Mapping the Archive – Mapping Australian Media Art – 2014-2016




Mapping is a two-year (2014-16) participatory project initiated by Leisa Shelton/Fragment31, to archive the public memories of seminal points in Australian Media Art, Live Art and Performance Practice. It seeks to reveal seemingly forgotten artists and make visible undocumented lineages of practice.






“Future Past” was presented to celebrate the 10-year anniversary celebrations for Melbourne’s Arts House. As part of the exhibition Leisa Shelton presented the performance installation ‘Future Past: Archive’ during which she typed up the name of each of the many artists who have worked in the trail-blazing venue over it’s first decade.


Designing ‘Mapping Australian Media Art’ at Experimenta


As part of Experimenta’s New Work Commission, eight exquisitely handcrafted archival boxes have been created by artists Tom Burless and James McAllister. These boxes will hold the completed cards under lock and key, creating a lasting installation and testament to the project.



Tom Burless (TOMIKEH) is an industrial artisan living and working in Melbourne. His practice is centred around the design and manufacture of limited run, bespoke products: utilitarian objects, fixtures, fittings, tools, domestic items, furnishings etc. His industrial capabilities are small scale but his capacity for innovation and a broad range of industrial contacts and working relationships with diverse material suppliers give him considerable manufacturing range. His design sensibilities reflect an interest in the manufacturing aesthetics of “Modern Era” Germany, Eastern Europe and Japan, but are also informed by his eclectic interests in art and cultural history. His deeply considered approach to design and an ever-present curiosity about new, old and sometimes forgotten materials and processes, gives his work a unique character. Tom is also a photographer and an archivist of industrial paraphernalia and detritus.



James McAllister (BARBOUR) is an artist with diverse interests in drawing, the making of objects, installation, performance and industrial design. His initial training is in visual arts but the need to be able to work outside this framework has meant the acquisition of a broad range skills and disciplines. He has taught drawing, art history and design for theatre, worked in industrial prototyping and manufacturing design, produced wearable art (ornament) that has been included in a 2012 contemporary jewellery exhibition at the London Design Museum and has most recently been engaged in an ongoing research project addressing the theoretical and practical concerns that surround the potential for (and substance of) the transaction between the artist and his/her client. The research considers the possibility of a soft or intimate architecture that both constitutes and facilitates this interaction.