Time-based Art, Video Art, Experimental and avant-garde cinema. Gallery installation and interdisciplinary practice.
Field of Research (FoR)
John Gillies is an artist who works with performance, moving image, installation, sound and music, often referencing the history of cinema. His experimental narrative film Witkacy & Malinowski: a cinematic séance in 23 scenes premiered at the Sydney Film Festival in 2019. in 2020 he wrote and produced the VR project Is this the Place? in collaboration with Tactical Space Lab. Major video art...view more
John Gillies is an artist who works with performance, moving image, installation, sound and music, often referencing the history of cinema. His experimental narrative film Witkacy & Malinowski: a cinematic séance in 23 scenes premiered at the Sydney Film Festival in 2019. in 2020 he wrote and produced the VR project Is this the Place? in collaboration with Tactical Space Lab. Major video art works include Techno/Dumb/Show (with The Sydney Front)1991, Armada 1998, My Sister's Room 2000, Divide 2006-16 and Witkacy & Malinowski: a cinematic séance in 23 scenes.
His video work is held in public collections including the Fukuyama Art Museum, Hiroshima; National Gallery of Australia; Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane (10 works), Art Gallery of New South Wales; Australian Center for the Moving Image; Videobrasil, São Paulo and Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.
His work has also been shown at the Kasseler Kunstverein (2013), QAGOMA (Brisbane 1996, 2011, 2017 -), Tate Modern (2009), Australian Centre for the Moving Image (Melbourne 2006), Museu de Arte Moderna da Bahia (Salvador 1998), Museo Reina Sophia (Madrid 1995), Museum of Modern Art (New York 1994), National Museum of Korea (Seoul 1992), Tramway (Glasgow 2006), , Museum of Contemporary Art (Sydney 2000, 2008); the London, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne film festivals, as well as broadcasts on ABC and SBS television in Australia. He was awarded a Creative Fellowship from the Australia Council for the Arts, an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant and was a long term board member of the Performance Space, Sydney.
He has also curated Video Art and Sound Art programs and exhibitions in Australia, Brazil, Germany and Spain.
2020. 'Experimental Virtual Reality Lab', Australia Council for the Arts, Dr Josh Harle (C1), Tarik Ahlip, Cigdem Aydemir, Kylie Banyard, Nic Cassey, John Gillies, Grace Kingston, Claudia Nicholson, Jason Phu, Louise Zhang
My Research Supervision
Areas of supervision
(completions since 2003)
Colour Sensitive: Generative Processes and Place-Making, Daniel Connell MFA 2019
Becoming Video: Transmateriality, Indeterminacy, Performativity, E O Gill MFA 2018
In Search for what is Lost (Video as Memory), Jacqui Mills MFA 2017
News From Elsewhere: A Constellation of Avant-Garde Cinemas and My Place in it, Kuba Dorabialski MFA 2017
Real/Ideal: Utopian Narratives in Contemporary Culture, Josephine Skinner PhD 2015 (with Ross Harley)
The Lived Experience within the Act of Creation, Harriet Body MFA 2014
Illuminated Noise: Video Art and its Cinesonic Genealogy, Dominic Kirkwood MFA 2014
Why I write: (Notes on the Author), Stella MacDonald MFA 2013 (faculty award for research 2014)
The Whispering Gallery: Cinematic Meditations on Transnationalism 1977-2013, Léa Donnan MFA 2013
The Live Camera in Performance: Bland Project, Measure for Measure and This Kind of Rukus, Sean Bacon MFA 2013
Identity and Self-Representation explored through the medium of fictional documentary, Ludwig El Haddad MFA 2013
Folded Cosmos: A Cultural Response to Contemporary Physics, Caspar Fairhall MFA 2012
Citing Home: Imaging, Mnemonics and Spaces of Identity, Marina Batanic PhD 2011
Navigating Viewers: Montage, Space and Meta-art in New Media Video Installation, Atanas Djonov PhD 2011
The Sound of the Sun: Soundscapes and Intermediality in Texts of Heiner Müller, Eva Müller PhD 2011 (with Dr Gerhard Fischer)
Natural History: Video, Performance and Site, Angelica Mesiti MFA 2010
Conversations and Transformations: The Poetics and Politics of Engagement, David MacKenzie MFA 2010
Rendering the Real: Towards a Musical Landscape, Scott Morrison MFA 2010
The Parlyamente of Sprytes: A study of the fantastic and cinema’s relationship to the real, Simon Trevaks MFA 2009
The Pathology of the Camera: Tracing the path from collaboration to cooperation between camera and performer, Denis Beaubois MFA 2009
Extending beyond technique: an exploration of resonance, mimicry and improvisation on the Harp, Clare M. Cooper MFA 2008
Zero Return: directions in sound and image, Nathan Thompson MFA 2007
Surface and Projection, Louise Curham MFA 2006
After the Skin, Mahmoud Yekta MFA 2005
Composite Perceptions and Reflections: a migrant artist negotiates non-indigenous belonging in Australia, Michael Schiavello MFA 2004
Experimental Interfaces: Physical Placement and participation of the Spectator in interactive installation environments, Mari Velonaki PhD 2003
Mytho-futurist Exo-craft: Redefining the post-human through pre-industrial modes of making, Karolina Partyka MFA
Currently course convenor for:
DART1230 Moving Image 1 - Summer (intensive)
DART2231 Moving Image 3: Advanced Practice
With a multi-disciplinary background, John Gillies pioneered the teaching of Video Art in Australia, and was coordinator of the Time Based Art major of the BFA, BFA/BA, BArtEd and the MArt at UNSW. His former students are some of the leading artists working with moving image in Australia. Across UNSW he has also convened and taught courses in Introductory Studies, Time Based Art 1-5, Performance art, Popular Culture and Mass Media, Sound Studio, Sound/Performance/Installation, Video Art, Advanced Video Art, History of Video Art and History of Post WWII Cinema. He has also taught courses for the University of Sydney; University of Newcastle; University of Technology, Sydney; Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil and been a mentor and facilitator for a number of laboratory workshops including Time_Place_Space 2005 and Tele-Visions 2013.