Dr Campbell Drake is an academic and a registered architect. His current research is focused on the interactions and entanglements between urban infrastructures and socio spatial formations. Investigating socio-material relations within the organizational structures of remote communities in Australia and abroad, his research explores the capacity of urban infrastructure to provide benefits to the conditions and wellbeing of people, cultural practices and environments.
Drake works in partnership with a variety of government and non-government agencies including the Murrin Bridge & Walgett Local Aboriginal Land Councils, The Department of Justice, The National Indigenous Australians Agency, the NSW Aboriginal Housing Office, The Australian Consulate-General Makassar and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
His current practice based research projects include the roll out and evaluation of solar street lighting in Namoi and Gingie Reserves, the extension to a preschool in Murrin Bridge and an Aboriginal housing project in NSW North Western districts.
Drakes qualifications include a PhD from the School of Architecture and Design at RMIT University and a Masters of Research Architecture from Goldsmiths University, University of London.
His research, teaching and architectural projects have won a number of awards including the 2018 AILA Research, Policy & Communication Landscape Architecture Award, a 2018 UTS Teaching and Learning Awards: Indigenous Professional Capabilities High Commendation and the hotels category of the International Interior Design Association Global Excellence Awards in 2014.
Architects Registration Board of Victoria
NSW Architects Registration Board
2018 AILA Research, Policy & Communication Landscape Architecture Award,
2018 UTS Teaching and Learning Awards: Indigenous Professional Capabilities (High Commendation)
2014 Winner - International Interior Design Association 2014 Global Excellence Awards. Hotels Division
2012 Australian Interior Design Awards, High Commendation - Commercial Design – Kyambura Lodge
2010 Concrete & Glass Winner – Heart of Glass – Rise and Fall
British Lighting Awards Finalist – Sky Bar O2
2008 Australian Interior Design Awards
Winner - Premiers Interior Design Excellence and Innovation – Dusk Bar
Winner – Best Hospitality Design – Dusk Bar
2007 Great Indoors Awards Finalist _ Holland Dusk Bar
Winner Idea07 Interior Awards for Excellence_ Dusk Bar
2006 Interior Design Excellence Awards Finalist – Best Hospitality Design – Section 8
Can supervise: YES
Indigenous / Non Indigenous research partnerships and Intercultural creative practice
Site specific creative practice and spatial politics
Eco tourism & sustainable development in remote and environmentally sensitive locations
Design Studio: Spatial Agency
Global Studio: Indonesia
Drake, C 2020, 'The Accumulation of Cyclical Operations', Drawing On: Journal of Architectural Research by Design, no. 03.
Intersecting architectural and performance practices, this design research examines how site specific performance can activate engagement in the spatial politics of contested urban and rural landscapes in Australia.
Carried out through a series of iterative performances, the research seeks to provide new creative practice knowledge to the field of critical spatial practice. Combining critical theory and practice-based research, the research methodology interrogates the disciplinary boundaries of architecture and performance through the performative re-appropriation of a series of landmark buildings and contested landscapes. Questioning hegemonic structures within the spatial arrangements of dominant modes of cultural production, the research incites an active political engagement in the spatial relations between performers, audiences and environments.
Exploring the cultural, ethical, and political resonances produced by performative interventions, the research has evolved through two phases of project investigations. Commencing with two recitals situated in 19th century urban landmark buildings - Melbourne's Flinders Street Station ballroom and the Princess Street Theatre; followed by a phase of investigative engagement with the spatial politics of contested Australian landscapes; at Hobart's municipal rubbish dump and a property acquired by the Indigenous Land Corporation as part of a land bank established for Aboriginal people.
Questioning the ongoing impact of colonialism in Australia, the research curates material, spatial and acoustic disciplines in a variety of contested settings to reveal the limitations of traditional architectural and musical practices to control the dynamics of ‘natural’ environmental systems. Through an active engagement with the spatial politics of contested landscapes, the research reinforces a critical standpoint that seeks not only to reflect and describe existing conditions, but also to transform and imagine something differe...
