2016 House Programs Cultural Collisions - Page 2

A celebration of the ideas and innovations of the pianist and composer Percy Grainger, and the architects Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony, quite literally and physically, could only be contemplated at the University of Melbourne. Welcome to Cultural Collisions, a new collaboration between the University of Melbourne and the Melbourne Festival. Cultural Collisions offers an exciting series of performances, exhibitions installations and lectures, which make use of the unique collections and creativity of the University of Melbourne. Curated and devised by Jonathan Mills Cultural Collisions proposes connections between music and mathematics, poetry and place, spirituality and space, as mediated through the ideas and mayhem of three modernist mavericks. In their various ways Percy Grainger, Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony challenged many of the orthodox preconceptions of their times. Questioning the most basic elements of Western music such as scales and rhythmic patterns; or the shape and locations of public and private buildings and dwellings within a modern metropolis, Grainger, Griffin and Mahony each proposed a bold alternative vision of the world, at a significant time in the history of Australia. To honour the unorthodox legacies and idiosyncratic visions of Percy Grainger, Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony, and to locate their ideas at the epicentre of a contemporary Australian university and arts festival, Cultural Collisions offers distinctive creative collaborations between the past and the future, with students and academics from the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Victorian College of the Arts and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, Melbourne School of Design, Melbourne School of Engineering, the Microsoft Centre for SocialNUI and the Transformative Technologies Research Unit, as well as the Australian National Academy of Music – including 17 percussionists, 16 electric and acoustic guitarists, six singers, seven pianists, 40 wind players, 16 architects, 2 dancers, 8 sculptors, 2 engineers, 37 leading thinkers – proposing and presenting work alongside trombonist Ben Anderson, soprano Justine Anderson, instrument designers Rodney Berry and Michael Candy, filmmaker Amiel Courtin-Wilson, projection artist Ian de Gruchy, architect Philip Goad, composer and musicologist Rosalind Hall, new media artist Sarah Kenderdine, composer Jonathan Mills, percussionist Peter Neville, conductor Fabian Russell, new media artist Jeffery Shaw, dancers and choreographers Delia Silvan and Leigh Warren, sculptor Laura Woodward, pianist Timothy Young, interface design gurus Travis Cox and Frank Vetere, and curators Brian Allison, Samantha Comte, Jacqueline Doughty, Jonathon Drews, Astrid Krautschneider, Clare Williamson, at Arts West, the Dulux Gallery, MSD, Grainger Museum, Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melba Hall, Newman College, Old Quadrangle within the University of Melbourne. I am grateful to Rose Hiscock and Professors Ian Anderson, Kate DarianSmith, Jane Davidson, Alison Inglis and Andrew May for their support of The Future of the Object, an important symposium to be held as a part of Cultural Collisions, and marking the opening of the latest addition to the University of Melbourne’s Parkville campus – the stateof-the-art Arts West building. I would like to acknowledge contributions from Deakin University’s Motion.Lab and the University of NSW’s DomeLab for their support of Sarah Kenderdine and Jeffrey Shaw’s Inside the Ethereal Eye. I would like to thank Vice-Chancellor Professor Glyn Davis, Vice-Principal (Engagement) Adrian Collette and Naomi Adams, Maureen Gardner, Dr Meredith Martin and Michelle Moo for their support and encouragement of Cultural Collisions, as well as the team from External Relations, University Services. Great artists and designers such as Percy Grainger, Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony each demonstrate a rare ability to absorb the circumstances of their surroundings, the prevailing shifts and shapes of our world, in weird and wonderful ways. Whereas the philosopher or politician might detect danger, or urge caution, the artiste intuits excitement and opportunity. Theirs is an inspiring contrast and essential provocation to habit, comfort, orthodoxy and progress, which, together with the analytical methods of the scientist and engineer, enable institutions such as the University of Melbourne the chance to offer hope and ambition to us all. Jonathan Mills, Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow University of Melbourne