Self Aesthetic: Towards an audience of one

Anthony Curran

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review


As an exploration into contemporary representations of self, this paper traces a recent socially engaged studio residency up to its development as a finished place-based portrait. Through this case study, the role of the studio is considered, as a site of making and experimentation, both throughout the residency and in post-production. In 2012 the author was artist-in-residence at the Museum of the Riverina in a project titled Identify, Identity, Identikit, which used the forensic form of police identikit as the basis for producing an interactive group portrait of the region. Community members were invited to sit for the project and have their eyebrows, eyes, lips or noses drawn and archived for the production of an identikit. In this process audience and subject were collapsed as the intimate process of the work overshadowed the forensic design of the portrait project. Physical and virtual identikits were produced and donated to the museum's permanent collection and were subsequently reworked into an app for Smartphone to increase the project's accessibility and interactivity. Rather than loading the application onto devices in an exhibition installation the app was released for general distribution onto the user/viewer's most private form of display; their phone. While museums and galleries are under pressure to increase public engagement the individual gets lost in the crowd. The author proposes future directions for introverted and intimate forms of participatory art through an attention to the individual viewer.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2013 Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools (ACUADS) Conference
Subtitle of host publicationLocations of Practice, Sites for Creativity: From the Studio to the Cloud
EditorsScott East, Kristen Bowen
Place of PublicationAustralia
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014
EventAustralian Council of University Art and Design Schools (ACUADS) Conference 2013 - University of New South Wales, University of Sydney, National Art School, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 26 Sep 201327 Sep 2013 (Conference website)


ConferenceAustralian Council of University Art and Design Schools (ACUADS) Conference 2013
Abbreviated titleLocations of practice, sites for creativity: From the studio to the cloud
OtherACUADS offers participation to the wider art and design sector by co-ordinating a theme-based annual conference (with rotating locations throughout Australia) as part of its professional development responsibility.
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