- Operations Director: Madelynne Cornish
- Artistic Director: Philip Samartzis
- Design + Development: Public Office
- Typeset in Inglewood by Vincent Chan
- EMAIL / FB / TW / IN / MAIL: PO Box 456, Mount Beauty, 3699, Victoria, Australia
The Bogong Centre for Sound Culture is a remote-regional cultural initiative situated in the foothills of Victoria’s Alpine National Park. Established by Philip Samartzis and Madelynne Cornish the Centre supports projects focusing on the processes and impacts of sustainable energy production; effects of climate change in wilderness areas; ethnographic studies of remote communities; the chronicling of vanishing industrial procedures; and systems of representation used to render natural and built environments.
Additionally, the BCSC facilitates a broad cultural program comprising, festivals, exhibitions, publications, master classes and artists’ talks focusing on site-specific art practices. These programs establish a connection with place, its inhabitants, geographic space and memory. They engage a wide range of audiences, bringing together local, interstate and international artists across multiple disciplines and fields to realise ambitious works.
The BCSC is situated at the newly restored old school at Bogong Alpine Village located 350 kilometres from Melbourne in North East Victoria.
About Bogong Village
Bogong Alpine Village is 325 kilometres North-East of Melbourne situated at an altitude of 800 meters in the Alpine National Park between Mount Beauty and Falls Creek. The village was established in the late 1930s to service the first hydroelectric scheme in mainland Australia. More recently it has become a popular site for alpine sports, recreation and ecotourism. Click here for directions.
A Short History
Work on the Kiewa Scheme commenced in 1938 with the construction of a road from Tawonga to the High Plains. Previously the only access was by foot or horseback along tracks that had been forged by cattlemen of a bygone era. Bogong Village was established once the road from Junction Camp was trafficable (March 1939); this paved the way for the construction of permanent buildings. Prior to that life was tough; large canvas tents and flies were used for sleeping quarters and smaller tents were set up to house the kitchens. By 1940 Bogong Township had grown considerably with a general store, staff offices, recreational mess, police station, and a variety of accommodation such as single men’s quarters and residences for married staff and families.
Bogong State School
In 1941 the Primary School at Bogong Village enrolled its first intake of students comprising nine pupils. Initially the school consisted of a large classroom, storeroom and boys and girls toilets. Extensions were carried out in 1944, which expanded the capabilities of the school. A library, storeroom, pupil’s lunchroom and shelter shed were added and rock gardens were established. By 1947 the number of students had grown to 46 all of whom were children of local SEC workers. Over the years class sizes fluctuated and the building remained unchanged. In 1980 it ceased to operate as a school and sat idle, eventually falling into disrepair. In 2004 it was sold along with many other buildings in the village.
Madelynne Cornish and Philip Samartzis bought the Old School and set about restoring it to its former glory. The rotting weatherboards and floorboards, smashed windows and flaking paint are now a distant memory. The newly refurbished building occupies it’s original footprint and bares a strong resemblance to it’s former self. Although the internals have been modernized remnants of it’s past history remain. The Old School once played a significant role in the fabric of village life. It inspired the community and helped shape the minds of those who studied there. It is our intention as custodians that the School once again functions as a place of inspiration.
Reference: Kiewa Kids School Days at Bogong & Mount Beauty by Graham Gardner
ISBN 0-646-36226-7. Published 1998
- Polar Force
- A Futurist S Cookbook
- Super Field Exhibition
- A Surrender To Wind In 9 Parts
- Open Field
- The Ecology Of Place
- Polar Patterns
- Sonic Interventions
- Topography Of Dreams
- New Geography
- Antarctique Une Presence Absente
- Bogong Electric
- Bogong Air 2011
Philip Samartzis is a Melbourne sound artist, scholar and curator who has exhibited widely including presentations at The Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art, Paris (2001); The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh (2002); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2002); The Mori Arts Centre, Tokyo (2003); The National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung (2007); The National Center for Contemporary Art, Moscow (2009); The South African National Museum, Cape Town (2010); The Art Gallery of South Australia (2012); The Merz Foundation, Turin (2016); and The National Gallery of Victoria (2018). Philip is the recipient of two Australian Antarctic Division Arts Fellowships (2009 and 2015), which he used to document the effects of extreme climate and weather events in Eastern Antarctica, and Macquarie Island. Artworks produced from his Fellowships have been incorporated into the National Archives of Australia’s Traversing Antarctica: the Australian Experience (2011-14); Polar South: Art in Antarctica, Muntref Museum, the National University of Tres de Febrero, Buenos Aires (2011); the 11th International Symposium on Antarctic Earth Sciences, Edinburgh (2011); and the Balance-Unbalance International Conference, Arizona (2015). France Culture, in association with the INA-GRM and ABC Radio National commissioned a one-hour radio composition titled Antarctica, An Absent Presence (2014) based on the book he produced for Thames & Hudson (2016). Most recently France Culture in association with Deutschlandradio have commissioned a new work titled A Surrender to Wind in 9 Parts focusing on the geophysical effects of wind on wilderness areas. Philip researches in the areas of sound art, acoustic ecology and spatial sound practice, and has been a chief investigator on two Australian Research Council funded projects, Designing Sound for Health and Wellbeing (2008-10), and Spatial Dialogues: Public Art and Climate Change (2011-13). Philip is an Associate Professor and studio coordinator of Sound within the School of Art – RMIT University in Melbourne.
Antarctica: An Absent Presence book review Anthropo[s]cenic Antarctica