The University of Melbourne

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posted on 2024-06-13, 01:13 authored by SEAN LOWRYSEAN LOWRY, Kim DonaldsonKim Donaldson

Oscilloforms is a neologism encapsulating an experientially grounded inquiry into the disparate and entangled natures of reductive, expanded and non-objective art artforms in the twenty-first century. This mutant term assumes that contemporary art is understood not as a chronological shift from its historical predecessors but rather as a complex interplay of continuities, dead ends, lateral exaptations and departures. Unlike its twentieth-century precursors, this is art that actively and playfully blurs once rigid demarcations between abstraction and representation. Here, an artist may instead emphasise the extent and manner to which a work refers beyond itself, defies literal interpretation, or delineates its presence in the world. This granular blurring is also symptomatic of broader departures from understanding art and the world though the antithetical play of binaries, such as hard-line conceptualism set against the reified autonomy of formalism. Indeed, rather than throwing the proverbial baby out with the bathwater, some artists prefer to emphasise mutual insufficiencies, such as the inevitable presence of external historical, social and cultural references in what might be otherwise read as reductive or abstracted material presentations. Although the once antithetical poles of reduction and expansion were historically seen as cornerstones in the interpretation of progressive art, such distinctions are today more aptly experienced as oscillating amalgamations of eclectic formal and conceptual aesthetic languages. Accordingly, this exhibition reflects the pluralistic and multifaceted natures of current artistic practices. The artists presented in Oscilloforms navigate this diverse terrain, employing a broad spectrum of material and conceptual approaches. Their works are testament to myriad ways in which reductive, non-objective and materially expanded artforms can serve as dynamic vehicles for filtering diverse interests, experiences and perspectives. Curated by Cūrā8 and featuring: Su Baker Sadie Chandler Yuna Chun Richard Dunn Craig Easton Deven Marriner Carol Cheng Mastroianni Rohan Schwartz Anne Scott Wilson Mimi Zheng + Lewis Gittus & Karina Utomo


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NTRO Output Type

  • Curated Exhibition, Event or Festival

NTRO Output Category

  • Curated Exhibition, Event or Festival : Exhibition/event


Melbourne, Australia


Project8 Gallery, 2/417 Collins St, Melbourne

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Original curated exhibition

Research Statement

This curated exhibition was developed using an "artist as curator" methodology tested through extended dialogue with selected artists. These discussions sought to understand ways that reductive, non-objective and materially expansive forms can channel very different experiences and viewpoints. In the twentieth century, modern art was primarily understood in relation to either abstraction or quotation. In the twenty-first century, however, art is often engaged through sometimes contradictory oscillations between these polarities. "Oscilloforms" is a neologism to describe the mutual interplay of reductive and expanded forms. It suggests contemporary art is not a chronological progression but rather a complex interplay of continuities and lateral adaptations. This original curated exhibition featured new works developed through 8 months of conversations exchange between the curators and artists Su Baker, Sadie Chandler, Yuna Chun, Richard Dunn, Craig Easton, Lewis Gittus, Deven Marriner, Carol Cheng Mastroianni, Rohan Schwartz, Anne Scott Wilson, Karina Utomo and Mimi Zheng. It was visited by over 800 unique visitors across six weeks and two additional events, with over 300 at its public opening alone. Its novel curatorial premise and exhibition design received a warm and positive endorsement through both art world and university social media channels. An additional exhibition location (Helgoland Sited, 79 Langridge Street, Collingwood ) was included as a means to public test the site./non-site dialectic. A public curator/artist floor talk was conducted on 11 May 2024. A public performance activation called 'Heolstor,' was also activated on 24 May 2024.

Size or Duration of Work

6 week curated exhibition with additional events and performances.


Sean Lowry, University of Melbourne

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