RMIT Gallery facade transforms on White Night


If you’re heading to White Night Melbourne on Saturday make sure you pay RMIT Gallery a visit.

From dusk till dawn, the RMIT Gallery facade will be transformed into organic digital audio reactive light display called Ectoplasm by MindBuffer & digital artist Andy Thomas.

Thomas is a digital artist who creates intricate artwork and specialises in particle simulation based motion graphics, inspired by nature and technology.

MindBuffer is the combined music programming and synaesthesia exploration of RMIT lecturer Dr Joshua Batty and Mitchell Nordine. They met studying at RMIT University early 2010 and clicked instantly. Last year at White Night, they transformed RMIT’s iconic Storey Hall (home of RMIT Gallery) into a dazzling abstract light projection. Watch the video below:

“Last year was the first time we had the opportunity to projection map the entire facade of a building, which was an amazing opportunity offered by RMIT Gallery,” Batty said.

“This year, we have taken a more organic approach with the visuals, and moved beyond the geometrical tricks. What we plan is to work with the features of the facade and bring it into the three dimensional plane.

“We will also be adding an important audio component.”

Thomas is excited about using Storey Hall as ‘an enormous canvas’ for his work.

“I am so used to doing work on the small screen and this is very different. I can have organic elements growing up the building, and it’s going to very luminous as well.”

Nordine, who is handling the audio component, promises a cross between “Sci-Fi and organic”  and says people will be surprised by how the addition of sound will change their experience of the light display.

“Sound brings you a lot more into the space. Humans evolved to perceive space through sound, so it this additional element will be transformative,” Nordine said.

Anyone who has worked White Night knows the endurance required. MindBuffer and Thomas are no strangers to working festivals, having recently performed at country Victoria’s Rainbow Serpent Festival of electronic music and art.

Batty has a few tricks up his sleeve after being bed ridden for a week after last year’s White Night, which saw him working on top of the building opposite Storey Hall for the duration. It took its toll.

“This year, we have added a generative story engine, which will reveal different aspects throughout the night, without needing us to input new work the whole event,” Batty said.

“At White Night, people tend to come and go and experience lots of different things. We realised that no one sits in front of one work for a long period, so this year, we have taken that in account, along with a watchful eye on our own health.”

While you are at RMIT Gallery, step inside our Hybrid Worlds events and visit the final night of the interactive bio-art exhibition Morbis Artis: Diseases of the Arts, and watch ‘What big teeth you have’ an iteration of Jazmina Cininas’ Girlie Werewolf Project which will morph the face of the Storey Hall annex (next door to the Gallery) into a shape-shifting roll call of lupine ladies.

Listen to MindBuffer & Andy Thomas talk about Ectoplasm and the challenges of transforming the Storey Hall facade for White Night Melbourne.

When: 7pm Saturday 18 February to 7am Sunday 19 February
What: Ectoplasm, by MindBuffer & Andy Thomas
Where: RMIT Gallery facade (Storey Hall ) 344 Swanston Street Melbourne.

RMIT Open Day 2016 – visit RMIT Gallery


Quiddity installation image by Tobias Titz, RMIT Gallery, 2016.

Come inside RMIT Gallery while you explore the RMIT city campus on 14 August during Open Day. The gallery will be open from 10 am – 4 pm, and you can check out the last week of our current exhibitions. Both exhibitions end on 20 August.

Quiddity provides a behind-the-scenes peek into the RMIT Art Collection, and Light moves: Contemporary Australian Video Art features innovative work from top Australian artists, including RMIT alumni Christian Thompson. In 2010 Thompson became the first Aboriginal Australian to be admitted into the University of Oxford in its 900-year history. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy (Fine Art), Trinity College, University of Oxford, Britain, Master of Theatre, Amsterdam School of Arts, Das Arts, The Netherlands, Masters of Fine Art (Sculpture) RMIT University and Honours (Sculpture) RMIT University, and a Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of Southern Queensland.


Christian Thompson

LIGHT MOVES IMAGE Christian Thompson, HEAT 2010. Three channel digital video, sound, duration 5 minutes 52 seconds. Collection of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra


RMIT Open Day is on 14 August from 10-4 pm. Plan your Open Day


RMIT Gallery is RMIT University’s premier exhibition gallery, presenting an exemplary professional program of local, Australian and international creative works, research outcomes and cultural stories that promote social and academic interaction between the university and a global public with a focus on external partnerships and digital dissemination.

The public exhibition program delivers unique visceral experiences of visual art, new media, and sonic art, design popular culture, science technology and art fusions in its five museum standard spaces.

Come and see us! We are at 344 Swanston Street, right next to the Storey Hall entrance.

RMIT Gallery (right) is located at 344 Swanston Street. The front facade’s classical design is dominated by the Corinthian columns set on a high base of Malmsbury bluestone. You can’t miss us – we are right next to the iconic Storey Hall extension, which features bright green geometric-shaped windows and tiles.

