Centre for Ideas

The Centre for Ideas marks a radical departure from the conventional teaching and research models in arts education. Working directly with disciplines at the VCA and the Parkville campus, the Centre offers a range of interdisciplinary graduate courses and breadth subjects.

Interdisciplinary* Arts research is conducted through The Centre for Ideas’ program of international artists, philosophers and theorists, providing researchers and students with a unique intellectual environment in which to pursue research in the visual and performing arts and the interconnections with other knowledge domains.

We work discursively and experientially within a framework of philosophy and critical theory across a range of themes including:

  • the poetics of the human body
  • criticism and its discourses and practices
  • Asian critical dialogues
  • the translation/transformation of textual, visual and performative languages; art and ethics; art as political and social activism
  • art, mysticism and belief systems
  • feminism
  • art and place making
  • emerging connections between the arts, sciences and technologies
  • art, ecology and sustainability
  • animals in art and philosophy
  • curatorial practices

Research outcomes comprise collaborative on-line projects, experimental and theoretical writing, performances, films, exhibitions, public conferences, seminars and symposia.

*Interdisciplinary research is practice-based and generally require candidates to have prior training, education or equivalent Professional experience in the visual or performing arts as well as in the field they wish to research, e.g. politics, social theory, psychology, science, or law etc.  Research is conducted through the candidates’ creative practice.  Supervision is received from panels with combined expertise across the disciplines researched.


Current PhD candidates

  • Stelarc - ‘Interrogating Aliveness, Agency & Affect in Robots, Chimeras & Avatars’
  • Tom Crago - ‘Video Games as Art: Self-Exploration in the Interactive Realm’
  • Simon Maidment - ‘The specific and ambiguous, contingent and autonomous: curating for agency and affect’
  • Grace Pundyk - ‘Invisible words: the semaphore of skin’
  • Danius Kesminas - ‘Developing transnational networks, conduits, overlaps and intersections of heterogeneous histories – of culture, sub-culture and geopolitics – through collaborative intermedial projects’
  • Kerrie Poliness - ‘The ‘geometry of waves’ : perceptions of nature and technology through art’
  • Alison Thomson - ‘Cultivating Being: Configuring Irigaray's concept of 'natural belonging’
  • Stephen Palmer - ‘Legalities: representation in the thought of Jacques Derrida’
  • Vivienne Shark Lewitt - ‘Poverty as an Interior Landscape’
  • Jung Moon - ‘Smart Ajumma: A study of women and technology in Seoul, South Korea’
  • Utako Shindo Kanai - ‘Understanding of misunderstanding: materializing the untranslatable’ 
  • Van Thanh Rudd - ‘Rebel Striker: art and soccer as political activism’
  • Lynn Mowson - ‘Beautiful Little Dead Things: empathy, trauma, witnessing and the absent referent’
  • Carmela Baranowska - ‘The Responsibility of the Media:Occupation in East Timor and Western Sahara’
  • Andrea Meadows - ‘Unbridled Desire: Ways of Seeing the Desire for Difference’

Next : Art + Philosophy Research Cluster