One of the problems of digital networks, argues media theorist Ulises Mejias, is not that they are virtual, it is that they actualise preexisting social structures and perspectives, consequently making it more difficult to visualise or produce alternatives. In my practice I am looking for ways to be aware of what is not present in existing networks. I think of this as a form of negative space which, as in drawing, can be as active and influential as the positive space of a composition. Paying attention to negative space is important as it can help the artist better understand what they see. My installations and performative works are becoming demonstrations of these strategies, and also invitations to audiences to observe, participate and/or adopt the practices. In a catalogue of things that don’t exist, I turn a pencil in a pencil sharpener until I think of something without a digital trace, then make a new catalogue entry. During The Fig Tree, a curated group show at UNSW, I invite the audience to assist me in creating the catalogue.
Photo Dierdre Pearce