Contemporary Art @ Boğaziçi - Interview Project, 2010

Melinda Rackham (Australia, 1959)

Burak Emrah Aydın, B.U.,


Dr. Melinda Rackham is currently the Executive Director of the Australian Network for Art and Technology - Australia's peak network and advocacy body for media artists working in screen, sound, installation, performance, literary and networked arenas; creating opportunities for connection, collaboration, innovation, research and development both locally and globally.Over the past decade, as an artist, writer, curator and media consultant she has investigated the aesthetic, technological and philosophical aspects of online identity, locality, sexuality and community, as well as viral symbiosis and Trans species relations. Her Ph.D. explored the nature and construction of, and avatar relations within multi-user Virtual Reality Networked Spaces.

Burak Emrah Aydın: We may call you a New Media Artist? What you think about new media art and its features?

Melinda Rackham: I prefer to call myself a networked artist, or an emerging art forms artist, and like many in our field my art practice has multiple outputs including that as a curator, a writer and a cultural producer. Media art, or emerging art forms are an inherently exciting area - it is never static as experimentation is constantly occurring- it’s where media art, craft and design practices are being mixed, mashed melorphed, and where the art of the future comes into being.

Burak Emrah Aydın: You create your works through using many mediums such as; science, literature, computers and internet... And you are more likely to express your ideas by using these many alternative and sometimes complicated elements within a harmony... so is that the reason you are using new media art? Which gives you the freedom to use anything you want or rewrite the separate things and create a very new and different context? Or how would you describe your art? Without categorizing?

Melinda Rackham: I am a story teller, and I use whatever media, or mix of media, or literature, or objects, or environment, will help tell that story. My themes are mostly are drawn from a notion of establishing presence and identity through joining with the other, whether that other be in a scientific setting through physics or biology; in a virtual world romance; or in joining traditional and digital craft techniques to create a unique newness.

Burak Emrah Aydın: While creating your works using lots of mediums such as science, literature, computers… Isn’t it hard for you? You need to know some from all of them and you need to work hard maybe.

Melinda Rackham: I believe knowledge and art production is different in the networked age, where it is easy to gain a small amount of knowledge about a large amount of things and then see how this knowledge connects and intertwines. An artwork does not have to represent absolute truth, as the license of the artist is to provide propositions, illustrations or tableaus for others to consider, to evoke responses and to arouse feelings. It's a playful meandering approach to storytelling and art making rather than drilling in depth into unnecessary details.

Burak Emrah Aydın: Your work which named a Land have a rhythmical, poetical language, it feels like the journey is within the subconscious... How did you feel when creating this?

Melinda Rackham: That is a very perceptive question. I was feeling that flush of being in love with someone, which created in me a sense of connection and good will with everyone on the planet, through shared mythologies, through geographical strata, through the internet,

Burak Emrah Aydın: Do your work namely’’ A land’’ born after a questioning about life and being? Questioning like everybody does sometime.

Melinda Rackham: Yes I am looking at connections and similarities between us all over the planet, and our shared humanity, love, fear, regret, sadness, joy and life. I feel it is one of my least seen but most beautiful works.

Burak Emrah Aydın: What can be your future projects?

Melinda Rackham: I am concentrating on curating exhibitions and writing a book on artworks that speak of an intimate embodied relationship with their immediate environment- non medium specific art that explores human connectedness within a holistic system; celebrating a renewed sense - post consumerism - of media, sustainability and self. And of course on the creative power of love!