Dr Tracey M Benson
aka @bytetime
“Cross-connections: linking art, science and
identity”
School of Music
2014
Acknowledgements
– I would like to acknowledge the Ngunnawal people, the traditional owners of the
country on which I now ...
Topics covered:
- Introduction to my art
- My role with LivingGreener
- Linkages: SCANZ2013:3rd
Nature
- Relative projects...
Creative works:
Place + identity
What do big bananas, fairy chimneys, Namadgi
National Park and the Murray River have in common?
They are subjects I have used to creatively
explore themes of place, identity and
belonging.
Some projects:
- Big Banana T...
Big Banana Time Inc.
1995-2001
Souvenir objects – questioning values
1996 - 1997
Souvenir objects
1996 - 1999
SciArt'99: Queensland Sciencentre
Queensland Sciencentre 1999, Curated by Paul Brown
Performance works
1995-1999
Scalpland: place and embodiment
1995, 1996
Virtual selves: performance and
embodiment
1998 - 2001
Lateral shift
Online and communications mgt
- Research School of Bioscience
- CERF
- LivingGreener
- Clean Energy Regulator
Fauxonomy
2007-2013
taxonomy-folksonomy-faux
place-experience-truth
Fauxonomy: mapping as experience
Project: Cultural Strangers
Turkey 2011
Project: Cultural Strangers, Turkey 2011
SCANZ: 3rd
Nature
Artist residency
Aotearoa 2013
SCANZ: Artist residency
Aotearoa 2013
Message to the Mountain
Puke Ariki Museum
SCANZ2013: 3rd
Nature
Taranaki, Aotearoa
Project: SCANZ2013,3rd
Nature, Taranaki, New Zealand
Finding Balance: Mura Gadi
Canberra 2013
Project: Finding Balance : Mura Gadi, 2013 Canberra
Project: Finding Balance : Mura Gadi, 2013 Canberra
Words for Water
2013 - current
Background
Words for Water has evolved from a number of events:

A residency in NZ – SCANZ2013

A Jawun secondment with ...
Reflecting on SCANZ2013
An artist residency linking art, science, Indigenous
knowledge and the environment.
This event cry...
Reflecting on SCANZ2013
One of the conversations at SCANZ that reasonated was about Wai – Water.
For Maori, Wai means many...
Remembering Scalpland
While thinking about my mountain and my river, I was
reminded of a performance piece from the mid 19...
Remembering Scalpland
Remembering Scalpland
Remembering Scalpland
Yorta Yorta Country
From YYNAC website:
The Yorta Yorta people of southeast Australia are a river people. Dhungala is
the ...
Yielima: On Country
Echuca
Responding to the river
After spending the day on the paddleboat and seeing
the damage caused by this tourist activity, pl...
Facebook responses
Gathering words
Gapu: Yolgnu, Kapi: Pitjanjatjara, Gugu: Wubuy, 
Air: Bahasa Indonesian, Wair: Bahasa Sikka, Wada:
Myla, V...
Words for Water
Project description (excerpt)
Words for water is an exploration into the many aspects of the chemical of
H...
Project Development
Tracing the Murray River
To create the video over 70 images were collected of
the Murray River, follow...
The Chakra of the Murray - Crown
The Chakra of the Murray - Heart
The Chakra of the Murray - Base
Making Maps for ISMAR
Video for ISMAR
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dd0SqODdIOU
Next steps: Wellness
In many languages the words for water have multiple
meanings – as in the example of Wai.
In my mother...
Sharing personal stories
As part of the expanding collaborative aspect of
Words for Water, I will be collecting audio and ...
Connection points
SCANZ2013
Sound artists
Nigel Helyer
Nigel Helyer
Leah Barclay
Leah Barclay
Thanks for having me!
Contact details:
Tracey M Benson
www.byte-time.net
www.traceybenson.com
www.geokult.com
http://media...
Cross Connections: Linking Art, Science and Identity, ANU School of Music
Cross Connections: Linking Art, Science and Identity, ANU School of Music
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Cross Connections: Linking Art, Science and Identity, ANU School of Music

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A lecture for the School of Music, The Australian National University, April 2014 by Dr Tracey Benson, Adjunct Postdoctoral Research Fellow, School of Music.
