Third International Symposium on Electronic Art (TISEA)

The Australian Network for Art and Technology was selected to act as coordinating body for the 1992 TISEA for the Symposium, under the direction of the TISEA Coordinating Committees.

Tim Gruchy: Video portrait 1982 Video Synthesis: Stephen Jones Photo: Pam Greet

Tim Gruchy: Video portrait 1982 Video Synthesis: Stephen Jones Photo: Pam Greet

TISEA the Third International Symposium on Electronic Art will be the most significant symposium on electronic arts culture ever staged in Australia. An international forum for artists, scientists, critics, theorists and performers, TISEA will provide a unique opportunity to explore questions concerning recent developments in science, art and technology and their impact on the evolution of culture.


In 1988, the Inter-Society for the Electronic Arts (of which ANAT is a member organisation) held the First International Symposium on Electronic Art (FISEA) in the Netherlands. ANAT coordinated a delegation of Australian artists to attend the event. During the event, proposals to host subsequent symposia were received, one of which was from ANAT.

At the Second International Symposium on Electronic Art (SISEA) in the Netherlands in November 1990, Australia was officially announced as the host country for the Third International Symposium on Electronic Art (TISEA). The Australian Network for Art and Technology was to act as coordinator for the Symposium, under the direction of the TISEA Coordinating Committees.

Much initial work had already been done towards TISEA since it was first proposed in 1988, particularly with regard to networking and consolidating strategic contacts, eg. publishers and institutions. ANAT has been consistently promoting the project since 1988, and significant interest in the project had been received from our national and international colleagues.

With the receipt of Project Development Funding from the Visual Arts and Crafts Board of the Australia Council in the former half of 1991, ANAT was able to undertake initial tasks towards TISEA, and further funding granted in November of 1991 enabled ANAT to engage a coordinator for TISEA.

Extensive discussions led to a decision to hold TISEA in Sydney, as a vital cultural centre with excellent resources and facilities.


As TISEA was identified as ANAT’s major project until the end of 1992, ANAT reviewed its program and priorities over that period in order to take this into account. ANAT’s regular program was scaled down in order to accommodate for the amount of work that TISEA would generate.

In recognition of the fact that TISEA is of the highest priority for ANAT, the ANAT Director Virginia Barratt was engaged to undertake coordination of TISEA. This necessitated a move to Sydney for Virginia, in order to negotiate face to face with individuals and organisations.

This rationalisation of ANAT administrative structures and budgets for 1991 enabled the utilisation of the VACB funds for employment of additional support staff for TISEA. The individuals employed were Maura Walsh-Seaman as Sponsorship Manager, and Alessio Cavallaro as Administrator. These part time appointments offset the Coordinator’s workload considerably.

At the time of writing, Virginia Barratt has resigned from the Coordinator’s position, which has necessitated a review of the administrative structure. As a result of her departure, Ross Harley was engaged as full time Director of TISEA, Alessio Cavallaro was engaged as full time Administrator, and an accountant, Lokita Barnard, was engaged to undertake financial management on a part time basis.

This restructuring leaves ANAT without a Director for the remainder of 1992, and the program was been scaled down to compensate for this. Jenni Robertson, ANAT’s Administrator, will take responsibility for the ANAT office in Adelaide for 1992.

TISEA staff are ultimately responsible to the ANAT Committee and work closely with the TISEA Coordinating Committee to develop and implement the programs of TISEA.

A number of individuals had been responsible for the early development of TISEA, and these people made up the core of the TISEA Coordinating Committee, which is a sub-committee of ANAT based in Sydney.

The TISEA Coordinating Committee is comprised of eight individuals, each of whom chair Advisory Committees to TISEA. Following is a list of those individuals:

Gary Warner, Chair, TISEA Committee; Chair, Exhibitions Advisory Committee

Virginia Barratt, Coordinator; Chair, Performance Advisory Committee

Rebecca Coyle, Chair, Papers and Panels Advisory Committee

Paula Dawson, Chair, Poster Sessions Advisory Committee

Tim Gruchy, Chair, Technical Advisory Committee

Ross Harley, Chair, Publications Advisory Committee

Jon McCormack, Chair, Electronic Theatre Advisory Committee

Bill Seaman, Chair, Workshops and Courses Advisory Committee

The TISEA Coordinating Committee reports regularly to the ANAT Committee.

TISEA is also supported by an International Advisory Committee, comprised of individuals who have been involved with the previous symposia, artists, scientists, educators and administrators.

Funding and Support

Generous support has been forthcoming from the Visual Arts and Crafts Board of the Australia Council. ANAT has also applied to them for further project funding. Funding has also been received from the Bushell Foundation. Discussions are continuing with the Australian Film Commission regarding major financial support of TISEA.

The project has received in-kind support through The College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales which has offered TISEA rent-free office space and use of facilities for the duration of the project.

Substantial in-kind support has been received from Zero Plus, Sony, Phillips, Apple Centre Sydney, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Museum of Contemporary Art, Zero Plus Communication Design, Opera House, Botanical Gardens, Roslyn Oxley Gallery, Omnicon Video.

A plan to seek sponsorship through institutions nationwide is underway. It is proposed that a number of institutions sponsor the attendance of international visitors at TISEA. That individual will then spend some time with the sponsor institution before or after TISEA in whatever capacity is negotiated as part of the package.

TISEA Programming

TISEA will be structured similarly to the first and second symposia staged in the Netherlands. The first two days for the five day symposia will offer a series of workshops and courses, followed by two days of papers and panels. Day five will be devoted to poster sessions, which provide the opportunity for individuals to present up-to-the-minute talks about their various areas of research and endeavour. Programmed evening events include a film and video program and a program of performance. The exhibition program will involve some of Sydney’s major galleries.

The two major themes of TISEA are:

Art and the Algorithm

Algorithms, sequences of well defined rules for computational problem solving, are the language of digital discourse. Computer graphics enhance our visual awareness and our conceptual powers to understand, intuit and invent. Scientists, artists and programmers work to address the complex intellectual problems of creating efficient algorithms which provide the essential infrastructure of computational productivity.

The development of supercomputers that can stare, correlate and process information on a massive scale has led to exciting advances in visual communication. It is now possible to numerically simulate phenomena previously considered too complex to model with precision, such as weather patterns, the human heartbeat, environmental impact studies etc.

Such esoteric data translates into effective communication only through collaboration between the scientists who understand the data and the artists with visual literacy skills to give expression to that data. This integration of mathmatics, science and graphic visualisation is leading to significant applications in computer graphics, diagnostic imaging, remote sensing, image processing, computer assisted design, machining, manufacturing and many other disciplines.

Cultural Diversity in the Global Village

The explosive proliferation of information technologies over the past three decades has arguably transformed the world into a ‘global village’, a metaphor which evokes many exciting and challenging questions.

How are such technologies integrated with existing forms of human communication, and how can the rich diversity of human cultures be ensured their unique futures within a global communication network?

What relationships exist or are evolving between the industrialised cultures which develop and manufacture technologies and those which are expected to utilise these technologies, wherever and whoever they may be?
Please note this is a historic site – some links may no longer work

Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply