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.

White Night draws audiences to RMIT Gallery light projection


RMIT’s Storey Hall lights up during White Night Melbourne – with custom software projection by MindBuffer

RMIT’s Storey Hall was transformed for one magical evening during White Night Melbourne on Saturday 20 February by MindBuffer – RMIT’s Josh Batty and Mitchell Nordine. Their 12 hour custom projection light show ‘Architectonics’ presented by RMIT Gallery provided the crowds with plenty of photo opportunities.


As well as the glorious light projection on Storey Hall, White Night Melbourne attracted large crowds inside RMIT Gallery enjoying the Goethe Institut’s international exhibition Geniale Dilletanten as well as the dress up print booth (in the spirit of the Brilliant Amateur!) And the 1980s subculture film festival at the Kaleide theatre next door.


So many people wanted a ride on the Einstürzende Neubauten Klangbewegung Maschine by (((20Hz))) that we were forced to hand out numbers to the patient fans (like the butcher shop on a Saturday). Blixa Bargeld’s voice is now imprinted on our souls….


No, not a night club but a patient crowd waiting to experience 1980s German subculture at the Geniale Dilletanten exhibition at RMIT Gallery on White Night.



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.





RMIT Gallery’s façade comes alive for White Night Melbourne

White Night Melbourne – Saturday 20 February – Sunday 21 February from 7 pm to 7 am – will again delight as the city comes alive, enticing people on a journey of discovery through the heart of Melbourne with music, food, film, art, and light. And for the third year in a row, RMIT Gallery has a showcase of events planned for art lovers.


Located in RMIT’s grand Victorian building Storey Hall, RMIT Gallery’s façade comes alive with a dazzling light show and morphs throughout the night thanks to “Architectonics” a custom projection mapping technology by Joshua Batty and Mitchell Nordine from MindBuffer.


The work, which sits at the intersection of science, architecture and digital media seeks to explore a variety of architectural perceptual tricks at the extreme level of detail MindBuffer have become known for. With the aid of custom visual granular synthesis software developed by Joshua as part of his PhD at RMIT, the architectural features of the building will be disintegrated and rebuilt into an evolving generative form throughout the duration of the night.

In 2015 RMIT Gallery opened its doors all night for Experimenta Recharge, and in 2014 Music, Melbourne and Me: 40 years of Mushroom and Melbourne’s Popular Music Culture delighted art lovers from dusk till dawn.

This year, bring your family and friends into RMIT Gallery in the centre of the city in the Northern Precinct, and enjoy an adventure into German subculture with the exhibition Geniale Dilletanten [Brilliant Dilletantes] Subculture in Germany in the 1980s + Australian Ingenious Amateurs,  along with an all night film festival dedicated to the subculture scene of both East and West Germany of the era.


From Nick Cave to Blixa Bargeld, Einstürzende Neubauten to Die Tödliche Doris, this new international touring exhibition from the Goethe-Institut celebrates the radical movement and alternative artistic scene that exploded from Germany in the 1980s, with a taste of the alternative music and art scene from Australia of the era.

Ride the Einstürzende Neubauten Klangbewegung Maschine by (((20Hz))) to really feel like you are in a 1980s Berlin club.


The Klangbewegung Maschine is a single participant installation for sound, movement, sensed vibration and light. Sitting in a reclaimed Audi passenger seat, the participant selects their preferred Neubauten composition, Merle (Drawings of Patient OT), Prologue or Feurio (Haus Der Leuge). The music is thrown into movement by a six degrees of freedom motion simulator, extended into vibration through a bass transducer and transmuted into light via eyelid-projections controlled by sound.

Dress up in 1980s gear and get a photo from our print booth as a souvenir.

From 7 pm to 7 am, the free 1980s German Subculture Film Festival at the RMIT Kaleide Theatre next door will show a program of music, documentary and experimental films from the 1980s presented by RMIT Gallery and the Goethe-Institut Australien (all films are in German with English subtitles).


(Note: no lift access to Kaleide Theatre, 360 Swanston St, Melbourne)

7.00pm – 9.00pm Berlin Super 80 (1978-1984), 120 min.

