News and short blog posts

  • Tintype of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid - What a magnificent concoction of hocus pocus was mixed in today’s piece about a newly discovered tintype which may be, perhaps, of Billy the Kid. All the tropes are there: bought at a flea market for ten dollars; photographic experts supposedly dating the object to just a two year window of 1879 to 1880 (how […]
  • Charge! And Charge again! And again! And again! - No other Australian battle has been reenacted as often as the Battle of Beersheba. Although the America Civil War is the most reenacted war in history, something about the 1917 charge of the Light Horse on the Turkish foothold in Palestine has the same elements of attraction for Australian reenactors. It’s probably the comforting links back […]
  • Happy Birthday Cyanotype - OK, the big two oh oh is usually the one you pop the champagne and light the fire crackers for but, you’ve got to admit, a one hundred and seventy-fifth birthday isn’t too bad either. It is one hundred and seventy five years ago that Sir John Herschel discovered the process we are celebrating in […]
  • Justine Varga ‘Maternal Line’ - Look I don’t want to add to the beat up, but jeez some ridiculous things are being said about Justine Varga’s winning photograph for the Olive Cotton Portrait prize. Now a professor of Law at the University of Sydney is saying the chemical and light produced image of Justine Varga’s grandmother’s pen marks and spittle […]
  • Surface Glitter and Underground Guts -   I’m enjoying preparing for a discussion I’m having about Rennie Ellis with Mandy Sayer and Manuela Furci at Surface Glitter and Underground Guts as part of the Kings Bloody Cross weekend. I was till going to primary school in Brisbane when Rennie (along with Wes Stacey) was cruising Macleay Street. But I loved finding […]
  • Imagine my surprise when they told me he was a she - Take a look at this carte de visite. Looks pretty ordinary doesn’t it. This carte of of the spirit medium Dr Henry Slade is from an album of spiritualist photographs compiled in Melbourne in the 1870s and acquired by the National Gallery of Australia about ten years ago. To my knowledge the NGA has never exhibited […]
  • Bill Henson’s digital Pictorialism - I was intrigued when I noticed at the National Gallery of Victoria that  each landscape-oriented image in Bill Henson’s latest installation of pigment prints from digital scanned negatives had the same slightly rough edge around the black border. Was this a digital simulation of the effect you would get at the edge of a negative […]
  • Vintage ‘William Eggleston Portraits’ at the NGV - Try as I might I just can’t get myself worked up into a rage about the ‘William Eggleston Portraits’ hang at the NGV. In fact I quite liked it. The show which was shipped out to Australia from London’s portrait gallery contained two new large scale digital enlargements from scans of his 1970s negatives to […]
  • Historical Harpic - Thank you Bec Cody. Thank you for showing us the way to deal with fifty-year-old racist imagery. When her husband Bruce returned from the men’s toilets at the Sussex Inlet RSL and told her that he had seen four bathroom tiles, originally installed in the 1960s,  bearing kitsch images of kangaroos, emus and  Aboriginal men, […]
  • ACT Bushfire Memorial eleven years on - It’s been eleven years since Tess Horwitz, Tony Steel and myself designed and built the ACT Bushfire Memorial. Tess’s plantings look great, Tony’s stream gurgles beautifully. My five ‘digiglass’ columns of 600 photographs have faded, but not as much as I feared eleven years ago. There’s a general loss of density, but not a severe […]
  • Interview with Katrina Sluis, London Photographers Gallery (Digital Programme) - An interview I did with Katrina Sluis from the Digital Programme of the  Photographers Gallery, London, is now up at Daniel Palmer and myself’s Photocurating site. Check it out. There’s one there Daniel did with Ian North too. While you’re there have a look at our Timeline and see if you can spot anything we’ve left […]