The presentation focuses on cross connecting themes of art, science and technology in Benson's work, her role with the Australian Government and her involvement with Intercreate.org and SCANZ2013.
A number of projects are explored:
- Big Banana Time Inc. (1996 – 2001)
- Performances in real and cyberspace
- Fauxonomy (2007 – current)
- Finding Balance
- Words for Water

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  • Background in visual arts, exhibiting since 1993, early focus on printmaking, photography and painting
    A passion for writing – three postgraduate theses:
    - Postgraduate diploma in Art history 1996 : ‘Theosophy and abstraction in Australia during the inter war years’
    - Research MA 2001: ‘The personal museum – souvenirs and nostalgia’
    - PhD 2010: ‘Cross connections – online activism and real world outcomes’
    Started working with digital media in 1995, photo manipulation, then animation and video, learnt HTML in 1996
    Ongoing interest in the WWW and online environments as social spaces
    Career experience includes, gallery and exhibition management, education and public sector
  • Scalpland utilises the body and the notion of the landscape as exchangeable metaphors signifying colony.
    Documentation - Scalpland
    Overview
    The key areas of consideration were:
    1. To explore the contemporary implications of Australia’s colonial (myth)story as exemplified by the reality of the urban sprawl.
    2. To subtly reference Australia’s colonial past as a penal colony as one of the various discursive operations surrounding the act clippering of my hair.
    3. To deal contextually and physically with the colonisation of the body and mind with specific reference to the female body.
    4. To use the pseudoscience of Phrenology as the colonial model to challenge the authority of such modalities of thought.
    5. To specifically address Paul Carter’s discussions on mimesis, and blindness via the performative aspect of the presentation.
    6. To present the performance as an anti-performance or anti-theatre. The ways that physically present these issues are crucial to my statement regarding colonisation.
    7. To unify all aspects of this piece, not as a clear demarcation, but rather to assure the relativity contextually via an overlapping of ideas and metaphors.
  • ‘the production of self as an object in the world’ (Hall, 1996: 13)
    ‘a process never completed – always “in process”’ (Hall, 1996: 2)
    ‘…identities can function as points of identification and attachment only because of their capacity to exclude, to leave out, to render “outside”…’ (Hall 1996:5)
    Questions of Cultural Identity, Stuart Hall and Paul du Gay, 1996
  • SCANZ 2013, 3rd Nature, New Zealand
    THEMES
    3rd nature involves creativity and innovation at the intersection of three critical interfaces:
    *Acknowledging the environmental crisis; *Engaging with Maori and indigenous peoples; *Engaging with Sciences and the Hybrid Arts
    These three intersecting dialogues provide space for a Third Nature, a fresh space for engaging with new knowledge and approaches vital to a sustainable civilisation.
    (http://www.intercreate.org/2011/09/scanz-2013-third-nature/)
  • SCANZ 2013, 3rd Nature, New Zealand
    THEMES
    3rd nature involves creativity and innovation at the intersection of three critical interfaces:
    *Acknowledging the environmental crisis; *Engaging with Maori and indigenous peoples; *Engaging with Sciences and the Hybrid Arts
    These three intersecting dialogues provide space for a Third Nature, a fresh space for engaging with new knowledge and approaches vital to a sustainable civilisation.
    (http://www.intercreate.org/2011/09/scanz-2013-third-nature/)
  • ABOUT NON-PLACES:
    ‘If place can be defined as relational, historical and concerned with identity, then a space which can not be defined as relational, or historical, or concerned with identity will be a non-place.’
    Marc Auge in his book Non Places – Introduction to an anthropology of supermodernity argues that supermodernity creates non-places. The main characteristic of supermodernity is excess, so non-places are results or perhaps some kind of side effects of the excess of time, excess of space and excess of ego. Hence supermodernity is created through the logic of excess.
    Excess of time, Auge argues, is result of the extension of life expectancy which has brought social changes so that the coexistence of three generations changed into the possible coexistence of four generations.
    Similarly, the excess of space is correlative with the shrinking of the planet and its change of scale, caused by technological advances set off by rapid means of transport and communication such as flying, satellite communication and the internet - the means that offer fast and sometimes even instant access to information or events.
