Join us for feral talks, feral walks and feral interventions by artists.
By day, join the conversation as we debate what belongs where and why. By night, eat, drink, or go on a journey into the moonlit bush to find what lurks within.
Siteworks is Bundanon’s annual spring event which brings scientists, artists and community voices together to share knowledge and ideas arising from the Bundanon sites through a series of discussions, presentations and experiences.
This year we will be looking at the feral amongst us: the thing that (apparently) does not belong. How do we decide what is ‘natural’ and what is out of place?
Image: Lucas Ihlein, The Feral Amongst Us, scratch foam relief print, 2015
ALAN SCHACHER, Errant Structures
Working with NIDA second year Staging students.
What happens when our buildings turn feral and run amok? In their tumultuous and chaotic reorganisation they threaten to devour and swallow up habitats, favouring error, catastrophe, inevitable decay. These constructions morph animal and organized matter, signalling what might remain after mankind has exited. With a mind of their own, they are inappropriate, will not stand for the purpose for which they were intended.
AMANDA PARER, Intrude
Two very large white rabbits, illuminated in stark white light, will be invading Bundanon. The rabbit is an animal of contradiction in Australia? They are both an out-of-control pest, while also representing the fairy tale animals from our childhood – a furry innocence, frolicking through idyllic fields. Intrude deliberately evokes this cutesy image, and a strong visual humour, to lure you into the artwork only to reveal the more serious environmental messages in the work.
Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo
Erth bring their famous dinosaur puppets to Riversdale. Meet awesome prehistoric creatures, from cute baby dinos to some of the largest carnivores and herbivores that have ever walked the planet! Erth’s dinosaurs are unmistakably ‘alive’ and mostly friendly in this fun, educational and unique performance.
Australia’s wilderness areas are vast, stretching across huge tracts of land, the bush shelters many creatures, some familiar and some decidedly mysterious. What is lurking out there in the darkness of the night? Are you brave enough to walk beyond the fire light into the bush… The bush can be a treacherous place, be prepared, there are beasts out there.
ZENDER BENDER, Dump Disco
Get bent in a live silent disco performance with the multi-mongrel-media arts collective, ZENDER BENDER. With one set of headphones choose your tunes from three audio channels while these flamboyant junk recyclers light up discarded white goods with a digital frenzy of projected colour and pattern. Experience a bright burrowing into feral phenomenons of illegal dumping, hyper-consumerism and scrap economies.
JAMIE AND ASPASIA LEONARDER, Raw Screen
Jamie and Aspasia will be exploring the literal interpretation of ‘Feral’ amongst fragments of the untamed wilderness. Audiences will be navigated through a selection of archival educational films, news reports, documentaries and many other sources stored in the Mu-Meson Archives. Jamie and Aspasia will take audiences beyond the wild into the world of the anomalous!
VANESSA AND TIBOR BARBAY, Barbay’s Nature Display
Vanessa is a visual artist whose practice developed into an obsession with collecting and representing dead animals. Her paintings and drawings of dead creatures have a tormented beauty, detached and floating in paint, with body parts missing or twisted. Her choice of subject has a familial origin, as her father practised as a taxidermist in her childhood. She and her father will create an installation from both their work in the Boyd Education Centre.
LUCAS IHLEIN, The Feral Amongst Us
Bundanon commissioned artist Lucas Ihlein to create a ‘mind map’ of the feral experience for this year’s Siteworks. Lucas’ hand made print will be on sale during the event and through the Big Fag Press. Lucas often works collaboratively with groups such as Big Fag Press, SquatSpace, Teaching and Learning Cinema and Network of UnCollectable Artists. His interdisciplinary practice can take the form of performances, expanded cinema events, re-enactments, lithographic prints, writing, public lectures and blogs
BROGAN BUNT, Flat Pack Feral
A fantasy of alienated feral existence is rendered in a neatly packaged and participatory form.A wooden palette of cardboard boxes is placed at the edge of an area of Bundanon forest. Ikea-style instructions explain that viewers should move the boxes up into the forest and then open them to explore their contents.The boxes contain bits and pieces of the detritus of a feral existence – a tent, sleeping bag, clothes, cooking gear, trash and pages from an incoherent journal.Additional instructions explain what to do with these items – how they should be assembled and arranged.
The campsite is put together in the morning and left up for that day and night.It is returned into the flat pack boxes and placed back on the palette early the next morning.
The aim is to play up contradictions and subterranean alignments between the disorder of a marginal existence and the regularities of commodity form – between entropy and systematic procedure.
Renowned physical theatre group Branch Nebula are working with locals to create a high powered athletic performance.
Two performers chain themselves to stakes, to test their limits and strip themselves of civility. With ritual, endurance, dancing and fighting they construct a self-made mythology. A twenty-minute video shot at Bundanon to be screened deep in the bush.
SARAH BREEN LOVETT, Anti-Context
With the Sydney University of Technology design and architecture students’ Architectural installation
What happens when we consciously make something that sits in contrast and deliberately tries to deviate as far from the existing context as possible. This work proposes that anti-context can become a generative device for new experience and knowledge, where the context/meaning is stripped away, and one is left with a series of new relations that can be made sense of in an infinite number of ways.
