Open for Inspection – Key Artist Biographies
All of the artists are members of The Untitled Collective which develops creative interventions in Australia and Sweden to advocate for Homefullness (rather than homelessness). Their project, Homefullness, was a finalist in the Design Research Institute Challenge: Homelessness exhibition at Federation Square, Melbourne, 14-21 April 2012. Keely Macarow and Neal Haslem gave presentations on the project at the Homefullness roundtable, Fargfabriken, Stockholm, 7 Dec 2012 presented by KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Stockholm) and RMIT University (Melbourne).
Associate Professor Keely Macarow is Coordinator of Postgraduate Research in the School of Art, RMIT University. She is a member of the City of Yarra’s Arts Advisory Committee (2013-14). Her practice is focused on socially engaged art and the nexus between creative arts, social justice and health and wellbeing. She is currently working with Leah Heiss, Paul Beckett and David Mainwaring on Emergency Jewellery to develop technologically modified SOS jewellery. She was a Chief Investigator for the Australian Research Council Linkage funded project Designing Sound for Health and Wellbeing with industry partner: St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne. For this project the artist and medical researchers produced sound compositions to investigate the effects of sound and music on the health and wellbeing of Emergency Department patients (2008-2011). Keely was a co-recipient of The Arts and Health Australia Award for Excellence 2010 in Arts and Health in Primary and Acute Care (2010 and publications in: Medical Journal of Australia (Dec 2011) the Journal for Applied Art & Health (Dec 2011) and a book, Designing Sound for Health and Wellbeing (2012). Keely was producer of Northern Void, an audio-visual cinema project (Philip Brophy and Philip Samartzis – Director and composers) which premiered in February 2007 at ACMI, Melbourne and was funded through the Arts Grants Program (City of Melbourne) and the Digital Audience Development Grant (Film Victoria). Her curatorial projects include the CCP commissioned digital media art exhibition, Elastic, which toured Victorian regional galleries during 2003-2004 and to PICA (2004) and was funded by Visions Australia, Interact Events and the National Exhibition Touring Support (NETS) Victoria. Keely produced the kinetic installation Projection Machines, with artist Paul Rodgers, which was exhibited at Mass Gallery, Melbourne in April 2001 and funded by the Australia Council New Media Arts Fund. Keely was Artistic Director, Experimenta (1998-2000).
Neal is a creative practitioner, lecturer and researcher at RMIT University in the area of communication design. His practice involves working with other creative arts practitioners on public and performative art projects within communities. He works collaboratively to creatively express shared concepts, aspirations and understandings thereby producing material investigations which both explore and propose possible collective futures. He has extensive experience within the community cultural development, fine art and jewellery fields. He combines strong technical abilities with a developed understanding of the processes and practices of collaborative work used to explore aspirations and intentions and create cohesive and provocative communication and narrative objects. His creative practice includes print media, installation, interactive and motion-based outcomes. He is a member of the community arts group stART Community Art, working in 2012 with members of Tetoamatoa, a disabled peoples organisation from the Kiribati Islands in a series of collaborative, participatory workshops funded through AusAid. In 2010 Neal participated in the Australia Council for the Arts funded project ‘Pieces, Suicide the Aftermath’, collaboratively producing exhibition work with suicide affected family members. Neal has worked extensively with another member of the ‘Open for Inspection’ team Mick Douglas on the projects; LiveHouse (2009), W-11 tram: an art of journeys’ (2006), Tramjatra: imagining Melbourne and Kolkata by tramways’ (2005), and ‘ride-on-dinner’ (2006-2009). In 2009 Neal was invited as a PIVA international visiting artist at Indiana University in North America. Through these projects Neal investigates the social implications of collaborative creative practice within communities and explores new ways of envisioning creative practices and their potential contribution to articulating and negotiating complex contemporary issues. Neal gained his undergraduate degree at the School of Art, University of Tasmania, Hobart in 1991. In 2004 he started his practice-led research degrees at RMIT University, completing his Masters in 2007 (The practice and the community: a proposition for the possible contribution of communication design to public space) and his Doctorate in 2011 (Communication design and the other: investigating the intersubjective in practice).
