Future Tense

Artistic Team


Project Initiation, Research and Performance Texts Catherine Fargher
Installation Concept and Performance Direction Peggy Wallach
Sound and Computer Applications Sandy Indlekofer O'Sullivan & Ali Smith
Video and In-store Footage Maria Barbagallo & Tina Stephens
Performers Robert Douad, Jai McHenry, Rolando Ramos, Victoria Spence, Meme Thorne
Vocal Workshops Bernadette Pryde
Production Manager Damien Leonard
Sound Patrick Jury & Richard Montgomery

Produced by


Sidetrack Performance Group


Future Tense: Performance Texts for a Technological Age: Art and Working Life Performance Installations in Shopping Malls


Future Tense is the name which underpinned a public event which put Sidetrack Performance Group, and a collaborating computer, video, performance and sound artists into the largest of NSW's regional shopping malls for a full shopping day of performance and installation. It combined computer applications, performance, sculptural installation, and live video footage in a constant process.

The event explored the implication of new technologies in women's public and private lives. The technologies in the show, which include computer applications and video, were developed to encourage interaction and demystify some of the concerns which women workers may have about new technologies.

The project was funded as an artist initiated project (initiated by Catherine Fargher) under the Art and Working Life priorities of the Community Cultural Development Board of the Australia Council for The Arts. It was researched and developed with many women workers from Wollongong, Newcastle and Sydney, with the assistance of the South Coast Labour Council and the Newcastle Trades and Labour Council and the Newcastle Workers Cultural Action Committee. Unions consulted included the Communication Workers Union, Australian Services Union, Public Service Association, Public Services Union, Federated Clerks Union, and the Miscellanious Workers Union.

Shopping centres were chosen as a site for performance where the largest number of people, especially women, (both employed and unemployed) would be able to see the show. We chose to work with contemporary performance and multi media forms to compliment and subvert the shopping centres dual atmospheres of leisure and consumerism, provoking an encounter between the intimate and the social, the show took place over a whole shopping day and included a central 'homebase' installation featuring whitegoods and video technology displays, in which a 'showtime 'performance happened three times during the day, as well as creating a series of moving and fixed installations throughout the store.

Future Tense occured in Penrith Plaza, Newcastle's Charlestown Square, Bankstown Square, and Wollongong's Crown Central, from August 16-24 1995, through the support of Lendlease Pty Ltd. The project was funded by the Community Cultural Development Board, the Performing Arts Board of the Australia Council, and the NSW State Government.