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Dr. Susan Ballard
Dr. Susan (Su) Ballard is an art historian and curator from New Zealand. Her research examines materiality and machines in contemporary art and the art gallery.
Recent book chapters include a discussion of New Zealand artists' collective et al. in Error: Glitch, Noise and Jam in New Media Cultures (ed. Nunes, Continuum, NY, 2010), and a reflection on contemporary understandings of frequency and the sublime in Far Field: Digital Culture, Climate Change, and the Poles (ed. Polli and Marsching, Intellect Books, UK, 2011). In Relive: Media Art Histories (ed. Cubitt and Thomas, MIT, MA, 2013) Ballard offered a partial re-examination of Samuel Butler’s Erewhon in the context of ecology, utopia and new media forms.
Journal publications include articles in N.Paradoxa, Eyeline, Art New Zealand, Art Asia Pacific, M/C, and Digital Creativity, and Ballard often writes essays for exhibition catalogues. In 2012, she was an invited speaker at the Nam June Paik Institute in Korea where she talked about the influence of cybernetics on Paik’s work. Ballard was a founding trustee of The ADA (Aotearoa Digital Arts) Network, and co-edited The Aotearoa Digital Arts Reader with Stella Brennan in 2008. She co-edited The Fibreculture Journal 20 “Networked Utopias and Speculative Futures” in 2012, and in July 2013 she was appointed a managing editor of Fibreculture Journal.
Ballard also works as an independent curator. In 2008, she curated Cloudland: Digital Art from Aotearoa for ISEA Singapore that looked at connection between national identity and utopia in external perceptions of New Zealand, as realized in works by New Zealand artists. In June 2013, she curated the major exhibition AMONG THE MACHINES for the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, NZ, which bought together 13 leading artists from New Zealand and Australia to think about relationships between utopia, ecology, technology and the machine.
Ballard is a senior lecturer in Art History, Critical Studies, Visual and Media Art at the University of Wollongong, Australia.