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Hundreds inspired at SAE University College’s collaboration with the International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA)

The SAE University College Brisbane campus was transformed into a pumping hub of electronic arts, when hundreds attended the opening of the 'Ethos’ exhibition, a collaboration between SAE and the International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA).
Two people stand over a mixing desk - filled with nine turntables and a mixing console. People are seen in the shadows in the background.

An initial 180 registrations for the opening night of SAE University College’s ‘Ethos’ exhibition collaboration with the International Symposium on Electronic Art were far surpassed at the Brisbane campus last week, with well over 200 visitors attending the event. Attendees included artists, academics, current art students and high school students considering their future in the creative industries.  A diverse range of electronic art installations and performances from renowned international artists created a portal of escape, reflection, and transformation on the Brisbane West End campus.

‘Ethos’ was on display at the campus from Tuesday 25 June through to Saturday 29 June (2024) as part of the 29th International Symposium on Electronic Art which is being held in Brisbane for the first time this year.

Attendees enjoyed food and drinks in a vibrant atmosphere, and the innovative and interactive installations filled the campus with light, colour and music getting many people up and dancing. Attendees also seized the opportunity to engage in conversation with the artists, gaining insights into the creative process and career opportunities in the field.

Twenty-seven works were on display throughout the campus – many flocked to try their hand at the decks on Mike Callander’s ‘Ten Turntables’, while others were swept up and away by Gail Priest’s ‘In_Listening_In’.

Chroma, a collective of former SAE University College students, enthralled the crowd with their work ‘Rainbow’s End’, an escape-room-esque dance party composed of light, sounds and performance. The creation also showed prospective students the possible avenues open to graduates of the University College.

Meanwhile current SAE students assisted with artist Marianne Wolke’s installation ‘Perinatal Dreaming’ which used ground-breaking virtual reality to create a visually rich, immersive audio-visual experience of life in the womb and birth that reflected on Indigenous culture and trauma.

SAE staff presented innovative discussions as part of the symposium; SAE Dean Colin Webber delved into the future of composition with his talk ‘Some intentionally unanswered questions – composing with AI’ on Tuesday night, while Senior Lecturer Heli Puhakka cracked open the world of VR, presenting her paper ‘Virtual reality and creativity: evaluating immersive painting experienced and art-based mindfulness’ during the day.

SAE Brisbane Campus Manager Michael Page said the exhibition has secured the campus’s space in the local electronic art scene.

“It was larger than any open day we’ve had; ‘Ethos’ has well and truly placed SAE Brisbane at the heart of the electronic arts community in Brisbane,” he said.

“This was really the ‘party’ of the academic ISEA – there were deep academic discussions taking place in this vibrant, pumping party atmosphere. SAE is all about providing a space for artistic exploration and expression and the campus came alive with art on Tuesday evening.”

“It was wonderful to see an emerging creative practice take centre stage and to participate in an international symposium of this calibre thanks to SAE’s collaboration with the ISEA.”

SAE General Manager Luke McMillan said the event gave future students a glimpse into pathways SAE could introduce to them, and what is on the horizon for the industry.

“It’s always our mission as a University College to nurture the future of the industry, both through art forms and new artists,” he said.

“This event presented a unique opportunity for prospective students, including Year 12 school leavers and those exploring creative and technology related career paths, to discover why they will feel at home and supported at SAE University College.”

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