  • Nicholas Nixon’s magisterial, monumental, canonical, epic, large-format, Brown Sisters project turned into click bait!! - Hard to know where to begin with the clash of temporalities that is evoked when you stumble across a click bait link that uses one of museum photography’s most canonical projects. As has been celebrated for decades, Nicholas Nixon’s Brown Sisters project — shot on 8 x 10 film and contacted printed into luminous prints once a […]
  • David Hamilton - When I was a teenager in the mid seventies and just getting interested in photography David Hamilton was everywhere, on every magazine rack and in every bookstore, even in Brisbane. Barely out of puberty myself I admit I was attracted to the impossibility of  his adolescent art-house eroticism. Later, at art schooI in Sydney in […]
  • shouting at the radio about Getty images - I find myself shouting at the radio more and more, and this morning I found myself shouting at the gross hypocrisy of Dawn Airey, CEO of the Getty Stock Images, who is in Australia. Getty scrapes public domain images and then re-offers them for use with its own ‘licence’ fee. Using public domain images for […]
  • Fatal algorithms - ‘Fatal Algorithms’ I’m saddened by the prospect that the fatal algorithms of this app might actually being used by some hapless people on their snapshots. Photographic contingency, the precious flame worshiped by generations of photographic theorists, is extinguished by the cold blast of these automatic operations. Time, memory, and place are all sucked into their […]
  • Tragic Drowning Fatality - Some images taken by Alex Hobba of the magic lantern performance ‘Tragic Drowning Fatality’ performed by Martyn Jolly and Alexander Hunter at Siteworks 2016, Bundanon, with: thirty original magic lantern slides from the 1880s to the 1920s; two JW Steward magic lanterns from the 1880s dissolving one slide projection into another; members of the ANU […]
  • New links for Australian magic lantern research - Instagram: @heritageinthelimelight Facebook: @heritageinthelimelight WWW: Heritage in the Limelight: The Magic Lantern in Australia and the World
  • ‘We apologise for the inconvenience’ - “We understand that these limitations will sometimes affect content shared for legitimate reasons, including awareness campaigns or artistic projects, and we apologise for the inconvenience.” Facebook on the removal of the Pulitzer Prize winning photograph The Terror of War by Nick Ut. ‘We apologise for the inconvenience’ is a curious turn of phrase for Facebook […]
  • Mark Zuckerberg accused of abusing power after row over ‘napalm girl’ photo - Mark Zuckerberg accused of abusing power after row over ‘napalm girl’ photo
  • “O.K. So it’s banal, but ‘The Family of Man’ set me off and I’ve been trying ever since.” - “O.K. So it’s banal, but ‘The Family of Man’ set me off and I’ve been trying ever since. Trying to become a photographer and not just someone who takes photographs. I became a diarist with a camera. I tried to simply record the things which interested me from day to day. I taught myself enough […]
  • In the Footsteps of Others at AAANZ - My colleague from the University of Canberra, Louise Curham, and myself are convening a session on reenactment at the conference of the Art Association of Australia and New Zealand, ‘The Work of Art’, to be held in Canberra 1-3 December.  Check out the call for papers. Proposals are due to Louise by 26 August. Here is our session […]
  • Reconfiguring of camera technologies and camera/subject relationships - The camera is being reconfigured, so we have to rethink camera/subject relations. Not only is the thing itself disappearing, with production of one of the most emblematic objects of modernity halving in one year (thanks to Jason O’Brien from the ANU for that tip-off), but there are more and more signs that the shuttling back and forth […]
  • Catoptrics literally and figuratively - In 212BC Archimedes supposedly used a parabolic ‘burning mirror’ to set the attacking Roman ships on fire. In 1646 Anthanasius Kircher, in his book The Great Art of Light and Shadow speculated that Archimedes would have had more success if he had used multiple mirrors each focusing the sun in a giant parabolic shape. Kircher’s […]
  • Magic Lantern Horror Show Video - A video of my Magic Lantern Horror Show, performed at the National Portrait Gallery with members of the Gallery and the ANU School of Music, is now on line.    
