WELCOME TO DP X NYID | 5 June 2020

The Things We Did Next

Project 1

Assembly for the Future

Today we have something to share with you which we’re very excited about

Over the last two years, dp has been developing a new project with social impact producer, activist and maker, Alex Kelly, who has been associated with NYID for a number of years.

Conceived by Alex as a multi-platform project, The Things We Did Next has morphed into a collaborative practice with dp that generates a series of interconnected artworks and projects that will allow audiences to collectively imagine multiple futures. Our aim is to develop the practice of imagination as a social habit.

NYID has formed a partnership with Something Somewhere Inc. to co-produce The Things We Did Next with the excellent Sophia Marinos as Executive Producer.

The first project under The Things We Did Next banner was to be a live performance scheduled to premiere in June this year at Arts House, the project’s commissioning partner.

Like all live performance in the time of corona, ours has been postponed for the foreseeable future.

And like all artists working in live performance, we have had to translate, overhaul, transcend and invent new ways of mediating our artistic ideas.

We are delighted to announce the first project will be a new work directly inspired by our current material conditions, Assembly for the Future.

Using NYID’s signature dramaturgy employed so successfully in our 2970° events on the Gold Coast, we’ve customised its structure and principles to create a series of digital gatherings for 70 citizens who will create new visions for futures that may be realistic, idealistic or utterly fanciful.

If you’re overwhelmed by the present because you feel the future is already here and you can’t possibly imagine what’s next, then let’s do it together.

Using a simple dramaturgy of provocation, response, facilitation and creation, we will envisage new pathways for the coming ten years.

Working within an assembly of thinkers, artists and provocateurs, co-Curators for the Future, Alex Kelly and David Pledger invite you to become protagonists, to put your imaginations at the service of creating new and better futures.

Imagine. Create. Assemble. The Future.

The full program will launch on June 22nd.

Assembly 1 will take place on Thursday July 6.

Register your interest here.

The Things We Did Next: Assembly for the Future has been commissioned, developed and supported by the City of Melbourne through Arts House as part of BLEED 2020. BLEED has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

Assembly for the Future is a project of The Things We Did Next collaboration practice, co-created by Alex Kelly & David Pledger and produced by Not Yet It’s Difficult & Something Somewhere INC. 

Image of Alex Kelly by Bryony Jackson

WELCOME TO DP X NYID | 28 April 2020

If you’re thinking you haven’t heard from us for a while, you’re absolutely right.

Like everyone, we’ve been struggling with the noise, working out how to send productive signals into the ether of this new world order.

Waiting in isolation.

Working in hope.

This is a distressing time for all of us and we are grateful that the Pandemic thus far has not yet traumatised Australia as it has done other less fortunate countries. Our hearts go out to all who are suffering here and elsewhere.

And whilst we acknowledge the Federal government’s efforts in general, we plead with them to address the plight of artists and creatives who have been the first affected by the Pandemic and will be the last to return to work given that much of it requires mass gatherings.

In this spirit, we applaud the Victorian State Government’s announcement yesterday of a $16.8 million arts survival package.

And we’ve been blown away by the actions of our colleagues.

We stand in solidarity with NAVA and West Australian Ballet’s national campaign for a fairer distribution of government funds to arts workers.

We commend the courage and vision of Big hArt’s call-to-arms within the sector to address long-term structural inequity by setting an example of wage parity.

We support the call of leading figures in the publishing, film and television industries pleading for an increase to federal government support as they contend with the collapse of their business and funding models.

At this time, we’d also like to acknowledge the support we have received for many years and these last weeks from the hard-working team at Auspicious Arts and our colleagues at Igniting Change, who have for some years given us space to meet and gather our thoughts.

The work Igniting Change are doing on the ground helping people in significant need, dropping around three hundred food parcels a week to just a few of the many falling through the cracks, inspires us to match their generosity with artistic thinking and acts of creative awesomeness.

Some reading for the times:

This provocative idea from Glen Henn on the constitution of a new kind of Major Performing Arts Organisation.

The latest articles from dp on financial fairness in the arts sector and a map for a future on the other side.

This piece from Alison Croggon in Witness that provides a historical map of the culture wars since 2013.

And finally, this great initiative from Theatre Network Australia, 1000 x 1000: Crisis Cash for Artists. If you are able to donate, please do so.

Stay safe.

More soon.

