Technologies and Creative Futures from our 2020 Symposium

Nineteenth-century art forms. 20th-century business models. 21st-century people. In a world now defined by ever-increasing digital capability and possibility, and amidst a pandemic that has highlighted our need for arts and culture in our daily lives,  does this disconnect continue to serve us, or is it time to rethink how we create, consume and classify the arts and its many forms?

In Session one ‘Technologies and Creative Futures’ from our 51st Symposium ‘At the Crossroad? Australia’s Cultural Future’ held late last year, Wesley Enoch AM (former Director of the Sydney Festival, now Indigenous Chair in the Creative Industries with QUT) Dr Indigo Holcombe-James (Research Fellow in the Technology, Communication and Policy Lab at RMIT) Astrid Jorgensen (Director of Pub Choir) and Dr Wendy Were (Executive Director, Advocacy and Development at the Australia Council) discuss and explore the potential for technology-driven creative futures to generate innovative engagement with and between arts communities, art forms and cultural activity.


Amongst the many questions raised in this dynamic session, our panelists ask: what revolutions—technical and others—has this year delivered in the practice, dissemination and consumption of cultural and creative activity? What are the ethical implications? How is technology shaping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage? What is the scope for younger Australian artists amid increased social rupture and isolation?

In unpacking these questions, the panelists draw on a wide range of examples including the Sydney Festival’s ‘at-home’ digital broadcast series, Couch Choir, an off-shoot of Pub Choir, in which participants from around the world use virtual means to create one big, joyous choir, and Dance Rites, a once-live performance gone digital, celebrating First Nations dance and demonstrating how we can successfully preserve culturally significant material.

The fully-captioned video from this session is now available to view on our YouTube channel. Each week for the next month we will upload our Symposium sessions so that we can keep the discussion going and continue to create momentum around these essential questions.

Upcoming videos include:

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Acknowledgement of Country

The Australian Academy of the Humanities recognises Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the traditional owners and custodians of this land, and their continuous connection to country, community and culture.