Ann Finegan

Ann Finegan is a writer and educator. With Christine McMillan, Georgina Pollard and Alex Wisser she is co-creative director of Cementa Contemporary Arts Festival, also Chief Curator and director of Kandos Projects.


Dress Code
6 Dec 2018
Solastalgia and its cure

Solastalgia has come to signify distress caused by environmental damage. The term, originally coined by philosopher Glenn Albrecht, specifically addressed the condition of existential distress caused by the physical destruction of one’s immediate environment. As the global extraction industries and the financial institutions that bankroll their reach increasingly dominate, with direct impacts on land, solastalgia is fast becoming a common contemporary condition associated with the loss of ground in our occupation of the planet and a general sense of helplessness. 

Art Land
Coming soon: Big mining and the question of scale
Ann Finegan raises the alarm on the fiendish short-sighted depradations of Big Coal open cut mining in the lower Hunter Valley and other places currently under threat. She describes the work done by artist/activists in response and asks: "How does one fight such incommensurables of scale and the slow unfold of food bowl and water disaster? Where do we start? With protective changes to State and Federal legislation? With commensurable economic data?"
Disaster & Fortitude
Atomic Clock: microtime of the molecular and good old-fashioned molar beer
The responses of digital artists David Haines, Jon Hunter and Pete Newman to the molecular scale on which our world is now micromanaged are contrasted with the work of the late Jon Wah whose work stopped time with a saddhu-like discipline of the will. Jon Wah died in August 2008, aged 27. A posthumous retrospective was held for him at Serial Space, Chippendale, Sydney, 8-18 December 2008.
Hyperlexic, desalinated but not scary
Separate performance works by The Collective (Alana Hunt, Sylvia Schwenk, Ingrid Dernee, Megan Brewster, Susie Fraser, Anna Williams), Tony Schwensen and Zina Kaye confront the complexity of the interlinked flashpoints of oil, energy, human rights, global warming, rampant flows of predatory capital and the war on terror with notions of resistance and how individuals can act. Schwensen was at Artspace, The Collective in Trajectories of Dissent at Little Fish Gallery and Mori Gallery while Zina Kaye in a Terminus Project at Westfield Bondi Junction broadcast her own comments on the massive LED signs hanging in the atrium of the mall.
Fuel for Thought
Databases: Recombinant Interactives
Ann Finegan looks at the world of interactive media arts, in particular database content interactivity. One example Finegan uses in her discussion is Josephine Starrs and Leon Cmielewskis Seeker, winner of an Award for Distinction for Interactive Art at Ars Electronica 2007. Seeker belongs to an emergent genre of database works which draw from the broader media, putting the viewer into the web of connections through which the forces of politics and economics determine the fate of peoples and of persons. Other artists discussed are Josh On, Lev Manovich, Linda Dement, Troy Innocent, Doll Yoko (aka Francesca da Rimini aka Gash Girl), Stephen Honegger, Rachel Baker, John Tonkin and Barbara Campbell. Finegan proclaims that at present the future of interactives is weighed in a choice between the seductive action of computer gaming as sites for artistic intervention, and data-mapping with its deep and active connections in realworld events.
Screen Deep
Borderpanic: open channel on refuge
Borderpanic was a conference and tactical media lab hosted by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, a seminar hosted by Metroscreen and an exhibition at the Performance Space. It was a coming together of artists, activists, cultural theorists and people of social conscience examining a world of burning borders. Many of the artworks exhibited at the Performance Space reflected in positive mode the documentation, connectivity and networking between people around the planet. Some of the artists included in these shows were Julian Burnside, Ghassan Hage, Mickey Quick, Geert Lovink, Stephen Best and Peter Lyssiotis.
Cementa NAVA Unley Museum Country Arts SA