Image: by Art Work Agency, for Hotelling

WELCOME TO DP X NYID | 7 December 2018

Make, Think, Speak
2018 wrapped

We’ve been very busy making, thinking and speaking this year, so we thought we’d get this wrap out to you before we put our head down on the 2018 holiday pillow.


In 2018, dp worked on idiosyncratic projects with artists and companies across a variety of media including German performance company Rimini Protokoll (Home Visit Australia), Australian-German visual artist Natascha Stellmach (The Letting Go) and artist-jeweller Susan Cohn on Meaninglessness. Meaninglessness, co-written and directed by dp, closed its season in Denmark at the National Design Museum in September. The performance has been invited back to Denmark in 2019 after its Australian premiere. 

Mid-year, NYID was invited to deliver a 6-week design studio redesigning democracyfor the School of Design, RMIT, with dp as Guest Studio Leader working in collaboration with Associate Professor Lawrence Harvey. Bringing into the studio Aussie arts legend, Robyn Archer and maverick activist, mi-Vote founder Adam Jacoby, the process provided the students with a granular experience of amplified democracy.

Most recently, RMIT’s School of Architecture and Urban Design commissioned dp to create a new video work called mini-keynote: instruction and demonstration, a performative account of the relationship between neo-liberalism and higher learning.



This year dp continued his Running For Office project by writing an open applicationfor the CEO position at the Australia Council for the Arts. Following on from his Ministry for Empathy provocation, dp proposed a different world for public arts funding which was reiterated in his November meditation on the institutionalised financial discrimination that characterises the current system.

Previous writings to create renewed interest in 2018 include his The Conversation offerings Circles of Context: giving a work of art its meaning and his Friday essay Where to now for Australian culture? which have collectively clocked up over 40K+ reads. Also creating traction is his curiosity piece on the paintings of George W Bush, The Artist Formerly Known as President George W Bush, which pre-dates this excellent piece by Richard Cooke for The Monthly. 

dp’s Platform Paper, Revaluing the Artist in the New World Order, has just been issued in a second print run, in case you missed it first time around. 



NYID supported dp in his project #thisisafreeconversation in which he talked to, advised or continued to mentor super-talented, independent artists in free conversations about process and social meaning. Artists who asked to chat included musician Michael McCartney (QLD), dancer and performance-artist Alice Dixon (VIC), dance-maker Daisy Sanders (WA), choreographer-installation artist Ashley Dyer (VIC), writer Elizabeth Louise Ralph (QLD), performance-makers William McBride (VIC) and Caroline Meaden (VIC).

Either side of attending the September Asian Dramaturgs' Network in Jogjakarta at the invitation of Singapore’s Centre 42, dp had the pleasure of providing consultancy services to NYID friend and philanthropic exemplar Igniting Change on their public engagement strategy and their excellent Conscious Capitalism event at the NGV.



Closing out this year, and with a view to the next, is the future focused performance event The Things We Did Next, on which dp is working with the awesome Alex Kelly, and a new consultancy project with Tarrawarra Museum.

Stay Tuned. 

Images: Natascha Stellmach (The Letting Go), Matt Houston

WELCOME TO DP X NYID | 13 June 2018

Transmission #3

Over the last 6 months, dp has been walking alongside other artists and organisations on their projects.

from Meaninglessness by dp and Cohn

In the guise of director, writer, dramaturg or advisor, dp has been working with performance director Stefan Kaegi (Germany) on Home Visit Australia, artist-jeweller Susan Cohn (Australia) on Meaninglessnessvisual-performance artist, Natascha Stellmach (Berlin-Dromana) on The Letting Go and philanthropic exemplar, Igniting Change.

As part of the informal mechanism #thisisafreeconversation, dp has been engaged in conversations about artistic process and social meaning with super-talented, independent artists across the country including musician Michael McCartney (QLD), dance-maker Daisy Sanders (WA), writer Elizabeth Louise Ralph (QLD) and choreographer-installation artist Ashley Dyer (VIC).

from The Letting Go by Natascha Stellmach

Over the next 6 months dp will lean back into his own ideas and art-making with the online project Ministry for Empathy, the publication of the concept album Wall of Noise Web of Silence, a new international thinking space, ThinkTaenke, and a studio-intensive linking design and democracy.


Stay Tuned.