Drake, C, Dziekan, V, Gilbert, J, Mehzoud, S, Pearce, B & Pearce, S 2019, 'Curatorial Design at the Cultural Interface: Mapping Culpra Station', Curator, vol. 62, no. 4, pp. 571-588.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. While the impetus towards decolonization presents significant issues for more institutionalized forms of curating and how they attend to Indigenous cultural content, equally, this situation presents distinct opportunities to establish alternative forms of curatorial practice that engage with inter-cultural knowledge exchange through collaboration with Indigenous communities. We offer here a contextual framing of a series of interconnected design events and exhibition outcomes that originated from an invitation to creatively ‘map’ an Aboriginal owned station property in southern New South Wales, Australia. Curatorial Design will be used to encompass the mix of disciplinary knowledge that this creative research project calls upon along with interdisciplinary approaches employed that draw from (but are not limited to) practice-based methods from art and design, especially spatial practice, as well as archaeology, anthropology, cartography and ethnography. This overarching term has been adopted in an effort not to pigeonhole the nature of thinking or doing that the creative curatorial practices detailed in this article entail, either of the participants involved in the project or outcomes resulting from the collaborative processes discussed herein. As the opening, scene-setting entry of the Interpretive Wonderings Portfolio*, this article identifies the contexts within which the project situates itself – between Indigenous and Western knowledge systems; disciplinary and interdisciplinary “know-how”; theory and practice – in order to establish the positions of the four chief protagonists directly engaged in the project in relation to this ‘cultural interface’. It sets out some of the shifts in understanding of these positions and in particular the ways that the original project’s framing through critical cartography was both facilitated and transformed in turn through consideration of Aboriginal ontologies. These evolving positions and t...
Drake, C 2018, 'Spatial Tuning, Performance, the piano and the spatial politics of waste management.', SOPHIA Journal, vol. Crossing Borders, Shifting Boundaries Image, Body and Territory, no. 3, pp. 32-55.
Investigating how site specific performance can activate engagement with the spatial politics of urban processes, this paper explores the relations between the body, territory and the environmental impact of consumer culture. Centred on a performance event titled Spatial Tuning that took place on the boundary of a municipal rubbish dump in the city of Hobart, Tasmania in 2016, this research is framed within an existing field of practice in which a variety of creative practitioners engage pianos as performative devices to renegotiate situations, subjects and environments.
Drake, CJ 2017, 'Instrumental: Performance and the Cumulative Potential of Distributed Sites', OAR: The Oxford Artistic and Practice Based Research Platform, no. Issue 1 (2017).
Exploring the relations between the site of research and the site of output, this paper is a critical comparison of the immediate experience of conducting research in a specific place/space and the sites at which practice based research outputs are published and exhibited. Extending Miwon Kwon’s assertion that ‘site is not simply a geographical location but a network of social relations,’1 my research is situated within the field of critical spatial practice and explores the ability of site specific performance to contribute to and shape cultural politics in Australia. Carried out as a series of iterative performances, the practice based research methodology uses salvaged pianos as a device to renegotiate the politics of space through the re-appropriation of iconic and contested Australian site
Drake, CJ & Carey, J 2017, 'Speed = Distance / Time', Terra Firma Magazine, no. 4, pp. 158-163.
Drake, CJ & Gilbert, J 2016, 'Interpretive Wonderings', Unlikely - Journal for Creative Arts, no. 2, pp. 1-8.
Examining the criteria by which events-based modes of spatial practice are discussed, this paper critically reflects on a mapping workshop that took place in September 2015 at Culpra Station; an 8,500 hectare property situated in rural New South Wales. Titled ‘Interpretive Wonderings’, the project sought to build upon a body of critical cartographic work that approaches mapping as ‘performative, participatory and political.’ Taking place in September 2015, thirty Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants were invited to the station property to produce interpretive mappings through which to explore multivalent understandings of country.