Mick Douglas is a transdisciplinary artist whose socially engaged and live art projects explore inter-relationships between aesthetic experiences of mobility and hospitality, cultural change practices and sustainability. He has presented work internationally, including the Melbourne International Arts Festival, New Zealand Fringe Festival, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, the Doors of Perception (Amsterdam + New Delhi), and in Kolkata India and Karachi Pakistan. Projects include ‘W-11 Tram: an art of journeys’ first commissioned by the cultural festival of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games; the art activism project ‘tramjatra: imagining Melbourne and Kolkata by tramways’ (also a book of the same name); ‘ride-on-dinner’, an urban meal adventure exploring relations between the human body, a swarming social body and the body of the city; ‘LiveHouse’, a mobile performance platform exploring expressions of cosmopolitanism; and ‘Container Walk’, an interactive live art performance exploring conditions of social exchange and ecological systems. He holds a doctoral degree (2010) titled ‘carriage: cultural transports and transformations of a socially engaged art practice’. As senior lecturer in the School of Architecture and Design at RMIT University in Melbourne Australia, he supervises PhD creative practiced-based research across art/performance/design. He was a Visiting Scholar / Artist at Tisch School of the Arts at New York University in 2013, is the co-initiator of ‘Shuttle’ mobile desert performance research project in the North American SW deserts, and is developing the Australian contribution to the Performance Studies International 2015 project ‘Fluid States’ (www.mickdouglas.net)
Melissa (Mim) Whiting
Mim Whiting studied painting and then documentary filmmaking at the Victorian College of the Arts. She has produced and directed a wide range of video works including documentaries, community art projects, oral histories, animations, digital storytelling and poetry videos. She has collaborated with performance artists, poets, composers, writers, the homeless, disabled, prisoners, children and many others. Her work embodies a painter’s eye for detail and visual storytelling and explores the music of authentic voices. She works in Melbourne as a gallery technician at the Glen Eira Gallery and the Incinerator Gallery and on creative collaborations as well as her own projects.
Mim’s projects include: the visual component for the cantata Underworld Songs by Martin Friedel, performed by Astra Music, the Abbotsford Convent, Melbourne and funded by the Australia Council (2013). Don’t Flush, a documentary that explores the rediscovery of composting toilets at music festivals (2013). Mim worked on the Stories of Survival video storytelling project funded by Vic Health and produced by the Humanitarian Crisis Hub which documents stories from survivors of war and conflict (2012); and as a writer and in video production for the community exhibition project which marked 10 years since the Tampa incident, Just Like Us at the Multicultural Hub, Melbourne (2012). Mim worked as an art tutor and theatre support for production and exhibition, Somebody’s Daughter Theatre at the Dame Phyllis Frost corrections centre, Victoria (2010). She produced a video, Has Anybody Seen My Dream with St Paul’s College as part of the Arts Victoria Artists in Schools (2010). Mim worked on the multimedia production by Alicia Sometimes, Elemental presented at the Melbourne Planetarium, the Melbourne International Festival and funded by Arts Victoria (2009). Mim also worked on Homeless Not Artless, The Big Issue: spoken word performance & video for the Homeless World Cup and presented at ACMI, funded by the City of Melbourne and the Australia Council, (2008). She was the director, editor, writer of video resources for the schoolroom project, Generation F (2008). Mim worked on the Maintaining Mental Health project (2008) and the Being Muslim in C21st Australia (2009) project for Video Education Australia. She worked on Opening Doors, video collaborations by youth in mental health recovery funded by Vic Health and presented at Counihan Gallery (2007). Mim ran Animates @ ArtPlay, stop frame animation workshops with children, City of Melbourne (2007 & 2009). She produced Sightlines digital photographs exhibition, Gasworks ARB Gallery, Melbourne (2006). Mim presented Flush, site specific performance & poetry in public lavatories for the Melbourne Fringe festival and funded by Arts Victoria (2001) and her short video, Salacity was screened on Eat Carpet, SBS TV (2000).