contemporary arts and social transformation

In 2014 I have been appointed the convener of the CAST strategic research network at UOW.

CAST is a research centre for the continuous elaboration of the relationship between contemporary arts and social transformation. It provides a forum for researchers to present and debate ‘work-in-progress’ as well as a vehicle for critical interdisciplinary exchange within the broad field of contemporary arts. One of the central objectives of CAST is to facilitate collaborative research strands that, in the spirit of transformation, enable the discovery of common themes and events beyond that which we can currently imagine.

Basing its focus on the creation of new knowledge CAST draws on the expertise of a network of researchers interested in extending critical research in the broad field of contemporary arts. The management structure of CAST includes a convenor, Su Ballard, and a specialist Advisory Board drawn from senior researchers at UOW.

In 2014 CAST will develop the thematic of “Nature, Network and Event in Contemporary Arts.” We will do this by hosting a series of events with a shifting and varied group of participants leading to an articulation of a collaborative research network. Nature is what cannot be avoided amidst the current crisis. Network is the formation of ever expanding knowledges across bodies, species and institutions; and, Events are the moments of intensity within which we can articulate response. In focusing on a common theme we will work to engage directly with other UOW faculties, a range of researchers in Australia, and further afield.

In 2014 this programme will


  • Develop a recognisable identity for CAST (within the University and further afield).
  • Consolidate and grow a Contemporary Arts research network.
  • Present seminars debating key themes in Contemporary Arts.
  • Support visiting artists, and scholarly exchanges around understandings of practice-led research.
  • Establish partnerships and alliances with similar research groupings nationally and internationally in order to attract further funding.