Exploring the difficulties of articulating the performative attributes that constitute creative practice in the field, this paper discusses three creative works produced during the ‘Interpretive Wondering’ mapping workshop: Thomas Cole’s ‘Extract’, Sam Trubridge’s ‘Night Walk’ and Campbell Drake’s ‘Instrumental’. Whilst varied in their approaches and conceptual agendas, these projects share similarities within the performative operations enabled through event-based modes of spatial practice.
Drake, CJ & Kelly, WJ 2016, 'Sustainable Tourism Development in Rote Ndao', PORTAL Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies, vol. 13, no. 2 (Designing Futures in Indonesia), pp. 1-18.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Located in the eastern province of Nusa Tenggara Timur (West Timor), Rote Ndao is an island of 120,000 residents that can be accessed via ferry from the West Timorese capital of Kupang. Prior to East Timorese independence in 2002, Kupung saw direct international flights from Australia, since redirected through Bali and Jakarta. Rote Ndao is traditionally focused on subsistence farming and the harvesting of the Lontar Palm; however, recent years have seen an influx of foreign interest as domestic and international investors buy up large tracks of beach front property. White sand beaches and world class surfing, Rote is a quintessential island paradise and many are predicting that this remote part of eastern Indonesia will become the new Bali of the 21st century.
Drake, CJ 2014, 'The paradox of Thai Architecture', Habitus, no. 24, pp. 51-53.
Whether looking back to the origins of architectural tradition in ‘Architecture of Thailand : A guide to traditional and contemporary forms’, projecting forwards to a new digital age in ‘Narrative, Metaphor and Architecture : A decade of metamorphosing ideas into built form, 10 experiments in architecture by VaSLab’ or celebrating a renewed sense of regionalism within the contemporary architecture of ‘Small Medium Houses,’ each of these books denote a healthy plurality of architectural exploration within the vibrant and progressive architectural community of Thailand. Defiant of stripping the built environment of cultural reference, these books signify the dynamic and innovative design culture of Thailand that whilst respectful of tradition, firmly grasps ‘the potential of architectural design to draw from the past and present towards the future..’
Drake, CJ & Langdon, R 2012, '(Dis)Lodging the African Safari _ Designing Ways', Designing Ways, no. 144.
Drake, CJ & Langdon, R 2012, '(Dis)lodging the African Safari_Green Magazine', Green Magazine, no. 23, pp. 86-93.
Drake, CJ & Langdon, R 2012, 'The Mother of Invention _ Architect Victoria', Architect Victoria, no. Autumn, pp. 22-22.
Drake, C 2020, 'Cultural Burning and the Interstices of Two Vernacular Cultural Forms' in Suartika, GAM & Nichols, J (eds), Reframing the Vernacular: Politics, Semiotics, and Representation, Springer International Publishing, Springer Nature Switzerland AG, pp. 43-54.
Investigating the complexity of vernacular subjects within the context of
intercultural land ownership in Australia, this research examines how site specific performance can activate engagement in the spatial politics of contested Australian landscapes. The paper is centred on a performance event titled Cultural Burn that took place in 2016, on an 8000-hectare property acquired by the Indigenous Land Corporation as part of a land bank established for the dispossession of Aboriginal people. Drawing a comparison between the traditional Aboriginal land management practice of cultural burning, and the burning of a western cultural artefact, the research explores the cultural, ethical and political resonance of burning a piano on Barkanji Country within an ephemeral billabong. Addressing vernacularity in relation to how we are positioned at the interstices between subjects, knowledge systems, histories, traditions and practices, the research explores how vernacular subjects are presented, represented and practiced within an intercultural, cross-disciplinary and post-colonial context.
