Photo credit: Nicole Cleary
There are many highlights that come to mind as I reflect over my short time with Science Gallery Melbourne (SGM). As First Nations Production & Curatorial Assistant, I had the pleasure of assisting in the curatorial development of a First Nations, science themed, component for the exhibition program in collaboration with INDIGI LAB. Combining a pop-up exhibition/showcase with a panel discussion, AI PERFECTION through the elements, examined, through the lens of AR/VR projects, how Indigenous Knowledge Systems (which find PERFECTION from the elements) can lead to more engaging and inclusive technologies, whilst at the same time, underscore the importance of Indigenous Science in AI.
The exhibition component featured a number of VR projects, including an INDIGI LAB work that has previously been shown on SBS’s National Indigenous Television (NITV). There was also a fascinating VR work by Mikeala Jade from Indigital, which examined the ethics surrounding Indigenous digital space. Also included was a VR work from Brett Leavy, a game developer from Virtual Songlines. The software developed by Virtual Songlines, acts as a toolkit for documenting, and interacting with, authentic cultural heritage stories of Australia’s First Nations. An exciting video work from Monash Country Lines Archive was also included in the exhibition. The video work utilises 3D animation technology to help protect Indigenous languages and knowledge into the future.
A significant highlight of my time at SGM was working with First Nations artist Naretha Williams to commission a work for the PERFECTION exhibition. Williams, an interdisciplinary sound artist examines notions of identity, place and belonging in her work through CRYPTEX, a methodology that, as the artist explains, “utilises the source code of the body by analysing its DNA sequence to create mathematical templates to work with musically.”  CORVID, a large-scale sound installation work included in the PERFECTION exhibition symbolises Williams’ ancestral totemic linage (raven/crow). As an archetype for the artist’s mixed linage, CORVID facilitates a process that helps to connect the artist to her maternal and paternal linage whilst simultaneously facilitating a shift away from the association of a mono-identity. An aesthetically impressive work, CORVID cleverly navigates the collision of art and science in order to shift our preconceptions of the relationship between art and science in order to explore the resulting possibilities. I leave SGM with sense of gratitude and a more developed curiosity surrounding these exciting possibilities.
 Naretha Williams, CORVID proposal for PERFECTION 2018.