[Overview] [Presentations] [Workshops] [Art Events]


19th International Symposium on Electronic Art [ISEA2013]

Sydney, Australia
7-16 June, 2013

Presented by the Australian Network for Art and Technology (ANAT)


Resistance is Futile

ISEA2013 showcased the best media artworks from around the world and provided a platform for the lively exchange of future-focused ideas. The 19th International Symposium on Electronic Art hosted engaging presentations and thought-provoking speakers and discussions. Delegates joined in informed dialogues, dynamic debates, enlightening keynotes and experimental incursions into the extensive and diverse practice of electronic media arts. Co-operating with a large number of associated events (most notably VIVID – see below) ISEA2013 managed to be a very large scale symposium. Most of the academic elements were staged at the University of Sydney, while the following venues were stages of ISEA2013’s exhibitions and performances:

  • SCA Galleries (The University of Sydney, Rozelle Campus)
  • Carriageworks
  • The Concourse, Chatswood / Darwin Location
  • SNO Comtemporary Art Project
  • College of Fine Arts (COFA), UNSW
  • Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Sydney Harbour Foreshore
  • KUDOS Gallery
  • UTS Gallery & DAB LAB
  • Powerhouse Museum
  • 107 Projects
  • Tin Sheds Gallery
  • Verge Gallery
  • UTS Studio
  • Parramatta City Council
  • Campbelltown Arts Centre
  • ABC, Studio 22
  • OBJECT Gallery


The vision for the symposium was to provide a program with genuine engagement of the following themes.

‘Resistance is Futile’
Digital art has moved from the margins to become part of the fabric of everyday life. At once ubiquitous and unnoticed, resistance to electronic art has proven futile — it now lies embedded in the heart of our contemporary cultures. The symposium events will infuse the city’s social, digital and physical infrastructure. ISEA2013 aims to create a fluid body of thought, culture, community, industry, science and technology.

Artists play an important role by creatively investigating the possibilities and pushing the limits of new technologies, helping us to imaginatively experience and critically reflect on their implications for life in the 21st century. Digital electronic art is a source of innovation, the new norm in everything from publishing to TV, radio, games, film, fashion, music, architecture, design, applications and gadgets. Ubiquitous and pervasive, digital media permeates almost all creative endeavours in everyday life and the city. The urban spaces of Sydney will provide the scene for thinking through the consequences of digital life, creative industries, and contemporary electronic art practice.


1. Resistance is Fertile

Resistance is Futile … Resistance is Fertile… Resistance is Necessary. ISEA2013 explores the ways art and new technologies are used in the service of power, politics, protest and resistance.

2. Converging and diverging realities

The virtual bleeds into the real and increasingly our environments are mediated, augmented and transformed through technology. Mixed and augmented realities, obligatory social media, and locative technologies increasingly insert different realities into the physical world while communication simultaneously seduces us away from our immediate surroundings. As the “internet of things” becomes a reality, do we need to resist the ubiquitous society of participation, search, and the culture of always-on surveillance/sousveillance?

3. Life …  but not as we know it

Technologies are being used to extend human capabilities and to create new life forms. ISEA2013 explores how life is increasingly becoming a technology that is created, extended, and curated by the influence of artists working with technology. A chance to explore and critique the world of cyborgs, robots, alien life forms, and the emergence of unnatural biologies.

4. Histories and Futures of Electronic Art

Whereas once electronic media technologies were on the margins they now permeate almost all of art, commerce and creativity. Digital cultures, media art histories and media archaeologies permeate contemporary art and design, and inform ways of seeing and understanding the world. ISEA2013 offers a platform to explore where electronic art has come from, where it is going and what it might become.

5. Ecologies and Technologies

The interrelationship of nature, culture and technology lies at the centre-stage of contemporary life. ISEA2013 explores technology as both the problem and the solution, celebrating the role of the artist as innovator and provocateur. ISEA2013 engages questions of urban ecologies, consumption, food, climate and sustainability.

6. Creation, Collaboration and Consumption

Digital technologies and social media are transforming social and cultural interaction on both global and local scales. Everyone is connected, everyone is a creator; but not everybody likes what they see or wants to participate in the prescribed forms of contemporary social media. ISEA2013 encourages debate, provocations and engagement in the global nets of participation.

Opening and Closing Notes

  • Jonathan Parsons — Opening Speech ISEA2013 at Carriageworks
  • Ross Harley — Opening the Academic Conference
  • Jonathan Parsons — Opening Powerhouse Museum Exhibition


Post ISEA Discussion

Associated Events

Associated Conferences

Satellite Event

Other Associated Events

Sponsors and Subsidising Organizations

ISEA2013 was supported by the Australian Government, Australian Council for the Arts, Destination NSW, NSW Government


Organizing Committee

  • Jonathan Parsons, ISEA2013 Director
  • Vicki Sowry, ANAT Director
  • Kathy Cleland, Co-Chair
  • Alessio Cavallaro, Executive Creative Producer
  • Carli Leimbach, Creative Producer
  • Antonietta Morgillo, Creative Producer
  • Merindah Donnelly, Creative Producer
  • Kristen Bowen, Operations Manager
  • Tiani Chillemi, Marketing Manager
  • Elliott Bledsoe, Social Engagement
  • Fee Plumley, Social Engagement
  • Kate Blackmore, Production Manager
  • Laura Fisher, Conference Program Coordinator
  • Helen Sturgess, Copywriter/Editor
  • Laura Lotti, Production Assistant
  • Hannah Greethead, Curatorial Intern
  • Chrisoula Lionis, COFA Workshop Coordinator
  • Karen Ryan, COFA Workshop Coordinator
  • Timothy Maybury, Conference Program and Workshop Coordinator
  • Diana Smith, Conference Program and Workshop Coordinator

