I am a researcher and teacher who focuses on transdisciplinary projects. My broad field of research is in cultural histories. In particular I am interested in visual and material cultures, with one focus on urban activism; one on design practices, in particular permaculture and urban gardening; and one on transculturation and objects, especially in relation to the Italian diaspora and to colonial histories.
As a teacher I specialise in the development of knowledges and skills in critical, creative and ethical inquiry and intercultural engagement.
I am interested to supervise HDR projects in the areas of cultural histories of plants in urban environments; cultural and creative urban activism; visual and material culture and transculturation. A focus on Italy and its diasporas is welcomed.
I am one of the founders of Mapping Edges, a transdisciplinary research studio with expertise in cultural history, design, visual communication and ethnography. Mapping Edges designs hybrid embodied/transmedia methodologies to map, document and analyse the emergence of edge cultural practices in urban environments. We are inspired by and apply permaculture design principles to a variety of contexts, generating a holistic understanding and possibilities of intervention to create sustainable, abundant and stable systems. We map what happens at the edge of cultural processes and practices, where the local grips the global, and the global is grounded in the local.
Urban activism, design and activism, permaculture, urban gardening and greening, objects biography, transculturation.
Subjects I teach
- International Studies (Italy)
- Australian Language and Cultures
- Place-based methodologies
- Intercultural Engagement
Learning and Teaching Awards
- 2016 University of Technology Sydney, Individual Learning and Teaching Award, The UTS Model of Learning.
- 2016 University of Technology Sydney, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Quiet Achiever Award, Learning and Teaching.
- 2006 University of Technology Sydney, Team Teaching and Learning Award, Institute for International Studies, Language and Culture team.
Vanni Accarigi, I. 2016, ''Why Save the World When You can Design It? Precarity and Fashion in Milan', Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body and Culture, vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 441-460.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This paper considers precarity and the fashion industry, focusing on Serpica Naro: a fictitious designer invented by a Milan-based fashion collective involved in social research on intellectual property, subjectivity in the creative industries, and precarious forms of labor in the fashion system.
Critical writing about transculturation has a long history in Latin American studies, and more recently the concept has been used to analyse the effects of globalization. This article takes as its point of departure the Latin American genealogy of the idea, and brings it together with the ecological notion of 'edge' intended as a transition area between different systems. By bringing transculturation and edge together this paper seeks to understand transculturation as a process in which human and non-human entities participate.
It does so curating five cultural works written at the edge of academic practices, and spanning several countries, cultural formations and genres.
Gannon, S., Kligyte, G., McLean, J., Perrier, M., Swan, E., Vanni, I. & van Rijswijk, H. 2016, 'Uneven Relationalities, Collective Biography, and Sisterly Affect in Neoliberal Universities', Feminist Formations, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 189-216.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This article deploys a collective biographical methodology as a political and epistemological intervention in order to explore the emotional and affective politics of academic work for women in neoliberal universities. The managerial practices of contemporary universities tend to elevate disembodied reason over emotion; to repress, commodify, or co-opt emotional and affective labor; to increase individualization and competition among academic workers; and to disregard the relational work that the article suggests is essential for well-being at work. The apparent marginalization of feminist and feminine ways of being, thinking, and feeling in academia is examined through close readings of three narrative vignettes, which are based on memories of the everyday academic spaces of meetings, workshops, and mentoring. These stories explore moments of the breaking of ties among women and between men and women, as well as document how feminist relationalities can bind and exclude. The article suggests that academic ties are both part of the problem and the solution to countering neoliberal policies, and that academic relationships, especially with other women, are often experienced as unrealized spaces of hope. Building on feminist scholarship about race and diversity, the article reflects on how relational practices like collective biography create both inclusions and exclusions. Nevertheless, it suggests that the methodology of collective biography might engender more sustainable and ethical ways of being in academic workplaces because it provides the resources to begin to create a new collective imaginary of academia.
