This Is Not Art
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This Is Not Art is a national festival of new media and arts organised in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia each year over the October long weekend. Since its humble beginnings in 1998, it has become one of the leading arts festivals in Australia dedicated to the work and ideas of communities not included in other major Australian arts festivals. The program includes the festivals Electrofringe, the National Young Writers' Festival, Critical Animals, Sound Summit the Crack Theatre Festival and other projects.
This Is Not Art takes its name from a prominent piece of graffiti on what was Newcastle's tallest building, Latec House (now completely refurbished and converted to apartments), which had been derelict for several years. The name also refers to the content of the event, which is outside the ambit of traditional Australian arts festivals.
This Is Not Art evolved from the National Young Writers Festival and National Student Media Conference which were established in Newcastle in September 1998. In 1999, The National Young Writers Festival combined with the Electrofringe Festival (which had previously been an independently organised part of the now defunct Newcastle Fringe Festival) and moved to the October long weekend. In 2000, the addition of Sound Summit (then known as the National Independent Electronic Labels Conference) and several other smaller events necessitated the invention of an umbrella term to cover all of the disparate events. In 2002 Vital Focus Productions (now Minski Media) made a 25 minute open source documentary about TINA called Dancing to Architecture - a motion picture about TINA. For the first 3 years, This Is Not Art was directed by Marcus Westbury who had previously been the founding director of The National Young Writers' Festival.
This Is Not Art consists of several independent festivals. Each of the festivals comprising This Is Not Art are independently organised with the assistance of the Director of This Is Not Art and the Octapod Association. Each festival has an Independent Director or Directors and they cooperate with each other in sharing logistics, guests and other resources.
Over its lifespan a wide variety of guests have appeared at This Is Not Art including:
Kevin Blechdom, Sage Francis, Cold Cut, The Light Surgeons, Caribou, Concord Dawn, Mad Professor, Anticon, Fat Cat Records, b(if)tek, The Herd, Hrvatski, Thomas Frank, John Safran, Stephen Mayne, Margo Kingston, Nasenbluten, Marieke Hardy, DJ Scotch Egg, Leaf Cutter John, Tim Hecker and many more.
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