  • Exeperimental magic lantern projection at Bundanon Homestead - I did a late afternoon experimental magic lantern projection in the front room of Arthur Boyd’s homestead in the last days of my Bundanon residency . I enjoyed anamorphizing the popular Biblical iconography of nineteenth century melodrama against Boyd’s expressionistic elongations and agonistic Biblical references. (Thanks to Jennifer Thompson and John Baylis) I’m doing something (along with […]
  • Photos of my magic lantern show at Canberra Obscura - The estimable Andrew Sikorski has posted some shots of my magic lantern performance (along with Andromeda is Coming) amongst his documentation of the Canberra Obscura Art Party on his site Life in Canberra. You can see me using my own latest technological innovation in projection which I call ‘a bit of cardboard with a hole in […]
  • #standupstripdown - The hashtag #standupstripdown has been invented to be used by people like Heather Whitten who want to post family photographs with naked children. In the latest of a string of such incidents her image of her naked husband cradling her sick and naked son in a shower has been taken down several times by Facebook […]
  • In Bangkok triangulating Francis Chit and being reminded of Charles Bayliss - When we were recently in Bangkok we had a lovely afternoon with the super gracious Gun Susangkarakan who we had met when I was giving some seminars at Chiang Mai University Faculty of Fine Arts Department of Media Arts. Gun is an ace temple photographer (hard-core old-school, 8×10 selenium-toned contact prints). He took us to […]
  • My review of ‘The Photograph and Australia’ - In The Australian & New Zealand Journal of Art, Vol 15, No 2, 2015 The Photograph and Australia, curated by Judy Annear, Art Gallery of New South Wales 21 March — 8 June, 2015; Queensland Art Gallery 4 July — 11 October, 2015 There haven’t been enough books or exhibitions about photography and Australia, given […]
  • Breasts - In the last week Facebook has banned the aged breasts in the background a photograph from 1999 posted by Ella Dreyfus, and the indigenous breasts from a traditional Aboriginal ceremony posted by Celeste Liddle. Both bans are of course absurd and offensive. But Facebook’s explanations are revealing. On the one hand it claims that ‘diversity […]
  • Won’t You Buy My Pretty Flowers? - Here is a new set of life model magic lantern slides I have just acquired. I love the twin perspectival vanishing points of the first painted backdrop, the photogrammed snow flurries in slide two, and the weirdly frozen Beckettian choreography of the passers-by in the final slide. They were made by Bamforth and Co after […]
  • The difficulties of producing a nineteenth century spirit photograph revealed with the help of Craig Tuffin and Lisa Clunie! - Last year I was enjoying watching the participants of the Alchemists Workshop make tintypes and salt prints at the ANU School of Art, which they were doing after having their minds blown by the early photography collection of the National Gallery of Australia. The highly knowledgable and highly generous Craig Tuffin, and the intelligent and […]
  • Man to Eat Rats once more - By far the most popular magic lantern slide of the nineteenth century was ‘Man Eating Rats’. Lanternists would even specifically promise it in their newspaper advertisements, so audiences knew they could go along and enjoy themselves making the requisite snoring and chomping and lip-smacking noises. I’ve had a copy of the slide for a while. But […]
  • History of Photography, The - The estimable Belinda Hungerford is doing a fabulous job researching and organising the archives of the Australian Centre for Photography. Her research led me to find, in the back of a cupboard, copies of a small booklet I produced with my students in 1990 (!). It was to accompany a show we put on at […]
  • Australian Research Council funding for Heritage in the limelight: the magic lantern in Australia and the world - The ARC has funded a three year Discovery Project I will lead. The project aims to discover and analyse the large number of glass magic lantern slides that remain under-used in our public collections. International scholarship has recently begun to show that lantern slide shows were a ubiquitous, globalised and formative cultural experience. The project aims […]
