education ][ grounds ][ infrastructure ]

0355

Dialogue In The Dark

Shanshan Li

Exhibition

07.06.19

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Shanshan Li
0355
07.06.19

Sometimes light appears differently from how we remember it to be. Yet, this is often not because the light itself has changed, but it is caused by a change in the observer’s perspective. This change may also be related to, and expressive of, the light’s essence. Shanshan has an interest in exploring, “When, and for what reason, does a person’s perception of light change?” Through their work, they seek to stimulate how people see the light.

Shanshan’s recent “Shadow” series was inspired by the interplay of light and shadow and how they are manipulated and controlled. They started their creative process by capturing light and shadows to capture the symbiotic nature, resulting in short-lived and mysterious short images like the shadow itself.

0352

THE SEWER SOAPERIE

Catherine Sarah Young

Disposable

31.07.19 - 03.08.19

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Catherine Sarah Young
0352
31.07.19 - 03.08.19

Would you wash your hands with soap made from sewage? Sewer Soaperie turns raw sewage and fat into luxury soaps.

Extreme storms now frequently overwhelm drains, pipes and sewerage systems, causing flooding in major cities. Large lumps of coagulated grease, known as ‘fatbergs’, clog the system and create flooding. These greasy beasts are created when people pour used liquid oil down the sink, which then hardens in the pipes. Gross.

Artist Catherine Sarah Young takes grease from various sources, sterilises it and turns it into soap. As the global climate crisis intensifies, could this be a solution to a more sustainable future?

This project was a part of Science Gallery Melbourne’s Disposable program.

0352

Fatberg

Arne Hendriks & Mike Thompson

Disposable

31.07.19 - 15.08.19

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Arne Hendriks & Mike Thompson
0352
31.07.19 - 15.08.19

Do we really understand fat? In November 2017, the 130-tonne ‘Monster of Whitechapel’ was ejected from the bowels of east London. This fatberg – a congealed mass of fat, wet wipes and nappies – stretched the length of nearly two AFL footy ovals, taking workmen armed with shovels and high-powered jets three weeks of around the clock effort to extract.

Fat is perhaps THE iconic substance of our time. It is integral to life, health, energy, beauty, ecology and consumption. But what is fat if its behaviour becomes unpredictable, overtaking not only ourselves but our sewage systems? Do we understand fat, or do we need a fresh perspective?

To begin answering this question, artists Arne Hendriks and Mike Thompson invited audiences to join them at Testing Grounds to build Australia’s first purpose-built island of fat, and to ask – What is fat? What does it want? What is fat’s future? And do we really know fat?

This project was a part of Science Gallery Melbourne’s Disposable program.

0351

Untitled

Robert Craig

Exhibition

05.07.19

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Robert Craig
0351
05.07.19

A celebration of the shape of human thought, through painting.

clear box ][ exhibition ][ painting ][ visual art ]

0350

The Lizard Is Present

Marina Abramolizardvic

Special Event

07.06.19

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Marina Abramolizardvic
0350
07.06.19

Testing Grounds was incredibly excited to host international lizard and artist Marina Ambramolizardvic on her first visit to Melbourne CBD as a part of her national tour.

Marina Abramolizardvic is an internationally renknowned lizard/ artist best known for her pioneering performance art work The Lizard is Present, which premiered during the 2018 Happenstance Festival on the Merri Creek, Melbourne. Her work explores body art, endurance art, feminist art, the relationship between performer and audience, the limits of the body, being present, being a lizard who is present, and being present as a lizard. Other notable works include being a lizard. 

Curatorial assistance by Vidya Rajan. 

0346

IT IS NOT A GALLERY, MUSEUM OR INSTITUTION, BUT THERE ARE SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES

Haley Violet

Residency

08.07.19 - 30.07.19

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Haley Violet
0346
08.07.19 - 30.07.19

Elaborating on the artist’s honours project, this residence presented an exploration into the physical construct and methodological eccentricities of Testing Grounds. Use of the site’s inherent matter fosters dialogue between context and content; amplifying awareness of Testing Ground’s qualities as a temporary and unorthodox art-viewing environment. As a response to an all-embracing and ever-evolving site, the artist used her residency period for an open-ended, multi-disciplinary, and site-specific approach towards perpetual installation.

