26 July 2014, Ian Potter Museum of Art

Holograph is a playful creative unconference and antidisciplinary salon. This means that anyone is welcome to speak or present a workshop on anything they’re knowledgeable or passionate about, whether it be physics, dance, linguistics, cooking, politics, or all of the above at once. The aim is to inspire, educate, connect, and demonstrate that everything intersects and that nothing is irrelevant to the creative mind.

Thanks to co-facilitators Katelyn Gigante, Izzy Gramp, Anthony Liew, Andrew Magee, Jesse Mazis, Amani Naseem, Harrison Smith, Chad Toprak, Maize Wallin, and many more people in the Glitchmark community for making this happen. Special thanks to Heather Gaunt and the Ian Potter Museum of Art for graciously hosting us.

Here's a selection of talks we heard at Holograph 2014:

Art…what is it good for? Turns out that at University, quite a lot… – Heather Gaunt I am Curator of Academic Programs (Research) at the Ian Potter Museum of Art, with a job to connect students from all over the university, in different disciplines, to the Potter, its exhibitions and collections. I’m passionate about the diversity of ways that this happens and continuing to explore the ‘utility’ of art in tertiary teaching and research contexts: something I’ll talk about in this session.

Suck it, Pythagoras – Maize Wallin Why The Comma of Didymus fucked us over, and how Zarlino is cooler than Bartholomeo. But, really everyone should just chill out and play some Paleolithic flutes. A history of sound from 14,000BC to now.

Playing Murdoch Harrison Smith Discussion on how play / games has the possibility of improving the critical understanding of its players and in process contribute to real acts of change. 

(neo)arcade – Louis Roots How do you make an arcade game? Who knows, not me, but I do have some experience I’d like to share. 

Location, Location, Location – Harry Lee what’s wrong, right, strange, beautiful, upsetting, and inspiring about the “Melbourne games scene”? What constitutes a Melbourne game? How does Melbourne compare to other places in the world where games are being made?

Turg Lyf – Georgia Symons You hate the theatre! You’d never choose this session! Not unless you found out there was free candy*… Come have a chat about dramaturgy, and find out what architecture, percolation theory and a fifty-year-long coal steam fire have in common.

Playing on the Beach – Amani Naseem an open discussion about the playful lens. Underneath the cobblestones of society, the beach!

Subverting the Genre Expectations – Katelyn Gigante The talk will be exploring what it means to label a game as being in a genre, how to push the genre’s boundaries, and what makes strange indie games so lovable.

The Fasting Chad – Chad Toprak This talk is about my personal experience of fasting during the month of Ramadan in Melbourne, and the challenges and rewards of this process. I’ll also be highlighting independent works influenced and inspired by Islamic art.

Player, Pedagog and Subject – Robbie Fordyce I will briefly discuss the game Dwarf Fortress, and its relationship to economies and education; critical race studies and identity-education games; and the ARC Avatars project that this research in dialogue with. 

Necessary Parameters of Storytelling – Mohini Herse What makes us want to listen to a story and why do we tell certain ones over and over again? Referencing my wok as a film maker, this talk will be taking a look into the story that I have told more times than I can count, and how context and parameters have become my necessary evils. 

Tinder isn’t Chess – Rafael SW After spending a few thousand hours trying to get good at one game (chess) I was told there was a much easier game in town, and one that might even have a slightly higher chance of helping me get a date. In this session I’m going to discuss the complexities of ‘gaming’ the dating world, anecdates for the tinder-hearted and aim to think 5 ply deep about why humans are just so freakin’ weird.

Over Optimism Bullshit – Izzy Gramp Why do you make games? What is the reason for your interest in it. Have you ever heard the term killing with kindness? Well that’s what I’m going to talk to you about. The bitter questions that maybe you haven’t thought about. Australia has a bit of a history of not talking about failure. Done in your stereotypical rant format. So hopefully it won’t be all bad! Maybe even bittersweet?

A Defence of (How) Game(s) Feel – Brendan Keogh I’ll be building off some of my current research and writing to talk about how games feel and why people shouldn’t feel the need to apologise for talking about how games feel and that these ‘feelings’ are no less significant for not being able to be measured or pinned down. Such presumptions inscribe mind/body splits that obscure the reality of digital play so I’ll try to mess that up a bit and talk about why it’s important. There will be cyborgs. 

