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The Nature Machine

The Nature Machine
'The Nature Machine' is an initiative of the Queensland Art Gallery, supported by the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art Children's Art Centre.

4 December 2004 - 13 February 2005
Gallery 4, Queensland Art Gallery

An amazing selection of contemporary art works in exciting exhibition spaces lets children discover landscapes of sand, forest and sea, and encounter the wonders of the natural world and the animal kingdom. Children see the natural world from an artist's perspective, expanding their view of nature, and experiencing the many ways artists interpret and respond to the world around them.

Easy-to-read labels, an activity book and interactive elements throughout the exhibition provide children with interesting and imaginative ways to interact with the art works. 'The Nature Machine' Summer Festival features performances, workshops, interactives, artist talks and lots more!

'The Nature Machine' explores four themes ― 'in the beginning', 'transformations', 'future nature', and 'artificial worlds'.

In the beginning

Where did it all begin?

From the Big Bang to creation stories, cosmological, scientific and artistic explanations of where we come from are given creative force in the introductory section of 'The Nature Machine'.

Children can engage with mythical stories from Australia, Asia and the Pacific, and with artists whose practices investigate the role of science in constructing narratives ― about human evolution, the human body as machine and as landscape, and the body's sensory relationship to the world.


How are we changing?

Art and technology continue to challenge our concept of the natural. What languages do artists use to communicate the interplay between nature, culture and technology? Issues of ecology, the technology of the body, and the artificial transformation of the 'natural' environment are just a few of the subjects addressed.

Future Nature

Where are we going?

What types of bodies, machines and living spaces will we have in the future? How does nature inform the way culture and technology are produced?

Artists working across traditional and contemporary media, from simple electric creations to sophisticated video installations, illustrate their distinctive visions of the future.

Artificial worlds

Are we becoming artificial?

Virtual reality, theme parks and computer games can restructure our thought processes and environments. How do artists utilise the moving image in order to construct artificial worlds? What kinds of meanings can be created from artificial settings and virtual imaginings?

Featured Artists

Ah Xian (China/Australia) | Drew Berry (USA/Australia) | Julie Blyfield (Australia) | Chen Zhen (China/France) | Justine Cooper (Australia/USA) | James Cunningham (New Zealand/USA) | Heri Dono (Indonesia) | Simryn Gill (Malaysia/Australia) | Robert Gligorov (Macedonia/Italy) | Guan Wei (China/Australia) | Co Hoedeman (Netherlands/Canada) | Rosemary Laing (Australia) | Lee Bul (South Korea) | Sally Marsland (Australia) | eX de Medici (Australia) | Leo Melpi (Australia) | Kozo Miyoshi (Japan) | Susan Norrie (Australia) | Patricia Piccinini (Australia) | Lisa Reihana (Aotearoa New Zealand) | Lisa Roet (Australia/Belgium) | Maurice Sendak (USA) | Stelarc (Australia/Japan) | David Stephenson (Australia) | Jana Sterbak (Czechoslavakia/Canada) | Jan Svankmajer (Czechoslovakia) | John Tonkin (Australia) | Catherine Truman (Australia) | Wang Zhiyuan (China/Australia)

Requires Acrobat ReaderDownload the television commercial (1.54 MB)

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Requires Acrobat ReaderDownload Children's Activity Booket (5.73 MB)

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Media sponsors

Quest NewspapersADSHELHarrison Ness


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