  • The Alchemists opens this Friday at the Australian Centre for Photography - The Alchemists, which I co-curated, opens this Friday at the Australian Centre for Photography, 257 Oxford Street, Paddington. It’s the last show in that building, the threshold of which I first crossed many many years ago. Exhibition Launch – ACP cycle 5 draft 2
  • Holy City and Jack the Ripper - Holy City was the million-seller song of 1892. A little while ago, accompanied by a singer and pianist, I projected  my set of magic lantern slides, complete with double exposures and hand colouring, which were made to illustrate the song. Imagine my surprise this weekend when I read that its composer, the singer Michael Maybrick, […]
  • London Road film - It was wonderful to see  the film London Road the other day at the movies. It’s musical shot in the dourest of colours — even the flowers that finally bloomed at the end, after the neighbourhood serial killer had been banged up to rights, seemed to have the colours on their petals rationed as though […]
  • The Gin-Fiend - I’ve just brought these magic lantern slides manufactured by York & Son, UK, just before1888 to a temperance text by Charles Mackay. I’m trying to think why the faces might be obscured in slides two and three, the most beautiful and dramatic slides of the set. The Gin-Fiend cast his eyes abroad And looked o’er […]
  • Camera Obscuras and Brisbane at Cloud Land show - For Robyn Stacey’s upcoming show Cloud Land at the Museum of Brisbane I have written an essay about the history of camera obscuras, Brisbane and Robyn. It was great to get the opportunity to spend a little more Trove-time looking into Brisbane’s own Whites Hill Camera Obscura, to the remains of which which I had previously made a pilgrimage. Thanks to […]
  • Two suns at Tianjin - Thanks to my Hong Kong friends for pointing this out to me. They joke that when the Chinese leadership visited the site of Tianjin’s ‘Big Bang’, they commanded two suns to appear in the sky (check out the arm shadows). However Reuters still seems to be using the image without comment.
  • Paparazzi could be mistaken for terrorists and SHOT - So, the British Royal family has managed to avoid the real possibility of a slump, precipitated by Charles’s behaviour, back into a Georgian paradigm of mad kings and their mistresses. But the price of their successful reboot into Royal Family 2.0 has been that the new Royals must now be celebrities. Uber celebrities certainly, but celebrities […]
  • The Lights of London Town - I am continually failing at controlling my addiction to buying magic lantern slides on ebay. I have just received in the post two remaining life-model slides out of what had originally been a set of four made, Richard Crangle’s estimable Lucerna magic lantern web resource tells me, by York & Son in 1892 to illustrate […]
  • Google Photos app tags black couple as gorillas - As discussed in my chapter ‘The Face in Digital Space‘ in the book The Culture of Photography in Public Space, the human face first entered abstract matrices of comparison in the late eighteenth century with the pioneering physiognomist Johann Kaspar Lavatar.  He placed the face in a psychological hierarchy using either zoological analogies or biometric algorithms. […]
  • Ghost of Gallipoli formed on Wall at Australian War Memorial - I’m Canberra’s ‘ghost guy’, so when staff from the Faculty of Art and Design at the University of Canberra wanted somebody to open their exhibition Traces and Hauntings at Belconnen Arts Centre who were they going to call? I was delighted to, of course. When thinking about which angle on their work I could take I […]
  • Iconoclasm at the National Portrait Gallery - Why are the medieval forces of iconoclasm gaining strength in a visual environment which is reportedly becoming increasingly virtual and digital? After the spate of Rolfoclasm, previously reported on twice in this blog, comes Angus Trumble’s decision to remove Widodo’s portrait from the National Portrait Prize even though they don’t own it, and against the […]
