What is Critical Animals?

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

We’ve been dormant for a while, like bears or cicadas or frogs or snakes, hiding underground but determinedly contributing to the workings of TiNA as an organisation, helping foster the creation of a vibrant arts scene in Newcastle, that would support and inspire artists and audiences.

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. As a not-for-profit and entirely non-commercial festival, the symposium has always offered all its events for free to artists and attendees.

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. With TiNA coming to an end, we might just come out of hibernation.

Stay tuned.