Experimental Congress

Melbourne, Australia


Part of OtherFilm / Gertrude Contemporary
Where Gertrude Contemporary
Starts Wednesday, 30 October 2013
Ends Saturday, 2 November 2013

OtherFilm and Gertrude Contemporary present an Experimental Congress of contemporary artist collectives, curators and programmers of experimental media active in present-day Australia.

Proceedings will commence on 30.10.2013 and extend until 2.11.2013 with daily discussions, screenings, presentations, installations and provocations by participating groups.

Experimental Congress aims to explore the concept  of collectivity, testing various propositions and examining the ‘scene’ as it exists now. We want to know just what many hands can (and can’t) do, and to determine what – if any – are the ties that bind us.

Opening Statement (ending with a question)

Coming together is a common dream. And a common nightmare. Together, we are stronger; united, undefeatable. Together, we are weak; divided, defeated. People who need people come together to defend the struggle against an unceasing, relentless and ever-advancing void. As a people we hurtle towards this void, unreflectively and with ever-increasing velocity. How possible are our utopian dreams of union? How fucked are we?


*Curators are truly a parasite class/our work is an under-sung creative labour.

*Group work: Hypothetical, hopeful, delusional, adventitious, obstructionist, expedient, mutually pleasurable.

*If curating is labour, then how can we organise? Collectivise? Is that even desirable? Is collectivise even a verb?

*Arts funding: The distinction between gaming the system, ‘learned helplessness’ and Stockholm syndrome?

*In the political economy of Australian experimental film/video, the key obstacle to communal co-operation is not competition, but solipsism. The “invisible hand” is masturbating.

*If it is true that the smaller the piece of territory, the greater the fight over it, then to what extent can we adjoining communities resist determination by the ‘narcissism of minor differences’?

*Do the conditions that make commonality and hospitality possible also make them un-possible, and what it might look like if we strive to come together anyway? Who wants cake?


OtherFilm, Outside The Outside, Lumpen Intelligentsia, Zonk Vision, Channels. Artist Film Workshop, Screen Space, Mu Mesons, Tape Projects, Teaching and Learning Cinema, Scale-Free Network, Andrew Harper, The Melbourne Video Art Society.



3pm – 5pm congress session
The Collectivism Question: Past and Present

6pm- 9pm performances / presentations

Scale-Free Network
Artist Film Workshop
Tape Projects
Tony Woods (discussing the Melbourne Super 8 Film Group)


3pm – 5pm congress session
On Perturbance: Does Not Play Well With Others

6pm- 9pm performances / presentations
Lumpen Intelligentsia Film Society
Mu Mesons Film Archive
Zonk Vision


12pm – 2pm congress session
The Future Congress

3pm- 6pm performances / presentations
Screen Space
Outside the Outside
Andrew Harper
The Melbourne Video Art Society