CV and Contact

Melinda Rackham        
artist ~ curator ~ author


 ADOPTED launch
After two years of writing and editing ADOPTED has at last launched!

This has been a challenging project
with co-authors Rebecca Johnston Diana Dunning and Sofie Gregory exploring experiences of trauma
loss and reclaiming identity
in poetry and prose.
Designed by Helen Vaskin
produced by IdentityRites
with support form RASA
Forced Adoption Support Service
Special thanks to David Chapple

ADOPTED is availabe FREE
for a  limited time

conference, workshop, research


arts sa
In Other Tongues: creative summit and residential short course.
Some wonderful experiences exploring relationships between our human selves and the other species and organisms with which we share the planet through story, poetics, dance, and philosophy. This interdisciplinary international gathering in early June at Dartington Hall, Devon, UK brought unexpected realisation and inspiration.

Thankyou to Arts South Australia for funding my travel for participation in this event and to view manuscripts at  Exeter Cathedral  with Prof Emma Cayley of Exeter University.
academic appointment
Adjunct Research Professor
EASS, University of South Australia

Very much looking forward to a productive 3 year relationship with UniSA supporting the School of Art, Architecture and Design's
HDR candidates in practice-based creative arts research; providing strategic advice to the School in areas of technology and culture; research contributions for ERA purposes; developing externally funded research, guest lectures and workshops.


recent texts
samstag legacy The Samstag Legacy: An Artist’s Bequest
I reaIly enjoyed reviewing this intriguing tale of adventure and philanthropy on New Deal painter Gordon Samstag and textile designer Anne Samstag.  Part archeological dig, part psychoanalyst’s couch, a rollicking read edited by Ross Wolfe with art historian Lea Rosson DeLong.  Read online or in print in Data Visual, Artlink Issue 37:1| March 2017 Guest editor: Ian Millis
Catherine Truman : Touching Distance
My monograph
renowned multi-disciplinary Australian artist Catheriene Truman is now available at Galerie Ra in Amsterdam, accompanying the exhibition Up Close and Far Away and at Frame Münch, Munich Jewellery Week, March 8 – 14 at Handwerksmesse
Image: Catherine Truman,  Nasturtium  brooches 2016

recent texts

Elvis Richardson, Settlement 2016, (production still), HD Video
Everyone Works but the Vacant Lot
My short essay on Elvis Richardson's Settlement. Both personally and socio
-economically reflective, Settlement's domestic interiors document the dilemma of the artist, the place of home in our national psyche and the affect of lives in transition.
between a rock

my article in
 #32 [Re/production]  the latest issue of  Runway  edited by VNS Matrix with contributions by linda dement and Amy Ireland, cigdem aydemir, teri hoskin, Quinn Eades, Helen Hester and Zahra Stardust

Image: VNS MATRIX, 2016
whitewash exhibition
hereA suite of haunting, poetic memoirs inscribed onto the walls of Sauerbier House.
Saturday 13 August, 2016,
from 2 - 4 pm

Please join me for high tea and champagnate at my Whitewash  Exhibition Opening at Sauerbier House, Port Noarlunga.
The house will ressonate with the sounds of composer and cellist Allye Sinclair, and I will be reading fragments of poetic texts from the walls.

Follow the WhiteWash Journal ...

SALA Monograph launched
Funded by ArtsSA, edited by Margot Lloyd, designed by Rachel Harris and published by Wakefield Press. A happy author at the Art Gallery of South Australia SALA opening , and
the launch of
my monograph on multi-disciplinary artist Catherine Truman : Touching Distance.

a sneak peek:
"Catherine Truman's practice has a palpable anatomy. Silken threads, connecting gestures, forms and techniques, reach across time and location, between suites of more traditionally crafted work and those that infiltrate and augment the scientific realm. The intertwining interdependent systems in her work articulate the relationships between the felt and experienced; the seen and unseen; between medium and production."

panelist at GOMA
Speaking at GOMA Talks in Brisbane on Thu 21 July 2016. In conjunction with QAGOMA's Cindy Sherman exhibition, ABC Radio National Big Ideas host Paul Barclay and guests ponder the question: From trolling, to gaming and online culture, is technology feminism's new frontier?
Dr Emma A Jane, Paul Barclay, Dr Melinda Rackham  Dr Nicolas Suzor and
Alanah Pearce via skype.


me on rock
Image: the space between  Photo :Tait Schmall
Artists: CHEB - Deb Jones and Christine Cholewa,
The Memorial for Forced Adoption was unveiled by SA Premier Jay Weatherill on Thursday 14 July at Grundy Gardens on the Torrens Riverbank.
After two years serving on the Steering Comittee for this important Commerative Artwork, we are proud to see its powerful public presence actualised - acknowledging the ongoing affects of Forced Adoption which impacts 1 in 15 Australains.
see coverage

local and online:
writer-in-residence and whitewash website
onkaparinga river
image from whitewash website
a home of sorts,   2016
Over three bleak months of winter as writer-in-residence at Sauerbier House on the mangificent Onkaparinga estuary at Port Noaralunga, I am inscribing text directly into architectural space.

Poetic fragments of memoir from a young C19 resettled Irish domestic servant emerge simultaneously on site and online. Walls and linnen echo her dislocation, loss of identity and uncertaintly - but also curious wonder of her strange new antipodean home.

