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Explore the nexus between arts & science in Curiocity Brisbane


By Claire Matthews

From 12-28 March, Curiocity will explode across Brisbane with curious conversations, interactive installations, and a program packed full of arts meets science. 

For 17 days, the festival will present over 60 Curiocities, spread from the city Botanical Gardens to Southbank to South Brisbane cultural precinct to Brisbane CBD. Visitors will be able to walk across the city and explore the cross-disciplinary installations. 

The lineup includes 28 world premieres, two Australian debuts, 14 created by Queensland artists, 12 produced by Brisbane artists, six created by primary and secondary students as part of the Queensland Schools Challenge, and one located on a CityCat.

Curiocity is headlined by the World Science Festival Brisbane from 24-28 March, presented by Queensland Museum. It also includes Curious Conversations, hosted by journalist Benjamin Law, with guest speakers on a range of innovative STEAM discussions. Plus, GOMA’s two nights of Motorcycle Up Late on 19 and 20 March.   

Curiocity executive producer Theresa Famularo said she was inspired to launch the festival to showcase Brisbane’s cross-discipline talent.

“Curiocity Brisbane is an opportunity for us to celebrate the unique aspects of Brisbane. There’s such a wealth of talent here in Queensland. So we’re in an incredible state when it comes to all those STEM elements, but importantly, we don’t have creative thinking without the art elements.

“So Curiocity Brisbane is this great exploration of the STEAM. It comes through two prongs, one is the large-scale physical and digital installations that are all different explorations of the elements of STEAM, and the other aspect of CurioCity Brisbane is the Curious Conversations.”

Ms Famularo said working alongside World Science Festival Brisbane is a great opportunity to share ideas, projects and conversations between STEAM disciplines. 

“World Science Festival Brisbane is an incredible program, and the group behind it, at Queensland Museum and who deliver World Science Festival are a fantastic team. 

“What we’re finding is that more and more makers are stepping into this space and playing with those other elements that are not perceived by the public to traditionally be art spaces. So that makes it really exciting, create this nexus between STEM and art.”

Ms Famularo said she is looking forward to seeing reactions to Trace, Touch, Feel The Brisbane River, Maiwar AR and The Immersive Guitar.  

“One of the works, Trace, Touch, Feel The Brisbane River, is playing with really ground-breaking haptic technology, which will probably be a first for most people to experience if they come along to Curiocity this year.

“There’s also this remarkable work called Maiwar AR, which is a cultural heritage journey through the Botanic Gardens. It’s a work that lets us step back into the days of Brisbane before colonisation. 

“I also think it’ll be interesting to see how the public engages with another incredible work coming out of the Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre, a work called The Immersive Guitar. This is a guitar that is the brainchild of Karin Schaupp and Vanessa Tomlinson. This work gives people the opportunity to walk inside a guitar and experience the sound, the timber, and the strings.”

Artist Caroline Mudge, whose work Polyethylene Reef will be showcased at CurioCity, said it is a unique opportunity. 

“What a great opportunity, to work with such an amazing team and have that support. I think the fact that Curiocity is running a STEAM program or exhibition is incredible, to give these kids these opportunities and that it’s possible to get creative in that science or technology based environment.”

Ms Mudge said it’s interesting to create works in this liminal space, blurring boundaries between science, technology and visual art. 

“I immediately thought of artist Aurora Robson, who also intercepts the waste stream by collecting plastic from the great pacific garbage patch. She creates these incredibly beautiful and ethereal marine sculptures from the waste. I always wanted to do something similar, so our creation is a cross-curriculum project between science, technology and arts.”

Ms Mudge said she is looking forward to being part of the festival community.

“I’m looking forward to meeting the creators from the other schools and making some connections. Seeing the public interact and their expressions when they view the artwork will be really rewarding.” 

View the full Curiocity program here.

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