A new Swinburne research centre launched at ACMI this week is exploring how media technologies are transforming human experiences in the face of digital advancement.
Led by a team of creative industry leaders, the launch of Swinburne’s Centre for Transformative Media Technologies (TMT) coincides with Swinburne and ACMI’s newly formed partnership, a 4-year deal that will leverage both parties’ strengths in film, videogames, animation, media, immersive technologies and design.
Based at Swinburne’s Hawthorn campus, TMT will explore the power of creative practice and art-technology research, the conceptual power of screen and media research, and industry-informed understandings of the implications of media transformation for end-users.
“One of the most exciting things about the Centre is the scope we have for working closely with ACMI to create new immersive experiences for the public to access and interact with older creative technologies and media in thrilling new ways,” says TMT Co-Director Professor Angela Ndalianis.
“New technologies can open up ways to engage with traditional media in thought-provoking ways, while also highlighting the potential of digital media as transformational and creative communication systems in their own right.”
“We’ve designed the Centre to link hands-on creative development with conceptual exploration. Our new ARC-funded creative technology lab – the Embodied Movement Design Studio – will be a hub for experimentation into new forms of immersive media experiences,” says TMT Co-Director Professor Kim Vincs.
“Another innovation of the Centre’s research team is the strong presence of women who are all leaders in their respective media and technology fields.”
ACMI and Swinburne’s future
Swinburne and ACMI’s new partnership will see further collaboration between the two institutions as they look towards the future of the moving image and its myriad potential.
“We are delighted to welcome Swinburne as our Major Academic Partner. It is very exciting to be able to develop our shared interests more deeply in the areas of technology, innovation, digital culture and screen industries, and through the Centre for Transformative Media Technologies,” says Director and CEO Katrina Sedgwick.
“This partnership enables far greater integration of the academic talent and innovation at Swinburne into our museum as part of our plan to renew and rebuild ACMI as a global museum of the future – and we look forward to connecting our audiences to this collaboration over the next four years.”
“The Partnership will enable Swinburne students and staff to work more closely with ACMI in teaching and learning, research and branding opportunities.”
Elements of the partnership include:
- Opportunities for Swinburne students to see behind the scenes at ACMI and work on active industry projects and exhibitions;
- Ongoing internship opportunities in branding, exhibition design, digital content and audience lab programming;
- Joint research projects with Swinburne and ACMI and industry partners; and
- Co-branded public lectures and workshops throughout the year.
“Both ACMI and Swinburne are leaders in the film, design, animation, games, media and communications making this a natural fit for both parties. I am looking forward to our students and staff having further opportunities to work with ACMI and envision fantastic outcomes from this unique partnership,” says Professor Scott Thompson-Whiteside, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Faculty of Health, Arts and Design).
“Our research in film, digital media and communication was recently assessed above world standard by the Australian Research Council, and staff within our new research Centre in Transformative Media Technologies are at the forefront of this work.”
A shared history
Formalising this partnership builds on the achievements of an existing relationship between Swinburne and ACMI.
Cleverman: The Exhibition and the virtual reality experience Superheroes: Realities Collide, are outcomes of an Australian Research Council Linkage partnership between ACMI and Swinburne, and both are currently open to the public at ACMI, situated in Melbourne’s Federation Square.
Previously, Swinburne has been involved in curating and hosting a series of events at ACMI including two superhero conferences Superhero Identities and Superheroes Beyond, the Victorian Multicultural Commission Film Festival and the International Mobile Innovation screening in 2017.
Swinburne has also received two Australian Research Council linkage grants with ACMI, valued at $570,000 and $470,000 led by Professor Melanie Swalwell who recently joined the University as Professor of Digital Media Heritage.
ACMI is transforming. Since opening in 2002 as Australia’s only museum of film, TV, videogames, digital culture and art, ACMI has welcomed over 14.7 million visitors.
In mid 2019 ACMI will undergo a visionary redevelopment, transforming the museum into one of the world’s leading public institutions for screen culture and innovation, connecting audiences of industry, education and the public. Its doors will close from mid 2019 to mid 2020.