    Excess of ego is the result of both of the other two excesses. It is particularly enhanced by the contemporary liberal political language of individual freedoms as well as by advertising apparatus.
    Furthermore, Marc Auge defines non-places as having no identity, no history and no urban relationships. Non-places are temporary spaces for passage, communication and consumption; the motorways seen from car interiors, motorway restaurants/service/petrol stations, large supermarkets, duty-free shops and the passenger transit lounges of world airports.
    Non-places are contrary to places. They represent the decline of the public man and the rise of the self-obsessed man. Non-places are such due to their solitary arrangement, shielded by pin and credit-card numbers, as well as passwords that create safety as well as solitude and alienation.
  • Cross Connections: Linking Art, Science and Identity, ANU School of Music

    1. 1. Dr Tracey M Benson aka @bytetime “Cross-connections: linking art, science and identity” School of Music 2014
    2. 2. Acknowledgements – I would like to acknowledge the Ngunnawal people, the traditional owners of the country on which I now stand. – Also, I would like to acknowledge all Indigenous peoples, whose wisdom and knowledge offer great opportunities for humanity to learn how to be more sustainable and respectful of the land we inhabit. – Last but not least, I would like to acknowledge the support and encouragement of Te Urutahi Waikerepuru, Jo Tito, Sharon Atkinson, Lee Joachim, Aretha Briggs and many other people who, by sharing their stories and passion, encouraged me to explore more deeply my own history and place in the world.
    3. 3. Topics covered: - Introduction to my art - My role with LivingGreener - Linkages: SCANZ2013:3rd Nature - Relative projects for composers
    4. 4. Creative works: Place + identity
    5. 5. What do big bananas, fairy chimneys, Namadgi National Park and the Murray River have in common?
    6. 6. They are subjects I have used to creatively explore themes of place, identity and belonging. Some projects: - Big Banana Time Inc. (1996 – 2001) - Performances in real and cyberspace - Fauxonomy (2007 – current) - Finding Balance - Words for Water
    7. 7. Big Banana Time Inc. 1995-2001
    8. 8. Souvenir objects – questioning values 1996 - 1997
    9. 9. Souvenir objects 1996 - 1999
    10. 10. SciArt'99: Queensland Sciencentre Queensland Sciencentre 1999, Curated by Paul Brown
    11. 11. Performance works 1995-1999
    12. 12. Scalpland: place and embodiment 1995, 1996
    13. 13. Virtual selves: performance and embodiment 1998 - 2001
    14. 14. Lateral shift Online and communications mgt - Research School of Bioscience - CERF - LivingGreener - Clean Energy Regulator
    15. 15. Fauxonomy 2007-2013 taxonomy-folksonomy-faux place-experience-truth
    16. 16. Fauxonomy: mapping as experience
    17. 17. Project: Cultural Strangers Turkey 2011
    18. 18. Project: Cultural Strangers, Turkey 2011
    19. 19. SCANZ: 3rd Nature Artist residency Aotearoa 2013
    20. 20. SCANZ: Artist residency Aotearoa 2013
    21. 21. Message to the Mountain Puke Ariki Museum SCANZ2013: 3rd Nature Taranaki, Aotearoa
    22. 22. Project: SCANZ2013,3rd Nature, Taranaki, New Zealand
    23. 23. Finding Balance: Mura Gadi Canberra 2013
    24. 24. Project: Finding Balance : Mura Gadi, 2013 Canberra
    25. 25. Project: Finding Balance : Mura Gadi, 2013 Canberra
    26. 26. Words for Water 2013 - current
    27. 27. Background Words for Water has evolved from a number of events:  A residency in NZ – SCANZ2013  A Jawun secondment with the Yorta Yorta People of the Goulburn Murray Region  Conversations about water both online and offline
    28. 28. Reflecting on SCANZ2013 An artist residency linking art, science, Indigenous knowledge and the environment. This event crystallized many links between my practice, my values and my need to make sense of my place in the world. At SCANZ2013, I learnt to acknowledge my mountain and my river, by my Maori guides.
