What is Critical Animals?

The Critical Animals Creative Research Symposium is an annual conference that takes place over the first weekend in October in Newcastle, NSW. It’s a part of This is Not Art, one of Australia’s leading contemporary and emerging arts festivals, celebrating emerging and experimental practices.

Situated at the intersection of arts and research, Critical Animals is a space to share ideas, develop practice and form connections. The symposium brings together students, researchers, writers, artists, academics and thinkers who are critically engaged in creative and experimental art practices. It is an opportunity to present papers, research material and creative practices with an aim to generating discussion and collaboration.

Critical Animals partnered with This is Not Art way back in 2002 to fulfill the creative research aspect of the festival. Over this time Critical Animals has grown to count hundreds of artists, researchers and creative as part of our alumni, attracting audiences of over 5,500 from across Australia. This year Critical Animals is co-presenting at TiNA alongside Crack Theatre Festival and National Young Writers Festival.

For many academics this is the beginning of their conference experience and Critical Animals provides a supportive environment for those stepping out on the research symposium circuit. The symposium provides a breeding ground to develop long-term networks and partnerships, formed between artists, audience, festival coordinators and the This is Not Art festival at large.

As a not-for-profit and entirely non-commercial festival, the symposium offers all its events for free to artists and attendees. Critical Animals would like to thank all our artists for their involvement and invite everyone to join in this wonderful, growing festival.