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
Bachelard argued that an experience of the sublime is more commonly found in mountain peaks, deep sea (and the desert) than in populated human environments (Bachelard, 1964). Notions of the Sublime helped the Romantics elicit a sense of mystery in our connection to the natural world. nature can evoke deep emotional reactions. Perhaps we cannot live in harmony with nature without this reaction. Can our relationship with the natural world
Be transformed if we allow Notions of the Sublime ?
Maybe it is time to re-embrace our love for and fear of the Sublime, and thus finding deeper ways to love the world around us?
The human desire for immersion within and/or mastery over nature bears similarities to a romantic relationship, although not of the human kind. The inanimate as well as animate aspects of nature hold a capacity to expose humans, poetically and imaginatively, to other ways of being in the world.
I enjoy nature’s liveliness, the sounds of waves, the touch of water, views down a valley, and the feel of a rock on my skin. I value wilderness more than the civilised.
A couple of nights ago was a full moon. So I went “moon hunting”- trying to capture my experiences, my feelings on video.
I felt interconnected and ‘dissolved’ into a shared experience with the night, the moonlight, the clouds, although I was aware of the boundaries between the environment and me.
Our sensory perceptions make us part of a vast, interpenetrating webwork of sensations borne out of our surroundings. —we are not just by ourselves, but by cold streams running down the mountains, by the silky softness of a dark night, by the sound of owl, and by the unseen touch of the wind.
“Landscape is the world as it is known to those who dwell therein, who inhabit its place and its journey along the paths connecting them” (Ingold, 2000)