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"a fitting end to a fine series"
Penny Webb, THE AGE, 2007
"Sometimes I encounter and exhibition that is so overwhelming, covers so much territory and breaks so much new ground that it's difficult to write about it."
Joe Bendik, Chelsea Cinton Press, 2008
James Hullick is the director of JOLT Arts Inc. His responsibilities are two fold in that his is both director of management as well as the artistic director for the organisation.
CURATORIAL VISION - seeking sonic insight
JOLT Arts Inc. was born in the context of Melbourne's "Artist Run Arts Organisation" landscape. It is central to Hullick's curatorial vision that artists be encouraged to take responsibility for the public presentation of their work, especially when artists are working outside of mainstream or established frameworks. JOLT initially began as a concert series in 2007, and has now grown into both a sonic arts production house (making work) and a presenting organisation (putting on sonic events). JOLT has been establishing itself as an organisation that presents sonic outcomes internationally, and in 2011 will launch its very own in-house boutique sound art recording label.
So what is sound art? While this is actually quite a challenging question to answer, with many differing possible responses, Hullick prefers to keep his mind open, defining sound art as "any creative activity that prioritises listening and the experience of sound." Generally speaking, the JOLT curatorial agenda seeks to explore sound through projects that offer some kind of unique insight into the creative experience of sound. For example, one of the first JOLT concerts was NEBULON, and Hullick programmed this concert so that audiences and artists alike might develop insight about the spatialisation of sound.
Within this framework of curation for the purpose of insight, Hullick has tended to focus on curating events that might highlight and celebrate the great work being done in Australian sonic arts communities. Hullick also recognises that many artists consider themselves to be outsiders and he seeks to frame his projects in ways where outsiders might be able to find a point of connection with the broader community. Hullick is a great believer that art is fertilised in relation to communities - even if a given artist is an outsider to the community - and that the interface between artist and community is where curation can make a significant contribution to society's cultural development.
As Artistic Director of JOLT's home city of Melbourne, it is also Hullick's responsibility to oversee the work done by JOLT's international HUBS.
MANAGEMENT VISION - simply DIY
As a director of management, Hullick seeks to empower high calibre, committed and passionate sonic arts organisers. There are a lot of artists out there in the world whose work would never have seen the light of day if it wasn't for the tireless and often unsung efforts of project organisers. The reality with many sound art projects is that they exist on the fringe of mainstream culture, and so as a management organisation, JOLT upholds those qualities that make DIY culture so compelling: maintaining a degree of integrity through independence; supporting other fringe dwellers; maintaining focus; taking on responsibility; being resourceful; pursuing the most compassionate path; being realistic about what can be achieved; being unrealistic about what can be achieved; building communities, and much much more.
BIOGRAPHY: COMPOSER / SOUND ARTIST / MUSICIAN
BIOGRAPHY: PRODUCER / ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
CV: SOUND INSTALLATIONS / GALLERY PROJECTS
(click on a biography to read it)
CREATIVE PRODUCER / ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Dark Luminance (2008)
“Sometimes I encounter an exhibition that is so overwhelming, covers so much territory and breaks so much new ground that it’s difficult to write about it.” Joe Bendik, Chelsea Clinton Media, 2008. Regarding JOLT’s group exhibition titled Dark Luminance.
ABOUT HULLICK'S PRODUCING AND ARTISTIC DIRECTION:
Over a period of 9 years, James learnt the art of producing mostly through the management of his own sonic projects – and mainly through working with venues such as The Malthouse Theatre, fortyfivedownstairs, The Footscray Community Arts Centre, Melbourne University, Theatre Passe Muraille (Toronto) and The Music Gallery (Toronto) to name a few examples. In 2002 he began the BOLT Ensemble, which was the first sound art entity that James consistently produced for. The BOLT Ensemble entity led to the creation ofJOLT Sonic Arts in 2007. JOLT is dedicated to the creation and presentation of sonic art in Australia and abroad, and has presented outcomes in America and Europe. It was through JOLT and through producer partnerships with the Footscay Community Arts Centre that James began to spread his wings a both producer and also as artistic director of projects of increasing human and financial scale. Whilst maintaining yearly concert series events, James also worked on building up the performance repertoire and opportunities of the Amplified Elephants – an ensemble for musicians with an intellectual disability based at the Footscray Community Arts Centre. These projects ultimately resulted in the 2010 creation of the Click Clack Project, a JOLT auspiced entity that specialise in workshops and performances that combine professional sound artists and sound artists from community groups. Some of the projects that James has directed and produced since 2007 include: Cranky Robotics 2007, JOLT Concert Series 2007, Dark Luminance (2008, NY), Sono Perception (2008), The NIS (2009), Gothic Sonica (2009), The Click Clack Project events 2010 (including Monuments, The Mountain and other outcomes), Buggatronic Japan Tour 2010 and so on. In 2011 James will be co-producing and directing the Terrains: Swiss/Australian Sonic Festival in Basel Switzerland with Swiss producer/director/sound artist Daniel Buess. In 2012 James is planning the Extremeties: JOLT Japanese/Australian Sonic Festival with Tokyo-based producer/director/sound artist Cal Lyall. For some reviews, see below.
The Mountain (2010)
"The Mountain takes the idea of found sound in an entirely new direction. As well as turning unexpected objects into musical instruments, this work also finds unexpected performers. Just as found sounds are inherently intriguing, the manner in which musicians discover and engage with sound yields its own intrigue and idiosyncracies. The risks in this work, taken for the sake of artistic ideals, have paid off with success. The Mountain Concerts have realised the ideal of social equality in performance and not merely as the spectre of possibility."
Simon Charles, Real Time Magazine February 2011.
Presented in partnership with Foostcray Community Arts Centre at fortyfivedownstairs, Artistically Directed/Produced by Hullick, performed by BOLT, The Amplified Elephants and Noise Scavengers
The NIS (2009)
“The NIS is a near perfect fusion of contemporary sound and performance art... that carries the power to confront and permeate conceptions held by audiences about ability, disability and excellence at the same time as taking its rightful place in breaking down the boundaries of the 'outsider' in Australian culture."
Jacqui O'Reilly, Arts Hub March 2009.
Presented in partnership with Foostcray Community Arts Centre at fortyfivedownstairs, Artistically Directed/Produced by Hullick, performed by BOLT, The Amplified Elephants and with machines by Hullick, Allen and Bedford.
Dark Luminance (2008)
“Sometimes I encounter an exhibition that is so overwhelming, covers so much territory and breaks so much new ground that it’s difficult to write about it.”
Joe Bendik, Chelsea Clinton Media, 2008.
Regarding JOLT’s group exhibition titled Dark Luminance. Co-curated by John Derrick.
Penny Web, The Age, 2007.
Presented by JOLT at Trades Hall, featuring James Hullick Robin Fox and Ernie Althoff.
JOLT 2007 CONCERT SERIES
“A fine end to a terrific series.” Penny Webb, The Age, 2007.
At venues around Melbourne, featuring a range of sonic artists.