Set on the indigenous land of the Dja Dja Wurrung, in rural Victoria, Australia, we present two projects that explore how we can reimagine and rethink a rural site, its past and its future. These intertwined projects create a relationship to Country and dive into the complexity of histories and stories, projecting a utopian post-colonial perspective.
Past and Future Utopia
The projects present descriptions, stories and experiences from pre-settlement, colonial and utopian post-colonial perspectives, establishing new relationships to this rural site in country Victoria, in order to enable us to rethink the sites role, its use and its current and future meaning. The projects imagine the site’s connections with the past, its potential future, and open up a set of questions: Can we relate to and learn from the pre-colonial history of first peoples’ relation to Country? Can we critique and reflect on the European colonization of the longest continuing culture in the world? Can we imagine a post-colonial future that overcomes the neoliberal concept of land as commodity? Could a reintroduction of an indigenous biodiversity, a return to local food production, a rethinking of community and its legal frameworks, be a utopian response to the challenges we face? Will a return to a holistic understanding of Country allow us to develop a deeper understanding of it that results in a sustainable response to climate change, develops an alternative to the logic of continuous growth, and reflects on the extinction of species and the industrialization of food production? We invite our audience to emerge themselves in Virtual Reality worlds of past and future utopias.
Melbourne School of Design (MSD), The University of Melbourne (AU)
Can we imagine a utopia that creates a post-colonial social and political framework and overcomes the concept of land as commodity, inspired by indigenous concepts of relationship to country? Emerge yourself in VR to engage in a multitude of future scenarios that sketch out the potential to reflect on these questions.
Dr. Rochus Urban Hinkel (AU); in collaboration with NExT Lab, Melissa Iraheta and Tony Yu (AU); Büro Achter April (DE); Dr. Hélène Frichot (AU)
This VR movie is set in the rural landscape of the Dja Dja Wurrung aboriginal tribe in southern Australia. The project tells stories of the land from different perspectives, allowing the audience to move through the site by engaging in a VR environment, with narrators telling different stories.
Project Credits / Acknowledgements
Project developed by Dr. Rochus Urban Hinkel, in collaboration with NExT Lab, MSD, The University of Melbourne (AU); Uwe Rieger, The University of Auckland (NZ); Büro Achter April (DE).
Voices of Country
Artists: Dr. Rochus Urban Hinkel (AU); in collaboration with MSD, NExT Lab, Melissa Iraheta and Tony Yu; Lia Bach and Michael Fragstein, Büro Achter April; and Dr. Hélène Frichot.
A Utopian Post-Colonial Future – Victoria, Australia 2027
Artists: Students of the Master of Architecture, Melbourne School of Design, The University of Melbourne, led by Dr. Rochus Urban Hinkel (AU); in collaboration with Uwe Rieger (NZ) arc/sec Lab, The University of Auckland; with support by the NExT Lab, Melissa Iraheta and Tony Yu, Tom Frauenfelder, (AU).