Compilation of 18 short movies shot in Super 8 by West German experimental film makers during the late 1970s/early 80s. Music: Malaria, Reflections, Einstürzende Neubauten, Frieder Butzmann and Die Tödliche Doris.

9.00pm – 10.30pm Einstürzende Neubauten live at Palast der Republik (2004) 82 min.

Einstürzende Neubauten concert performance filmed at the former Parliament building Palast der Republik in Berlin.

10.30pm – 12.30am Flüstern und Schreien: ein Rock Report (Whisper & Shout – the East German Rock revolution) (1988), 120 min.

Documentary exploring the East German (DDR) rock music scene of the late 1980s. Music: André + Die Firma, Chicorée, Die Zöllner, Feeling B, Sandow, Silly and This Pop Generation.

12.30am – 2.00am B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West Berlin (Unclassified Strictly 18 +) (94 min)

Director Mark Reeder (Factory Records) weaves memoirs of his own life together with super-8 archival footage of subculture luminaries of the era such as Nick Cave, Gudrun Gut and Blixa Bargeld.

2.00am – 4.00am Flüstern und Schreien: ein Rock Report (Whisper & Scream) (1988), 120 min.

4.00am – 6.00am B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West Berlin (Unclassified Strictly 18 +) (94 min)

*Some videos may contain nudity and strong adult themes. All Videos German with English subtitles.

Moving & Storing the RMIT Art Collection

packed art works
RMIT Gallery is in transition! Building work commences next week as we begin essential work, including restoration of the airconditioner, and so staff have had to pack up and relocate to another RMIT University building until September 2015.
painting on trolley
That leaves works from the RMIT Art Collection not currently displayed around the campuses. These need to be carefully packed up and moved, itemised, logged and accounted for. It’s a far bigger job than staff wrapping their keyboards in plastic and ensuring their paperwork is placed in moving boxes.
empty storage
As well as its regular programming of exhibitions and events, RMIT Gallery also has responsibility for the RMIT Art Collection, which includes storage. RMIT Gallery Director Suzanne Davies is chair of the RMIT Art Committee, and RMIT Collections Coordinator Jon Buckingham and RMIT Gallery Registrar Peter Wilson have the day to day responsibility for looking after the collection. Mr Buckingham also oversees the digitisation of the entire collection as part of the large scale RMIT Art Collection Online project. 
enhanced Jon and Sir Storey
Here Mr Buckingham carefully wraps up William Dargie’s ‘Portrait of Sir John Storey’ (1952, oil on canvas) as it prepares for a ‘holiday’ in safe storage. See you in September, Sir Storey.
gallery 6 packed
A large part of the Art Collection is being stored at the RMIT Bundoora campus, but more space is needed, and as a city based university, space is at a premium. This is the exhibition space known as Gallery 6, which looks a little different from its recent incarnation when it held Terry Burrows exhibition Backs of Banaras. Here is Terry giving an artist talk (below) – an interesting contrast to the photo (above) where paintings are being wrapped for storage.
backs of banaras talk
With space is issue around the university, and works needing secure and climate controlled storage – the solution is to store extra artworks in external purpose built facilities.
IAS carrying work
The last two days of our move from RMIT Gallery’s premises at Storey Hall, 344 Swanston Street was overseen by International Art Services.
maria IAS
IAS Storage Registrar Maria-Luisa said the artworks would be going to an IAS climate controlled storeroom.  “We’ve been listing, coding and packing around 150 two dimensional works,” she said. “The artwork will be stored on purpose built, elevated 2D racks in humidity and climate controlled rooms which are all dust proof.”
The move back will be equally time intensive, all the more so because it will come at a time when RMIT Gallery prepares to install its next exhibitions to celebrate the reopening of the building in September. Stay tuned!
Next exhibitions – September – October 2015

Power to the People!  18 September – 10 October

Spanish artist Julio Falagán’s work questions power and the established status quo through humour and irony, inviting audiences to become art collectors by taking home posters of the five original works made through the manipulation of popular prints bought in flea markets.

Artist statement:

“My work deals with the questioning of power and the established status quo through humour and irony. With a justified lack of respect for what or who doesnʼt deserve it, dignifying the trivial and obsolete as a starting point to reflect on social fracture, calling into question any dogmas.
A plea in favour of the small, the overlooked, the discarded, calling out the grandiloquences and the absolute truths.”

Performing Mobilities18 September – 24 October

Lucy Bleach, video still from 46a Middle Rd, part of the “Remote Viewing” project, shot by pigeon-mounted micro-camera, HD video, 2012-2015.

Lucy Bleach, video still from 46a Middle Rd, part of the “Remote Viewing” project, shot by pigeon-mounted micro-camera, HD video, 2012-2015.

Traces of creative journeys form expositions that explore and reimagine movement, place and event with local relevance and global resonance. explores how contemporary life in Australia, the world’s largest island continent, is framed by borders whilst constantly being reconstructed through dynamic processes of mobility.

This exhibition of new work curated by Mick Douglas seeks to creatively and critically explore forms, forces, dynamics, meanings and consequences of performing mobility through a program of new experimental work. This dynamic show will include mobile performances that depart from and return to RMIT Gallery.


ELISION to perform at RMIT Storey Hall on 30 April

left to right: Lawrence Harvey, RMIT and Daryl Buckley, ELISION Ensemble Left to right: Lawrence Harvey, RMIT and Daryl Buckley, ELISION Ensemble at RMIT sound studios.

On Thursday 30 April at 7.30 pm ELISION, Australia’s International Contemporary Music Ensemble, will perform the Australian premiere of Richard Barrett’s World-line cycle and Timothy McCormack’s Heavy Matter for solo trombone (played by Ben Marks), and Genevieve Lacey will perform Liza Lim’s Weaver of Fictions for alto Ganassi recorder.


The ELISION event is presented by RMIT Gallery in collaboration with SIAL (Spatial Information Architecture Laboratory) Sound Studios. It will be recorded for inclusion in the RMIT Sonic Arts Collection, and be performed at Storey Hall, RMIT, 336-348 Swanston Street, Melbourne. Bookings are welcome (03) 9925 1717.

The performance will also feature: Tristram Williams, piccolo trumpet, flugel horn Benjamin Marks, trombone Daryl Buckley, electric lapsteel guitar Peter Neville, percussion Genevieve Lacey, Ganassi recorder.

ELISION has established a reputation for delivering authoritative and virtuosic interpretations of complex, unusual, and challenging aesthetics, often developed in close collaboration with the composer.

Recently the group has worked with composers Bryn Harrison, Sam Hayden, Einar Einarsson, Matthew Sergeant, Luke Paulding, Justin Hoke, Turgut Ercetin and Ann Cleare, and maintained a close research relationship with SIAL studios at RMIT, Melbourne.

ELISION has also developed a strong relationship with newly emergent strands of American composition made evident in the close association with composers Aaron Cassidy, Evan Johnson and Timothy McCormack and recent residencies at Harvard and Stanford Universities.

Richard Barrett’s CONSTRUCTION, a large project commissioned by the European Capital of Culture programme, was premiered by ELISION at the Huddersfield Contemporary music Festival in 2011 and broadcast live by BBC Radio3. In this video, ELISION performs DARK MATTER, an electro acoustic installation performance by Richard Barrett and Per Inge Bjørlo.

‘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. The music could be thought of as a miniature ‘universe’, whose matter and energy are composed of the expanding and contracting pitches of sound, and which is experienced in relation to the ‘world-line’ traced by the lap steel guitar and the shifting relationships and perspectives between it and the other instruments and sounds.

world-line is an interlocking cycle of compositions featuring the electric lap steel guitar (in a tuning and setup devised in collaboration with Daryl Buckley, to whom it is dedicated), together with various combinations of piccolo trumpet/flugelhorn, percussion and electronics. It consists of five components, also performable separately: dustriftknotlens, and rasa.


dustknot and lens were commissioned for the RMIT Sonic Arts Collection, while the remainder of world-line was commissioned by the TRANSIT festival in Leuven (Belgium). The five pieces are not played separately, but split into different sections and recombined into a continuous form in which the electronic parts of dust create overlaps between the regions of instrumental activity.

ELISION has recorded over 22 compact discs, undertaken close to 40 international tours to over 14 different countries and initiated international commissions and projects supported by cultural organisations in the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Holland, France and Japan.

Daryl Buckley says being in the audience provides another level of engagement with the work: “I know we’re talking about sound, but the manner of engagement that you have with sound is pushed to another level, if you can actually witness what it takes to make that sound.

“So in this case, no sound is divorced from human agency or human action, everything is an outcome of gestures and of effort and of studies that we are making.”


“And I think that dramaturgy, if you like, of locking and unlocking sound, as being something that emerges from and is scripted from what the body can do, is a really, really amazing thing.

“It’s athletic, it’s virtuosic, it has the same sort of fascination in the way that comes from watching somebody in a sporting area or overcoming any obstacle. It’s that application of energies and commitment. So I think it’s a really visually compelling thing to see.”


Venue: Storey Hall Auditorium, RMIT
Address: Level 5, 336–348 Swanston Street, Melbourne
Bookings: (03) 9925 1717/
Free admittance. RSVP essential. No reserve seating. 

Then & Now: Storey Hall – home of RMIT Gallery

Did you come to RMIT Gallery to see the blockbuster music exhibition 2013-2014 exhibition “Music, Melbourne and Me: 40 Year’s of Melbourne’s Popular Music Culture”? Perhaps you recall going to see bands in Storey Hall in the 1970s…Working at RMIT Gallery in the grand old building on Swanston Street in the heart of Melbourne where RMIT University’s city campus is located, means working with layers of the past and all the stories people confide about their own memories of the building in years gone by.


A short pictorial guide to the background of Storey Hall has been published in RMIT’s online Alumni Magazine featuring this great old photo.

Storey Hall then-1

The Alumni Magazine article got us thinking about how different RMIT Gallery looks now – and how little the beautifully preserved facade has really changed over the years. Here are some of the ways that the RMIT Gallery facade has been tweaked slightly during various exhibitions.

2013 – 2014


Music, Melbourne and Me: 40 years of Mushroom and Melbourne’s Popular Music Culture 19 November 2013 – 22 February 2014, Photo: Mark Ashkanasy. The gorgeous neon lured visitors to the blockbuster music exhibition, curated by Suzanne Davies and Dr Kipps Horn.


That’s the queue to get into the exhibition on closing night which coincided with White Night Melbourne on Saturday 22 February 2014 when RMIT Gallery was open from 7 pm to 7 am. People waited for up to an hour to get inside….







Experimenta Speak to Me – 5th International Biennial of Media Art,  14 September – 17 November 2012. Staff loved this piece as late at night, people would be pushing against the front door trying to get in, convinced it was one of Melbourne’s infamous secret clubs. We would also delight in watching people take selfies with Shimura’s work glowing around them.

Artwork by:

Nobuhiro Shimura

Red Carpet, 2010
edition 1/5
digital video projection
Purchased through the RMIT Art Fund, 2012
Acc. no: RMIT.2013.3
Main image courtesy Mark Ashkanasy, opening night photo by Vicki Jones.

Zandra Rhodes: A Lifelong Love Affair with Textiles Monday 11 February – Saturday 22 March

Neon Sign (5)

Zandra Rhodes: A Life Long Love Affair with Textiles showcased the stunning creations of fashion doyenne Zandra Rhodes at RMIT Gallery in the UK designer’s first major retrospective in Australia. The exhibition, co curated by RMIT Gallery Director Suzanne Davies, charted the designer’s creative progress from initial inspiration to the finished product, bringing to life many of her iconic designs over the past four decades.

Neon Sign (3)


Exhibition Signage Swanston Street (1)

Heat: Art and Climate Change, Friday 12 September – Saturday 18 October 2008.

A living sign for Australia’s first climate change exhibition, curated by Linda Williams and Suzanne Davies. Photos: Mark Ashkanasy.






RMIT Gallery commemorates the 30th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley with the exhibition Living Elvis – Friday 17 August – 20 October 2007. Photos: Mark Ashkanasy.