Research meets art in new Deakin exhibition

July 31, 2019 BY

Hello, it's me.

A NEW exhibition showcasing the innovative talent of Deakin’s PhD students is on show at two locations in Melbourne until September.

Featuring creative works by research candidates from Deakin’s school of communication and creative arts, Everyday Research culminates original findings in the fields of visual and performance arts.

One of the exhibition’s co-curators, James Lynch, said Everyday Research represents the distinguished research culture at Deakin as well as the varying interdisciplinary approaches to creative research.

“It also considers how practice-based research is informed through the everyday and how researchbased activities have now become a part of daily life,” Mr Lynch said.

Rachel Hanlon, a PhD candidate from Deakin’s Waurn Ponds campus, is the only Geelong student featured in the exhibition.

Ms Hanlon’s project, Hello Machine, explores what happens when a once significant object becomes obsolete.

Centralising the telephone, her research brings nuance to how technologies can “surpass its intended functional purpose” and evolve into another object altogether.

Through the creation of reanimated vintage payphones – which have been installed in countries including Ireland, Japan and Italy – visitors to Hello Machine can pick up one of the devices and connect with an unknown receiver from a different part of the world.

Ms Hanlon said Hello Machine was inspired by her reluctance to “let go” of her landline telephone.

“When objects reach obsolescence, we develop a different kind of affection for these things – that’s where my body of research is; media archelogy and looking at our relationship to objects,” she said.

“It’s been interesting to remind people of the intimacy of communication. It’s so widely spread nowadays that we’re suffering from this communication fatigue. But once you have this moment that you’re on a telephone call, and there’s this bodily weight to the phone, it gives you permission to slow down for a minute and wonder who is on the other end of life.”

Hello Machine is being presented alongside other projects at the Deakin University Art Gallery at the Burwood campus until September 1. The phones will be linked to receivers in Japan.

Everyday Research will also be on show at the Deakin Downtown Gallery at Melbourne’s Dockland Precinct.