Australian Curatorial Committee

  • Kathy Cleland (Co-Chair) – Director, Senior Lecturer, Digital Cultures Program, School of Letters, Art, and Media, University of Sydney
  • Ross Harley (Co-Chair) – Head, School of Media Arts, College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, Sydney
  • r e a – artist, curator, activist, academic and cultural educator  of the Gamilaraay people of northern New South Wales
  • Lizzie Muller – Senior Lecturer, Head of Interdisciplinary Design, School of Design, University of Technology, Sydney
  • Alessio Cavallaro – Artistic Director, Curator
  • Jen Mizuik – Director, Experimenta
  • Tara Morelos – Director, dLux MediaArts
  • Estee Wah – Senior Online Producer, Powerhouse Museum
  • Jess Scully – Festival Director, Vivid Ideas

International Curatorial Advisory Committee

  • Andreas Broeckmann, Director, Leuphana Arts Program, Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany
  • Sue Gallagher, Associate Head of School Academic, Head of Postgraduate Department, School of Art & Design, AUT University, New Zealand
  • Chris Salter, Director, Hexagram Concordia Centre for Research and Associate Professor, Computation Arts at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada
  • Mike Stubbs, CEO/Director, FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology), United Kingdom
  • Nathalie Boseul Shin, Curator, Total Museum of Contemporary Art, S. Korea
  • Sarah Cook, Reader, MA Curating Module Leader, Faculty of Arts, Design and Media, University of Sunderland, United Kingdom
  • Steve Dietz, President and Artistic Director, Northern Lights.mn, United States
  • Jens Hauser, Research Fellow, Bochum Institute for Media Studies, Ruhr University, Germany
  • Omar Kholeif, Curator, FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology), United Kingdom
  • Deborah Lawler-Dormer, Independent Curator, Creative Industry Consultant, Doctoral student, The University of Auckland, New Zealand
  • Kim Machan, Director, MAAP Media Art Asia Pacific Inc
  • Claudio Rivera-Seguel, Coordinator/Curator, Colectivo BioTroniK, Chile
  • Gabriel Vanegas, Colombian researcher, PhD Fellow – Institut für Zeitbasierte Medien, UDK, Berlin

International Program Committee

  • Ross Harley – Co-Chair
  • Kathy Cleland – Co-Chair
  • Lanfranco Aceti – Professor Contemporary Art and Digital Culture, Sabanci University, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Andreas Broeckmann – Director, Leuphana Arts Program, Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany
  • Su Ballard – Senior Lecturer in Art History, Visual and Media Art in the Faculty of Creative Arts, University of Wollongong
  • Leah Barclay – Composer, Sound Artist and Curator
  • Brogan Bunt – Head, Postgraduate Studies and Convenor, Bachelor of Digital Media Program, Faculty of Creative Arts, University of Wollongong
  • Danny Butt – Writer, Teacher and Consultant, Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Chris Caines – Director of the Centre for Media Arts Innovation, University of Technology, Sydney
  • Cecelia Cmielewski – Manager, SymbioticA, Centre of Excellence in Biological Arts, University of Western Australia
  • Nina Czegledy – Media Artist, Curator and Writer, Canada
  • Petra Gemeinboeck – Senior Lecturer, Interactive Media Arts, COFA/UNSW
  • Lisa Gye – Senior Lecturer and Postgraduate Program Convenor in Media and Communications, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne
  • Jens Hauser – Research Fellow, Bochum Institute for Media Studies, Ruhr University, Germany
  • Vanina Hofman – PhD, University Oberta de Catalunya, Spain
  • Zita Joyce – Lecturer, School of Social & Political Sciences, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Caleb Kelly – Senior Lecturer, School of Media Arts, COFA/UNSW
  • Alessandro Ludovico – Media Critic, Editor in Chief, Neural Magazine
  • Anna Munster – Deputy Director, Centre for Contemporary Art & Politics, COFA/UNSW
  • Andrew Murphie – School of the Arts & Media, UNSW
  • Jodi Newcombe – Director, Carbon Arts
  • Kate Richards – Lecturer, Masters of Convergent Media, School of Humanities and Communication Arts, University of Western Sydney
  • Christopher Salter – Director, Hexagram Concordia Centre for Research and Associate Professor, Computation Arts at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada
  • Paul Thomas – Head of Painting, School of Art, COFA/UNSW
  • Darren Tofts – Media and Communications, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne
  • Sarah Waterson – Associate Head of School (Academic), School of Communication Arts, University of Western Sydney
  • Lawrence Wallen – Head, School of Design, University of Technology, Sydney
  • Ionat Zurr – Artist, Curator, Researcher and Academic Coordinator of SymbioticA, University of Western Australia


  1. Proceedings
  2. Catalogue
  3. Book of Abstracts (PDF)
  4. Final Conference Schedule (PDF)
  5. Final Symposium Programme (PDF)
  6. ISEA2013 in RealTime (Australian and international exploratory performance and media arts)
  7. ISEA2013 Video compilation by Sam James (79 min.)
  8. Photos
  9. Artefacts