WELCOME TO DP X NYID | 20 February 2018

Transmission #1

This transmission is all about meaning

NYID is proud to kick off 2018 by announcing the launch of Meaninglessness, a coproduction between Cohn-Artist Productions (Australia) and Danig Performing Arts Service (Denmark) made in collaboration with NYID. Triggered by the 2016 Danish Jewellery Legislation requiring any assets over 2000 Euro including ‘meaningless jewellery’ to be confiscated by the Danish border authorities to subsidise the upkeep of people seeking asylum, the performance reflects on the asylum-seeker policy of Australia by engaging the audience in a conversation about the social, political, historical context of jewellery as a way to navigate the troubled politics surrounding people who have been displaced. 

Meaninglessness will be made by uber-jeweller Susan Cohn, up-and-coming filmmaker Ez Eldin Deng and NYID’s dp in the director’s chair. The work will be developed in Australia and Denmark and have its avant-premiere on the island of Bornholm in July followed by seasons across Denmark and in Melbourne. NYID is rapt to be involved in such a significant artistic conversation.

Home Visit Australia
dp is currently working in a variety of meaningful pedagogical contexts as a consultant before lending his dramaturgical nous and performative ability to Bleach Festival’s 2018 presentation of Rimini Protokoll’s Home Visit Australia on the Gold Coast in March and April.

In an effort to add meaning to the bigger picture, dp has contributed essays to the 2018 Routledge Companion to Theatre and Politics co-edited by our own Peter Eckersall and Intermedial Theatre published by Palgrave Macmillan later this year, whilst an examination of dp’s body listening protocols features in The Theatrical Superfield in the 2017 publication New Media Dramaturgy also co-edited by Peter E.


And if you want to find out what all this means, you can catch dp in Melbourne talking to the Creative Darebin Network this Friday February 23 or in Sydney at the National Play Festival  as part of the Industry Program on March 22. 


WELCOME TO DP X NYID | 30 November 2017

Diaspora #2

In this transmission, we continue our series profiling artists, thinkers and cultural operators with whom we maintain long-term dialogue, collaboration and association. 

PETER ECKERSALL has been based in City University NYC (CUNY) since 2015 and is currently Professor and Executive Officer of the Theatre Program. He is also writing on or working with a range of artists including Kris Verdonck, Alex Destoop and Takao Kawaguchi. In 2017, he published New Media Dramaturgy: Performance, Media and New-Materialism which he wrote with Helena Grehan and Edward Scheer and The Dumb Type Reader which he edited with Edward Scheer and Shintaro Fujii. He is currently preparing for publication, again with Helena Grehan, A Routledge Companion to Theatre and Politics, which proposes ways to think about how politics and theatre interrelate in a time of political dystopia and confusion.

In his role at CUNY, Peter recently helped launch the Marvin Carlson Theatre Centre at The Shanghai Theatre Academy where he has been involved in negotiations with colleagues to develop a program of student and faculty exchange.  

“I see this work very much as a continuation of the work that NYID has undertaken in Asia over many years. Exchange is often a process of mis-communication and, what one of my colleagues calls, mis-performance. Nonetheless, I feel relatively well-prepared to undertake this work because of long experiences of NYID’s work in Japan, Korea and Malaysia."

MARK ATKIN is one of Australia’s most sought-after editors in television and film. He has edited all types of productions including television commercials, music videos and award-winning feature films Only the Brave and Mallboy, the television dramas The Slap, Nowhere Boys, Glitch, Safe Harbour and the documentaries Two Mums and a Dad, Immigration Nation, Jabbed, First Contact and Harry Seidler.  

In 2002, he directed and produced a one-hour documentary The What If Man that screened on the SBS network and at international festivals. He is now developing a number of documentary projects including Where Song Began based on the best-selling book by Tim Low. He continues to work in productive, creative relationships with Tony Ayres (Matchbox Pictures), Jacob Hickey and Darren Dale (Blackfella Films), Daryl Dellora (Film Art Doco), Sue Maslin and Charlotte Seymour.

Mark has been intimately involved in the production of the media content in NYID’s multimedia oeuvre and most recently re-mastered The Coach’s Speech for dp’s recently released concept album Wall of Noise, Web of Silence. Mark is a longstanding, valuable member of NYID’s Management Committee.


TODD MACDONALD is the Artistic Director of La Boite Theatre, Queensland, one of Australia’s oldest and most ambitious theatre companies. 

