Akil Ahamat, Virginia Barratt, Archie Barry, Kevin Diallo, The Debris Facility Pty Ltd, Jesse Gall, Snack Syndicate and The Filipino Chaplaincy Choir
to listen, not to preserve (documentation)

to listen, not to preserve was a day-long program at Pipemaker’s Park, along the Maribyrnong River on unceded Wurundjeri and Boon-Wurrung Country. It was Co-curated by Isabella Hone-Saunders and Sebastian Henry-Jones, and co-presented by West Space and Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West and with support from the Maribyrnong City Council and Create NSW. With installations, appearances, images, a shared meal and language from Akil Ahamat, Virginia Barratt, Archie Barry, Kevin Diallo, Debris Facility Pty Ltd., Jesse Gall, Snack Syndicate and the Filipino Chaplaincy Choir, Melbourne.

The project unfolded in recognition that today, being present and identifiable has become a double-edged sword, in an age where Capital itself is predicated on legibility. While there is a call for more equal representation in our institutions and official histories, historically vulnerable groups and individuals are also wishing to avoid the capture of their information within biometrics-driven processes that seek to extract profit through identification.

to listen, not to preserve considered these logics within the dynamics of presentation and display that constitute ’the arts'. This day-long program places the practices of early, mid and advanced career artists in dialogue with the archive and history of Melbourne's Living Museum of The West, to consider different ways and positions from which storytelling may evade the impulse to make empirical sense and order of our lives. These engagements celebrated ephemerality, fiction, imagination and mutability, all the while considering the liveability of their influence on individuals searching for the conditions of togetherness within opacity.

Photographs and documentation by Kenneth Suico and Sharni Hodge.

Akil Ahamat’s work across video, sound, performance, installation and games considers the physical and social isolation of online experience and its effects in configuring contemporary subjectivity. Driven particularly by their research into the use of ASMR in online spaces as a self-administered therapeutic tool, Akil translates its restorative effects into intimate audio experiences in the public space of the gallery.

Virginia Barratt (they/them) is a trans-media artist, researcher, writer and performer living on Kaurna Yarta, Adelaide, so-called Australia. Virginia is writing a PhD at Western Sydney University in the Writing and Society Centre, and their doctoral research focuses on panic, affect and deterritorialization, explored through performance, experimental poetics and vocalities.

Archie Barry is an interdisciplinary visual artist. Their work is autobiographical, somatic and process-led, spanning performance, video, music composition and writing. By cultivating a genealogy of personas based on their own experiences of power and mortality, they produce self-portraiture that troubles dominant notions of personhood and representation.

Kevin Diallo’s work explores institutionalised ideas of Black and African authenticity. He breaks down and challenges these concepts through a variety of mediums, such as photography, collage, installation, sculpture and new media. By using collage techniques to reform and subvert visual representations found in the media, Kevin’s practice suggests a new future. He brings his experience and perspective as a member of the African diaspora to look at how technology intersects with Blackness.

The Debris Facility Pty Ltd undertook a Corporate Takeover of the former practice Dan Bell in 2015 as a means to Amplify Processes of Resource Re-purposing, Affective labour exchanges, De-materialisation of Value, and Mutations through transport and logistics. The Facility utilises a haptic program of Alterations to objects and contexts, with Public Occurrences existing in States of Flux. The Facility staff aim to provide High Quality services to its Stakeholders in Any Means Engaged. Standards of Excellence will be weaponised to Address any and all Situations The Facility will Encounter: the Adsorption and Parasitic Methods generate a Sumptuous Platter to Feast on.

Snack Syndicate, two rats (Andrew Brooks and Astrid Lorange); text or video or sound or objects. bodies, psychochemical territories, big and little pharma, big and little data, big and little resistances, intimacy or care, wobbles, systems, gossip, study and planning, debt, crumbs.

The Filipino Chaplaincy Choir (FCCM) is a group formed by the Filipino Catholic Chaplaincy. Its members were originally part of an ad-hoc Grand Filipino Choir of Melbourne who sang at St Patrick Cathedral (Melbourne)during the Lectio Divina and Mass by His Eminence Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle of Manila in August 2014.