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

Tag: essay

Ursula Cornelia de Leeuw

A Rabelaisian City by Ursula Cornelia de Leeuw

The library and the department store: the house of knowledge and the house of consumption. Upon closer inspection, they are modern temples where the communal ritual of excess expenditure takes place. Such sites have existed, with many different faces and many different names, for as long as the sacred has been practised. In other words, […]

Melody Paloma and Tom Smith

This is the Way: The Mandalorian, Art and Surplus

it’s all a new mythology … for our time … some sort of heroic … and it has created new mythologies and you better take them seriously. Yes they are out there and don’t ignore them — Werner Herzog Disney’s Star Wars spin-off series The Mandalorian is a model twenty-first century enterprise—an elaborate extraction machine […]

Stephen Palmer

Art in Crisis: Resilience, Recovery, Reproduction

With the implementation of lockdowns and social distancing measures last year we witnessed an almost overnight closure of a large part of the Australian arts sector, prompting a widespread call for financial support. These calls for assistance often took a well-trodden road, emphasising the significant contribution that the sector makes to the national economy, as […]

Bonnie Reid

Worker Bee, Hawk-Eye, Drone

If attention was an experiment in living, rather than a deal or a calculation. —Adam Phillips I looked up from the breakfast table to the highest window in the apartment. There, silently, a plane made its way from the left jamb to the right and was gone. It was the first I’d seen flying in […]

Khalid Warsame

Tracing Transcendence

Franz Kafka’s short story ‘The City Coat of Arms’ (1931), begins with a group of people who all agree that it would be a great idea to build a tower. ‘At first all the arrangements for building the Tower of Babel were characterized by fairly good order … perhaps too perfect.’ Arrangements are made for […]

Malay Firoz

Political Art and the Forensic Traces of Atrocity: Alana Hunt’s Cups of Nun Chai

On 14 February 2019, a suicide bomber drove an SUV packed with explosives into a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy in the Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir, killing forty CRPF troopers in one of the deadliest attacks on India’s armed forces in the past three decades. The Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) took […]

Abbra Kotlarczyk

MY MOTHER’S LABOUR: Darcey Bella Arnold

**An ellipsis is a figure of return that isn’t symmetrical*** ‘“To live elliptically” is to ask a question rather than formulate an answer; a “shrug” is a rhetorical response to a non-rhetorical question of the body – an embodied letting go of future promises in favor of life in the durative present’.[^1] — Darren Byler […]

Nathan Gray

Charcoal, chalk and pencil

Do you believe? Do you accept the festival, the city, the joy? No? Then let me describe one more thing. — Ursula K. Le Guin, ‘The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas’, 1973 1. Charcoal is a residue, the remaining carbon and ash left behind when a plant or animal has had all of the […]

Abbra Kotlarczyk

Re: Sweeping Exchanges: notes on the feminist body politic

The role that difference has played diachronically across various eras of feminist organisation presents us with this same ethos of contradiction. Where in the eighteenth century difference between the sexes was viewed as a limiting agency that sought to subordinate and control women’s aspirations, gendered difference became a liberating force for women of the nineteenth […]

Justin Clemens & Helen Johnson

Porosity, machine, subtraction, substitution: on the formal address to politics in works by Brighid Fitzgerald, Rosie Isaac, Nicholas Mangan and Tom Nicholson

We started thinking about different forms by which art makes an address to politics after a visitor commented on a perceived lack of political content in Australian art. As a local said of such opinions: ‘It’s like they think we don’t have e-flux here.’ So we tried to identify different manifestations of politics in some […]

Jared Davis

Unknown memories: internet rappers, network consumption and aggregated style

We’re not going to pull the death of the author on you again. No, not that again![^1] —Claire Fontaine, Ready-Made Artist and Human Strike: A Few Clarifications, 2005 While researching for this piece I came across a blog article seeking to verify the popular attribution to Pablo Picasso of the quote: ‘Good artists copy; great […]

Tara McDowell

This monstrous neologism: on Lyotard’s Les Immatériaux

Les Immatériaux roughly translates to ‘the immaterials’ or ‘the non-materials’. These materials are new in that they newly challenge our relationship to the world, whether through the dehumanisation of technology or by the faltering of man’s mastery over nature. And so the exhibition was filled with computers (often malfunctioning) but also artificial skin, Kevlar, and […]

Christopher Williams-Wynn

On the (im)possibility of anachronism in contemporary art

When investigating cultural understandings of time and space at the beginning of the twentieth century, historian Stephen Kern notes a rising contest between ideas of public (or social) time and private time in Europe.[^1] Public time is the realm of shared understandings of temporal experience, disseminated through calendars, clocks and the adoption of standard time, […]

Amanda Kouriroukidis

Divine comedies, they’re getting worse every year

An impeccable looking man in a tuxedo jacket and striped pants enters carrying a headless dressmaker’s dummy. He feigns marriage, puts a bunch of artificial flowers at the dummy’s feet, sits down, turns his back to the audience and begins to speak. As he speaks the tension in the room weighs heavier and heavier. Soon […]

Danny Butt

Theses on art and knowledge

‘Knowledge’, as described by educational institutions, is disciplinary knowledge. There is no way to know how much knowledge is held in an object of knowledge (a report, for example) until one has done the work to understand how a field of knowledge is constructed. No report is self-authoring, containing all the knowledge needed to understand […]

Matthew Shannon

Cloth of the world

The Mappa Mundi: an example from history of another internet. Although revolutionary in scope, the internet’s quest to amass knowledge into one repository isn’t a new idea. There is a lineage of both libraries and encyclopaedias stretching back to ancient times, for example the great library of Alexandria and Pliny’s Naturalis Historia, written in AD77. […]

Sophie Knezic

Doctor Doctor: The emergence of the practice-led PhD

The amalgamation of art schools into university frameworks over the past decade has meant a new development in advanced degrees; the birth of the studio-based Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). In many ways this was an inevitability, part of the increasing tertiary accreditation of visual arts/studio arts courses over the late twentieth century. In Australia, initially […]

Justin Clemens

No creation but through submission

Arts Research? WTF?! Who the hell would consider bringing together such antipodal signifiers unless they were a bureaucrat or a pervert or both? Under what institutional conditions could such a rebarbative oxymoron even make sense? Surely the term freights all sorts of seamy occlusions and destructions? But perhaps my surprise—even shock and horror—at the very […]