The ‘David Bowie Is’ Exhibition will feature numerous public programs about the music legend over the time the Melbourne exclusive Bowie exhibition is on at ACMI in Federation Square.
The following programs are available to attend:
In conjunction with the David Bowie is exhibition, ACMI presents an eclectic mix of short talks exploring the man behind the icon.
Offering a broad insight into Bowie’s work, as well as the man himself, the series touches on everything from his impact on the fashion world, to his time on screen, and even personal accounts and first-hand insights into Bowie’s time visiting Australia.
Hear from Bowie mega fans, critics, writers, musicians and pop culture aficionados in this intimate, detailed look at Bowie’s iconic work and life.
Full program: acmi.net.au/strange-fascinations
Thu 16 July 2015
Strange Fascinations with Jeff Duff
From the glitz’n’glam of his Ziggy performances, to his trips beyond the stardust with his BOWIE Unzipped shows, Jeff Duff will take audiences on a journey behind the scenes of his onstage engagement with Bowie and his music, and lifts the glitter-spattered lid on a flamboyant career that spans the 1970s to today.
About The Speaker
Jeff Duff is an Australian singer/cabaret performer in the tenor range. In his career he has used various personae, wardrobe, and satire as features of his performance. He is widely known for his show Ziggy, a portrayal of the music of David Bowie.
In a flamboyant music career Duff has released 27 albums, including a recent album with members of legendary British rock band Deep Purple, finding success both in Australia and abroad. Duff has received acclaim for numerous performances and shows including the smash hits Ground Control to Frank Sinatra, Ziggy, and BOWIE Unzipped. He is a regular performer on Australian television and continues to headline some of Australia’s leading jazz festivals including the Melbourne International Jazz Festival, Manly Jazz Festival, Darling Harbor Jazz Festival, Casino Jazz, Thredbo Jazz Festival and Noosa Jazz Festival.
Sun 26 July 2015
Strange Fascinations with Tanya Stark
David Bowie, Carl Jung and the Unconscious
When Bowie famously sang of “Jung the foreman” on Aladdin Sane, with its iconic lightning bolt cover and word play on sanity, it seems the musician was heralding the pivotal resonance Jung’s ideas had upon his life.
Visiting artist and writer Tanja Stark examines Bowie’s long-term fascination with Carl Jung, introduces some of Jung’s key ideas and begins an exploration of some intriguing links between the music icon and the Swiss psychiatrist.
Often inhabiting Carl Jung’s world of archetypes, Bowie is known for reading and speaking of the psychoanalyst with passion, compellingly suggesting that Jung has been a central influence upon him. Contrasting ideas found in Jung’s writings and his confrontation with the subterranean unconscious, with Bowie’s own creative expression, Stark uncovers significant parallels in thoughts and themes that illuminate core aspects of Bowie’s often cryptic, multilayered work.
The presentation will be introduced by the President of the Melbourne Jung Society, Professor Derry Doyle.
About the Speaker
Tanja Stark is an artist, writer and researcher who explores the interplay between psychology, philosophy and spirituality within her creative projects. She is a contributing author to two recent academic books on Bowie, with her chapter “Confronting Bowie’s Mysterious Corpses” appearing in Enchanting David Bowie (Bloomsbury, 2015) and “Crashing Out with Sylvian: David Bowie, Carl Jung and the Unconscious” in David Bowie: Critical Perspectives (Routledge, 2015).
Thu 30 July
Strange Fascinations with Geraldine Quinn
Geraldine Quinn has been performing her original style of pop/rock songwriting in Australia and the UK since 2005. An English graduate and an actor by training, Quinn is a self-taught songwriter, comedian, guitarist, singer, ginger and wit-slinger whose black humour has local and international sell-out audiences in stitches as she and her bands carve up the stage at all the major comedy, fringe, cabaret and queer festivals around Australia and New Zealand.
Geraldine is the winner of multiple awards for her work including a Green Room Award for Best Emerging Cabaret Artiste (2007), Short & Sweet Cabaret competition winner (2009), the Brian McCarthy Memorial Moosehead Award (2011 and 2014) and most recently the Green Room Award for Best Cabaret Artiste (2015).
A media savvy talent, Geraldine has appeared on ABC TV’s Spicks and Specks and Adam Hills Tonight, SBS’s RocKwiz, The Comedy Channel, and has also guested on various ABC and BBC radio programs.
