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An Eccentric Orbit: Video Art in Australia 1980-1994

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)


29 Sep 1999 to 25 Oct 1999


Philip Brophy, Chris Caines & John Conomos, Cyber Dada, Destiny Deacon, Linda Dement, Stephen Duke, Eva Eden & Gary Willis, John Gillies, Mic Gruchy, Ian Haig, David Haines, Ross Harley, Severed Heads, Michael Hill, Troy Innocent, Ellen Jose & Marshall White, Faye Maxwell, Jon McCormack, Jane Parkes, Elena Popa, Sally Pryor, Randelli, Lynne Sanderson, Jill Scott, Bill Seaman, Michael Strum, TAPS, The Brothers Gruchy, Cathy Vogan

Guest Curators:

Peter Callas & Ihor Holubizky

About the exhibition

An Eccentric Orbit was a mini-survey of video work, curated by Peter Callas, one of Australia’s most distinguished electronic media artists, curators and writers. Works by 29 artists were exhibited, including Callas himself, divided into three thematically based sections:

The Body Electric: responses to physical and psychological entrapment, and the release from that entrapment through dreams, technology and the imagination;

Any Resemblance to Reality is Purely Deliberate: 'magical’ construction and deconstruction in or through computer culture;and

The Diminished Paradise: examining ideas of place and placelessness.

An Eccentric Orbit was first organised by The American Federation of the Arts, and launched at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in December 1994. It then screened in galleries throughout the USA, Canada, and Europe. This was the first showing of this historically significant program in Sydney, and an opportunity to view and assess the impressive developments in video art practice in Australia.

The exhibition was one of a three-part video project entitled Peter Callas: Initialising History. The Peter Callas retrospective component was presented at the Art Gallery of New South Wales on 5 September. Lost in Translation, the premiere of a 1999 multi-monitor work by Callas, was on view in the Sydney Opera House Western Foyer from 11 September – 2 October.