Astrid Joyce (AUS)
Medium: Crickets, perspex, strawboard, decaying leaf matter.
Brief: Housed within the 'speaker box' structure is a colony of crickets. They feed on decaying leaf matter. They sleep most of the day and spend the evenings trying to find each other. This work does not utilise any form of technology, however it draws on the conceptual framework of what technology allows us to do, communicate.

Astrid Joyce is a Tasmanian artist who graduated from the University of Tasmania with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (sculpture) and a Bachelor of Arts (philosophy). Astrid’s artwork dramatises the failures inherent in everyday communication through open-ended performative action, moving image and transcribed dialogues. Through the use of video, sound and sculpture the artist embraces impassioned commands by employing hokey notions such as ESP, telepathic gesture and rudimentary outdated technologies. Astrid has worked as both an artist and curator with This Is Not Art, Red Wall Gallery, Despard Gallery, Six A Inc. and is currently the Education and Public Programs Officer at the Devonport Regional Gallery, Tasmania.

Image credit: Astrid Joyce, Emotional outburst (performance still), 2011
Responding Artist
Artist Text Response
As one of the responding artists in the programming I felt very positive and well supported throughout the process. As far as ‘making an artwork for a show’, NAFTMFC was a departure from my normal making process. I like every detail in my work to be considered, researched and ‘resolved’ as best I can. For me this process forced me to be less precious and see the artwork in a different way.
The critical feedback sessions were fantastic. It is rare that exhibiting artists can all be together in one room. The way it was structured was good, it was casual and relaxed which allowed everyone to give honest and open feedback on conceptual and material decisions. The critical feedback sessions also helped me to feel good about my response, and really added to building a ‘community’ feel which I felt was an underling agenda of the project.
The workshops gave me the knowledge and understanding that I needed to really grasp the concept and inspiration for the whole program. It showed me both physically and intellectually how to understand the ‘virtual’ world. What was most apparent in the teaching methods of the facilitators was the political and social agenda that motivated their practice and skill set. This aspect of the workshops was a real eye opener for me, I am basically a passive computer user, so for me learning about what is under the hood both physically and politically was really interesting and inspiring.
The stand out element of the workshops and what most influenced my response was the way the facilitators described the virtual world of networking through the physical world. Reducing ideas to a fundamental level. This approach was what influenced my finished artwork.
The work I created aimed to reduce all of what I had researched and learnt in the workshops to the most simplistic level possible- kind of a reductive way of working and understanding. The ‘speaker boxes’ were structures that housed a colony of crickets. Crickets are amazing creatures that send out small sounds or ‘messages’ to attract each other in the dark. The messages help them to orient themselves in the environment, the frequency of the sounds are also subject to the climate and happiness of the colony. There were 3 colonies spaced throughout the gallery. I wanted the colonies to connect with each other both visually and conceptually, the space between them gave the audience time to absorb what was happening. The one outside the gallery space gave them an entry point or introduction to the artwork.
Overall, I think the model that the responding artist were given was enriching and educational as far as connecting with the concept and aims of the event/exhibition. The event experience felt new and exciting, but I did feel overwhelmed at times due to the sheer volume and aspects to the event. I liked that every opportunity was sought to indoctrinate the audience with new ideas!
Thanks to all involved!

Holla install shot (detail)
Photo: Aaron Horsley
Holla install shot (detail)
Photo: Aaron Horsley