un Projects is based on the unceded sovereign land and waters of the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation; we pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging.
un Projects

Rosemary Forde

Dear Melbourne artists, please stop paying rental fees to exhibit in publicly funded galleries

It occurs to me that the bookended timeline proposed between issues 13.1 and 13.2 of un Magazine – from the fall of the Twin Towers in 2001 (the historic location around which issue 13.1 was built), to the introduction of the ‘Melbourne Model’ in 2008 (the focus for 13.2) and beyond to our current conditions […]

Melinda Reid

Reluctant bin chickens of neoliberalised education

Australian White Ibises are better known as bin chickens to most Sydney-siders. The nickname derives from the species reliance on rubbish and public bins to sustain themselves. Ibises are naturally inclined towards a diet of insects and molluscs, but with the loss of their wetland habitats to climate change and land redevelopments, they have been […]

Sophie Chauhan

Disorienting the Classroom: A Response to The Undercommons

We’re already here, moving. We’ve been around. We’re more than politics, more than settled, more than democratic. We surround democracy’s false image in order to unsettle it. Every time it tries to enclose us in a decision, we’re undecided. Every time it tries to represent our will, we’re unwilling. Every time it tries to take […]

Michael Stevenson

Serene Velocity in Practice: MC510/CS183

Serene Velocity in Practice: MC510/ CS183* (2017-19) imagines two classrooms, each based on a real course taught by adjunct lecturers in United States’ tertiary education institutions. Evangelical pastor John Wimber taught ‘MC510: Signs and Wonders’ in the School of World Mission and Church Growth at Fuller Theological Seminary between 1982 and 1986. Silicon Valley entrepreneur […]

Freya Rose


History is the fruit of power, but power itself is never so transparent that its analysis becomes superfluous. The ultimate mark of power may be its invisibility; the ultimate challenge, the exposition of its roots.[^1]— Michel-Rolph Trouillot On 11 September 1973 the socialist president of Chile, Salvador Allende, was deposed and murdered in a military […]

Holly Keys

Carnage in the Eye of the Beholder: On Postmodernism and Nine Eleven

In the 1980s, French philosopher Jean Baudrillard asked, ‘Why does the World Trade Center have two towers?’[^1] The towers functioned, before Nine Eleven, as parallel surfaces mirroring one another. They became a symbol for the irrelevance of difference in a post-political world where acts disappear without consequence. A one-dimensional society. The symbolic eliminates difference in […]

Gilbert Caluya

Big Brother: Securitainment and the Racialised Logic of Suspicion

There is a tendency in contemporary life for artists, academics, authors and activists to view Nine Eleven as the beginning of the Western world’s demise into fragmented populist nationalisms, reigniting the Cold War by substituting ‘Islamic terrorism’ for ‘Russian communism’. Although there is some truth to this myth, there is a danger when projecting American […]

Hoda Afshar and Behrouz Boochani

Beyond Human: Artists in Conversation

Behrouz Boochani is translated from Farsi by Dr. Omid Tofighian, American University in Cairo/ University of Sydney. Hoda Afshar : In our different areas, we both make connections between real and fictionalised events, partly in order to question through art-making how certain narrative-truths are constructed. History and poetry, documentary and staged images, combine in our […]

Natalie Ironfield and Nayuka Gorrie

Notes on Bodies That Matter on The Beach

On 5 January 2019, members of the far-right gathered on the boardwalk of St Kilda Beach to ‘Reclaim the Beach’. Organised by known fascists Blair Cottrell and Neil Erikson, the ‘Reclaim the Beach’ rally claimed to be a response to recent incidents of mugging involving African young people in the Port Phillip Bay area. Attendees […]

Nur Shkembi

Post Nine eleven

‘Hey Muhammad, guess what time it is?’ The sound of multiple mobile phone alarms fill the room. It is first period and my eldest son is sitting in his Year 12 English class. As the only Muslim, he finds himself at the centre of a persistent morning ritual. His classmates have their alarms set to […]

Ceri Hann

Artefacts and the Art of Fiction

The white glove hovered momentarily over the ‘buy now’ button. One click away from souveniring a memento that might help it all click into place. The item in question: a pre-2001 Twin Tower snow dome, complete with an inauthentic looking Certificate of Authenticity. Once purchased it would make its way to my cache of accumulated […]

Carol Que

On Material Speculation

I studied in the original coloniser country, the United Kingdom. While I was there, I visited a lot of museums with stolen art and cultural objects. The first time I visited the British Museum I was overcome with rage and sadness. Back then, I was surprised at my strong reactions to material objects not from […]