  • Should art museums think of themselves as ‘collections’ or ‘archives’? - Should art museums think of themselves as ‘collections’ or ‘archives’? Martyn Jolly Photography has always been a numbers game, and the bigger the number the better. In the context where words like ‘exponential’ or ‘ballooning’ barely begin to describe the current state of the medium, is the notion of a photographic ‘collection’ relevant any more? […]
  • Looking at The Photograph and Australia exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales - This important show rejects conventional narratives and thematics, as well as standard modes of looking at photography as they have developed in art museums recently. Instead of leaning back and taking it all in, we have to bend down and peer closely. The viewer is given no quarter, and the installation brooks no lapses of […]
  • Rolfoclasm Continues - Rolfoclasm continues. Not only has he now been stripped of his Australian Honours, but he’s been painted out of the Variety mural at Victoria Markets and replaced with Stuart Wagstaff! But, hang on a minute, wasn’t Wagstaff the face of Benson and Hedges for decades? Didn’t the 116 ciggie ads — ‘when only the best will […]
  • My Enlighten Canberra Projection - My ANU colleagues Lucien Leon, Kit Devine, Marcia Lochhead, Zoe Tulip, and myself, each designed an Enlighten Canberra projection for the National Library of Australia. Mine was derived from one of the hundreds of beautiful hand tinted magic lantern slides in the Library. The explanatory text: The Reverend John Flynn was Superintendent of the Australian Inland […]
  • Braddon, Bloody Braddon - From the program to the You Are Here Festival March 18-22 2015 Braddon The world snorted with derision when, for the second year in a row, the OECD nominated Canberra as the world’s best city. Critics pointed out that, although it had come out with the biggest numbers in the OECD’s nine ‘wellbeing indicators’, which […]
  • Thinking the Photobook Forum — Photobook Melbourne - I’m taking part in the forum Thinking the Photobook, as part of Photobook Melbourne. It’s on at ‘The Baron Said’, 83 Kerr Street Fitzroy, 5.30pm Sunday 15 February. What will I be talking about? Question: How many Australian photobooks are in Parr and Badger’s massive, and massively selling, three volume encyclopaedia of almost 1000 photobooks? Answer: Two only […]
  • ABC picture editors set up iconic photo-echo -
  • Uncanny Bracket Creep at In The Flesh, National Portrait Gallery - Did I experience ‘uncanny bracket creep’ last night at the National Portrait Gallery, at In the Flesh? I remember the little intake of breath I took ten or so years ago when I saw my first Ron Mueck or Patricia Piccinini sculpture, or the little retinal undulation at my first glimpse of a figure flipping […]
  • Profiled in United States Magic Lantern Society News, October 2014 - Sarah Dellmann, from the Department of Media and Culture Studies, Utrecht University, kindly profiled my research in the newsletter of the Magic Lantern Society of the United Stats and Canada. The relevant pages are below. The newsletters of both the UK and US societies are always chock full of interesting stuff, and as Sarah demonstrates connect […]
  • Will the Angels Let Me Play — complete magic lantern perfomance video - On July 24, 2014, I was able to project a show of five magic lantern song-slide sets and one recitation set from my ‘Iron Duke’ lantern of 1905, with some additional effects added from a smaller 1890s lantern. Professor Peter Tregear and Dr Kate Bowan from the ANU School of Music sang and played the original words and music, […]
  • See magic lantern show simulation videos here - Below are simulations I reconstructed using digital copies of the slides we projected at the National Film and Sound Archive performance, and an NFSA recording of Peter Tregear and Kate Bowan’s wonderful performance. Unfortunately, in this recording Kate’s perfect piano is somewhat soft, except in Blue Bell and Holy City.  I’ve selected two transitions from the video editing […]
  • Pictures from ANU School of Art and Drill Hall Gallery night of ‘Colour Music’ performances -
  • Exposing The Australians: Australiana Photobooks of the 1960s - My article on Australiana photobooks of the 1960s has finally come out. Follow this link to the History of Photography journal to get my citation rate up!.