Vanni Accarigi, I. 2014, 'The archive and the contact zones: The story of Stan Loycurrie and Jack Noorywauka, performers at the 1929 Australian Aboriginal Art exhibition, Melbourne', Journal of Australian Studies, vol. 38, no. 3, pp. 314-330.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Indigenous participation in nineteenth-century and early-twentieth-century exhibitions and fairs has been often read and represented in terms of captivity narratives. According to this template, Indigenous people were displaced and coerced to perform. While this might have been the case in many instances, this article considers a set of performances that took place as part of the exhibition, Australian Aboriginal Art, at the (then) National Museum of Victoria in Melbourne in 1929 as contact zones and moments of transculturation. It does so by reading the archive of letters and newspaper cuttings against the grain, paying attention to the tone, moods, inflections, silences in between the lines, humorous anecdotes, and hyperbole, as a reversal of the official narratives chronicled by words. I dont claim to offer any specific answer on why Stan Loycurrie and Jack Noorywauka, the performers, decided to go to Melbourne, or on the kind of discussions that might have preceded the trip. Instead, I want to use the archive to build a scenario where Loycurrie and Noorywauka used the space and time of the exhibition as a moment of exchange, negotiation, and self-representation.
This paper reconsiders the story of permaculture, developed in Australia in the mid-1970s by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren. This paper considers permaculture as an example of counterculture in Australia. In keeping with permaculture design ecological principles, we argue that today permaculture is best understood as part of an assemblage of design objects, bacteria, economies, humans, plants, technologies, actions, theories, mushrooms, policies, affects, desires, animals, business, material and immaterial labour and politics and that it can be read as contrapuntal rather than as oppositional practice. Contrapuntal insofar as it is not directly oppositional preferring to reframe and reorientate everyday practices. The paper is structured in three parts: in the first one we frame our argument by providing a background to our understanding of counterculture and assemblage; in the second we introduce the beginning of permaculture in its historical context, and in third we propose to consider permaculture as an assemblage.
This article analyses first person memories in relation to objects as documented in Belongings, an online exhibition curated through the NSW Migration Heritage Centre. It explores the role of objects in recreating domestic geographies in the process of migration, using the Italian anthropologist Ernesto De Martinos notion of `crisis of presence as the moment when familiar objects become unfamiliar or uncanny by losing their relation with the web of domestic uses, habits, sense of belonging, and cultural memories. In this crisis, objects acquire new layers of meaning entangled in the loss and re-creation of entire life-worlds, relational universes, senses of place, `homes. Taking Belongings as its case study, this article argues that objects enable the telling and performance of displacement from one place and regrounding in another one as a continuum of affective, embodied and political experiences that question the separation between being at home and being a migrant.
Vanni Accarigi, I. 2013, 'Second Italy: distance education in a Second-Life international studies project', GLOBAL NETWORKS A JOURNAL OF TRANSNATIONAL AFFAIRS, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 363-376.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Reflecting on recent literature on digital literacies, I consider the use of the virtual world Second Life in distance education. To do so, I draw on theories of learning that accommodate elements of instability and uncertainty. Tacit learning is the process of acquiring knowledge from interaction and experience, or mess and play growing out of interactive and networked processes, as opposed to understanding teaching as passing knowledge down. I explore these points through a case study, Isola del Giglio, which is a learning site built in Second Life as part of a double degree in international studies at the University of Technology, Sydney. In the article, I describe the students learning experiences during their exchange year in Italy and the in-world learning experience in Second Life.
Vanni Accarigi, I. 2013, 'Vite Italiane: Italian Lives in Western Australia', Italian American Review, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 137-139.
Review of Susanna Iuliano's book Vite Italiane, on Italian migration in Western Australia.
This article examines Leona Miller's book Cannibal and Orchids (1941) as an example of how place, in this case Papua New Guinea (PNG), is imagined according to a particular sensorium. It follows the âsensory turn in anthropologyâ and the studies developed in the last two decades that take the senses as their object of enquiry. This body of theory is mobilised to analyse Millerâs biographical narrative recounting how PNG is imagined, represented and produced in terms of a disarray of the (Western) senses, coalescing in the trope of cannibalism. This article argues that the experience of PNG as the place of otherness is narrated both in terms of the authorâs sensory displacement and of the indigenous sensorium as abject.
