magic lantern, live performance, contemporary art, slides, photography
In September 2017, the ARC research team Heritage in the Limelight: The Magic Lantern in Australia and the World hosted a Roundtable discussion with library, gallery and museum executives and senior curators from across the country.
This was a rewarding and thought-provoking event that brought together members of our interdisciplinary team (Dr Martyn Jolly, Professor Jane Lydon [UWA], Dr Martin Thomas, Professor Paul Pickering, Professor Nic Peterson, A/Professor Joe Kember [University of Exeter], Dr Elisa deCourcy) to showcase research into lantern collections they have been undertaking over the last eighteen months. The Roundtable focussed on how the team’s work in researching specific sets of slides, scoping out more broadly the breadth of lantern slide content held in Australian collecting institutions, and devising ways to bring this material to wider audiences in both the digital space and through performance, could dovetail with individual institutions’ ambitions for their collections.
The evening concluded with a live performance, which incorporated both historic slides and those commissioned from local contemporary Canberra artists. A captivated audience was entertained with a multimedia extravaganza, as scripts and song was recited to accompany the slide projection, as would have been the case in the performances of the last century. The research team looks forward to continuing conversations and collaborations nurtured at the Roundtable event over the coming year and beyond.