Fifteen years ago, fragments and features of Australian territory were disappeared – excised from legal jurisdictions, put outside the contiguous migration zone. Vanished. Obviated.
It's not like our conduct before this had been shining, sterling. Hell, it was chequered – couched in legal wrangling as much as was marked by self-interested generosity. But this was the first time this had engaged spatial (geoinformatic) moves as a punitive tool. Post MV Tampa, black-sites – spaces outside of jurisdictions, invisible – proliferated; both on and offshore. The apotheosis of this is the idea of 'onwater operations' – which has rendered a vast swath of the Timor and the Coral Seas... opaque.
But they ain't ... there's the complex infrastructural investments in Nauru and in Manus and in Christmas Island. And there is the answering onshore blacksite – the lives and livelihoods of the nearly 30,000 Australians on bridging visas – cast out to the margins.
This studio investigates the recording and re-appropriation of this heritage. It engages with this fraught territory through narrative processes – examining the ways that stories can intersect with complex, architectural tools and readings.
Students will source, document, inhabit these blacksites, working towards a process for marking/memorialising these critical Australian architectural artefacts.