ATOM (Australian Teachers of Media) have prepared a comprehensive Study Guide for Experimenta Make Sense: The International Triennial of Media Art at RMIT Gallery (until 11 November) which we hope teachers will find useful for students and school visits to the exhibition.
Playful and thought provoking, this exhibition of over 20 leading international and Australian artists asks audiences to immerse their senses into a contemplation of what it is to be human in the digital age of technological acceleration.
Book free guided tour of Experimenta Make Sense at RMIT Gallery: (03) 9925 1717.
Experimenta Make Sense marks the third occasion in which RMIT Gallery has partnered with Experimenta, Australia’s leading media arts organization dedicated to commissioning, exhibiting and touring some of the world’s most compelling contemporary media art. These practices are at the nexus of art with digital media, science and technology, and design.
ATOM Study Guide analysis of Ella Barclay’s work in Experimenta Make Sense
Ella Barclay’s Access Remote Fervour (pictured) explores the interplay between the physical world and the immateriality of ideas, data, spectres and echoes. Tanks of water feature in the darkened gallery. Mist swirls across the surface, gently rising and
revealing human forms swimming across the glowing surface. Luminous echoes of the figures appear in the tanks. The human forms seem caught in a limbo between worlds, in an eternal cycle of formation and dissipation.
Ella Barclay makes installations in sound and light that channel the techno-romantic. With shape-shifting bodies floating in misty seas, nano visuals of fibre optics, and large-scale server networks, Barclay brings to light the physical spaces that data occupies and speculates a future of human-machine relationships.
• Think and share with another student how you
store and share your data.
• Do you still hand write birthdays, calendar events,
lists, etc.? Or do type them into your computer or
• What would you do if all of your data was lost?
• What would happen if large amounts of the world’s
important data was lost?
• What do you think happens to the vast amounts of
data generated in the world each day? Where does it
end up? Who looks after it?
• Think about how humans have stored data in the past
compared to how it is stored in the present day? What
do you think the advantages or disadvantages are of
the different method of data storage and information
• Describe your immediate response to Access Remote
Fervour. Explain your response by making specifc
reference to the artwork.
• Identify the materials and techniques used by Barclay
to create Access Remote Fervour.
• Describe the way Access Remote Fervour has been
installed in the exhibition space.
• How does the placement of the artwork affect audience
• What effect does the mist give the artwork? How do
you think the mist is made?
• Describe how sound is used in this artwork.
• Access Remote Fervour has been described as looking
like a crazed science experiment. Is that what you
thought when you saw it?
REFLECT AND RESPOND
• Drawing on the information provided by the wall text and
online research about Access Remote Fervour, what is
the intended meaning and message of the artwork?
• Explain why Barclay titled the artwork Access Remote
• Explain how Access Remote Fervour relates to the
thematic focus of Experimenta Make Sense.
• What do you think the tanks represent? What about the
water and the swimmers?
• Look up the definition of fervour and identify which
meaning Barclay has used when titling her work. Justify
Ella Barclay offcial website
Ella Barclay Vimeo Channel – Video of Access Remote