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Under_score: Net art, Sound and Essays from Australia exhibits the works of nine Australian artists for whom the internet has emerged as one of the most significant arenas for artistic experimentation and multimedia production. Under_score is part of Next Wave Down Under, the month-long Australian focus of BAM's Next Wave Festival 2001. From Francesca da Rimini's diary-like reflections and confrontational rants concerning erotic relations, power, and sexual taboo in GashGirl, to the richly layered dream-like 3D spaces and soundscapes in Melinda Rackham's empyrean, Australian artists are helping to define new modes of electronic writing and reading, multimedia, performance, image making, and sonic production.

The works presented here represent a vast diversity of approaches, technologies, applications, and aesthetics, but with few exceptions, coalesce thematically around "the body", a theme which at the beginning of the new millennium is present more than ever in discussions of art, the sciences, and the media.

In addition, Under_score provides related links to fourteen works by Australian artists working in a variety of new media formats including CD-ROM, installation, and performance. There are two innovative online broadcasters delivering some of the most compelling sound work in Australia and New Zealand, and select audio pieces from The Listening Room, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's award sound art program.

In order to enhance the discussion of these works and their significance BAM has commissioned online essays by Allen Feldman, an American cultural and political anthropologist, Australian new media theorist Darren Tofts, and Australian writer and media critic McKenzie Wark.

In developing Under_score, BAM worked together with and received recommendations from Australian curators, educators, media theorists, and producers: Alessio Cavallaro, curator, Cinemedia; Leah Grycewicz, curator, dLux media arts; Kathy Cleland, curator and President dLux media arts; Honor Harger, curator, r a d i o q u a l i a; McKenzie Wark, lecturer and author; Amanda McDonald-Crowley, Associate Director 2002, Adelaide Festival of Arts; Lisa Colley, Manager, New Media Arts Board, Australia Council; Robyn Ravlich, Executive Producer, The Listening Room, Australian Broadcasting Corporation. RealTime editors Virginia Baxter & Keith Gallasch produced a beautiful printed documentation of Under_score for Working the Screen available as a PDF file from RealTime.

Due to the technical complexity and experimental nature of some of these sites, we have provided a list of programs, browsers and plug-ins that should enable you to view the work optimally. These are listed as technical requirements for each artist in the Profiles drop-down menu.

Wayne Ashley, Organizing Curator and Manager of New Media, BAM

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