Looking at the work of dLux MediaArts, I feel like I’m peering into the possibilities of the future. It’s tangible and exciting: although we live in an undeniably tech driven world, dLux shows us one where a diverse and empowered artistic voice can take the wheel. Currently run by four powerhouse women, dLux is an organisation overtly unafraid of our tech-injected lives. Focusing on curation and mentorship, the group creates opportunities for young, disadvantaged, and emerging artists. I spoke to Director Tara Morelos about their work, the importance of nurturing young talent, and the future of media arts.
DLux’s origins swing back to 1982, beginning as the ‘Sydney Super 8 Film Group,’ created to experiment with the possibilities of 1960s Super 8 film technology. There’s an absence of pessimistic fear in the groups’ continual and changing adaptations to technology, and according to Tara, they are always “continuing to support artists using new media in
experimental and unexpected ways.” This is their core focus, to support the bold and experimental from fresh hands and minds. Motivated by an engrained inequality in exposure “there is no question that art history into the present has privileged white male artists” dLux’s work promotes an artistic future that not only embraces technology but diverse artistic voices, “our Australian arts economy is too important and our young and emerging practitioners are its lifeblood”; dLux gives the lifeblood the space and time to breathe. Their dLab program aims to engage a new generation of art makers in regional communities, with a focus on young women of Indigenous and CALD backgrounds, “when you provide alternative ways for people to enter the education realm, especially through the use of art and technology, you open up a world beyond the structured and sometimes intimidating or uninteresting traditional schooling environment.” says Tara.
The group is refreshingly optimistic about the implications of our increasingly online existences, wholeheartedly rejecting the perception that the online world is noisy or detrimental, suggesting that “the Internet continues to contribute to more efficient means of communication and engagement with artworks.” DLux curates Australia’s most comprehensive media arts archive ‘Scanlines’, making accessible a ‘cultural timeline’ from the 1980s to the present day, “through the process of digitisation and transfer of artworks to the Internet, audience-artwork interaction becomes instantaneous, hyper-meditated and more intimate as previously unseen works become more and more available to the general public”. DLux embraces the Internet as a space where ideas and community are infinite and valuable
Intangible and tangible alike, dLux has been supporting tech driven installation art in their ‘IS THIS ART?’ program – an ongoing synthesis of mentorship and curatorship that offers new artists both physical and artistic space, Tara explains that “this initiative enables emerging artists to work with a professional curator and be mentored in the exhibition process from start to finish.” The latest incarnation is ‘sARTorial’; artists collaborate to design and produce one-off wearable pieces using interactive technologies. An initiative that actively pushes the boundaries of fashion, art, and technology- a feast of light, sound, movement, and touch that might just offer us a taste of what a tech driven future has in store for artists and audiences. You can check out their work at dlux.org.au and catch their one night event, ‘sARTorial’ on September 21st at the Sydney Fringe Festival.