July 11, 2016

First Program Announcement!

First Program Announcement!


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday 11 July 2016

First program announcement for This is Not Art 2016 highlights focus on collaboration and cross-festival pollination.

This is Not Art (TiNA) celebrates Newcastle as a first rate creative city. Now in its 19th year, the festival has become an integral part of Newcastle’s arts calendar as young people from around the country converge on the city over the October long weekend to share ideas, meet like-minded creative and potential collaborators, and test work in a safe and supportive environment.

Longstanding co-presenters National Young Writers’ Festival (NYWF), Crack Theatre Festival and Critical Animals will this year be joined by Special Guests Hobotechno, a Newcastle based experimental arts collective. With a focus on engaging with the local community, activating multiple venues across the CBD and blurring the boundaries between writing, performance, visual arts and critical thinking, TiNA 2016 offers an array of workshops, panels, installations, performances and special events for those interested in exploring experimental and thought provoking contemporary arts.

This year the NYWF is asking you to ‘Get Lost’ in the endless nooks and crannies of the Australian writing maze. The 2016 program boasts the largest artist count in NYWF history with 117 writers coming from all over the country as well as New Zealand. The NYWF team are very excited to announce artists Omar Musa, Claire Sullivan, Jennifer Down, Eliza-Jane Henry-Jones, Ellen van Neerven, Jonno Revanche and Giselle Nguyen will be among the many making their way to Newcastle this year.

This smorgasbord of talent will be workshopping, reading, debating, conversing and panelling their way through the many challenges, trends and revolutions of the contemporary writing scene, covering topics as diverse as gendering loneliness, shorthand, fringe dwelling, and the state of comedy in Australia. Expect to see a return of festival favourites like the Late Night Readings, Zine Fair and the Festival Ball. There will also be a bunch of open access events including an open mic event every night, street events, games, a science party and so much more!

Crack Theatre Festival 2016 boasts a jam-packed four day program that highlights experimental performance at its peak. Artists from all corners of Australia will bring their work to life in Newcastle, with some never-before-seen works premiering over the long weekend.

From glittery bad-ass bike tours, to interactive durational dance, to sensory soundscape transporting you halfway across the world, the 2016 program captures Australian experimental performance at its best.

Alongside works supported through the Setting the Stages initiative (now in its third year) such as Echo Chamber/Witness by The Indirect Object, the 2016 Festival will support and showcase big ideas in early stages of development through a brand new works-in-development stream. Artists will be offered the space and mentorship to dig deep into the guts of new and ambitious projects such as FIFO by Danielle Asquith – The stories of joy, hardship and triumph of Fly in Fly out workers and their families.

Directly responding to emerging themes from our artists, the 2016 program will also feature an entire day of programming focused completely on female and female-identifying artists. In this stream, you’ll see the vivacious WA duo, Snapcat, lead a tough and glittery bike gang of women, genderqueer/non-binary & trans people as they ride en masse through Newcastle.

The Critical Animals program for 2016 presents a mixture of political, satirical, experiential and interactive artworks framed by a variety of panels featuring artists, academics, writers and arts workers. Playing on this year’s theme Madness of Many (M.o.M.) the Symposium is examining collaborations and the collective consciousness – what is the zeitgeist and how are artists manifesting this in their work.

Highlights from the program include V.T.R.’s exhibition #RichForks, displaying a variety of forks used by the world’s most rich and powerful people. Swiped from luxury hotels over the last 15 years, #RichForks is intended to inspire critical debate about massive wealth disparity, the political and economic nature of artefacts and the power of ordinary people in carrying out social change.

Another highlight from the program challenging established social structures includes the Artistic Madness panel, examining how mental health is viewed in the arts particularly in reference to the device of the tortured artist. The panel will feature Jack Kenchington-Evans, Gabrielle Everall, Melody Paloma and Fiona Spitzkowsky.

Special Guests Hobotechno will take over the University of Newcastle’s Watt Space Gallery with an experimental exhibition concept that will see collaborative, participatory, performative and durational work unfolding within the gallery over the festival weekend.

“This year sees co-presenters collaborating on cross-festival events and exploring the boundaries of what we know as ‘This is Not Art’. The 2016 program responds to emerging themes in contemporary arts practice. This is what keeps TiNA fresh every year. Expect to find performance artists popping up on NYWF panels or performing at the Critical Animals Performance Art event. With a stronger street presence and plenty of participatory events, you’ll be sure to come across the unexpected, make a new friend or find yourself in passionate discussions about contemporary art making.” said TiNA Executive Producer Christina Robberds.


MEDIA CONTACTS: For further information and to request interviews with TiNA spokespersons, please contact: Christina Robberds, Octapod Director, admin@octapod.org or call 0415 699 227.

ABOUT TINA: TiNA is one of Australia’s leading independent arts festivals. Produced by Octapod since 1998 in partnership with co-presenters National Young Writers’ Festival, Critical Animals and Crack Theatre Festival, TiNA takes place annually over the October long weekend in Newcastle. It is dedicated to the development of experimental and emerging arts practice. Over 150 free events packed into four days.

Thursday 29 September – Sunday 2 October 2016.


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