undisciplined: wisdom from womxn in the arts is a mini podcast series featuring conversations with six womxn forging new ground across the arts from around the world.
The series draws on the knowledge and insight of Kaisha S. Johnson, Monica Narula, Lenka Clayton, Lisa Havilah, Laura Raicovich, and Eugenia Flynn.
Conversations are broad and honest reflections on gender, race, and motherhood, on the potential super powers of invisibility, long term relationships with place and people, the persistence of class, the myth of neutrality, the fine art of doing and not-selling, and how to balance money, care and ethics in contemporary cultural practice today.
Produced from Kulin, Arrernte and Miriwoong countries—across south-east, central, and north-west Australia—the series has been created by Alana Hunt and Rani Pramesti with the support of Hannah Kothe, Natasha Phillips, and Courtney Tuttle and the financial assistance of the Australia Council for the Arts.
All podcasts are available to stream for free at the base of this page.
In episode #1 Rani Pramesti speaks with Kaisha S. Johnson the Co-Founder and Founding Director of the US-based Women of Color in the Arts, a national service organization dedicated to creating racial and cultural equity in the performing arts field. As a staunch advocate for racial and cultural equity on and off the stage, Kaisha co-founded WOCA to help amplify the voices of arts administrators of color with the intent of cultivating a racially and culturally equitable, diverse, and inclusive field. Most recent to her position at WOCA, Ms. Johnson served for over a decade as a program director at the Center for Traditional Music and Dance, a non-profit dedicated to building cross- cultural awareness by nurturing and presenting the performing arts traditions of New York’s immigrant communities.
In episode #2 Alana Hunt speaks with New Delhi-based Monica Narula who formed Raqs Media Collective in 1992, along with Jeebesh Bagchi and Shuddhabrata Sengupta. The word “raqs” in several languages denotes an intensification of awareness and presence attained by whirling, turning, being in a state of revolution. Raqs Media Collective take this sense to mean ‘kinetic contemplation’ and a restless and energetic entanglement with the world, and with time. Raqs practices across several media; making installation, sculpture, video, performance, text, lexica and curation. In 2001, they co-founded the Sarai program at CSDS New Delhi and ran it for a decade. They are developing sources around toxicity, care, and luminosity of friendship with artists, and publics, for the Yokohama Triennale (2020).
In episode #3 Alana Hunt speaks with Lisa Havilah, Chief Executive of the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. From 2012 to 2019, Lisa was the Director of Carriageworks which experienced extraordinary audience, artistic and commercial growth. Under her leadership Carriageworks became the fastest growing cultural precinct in Australia. She has also worked with Campbelltown Arts Centre and Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre in a unique career that has played a vital role in creating space for contemporary culture across Sydney.
In episode #4 Alana Hunt speaks with Lenka Clayton an interdisciplinary artist whose work considers, exaggerates, and alters the accepted rules of everyday life, extending the familiar into the realms of the poetic and absurd. In previous works, she has searched for and photographed every person mentioned by name in a German newspaper; worked with artists who identify as blind to recreate Brancusi’s Sculpture for the Blind from a spoken description; and reconstituted a lost museum from a sketch found in an archive. Lenka is the founder of An Artist Residency in Motherhood, a self-directed, open-source artist residency program for artists who are also parents. There are currently over 1,000 artists-in-residence in 62 countries.
In episode #5 Alana Hunt speaks with curator and writer Laura Raicovich, who is currently serving as interim director of the Leslie Lohman Museum of Art and is working on a book about museums, cultural institutions, and the myth of neutrality (Verso, 2021). Laura was previously President and Executive Director of the Queens Museum and has worked with Creative Time, The Vera List Center and the Dia Art Foundation. Laura is dedicated to art and artistic production that relies on complexity, poetics, and care to create a more engaged and equitable civic realm. photo: Michael Angelo
In episode #6 Rani Pramesti speaks with Eugenia Flynn a writer, arts worker and community organiser. She runs the blog Black Thoughts Live Here and drawing on her experiences as a Tiwi, Larrakiah, Chinese and Muslim woman her thoughts on the politics of race, gender and culture have been published widely. She currently works at the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and with a number of different artists, arts organisations and communities. This conversation was originally recorded for Creatives of Colour. photo: Ahmed Sabra
We created UNDISCIPLINED in order to glean wisdom from womxn in the arts that we admire, and to share that wisdom with our wider communities.
This project has been produced by a group of womxn who met through the Australia Council for the Arts' Future Leaders program in 2017. It came from a desire to speak to and learn from womxn forging new and important ground within the contemporary arts world. These womxn have inspired and encouraged us. We thank them for their time and generosity and hope these conversations instill a sense of fierceness and fearlessness that the world continues to need.
Interviews: Alana Hunt and Rani Pramesti
Audio recordings: Alana Hunt, Rani Pramesti, Hannah Kothe and Ahmed Adam
Audio editing: Alana Hunt
Drums: Graham Hunt
Financial administration: Courtney Tuttle
Featured image: Soda_Jerk, TERROR NULLIUS (2018), digital video, 54mins.
undisciplined was produced from Kulin, Arrernte and Miriwoong countries across Australia with the financial support of the Australia Council for the Arts.