0343

Melting & Migration Blank: How To Make A Trumpet Out Of Ice

Alex Hamilton

Residency

22.05.19 - 08.06.19

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Alex Hamilton
0343
22.05.19 - 08.06.19

A program of recent drawings, experimental installation, film, discussions and performance, all centred around an ice trumpet sculpture which is played live and on film. This project explores the “blanks” in our lives- the social, physical, political world around us – a place where people think nothing exists, a place where people think there is nothing there, a tundra – is a positive opportunity to imagine, name and act.

sound art ][ video art ][ visual art ][ white box ]

Melting and Migration Blank: How to Make a Trumpet Out of Ice. (…)certainly no braver than our Trio, but more fortunate: Hector was excused the insult of having his valor covered by television. Worth going to see? I can well believe it. Worth seeing? Mneh! I once rode through a desert (…) —Moon Landing by W H Auden Using an ice trumpet sculpture and a body of works on paper this show explores how we become more aware of what we see through the alternation of the dimensions of what we are looking at. Being aware of our own seeing, we construct our present, past and future. The ice trumpet’s appearance and operation depend on how it’s used. The ephemeral trumpet ice - not quite a thing or its appearance, nor its function – can change from appearance to function. One minute it is a beautiful ice sculpture melting into non existence, the next a musical instrument. The ice of the trumpet tunnel melts and as it melts new sounds can be made. No image can be completely read. As with the alternating state of the ice trumpet, my drawings use seeing and not seeing as a way of reading, drawing, and a means through which we become aware of what we read into seeing. My drawings start as site specific before detouring into invention in order to talk about the site. Some contain the word “Nope” hidden within the marks on the paper, while the other “grey field drawings” have a corresponding field of discontinuous patternations which go some, but not all the way, to mirror or represent the corresponding drawing. Alternating between seeing and not seeing, I equate the “blank” with something bigger than art, with re-imagining, with the difficult-to-see. The poem Spherical DVD looks at the people arriving at our borders who we see as spectors, non-people or blanks. Exploring the so called ”blanks” in our lives – in the social, physical, personal, and political worlds around us – as a place where people think nothing exists, a tundra, is instead a positive opportunity to imagine, name and act. We construct what we perceive we alter. Thank you for listening.

0340

Tea & Dumplings

Pamela Chan & Jana Roman

Radiant Pavilion

07.09.19

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Pamela Chan & Jana Roman
0340
07.09.19

At this one-day popup exhibition the artists invited you to join their ten-year conversation about making by sitting at their table to handle an all-new series of functional vessels and utensils. Highlighting texture and form using metal, timber and ceramics, these handmade individual and collaborative works centre on the functional aspects of consuming Tea and Dumplings. The works are made to fit right in the user’s hand.
Jana Roman and Pamela Chan employ repetitive and meditative methodologies in their making; tools become extensions of their hands through repetitive processes in the forming of objects. The ritual of a shared meal is a reflection of the repetition of making simple functional vessels. Inspired by the natural environment, materials show the passage of time with surfaces marked by the process of making. Beautiful surface imperfections and the feeling of impermanence are expressed by subtle changes of colour and texture.

black box ][ exhibition ][ interactive ][ jewellery ]

0336

Meditation Vessels

Kiera Brew Kurec

Performance

11.04.19 - 13.04.19

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Kiera Brew Kurec
0336
11.04.19 - 13.04.19

An immersive experience, where you are taken through a deep imagining into a metaphysical journey through the human body and mind. Through verbal cues, audiences are prompted to explore their bodies capabilities while experiencing visualisations that will allow a grounded connectivity to both their body and the earth that surrounds.

It starts like a simple mediation class– breath in and breath out– gradually becoming more complex as you are asked to imagine your body as a vessel and what this vessel might look like if it was your body. In your minds eye you trace its contours, pick it up, crawl inside of it, pour out its contents and reshape it, studying its amorphous form.

“It is time now to emerge from the Vessel” Kiera tells you, before you gradually open your eyes and proceed to sculpt your vessel with clay.

The first Testing Grounds produced projects, this season of shows evolved out of a project artist Kiera Brew Kurec did with us at Showtime Night Market.

clear box ][ event ][ participatory ][ performance ]

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