Sun 9 Aug 2015
Strange Fascinations with Clementine Ford
Jim Henson’s 1986 Labyrinth introduced Bowie to a new generation of cinema goers and is one of the most loved children’s films of all time.
Clementine Ford takes a look back at the cult classic and all the quintessentially ‘80s special effects, synth music and hairdos that helped immerse viewers in the film’s fantastical world, and uncovers the underlying symbolism embodied in Bowie’s portrayal of the iconic Goblin King.
About The Speaker
Clementine Ford is a freelance writer, broadcaster and public speaker, and a columnist for Fairfax’s Daily Life. She has been thrice selected as one of Daily Life’s Women of the Year and has won an EVA award for excellence in reporting on violence against women. She is a frequent guest on ABC 774, ABC TV’s The Drum, Q&A, and has also appeared on Channel Nine’s Mornings.
Clementine’s work focusing on gender inequality frequently challenges people to think more critically about how society and culture influences our choices and beliefs about women and femininity. She regularly writes on feminism, pop culture and social issues.
Thu 20 Aug 2015
Strange Fascinations with Michael Dwyer
From the shock of Major Tom’s desertion to Ziggy Stardust’s five-year deadline to Armageddon, right through to the grim forebodings of Heathen and The Next Day, Bowie’s sustained narrative of modern anxiety and impending doom has always set him apart in the often feel-good world of rock ’n’ roll as we know it.
Starting with the storyboards and video for Bowie’s shelved Diamond Dogs movie project, Michael Dwyer will springboard into one of the defining themes of Bowie’s catalogue, one which the man himself once described as his own personal “non-specific nagging fear”.
About The Speaker
Michael Dwyer has written about popular culture for 28 years for publications including Rolling Stone, The Age, The Bulletin and Melody Maker. Formerly, the Managing Editor of Perth’s top street press publication X-Press, Michael has broadcast extensively on Perth’s RTR-FM and nationally on Triple J. In these roles he has interviewed many of the biggest names in rock, jazz and elsewhere, including Lou Reed, Brian Eno, U2, Sonny Rollins, Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, Yoko Ono, Steve Reich and, the man himself, David Bowie.
Michael is currently working on a novel titled Son of Starman, a suburban Australian rock ‘n’ roll mystery from space (or thereabouts) and lectures in arts journalism at Monash University. Michael’s latest musical project is the Bowie-inspired, The Thin White Ukes.
Thu 3 Sep 2015
Strange Fascinations with Bruce Butler
Bowie Down Under’s Bruce Butler has had a fascinating, interwoven history with David Bowie. Showcasing articles from his own personal collection, including Record Mirror magazines from the 70s, promotional posters, personal letters, signed memorabilia and personal photographs, this very special presentation is an intimate snapshot into the connection between an icon and his fans.
Through this personal Bowie slideshow, Butler traces his interconnected history with Bowie, from his first meetings as a fan in 1978 through to numerous meetings, gigs and correspondences that have peppered his life as both a music fan and industry professional.
About the Speaker
Bruce Butler is a veteran of the Australian music industry having begun his career at an early age at Melbourne’s iconic specialist record store Gaslight.
Having worked both in Australia and the UK, Bruce has run his own management companies, held positions at CBS Records and Virgin Records, and worked on ABC TV’s The Factory and Countdown Revolution. He has been on the board of youth organisation The Push, and wrote the book The Young Players Guide, which gave general advice to young musicians and managers in dealing with various aspects of the local music industry. He has also taught music industry hopefuls in his former role at NMIT.
Bruce’s love of music has led him to work with bands and musicians including The Crystal Set, Ollie Olsen, Simon Polinski, The Church, Steve Kilbey, Monique Brumby and David Bridie.
Sun 13 Sep 2015
Strange Fascinations with Mel Campbell
From Ziggy Stardust to Aladdin Sane to The Thin White Duke, David Bowie has been as much of a fashion innovator as he’s been a musical icon – breaking barriers, pushing sartorial buttons and shaping the way history sees fashion.
Exploring the links between costume and character, Mel Campbell will explore how Bowie flagged his changing musical directions through the changing of his costume, how his sartorial choices are tied to the performance of gender and sexuality, and how the costumes of an icon informed an entire generation.
