Vacancy and Preservation: the architecture of the post-industrial community

In the period between 2015 and 2017, the #Vacant Geelong project has developed a large body of original artistic works that respond directly to vacant industrial spaces and the memories that have shaped what it has meant to live in Geelong.

#Vacant Geelong’s intent has been to frame this period as a pause and interval and thereby provide an original and alternative approach to the de-industrial processes of Geelong and many towns, sites and cities undergoing similar major changes. Through the work of several artists – Sarah Duyshart, Robert Mihajlovski, Bindi Cole Chocka, Merinda Kelly, Amanda Shone and Alex Hamilton, and a team of Architecture and Creative Arts-based Deakin University researchers and students – the exhibition Iconic Industry powerfully evokes the sounds, views, atmosphere and memories of Geelong’s industrial legacy.

The objective of the Symposium is to review, discuss, understand and appreciate these works; and to explore and share their perspectives, ideas, visions, and reminders with both the broader community and with persons that can put that knowledge into the processes of reimagining Geelong. In other words the artistic processes have both provided a pause and interval in the repetitive tendency of conventional attitudes and approaches to the speculation of the next phase of Geelong, and have focused visionary original productions that provide a platform for identifying both what Geelong is and what it might morph into. The aim of the Symposium is to extend the role and capacity of this immense, inspired, powerful and reflective body of work.