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Mapping Australian Media Art’ is a new work commission for Experimenta Recharge: 6th International Biennial of Media ArtThe project begins as part of Experimenta Recharge’s first site at RMIT Gallery in Melbourne, and will follow the national tour across 2015-16.

At various times over the opening days of the Melbourne exhibition and again towards the close of the exhibition Leisa is stationed at a table inside the gallery where people can join her in a conversation to collect their memory.


The contributor documents their recollection on individual archival cards that are stamped with a number and counter signed before being placed in an exquisitely handcrafted locked Archival Box that will be displayed in the gallery. This process will be repeated at each venue of Experimenta Recharge’s two-year national tour, with a new archival box from each location added to the expanding installation.

Mapping’ is a process based on memory not document, and so draws on visceral lived experiences of media art works to name the artists that have marked us as a culture. The cards, inscribed with each memory and then placed under lock and key, act as a counterpoint to the changing mores on information and privacy in our digital age.

The project activates the process of storytelling and how memory and its retelling is crucial to keeping knowledge alive.


Melbourne: RMIT Gallery, November 2014 – February 2015
Mildura: Arts Mildura, 5 March – 16 April 2015
Newcastle: The Lock-up, 12 July – 9 August 2015
Brisbane: The Block QUT, 26 August – 26 September 2015
Perth: National Experimental Art Forum, 5 October – 7 October 2015
Warrnambool: Warrnambool Art Gallery, 5 December 2015 – 7 February 2016
Albury: Albury Regional Gallery & Library Museum, 21 February – 24 April 2016
Morwell: Latrobe Regional Gallery, 14 May – 3 July 2016
Adelaide : Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art, 19 August – 23 September 2016



As part of Experimenta’s New Work Commission, eight exquisitely handcrafted archival boxes have been created by artists Tom Burless and James McAllister. These boxes will hold the completed cards under lock and key, creating a lasting installation and testament to the project.

Tom Burless (TOMIKEH) is an industrial artisan living and working in Melbourne. His practice is centred around the design and manufacture of limited run, bespoke products: utilitarian objects, fixtures, fittings, tools, domestic items, furnishings etc. His industrial capabilities are small scale but his capacity for innovation and a broad range of industrial contacts and working relationships with diverse material suppliers give him considerable manufacturing range.  His design sensibilities reflect an interest in the manufacturing aesthetics of “Modern Era” Germany, Eastern Europe and Japan, but are also informed by his eclectic interests in art and cultural history.  His deeply considered approach to design and an ever-present curiosity about new, old and sometimes forgotten materials and processes, gives his work a unique character. Tom is also a photographer and an archivist of industrial paraphernalia and detritus.

James McAllister (BARBOUR) is an artist with diverse interests in drawing, the making of objects, installation, performance and industrial design.  His initial training is in visual arts but the need to be able to work outside this framework has meant the acquisition of a broad range skills and diciplines. He has taught drawing, art history and design for theatre, worked in industrial prototyping and manufacturing design, produced wearable art (ornament) that has been included in a 2012 contemporary jewellery exhibition at the London Design Museum and has most recently been engaged in an ongoing research project addressing the theoretical and practical concerns that souround the potential for (and substance of) the transaction between the artist and his/her client. The research considders the possibility of a soft or intimate architechture that both constitutes and facilitates this interaction.

Tom and James at RMIT Gallery with Mapping 
First development in workshop
Production of full set of boxes
Polished nd sealed tyhe finished boxes

FUTURE DIRECTIONS – Performing the Archive

Performing the Archive asks prominent Australian artists to choose 20 significant moments from their own body of work and then create representational forms of these works to be shared in encounters with audiences around Australia.

A first edition of this project was performed in Melbourne as part of ARCHIVING THE EPHEMERAL with seminal artists

Jill Orr and Stelarc.

Mapping with Experimenta 2014-16

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