About the Speaker
Mel Campbell is a journalist, author and cultural critic who researches and writes about fashion, film and television, books and ideas, advertising and branding, media, and the wonderful, underrated banalities of everyday life. Her work has appeared in Junkee, Crikey, The Guardian, New Matilda, Overland, The Lifted Brow and the Wheeler Centre. A seasoned media commentator on popular cultural phenomena, she has also appeared on discussion panels, in public lectures, on radio, TV and podcasts.
Thu 1 Oct
Strange Fascinations with Emma Beddows
Presenting a surreal unity between rock and science fiction, Bowie’s 1972 release, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust, is seminal for its ground-breaking and artistic approach to the concept album and its radicalisation of the rock scene.
Exploring the prominent science fiction themes that feature in Bowie’s work, Emma Beddows examines how recognisable sci-fi tropes are reflected in, and have had deep influence on, the work of the music icon.
About the Speaker
Emma Beddows is a professional geek. She holds a PhD in transmedia storytelling, popular culture and fans. She is a freelance narrative and media consultant, co-hosts for the pop-culture podcast The Whatcha Show, and works for Swinburne Online where she teaches media and communications at tertiary level. Growing up the child of a Bowie fanatic she had very little choice in her early exposure to music. What began innocently enough with watching the 1986 film Labyrinth on her parents’ VHS player evolved into Emma’s lifelong love of Bowie with his image adorning her walls and his music filling her home and her heart.
Bowie Sunday Session
Sunday 19 July 2015
12pm – 5pm, ACMI Lightwell and The Cube
Celebrate the opening weekend of the David Bowie is exhibition with an afternoon exploring the cultural icon’s shifting style and constant reinvention.
Featuring a series of short talks by Bowie experts, aficionados and fanatics, the Sunday Sessions will delve deep into the Bowie archive to examine one of the most pioneering and influential performers of modern times.
Covering everything from Bowie’s impact on the fashion world, to his undeniable musical influence and his forays into film, this snapshot series of talks and discussions will provide the perfect accompaniment to your first visit to the David Bowie is exhibition.
Including an afternoon of Bowie inspired music designed to compliment your exhibition and talk experience, the Sunday Sessions is the perfect way to get to know the man behind the icon.
David Bowie is Curator Talks
Sunday 19 July to Thursday 15 October 2015
ACMI curators give you an intimate introduction to the spectacular David Bowie is exhibition.
Exploring all facets of the groundbreaking multi-media exhibition experience, you’ll have unprecedented access to the curatorial process of collecting, showcasing and celebrating the work and life of one of the most influential artists in rock, pop, fashion and performance.
From bringing the acclaimed exhibition from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London all the way to Australia for its exclusive showing at ACMI, to developing the immersive aspects of exhibiting the work of a music icon, the David Bowie is Curator Talks will take you on a journey through the 50 legendary costumes, original stage set designs, handwritten lyric sheets, album artwork, rare film, video and photographs that showcase Bowie’s impact as a live performer and screen star.
Entry is free with exhibition ticket purchase.
Dates and Times:
Sunday 19 July, 2pm
Tuesday 4 August, 2pm
Thursday 27 August, 6pm
Tuesday 8 September, 2pm
Sunday 20 September, 2pm
Thursday 15 October, 6pm
Jessica Hopper: Living Female Rock Critic
Mon 20 July 2015
6:15pm, Melbourne City Conference Centre
Jessica Hopper has been writing about music for two decades, gathering an international following for her fearless and adroit critical talents delivered through a vast catalogue of album reviews, essays, columns, interviews and oral histories.
Hopper’s newly published anthology, The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic, bears a title which she explains is “about planting a flag” for women and young female writers in the male-dominated world of music journalism.
In Australia to celebrate the opening of David Bowie is, Hopper appears in conversation to talk about the trends and trajectories of music journalism and share the backstory to her own revolutionary work.
About the Speaker
Jessica Hopper is a music and culture critic based in Chicago, USA, whose work regularly appears in GQ, Rolling Stone, The Village Voice, and the Chicago Tribune. She’s deconstructed Lana Del Rey for Spin, interviewed Björk and, in a longform piece for Buzzfeed, argued that selling out saved indie rock. After acting as Rookie’s Music Editor she became a Senior Editor at Pitchfork, the Chicago-based website that’s been divining the musical zeitgeist since before it was cool, and was also recently named Editor-in-Chief of The Pitchfork Review, the website’s quarterly print publication.
