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DISPLAYING POSTS TAGGED: performance (3)

Sorry Day 2013

Author
by John Patten
Publish date
4 June 2013
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John Patten is a Bundjalung / Yorta Yorta man on his father's side, and a descendant of First Fleet convicts via his mother. An educator and artist, he takes great joy in sharing knowledge with visitors to Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre.

On Sunday May 26, Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre partnered with Connecting Home to host an event for National Sorry Day. A time for reflection and healing, National Sorry Day pays tribute to the courage and vitality of the many Aboriginal people affected by past policies of forced removal. The day also serves to highlight the work that organisations such as Connecting Home are doing in the service of members of the Stolen Generations, and those similarly affected.

group of people Crowd at the Sorry Day event
Image: John Patten
Source: Museum Victoria

The afternoon kicked off with Bunjilaka’s Birrarung gallery being filled by the sounds of William Wandin-Dow’s didgeridoo, followed soon thereafter by a large and attentive crowd, who via MC Bryan Andy were given an appreciation for the significance of Sorry Day.

dancers Seven Sisters dance group
Image: John Patten
Source: Museum Victoria

A welcome to Country was performed by Kulin Nation elders Aunty Carolyn Briggs (Boon Wurrung), and Aunty Di Kerr (Woi Wurrung). They spoke of the day and its personal significance to each of them before a warm round of applause and the entrance to the gallery of the Seven Sisters dance troupe, who wowed the crowd with a tightly choreographed and evocative performance.

woman Alice Solomon
Image: John Patten
Source: Museum Victoria

The two key speakers for the afternoon then took their turns to speak to the crowd. The first to share her story was Zoe Upton, followed then by Alice Solomon. Both speakers were moving in what they had to say, and their heartfelt words remained in the crowd’s consciousness during the final performance of the afternoon, a clutch of songs sung beautifully and with great humour by the Koorie Skin Choir. 

Links:

Connecting Home

Reconciliation Australia

Recognise

MV Blog: National Sorry Day

MV Blog: Reconciliation Week 2012

Next Wave and CSIRAC

Author
by Kate C
Publish date
21 May 2012
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Zoe Meagher's performance and audio tour, Goodbye, CSIRAC, takes place at Melbourne Museum this week as part of the 2012 Next Wave Festival. Described as "a love letter to 1960s computing and sci-fi", Goodbye, CSIRAC reflects upon a long-gone era when computers occupied whole rooms and ran programs that women punched into paper tape.

Goodbye, CSIRAC performance A performance of Goodbye, CSIRAC at Melbourne Museum.
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Zoe's fondness for first-generation computers was forged while working at Melbourne Museum, where CSIRAC now lurks in the lower ground floor. Zoe was also inspired by former technical assistant Kay Thorne, who recalled that that prior to CSIRAC, the same kinds of calculations were done by female workers who were also called computers. In Goodbye, CSIRAC, Zoe performs as the Ghost of Computers Past, an amalgamation of these long-gone human and mechanical computers. "The idea that these human, female computers were replaced by CSIRAC, which was in turn replaced, led to the Ghost," says Zoe.

Zoe pondered what CSIRAC would say if it had a voice, and what it would want us to remember. With slow, robotic movements and draped in eerie gossamer, her Ghost appears in several locations as the audience is directed through exhibits by the audio guide. Plugged in to the Ghost's  thoughts and feelings, this closed soundscape unifies the small audience group while simultaneously isolating them from other museum visitors. In a surprisingly touching moment the Ghost asks to meet the computers in the pockets of the group. "Is she your first?" she asks, as she mourns the discarded models that came before them: "Did you wipe her memory first?"

Interspersed with the melancholy monologue of the Ghost are extracts from articles in the 1960s that promoted computer programming as an excellent career choice for girls. A quote from a prominent computer scientist of the day claims that since the discipline shares the fundamental requirements of dinner-party planning, such as planning and patience, women have a natural aptitude for it. Zoe explains that it was considered an "appropriate feminine occupation, much like clerical work, and largely unacknowledged." What happened to these women, and how did computer science became the male-dominated field it is today? In an absorbing and immersive way, Zoe's Ghost invites the audience to consider the changing fate of female computer operators and their machines.

Goodbye, CSIRAC is a free performance that runs from 22-27 May at Melbourne Museum. Each show is limited to 12 people so bookings are essential. Book online through the Next Wave website or call 1300 30 40 72. Bookings do not include general entry to the museum.

Links:

Next Wave 2012: Goodbye, CSIRAC

CSIRAC in Collections Online

CSIRAC website

Farewell to Phar Lap's skeleton

Author
by Kate C
Publish date
25 January 2011
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The Melbourne Gallery was filled with beautiful harmonies this morning as a group of Maori performers sang and danced to farewell Phar Lap's skeleton, which will return to New Zealand next week.

Maori performance group Te Waka Raukura Maori performance group Te Waka Raukura sing and dance in front of the Phar Lap Reunion display.
Image: Ben Healley
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Performers from Te Waka Raukura. Performers from Te Waka Raukura.
Image: Ben Healley
Source: Museum Victoria
 

A performer from Te Waka Raukura. A performer from Te Waka Raukura.
Image: Ben Healley
Source: Museum Victoria
 

On loan from the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, the skeleton has been on display next to Phar Lap's hide since September 2010 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Melbourne Cup.

Today's performers, Te Waka Raukura, provided a wonderful send-off for the skeleton. It has been an honour for us to have the skeleton and send thanks to all who made this reunion possible. The Phar Lap Reunion display can be seen until Sunday 30 January.

Maori performance Media and museum visitors gathered to enjoy the music and dancing.
Image: Ben Healley
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Links:

MV News: Phar Lap reunion

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

MV Blog: The crates have arrived!

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Updates on what's happening at Melbourne Museum, the Immigration Museum, Scienceworks, the Royal Exhibition Building, and beyond.

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