SWARM – Collective Actions on Queen

An ongoing fascination for Branch Nebula is the possibility and inherent joy in playing in public spaces that are privately owned and controlled. The architecture of shops, arcades, street furniture and semi-social-come-commercial uses dreamed up by urban planners, offer a plethora of exciting dialogues with both audiences, shoppers and pedestrians. What is real? What is fake? Who is performing and who is not?

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Branch Nebula stepped into the role of curator with SWARM – Collective Actions on Queen for Campbelltown Arts Centre’s Live Art Program in 2015-2016.

Branch Nebula crafted an event that activated and celebrated the arcades, main thoroughfares and public spaces of Campbelltown with a free 2-hour live art event that drew artists and audiences into the architectural fabric of Queen Street, Campbelltown’s historic town centre. Through 5 key artistic interventions, SWARM teased out questions around individual agency within public spaces, the impact of collective actions, and the role of the artist within a (re)vision of a city’s development.

Audiences were led on a tour through the main shopping street and experienced live performances and art installations that included a 10,000 year time capsule, a choreography of defensive vogueing techniques, arcade orienteering, a traditional gunya shelter and a Fijian lovo. Through these projects, artists were speculating local futures, raising queer visibility, mapping alternative routes, and drawing on local traditional knowledges.

Artists Amala Groom, Bhenji Ra, Denis Beaubois, Matthew Prest and Salote Tawale collaborated with local businesses and community organizations in the development and outcome of their artistic projects.

Curated Artists’ Projects

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SWARM was commissioned by Campbelltown Arts Centre for its Live Art program and has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. Campbelltown Arts Centre is a cultural facility of Campbelltown City Council and is supported by the NSW Government through Arts NSW.
Campbelltown Arts Centre

Australia Council for The Arts

Arts NSW