Vanni Accarigi, I. 2008, 'Writing Italies: an Introduction', Portal Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 1-7.
This article outlines the genealogy of 'Italian cultural studies' both as a field of research and as a set of ideas around culture as a way of introducing the journal special issue.
This special issue of PORTAL constitutes an indirect, sideways reflection on the EU's move toward (re-)discovering, establishing, and promoting shared cultural values. It seeks to unveil not the official historical contexts and traditions in which contemporary inventions of cultural identity occur. Rather, its aim is to discover and listen to competing voices and alternative visions - be they cultural, social, political, literary or cinematic½that give different shape to trans-European identities and model union, commonality, and belonging, according to transregional or translocal values. The special issue, then, is an exploration of possible forms of frictions occurring across the European cultural and historical landscape. It questions the pre-eminence of formal EU discourses on values, and the branding of Europe in the global marketplace, by listening to marginalised, unheard or discordant Euro-voices. The issue demonstrates the need for more rigorous theorisations of notions such as `value,½ whether `shared' or `cultural' in the European region, and posits alternative mappings and visions of European belonging and identity. The essays included in this special issue consider Europe as a locus of frictions, consensus, tension, contestation and reconciliation. This locus is capable of co-locating Scotland with the Costa Brava, crossing Swedish views of Russia with their converse, recognising a Europe of borders that continuously unfold, acknowledging the interference of historical memories, and inflecting the Houellebecquian Euro-futurescape with Greco-Australian undertones; to cite a few examples of vibrant transvaluation occurring in the issue.
Vanni Accarigi, I. 2005, 'Ways of seeing: the poetics and politics of exhibiting Italian Australian cultures in Sydney', Studi di Italianistica nell'Africa Australe/Italian Studies in Southern Africa, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 99-121.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
We are the post-socialist generation, the post-cold war generation, the end of vertical bureaucracies and of information control generation. We are a global and neuropean movement, which brings forward the democratic revolution started in 1968 and the struggle against the neoliberal dystopia at its peak today. We are eco-activists and media-activists, we are the libertarians of the Net and the metroradicals of urban spaces, we are the transgender mutations of global feminism, we are the hackers of the terrible real. We are the agitators of precariat and the insurgents of cognitariat. We are anarcho-unionists and post-socialist. We are all migrants looking for a better life. And we do not recognise ourselves in you, gloomy and tetragon layerings of political classes already defeated in the XX century. We do not recognise ourselves in the Italyan Left.
Vanni Accarigi, I. 2017, 'Transcultural objects, transcultural homes' in Lloyd, J. & Vasta, E. (eds), Reimagining Home in the 21st Century., Elgar, Cheltenham, pp. 192-206.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
In a world increasingly characterized by mobility the idea of what constitutes home has changed dramatically. In its various meaning of family, unit of belonging, locality and even in its geopolitical sense as nation, home is now understood in a transnational and translocal sense. Building on this understanding, this chapter focuses on the concept of home as practiced. The idea of home is considered as a continuous process, which includes people, things, affects, senses, and which extricates the idea of home from the idea of place, of origin or of arrival.
This chapter furthers the analysis of homing practices by analyzing the role of objects in the daily life of a group of professional migrant women. Together the stories of these objects generate the argument that 'home' is a process, or a set of processes, made of things, practices, language, memory, affects, sensoria and people.
By taking four stories as its as its point of departure, this chapter argues that the sense of 'being at home' or of belonging to somewhere, in the context of transnational mobility is dissociated from a geographical location and replaced by belonging through everyday practices engender by specific objects.