Drake, C 2020, 'Cultural Burning and the Interstices of two vernacular cultural forms' in Reframing the Vernacular: Politics, Semiotics, and Representation, Springer, Switzerland, pp. 43-54.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Investigating the complexity of vernacular subjects within the context of intercultural land ownership in Australia, this research examines how site specific performance can activate engagement in the spatial politics of contested Australian landscapes. The paper is centred on a performance event titled Cultural Burn that took place in 2016, on an 8000-hectare property acquired by the Indigenous Land Corporation as part of a land bank established for the dispossession of Aboriginal people. Drawing a comparison between the traditional Aboriginal land management practice of cultural burning, and the burning of a western cultural artefact, the research explores the cultural, ethical and political resonance of burning a piano on Barkanji Country within an ephemeral billabong. Addressing vernacularity in relation to how we are positioned at the interstices between subjects, knowledge systems, histories, traditions and practices, the research explores how vernacular subjects are presented, represented and practiced within an intercultural, cross-disciplinary and post-colonial context.
Drake, C 2019, 'Rapid Tourism Development and the extraterritorialisation of public open space in eastern Indonesia', 2nd Global Conference Urbanism at Borders. Borders within border. Fragmentation, disposition, connections., Malaga, Spain.
Focused on the spatial politics of rapid tourism development in relation to the struggles over access to land and natural resources, this paper explores the exclusionary propensities (and socio-spatial implications) of the hotel industry through the conceptual framework of extra-territorialisation.
Designating ‘both a legal status and a geographical jurisdiction’,1 this research aims to adapt the concept of extraterritoriality as an analytical framework to explore the spatial politics of ‘discriminating power structures’ within rapid tourism development with the potential of re-articulating ‘new practical, conceptual and poetical possibilities’.2
Carried out through a combination of spatial mapping and diagramming, interviews with local residents, tourism operators and government representatives, the review of planning policy, regulations and legislation and critical discourse analysis of the term extra-territorialisation with architectural and tourism discourse, the research is centred on the coastal town of Labuan Bajo, situated in western Flores, Indonesia. Identified as one of the ‘Ten New Bali’s’ within a controversial tourism management plan released by the central tourism ministry in 2016, this paper addresses the spatial dynamics of material and immaterial boundaries between beachfront hotels and the public open spaces of both land and sea in Labuan Bajo, that have historically been accessible to local residents.
By examining the extra-territorialisation of public open space in Labuan Bajo, the results of the research aims to extend the term within the context of rapid tourism development with the intent of rendering tourism boundaries as more inclusive, permeable and democratic thus aligning with the principles of eco-tourism.
This paper is an evaluation of an inprogress, action research project centred on the design and implementation of forty solar street lights within Namoi and Gingie Aboriginal reserves. Investigating socio- technical relations within the context of discrete Indigenous communities, 1 this research explores the capacity of urban infrastructure to provide bene ts to remote Aboriginal communities. Funded by the Department of Justice and carried out in partnership with the Walgett Local Aboriginal Land Council, the research is being conducted through a comparative, longitudinal study. It sets out to evaluate the ability of solar outdoor lighting to be responsive to community needs, and tests the potential of outdoor lighting to increase wellbeing by decreasing vandalism, theft, snake bites, emergency services visitation, and call-out times.
Whilst action research is the primary method for conducting the research,
a range of supplementary research methods have been incorporated to evaluate the social impacts of the lighting implementation, including semi-structured interviews with residents and emergency services; the intent is to compare emergency services data pre- and post-installation.
Exploring the interconnections between people and objects, the data collected is interpreted through a socio-material perspective that seeks to reveal insights into the interactions and entanglements between urban infrastructure and social formation. Through the examination of human/non-human networks in Namoi and Gingie Reserves, the research aims to extend socio-technical discours whilst developing new knowledge and transferable design methodologies and processes for further implementation and advancement of discrete Indigenous communities of Australia.
Drake, C 2019, 'Cultural Burning and the ongoing impact of colonialism in Australia’', Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Working Paper Series, The Politics of Tradition; International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments, University of California, Berkley, University of Coimbra, pp. 1-21.
