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Blindside Festival 2014 Meet the Public

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BLINDSIDE festival, meet the public
Photo courtesy of BLINDSIDE

August is the month for contemporary art in Melbourne. While the Melbourne Art Fair creates the largest gallery of the best works from the region, BLINDSIDE is literally bringing the public into contemporary art.

BLINDSIDE is an example of why Melbourne is best place for the Arts in Australia. The not-for-profit artist run space has been supporting the contemporary art community by bringing the finest and most fantastical works that are on the periphery to Melbourne. Since 2004, it has showcased nearly 600 artists in more than 200 exhibitions, supported over 60 curators and published the critical writing by nearly 150 writers.

Photo courtesy of BLINDSIDE

I checked in with the Festival's co-curator Raymonda Rajkowski on some visually exciting bits to get everyone participating from 27 August to 6 September. Here are our reasons to be arti-fied with the BLINDSIDE 2014 Festival this August.

11 days of free access to performative and participatory works

BLINDSIDE 2014 Festival will deliver 11 days of FREE multi-platform events that push the boundaries of contemporary art practice and public participation. Highlights include live art, site-specific interventions and inter-subjective encounters that test the limits of artists and audience engagements. BLINDSIDE's Gallery 2 will become a dedicated space for ideas to flourish, furnished with a 1970s inspired conversation pit and special zine display.
Little collaborative comic by Aaron Billings and Julia Trybala
Little collaborative comic by Aaron Billings and Julia Trybala / Photo courtesy of Aaron Billings and Julia Trybala

Help produce a series of mini-comics

Join 2 of Melbourne's emerging talents in a FREE interactive workshop about collaborative production and zine-making in Gallery 1. Through 'Collab Comics' by Julia Trybala and Aaron Billings, you can contribute as much or as little as you like to the content of a series of mini-comics from 12.30pm to 3pm on 31 August. The series will be drafted up and printed at the end of the day and the final products will be available at the BLINDSIDE zine stall throughout the duration of the festival.

Participatory Art networking night and workshop

Deakin University's Arts Participation Incubator (API), with the support of City of Melbourne, is presenting 2-session event led by Gap Filler, post-quake urban activist group from Christchurch New Zealand. The first session is a network night on 28 Aug from 6pm to 7.30pm, and the second session is a workshop on 29 Aug from 9.30am to 1pm. Both sessions are held at Donkey Wheel House on 673 Bourke Street. For more details on the sessions and to purchase tickets, visit the API website.

Play with oversized playing cards

ACES by In the Meantime
Photo courtesy of In the Meantime

'In The Meantime' invites you to enjoy their new work titled ACES which premiers in BLINDSIDE's festival of participatory art on 27 and 30 August and 3 September. You and your friends can play with a custom designed deck of oversized playing cards in Gallery 1. This FREE participatory work is masterminded by artists Alica Bryson Haynes, Lizzy Sampson, Shae Rooke and Claire Robertson.

astrojet space centre
Photo courtesy of Field Theory

Expedition to a secret location

An artist collective, 'Field Theory' and artist Zoe Meagher are presenting an after-dark performance that commemorates the forgotten Astrojet Space Centre that still stands after 40 years. You can join Zoe on an expedition to the building's secret location with projections and live performance on 5 and 6 September. Visit the Field Theory website for more details and tickets.

Meet the contemporary artists and art collectives

Central to the integrity of the Festival are the artists and art collectives who explore the parameters of contemporary art through their performative and participatory works. Some of the artists include Amy Spiers and Michelle Sakaris. Artist collectives include In The Meantime (Alica Bryson Haynes, Lizzy Sampson, Shae Rooke and Claire Robertson),
Performprint (Michael Meneghetti & Joel Gailer) and Collab Comics (Julia Trybala and Aaron Billings) and Waterfall Person and Paradise Structures.

Special closing event

The Festival will close on 6 September with zinemaker readings and zinemaker rock by Sticky Institute and The Newport Dolls, a zinester impro ambient indie supergroup based in Melbourne. Running from 8pm to 10pm in Gallery 1, the Dolls will also be supported on by a line-up of 8 zinemakers reading from their zines.

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Why? Where else can you be part of contemporary art works in a festival?
When: Tuesday to Saturday, 12-6pm (during exhibition program) / Closed on public holidays
Phone: 03 9650 0093
Where: BLINDSIDE Gallery - Level 7, Room 14, Nicholas Building
Cost: Free & ticketed events
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