Neomateriality: Beyond the Textures of Post-Digital Aesthetics

Dr. Marcia Nancy Mauro-Flude and Dr. Thomas Penney (RMIT)
2019 Conference

This paper provides an overview of the evolution of the Post-Digital Aesthetic paradigm in the context of Australian art practice; conceived in Australia, the term has been used by artists and thinkers for more two decades. However, discourses around the expression in abundance in the northern hemisphere are rarely considered in our great southern land. To stimulate further discourse and to enable critical discussions in order to reinvigorate conversations an event

Vvitchvvave: Post-Digital Aesthetics symposium was convened in 2019. Practitioners were selected principally for their artisanal approach to computational mediums, through yarning circles, rituals, performances, artist talks, and installations, the political, social and cultural contradictions faced in the age of designed obsolescence were addressed, uncovering the power relations lurking behind the digital. Dialogues around the ambiences of event were significant in bringing to light how artists working with twenty first century artforms embrace curious imperfection, mawkish ‘neomateriality’ rather than sterilised or consumer influenced digital ideals of perfection.

Download Full text PDF (323.37 KB)

About the author

Dr Nancy Mauro-Flude’s creative arts research contributes to the interdisciplinary space of feminist science and technology studies (STS), and performance art. Through these fields of she advances broader understandings about the relationships between somatic literacy and digital culture. Contributing to new knowledges of visceral systems through experiential pedagogy Dr Mauro-Flude conducts large-scale performances and poetic assemblages, revealing the impact automation has on our embodiment. Her artistic research challenges the value systems of internet culture and crucially feminist philosophies applied in her work plays a role in making visible a more diverse representation of subjectivities in the field of 21C artform production. She is currently writing about the history of the automaton in theatre, its relationship to the

computer and the planetary consequences of truly self-determined machines. Dr Mauro-Flude leads the Holistic Computing Aesthetics research network and coordinates emerging digital cultures, RMIT.


Dr Tom Penney coordinates the Games Cluster n the Digital Design program, in the School of Design at RMIT University, Melbourne. His contemporary art practice involves 3D imaging, games technology and digital design as well as traditional art media. Conceptually Tom is interested in how digital platforms and tools exacerbate individual prejudices and judgements through a framework he calls ‘digital micro-fascism’. This builds on his PhD research project “Critical Affection” which expanded the notion of “critical play” through an analysis of gay online dating apps and the production of critical interactive works about them. He has shown work and published through exhibitions, journals and conferences including Media International Australia, The Feminist Journal of Art and Digital Culture, The International Journal of Contemporary Humanities, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Siteworks, Federation Square, Utopian Slumps and the International Symposium of Electronic Art. Tom previously taught art and design at Curtin and Monash Universities and was a project manager for the augmented reality fashion company, Metaverse Makeovers.