Exploring the duplicitous spatial politics of intercultural land ownership in Australia, I question the ongoing impact of colonialism through a critique of the politics of traditional Australian cultural practices and environments. Intersecting architectural and performance practices, this design research examines how site-specific performance can activate engagement in the spatial politics of contested landscapes. The paper is centered on a performance event titled Cultural Burn that took place in 2016, on an 8000-hectare property acquired by the Indigenous Land Corporation1 as part of a compensatory land bank established for the dispossession of Aboriginal people. Drawing a comparison between the traditional Aboriginal land management practice of cultural burning,2 and the burning of a western cultural artefact,3 the research explores the cultural, ethical and political resonance of burning a piano on Barkanji 4 Country 5 within an ephemeral billabong.6 Structured in three parts, part one examines the motivations for burning the instrument and contextualizes it within an existing community of practice in which a range of creative practitioners incorporate burning pianos in their performance works. Part two draws a comparison between the Aboriginal land management practice of cultural burning, and the burning of pianos within
contemporary arts practice. It draws on Jacques Rancière’s concept of The Distribution of the Sensible as an analytical framework within which to explore the operative potential of intersecting aesthetic and political practices within the field of site-specific performance.7 Further, the research builds on the concept of ‘acoustic ecologies;’ part three provides a close reading of the live Cultural Burn event in relation to the staged juxtaposition of Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultural practices, the piano, and the Australian bush.8 Subverting common understandings of two traditional cultural forms, I seek to address how we are p...
Drake, C 2018, 'Performance and Discipline in Architecture: Investigating the spatial politics of contested Australian landscapes', ADR18: Proceedings of the 1st Annual Design Research Conference, The Sydney of University, 2018, Annual Design Research Conference, The University of Sydney, Sydney University, Sydney, NSW, pp. 291-208.
DRAKE, C 2016, 'Spatial Tuning', https://psiperformancedesign.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/interveningint…, Intervening in the Anthropo(s)scene, Hobart, Tasmania.
Drake, CJ 2016, 'Language and the Production of Space', OBSOLESCENCE and RENOVATION – 20th Century Housing in the New Millennium, OBSOLESCENCE and RENOVATION – 20th Century Housing in the New Millennium, Universidad de Sevilla, SEVILLE, SPAIN.
This paper is a critical investigation into the relationship between language and spatial production within the context of post war social housing in the UK. Adopting an obsolete council estate in north London as an exemplar of British social housing of this period, this paper provides a critical reflection on a collaborative arts project titled 'The Market Estate Project' produced in 2010, just prior to the estates demolition.
Coordinated by artists collaborative Tall Tales, backed by the Southern Housing Association and financed by the British Arts Council, 'The Market Estate Project' called for site specific artworks that celebrated ‘a colorful and rich last memory of the estate’, with an emphasis on collaboration and participation with residents and the local community.
Combining theoretical research and site specific intervention, this paper explores the notion of ‘effective historical analysis’, in which the singularities pertaining to the transformation of language of social housing reveals parallels between the forces and networks which govern its transformations.
The imagery presented within the paper is the documentation of practice led research comprising of two large-scale site specific interventions. The first project titled ‘Embodied Text’ (2010) was installed in the corridor of the Market Estate and explores the relationship between language, the body and the city. The second project titled ‘Rise and Fall’ (2010), is an investigation into the relationship between social and architectural space and involves the reproduction of a council estate flat reconfigured within a white cube gallery.
Through an investigation of the complex networks, multiple logics and rich contradictions inherent in the field of social housing, this research suggests that language produces space and conversely space produces language echoing Henri Lefebvre’s proposition ‘that space and the political organization of space, expresses social relationships but also react back u...
Drake, CJ 2016, 'Spatial Tuning', Performance Studies International #22 Performance Climates.
Drake, CJ & Gilbert, JB 2015, 'Interpretive Wonderings _ Performing Mobilities', Performing Mobilities, RMIT University / Victorian College of the Arts.