Bahar Sayed

Cruelty and the Theatre of Jihad

The true believers are the ones who have faith in God and his Messenger and leave all doubt behind. The ones who have struggled with their possessions and their persons in Gods way: they are the ones who are true. Qur’an 49:15 The verse above belongs to a Qur’anic surah. It instructs believers on how […]

Ceri Hann

Artefacts and Art of Fiction

The white glove hovered momentarily over the ‘buy now’ button. One click away from souveniring a memento that might help it all click into place. The item in question: a pre-2001 Twin Tower snow dome, complete with an inauthentic looking Certificate of Authenticity. Once purchased it would make its way to my cache of accumulated […]

Will Kollmorgen

What about all the very private moments like smiling at someone in Tower One, the red gum or the white plastic bag that one evening took my breath away?

The disassembly of a skyscraper is a rare and expensive event. Counter-construction, or reverse building, methods precede often baroque permit requests and legal go aheads. In a sense, a building must be ‘re-cocooned’ in the very materials from which it sprung forth. Scaffolding is wrapped along the perimeter and façade of a structure destined for […]

Bridget Chappell

To (Phase) Cancel the Cops: An Acoustic Science of Insurrection

In 2017, the City of Melbourne installed 190 public address speakers at ninety-five locations around the CBD. The speaker system quickly became known in the media as the city’s ‘terror sirens’. They were installed to counter the spectre of a mass incident, or a ‘class 3 emergency’—a siege, riot, shooting or vehicle attack. When signalling […]

Anabelle Lacroix

Normative Realities of Voiding Effects

Bah, I make circumstances!— Napoleon Our progress poisons the sources of our experience. And the poison tastes so sweet that it spoils our appetite for plain fact.— Daniel J. Boorstin, The Image: A Guide to Pseudo Events in America, 1962 The first American newspaper was published once a month in 1690, because there were only […]

Safdar Ahmed

Aesthetics of Racism in the Editorial Cartoon

The cartoon is a type of visual shorthand that says a lot about how we view ourselves and others. From one-off newspaper images to serialised comics, cartoons supply a pictorial genealogy of racist tropes that began in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and persist to the present day. Cartoons create meaning through the manipulation of […]

Ava Amedi

Two Twins

I’m just a singer of simple songs, I’m not a real political man. I watch CNN, but I’m not sure I can tell you the difference in Iraq and Iran. Alan Jackson, ‘Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)’ When kitsch aesthetics and moral conventions converge, we observe the emergence of kitsch ethics. This […]

Genevieve Trail

The Animal Collaborator

Apparently a dog saved Robert Nixon’s political career, transforming him from swindling politician to sympathetic family man with a single strategically-timed intervention. This was in September 1952 and Nixon had just been accused of receiving illegal campaign contributions by his running mate, the Republican nominee Dwight Eisenhower.[^1] In a nationally broadcast television appearance Nixon pleaded […]

Stéphanie Kabanyana Kanyandekwe

Illusions on Self Motion: Moving Together

Prior to the most recent performance (or performative exchange) of Illusions of Self Motion at the National Gallery of Victoria in June 2018, Brook Andrew asked trawulwuy art historian Dr Greg Lehman, myself and current performance collaborator Ben Opie to discuss the connections between Illusions on Self Motion with Brook’s own work 52 Portraits and […]

Diana Baker Smith and Kelly Doley

Call and Response: A Dialogue on Collaboration with/for Pat Larter

Diana Baker-Smith : When I think about collaboration, I think about friendship. I think about our first collaborations at art school well over a decade ago, when we used to do performances in clubs and at warehouse parties. I think about conversations over kitchen tables, sharing beds in regional towns and handmade birthday cards. Making […]

Anna Dunnill and Danni McGrath

Weight of History: A Response to Unveilings by Make or Break

In May 2018, New South Wales-based duo Make or Break (Rebecca Gallo and Connie Anthes) presented their site-specific performance work Unveilings at Kyneton Contemporary Art Triennial. This conversation began then, and continued over email. Hey Anna, : When I think of public monuments I picture a white male figure cast in bronze atop a granite […]

Madeleine Stack

The amateur-amante as a future tool: An interview with Critical Días (Rebecca Close & Anyely Marin Cisneros)

Critical Dias : How do we start? Maybe we can talk about the last two years, in all of our lives! In the book Reinscriptions (2017) that we’ve just published, there are two main texts that we’ve been writing over the past two years, when concerns about machine learning and algorithmic tech and data have […]

Advertise with un