New Chapter: Uncanny Landscapes


A new chapter in the recently published "Making Data" by Zoë Sadokierski, Monica Monin and Andrew Burrell

Uncanny Landscapes: Tactile and Experiential Encounters with Ecological Data
Zoë Sadokierski, Monica Monin and Andrew Burrell

"Communicating complex ecological issues such as anthropogenic climate change and the effects of capitalist culture on diverse ecologies is difficult. Challenges include communicating phenomena that occur over unimaginable timescales and are often invisible to the naked eye; making these global phenomena relatable on a local and individual scale; and, instilling an understanding of the human species as enmeshed (Morton 2012) and entangled (Tsing et al. 2017) within complex ecologies, in order to foster attention and care for the world."

In: Making Data: Materializing Digital Information
Editor: Ian Gwilt
Bloomsbury Publishing, 24 Mar 2022


Runway Asemic residency


Bundanon Residency with Runway Journal (Issue 45: Asemic)

Via an invitation from Runway Journal I have spent the week at the Bundanon education centre, in residence with members of the Runway team and other contributors to issue 45: Asemic. (As is so often the way with these things, there may have been Karaoke!)

Following a process of discovery via non-human mark making in the landscape, this has led to the ongoing development of a new work overGround:underStory.

Image: One of many lidar scans of wombat hills and burrows created during the residency that inform the ongoing making of this new work.

Bundanon is on Wodi Wodi and Yuin Country and I acknowledge the Wodi Wodi and Yuin people's continued connection to the Country I spent time on, and that sovereignty of that land was never ceded.


New paper: Between the physical and the virtual: The present tense of virtual space


Between the physical and the virtual: The present tense of virtual space


This article explores a way of thinking about virtual environments and how they might be used to create new spaces, not as an alternate reality, but as an integrated part of reality ‐ regardless of this reality being physical and/or digital. Virtual environments can be seen as an extension of reality ‐ the physical and the virtual sitting side by side with one, more often than not, bleeding into the other. The virtual is not separable from the physical and vice versa. This position will be formed by directly referring to traditions that stem from processes and ideas around materiality, poetics and philosophy rather than centring on technical or hardware specifics. At the centre of this exploration is an ongoing investigation into the role of memory and imagination in narrative spaces in immersive virtual environments, stemming from the author’s background in interactive Installation art and designing for virtual environments. The article’s subtitle refers to Robert Morris’s 1978 article, ‘The present tense of space’, which informs the article’s overall position.

Publisher: Intellect
Citation: Virtual Creativity, 2021, 11, (1), pp. 91-109
Issue Date: 2021-06-01


New Paper: Playful interfaces to the archive...

Playful interfaces to the archive and the embodied experience of data. Rachel Hendery and Andrew Burrell, Journal of Documentation 2020

Recently published in the Journal of Documentation:

This paper demonstrates the possibility for the Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums sector to employ playful, immersive discovery interfaces for their collections and raises awareness of some of the considerations that go into the decision to use such technology and the creation of the interfaces.

This is a case study approach using the methodology of research through design. The paper introduces two examples of immersive interfaces to archival data created by the authors, using these as a springboard for discussing the different kinds of embodied experiences that users have with different kinds of immersion, for example the exploration of the archive on a flat screen, a data 'cave' or arena, or virtual reality.

The role of such interfaces in communicating with the audience of an archive is considered, for example in allowing users to detect structure in data, particularly in understanding the role of-1-geographic or other spatial elements in a collection, and in shifting the locus of knowledge production from individual to community. It is argued that these different experiences draw on different metaphors in terms of users' prior experience with more well known technologies, for example 'a performance' versus 'a tool' versus 'a background to a conversation'. Originality/value The two example interfaces discussed here are original creations by the authors of this paper. They are the first uses of mixed reality for interfacing with the archives in question. One is the first mixed reality interface to an audio archive. The discussion has implications for the future of interfaces to galleries, archives, libraries and museums more generally.

Doi: 10.1108/JD-05-2019-0078
Publication Date: 2020
Publication Name: Journal of Documentation


I Believe in Monsters!


Where I recall A Pair of Red Mittens with White Cross-stitch Patterning and a Train Full of Monsters.

For some reason, for as long as I can remember, I have had a memory that has constantly played on my mind. I wonder, is it because I have replayed it over and over so many times that it is so vivid, or has it always been so? This memory is somewhat problematic, for, as you will see… it leads me to believe in monsters.

I do believe in monsters! I have to, otherwise I can’t trust my own memory, and without a memory that I can believe in, there isn’t much point in anything.

Once, when I was very young, my father took me to see a steam-train that was going to pass by on the lines at the top of our street. We were quite close to the railway lines, but far enough back to be at a safe distance. I was sitting on my father’s shoulders so that I could get a good view. A couple of other people from the street had gathered and the children amongst them all seemed as excited as I was. The sun was behind clouds that day, there was quite a strong wind blowing, and I was wearing red mittens with white cross-stitch patterning. Somebody yelled out “It’s coming!” We all looked down the tracks to where a man was pointing. I could see smoke, lots of smoke. A whistle blew, it kept blowing. I was scared. I started to scream. I grabbed onto my father’s head and screamed louder. I could see the great, ever increasing pall of smoke getting closer. I drove my fingers into my father’s scalp; I could not take my eyes off this terrible, loud, dark thing that was approaching. Then as the smoke enveloped us, and I could see the train itself, I SAW MONSTERS!

That steam-train full of monsters is one of my most vivid memories from childhood. Not just one or two monsters, but hundreds of them, all hanging from the side of the train, crawling on its roof, and hanging out of its windows. Each one of them different, each one of them nasty and vicious and ready to jump off the train at any moment and eat me or my father.

There were monsters on that train.

I choose to believe this memory, and therefore I choose to believe in monsters. If I were to distrust this memory, then what of the next, and the next, and the one after that. I have come to the conclusion that all memory is true, and if it is not, then no memory is true.

I DO believe in monsters…At least I try very hard to.


Barrawao @UTS Library


Barrawoa launches at the Nandiri’ba’nya: Language and Country exhibition at the University of Technology Sydney library.

Barrawao, a new virtual reality experience exploring the deep connection between Language and Country in the Sydney area. It is currently on Display as part of the Nandiri’ba’nya: Language and Country exhibition at the University of Technology Sydney library.

Barrawao is co-designed in a collaboration between Andrew Burrell (Lecturer, Visual Communications, UTS), Shannon Foster (D’harawal Sydney Saltwater Knowledge Keeper), Rachel Hendery (Linguist, Western Sydney University), Danièle Hromek (Budawang/ Yuin, Designer and Researcher), and Louisa King (Lecturer, School of Architecture, UTS).

For more information on the project see
For further information on the exhibition see

Nandiri’ba’nya can be translated as “we all come together to experience” and Barrawao can be translated as “to fly or to make haste”, from the D’harawal Sydney Language and provided by Shannon Foster.