Since taking over the reins three years ago, Todd has diversified the company’s programming with provocative and challenging offerings to the company, its artists and audiences. Notable works include Prize Fighter which he directed (on national tour in 2018) and a new co-production with The Farm and Suzie Miller called The Mathematics of Longing that he is co-devising and in which he is performing.

Todd continues to be a regular collaborator on NYID’s projects including 2970° as an MC (2015) and a Moderator (2017) and Hotelling in which he performed in Down The Rabbit Hole (2015) and Hightower (2017) in roles written for him by dp. Todd was a featured artist at the October launch of dp’s concept album Wall of Noise, Web of Silence.

Todd is currently in The Hague.

WELCOME TO DP X NYID | 9 October 2017

The Artist Formerly Known as David Pledger
invites you to the launch of his first concept album


@ Storey Hall, RMIT on Thursday October 19th 2017 @ 11.30am

Using the moniker, dp, the artist takes his lead from all those brave artists who embraced the challenge of the concept album from The Beach Boys through to Radiohead and Bjork.

“The concept album best serves my ambition to create a kind of knowledge in which aesthetics and scholarship operate in a complementary and expansive mode, so that argument may be understood simultaneously through the processes of thinking and feeling.”

dp is renowned for his exploratory and experimental artistic adventures that include The Austral/ Asian Post-Cartoon: sports edition (1997) K (2002), Blowback (2004), The Strangeland Triptych (2006-9), Ampersand et al (2010) and 2970° The Boiling Point (2015-17).

Side 1 is dp’s thesis on democracy in the age of neo-liberalism through the lens of the arts.

Side 2 is its antithesis, an atmosphere of democracy in which artistic practice is the prevailing determinant. 
Noise and silence are the aesthetic frames.  
The arts, society and politics provide the windows.

“For thirty years, my life as an artist has been a procession of master shots of Western culture from different vantage points: minor pop culture personality, writer, performer, director, producer, arts leader, cultural activist. These are the band members on my new album taking the lead on some tracks, playing back-up on others."

At the launch dp will transmit selected signals from the concept album carving out a sonic spectrum from noise to silence.

The launch will take the form of a 70 minute presentation with a 50 minute response from a select panel 


RSVP is not essential but preferred:
please email by Wednesday 18 October

Wall of Noise, Web of Silence is supported by
RMIT School of Architecture and Design through the SRC funds and SIAL Sound Studios



WELCOME TO DP X NYID | 26 May 2017

Save the date
2970° The Boiling Point
Practising Democracy


Arts Centre Gold Coast presents
2970° The Boiling Point Practising Democracy
September 7-9, 2017

In 2016, Western democracy turned somersaults. 

Brexit, Trump, the rise of Le Pen and populist nationalism in Europe.  

Rather than fixating on the noise, 2970° goes deep into the quietude by listening to some smart people suggest provocative ideas for how we might make a future we want to live in.

not yet it's difficult will invite a General Assembly of delegates to vote on rules, protocols or laws proposed by local, national and international speakers to ignite our democratic instincts with humour, intelligence and some massively big ideas.

A rich artistic program will speak to and amplify our discussions. It will also incorporate streams of inquiry generated from the 2015 edition and stimulate strategies for taking ideas from 2017 into concrete projects leading into 2970° 2019.

You are invited.

Full program and registration details coming soon...

The format of 2970° has been developed by NYID
2970° is an initiative of City of Gold Coast

Images of 2970° (2015) by Claudio Kirac, Art-Work Agency // Images courtesy of City of Gold Coast.


WELCOME TO DP X NYID | 18 April 2017

Diaspora #1

In this transmission, we begin our series profiling artists, thinkers and cultural operators with whom we maintain long-term dialogue, collaboration and association. 

Starting with the inspirational ALEX KELLY with whom we first worked in 2015 on2970° The Boiling Point. Alex is an artist, filmmaker and producer working across campaign, communication, project and narrative strategy. At 2970° Alex elegantly disrupted the conversation with provocations around positivity-driven approaches to effecting impact and change in society. As part of 2970° Generator, nyid will convene a5-day cross-sectoral workshop (May 15-19) led by Alex for up to 10 participants. The workshop is open to people with strong connections to the Gold Coast who have the desire to increase the impact of their work to create positive change locally and/or globally. Applications close April 24 so head to this link if you are keen to know more. 

