nervous_objects archive

The nervous_objects were a small collective of individuals who formed after meeting at the 1997 ANAT National Summer School in Hobart at the University of Tasmania’s Institute of the Arts. The group were brought together and encouraged to work with one another post ANAT Summer School by the organisation’s director Amanda McDonald Crowley. Very little remains of them collectively on the Internet, which is interesting given the Summer School they attended had a focus on internet design and web authoring. The three projects on their remaining web archive include: terra_nova, lingua_elettrica & Foldback.

Of the fourteen individuals participating in the summer school eight later formed the nervous_objects. They included: Lisa Burnett, Joyce Hinterding, Cam Merton, Glen O’Malley, Damian Castaldi, Martin Thompson, Anita Kocsis and Leesa Willan.

The 1997 Program is online at the ANAT Archive. The information from this page includes …

In January 1997 ANAT managed the 8th ANAT National Summer School.  The focus of the school was internet design and web authoring.

Fourteen artists from all over Australia and from art form backgrounds as diverse as writing, photography, painting, installation, sound art and multimedia spent an intense, exciting and exhausting three weeks in the school at the University of Tasmania’s Institute of the Arts.

The tutors for the school were Lloyd Sharp, Josephine Starrs and Jason Gee – three of Australia’s leading new media artists. As part of the school this year, a number of other people were invited to give half day presentations: Kathy Bowrey, a new media legal specialist; Leon Cmielewski, an interactive artist; and Dave Sag from internet designers Virtual Artists also conducted workshops during the School.

A vast array of technical skills were taught at the school – from HTML (hyper text mark-up) to VRML (virtual reality mark-up).  A range of HTML authoring packages such as PageMill, Netscape Gold and Claris Home Page were demonstrated, and artists also learnt how to embed animations, sound and virtual environments into web sites.  The site included javascript, shockwave, VRML, Java, shockwave audio. QuickTime audio and QuickTime VR.

Joyce Hinterding says she was more interested in building environments and exploring new ways of developing ‘spaces’ on the web than publishing documentation of existing work. Glen O’Malley was keen to explore the possibilities that virtual environments present as new spaces to present and explore his photographic practice.

Damian Castaldi has built an internet ‘radio’ environment exploring new possibilities for collaboration and presentation for sound works. All of the artists agreed that the key reason for being at the school was access: access to other artists, access to technology, access to skills development opportunities and being able to brainstorm ideas with other creative practitioners. 

The National Summer School was supported by:

  • the Victorian Government through Arts Victoria
  • the South Australian Government through Arts SA
  • the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland
  • the Minister for Education and the Arts through Arts Tasmania
  • the State Government of Western Australia through Arts WA
  • the Federal Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

Special thanks to the University of Tasmania’s Institute for the Arts for the fantastic support for the school, and in particular to Bill Hart and his staff in the Computer Lab, without whose support the school would not have been the success that it was.

The artists selected to participate in the school this year were:

  • Sean Bacon, Hobart, TAS
  • Di Barrett, Adelaide, SA
  • Lisa Burnett, Brisbane, QLD
  • Joyce Hinterding, Sydney, NSW
  • John McQueenie, Hobart, TAS
  • Cam Merton, Perth, WA
  • Gillian Morrison, Melbourne, VIC
  • Glen O’Malley, Cairns, QLD
  • Damian Castaldi, Sydney, NSW
  • Anne Robertson, Adelaide, SA
  • Martin Thompson, Adelaide, SA
  • Anita Kocsis, Melbourne, VIC
  • Rick Vermey, Perth, WA
  • Leesa Willan, Sydney, NSW