  • Rolfoclasm - Now that his trial has faded in our memories it is possible to take stock of the new punishment spectacles being developed in our society. In this case the body of the condemned was not available for public torture, but his self-caricature of a face — thick glasses, fussily groomed facial hair, and  lasciviously darting tongue […]
  • Hey France, yes, ban the burka, but free the camera too! - Great to see that the European Court of Human Rights has just upheld France’s 2010 ban on the burka. No doubt the French quoted Emmanuel Levinas from Totality and Infinity: ‘The face opens the primordial discourse whose first word is obligation’ (p201). But despite this enlightened ban, France’s poorly written, post-Diana anti-paparazzi, privacy laws, in particular article […]
  • A new word needs to be invented— perhaps it should be ‘re-engagement’? - A new word needs to be invented for performances such as Teaching and Learning Cinema’s  (Louise Curham and Lucas Ihlein) performance of Malcolm le Grice’s Horror Film 1 (1971) and Guy Sherwin’s (Wo)man with a Mirror (1976), which happened yesterday at Canberra Contemporary Art Space and was, by the way, a top wet-Saturday-arvo’s excursion. Although […]
  • Mammoth UV cured inkjet printer, and Rowan, arrives - It was Rowan Conroy’s first day at work, and also the day our new printer arrived, which will be part of our Inkjet Research Facility.
  • This used to be my office -
  • Anne Zahalka signs her Parliament House catalogue -
  • Australian Photography Commissions - Talk at Australian Parliament House 20 June 2014 for Anne Zahalka Parliament House commission forum Australian Photography, Corporate Commissions and Australia’s Parliament House When Parliament House was being built the scene for art photography was very different to the scene now. Now photography has become just another imaging-option within art, and it really only gets […]
  • Newton’s squidgy-vision. - I have Kevin Miller to thank for leading me to this wonderful page from one of Isaac Newton’s notebooks. At the same time as he was producing colour by refracting light with glass Newton was also perceiving colour by directly palpating his own eyeball with a wooden bodkin and deforming the wet squishy sphere, thereby […]
  • Random Loving Art snaps -  
  • At Michael Aird’s Captured exhibition at the Brisbane Museum - At Michael Aird’s Captured exhibition at the Brisbane Museum I found myself staring hard, trying to pierce the sealed surfaces and compressed scenarios of the tiny carte de visite tableaux of aboriginal people on display, most taken be either Thomas Bevan or Daniel Marquis in their George Street or Edward Street studios, in Brisbane in […]
  • Camera Obscuras in Brisbane - We climbed Whites Hill in Brisbane to visit the camera obscura, price of entry sixpence, one penny for children. We were disappointed to find it wasn’t there. Apparently it hasn’t been operating since 1928, some kids last saw some remnants attached to the dilapidated tea-rooms in the 1940s, all we found was a council plaque. […]
  • Art Gallery of New South Wales Dark Matter symposium: expand our discussion of the enterprise and the apparatus too! - The Art Gallery of New South Wales’s symposium Dark Matter succeeded in expanding the category of ‘photographer’ and ‘photography’, as set out in Geoffrey Batchen’s keynote, and deepened by Kitty Hauser’s and Michael Aird’s talks. Certainly the idea of photograph, right from its invention, always had multiple forms and multiple authors — from the wood […]
  • Calling the Shots: Aboriginal Photographies - It was great being amongst the panel at a symposium to celebrate the fab new book Calling the Shots: Aboriginal Photographies .  As I said on the day, if you had told me back in the 1980s, when we were cataloguing Lindt’s Portfolio of Australian Aboriginals  at the National Gallery and endowing his portrait of […]
  • Stelarc at Driving Forces Conference - It was great seeing Stelarc, with his third ear, at the ANU School of Art’s Driving Forces conference. I’ve always greatly admired him of course. But I finally got to ask him about, and discuss with him afterwards, what I have always regarded as the ‘showmanship’ aspect of his practice. To me he’s a showman. I […]
  • Still catching my breath after experiencing the tour de force animation in The Wind Rises - I’m still catching my breath after experiencing the tour de force animation in The Wind Rises, Hayao Miyazaki’s own Doctor Zhivago. He loves cameras and film: lovingly hand-animating moving parallax perspective, the carefully delineated iris hexagons in the carefully painted lens flare, the beautiful bokeh, the shutter-blur on railway-bridge pylons as they flash past, the […]
  • University of Queensland Art Museum apocalyptic opening speech - It was great hanging out with Campbell Gray, Gordon Craig and Michelle Helmrich at the UQAM, as well as s well as Maurice and Camilla from the QCP, and meeting the dealers for James Casebere and Yao Lu at the No Place, opening. The only bead I could get on their work and the work of […]
  • Opening speech at UQ Art Museum - Trying to think of something to say in my speech at  the opening of No Place at the University of Queensland Art Museum next Friday. What to say about u/distopian constructed place tableaus from two American, one Chinese, and one Italian photographer. Drop by if you are in Brisbane.