Ghosh, S., Vanni, I. & Giovanangeli, A. 2016, 'Social aspects of institutional rooftop gardens' in Wilkinson, S. & Dixon, T. (eds), Green Roof Retrofit Building Urban Resilience, John Wiley & Sons, pp. 189-215.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Rooftop gardens have a long history dating back many centuries. In the contemporary context, the rooftop garden reflects a concern for the natural and built environments in terms of sustainability, community, and food production. The aim of this chapter is to explore the social aspects of rooftop gardens by examining mainly two Sydney inner-city rooftop gardens in Australia: University of Technology Sydney, an educational institution in Ultimo and 107 Projects, a permaculture garden part of a multidisciplinary creative space in Redfern as well as eight rooftop gardens in different universities from other parts of the world. Through interviews, sensory ethnography, and comparative analysis, this chapter highlights that rooftop gardens in different types of institutional settings revolve around shared interests in growing food as well as a shared ethos on creating community links in the workplaces and beyond.
Vanni Accarigi, I. 2016, 'The Ethnological Court at the Garden Palace' in O'Callaghan, G., Gibson, R. & Jones, J. (eds), Jonathan Jones: barrangal dyara (skin and bones), Kaldor Public Art Projects, distributed by Thames & Hudson, Rozelle NSW, pp. 136-140.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This beautifully designed publication is richly illustrated throughout, featuring over 100 large-scale historical and contemporary images and illustrations. Edited by Genevieve O'Callaghan, it includes original essays and interviews with leading Aboriginal writers including Bruce Pascoe – winner of two 2016 NSW Premier's Literary Awards – Jeanne Leane, Hetti Perkins and Uncle Stan Grant Sr AM, alongside Australian academics Ross Gibson, Peter Kohane, Illaria Vanni Accarigi and curator Emma Pike.
Ghosh, S., Vanni, I. & Giovanangeli, A. 2016, 'Social aspects of institutional rooftop gardens' in Wilkinson, S. & Dixon, T. (eds), Green Roof Retrofit Building Urban Resilience, John Wiley & Sons, UK, pp. 189-215.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Vanni Accarigi, I. 2014, 'From Domestic Craft to Contemporary Arts: Needlework and Belonging in Two Generations of Italian Australian Artists' in Giunta, E. & Sciorra, J. (eds), Embroidered Stories Interpreting Women's Domestic Needlework from the Italian Diaspora, University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, pp. 121-135.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This chapter analyses the continuities and changes in the cultural production of two generations of Italian Australian artists, concentrating on the evolution of domestic crafts. The chapter highlights the role of textile art in the cultural history of women in the Italian diaspora.
Vanni Accarigi, I. 2011, 'Driving in the Suburbs: The Making and Unmaking of Multicultural Social Space in a Film by Young Arab Australian Film Makers' in Axford, B. & Huggin, R. (eds), Cultures and / of Globalization, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK, pp. 138-152.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This chapter considers the film Trouble Comes To Me as a narrative of everyday events in the life of young Arab Australian men, as they are articulated across the social space of a multicultural suburb in Australia. I argued that this film operates at different levels entering the media debate promoted in the early 2000 by mainstream media and the conservative government on people 'of Middle Eastern Appearances'. The film thus re-appropriates the mainstream representation of Arab Australians as criminal others, by taking the viewer cruising in a car with four young men who are stopped and searched by the police with no apparent reason. In doing so it also creates a different discoursive arena and together with similar project contributes to the making of an independent public sphere. Most importantly it produces cultural capital for a whole community of young Arab Australian artists. The film is read as a metaphor for crossing affective borders, or invisible borders put in place by the governmental imaginary of the dominant Australian culture to manage the placing and distribution of others into the national space.
Vanni Accarigi, I. 2010, 'Imagining Italians Abroad. The 2008 Italian Political Election Campaign in Australia' in Jospeh Pugliese (ed), Transmediterranean Diasporas, Histories, Geopolitical Spaces, Peter Lang, Brussels, Belgium, pp. 161-172.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This essay examines the campaign for the Italian parliament elections in Sydney as an example of transnational political imaginary. By focusing on the use of social media it unpacks the discourses on Italians abroad promoted by the two major Italian coalitions.
Vanni Accarigi, I. 2008, 'The Life and Deeds of San Precario, Patron Saint of Precarious Workers and Lives' in Gong Siyi (ed), Kuibuji Shanghai Daxue Xini Keji Daxue Xueshu Yantaohui Lunwenji, Shangda Press, Shanghai, pp. 244-255.
Vanni Accarigi, I. 2007, 'How to Do Things with Words and Images: Gli imbattibili' in Stocchetti, M. & Sumiala-Seppanen, J. (eds), Images and Communities: the Visual Construction of the Social, Gaudeamus-Helsinki University Press, Helsinki Finland, pp. 147-170.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Vanni Accarigi, I. 2007, 'Il diventare arte aborigena. Due mostre di oggetti aborigeni dalla collezione Berndt' in Tamisari, F. & Blasio, F.D. (eds), La Sfida dell'arte Indigena Australiana, Jaca Book, Italy, pp. 41-58.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Vanni Accarigi, I. 2001, 'Cross-Stitching Objects, Memories and Cultural Difference' in Trepa, H. & Vanni, I. (eds), Stitches - Fare il punto, Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-4.
Today, to survive is to be on a constant move, to engage in an endless shift, to recognize, and acknowledge, the underlining fluidity in the nature of things.  Olu Oguibe I arrived in Australia six years ago. With me, I carried the objects I knew I would need to construct my new space. I had a coffee maker, an embroidered tablecloth my mother had made, and a Greek/Italian copy of the Odyssey. This choice was not casual, because I felt that from that first journey my being in the world would become very much like Ulyssesâ: a constant state of movement. The coffee maker and the tablecloth were my compass, the objects to help me to negotiate new places, for unlike Ulysses I was not going back home. With time, I realized Ulysses could go home because, in the course of the years, Penelope, sitting at her loom, had made home possible for him. Thatâs how I started thinking about Penelope and about all the Penelopes that today travel between homes or relocate their homes away. Ilaria Vanni The exhibition Stitches - Fare il Punto brings together 8 Italian Australian contemporary artists of different ages, origins and practices. The exhibition also brings together issues around diaspora, arts and the everyday. Sewing, embroidering, weaving and crocheting are craft metaphors for the everyday and allude to the act of stitching together diverse, multiple cultural sensibilities and notions of belonging.
Vanni Accarigi, I. 2000, 'Bridging the Gap: the production of tourist objects at La Perouse' in Kleinert Neale (ed), The Oxford Companion of Australian Aboriginal Art and Culture, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, pp. 400-402.
Vanni Accarigi, I. 2000, 'Stitches: domestic crafts, cultural heritage and contemporary arts' in Genovesi, P. & Musolino, W. (eds), In Search of the Italian-Australian in the New Millennium, Gro-Set, Canberra, Australia, pp. 449-455.
Crosby, A.L., Lorber-Kasunic, J. & Vanni Accarigi, I. 2014, 'Mapping Hybrid Design Participation in Sydney', Reflections on Creativity: Public engagement and the making of place, Reflections on creativity: Public engagement and the making of place, Arte Polis, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia, pp. 123-131.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
As in the city of Bandung, the making of place in Sydney (Australia) is now considered by policymakers to be inseparable from creative industries such as design and architecture. This paper focuses on one particular category of creative practitioners: designers, in particular those designers who don't accept and contribute to the same broad vision of the city's creative future. Sydney is a competitive city with one of the highest costs of living in the world (Williams, 2013). This, coupled with precarity as dominant form of work typology in the creative industries, has driven many designers in Sydney to work collaboratively to contest their role in urban development and, more broadly, the creative economy. This paper presents work from a project called 'Citizen Design, Open Design, Adversarial Design: Emerging Forms of Engaged Design Practice in Australia.' The paper examines a component of our methodology. Namely we conducted a 'mapping lab' involving Sydney designers engaged in activism. We mapped the relationships that designers recognised between groups, practices, and projects (past and present) in Sydney that could be considered emerging forms of engaged design. While we as researchers began with a framework for 'Citizen Design' as a form of 'citizen media' (Rodriguez, 2010), 'Open Design' (Van Abel, Evers, Klaasen and Troxler, 2011), and 'Adversarial Design' (Di Salvo, 2012), the participants developed their own set of categories which reflected their working conditions, the nature of their interventions, and political sensibilities of the world.
Vanni Accarigi, I. 2013, 'Hospitality', Law Text Culture Re-orienting hospitality, Re-orienting law, Legal Intersections Research Centre University of Wollongong, Wollongong, pp. 0-0.
Background This research is in the field of hospitality studies, and it considers hospitality as a way of rethinking a range of political frictions. Following Derridas elaboration (2000) hospitality is considered as a contradictory and changeable relation between the host and the foreign. It places this reflection in the global context of borders and flows of people, goods, and labour, drawing on new literature that examines borders as an articulation of capital and political power coinciding but also transcending territorial limits of states (Mezzadra and Neilson 2013, 7). Similarly the border, like hospitality, is not imagined as a fixed structure, but as a `borderscape, a space defined by mobility, perspectives, posority and relations (Rajaram and Grundy-Warr 2007). The project asked: how can the polisemy and entanglements of hospitality be represented visually, taking into consideration contemporary politics of labor and goods flows and border struggles? Contribution Scholars from fields as diverse as cultural studies, philosophy, law, security studies, and visual arts have analysed and discussed the multiple articulations of hospitality. While this work is informed by this previous research it specifically uses the conventions of stock photography, such as clear and recognisable subject matter and clear symbolism to convey the ideas around border and hospitality. Significance This photograph was published as cover image of the special issue dedicated to Re-orienting Hospitality, Re-orienting law in Law Text Culture, Cranny-Francis,A. and Kelly E. editors, vol. 17, 2013.
This photograph is part of my ongoing work on the contact zones between visual culture, creative intervention and activism. It is based on 8 years of research and collaboration with artist Deborah Kelly, in the area of arts and design as tools of political intervention (see also 2008 âDeborah Kellyâs gods, monsters and probable historiesâ, Artlink, vol 28, n.3, September, pp. 26-31, and 2005 âConversation with Deborah Kellyâ, Klartext! The Status of the Political in Contemporary Art and Culture, January 14-16, Kunstlerhaus Bethanien and Volksbuhne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, Berlin). It shares its theoretical premises and aims with my ARC Discovery project, Contact Zones: activism, art and media in Italy, in the production of new understandings of the use of communicative practices in activism in the age of knowledge economy. Significance I took this photograph as part of a series documenting a Muffled Protest intervention at Sydney Opera House in September 2010. This intervention was conceived as a distributed performance in several Australian cities and it aimed at registering the dismay in front of the nationalist discourse silencing the Australian public sphere, with particular reference to refugee politics. f4.6, 1/60, ISO 100.
Vanni Accarigi, I. 2008, 'Deborah Kelly's gods, monsters and probable histories', Artlink: Australian Contemporary Art Quarterly, Artlink Australia, Adelaide, Australia, pp. 26-31.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Background-This essay was commissioned by Artlink, one of the leading magazines on contemporary arts. It was part of a special issue exploring the work of eight innovators in Australian art. The issue was launched at the Singapore Biennale in 2008, to coincide with the Biennales opening featuring Deborah Kelly's ephemeral installation Beware of the God. I followed this project from its beginning as cinematographer for her Beware of the God Project Documentation, exhibited at Barry Keldoulis Gallery Knicker Knot, 11 April 5 May 2007. Contribution I wrote this 2200 words essay based on a series of conversations and exchanges with Deborah Kelly. The essay takes the form of a fictocritical tale, using storytelling to introduce three themes: the growing influence of religion in contemporary society; vignettes of sexualised monstrous femininity; fictocritical histories of `forgotten events in the Australian past. Significance This essay constitutes a new, innovative and thorough critical appraisal of Deborah Kellys work. It is based on five years of research and collaboration with the artist, in the area of arts and design as tools of political intervention (see also 2005 `Conversation with Deborah Kelly, Klartext! The Status of the Political in Contemporary Art and Culture, January 14-16, Kunstlerhaus Bethanien and Volksbuhne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, Berlin). It shares its theoretical premises and aims with my ARC Discovery project, Contact Zones: activism, art and media in Italy, 1994-2006 in the production of new understandings of the use of communicative practices in activism in the age of knowledge economy.
Vanni Accarigi, I., 'Isola del Giglio, Second Life Simulator', Isola del Giglio, Second Life, http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Isola%20del%20Giglio/13/222/35.Vi… from: UTS OPUS
Background Second Life (SL) is an online 3d environment created by its users, who can meet together in the same place to discuss, role-play, design, write collaborative narratives, and build their own virtual worlds. SL provides an immersive, interactive, multimodal experience, Isola del Giglio is a SL simulator I created in 2008 as a meeting and discussion point where UTS International Studies students could meet together and with staff to discuss their research projects. Contribution In 2008 researched and developed Isola del Giglio. Isola del Giglio is designed as a virtual island, set in an imagined geographical location evocative of the Mediterranean. My contribution consisted in developing the concept of the project, landscaping. designing and maintaining the site and producing a short machinima (animation film) to document the island and its use by International Studies students and staff. Significance The project started with virtual ethnographic research of several different sites in SL from recreational spaces, gaming sims and educational sites in order to understand the affect of the designed environment on its users. Most universities in SL simply reproduce replicas of existing campuses, some with 'classrooms' and 'lecture theatres'. On the contrary Isola was built as an innovative 'open' space with different models of communication in mind to generate innovative learning and teaching experiences.
Background I was commissioned to curate this exhibition by Museum of Sydney, a highly regarded institution among peers for its research-based exhibitions. The show was the second most successful in the history of the museum. Audience included Italians living in Sydney, museum audiences, academics interested in Italian Studies and Museum Studies, journalists, university and school students. It had a positive cultural and social benefit on several Italian community members (from the comments on the visitor books). It produced two publications: a catalogue (with my essay âItaliani di Sydneyâ) and an Italian language and culture education kit for L.O.T.E. Italian language students. The Museum of Sydney peer reviews exhibitions in different phases through its Exhibitions Advisory Committee and has specific KPIs, included in the final exhibition report: Attendance: 21.236 visitors; 4 different public programs; 1130 L.O.T.E. Italian Language Students; 137 Years 7-10 Food Technology Students; 25 media listings; 29 media reviews; 2 reviews in academic articles. Contribution I researched this exhibition over a period of three years, conducting ethnographies, archival research and over 100 interviews. I developed the overarching concept, narrative paths and microhistories. I sourced over 220 objects from private and public collection and collaborated in the design and installation of the exhibition. Significance This was the first and to date most comprehensive exhibition dedicated to Italian cultures in Sydney and it strengthened the knowledge and appreciation of this cultures. Conceived as a series of snapshots illustrating cultural diversity and richness drawn from historical, contemporary and everyday examples, it produced an innovative conceptualisation and installation design.
Background Sound of Missing Objects is a collaborative text, object and sound installation on the gaps in the history of Aboriginal material culture and the role of exhibitions in creating representations of aboriginality in 19th century. It was commissioned by the gallery Performance Space in 2003 and subsequently invited to tour at the Long Gallery, University of Wollongong in 2005. The work consists in five cabinets containing tissue paper stamped with designs, texts and a sound system and in texts inscriptions on the walls. The exhibition received good critical acclaim and specialised media attention (see portfolio). Contribution I researched and developed the concept of this installation and invited artists Jonathan Jones and digital composer Panos Couros to be my collaborators. I wrote all the textual elements in the installation; collaborated in the design and realization of the cabinets, stamped designs and sounds; I oversaw the production and installation of the exhibition. Significance Although Aboriginal art has an extraordinary critical success very little is known and written about early exhibitions of Aboriginal objects. Sound of Missing Objects is based on the research I carried out in my PhD on Aboriginal objects exhibited in International Exhibitions in Europe and US 19th century. It focuses on the narratives and representations woven in the exhibitions and their relations to contemporary politics. On another level it dwells on the absence of the objects, which were never returned to Australia, investigating the role of museums in producing knowledge and memory gaps.
Vanni Accarigi, I., 'Stitches Fare il Punto', Australian National Maritime Museum, Australian National Maritime Museum, SMH.