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Special Event

MCA on The Rocks
– Ideas shaken and stirred

I’m Looking Through You – The gentle art of invisibility

Presented by Joe Hildebrand

From the Host:

If there is a benchmark of the human condition it is that we never see the things that are right in front of us. It can be anything from the right answer to a brilliant idea to a gigantic star in the night sky. It has even become a cliché: We cannot see the forest for the trees.

Jeff Wall is a photographer, he wants us to see things. Yet his particular obsession is with transparencies: His work depends on objects and people that are literally seen through. Indeed, one of his most famous images is entitled After “Invisible Man”, depicting a lone individual in a room fused by countless light bulbs sitting next to an empty chair.

So what does it mean to be invisible? How do we find things we cannot see? How do we see without seeing at all? I’ve asked leading magician Adam Mada, our brilliant Nobel Laureate astronomer Brian Schmidt and the first ever totally blind person to obtain a full professorship, the staggeringly intelligent Ron McCallum, to see if they can help us see the light

Bookings highly recommended
$20/$15 MCA Members and Concessions
(price includes a glass of wine)
(online booking fees apply)

Ron McCallum, Emeritus Professor, University of Sydney Law School

Ron McCallum AO has been totally blind since his birth in 1948. In 1993 he was the first totally blind person to be appointed to a full professorship at any Australian or New Zealand university.

Professor McCallum is a Deputy -Chair of the Board of Directors of Vision Australia and in 2006 was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for his services to tertiary education, industrial relations advice to governments, assistance to visually impaired persons and for social justice. Prime Minister Julia Gillard designated Ron as Senior Australian of the Year for 2011.

Professor McCallum is one of 18 persons from around the world who are elected members of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Ron McCallum, Emeritus Professor, University of Sydney Law School

Adam Mada, Magician

Adam has been performing original stage shows and close- up magic both in Australia and internationally for over two decades. He regularly performs and consults for theatre and film and his television credits include Jane Campion’s Sleeping Beauty, Today Tonight, Ready Steady Cook, _ABC News _and a starring role on Channel Nine’s The Real Hustle.

Adam studied conjuring theory with mentors from South Africa, Venezuela, Las Vegas, Singapore and Australia and is the only professional Australian magician to complete the world- famous Jeff Mcbride Magic Masterclass in Las Vegas with Eugene Burger. Adam regularly lectures and teaches magic theory and practice and in 2013 began a new role as the Australian National Magic Coach for the Captain Starlight Program.

Adam Mada, Magician

Brian Schmidt, Laureate Fellow at The Australian National University’s Mount Stromlo Observatory

Brian was raised in Montana and Alaska, USA. He received an undergraduate degree in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Arizona in 1989 and went on to complete his Astronomy Master’s degree in 1992 and a PhD in 1993 at Harvard University.

Brian joined the staff of the Australian National University in 1995, and was awarded the Australian Government’s inaugural Malcolm McIntosh award for achievement in the Physical Sciences
in 2000. In 2008 he was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the
United States National Academy, and Foreign Member of the Spanish Royal Academy of Sciences.
His work on the accelerating universe was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics, jointly with Adam Riess and Saul Perlmutter.

Brian is continuing his work using exploding stars to study the universe, and is leading Mt Stromlo’s effort to build the SkyMapper telescope, a new facility that will provide a comprehensive digital map of the southern sky from ultraviolet through near infrared wavelengths.

Brian Schmidt, Laureate Fellow at The Australian National University's

SPECIAL GUEST: Caitlin Park, Musician
Caitlin Park writes and performs folktronica, taking folk and
electro-acoustics to new heights with her abstract composition, sampling
and film nostalgia.

Caitlin Park¹s fascination with language was nourished by a
part-time post at a cult video store around the corner from her family
home. This culminated in a piece of music based on the murder plot scene in
Hitchcock’s Dial M For Murder ­her reverse soundtrack. Then, songs that
were written for short films began to take shape as folk snapshots riddled with sound effects and dialogue taken from 1940/50s films.

Caitlin Park

Host: Joe Hildebrand, Journalist and Political Comentator

Joe Hildebrand is a journalist and columnist for The Daily Telegraph, Sydney’s biggest newspaper, where he is currently Opinion and Inside Edition editor. Prior to this he was a prominent political reporter for the paper.

Joe was also the host of ABC2’s hit TV series Dumb, Drunk and Racist.

He is a regular commentator on the ABC (Q&A, The Drum), Seven Network (Sunrise, The Morning Show), Network Ten (The Project, Can of Worms), Sky News (PM Live) and a host of radio stations, including 2GB, 4BC, 6PR and ABC.

He knows nothing about art, nor does he know what he likes.

Host: Joe Hildebrand, Journalist and Political Comentator

– See also

Adults Talks & Tours for Adults Special Events for Adults Lights On Later