DIEGO BONETTO, Feral Journey: a guided tour of the botanical reality of Riversdale
Diego takes us on a walk around Riversdale to show us what’s really going on in the plant world around us.
ROSALIND CRISP, Blast scum cull me dead in a body borrowed
My flesh has learnt to separate. Blotched bits drop off every night, like the species that disappear every day as we white people push further and further into and against this land. The body is undone, the skin saturated with sensations sucked out of the ground. Images are hauled through. The emergent matter holds in the tissue for a brief moment…
RAKINI DEVI, U.F.O. (UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE OBJECT)
Audiences are invited to make a pilgrimage to a shrine in the bush, where Rakini Devi explores the theme of “alien” in the Australian bush, inspired by her concept of the post-apocalyptic female, female as foreign object in a strange environment, and the solitude of the displaced.
NIGEL HELYER, BioPods_02, the Nebuchadnezzar suites
A set of intriguing objects located in a green field that allow a visitor to enter and meditate on a sound narrative, or for a moment to perhaps become Nebuchadnezzar.
TEAM MESS, It’s like…
Team MESS will stage a live radio show that will play with Siteworks as both an arts festival and a symposium event, and will do so in a way where form and content meet together in a discursive fashion. It’s like… will act as a framing device to engage in performative conversations with those attending Siteworks, whether that be as a presenter or as a punter.
ROBYN ARCHER AO
Robyn Archer AO is a singer, performer, writer, artistic director and public advocate of the arts. She is currently Artistic Director of The Light in Winter, created for Federation Square, Melbourne and the City of Gold Coast’s Strategic Advisor, Arts and Culture, which hosts the Commonwealth Games in 2018. She recently completed 5 years as Creative Director of the Centenary of Canberra 2013.
Adrian Franklin is Professor of Sociology at the University of Tasmania, having held other professorial positions at the Institute of Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo and the University of Bristol.He was trained as an anthropologist and sociologist and has an extremely wide range of intellectual and research interests including posthumanism, human-animal relations, the social anthropology of nature, science and technology studies, city life, urban regeneration and art; museums and collecting and neoliberalism and changes in contemporary social bonds.His books include: City Life London: Sage (Chinese Translation) 2014; The Making of MONA (Penguin)2014 ; Retro: A Guide to the Mid-Twentieth Century Design Revival: Bloomsbury (2011); City Life (Sage) 2010; Collecting the Twentieth Century 2010; A Collector’s Year 2009; Loneliness in Australia (2008); Animal Nation: The True Story of Animals and Australia 2007; Tourism 2005; Nature and Social Theory 2003 and Animals and Modern Cultures Sage 1999.
He is also known for his work on ABC TV and radio, including the TV series Collectors.
Fiona Probyn-Rapsey is Senior Lecturer in the Dept of Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney. She is author of Made to Matter: White Fathers, Stolen Generations (2013) and co-editor of Animal Death (2013) and Animals in the Anthropocene: Critical Perspectives on Non-human futures (2015). Fiona’s work is largely focussed on the intersection of the three big categories of social life: Race, Species and Gender – how these particular logics or taxonomies are mutually reinforcing, how they inform each other and how, when breached or transgressed, the categorical breakdowns are often met with violence.
Richard has over 30 years of practice as an internationally exhibiting artist and architect. He is known for his work around the concept of porosity, focusing on the parasitic connections between private and public space.
Tim Low is a biologist and best-selling author of seven books. His most recent, Where Song Began, won the Australian Book Industry Award for best non-fiction, becoming the first nature book to do so. Feral Future warns of the threat posed by introduced species, and inspired the formation of the Invasive Species Council, an NGO that campaigns for better biosecurity. The New Nature, which won the first Nib prize for excellence in research, discusses how native animals sometimes exploit invasive species, and how they sometimes pose problems for conservation.
Clarence Slockee is an Aboriginal man from the Mindjingbal clan of the Bundjalung tribe situated on the far north coast of New South Wales, Australia. Growing up on the family farm where his parents grow a variety of small crops in their continued business as farmers, Clarence was able to marry agricultural methods with learned permaculture principals to run his own landscape business before moving to Sydney for a change of pace and career.
As a graduate of the National Aboriginal & Islander Skills Development Association(NAISDA) Dance College, he has gained experience across a broad range of performance mediums. He has been fortunate to have travelled to many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia and to have experienced a broad range of cultural practises. He has had extensive involvement in many contemporary Indigenous festivals and has toured extensively promoting Aboriginal culture, music and dance.
Combining several years of performance and workshop facilitation with a lifelong love of plants and the bush he has spent the past decade as an Environmental Educator, sharing his passion for Aboriginal culture and the natural world with thousands of children and adults from all over the world. He is looking forward to continuing in sharing his knowledge and experience with visitors to Sydney’s public space, Barangaroo.
Dr Jennifer Atchison is a researcher at the Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research (AUSCCER) and Senior Lecturer in Social Science at the University of Wollongong. Her research interest is in human relationships with nature and rapid environmental change across prehistoric and contemporary life. Her work is multidisciplinary, drawing upon geography, archaeology, environmental and social science. Her current research interest is in invasive species management in Australia; the ways in which people are coming to terms with them, and the everyday experiences of people who manage them.