Visit WhiteWash ...

global :

With the Tip of a Needle - an essay for Garland
MasumaMasuma Akther
Stitch of Bonds,
2003  Photo: 2015, Jonathan VDK
"A fine needle, a loop of yarn, a hand moving, thread drawing through fabric; and repeat.
Stitching is a nuanced language spoken mainly by women in local dialects that are recognised across global cultures.."

So starts my essay on three women from Afganistan, Iran and Bangladesh, who gain new insigts through teaching their traditional emboridery skills for Guildhouse.



award : 2016 SALA Monograph
Catherine Truman
Torn Red Shell
in aritst's hand, 2013
Image courtesy of the artist
Although enduringly fond of carving Mother-of-Pearl and English Lime, Catherine Truman's oeuvre extends to  choreography, public sculpture, installation, photograph, poetry and moving image.

I am particularly interrested in writing this monograph in drawing out the intersubjectivity of working immersively with scientists for 17 years, which has taken her makings into the sensate and anatomically unfamiliar – probing the thresholds of human being.

A delight to be mentoring Emerging curator and writer Andre Lawrence.
Book to be published in July 2016.

a very big dry
Anna Macleod, Broken Flow – One Water Laughing in a thousand fields, 2015, Photo: Melinda Rackham
Broken Hill is an emblematic landscape in crisis as water runs out in this infamous mining town.

A writers residency at Broken Hill Art Exchange continues my dialogue with Scottish/Irish artist Anna Macleod on Water Conversations - her global series of environmental interventions.

Art + Science = Magic - my public lecture focused on art speaking when science fails. A long form essay on art and climate change will be published in 2016.

local :

WIMP: Windows, Icons, Menus & Pointers
Five sweet 20 second stories in the language of computer and mobile screen icons. I've really enjoyed making these playful low resolution works: the nostalgia of an #earlyApple desktop contrasts with #lateWindows working day parade; #mobMe texts in icons of social media;  #screenFever flushes out the graphical creatures inhabiting our interface jungles; while #playTime points to pure entertainment.
You can watch them here or tweet them to the Rundle Lantern big screen.

global :

Art of the Networked Practice | Online Symposium
Speaking with Ken Wark and Charlotte Frost on a panel at an international gathering exploring emergent forms of networked research, artistic production, and teaching in the arts. Intended as a global and inclusive gathering, without registration fees, this Symposium unites local and remote speakers and audiences via Web-conferencing to discuss a range of topics, including: distributed teaching and studio models, collective research, peer-to-peer cultural production, networked performance, big data cultural analytics, and a broad range of issues in Internet art & culture.

local :
Theatre of Detail
Here's my catalogue essay for Theatre of Detail - new work by Gray Street Workshop partners Jess Dare, Sue Lorraine and Catherine Truman, set to tour nationailly and internationally in 2015 and  2016. A celebration of the Workshop's evolution over 30 years, the exhibition will be launched at Gray Street Gallery on 5 March 2015.

global :

Its great revisting -empyre- [soft-skinned space], the forum created as part of my PhD in 2002, to contribute to the February 2015 discussion New Year/ New Tools and Technologies.


Bundanon Trust Artist In Residence
home away
The Musicians Cottage, Bundanon
My residency at Bundanon enables research and writing time for my first novel Attachment. This highly intimate memoir deals with issues of identity, loss and grief brought about by the traumatic separation at birth from my mother and my subsequent adoption, then the removal of my only child at 15, also through forced adoption.

global :

see my 1996 net art work
tunnel (exploring the slimey arena of cybersex)
in the VAGINA 2.0, show at Vagina Museum, Vienna, Austria, from May 2014.


Manifest De Stillare - catalogue essay
The Microscope Project at  Flinders Art Museum & City Gallery at the State Library, Adelaide, Australia. My catalogue essay Manifest De Stillare discusses artists Nicholas Folland, Ian Gibbins, Deb Jones, Catherine Truman, and Angela Valamanesh reconstruction of whimiscal, surprising and poetic artworks from a suite of decomissioned analogue microscopes. 
Website bysprout 2017 subtle | curatorial | creative | critique | cv + contact   

Active for over 20 years in the local, national and international media and contemporary arts arena, Melinda has extensive knowledge of art forms emerging in new and traditional technologies, such as e-literature, networked, distributed, responsive and mediated arts. As a pioneering Australian Internet artist - intertwining narratives of still and moving image, responsive code, sound and hypertext, Rackham exhibited her award winning net art sites and virtual worlds at major global festivals and biennales from 1995. In 2002 she established -empyre-, one of the world’s leading networked media arts and critical theory forums. Documenta XII published extensive discussions from -empyre-, and lively debate continues today under changing global editorial teams. Melinda was appointed inaugural Curator of Networked Art at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) in 2003 where she curated Australia’s first major survey of Networked Art. Moving to South Australia in 2005, as Director of the Australian Network for Art and Technology (ANAT) until 2009, she widened opportunities and audiences for artists and writers working with Science and emerging technologies. More recently Dr Rackham was Adjunct Professor of Media and Communications at RMIT University and spent several periods curating moving image in public arenas and researching the cultural impact of media arts in China and Hong Kong. Melinda is currently reengaging with her personal creative practice, writing her memoir on identity formation in forced adoption and relations in online environments.