Architectonics at White Night Melbourne

edited_ josh

Get ready for Saturday’s White Night Melbourne! Located in the heart of the Northern Lights precinct, the façade of Storey Hall (RMIT Gallery’s home) will come alive Architectonics, a high tech light show that morphs throughout the night thanks to a custom projection mapping technology by MindBuffer.

This amazing software will create a constantly changing light canvas on RMIT’s iconic building, borrowing influences from 1960s op-art enhanced for the digital age.

Playing with 40,000 lumens of light like big kids in a software sandbox, MindBuffer work the magic that made them a hit at the Burning Man festival in Nevada.

Storey Hall’s grand Victorian façade will seemingly fragment before your eyes and reassemble again as MindBuffer constantly improvise various combinations of patterns and colors whilst highlighting specific architectural features.

You can watch from dawn to dusk and never get bored, this is 12 hours of relentless creativity in action. Guaranteed – no repetitions.

Share your photos using the hashtags #urbansub #whitenightmelb and #rmit

Mindbuffer Live

MindBuffer perform at Burning Man in Nevada

RMIT Gallery caught up with Joshua Batty from MindBuffer for his tips at staying the distance at an all night event. After all, MindBuffer have performed at a number of prestigious national and international festivals including the Solar Eclipse festival in Cairns and at Burning Man in Nevada.

RMIT GALLERY What are your strategies for performing for 12 hours at White Night?

JOSHUA BATTY  Lots of caffeinated beverages! I find performing and engaging with visual stimulus pretty energising. Taking a long nap before hand to offset your body clock definitely helps too!

RMIT GALLERY We’d love an insider’s view of the famous Burning Man festival – tell all!

JOSHUA BATTY Burning Man is like nowhere I’ve ever been before. It’s in a really barren location with around 50,000 people in attendance over an area that seems to be the size of a medium city. Everywhere you go you’ll see mutant vehicles transformed into ships and huge robotic sculptures that would surely not pass the first round of health and safety checks in Australia.

Oh yeah, pretty much everything has flames erupting out of it! It’s kind of refreshing being in a place that has it’s own rules and feels a tad dangerous, especially coming from Australia that at times feels like a highly sanitised safety bubble of PG rated fun.

Burning Man - MindBuffer

MindBuffer live at Burning Man in Nevada

We played three different shows while we there over the course of eight days. Performing at Burning Man had it’s own unique challenges. Specifically, the environment is made up of really fine alkaline dust that gets into EVERYTHING. Alkaline is a corrosive compound so if it gets inside your gear it will eat away at the circuits and eventually kill your equipment. That along with frequent dust storms of the stuff makes it a bit more challenging that your normal gig.

Aside from that we had a great time playing our shows and will be heading over again in 2017 to perform there again.

RMIT GALLERY Take home message for a successful Burning Man performance?

JOSHUA BATTY If you can’t blow people’s minds purely through manipulating sound and light whilst at the same time getting them to dance – then you’ve failed.

RMIT GALLERY  Let’s travel back in time….how did you and Mitchell Nordine meet and form MindBuffer?

JOSHUA BATTY   We met six years ago at RMIT at the first class I taught. Three days after putting a track we wrote together up on Soundcloud, we were approached and signed to Enig’matik records alongside some of their biggest musical influences. It all happened very quickly!

RMIT GALLERY   When did you decide to add the visuals to the music?

JOSHUA BATTY   We had grand visions of tightly synchronised visuals that would enhance the music, so we taught themselves how to program software so we could create something that didn’t already exist.

RMIT GALLERY   What’s next after White Night Melbourne?

JOSHUA BATTY    We are currently in the process of building the world’s first Artificial Intelligent generative audiovisual composition software for upcoming performances.

We get a lot of inspiration from projection artists such as 1024 architecture, Universal Everything and Playmodes to name a few. Those guys are really pushing the boundaries. Our friends Eloi and Santi from Playmodes in particular just did a show where they mapped the 300 meter wide façade of the Lichtspiele Castle in Karlsruhe, Germany.

For that work they needed to use 24 x 21,000 lumen projectors outputting a resolution of 10800 x 1080 pixels!! So for use there is still room to grow. We have been talking recently with Playmodes and we both hope that somehow the universe will allow a MindBuffer + Playmodes collaboration in the near future!


Music, Melbourne + Me: 40 years of Mushroom + Melbourne’s Popular Music Culture, RMIT Gallery, 2013. Photo Mark Ashkanasy. The Morphos was designed by Joshua Batty while working on his PhD at RMIT and features software technology used in MindBuffer’s Architectonics projection on Storey Hall for White Night Melbourne 2016.

RMIT GALLERY This is fascinating for many reasons – not the least the fact that all of this has come out of your PhD research at RMIT. Can you talk about that a bit?

