Digital Culture Fund - February 2010

Arts content for the digital era - assessment meeting report
Digital Culture Fund pilot initiative, closing date 18 January 2010


On behalf of the Australia Council, I am pleased to announce the artists who have been awarded grants for their Digital Culture Fund projects and to report on the 2010 assessment meeting.

The Australia Council Digital Culture Fund (DCF) is a pilot initiative funded through the ‘Arts content for the digital era’ strategic initiative. This project funding is aimed at individuals who have been working creatively with digital technologies for some time. It supports artist-led digital projects engaging with ‘liveness’, in terms of collaborative process, audience engagement or presentation. Please visit the Arts Digital Era blog to find further about this initiative and the broader program,

I would like to thank all artists for their DCF expressions of interest and applications, and to thank the panel members for contributing their expertise and consideration to assess this pilot initiative.


Peers highly commended the sense of play and innovation in the opening up of artistic and broader cultural practice within the DCF. They noted that artists ‘mashed-up’ existing artform practices, popular culture and diverse technological platforms in order to explore participatory models engaging with digital art and the notion of ‘liveness’.

The panel appreciated that there is an increasing cross-over in arts, film, games, digital culture and creative innovation today and recognised the importance of the DCF initiative in supporting this emerging area of artistic practice and collaboration. Partnerships between artists, industry and digital communities and the central positioning of the audience within the creative outcome were also commended.

Peers noted that many applications strongly engaged with local audiences, sites and contexts. While this was positive and relevant for these proposals, peers asked whether artists could look more broadly towards global digital community participation. They recommended that artists working with digital culture should be very aware and articulate about the audiences/users/participants/communities they engage with and those they seek to reach. They also noted that artists should seek suitable partners and co-funding to support their project development, production, presentation and distribution beyond Australia Council funding.
There was rich general discussion about the DCF and the Arts Digital Era program. Peers valued the DCF concepts of liveness, co-presence, connectivity and distribution as important aspects of digital culture. They also expressed concern regarding the intellectual property, rights, marketing, platform propriety and income issues for artists exploring digital culture. The panel agreed that further discussion is warranted to contend with these issues, to engage creatively and sustainably with shared digital communities, and develop the digital era strategy.

Fee Plumley
Digital Program Officer

Successful applicants

Lucas Abela (NSW) - $32,000
Production of an audio/video racing game installation where audiences compete against each other to race modified cars on a racecourse of recycled vinyl records.

Linda Dement, 144693 (NSW) - $38,000
Creative development of an audio-visual performance responding to live data capture from an all-girl roller derby game.

John Haag, 14483 (Qld) - $24,584
An interactive animated movie installation for children, blending real-time 3d motion capture with live performance.

David Kirkpatrick,144707 (NSW) - $21,000
An interactive DJ/VJ dance floor interface at the Sydney Opera House, for a project engaging at-risk youth, in partnership with Shopfront Contemporary Arts and Heaps Decent.

Kelli McCluskey, 144756 (WA) - $31,287
A residency to develop a site-specific interactive augmented reality artwork for the Biennale of Sydney.

Sam Rodgers, 144786 (SA) - $12,750
Production of an iPhone application and flash mob project, where the Format festival zine community in Adelaide can create and self-publish electronic zines and photo comics.

Adriaan Stellingwerff, 144717 (NSW) - $11,000
An augmented reality travel service where your journey depends on a virtual balloon driven by the real-world affect of the wind.


Funding statistics

Applications received: 27
Applications funded: 7
Amount approved: < $171,420


Panel members

The following peers and staff attended the meeting:


David Cranswick (Qld)
David is the inaugural director of The Edge digital culture centre in Brisbane. He is also known as the previous Director of dLux media arts, Curator at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre and as a digital arts practitioner, curator and producer.

Sherre de Lys (NSW)
Sherre is an audio artist, acting EP Music Radio National and founder of ABC's Pool. Pool has been embraced by ‘people formerly known as the audience’ as a platform for new forms of co-creation in public media, and was named Govt. 2.0 Innovator, 2009.

Tess Dryza (Tas)
Tess is the Director of RipeOnline, an Australian digital strategy consultancy specialising in audience engagement, global collaboration and capability building. She is experienced in theatre production, community cultural development and cross cultural communication and has produced and been the Creative Director of ZIVO NSW and the Open Training and Education Network (OTEN).

Brad Giblin (Vic)
Brad is Digital Media Manager at Film Victoria, Brad is currently the Digital Media Manager at Film Victoria. He sits on the board of the Victorian Mobile Industry body (Mobility Vic) and the board of the Interactive Media industry body (AIMIA Victoria).

George Khut (NSW)
George is an artist and currently tutors in interaction design at University of Technology Sydney. Recent projects include Cardiomorphologies, The Heart Library Project (exhibited at St. Vincent’s Public Hospital, Sydney), and the Thinking Through The Body ArtLab project.

Tanja Visosevic (WA)
Tanja is an artist working across bio-art, media and performance and is a cofounder of Bio-Kino. She lectures at the School of Communications & Arts at Edith Cowan University.

Australia Council staff

Andrew Donovan, Inter-Arts Director and Convener; Fee Plumley, Digital Program Officer; Kathryn Gray, Inter-Arts Program Officer; Ricardo Peach, Inter-Arts Manager, Laura Potts, Inter-Arts Section Co-ordinator; and Melissa Habjan, ArtStart Administration Officer.


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