  • Experimental lantern slide projection with Professor Nic Peterson, Martin Thomas, David and Judith McDougal, Jenny Gall and Diedre Feeney - A good couple of hours were spent at the ANU experimentally projecting magic lantern slides from the collections of Professor Nic Peterson, Martin Thomas and David and Judith McDougall, as well as my own, on my two vintage lanterns. Nic’s handcoloured mission slides from the 20s (I think that was the dates) were especially interesting, […]
  • With Bearcage, Lee Grant and Yu Haibo - It was fun being able to auspice a Bearcage shoot with Canberra photographer Lee Grant and Chinese photographer Yu Haibo at the ANU School of Art. They are making a Canberra/Beijing documentary on ….. documentary photographers.
  • Is Rob Moody Australia’s greatest archive artist, greater even than the great Patrick Pound? - Pitch perfect: cricket tragic records 25,000 DVDs worth of game time Author: Gareth Hutchens Date: Sydney Morning Herald 18/01/2014 p10. It is a tale of misspent Australian youth: a young cricket fan starts recording the odd televised cricket match, and then he begins to tape every game on TV. Soon, he starts washing cars, and […]
  • Opening of Still Fragments Landscapes at Belconnen Arts Centre - It was fun opening Louise Curham and Jo Law’s exhibition Still Fragments Landscapes at Belconnen Arts Centre: hand processed Super 8 film, at three frames a second, digitally composited with rotoscoped, hand-drawn and stop-frame stitched elements, all presented on small framed LED screens as video art you could live with. Nice.   One of the […]
  • My magic lantern slide collection - Now I have got my two lanterns working with LED lights, I spent the weekend beginning to catalogue the slides I have recently acquired. It turns out I have hand-painted slides of the Hymn Rock of Ages, very similar to the set which the Salvation Army used in one of Australia’s first outdoor projection in […]
  • I Heart TV Launch at M16 - The first opening of 2014 (first of many), but it was a pleasure to be able to give the opening talk at Sam Townsende and crew’s I Heart TV at M16. An intelligent show that got coverage in the Canberra Times. Great to catch up with old student friends who are still smart. Also looking […]
  • Researching the construction of nineteenth century audiences by the magic lantern - I’m researching the construction of nineteenth century audiences by the magic lantern, mainly through Trove newspaper searches, and finding fun stuff, such as this from the Queensland Worker, ‘Dissolving views’ was another phrase for Magic Lantern Show. I don’t know enough about fin de siecle Queensland politics to get the joke though.
