Artists in conversation: can’t buy me love

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  • UTS Gallery

    Level 4, Peter Johnson Building (Building 6)
    702 Harris St, Ultimo,
    University of Technology, Sydney

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Join us at UTS Gallery for an afternoon exhibition viewing and a conversation with the artists behind the exhibition, can’t buy me love. Amala Groom X Andrew Burrell will share insights on the process of making this new VR work in a conversation moderated by Madeleine Collie.

Presented through the lens of virtual reality, can’t buy me love is an immersive experience that purports to sell the audience the intangibility of spiritual enlightenment. It brings “reality” into a space that is “unreal” and where the item that is for sale is one that cannot be bought.

can’t buy me love is developed with support from UTS Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building and UTS Faculty of Law and as part of the 2021 UTS Artist in Residence Program. The UTS Artist in Residence program is generously funded by the Anita and Luca Belgiorno-Nettis Foundation and the UTS Faculty of Engineering and IT.



Amala Groom is a Wiradyuri conceptual artist whose practice, as the performance of her cultural sovereignty, is informed and driven by First Nations epistemologies, ontologies and methodologies. Her work, a form of passionate activism, presents acute and incisive commentary on contemporary socio-political issues. Articulated across diverse media, Groom’s work often subverts and unsettles western iconographies to enunciate Aboriginal stories, experiences and histories, and to interrogate and undermine the legacy of colonialism. Informed by extensive archival, legislative and first-person research, Groom’s work is socially engaged, speaking truth to take a stand against hypocrisy, prejudice, violence and injustice.

Andrew Burrell is a practice-based researcher and educator exploring virtual and digitally mediated environments as a site for the construction, experience, and exploration of memory as narrative. His process is one of worlding in virtual space—visualising otherwise unseen connections and entanglements. His ongoing research investigates the relationship between imagined and remembered narrative and how the multi-layered biological and technological encoding of human subjectivity may be portrayed within, and inform the design of, virtual environments. Burrell’s practice ranges from traditional academic research exploring the creative potential for virtual environments to visualise complex relationships in information to large scale projects (often collaborative) in virtual environments. This practice is always framed by an underlying concern for developing ethical and sustainable methods for engaging with current and emerging technologies during a global climate crisis. He is a Senior Lecturer in Visual Communication, faculty of Design, Architecture and Building at the University of Technology Sydney and lives and works on Gadigal Country.

Madeleine Collie is a writer, artist and curator who lives and works on the unceded lands of the Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nations. She is a PhD candidate and Teaching Associate in Curatorial Practice at Monash University and holds a Masters in Curatorial / Knowledge from Goldsmiths College in London. She has produced curatorial projects with Wellcome Collection (UK), Whitstable Biennale (UK), Liquid Architecture & CAST (Aus) and Live Art Development Agency (UK), Connexiones Improbables (Spain), Australia Council for the Arts (Aus). She has published texts with Performance Philosophy Journal, Art Monthly Australasia, UnMagazine, Real Time, MUMA, Centre of Visual Art, and Live Art Development Agency, Unbound as well as writing for numerous artist catalogues and experimental publications. She has worked on the edges of performance practice since 2001 including through research residencies with Forced Entertainment, Goat Island, Pact Zollverein, and has presented performance work internationally in Singapore, Finland, Germany, Spain, and Indonesia. She co-founded Panther (2004-2009), and Mimic Mass (2002-2008) and the Food Art Research Network (2020 – ongoing).