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CREATEC Weekly Seminar Series - Dr Nien Schwarz and Mr Shaun Salmon

Friday, 05 May 2017


Presenter: Dr Nien Schwarz

Title: Perth Core Library: A Commission for Site-Specific Art Works

Biography: Nien is an interdisciplinary artist, environmental activist, and Senior Lecturer in Visual Arts at ECU where she teaches spatial studies and art history. Nien’s arts practice provokes consideration of human relationships to the ground, particularly mining, agriculture, and urban development. Installations, objects, photography, paintings, critical writing and collage works result from research into Earth and environmental sciences, economics, politics, and industrialisation. A life‐long fascination with geology resulted in over 30 field seasons supporting geological mapping expeditions across the Canadian arctic and WA. Artworks incorporate the material essence of places, including hand-collected and prepared earth pigments and botanical matter

Abstract: The Perth Core Library Commission is for the design and installation of long-lasting, large-scale, site-specific, sculptural installations, archival digital prints and paintings specifically geologically-themed for the recently renovated Perth Core Library, 37 Harris St, Carlisle. The aim is to reflect the history and diversity of WA’s mineral and petroleum resource development and to stimulate discussion of DMP research and associated drill core samples archived at the Core Library. Target clientele is primarily industry and academic professionals, followed by the community. This presentation outlines artworks researched and developed by the artist Nien Schwarz in consultation with assigned DMP scientific and technical staff and demonstrates how the artworks add vitality to the building, provide a source of pride, and support geological educational inquiry. Total budget is $41,000. Project completion date is 31 March 2017.

Presenter: Mr Shaun Salmon

Title: Menippean Voices: Genre, rhetoric and character in satirical practice

Biography: Shaun Salmon is a cartoonist, writer and musician. His weekly cartoon strip, All Our Yesterdays appeared in the West Australian’s West Magazine lift-out from 2002 to 2006. Shaun’s spot cartoons and strips have also appeared in The Walkley Magazine, The Eye, Wet Ink, and Scoop (the WA Journalists’ Association magazine). As a writer of humour, Shaun contributed to several Over the Fence Comedy Film Festivals, as well as writing material for stand-up comedians Novak ‘n Goode. As part of electronica duo Late Night Shopping Shaun (along with his musical partner Nikki Jones) was part of the short-lived Brighton, UK record label Sleepy Music.

Abstract: Menippean satire embodies a questioning rhetoric that interrogates philosophy in a fictional context. As such it has implications that extend outside literature – the dissemination of an ambivalent, laughing approach to human systems of thought. Menippean rhetoric brings us all ‘down to earth’ in the face of death and renewal processes. Definitions of the Menippean form, present in the work of Bakhtin, Frye and Kristeva, describe its ancient origins and an ongoing lineage. This genre both predates and overlaps the literary definitions ‘postmodern’ and ‘absurdist’. Gravity’s Rainbow, Waiting For Godot and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy radio serial can all be usefully described as examples of this diverse, living tradition.

My rhetorical approach to genre (derived from the work of Bakhtin and Miller) seeks to extend an existing creative writing practice in the Menippean form. The research process focuses on the authorial persona present in ‘great man’ biography and the celebrity profile to refine a humorous, essayistic approach that parodies both the style and intention of these voices of authority.

My creative research method is practice-led, and uses experimental drafting procedures to manipulate the conventions that typify the social motivations of the Menippean genre. In this sense my research seeks to self-consciously alter my existing creative writing approach via theoretically defined writing exercises and decision-making. Exegetical analysis will centre on the drafting and editing process (as a tool in creative writing research) and on the value of the Menippean form as a contemporary approach in Australian fiction.

Event details

Date: Wednesday, 10 May 2017
Time: 12.30pm - 1.30pm
Venue: ECU Mount Lawley Campus, Building 10, Room 10.308
Cost: Free
Light lunch will be provided


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