What Counts as Knowledge: Living Cultures

Lola Greeno and Assoc Prof Katherine Moline (University of New South Wales)
2021 Conference

This paper discusses my work as a senior Palawa artist in terms of its contribution to the recognition of First Nations’ practices as living cultures in Tasmania. We propose that my recommendation to “know yourself, the community you come from, and your community’s challenges” connects to Bruno Latour’s observations of the personal, the collective and knowledge. The paper presents extracts of a paper based on conversations between us (Lola Greeno and Katherine Moline) over a three-year period, as part of our work for The Data Imaginary: Fears and Fantasies, a project dedicated to exploring what counts as knowledge, curated for the Griffith University Art Museum in 2021. The paper argues that each generation must renew the exchanges and pacts it deems relevant to social reciprocity and find ways of responding to resistance when changing the racialized and discriminatory status quo. It recommends critical reflection on how serious creative play can disrupt aesthetic norms and support an expanded and inclusive definition of data.

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About the author

Lola Greeno

Lola Greeno is Tasmanian Aboriginal shell necklace maker/stringer and is known for her distinctly patterned often colourful and iridescent, delicate strands of shells that are collected from the coastlines of Tasmania mainland and the Furneaux Islands.

As an extension to her cultural practice, Greeno has developed a series of new works related to food source of natural materials as casuarina nuts, kangaroo fur, echidna quills and larger sea shells wearable sculptural pieces. Lola original design of a Cape Barren Goose pattern in a contemporary context that talk about how the material represented the fauna unique to the islands. The other necklaces represent Reconciliation Australia using Black crow and white penguin shells, the third necklace combines rice, maireener and kelp shells to show the very tiny rice shells first made with sewing needles were used to thread shells.

In May 2019, Lola received the Red Ochre Indigenous Art Award, for life time achievement in the arts. She also exhibited in Singapore and 2021 a festival in Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan and Corban Estate Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand.

Katherine Moline

Katherine Moline is Associate Professor at UNSW Arts, Design and Architecture. Her research focuses on the dynamics between technological and social forces in art and design. Her analyses of experimental design are published in Undesign: Critical Practices at the Intersection of Art and Design (Routledge, 2018) and Food Democracy: Critical Lessons in Food, Communication, Design and Art (Intellect, 2017). Her innovations in research methods have been documented in Uncertainty and Possibility: New Approaches to Future Making in Design Anthropology (Routledge, 2020) and The Routledge Companion to Digital Ethnography (Routledge, 2017).

Exhibitions for which she has led curatorial teams include:
The Data Imaginary: Fears and Fantasies, Griffith University Art Museum, Brisbane (2021).
Funded by the Australia Council for the Arts (2020-2021).


Climactic: Post Normal Design, Miller Gallery, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh (2016)

Experimental Thinking: Design Practices, Griffith University Art Museum, Brisbane (2015)

Experimental Practice: Provocations in and Out of Design, RMIT Design Hub, Melbourne (2015)

Feral Experimental, University of New South Wales Galleries, Sydney (2014)