>>>>>>>>>> Indigenous Media Arts, Australia


The Blackout Collective is a group of creators from all over Australia who fluidly communicate and contribute towards screen-based culture in a big brown land.

contact: Jenny Fraser... dot_ayu@yahoo.com.au


The Blackout Collective was formed in 1999 when collectively gathered for the inaugural National Indigenous School of New Media Arts in Darwin, Northern Territory.

The Blackout Indigenous New Media Arts Collective was made "official" and a website was produced by Jenny Fraser during the 2nd NISNMA gathering held at the Ngapatji Multimedia Centre in Adelaide, 2002... (other artists that did not attend the gathering were included also).

* For the want of further promotion of the Collective and other Indigenous Artists worldwide, cyberTribe was launched in 2000 as an online Gallery while at the Alchemy International master class in Brisbane.


In 2004 cyberTribe & Blackout presented ‘Out of the Dark’, an online and 'realspace' exhibition that was timed to coincide with those gathered in Brisbane for the Indigenous Media Lab. The exhibition/s initially had an online focus for viewers internationally, but also featured the actual artworks at WiseART Gallery in Brisbane with an opening speech by Nancy Bamaga. There were over 10 exhibiting Artists featured in ‘Out of the Dark’.

In 2006, the Blackout Collective also staged 'Nokturne' an exhibition that opened during the Telstra National Aboriginal Art Award frenzy in Darwin - which also coincides with the Darwin Festival. Usually the Telstra award focuses on traditional or fine-artworks but very rarely are conceptual and new media work pre-selected, so we showcased these "new" media alongside traditional & customary works by a range of Aboriginal Artists. Nokturne was very well received and appreciated by locals and visitors alike. This approach was revisited in 2008 when 'Big Eye' Aboriginal Animations was showcased during Tesltra time, and sure enough it was also the only Screen~based exhibition of Aboriginal artworks in town out of the 20+ exhibitions during that time.

Another satellite event for the collective was staged during the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006. As part of the Nextwave Festivals container villiage project, Blackout was assigned a shipping container and had also secured the outside area. Titled 'Outblack', the project presented ancient native Australian plants such as Cycads and Grass Trees ('Black Boys'). The project considered the idea of the 'uncontained' and the issues around native versus introduced, inclusion versus exclusion, and ancient versus recent. 'Outblack' was a collaboration between Jenny Fraser and Cameron Goold.


In 2004 nine artists were featured as the new media arts component of "Spirit & Vision" a Trienniale featuring 94 Australian Aboriginal artists at Sammlung Essl in Vienna, Austria.

In 2008 the Blackout Collective featured alongside Asian Artists in vt2 (Vernacular Terrain). This was historical ~ for the first time a group of Aboriginal New Media Artists were included in the annual tour of International Digital Arts: Artist / Curator Jenny Fraser (QLD), r e a (NSW), Jason Davidson (NT) and Andrew Hill (QLD) and a collaboration by Christine Peacock, John Graham & Rebekah Pitt (QLD) with Djon Mundine (NSW) offering the Curatorial Essay for the tour.

Launched in Brisbane at the Block, QUT, the 2008 IDA project reflects a global commitment to exploring cultural identity through leading professional arts practice in digital media.

QUT, in partnership with IDAprojects and the Beijing Film Academy developed this international touring exhibition which was presented throughout Asia - including Japan and the Beijing Olympics Cultural Festival in China – and later included a tour of regional Australia.


"Being driven by production, means we are furthering development of our own authentic styles, methods, critiques, networks, plans - culture." Christine Peacock
WH Davies