Her essays have appeared in Best Music Writing for 2004, 2005, 2007, 2010, and 2011. Hopper was the long-time music consultant for This American Life. Her first book, The Girls’ Guide to Rocking, was named one of 2009’s Notable Books For Young Readers by the American Library Association.
Intermix: Future Critics with Jessica Hopper
Sunday 19 July 2015, 2pm to 4pm
ACMI Studio 1
Explore the world of music journalism with a special girls-only Future Critics workshop with international guest Jessica Hopper.
With her work appearing in the pages of Rookie mag and Rolling Stone, Jessica has gained critical acclaim for her vast catalogue of album reviews, essays, columns, interviews and oral histories.
Explaining that the title of her newly published anthology, The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic, is all “about planting a flag” for women and young female writers in the male-dominated world of music journalism, Jessica will be appearing at ACMI to share the backstory to her own career trajectory, and to discuss exactly what its like being a living female rock critic.
This Intermix event is for female participants aged 15 – 25 only.
Intermix: Future Critics – Labyrinth
Saturday 25 July 2015, 2pm to 5pm
ACMI Studio 1
David Bowie is the Goblin King in this cult classic film which includes a mind-bending maze, a talking door knocker, fairies and a colony of goblins. Join film critic Zak Hepburn and other emerging cinephiles for a screening and discussion of Labyrinth (1986) designed to pave the path to becoming a culture savvy screen critic in a fun environment with peers.
Showcasing the awe-inspiring creativity of Jim Henson and David Bowie, Labyrinth has become a cult classic. This fantasy film produced by George Lucas utilised cutting-edge animatronics and puppetry of its era to give shape to Henson’s boundless imagination. The film was intended to fuse the technical innovation developed on Henson’s previous film, The Dark Crystal (1982), with the popular light-hearted appeal and musical stylings of his hit TV series The Muppets.
A David Bowie and Labyrinth fan since childhood, Zak Hepburn is a Melbourne-based film critic and programmer. He currently appears on ABC TV’s national ABC News Breakfast program and the weekly ABC Overnights radio program. Zak writes for Fairfax publications and curates film programs for Cinema Nova, Palace Cinemas, and a series of film festivals.
Intermix: Starman: 3D Alien Design
Sat 8 Aug, 10am to 5pm
ACMI Studio 2
Using Bowie’s iconic Starman as a starting point, make an alien life-form with leading 3D artist Carl Knox. Concentrating on skin textures and realistic colouring, warp your own humanoid 3D model and render a professional artwork in this one-day workshop suitable for aspiring game artists, animators and VFX artists – or anybody interested in a hands-on look at the art of VFX.
Use a professional production pipeline and take home your creation on USB.
Intermix: Gender Rebellion
Sat 15 Aug, 2pm to 4pm
ACMI Studio 1
Gender performativity has been a central theme throughout David Bowie’s career, with his playful approach to creating fluidly gendered characters and personas making a profound impact on the way gender and sexuality are explored in pop culture.
Join writer, advocate and trans activist Fury, performance artist Reverse Butcher, and feminist geek Lauren Stardust, as they uncover the rebellious ways in which Bowie played with notions of gender, and examine the iconic personas that allowed him to do so.
Touching on their own experiences, they look at Bowie’s ongoing influence on gender identity in pop culture, the ways he examined gender in performance, and the deep impact his engagement with notions of gender and sexuality has had on audiences worldwide.
Intermix: Future Beats with Dizz1
Tue 8 Sep, 5.30pm – 7.30pm
ACMI Studio 1
Join local beat wizard, turntablist, producer, drummer and teacher Dave Norris (aka Dizz1) for a future beats percussion workshop. Dave shares the secrets of making future beats with tricks and tips to make your music stand above the masses.
Dizz1 will step you through a creating your future beats, from recording found sounds such as wood drums and anything in the studio (voice, chairs, tables, pipes, plastic buckets) and post-producing recordings, to editing hits with the found and created samples, to performing live on a midi controller and finger drumming on MPC pads.
Learn why heavyweight artists like Aloe Blacc and Roots Manuva want Dizz1 beats. Get your beats on track with this one-off free pro session.
Participants go home with their own beats, and some Dizz1 drum hits saved on a USB drive.