Exploring spatial aspects of intercultural trans-disciplinary arts practices, this presentation is centred upon a mapping workshop that took place at Culpra Station; an 8000 hectare property in rural NSW bounded by the Kemondok national park and the Murray River. The property is home to a number of significant cultural heritage sites including Aboriginal burials, hearths, middens, scarred trees, fish trap, an ochre quarry as well pastoral relics including stockyards, a homestead and nascent irrigation landforms. A selection of thirty Indigenous and non-indigenous participants were invited to the station to produce interpretive mappings through which to explore multivalent understandings of country.
Located within the field of critical spatial practice, the presentation of this research builds upon a body of critical cartographic work that sees mapping as ‘performative, participatory and political’. ‘Transgressing the limits of art and architecture to engage with both the social and the aesthetic’ participants were asked to map material and immaterial qualities of country. Responding to local Indigenous stories, spatial narratives and sites of cultural and environmental significance, maps were produced through a series of journeys and conversations using digital, analogue and performance based media. Focusing on exchanges of knowledge through intercultural and trans-disciplinary creative practice, the outcome of the workshop is a collection of mapping artefacts in a range of media including recordings, collections, performance, video, composition, assemblages, writing, drawings, construction or photography.
Addressing the notion of ‘moving country’ through interpretive mapping, this presentation explores how trans-disciplinary arts practice can provide new understandings of Indigenous and non-indigenous spatial sensibilities towards sites of cultural significance and country.
Drake, CJ 2014, 'Performative Spatial Practice _ Expanded Architecture 2014', Expanded Architecture 2014, Sydney.
Proposing a dynamic fluidity between the built environment and the inhabitants of the city, this paper is an investigation into the relationship between live performance and architecture. Drawing on Henri Lefebvres The production of space, this paper speculates upon the proposition that ‘space and the political organization of space, express social relationships but also react back upon them’ . Reaffirming this claim, this paper contests conventional interpretations of architecture as immovable and passive, instead asserting the built environment as dynamic and active. Exploring such notions in the realm of temporal art practice, this paper pulls focus on a selection of performance based works situated in the public realm. Adopting music as the transient medium to explore intersections between art, architecture and history, this paper provides a reflection upon a series of unconventional investigative spatial performances situated within redundant and historically significant sites.
Drake, CJ 2014, 'Contemporary Site Investigations _ Reverse Projections _Expanded Architecture 2013', Reverse Projections _Expanded Architecture 2013, Expanded Architecture 2013, Broken Dimanche Press, The Rocks, Sydney, pp. 78-83.
Drake, C 2018, 'Performance and Discipline in Architecture: The Accumulation of Cyclical Operations in Critical Spatial Practice', Australian Design Research Conference (ADR18), University of Sydney, Tin Sheds Gallery.
Consisting of four videos, this exhibition proposal is the outcome of a series of
iterative performances that explore the interactions between spatial conditions,
cultural practices, communities and their environments. Highlighting the cultural,
ethical, and political resonances produced by staged performances within contested
landscapes, the video works include The Accumulation of Cyclical Operations
(2017) situated in D-Division of Melbourne’s Pentridge Prison, Spatial Tuning (2015)
at Hobart's municipal rubbish dump and Instrumental (2015) and Cultural Burn
(2016) on a property acquired by the Indigenous Land Corporation as part of a land
bank established for Aboriginal people.
Drake, C 2017, 'The Accumulation of Cyclical Operations', D Division, Pentridge Prison, Coburg.
Drake, CJ 2014, 'The Princess Theatre Inversion', Situation 2014, The RMIT Design Hub, Melbourne.
Situation 2014 Exhibition and Presentation
Drake, CJ & Regional Associates Pty Ltd 2013, 'Kyambura Lodge'.
Situated on the periphery of Queen Elizabeth National Park in South West Uganda, the Savannah Banda’s form the second phase development of Kyambura Gorge Lodge, a newly completed eco tourism venture focusing on wildlife conservation, wetlands restoration and community engaged design process.