  • Professor Ian Edwards’ presentation to the Magic Lantern Convention, Birmingham - I ambled down to my letterbox to find the latest issue of the Magic Lantern Society Newsletter waiting for me. Delighted that there was a report on Professor Ian Edwards and his wife Margery’s presentation to the 9th Magic Lantern Society Convention in Birmingham. (See below). Professor Edwards presented a lantern show at my symposium of last […]
  • Cover design of new literary sub-genre — child abuse victim testimony books - Looking for Christmas presents I discovered a new literary sub-genre of which I was previously unaware: the testimony of children who had been the victims of various kinds of child abuse, delivered through the dubious amanuenses of one or two authors who seem to have cornered the market. Each book-cover, like the covers of a […]
  • Celebrity culture defines the high school formal - In my naiveté I was astounded by the way high school formals have become defined by celebrity culture. After dropping my daughter off to her friends before her end of year formal I found out that we were expected to follow her and her friends in their posh car all the way to the venue. […]
  • Famous people in spirit photographs - In the last couple of weeks colleagues have sent me two spirit photographs of famous, and perhaps unexpected people. The first is the Tasmanian landscape photographer John Watt Beattie, who must have visited the London spirit photographer Richard Boursnell around 1900. The second is the poet W B Yeats, who visited William Hope, again in […]
  • Canberra Times article on the Canberra Museum and Art Gallery photography exhibition I’m in - New Canberra Museum and Gallery exhibition Lens Love explores the self, subject and environment Sally Pryor Canberra Times November 30, 2013 Marzena Wasikowska’s Jess, Oskar, Kai and Mia. It’s one of the most common complaints of modern life – the increasing tendency to photograph life when you should be living it instead. Snapping images of weddings […]
  • Opening Thursday 28 November -
  • Duncan’s Plumbing Past Works Gallery - I needed a plumber and found Duncan’s Plumbing on the web. I was particularly impressed by the amount of work he had put into the galleries on his website, particularly his Past Works gallery. He seemed to have uploaded more shots  than were strictly necessary, but with an obvious pride in his team and an […]
  • My ‘Soldiers of the Cross’ article has been published - My ‘Soldiers of the Cross’ article has been published in the Journal of Early Popular Visual Culture. Click on the link below to start ratcheting up my downloads! Soldiers of the Cross: Time Narrative and Affect
  • Preparing for upcoming Canberra Museum and Gallery Show - Preparing for upcoming Canberra Museum and Gallery Show surveying those of us who have been around a while in ACT Photography. Curated by Shane Breynard, CMAG’s Director and ex student. Opens next Thursday. Here Marzena Wasikowska confers over test strips of her work with our gun printer Amy Macgregor in the ANU’s Inkjet Research Facility.  
  • Video of Stanislaus Ostoja-Kotkowski theremin performance - For those that missed it. The performance of Larry Sitsky’s 1975 piece The Legions of Asmodeus, re-performed on four theremins including one by Stanislaus Ostoja-Kotkowski on which the piece had been initially performed in front of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam in 1975, and which was restored by Alistair Riddell and Stephen Jones with a RSHA […]
  • Hopeless Romantics - Ursula Frederick asked me to be in a show to accompany an ANU conference on love. I resurrected some of my Ada Deane spirit photographs which I had printed on silk some years ago, and draped then onto model hands I brought from Lincraft. This is what I wrote for the catalogeue:  The 1920s was a […]
  • Shaping Canberra, 2013 - This year it’s been great to be invited to be in shows: by Cathy Laudenbauch and Patsy Payne for a show at the Front in Canberra called Undertone, and by Mary Hutchinson and Ruth Hingston for a show called Shaping Canberra at the ANU School of Art Gallery. The Shaping Canberra show went along with […]
  • Magic Lanterns - I’ve purchased two magic lanterns and some nineteenth century slipping slides, lever slides and chromatropes, as well as a large collection of nineteenth century life model slides, from an auction. I’ve got the two lanterns working with LED floodlights that produce no heat or UV light. I’m having a fantastic time playing with these wonderful […]
  • Shaping Canberra - This year it’s been great to be invited to be in shows: by Cathy Laudenbauch and Patsy Payne for a show at the Front in Canberra called Undertone, and by Mary Hutchinson and Ruth Hingston for a show called Shaping Canberra at the ANU School of Art Gallery. The Shaping Canberra show went along with […]