Save The Dates: The Arts Centre Gold Coast and nyid present 2970° 2017: September 7-9

Next is TAMARA SAULWICK who first worked with nyid as an actor on Nil, Cat and Buried in 1995. Since then, she has worked in an artistic, dramaturgical and management capacity with nyid. Over the last decade, Tamara has developed a singular approach to performance-making demonstrated by her compelling and curious contemporary performance works for theatres and public spaces. Tamara uses digital, mobile and analogue technologies with particular emphasis on the agency of sound in live performance. Her most recent work Endings is just about to pop up at Canadian Stage, Toronto Canada (April 26-30) and then at Brighton FestivalUK (May 9-13). Further, Tamara has recently been appointed Artistic Director of Chamber Made Opera

NAT CURSIO is a dancer, choreographer, curator and organiser. Nat’s work with nyid includes Scenes Of The Beginning From The EndJourney to Confusion #3K and Blowback, mostly as a performer but also assisting in producing and dramaturgical roles. She continues to work with nyid across projects like 2970°. In 2006 Nat established her own company Nat Cursio Co. Her most recent choreography was one of the highlights of last month’s 2017 Dance Massive, Tiny Slopes, which synthesised many of her artistic, dramaturgical and social concerns. Nat is currently prepping Loopa dance show for kids, which will premiere at Arts Centre Melbourne in September. 

The Daily Review
And if you’re wondering what’s getting people’s blood boiling these days check out dp’s latest offering in the Daily Review on the cultural revolution the Australian arts scene needs to have to move out of the past and into the 21st C.

photo credits: 1. Stuart Mannion // 2. Sarah Walker // 3. Bryony Jackson



WELCOME TO DP X NYID | February 28 2017


News image

It's 2017 we know.

But we’re back-announcing 2016 because the year ended before we could catch our breath. 

Starting with Hotelling, for which the great reviews just keep rolling in. You can check out the wrap up video here for a little taste of it.

And our interview series for Arts Front in which dp captured a snapshot of cultural policy points-of-view from Asia, Europe and America. 

Also just squeaking in to the 2016 schedule was dp‘s Boxing Day address on how sport, art and politics fit into the prism of 24-7 entertainment. 

It’s a big year ahead for dp x NYID but you’ll have to wait for the big announcements in the next newsletter.

However, we can let you know that we will be starting up NYID Diaspora, a new series on the excellent artists associated with the company.

And we can also show you this outstanding photo of dp at the Tokyo Performing Arts Meeting (TPAM) where he presented last week on his curatorial and artistic practices that brought about 2970° and Hotelling. 

News image

Along with NYID Dramaturg, the now super-distinguished Professor Peter Eckersall of City University, NYC, dp attended as part of the Asian Dramaturgs Network (ADN), one of the more influential configurations occurring in this part of the world of which they are both founding members. 

Stay tuned for the good stuff!


WELCOME TO DP X NYID | Oct 25 2016

This October Transmission is all about Hotelling.

News image

World Premiere
v:Hotelling, to hotel, to play, to lose oneself
curated by dp
produced by Bleached Arts

On November  4-5, run down the rabbit-hole of the QT Hotel in Surfers Paradise for 24 hours-and-a-bit on a fast-finishing, eclectic, rollercoaster of an arts happening in all the corners of the hotel, top-to-bottom, left-to-right, inside-out. Hotelling is a new sport, a game, an alchemy of art and hospitality - for those who like it adult!
A host of world premieres - from artists including long-time NYID associate Todd MacDonald, new friends The Farm and Shock Therapy, dance maestra Kate Harman and sonic rock-god Lawrence English - sit sweetly adjacent to a re-imagined art work from Craig Walsh and a 'surprise surprise' package performance queen. 
Get tix!

Commentary in The Conversation
produced by dp
It seems readers are working their way through dp’s back catalog in The Conversation and the most-liked article this month is Circles of Context: giving a work of art its meaning which unpicks the ethics of making and presenting art. A close second is his post-election summary on politics, media and the implications for culture. And just because George W Bush has pushed out another exhibition of his incredible portraits here is dp’s take on Dubya’s previous effort. Spring reading for those in the southern hemisphere!

The Art of Sport
Whoops! If you missed dp and Robyn Archer at MPavilion in-conversation with architect Bijoy Jain chatting about art and sport a couple of weekends ago, don’t be surprised to see development in this space in the not-too-distant future. 

But first Happy Hotelling!