The Savannah Banda’s are constructed from locally fired bricks, sourced from a number of local communities, each have differing colors, textures and forms. The four Bandas explore A series of poet concepts through brick construction techniques.
Exploring the relationship between architecture and landscape, the first Banda draws the panoramic view of the national park and Ruwenzori Mountains through the building via a virtual scenographic projection. Mapped through the color differentiation of four brick types, the foreground, middle ground and back ground are pulled through the building as a series of vertical lines registered through the definition of exterior and interior brickwork.
The Banda roofs are conceived of as oversized shading devices, disconnected from the walls supported by their own structure. They are composed in sequence, like a flock of birds frozen in a moment of flight. The roofs are clad using recycled corrugated iron, collected from surrounding villages in a new for old roof exchange program providing new roofs for schools and local families. The rusty iron sheets are laid across the roof planes like a patchwork quilt providing a tangible connection to the social fabric of the surrounding communities.
Varying brick types, local timbers, bamboo and reeds are combined to create complex material expression. Raw natural materials are preferenced for textured surface qualities creating a backdrop for found and salvaged objects. Luggage trunks made from recycled metal, bedside tables from roadside shop signs and old chairs, have been mended anew, leaving traces of previous use and lives. Remnants of fabrics found in local markets are collaged together ...
Drake, CJ, 'Contemporary Site Investigations_Flinders Street Station', Flinders Street Station.
Drake, CJ, 'Instrumental', Interpretive Wonderings, Mildura Arts Centre.
Instrumental is a video and performance work that investigates the piano as a performative device to renegotiate the relations between situations, subjects and environments.
Exploring the colonial implications of the piano within the context of an indigenous led mapping workshop, Instrumental involved salvaging an upright piano from a nearby farm, relocating it to Culpra Station and positioning it amongst a grove of dead gum trees. A local piano tuner from Mildura was commissioned to tune the piano for a duration of 30 minutes.
The piano had not been played for over 50 years and was found to have a cracked timber frame. The act of tuning and tightening the instrument only put additional pressure on the internal mechanisms of the piano, causing it to slide in and out of tune as the tuner manipulated the instrument from one end to the other.
The resulting 25 minute video piece is a performance which explores the politics of space in which the role of human and non human agents are brought into question through the re-appropriation of a contested space within the Australian landscape.
Drake, CJ, 'Reflections on Culpra', Interpretive Wonderings, Mildura Arts Centre.
Covering 8000 hectares over five parcels, Culpra Station was first delineated and worked by pastoralists in 1846. The proximity of the Murray River and diversity of soil types has seen cropping and grazing of the mallee country and grazing of the river country. Colonial and modern pastoralist histories leave some obvious marks on the land today while other signposts to this history are barely traceable or gone completely.
This pastoralist history represents a very small timeframe in the history and culture of this area. The land at Culpra Station has a number of significant Aboriginal historical and cultural sites including burials, hearths, scarred trees and an ochre quarry that today offer some clues to this larger history.
In 2002, Culpra Station was purchased by the Indigenous Land Corporation as part of a vision to build a secure and sustainable land base for Aboriginal people. Today the property is managed by the Culpra Milli Aboriginal Corporation under the ethos of protecting the land from practices and actions that may be damaging to both its environmental and heritage values.
During a 30 year period between 1950 and 1980, Culpra Station was owned by the Duncan family. This video work focusses on the Duncan brothers, Kevin and Bruce, who spent most of their childhood at Culpra Station working it as a farm with their Dad.
With the Duncan brothers as guides, this project seeks to locate some of the traces and remnants of heritage sites such as the old homestead and the adjacent Aboriginal burial ground.
Comprising a series of interviews conducted on site, the video explores themes around the markers of ones country or home and the possible crossovers, connections, and/or tension between Indigenous and European sites of significance.
In looking at these particular connections to land and country and some of the marks left during this timeframe, the project combines visual mapping, oral storytelling and walking as a means to explore interpretations of the ...
