Experimentation: an anthology

Creating and testing experimental conditions for new work. Writing. Curatorial and facilitative frameworks. Designing and presenting spatial exploration artist workshops as a mode of collaborative experimentation in the public space.

 

Art-Architecture - Esther Anatolitis - 1 of 5
Experiments in site-writing (2013) and Art-Architecture (2011) pursue ways of relating the two disciplines of art and architecture. Both the text and the public project employ juxtaposition, counter-factuals, lexical association, conceptual analysis, and linguistic manoeuvres such as alliteration and assonance to generate meaning. 
100 Readers - State Library of Victoria - Esther Anatolitis
A space without a use: A reading from Georges Perec’s Species of Spaces for the State Library of Victoria’s 100 Readers, celebrating the centenary of the Dome. An homage to an experimento-literary hero. 
Deep Practice
At the DRI II: Deep Practice (2011) I was an invited discussion leader, working with one of a dozen tables of cross-disciplinary guests. We found ourselves seeking a model of polymath facilitation as the means to foster the depth of practice needed to address today’s complex problems. 
Salon Sunday
Salon Sunday (2011) is my most recent artist salon series. A group of writers, performers and philosophers gathered monthly, and facilitation was shared. Themes included ambition, awareness, commitment and burnout. I drew a mindmap of each Salon during the session. 
Retreat
Practice development: retreat. Each year I embark on a self-directed ten-day retreat, taking only sketchbooks, journals and notes. The effect is always invigorating. Retreat is itself an experimental condition, substituting a new environment for the everyday working context. 
Plan Unintended Consequences
Plan Unintended Consequences (2010) The ADC Cities Summit was attended by the Prime Minister as well as the heads of military, scientific and planning bodies. The Surprise City Group were the Summit’s invited disruptors and provocateurs, designing simple tools for negotiating necessities and contingencies. 
A film about ears
A Film About Ears (2010, Super 8, 3min), presented at Artist Film Workshop. Internationally awarded experimental filmmaker Richard Tuohygave me a Super 8 camera and a deadline. A set of constraints is my favourite gift. 
How does a network activate a public?
“Step 1: Survey The Scene” (2010) A workshop for site-specific artists, developing new approaches to presenting and performing in highly regulated, highly programmed spaces. Presented in West Space’s temporary Melbourne Central gallery, The West Wing, as part of The South Project international gathering How does a network activate a public? 
SPatial Writing Practices - Esther Anatolitis
Spatial Writing Practices (2010) for the Writing around the kitchen table symposium displaced a feminist space in a city café, inviting participants to understand our writing in the context of the spaces we create every day. I was challenged to discover the site-writing inherent in my practice. 
Mind map - 'Deep Practice' - Esther Anatolitis
Practice development: mindmapping. Freeing up the associative connections from their most comfortable linguistic or logical pathway is essential to generating new approaches. My mindmapps are either on large paper or in The Brain, an app I have used since 2000. 
Australian Institute of Architects annual conference - Material 2013
Practice development, constraints: social media. The majority of my tweets are exactly 140 characters long. The formal exercise of live tweeting sharpens the vocabulary as well as strengthening a structural approach to writing. Having live-tweeted numerous events, in 2013 I was the Australian Institute of Architects’ Guest Tweeter for the annual conference, Material. 
How to make yourself a writing retreat
Today I make a personal commitment to the future we design together was a social media project as part of the 2009 State of Design Festival. Participants’ commitments were honest and essentially performative, marking a commitment as a public act of change. 
Federation Square Big Screen
International Urban Screens Association masterclass workshops (2008). Challenging a dozen of the world’s leading urban screens practitioners to think through the ethics, aesthetics and politics of their work, collaboratively and hands-on across Federation Square. 
Philosophy-as-public-art-phot-by-Frank-Oskowski
“Philosophy as public art” (2004) workshop for philosophy students with guest site-specific artists, facilitating the resolution of philosophical problems as a new work of public art. Participants engaged with street art design, community cultural development models and spatial exploration. With Jason Maling, Phil Hall and Will Georgiev. 
Contention or Consensus: Art in the public space
Contention or Consensus? Art in the public space conference (2006) Beyond the physical risks of making work for public spaces, I challenged gathering to think of the ethical and political risks, drawing on recent interventionist projects from Eastern Europe. 
Bauhaus Dessau - workshop wing
Serve City (2001-2002) BauhausDessau. A formative time in my creative development, this year spent collaborating with architects, artists and academics reset my professional trajectory. My work since has focused on how art – in all its forms – creates public space – in all its forms. 
What makes a city? - Esther Anatolitis
“What makes a city?” (2002) I presented a walking workshop at the CAE, engaging participants in site-specific critique spatial exploration. A component of the workshop had been presented to high school students as part of the Carey School’s Culture Vultures city exploration program. 
The Brain
“tuesdays_at_two” (2002) Among collaborative project work at the Bauhaus, I led a weekly workshop to expose and test the concepts underlying our work. I used The Brain both for live mapping and documentation. 
Card file - Esther Anatolitis
Practice development: constraints. Since 1998 I have kept a cardfile of alphabetically yet arbitrarily arranged objects for the purpose of documented play. I remove, write about, sketch and then replace the object under the letter corresponding to the concept that has emerged most compellingly from the exercise.