    29. 29. Reflecting on SCANZ2013 One of the conversations at SCANZ that reasonated was about Wai – Water. For Maori, Wai means many things, For example:  Water is classified into categories each based on spiritual and geographical features.  Wai has many meanings related to the idea of water as the essence of life.  Waiora, waimaori, waikino, waimate and waitai - are used to define concepts for maintaining balance and interconnections between all living things and processes. Also, Maori regard the river like a human body, if it becomes sick, it can die. I remembered the creek we played in as children.
    30. 30. Remembering Scalpland While thinking about my mountain and my river, I was reminded of a performance piece from the mid 1990s – Scalpland. This performance explored a range of issues related to place, the body and identity. A key theme was the changes in the landscape, witnessed in my suburb Aspley, after living away for a decade.
    31. 31. Remembering Scalpland
    32. 32. Remembering Scalpland
    33. 33. Remembering Scalpland
    34. 34. Yorta Yorta Country From YYNAC website: The Yorta Yorta people of southeast Australia are a river people. Dhungala is the life source and spirit of the Yorta Yorta. River basins around the world are critical for water resources, biodiversity and agriculture, but they are facing increasing stresses due to degradation, overuse and climate change. We must find new, more integrated solutions that deliver benefits for:  healthy river ecosystems  sustainable agriculture  empowered communities From (http://www.yynac.com.au/learning_from_indigenous_knowledge.php)
    35. 35. Yielima: On Country
    36. 36. Echuca
    37. 37. Responding to the river After spending the day on the paddleboat and seeing the damage caused by this tourist activity, plus seeing the river level so low I needed to find a way to bring together my disparate and desperate thoughts. Then I had an idea... about the words for water...
    38. 38. Facebook responses
    39. 39. Gathering words Gapu: Yolgnu, Kapi: Pitjanjatjara, Gugu: Wubuy,  Air: Bahasa Indonesian, Wair: Bahasa Sikka, Wada: Myla, Voda: Russian, Sui: Cantonese, Pani: Hindu, Water: English, Aqua: Latin, Eau: French, Ma: Arabic, Agua: Spanish/Portuguese, Nepo: Greek, Wasser: German, Wai: Maori, Galin: Wiradjuri, Wala: Yorta Yorta, Su: Turkish,  Tubig: Filipino, Vann: Norwegian, Uisce: Irish Gaelic,  Dwr: Welsh, Ilma: Maltese, Vand: Danish,  Vatten: Swedish, Banyu: Javanese, Vesi: Estonian,  Auga: Galician, Ouse: Old English, Av: Kurdish
    40. 40. Words for Water Project description (excerpt) Words for water is an exploration into the many aspects of the chemical of H2O. Water makes up over 70 per cent of the human body, it is essential for sustaining life and has massive social and cultural significance. This project seeks to raise awareness of the significance of water to humanity – its critical importance to our existence: spirituality, culture, health and ecological sustainability.
    41. 41. Project Development Tracing the Murray River To create the video over 70 images were collected of the Murray River, following the river from its source in the mountains, not far from where I live, to the sea - the Coorong in South Australia.
    42. 42. The Chakra of the Murray - Crown
    43. 43. The Chakra of the Murray - Heart
    44. 44. The Chakra of the Murray - Base
    45. 45. Making Maps for ISMAR
    46. 46. Video for ISMAR https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dd0SqODdIOU
    47. 47. Next steps: Wellness In many languages the words for water have multiple meanings – as in the example of Wai. In my mother tongue, English, there are also many words that have a connection to water, which have disparate meanings – e.g Wellness, Spring. What are other examples? What are their connections to water?
    48. 48. Sharing personal stories As part of the expanding collaborative aspect of Words for Water, I will be collecting audio and video about water. The focus is on personal stories and histories of place You can contribute! Email me: bytetime@gmail.com
    49. 49. Connection points SCANZ2013 Sound artists
    50. 50. Nigel Helyer
    51. 51. Nigel Helyer
    52. 52. Leah Barclay
    53. 53. Leah Barclay
    54. 54. Thanks for having me! Contact details: Tracey M Benson www.byte-time.net www.traceybenson.com www.geokult.com http://mediakult.wordpress.com Words for Water project: http://geokult.com/projects/words-for-water/ You can find @bytetime online at twitter, delicious, scribd, flickr, identica and slideshare Skype and facebook me @ mediakult

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