Drake, CJ, 'Site specific performance, the piano and the emergence of cyclical operations in critical spatial practice', RMIT Practice Research Symposium, RMIT DESIGN HUB.
Drake, CJ, Drake, E & Cummings, K, 'Investigative Spatial Performance : Temporal Formal _ Expanded Architecture 2014', 2014 Expanded Architecture : Temporal Formal, Edition Bauhaus.
Drake, CJ, Gilbert, J & Mehzoud, S, 'Migratory Wonderings', 107 Projects, Redfern.
Migratory Wonderings offers an encounter with country through works developed on Culpra Station in regional NSW. Framing the work as critical cartography, this exhibition explores multiple connections to country and the implicit values through acts of migration and the contrast of regional and urban contexts.`
Drake, CJ, Gilbert, J & Pearce, S, 'Interpretive Wonderings: Mapping Culpra Station', Mildura Arts Centre.
Produced in collaboration with the Culpra Milli Aboriginal Corporation, Interpretive Wonderings is an exhibition of mapping shaped by the stories and history of the country of Culpra Station in NSW.
In September 2015, thirty Indigenous and non-indigenous creative practitioners gathered at Culpra Station for a workshop to map the material and immaterial qualities of the country. A former grazing and cropping property on the Murray River floodplain, the station is situated on the traditional country of the Barkandji people and home to a number of significant Aboriginal cultural heritage sites.
The exhibition reflects a coming together through diversity of the participants in a collaboration underpinned by a shared commitment to the preservation, protection, promotion and celebration of Aboriginal culture and custodianship through country.
The workshop, a collaborative project betweenn the Culpra Milli Aboriginal Corporation, RMIT University, University of Technology Sydney and Monash University sought to produce mappings of country which challenge cartographic convention - in this way the mappings produced often challenge the notion of what is generally accepted to be a map including drawings, paintings, video and audio installations and performance pieces.
Drake, CJ & Gilbert, J Self published _ RMIT / UTS 2016, Local Land Services : IW _ Mapping Culpra Station, Digital Publication.
The attached report was commissioned by the Local Land Services Western Districts.
Project Descriptor :
A workshop was held on Culpra Station, an 8,500 ha former grazing and cropping property on the Murray River floodplain outside Euston in NSW.
The workshop focused on sharing the significant cultural and
environmental sites on this location together with knowledge and
experience of invited attendees. The outcomes of this workshop will be a series of maps that will be included in the 'Interpretive Artefacts: Culpra Station' exhibition at Mildura Arts Centre from February to April 2016.
Drake, CJ 2015, A Study of Sustainable Tourism _ Rote, West Timor, Indonesia, Sydney.
The following report is the result of a study that took place on the island of Rote, West Timor, Indonesia in September 2015. Carried out by twelve interior and spatial design students from the University of Technology Sydney, this research is focused on sustainable strategies for tourism development in Western Rote.
Focusing on environmental, social and economic sustainability, resorts and local housing typologies were audited with participants asked to identify and evaluate spatial composition, landscaping, construction methodology, building materials, ownership, management, staffing, price points, sanitation and the supply of power and water.
Complementary to the audits, twelve transects* were produced by cutting a section from the road to the beach through each of the twelve resorts and local houses. The resulting transects explore the relations and tensions between foreign owned resorts and private villas and that of local Rotenese communities and businesses.
On the 25th of September 2015, participants presented their findings of their field work in an open forum at the Anugerah Resort to expatriate and Rotenese community members. The following is a summary of the presentations consisting of observations and recommendations of sustainable strategies for tourism development in Western Rote.
Joshua Smith's miniatures of overlooked
buildings offer a street artist’s perspective of
the city and raise questions about the spatial
politics of Sydney, according to Luke Tipene
and Caampbell Drake from UTS.
Murrin Bridge Local Aboriginal Land Council
Walgett Local Aboriginal Land Council
Department of Justice
National Indigenous Australians Agency
NSW Aboriginal Housing Office
Australian Consulate-General Makassar
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade