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Dr Michele Barker works in the field of new media arts, exhibiting extensively both in Australia and overseas. Barker has contributed to the field of new media arts extensively via her engagement as a research-oriented practitioner. Her artwork addresses issues of perception, subjectivity, genetics and neuroscience, and her research has focused on the relationship between digital technologies, medical and scientific applications, and end-user responses. The ‘art-science’ nexus is a prominent aspect of new media practice and research, and Barker has been actively involved in this dialogue for over a decade. Works include the CD-ROM, Præternatural, which was selected for exhibition in the Vidarte Mexican Biennale of Electronic Art, 2002, and Contact Zones—a touring exhibition of CD-ROM art in 2001. This work is now held in the Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, Cornell University, and has been included in multiple international and national curated exhibitions and festivals.
In 2004, Barker held an Artist-in Residency at Eyebeam in New York where, in collaboration with Anna Munster, she developed the award winning multi-channel work, Struck. The work has toured extensively (including in the US and China & Taiwan) and was presented as a solo installation at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Her ongoing collaborative research with Anna Munster (Associate Professor at UNSW Art & Design and NIEA Research Leader) involves multiple points of view for user-interaction using multi-channel projections and immersive environments specially addressing issues of the relationship of neuroscience to magic. In 2011 they received funding from the Australia Council for the Arts (OzCo) to develop 'HokusPokus', a multiple screen interactive artwork that uses illusionistic and performative aspects of magical tricks to explore human perception, senses and movement. It takes inspiration from recent neuroscientific interest in magic as a way to understand the relation between vision and movement in human perception. The work has been shown in Australia and forms part of the International Festival of Digital Art at Watermans Gallery London as part of the 2012 London Cultural Olympiad program.
They are presently in development on a new OzCo funded work that explores investigates early cinema, perception and escapology. The work will premiere in October 2014.
Barker's research has been presented at major international conferences including Future Bodies, Cologne; Vidarte, Mexico; New Constellations: Art and Science, Sydney; PostHuman Desire, Taipei.