Current research projects are described here at

Doctoral and honours research is described below.

Doctor of Philosophy (2004-2010)

Thesis submitted in June 2010 for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy of The Australian National University
Humanities Research Centre,
Research School of Humanities and the Arts
Degree awarded: May 2011

Doctorate Abstract:

Interrogating Interactive Interfaces:
On balance
in the evocation of environmental responsibility
in the creation of Responsive Environments

This Practice Based Research PhD concerns how Responsive Environments may be created to evoke environmental responsibility. As a diverse constellation of practices within Interactive Art, participation, interactivity and responsivity form the poles of Artist-Artwork-Audience relations in Responsive Environments. Within these artforms, responsibility may be evoked to the physical environment of the artwork itself and/or in the social responsibility arising from the interaction between artist, artwork and audience.

This study is conducted in two interrelated domains: a dissertation and my solo and collaborative creation of a suite of artworks. Dissertation and artworks form a combined exploratory journey through questions arising from and refined by practice. Both explore context- and content-appropriate approaches for evoking environmental responsibility according to the relationship between an artworks’ responsivity and the responsibility thus created for audiences.

The iteratively designed artworks produced for this PhD include a series of sight-specific plastic art installations, a non-linear single channel electronic artwork, a multi-channel semi-immersive performative-installation and a full scale multi-channel immersive installation. They were staged in exhibitions, performances and installations in Australia between 2004-2009.

The dissertation contextualises my strategies amongst the broader challenges to creating Responsive Environments according to relevant practitioner-theorists. Both exegesis and dissertation highlight balance as the pivot point for all such strategies, wherein artists negotiate trade-offs between the seemingly mutually exclusive properties of authority-control, determinacy-indeterminacy, simplicity-complexity and narrativity-interactivity. The dissertation discusses three principle ‘ingredients’ that determine the balancing act between these properties: content, form and Interaction Design. How these ‘ingredients’ may be combined with one another to evoke environmental responsibility is explored over the career trajectories of three solo (Garth Paine, Jon McCormack and David Rokeby), and two Interactive Art collectives (Transmute Collective and FoAM).

Combining these case studies with the account of my own practice contributes to understanding the challenges intrinsic to evoking environmental responsibility in Responsive Environments. Together, the suite of artworks and dissertation contributes to the small, but growing, interest in bridging gulfs between art, science and technology; analogue and digital art; and environmentalism and Interactive Art.

The PDF of the whole PhD can be downloaded as a single file here, or in the following separate sections:

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) (1998-2002)

Thesis Title:

The Interrelationship between Life-Death in Banaras
and Form-Content in Robert Gardner’s Forest of Bliss

At The University of Sydney I received a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Anthropology and Philosophy, and Honours in Anthropology. The Honours thesis, in Visual Anthropology, concerned the omnipresence of death and regeneration in daily life in the Hindu pilgrimage city of Banaras on the Ganga. The thesis analysed the ethnographic film Forest of Bliss alongside textual ethnographies on Hindu mortuary rituals, sacred geography and theology surrounding the centrality of Banaras in Hindu cosmogony and cosmology.

The thesis was awarded First Class Honours and the Richard B. Davis Prize for Asian Anthropology.

The PDF of the whole Honours Thesis can be downloaded as a single file here.