From 3 July to 16 August 2020 the University of Canberra Faculty of Arts and Design present the exhibition Iso Topics, responses about physical isolation.

Hannah Arendt identified three effects of solitude – conscience, thought and creativity. But isolation, a product of social distancing, does not equate to solitude. The undesirable effects of isolation, a political experience of separation from others, and loneliness, a personal experience, can, in Arendt’s thinking, be ameliorated by solitude. In this time of social distancing, are we able to experience solitude, to enhance creativity, deepen conscience and thought? Or has the hyperfocus on productivity of the modern organisation been outsourced to our domestic spaces?

My videopoems presented in the exhibition, made during isolation in Barcelona, explore topics of waiting for the disturbance to settle, the change in environmental sounds due to the retreat of people, and the sense of claustrophobia in the domestic space. Each videopoem explores the interplay between inside and outside, grappling with the sudden barrier between them.

The videopoems are part of a project called Disturbance Zones, which explores ways in which our natural and social environments are becoming increasing unstable. Although disturbance and change are part of the natural cycle, this is now happening on an unprecedented scale, forever changing the places in which we live. The project explores the realities and the metaphor of disturbance.

Iso Topics is an exhibition of works by staff, students and affiliates of the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research in the Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra. It’s presented as part of the Belconnen Arts Centre programming and is the 26th year that UC researchers have presented a group exhibition of their creative work.