Claire G. Coleman is a Wirlomin Noongar woman whose ancestral country is on the south coast of Western Australia. Born in Perth she has spent most of her life in Naarm (Melbourne) or on the road. She is a multi-award-winning novelist, critic and artist. Her novels Terra Nullius and The Old Lie are published by Hachette. Lies Damned Lies: A Personal Exploration of the Impact of Colonisation, her first nonfiction book, was published in September 2021 by Ultimo Press.
About the talk: Beyond the Dystopia-in-Progress: Rehearsing an Indigenised Future ‘Australia’ Through Child of Now
The mixed-reality public artwork ‘Child of Now’ locates present day Naarm (Melbourne) as a dystopia-in-progress which can be changed through participatory performance. It invites us to rehearse our way into the future mindfully, by asking thousands of participants to collectively imagine, author and perform the 100-year life of a child born today. This process includes recording a virtual hologram of each participant performing a moment from the Child of Now’s life. We then organise all the recordings into age order, from 1-101 years, and replay them as giant AR holograms over 10 days to create a city-stopping ritual that allows us to empathise with our collective self. Our aim is to foster embodied experiences of indigenised, equitable and sustainable societies, to explore what the future might feel like. We do this by combining volumetric portraiture, mixed realities, and ancient storytelling techniques to foster radical empathy for the extraordinary futures we dare not imagine.