About the Mentor
Dizz1 has been involved in the music industry for over ten years. Starting off as a DJ, he has worked and performed alongside the world’s best such as Grand Master Flash, Jam Master Jay (RIP), Jazzy Jay, D Styles, A-Trak, Plus One, Melo D and JRocc (Beat Junkies). He also makes beats for some of the hottest, forward-thinking hip hop vocalists in the world.
Intermix: Me, My Selfie and Major Tom 1: Personas
Wed 7 Oct, 5pm to 8pm
ACMI Studio 1
The first of a four-part series of workshops explores identity through image and performance, and examines the influence of cultural icons such as David Bowie and artists like Andy Warhol and Cindy Sherman.
Autobiography and self-portraiture have a long tradition that has reached fever pitch in the era of Instagram and selfie sticks. ‘Me, My Selfie and Major Tom’ is a free, multi-part project open to young people interested in exploring their ‘other selves’. Over the course of four workshops explore ideas of persona, selfies, avatars and the process of putting your image out there in contemporary culture.
Led by professional artists over four creative sessions, the project looks at ways of making – and mashing up – self-portraits using photography, video, projections, online spaces and live performance.
Join in for a single session or attend all four. Further sessions take place on 10, 14 and 17 October 2015.
Intermix: Me, My Selfie and Major Tom 2: Avatars
Sat 10 Oct, 11am to 3.30pm
ACMI Studio 2
Examine second life, with an exploration of avatars in online spaces.
The second of a four-part series of workshops takes you deep into Second Life to explore concepts of projecting personal identity through avatars. Armed with nothing but a suite of consoles and a data projector, participants take their ‘other’ selves into the online space.
Further ‘Me, My Selfie and Major Tom’ sessions take place on 14 and 17 October 2015.
Intermix: Me, My Selfie and Major Tom 3: Selfies
Wed 14 Oct, 5pm to 8pm
ACMI Studio 1
Explore selfies as art, using digital and analogue media.
Combine data projection, digital photography, polaroid photography, art techniques and a mashup of medias in this workshop that explores the selfie as it exists at the convergence of the digital and analogue worlds.
Further ‘Me, My Selfie and Major Tom’ sessions take place on 17 October 2015.
Intermix: Me, My Selfie and Major Tom 4: Mashups
Sat 17 Oct, 11am to 3.30pm
ACMI Studios 1 and 2
Mashup your ‘other’ self using photography, video, projection and more.
In the last of our series of workshops looking at autobiography and self-portraiture, mashup your ‘other’ self into a sublime self-portrait using photography, video, projections, online spaces and live performance.
Intermix: Make a Music Video
Fri 16 to Thu 22 Oct, various times
ACMI The Cube and Studio 2
Write, shoot and edit a music video using professional techniques in this intensive workshop. Paying respect to Bowie’s forward- thinking video catalogue, get an exclusive, one-off chance to film Rat & Co in their live performance at the Bowie late nights program.
In this intensive, hands-on workshop, participants receive guidance and help from professionals, with pre and post- production expertise.
Whether you’re looking for a head start in the industry, an addition to your showreel, or an introduction to music video art, this is a fantastic opportunity.
The workshop takes place across three sessions:
Session 1: Plan the shoot and walk through pre-production, before shooting Rat & Co as they perform live at Bowie late nights.
The Cube, Friday 16 October, 5pm – 9pm
Session 2: Edit your footage
Studio 2, Tuesday 20 October, 4.30pm – 7pm
Session 3: Take your footage through the post production stage and add VFX, then render your clip to take home.
Studio 2, Thursday 22 October, 4.30pm – 7pm
Open 7 days from 12noon – 5pm
Living in the 70’s – Australian Music and Youth Culture
On the heels of the swinging sixties, Australian culture and style was evolving in the 1970s particularly through music, youth and fashion.
Music is a cultural way we are drawn together as a society, to celebrate and relax but it is also a way for particular groups of people to identify themselves and their place in the world. The 1970s was a melting pot of music and cultural happenings both conservative and radical. This program aims to highlight the diversity of music in Australia and the fashion and ethos of various youth groups gathering together in a 1970s Australia.
The Australian Mediatheque is a screen culture resource centre providing access to a wealth of audio and video content from the collections of ACMI and the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia. From early footage of the Melbourne Cup and the landmark The Story of the Kelly Gang to award-winning animation and shorts, you can access moving image content for research, learning and entertainment.
The Australian Mediatheque is located on the Entry Level and is open to everyone.
Admission to the Mediatheque is free.
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