Fashion: the Neglected Meta – Nardia Kelly Games often treat fashion like good-looking skin coverings, but fashion is an entire world, stories within stories. This looks at how you can express words and feelings without dialogue, build history without museums, show conflict without violence.

Challenging Childhoods – Helen Berents Passive, innocent, playful: we have in our heads a notion of childhood that we think of as universal, but which is in actual fact a historical, western conception. This norm about childhood influences how we perceive ‘authentic’ children and ‘authentic’ behaviours. It limits the possibilities we can imagine and limits our ability to engage with young people in meaningful ways. Moving well outside our comfort zone to ask how children negotiate violent conflict and post conflict insecurity forces us to rethink the norms that underpin what we talk about when we talk about claims of play, claims to authenticity, and claims to childhood. 

Connecting Games with Charity Development – Laura Abela Games in relation to education, community in a global sense, charity and social enterprise.

The Playful Material of Dough in Art – Søren Dahlgaard Pastry.

To boldly go: the frontiers of physics – Joe Chan In broad brush-strokes, I will take you on a journey to the frontiers of physics, in the hopes that you will take momentos back home, to your art, music and games studios.

Beyond buttons: semblance and movement in interactive arts – Mark Pederson This discussion session is aimed at diving into deeper approaches to designing interactive systems by examining aspects of perceptual fusion, indirect mapping, and the concept of semblance and event as the starting point for building an audio/visual composition framework. Concrete examples are offered as a way of kicking off a discussion around how to move “beyond the button”.

Down by the river – Max Myer For those interested in why someone would ever paddle down a waterfall, climb up a rock wall or paddle through hanging poles. A personal introspective on the many years spent involved with Kayaking, and on starting out rock climbing. Interspersed with observations, anecdotes about how this all ties in with games.

Aditnálta: an island dispersed across the internet – Mond Qu The UN have recently reported financial links between Mexico’s Los Zeta cartel and the illegal trading of the rare earth mineral Otinif, a material critical to the manufacture of the next generation of super fast digital processors. Seen from Google Earth, Aditnálta is an anonymous island off the East Coast of Mexico but as the world’s richest source of Otinif, it is a landscape being consumed by our hunger for technology. Hidden from this distanced aerial view are vast underground worker towns and oppressive mining conditions. Aditnálta is an outsourced landscape embedded in all the pieces of technology we carry in our pockets…

Style is Sugar, the Message is Medicine – Constantine Ballis No matter how noble your ideas, how well documented your supporting evidence is, how pertinent and important the information you offer; without effective use of style and narrative your content will fall on deaf ears. The presentation of an idea in any rhetorical media – Painting, Video Game, Documentary Film, a Children’s Book, a Political Manifesto – is equally important as the content and the ethical guiding principals behind the work. The black arts of propaganda and the virtuous path of truth and of empirical learning make uneasy but intrinsically necessary bedfellows.

Identity, Authenticity and Populist Game Apologia – Joshua Thomason Speaking broadly on issues of identity and apology in the gaming world, this talk will feature leisurely excursions into archaeology, anthropology, sociology, psychology, history, economics, philosophy, communication theory, and politics, with a smidgin of linguistics. It will be militantly discursive, in that the central thesis will be accompanied by many diversions and nested hypotheses. The purpose of the talk, if it can be said to have one, is to promote free-thought and candid discussion.

The computer made it for me – Jesse Mazis What is the future of procedural generation? We know how to use it to generate a map, we know how to make it generate heaps of things! But, when do we need to intervene? And how far can we push it?

Intro to Dance Improvisation – Tamsin McLinden I will lead a very basic practical workshop in dance improvisation. This session aims to open the minds of participants to a world of movement options and new ways of thinking about the body’s movement. No dance training required (at all!), all ranges of movement ability welcome!

Why I Make My Own Tools – Ian MacLarty I’ll explore the relationship between tools, medium and finished work and how the limitations of tools can drive the creative process and shape a work.

How to Befriend a Wave Function – Alexander Perrin Hear the heartwarming tale of my long and loving relationship with the Sine Wave, and my spiel regarding why you should introduce yourself to it too.