Gapuwiyak Calling: phone-made Media from Arnhem Land

Deger, Jennifer, Gurrumuruwuy, Paul, Gurruwiwi, Warren Balpatji, Ganambarr, James Bangaliwuy, Wunungmurra, Enid Gurungulmiwuy, Wanambi, Kayleen Djingadjingawuy, Wunungmurra, Meredith Balanydjarrk, and Wyatt, Evan (2014) Gapuwiyak Calling: phone-made Media from Arnhem Land. [Show/Exhibition]

[img] Image (GIF) (Exhibition Invite (GIF)) - Supplemental Material
Restricted to Repository staff only

[img] Video (MP4) (Interview with Paul Gurrumuruwuy: introduction to the exhibition) - Supplemental Material
Restricted to Repository staff only

[img] Image (JPEG) (Collection of Phone Collage Art) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Video (MP4) (Mobile Phone Video: Gumu (Hermit Crab) Boys, 2010 (Gapuwiyak, NT)) - Supplemental Material
Restricted to Repository staff only

[img] Video (MP4) (Mobile Phone Video: Madjik, 2014 (Cairns, QLD)) - Supplemental Material
Restricted to Repository staff only

[img] Video (MP4) (Mobile Phone Video: two brothaz arguing) - Supplemental Material
Restricted to Repository staff only

[img] Video (MP4) (Mobile Phone Video: what a feeling, 2009 (Gapuwiyak, NT)) - Supplemental Material
Restricted to Repository staff only

[img] Video (MP4) (Mobile Phone Video: wild free boys subs) - Supplemental Material
Restricted to Repository staff only

[img] Video (MP4) (Projection Video: Sweet Dreams [small size]) - Supplemental Material
Restricted to Repository staff only

[img] Video (MP4) (HD Projection Video: Sweet Dreams [original size]) - Supplemental Material
Restricted to Repository staff only

[img] Video (MP4) (Projection Video: Forest Dance [small size, part 1]) - Supplemental Material
Restricted to Repository staff only

[img] Video (MP4) (Projection Video: Forest Dance [small size, part 2]) - Supplemental Material
Restricted to Repository staff only

[img] Video (MP4) (Projection Video: Forest Dance [small size, part 3]) - Supplemental Material
Restricted to Repository staff only

[img] Video (MP4) (HD Projection Video: Forest Dance [original size]) - Supplemental Material
Restricted to Repository staff only

[img] Video (MP4) (Explanation Video (accessed via exhibition visitors' phones) [small size, part 1)) - Supplemental Material
Restricted to Repository staff only

[img] Video (MP4) (Explanation Video (accessed via exhibition visitors' phones) [small size, part 2]) - Supplemental Material
Restricted to Repository staff only

[img] Video (MP4) (Explanation Video (accessed via exhibition visitors' phones) [original size]) - Supplemental Material
Restricted to Repository staff only

[img] PDF (Images from the Brisbane exhibition) - Supplemental Material
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[img] PDF (Images from the New York exhibition) - Supplemental Material
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[img] PDF (Exhibition catalogue) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Image (JPEG) (Tumblr Website (screenshot)) - Supplemental Material
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View at Publisher Website: http://www.anthropologymuseum.uq.edu.au/...
 
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Abstract

Gapuwiyak Calling celebrates the cellphone as a technology of creativity and connection. Curated by Miyarrka Media, a media-arts collective based in the remote community of Gapuwiyak in the Arnhem Land Region of Australia and recipient of the 2012 Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award Special Mention, the installation features phone-made content from flashing GIF files of cut-and-pasted family photographs uniting the living and the dead to biyarrmak (funny) videos clips of mainstream television and movies re-voiced with Yolngu jokes, and a two-channel video about the stories and emotions that determine people's choice of ringtone. Structured according to Yolngu poetics of call-and-response, the exhibition takes motif and meaning from the actions of an ancestral mokuy (trickster spirit). In ancestral times this mokuy signaled other clans with his dhadalal (a special didgeridoo), establishing enduring relationships between people across the region. In this exhibition, the lively art - made possible by cell phones - calls out to people and places far beyond Arnhem Land.

Research Statement

Research Background Pioneered by Jean Rouch, ‘shared anthropology’ is a method that enables participants to become active stakeholders and creative commentators in research on social transformation. Deger has used video in this way for two decades. ‘Gapuwiyak Calling’ expands this approach into the domain of museum anthropology, enabling a group of Yolngu curators to work in internationally significant institutions, to promote their perspectives on global culture and to reflexively experiment with modes of digital relationship-making using mobile phone videos and images from a remote Aboriginal community.
Research Contribution Co-conceived, curated and designed by Miyarrka Media, an arts-media collective based in Gapuwiyak, NT, the exhibition uses mobile phone media to highlight new forms of creativity and art inspired by the digital global, while insisting on the enduring significance of Yolngu forms of belonging. The sound of an ancestral spirit (mokuy) calling on a didgeridoo provided a central and structuring motif, enacting a call to connection with museum visitors. Other media variously highlight generative local-global dynamics mediated through smart phones: a large wall projection of forest dancers; 8 small looped projections of ‘biyarrmak’ (funny) videos; a series of mobile phones sorted and labelled according to Yolngu principles of value; collages of ancestral themed photos layered with digital effects; and a two-channel work on ringtones.
Research Significance Following a first iteration at the University of Queensland, the work was expanded and re-designed for the Margaret Mead Festival at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. The project was supported by funding from the ARC, Arts NT, Screen Territory, New York University, the Fox Family Foundation, the Pratt Foundation, the University of Queensland and James Cook University. It received a CHASS Australia Prize for Distinctive Work honourable mention, and is featured in the Routledge Companion to Digital Ethnography.
Item ID: 41550
Show/Exhibition: Gapuwiyak Calling: phone-made media from Arnhem Land
UQ Anthropology Museum, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
15 March - 15 August 2014
Additional Information:

In 2014 the Gapuwiyak Calling was exhibited in New York in the American Museum of Natural History as a key element of the Margaret Mead Film Festival:

Gapuwiyak Calling: phone-made media from Aboriginal Australia: New York, NY, USA,23-26 October 2014.

There was also a showing of this exhibition at the Cairns Institute, James Cook University from 17 September - 16 October 2015.

***

This exhibition contains images of Aboriginal people. Hearing or seeing names or seeing images of deceased persons might cause sadness or distress, particularly to the relatives of these people. This work, however, has been created by, and with permission from, close relatives of these deceased people, with the specific intention of producing a culturally specific emotional response called warwuwyun (worry). The explicit aim in doing so is to ’share’ these difficult feelings and so generate the grounds of connection across time, generations and cultures.

Media of Output: HD video, MP4 video, 3GP video, ply and paper, timber, assorted mobile phones
Related URLs:
Funders: Australian Research Council
Projects and Grants: ARC FT110100587
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2016 04:43
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1601 Anthropology > 160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9502 Communication > 950201 Communication Across Languages and Culture @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 30%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970119 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of the Creative Arts and Writing @ 20%
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