This Is Not Art announces first-release program

This is Not Art Festival (TiNA) to be held from Thursday 1 to Sunday 4 October this year, has just announced its first-release program, bringing together the National Young Writers Festival, Crack Theatre Festival, the Critical Animals Research Symposium and special guests Ladyz in Noyz Australia.


This year, TiNA is gearing up to celebrate its 18th Birthday, and its long-standing reputation as one of Australia’s most exciting experimental art festivals. Set to run across a spectrum of spaces in Newcastle’s East End, it hopes to provide a unique snapshot of what the area has to offer.


With over 150 options for entertainment, inspiration, discussion and delight, there will be streams of interest to appeal to the creative community, innovators, change-makers, cultural vultures, teens and the general public, young and old. First-release program highlights include the ‘Asian Ghost-ery Store’, a late-night trolley ride of story, sketch, performance and meandering rumination. Audiences will don lab coats and vote on a protagonist’s actions at a house party using smartphones in the interactive play ‘PressOne4Love’, and the immersive installation ‘NEVERLAND’ will provide a treasure map to punters, guiding them through the fantasy world of a late 90s teen bedroom.


‘ART FIT’ provides a series of therapeutic workouts for the modern creative, such as “abstractercise” – a gymnasium for the imagination. The four unique mind, body and soul teasers will be engaging hour-long workouts that shake off cobwebs to reimagine, reinvigorate and power up participants’ artistic practices.


Crack Theatre Festival will launch the ‘24 Hour Generator’, an intensive theatre-making program facilitated by esteemed theatre-maker Chris Ryan, in which all participants are tasked with creating a brand new work in just 24 hours. And in case you were keen on a double dose of endurance, Perth performance poet Scott-Patrick Mitchell presents the ‘24 Hour Performance Poem’, a literal journey through time that brings together poetry, shamanic rituals, traditional bardic storytelling, binaural beats, characterisation and the eloquent paradox of time travel to create a meld between cabaret and durational art.


‘Trans Stories’ comes from authentic voices with narratives about identities that are on the margin of Australian life, and local storytellers will take you on a ‘Walking Story Tour of Newcastle’.


Freya Newman, whistle-blower on PM Tony Abbott’s daughter’s questionable scholarship will also speak out publically for the first time as part of the ‘Press Freedom, Whistleblowing and National Security’ panel.


Critical Animals will host the ‘Out Of Place Symposium’ at The Lock-Up, exploring how we engage and collaborate with our communities through a series of panels, workshops and exhibitions with a contemporary art focus. One such event, hosted by Triple J Hack reporter Alice Workman, explores Australia’s place on the world’s stage and questions whether we are leaders, followers or detractors with a panel that includes foreign correspondents.


Chris Dolman is partnering with local artists Deb Mansfield and Maggie Hensel-Brown to give you a very private glimpse into their world with a quirky group exhibition titled ‘Friends with Benefits: Sharing is Caring’ – hosted from their share-house apartment.


Annual favourites such as the opening and closing night parties, Zine Fair and the National Young Writers Festival Ball return, with a Friday night after-party hosted by The Follower arts newspaper and a very friendly Sunday literary picnic added to the bill.


“We’re set to reinvigorate the festival in 2015, consolidating past successes while also bringing the festival back firmly to its roots as a showcase for local talent, to national audiences,’ said newly-appointed Executive Producer, Kate Britton.


‘Whether participants and audiences remember TiNA from the good old days or are experiencing it for the first time, we believe that it can energise, inspire and excite. Prepare for an enhanced festival atmosphere with visibly activated public spaces to complement the program – Newcastle is in for one hell of a party thanks to this stellar line-up from Crack Theatre Festival, National Young Writers Festival, Critical Animals and Ladyz in Noyz!”


In addition to an abundance of performances and exhibitions, the various program streams will feature master classes, talks, artistic community-building opportunities and professional development workshops in everything from clowning and zine making to writing a great sex scene. As well as providing the soundtrack to TiNA in 2015, Ladyz in Noyz Australia will teach girls how to navigate a mixing desk and their Sonic Kids’ Workshop will be a hands on exploration of how sounds are created with scientist and musician Dr Claire Pannell.


This Is Not Art – it’s an idea and a party, a new friend and a fresh perspective. It’s Newcastle’s festival.


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Written by Brittany Herron

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