Dr Keith Armstrong

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PhD (Queensland University of Technology)

Background: Keith Armstrong is currently a Senior Lecturer in QUT Visual Arts (part time), researcher at the Institute for Future Environments’ Environment Research Group, and a Senior Research Fellow, University Free State, Centre For Development Support, South Africa. He was formerly Associate Director of the QUT Creative Lab Research Centre (2016-18) and a Senior Research Fellow in media arts for 12 years. He is also an actively practising and exhibiting freelance new media artist, beginning in 1992. His archive of creative works can be found here.

Research Interests: Keith Armstrong is an experimental artist profoundly motivated by issues of social and ecological justice. He has specialised for 19 years in practice-led collaborative, hybrid, new media art with an emphasis on:

  • art-life sciences collaborations
  • ecological art practices
  • socio-political art praxis
  • art-international development collaborations
  • innovative performance forms
  • site-specific electronic arts
  • networked interactive installations
  • alternative interfaces
  • public arts practices

Keith’s research asks how insights drawn from scientific and philosophical ecologies can help us to better invent and direct experimental art forms, in the understanding that art practitioners are powerful change agents, provocateurs and social catalysts. Through inventing radical research methodologies and processes he has led and created over sixty major art works and process-based projects, which have been shown extensively in Australia and overseas, supported by numerous grants from the public and private sectors.

He was formerly:

  • Australia Council New Media Arts Fellow
  • Doctoral and Postdoctoral New Media Fellow at QUT’s Creative Industries Faculty
  • lead researcher at the ACID Australasian CRC for Interaction Design

Publications

Research highlights: His interdisciplinary work Intimate Transactions received an Honorary Mention in the 2005 Prix Ars Electronica in Austria, represented Australia at the National Gallery of China for ‘Media Art China’ (Synthetic Times) during the 2008 Olympics Cultural Festival and was shown in 22 venues including the ICA London and in 2010 was acquired for the permanent media art history collection of ZKM Centre for Art and Media, Karlsruhe Germany. Keith’s interactive installation, Shifting Intimacies, developed during an Arts Council England residency, was premiered at the ICA, London. His interactive installation Knowmore (House of Commons) was shown at the Mediations Biennial in Poland in 2010. In 2011-12 he directed the ‘Remnant Emergency’ Artlab project in Australia, New Zealand and India with outcomes including the high profile Bat-Human Project in Sydney. His work Finitude was featured in the 3rd Art and Science International Exhibition and Symposium,Beijing, China at the China National Museum of Science and Technology. Recent works Night Rage and Long Time, No See? featured in ISEA 2013 Sydney and in 2014 Light of Extinction was featured in Thingworld:International Triennial of New Media Art at the National Gallery of Art in Beijing, China. Through 2011-15 he forged new collaborative partnerships with a range of biodiversity conservation organisations and ecologists across the Australian continent. This has resulted in a series of major commissions for works, including Sydney Powerhouse Museum, the Queensland Museum, Media Art China and Siteworks Festival at Arthur Boyd’s property, Bundanon. In 2016 he presented a major solo show of five new works in Sydney at UTS Gallery – the Over|Many|Horizons project – collaborating with an international team of marine scientists, climatologists and cultural activists, began to develop a Twitter-focused work with a national environmental organization that images ‘flows of contagious ideas’, and travelled to South Africa to instigate a socially-engaged project around sustainability and poverty reduction called ‘Re-Future‘, funded by the prestigious Andrew Mellon Foundation. In 2016 he presented a major exhibition of five major works called Over|Many|Horizons at UTS art Gallery in Sydney,a project developed with an international team of marine scientists, climatologists and cultural activists. He also instigated his socially-engaged project called ‘Re-Future’ in South Africa (2017-18), funded by the Mellon Foundation, which embedded contemporary artists within solution driven teams working to alleviate poverty and housing affordability within the shadow of anthropogenic climate change. In 2017 he exhibited his art/science work Eremocene (Age of Loneliness) at the prestigious Ars Electronica Festival in Linz Austria and Experimenta Make Sense: International Triennial at RMIT Gallery, Melbourne. In 2018 his exhibition Change Agent was the focal show of ISEA 2018, at Durban Art Gallery, South Africa, and his works Staging Change were featured in the Vrystaat Kunstefees International Arts Festival. In 2019 his new work Elegy for Life, Anthem for Artifice was curated in the 5th International Art and Science Exhibition and Symposium: The Integration of Art and Science in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, at the National Museum of China.  View Complete Resume

Additional information

Type
Publicly commissioned Artworks
Reference year
2014
Details
Light of Extinction, National Art Gallery of China, Curated by Zhang Ga and Kim Machan, June 11th - July 9th, 2014. http://embodiedmedia.com/homeartworks/light-of-extinction http://mediartchina.org/exhibitions/ensemble¿parliament-of-things/light-of-extinction-au/ Review in Artlink Journal: http://embodiedmedia.com/resource_files/Artlink%20LOI%20Review073.pdf Production Grant, Light of Extinction, For National Museum China, Beijing, $5,000 (secured by MAAP) and Australia Council Creative Australia Award.
Type
Visiting Professorships/Fellowships
Reference year
2016
Details
Visiting Research Fellow, to develop project 'Re-Future', University of the Free State, Centre For Development Studies, South Africa, in association with NGO Qala Phelang Tala/the Program for Innovation in Artform Development Program/Vrystaat Kunstefees Arts Festival/Tsa-Botjhaba. Fellowship funded by the USA based Andrew Mellon Foundation.
Type
Recipient of an Australia Council Grant or Australia Council Fellowship
Reference year
2010
Details
Australia Council, InterArts 'Artlab' Award, $75,000, "Remnant/Emergency Clinic', a research and media arts experimentation project linked to ecology"
Type
Funding Award
Reference year
2016
Details
Andrew Mellon Foundation, for the project Re-Future, R200,000 for work between 2016-19
Type
Funding Award
Reference year
2013
Details
Australia Council, Inter Arts, Creative Australia - Production and Presentation- Night Fall: a series of 'Seasonal' media artworks, exploring the 'extinction of human experience', Stage 2, Awarded Amount: $80,000
Type
Funding Award
Reference year
2013
Details
Australia Council, NBN Initiative. $64,000: `Long Time No See'
Type
Visiting Professorships/Fellowships
Reference year
2012
Details
ANAT Synapse Art-Science Residency, with the Australian Wildlife Conservancy, $31,000: The Re-introduction project.
Type
Funding Award
Reference year
2011
Details
Australia Council, Visual Arts, New Work Grant, $20,000 'The Bat-Human Condition'. Bat care/observation project and major creative work.
Type
Funding Award
Reference year
2010
Details
Australia Council, InterArts New Work Grant, $19,900, "Prototype a radically reconfigured MULTI-TOUCH surface-based computing interface for artists' use
Type
Keynote Speaker/Expert Panel Member/Invited Speaker for a Conference
Reference year
2016
Details
Invited Keynote Speaker: 'New Futures: Innovations in Arts and Science', Time: 18:00-20:00, Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Reservoir, Bloemfontaine, South Africa.
  • Understanding what develops cultural infrastructure - bringing forth the science-art-culture of Brisbane's Knowledge Corridor
    Professional Doctorate, Associate Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Associate Professor Bree Hadley