JOSHUA BATTY  My research was in Audiovisual Granular Synthesis which basically involves dissecting audio and visual media into tiny fragments just long enough to active the sensory input system. I showcased an earlier version of the custom software at RMIT Gallery’s Music, Melbourne + Me exhibition in 2013, creating The Morphos, a large cubic projection-mapped sculpture that delighted crowds at White Night Melbourne in 2014.

I developed software that does this slicing process for me and then reassembles these fragments in new and novel ways leading to an almost hallucinatory perceptual effect. My software, called Kortex, also has functionality for doing projection mapping, generating procedural computer graphics and controlling DMX lighting fixtures and laser projectors all in real-time.

As such, I don’t have the need now to use anyone else’s software anymore which is a pretty liberating feeling when you get there. Still, Kortex is always in constant development and I’ll most likely continue to keep adding features to it.

Don’t miss RMIT Gallery at White Night Melbourne! Watch the 1980s sub culture film festival, dress up print booth and see the popular summer exhibition Geniale Dilletanten: Subculture in Germany in the 1980s – AND ride the thrilling Einstürzende Neubauten Klangbewegung Maschine by (((20Hz))) to really feel like you are in a 1980s Berlin club.





ELISION Ensemble enthrals audience with world-line cycle

Peter Neville, percussion, ELISION Ensemble

Peter Neville, percussion, ELISION Ensemble. Photo: Vicki Jones Photography.

The ELISION Ensemble performance at RMIT Storey Hall on 30 April was totally, viscerally enthralling. And the musicianship superb!! The Australian premiere of Richard Barrett’s world-line cycle and the energetic, kinetic performance enthralled a full house at RMIT Storey Hall. We are still on a high. 

Tristram Williams, trumpet, ELISION Ensemble

Tristram Williams, trumpet, ELISION Ensemble. Photo: Vicki Jones Photography.

ELISION, Australia’s International Contemporary Music Ensemble are Daryl Buckley, electric lap steel guitar; Tristram Williams, trumpet; Peter Neville, percussion.

The three movements of Richard Barrett’s world lines were commissioned for the RMIT Sonic Arts collection. ‘World-line’ is a term derived from the theory of relativity, and denotes the history of a particle or object as it passes through the dimensions of time and space.

As we were recording the performances for the RMIT Art Collection, the doors were shut during the performance and the audience was respectful of the event – not one cough, not one shuffle, not one mobile phone beep. Perfection!

Daryl Buckley, electric lap steel guitar, ELISION Ensemble

Daryl Buckley, electric lap steel guitar, ELISION Ensemble. Photo: Vicki Jones Photography.

Audiences also heard Timothy McCormack’s Heavy Matter, featuring Ben Marks, on solo trombone, and Liza Lim’s Weaver of Fictions featuring Genevieve Lacey, on solo Ganassi recorder. What pleasure in hearing – and watching – these consummate performances. Ben Marks, on trombone, performing Timothy McCormack’s Heavy Matter. Photo: Vicki Jones Photography.

Ben Marks, on trombone, performing Timothy McCormack’s Heavy Matter. Photo: Vicki Jones Photography.

Genevieve Lacey, on solo Ganassi recorder, performing 2.Liza Lim’s Weaver of Fictions. Photo: Vicki Jones Photography.

Genevieve Lacey, on solo Ganassi recorder, performing 2. Liza Lim’s Weaver of Fictions. Photo: Vicki Jones Photography.

ELISION concert at RMIT Storey Hall tonight 30 April

Daryl Buckley rehearsing in RMIT Storey Hall Auditorium for the Australian premiere of Richard Barrett's world-line cycle.

Daryl Buckley rehearsing in RMIT Storey Hall Auditorium for the Australian premiere of Richard Barrett’s world-line cycle.

We are hearing some amazing sounds in RMIT Gallery as Daryl Buckley (pictured) and the rest of the ELISION Ensemble rehearse upstairs in Storey Hall Auditorium for tonight’s concert performance of the Australian premiere of Richard Barrett’s World-Line Cycle.

Daryl Buckley plays the electric lap steel guitar and will be joined by Tristram Williams, trumpet and Peter Neville, percussion, for the free concert performance.

The program will also feature Timothy McCormack’s Heavy Matter (Ben Marks, solo trombone) and Liza Lim’s Weaver of fictions (Genevieve Lacey, solo Ganassi recorder)

The ELISION event is presented by RMIT Gallery in collaboration with Spatial Information Architecture Laboratory Sound Studios.

It will be recorded for inclusion in the RMIT Sonic Arts Collection. Some tickets are still available for the event, which takes place from 7.30-9 pm.

Title: World-Line ELISION Ensemble
Date: Thursday 30 April
Time: 7.30pm to 9pm
Venue: Storey Hall Auditorium, Building 16, Level 5, City campus
Bookings: Free
RSVP: Book via Or (03) 9925 1717.