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Photo: (Above) L to R: Artists David Crouch, John Waller, Adam Wolter, Eugene Carchesio, in conversation at ' A Monochrome Set' exhibition, That Contemporary Art Space, 1986


John Waller was born in Melbourne in 1954, relocated to Brisbane in 1959, he currently works and lives in Darwin. An artist working today predominately with digital media, John’s current practice focusing on the development of computer animation, video, sound for screen, projection, and installation projects.


During the 1980’s and early 1990’s John was an active participant in the Brisbane ARI sector. He co-founded the ARI, That Contemporary Art Space with artist peers including Dianne Heenan, Wayne Smith, Christopher McKimm, Hollie, Yvette Kiorgaard, Brian Doherty and Paul Andrew in February 1985 and at this time was an active member of the founding committee of the Art Workers Union Qld.

In the early 1980s John had an artist studio located on the second floor of the Brisbane Community Arts Centre located in Edward Street. The Brisbane Community Arts centre had long been an important hub for artist DIY activities. John held numerous solo and group exhibitions during that period, including the opening exhibition and the This Work Was collaboration, with artist Brian Doherty and others, both held at That Space in 1985.


Related artist-run spaces around that period, John also showed at John Mills Annex, Arch Lane Public Art, and Gallery Brutal, in Brisbane, Rondeau in Sydney, and Coode View in Melbourne. In terms of institutional spaces John showed his work in the Peter Cripps curated group exhibition, Brisbane Hot in 1985 at the IMA, and was an assistant curator at the Random Access exhibition held at MOCA in 1987 then located at South Brisbane.


In 2008 John completed a PhD in the School of Art at RMIT, developing entity, an artificial life inspired interactive animated character, to explore interactive engagement and the possibilities an artificial life approach to programming might offer such a character.


Today, John is treasurer for the Darwin Visual Arts Association (DVAA), an ARI in Darwin. In 2009-2013 he was on the Board of Management for J-Studios an artist-run studio and gallery complex in North Fitzroy, Melbourne.


For the past two years John has been lecturing in Interactive Digital Media at Charles Darwin University.

Art Practice Keywords:

Digital Media, Video Art, Installation Art


Artist Role Keywords:

Visual Artist

Collaboration/ Collaborator names Keywords:

Qld Artworkers Union, That Contemporary Art Space, Liquorice Lounge, Night On The Tiles



Various Private Collections

University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane

Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane




2000 – 2008

PhD by Project, part-time, School of Art, RMIT, Melbourne



Bachelor of Computer Science (First Year), Latrobe University, Melbourne


1995 – 96

Advanced Diploma in Electronic Design and Interactive Media, RMIT, Melbourne


1978 – 80

Queensland College of Art, Brisbane (Painting Major)



Group Exhibitions



12 x 12, Darwin Visual Arts Association, Darwin



Electricity, Darwin Visual Arts Association, Darwin

Warp Festival, Darwin Fringe, Happy Yess, Darwin



Visible Horizon, AIRY and Fusetsu Galleries, Yamanashi, Japan;

The Library Artspace, J Studios, Melbourne



Experimental Sounds Sculptures and Installations,

The Library Artspace, J Studios, Melbourne



Plus One 2010, The Library Artspace, J-Studios,

Melbourne, collaboration with Natalie Grant



Gulag, Counihan Gallery in Brunswick, Melbourne

Gertrude Street Projection Festival, Melbourne



International Students’ Exhibition, Shanghai Biennale 2008

(exhibition of Phd materials)

Plus One, The Library Artspace, J-Studios, Melbourne,

collaboration with Mary Peacock



Siemens Awards, RMIT Gallery, Melbourne



Modelling Space, Project Space, Building 94, RMIT, Melbourne



White Elephant Sale, Grey Area, Melbourne



QWERTY: approaches to a digital aesthetic, Linden Gallery, Melbourne

RooF RooF: an evening of dance, movement, machine and images, the roof of KC Parksafe, Cardigan St, Melbourne



short, sharp, and very current, Experimenta Media Arts Festival, Lonsdale Street Power Station, Melbourne

CyberFringe, Stop 22, Melbourne



Beta Test, New Media Network, Melbourne

Digital Shifts, Noosa Regional Gallery, Queensland

End of Year Exhibition, Electronic Design and Interactive Media, RMIT, Steps Gallery, Melbourne



Media Wave 93, Gyor, Hungary

Fearless, Artestudio, Bergamo, Italy;

Forum “Kunst und Schule”, Gutersloh, Germany

Empty Land, Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea, England;

Zone Gallery, Newcastle, England

Post, Coode View Gallery, Melbourne

Vitae, Faculty Gallery, Dept. Fine Art, RMIT Melbourne



Empty Land, Camerawork Gallery, London;

Stills Gallery, Edinburgh

Reference Points: A New Perspective, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane

Fact, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane;

Linden, Melbourne



Instant Imaging, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane



SISEA (Second International Symposium on Electronic Art), Gröningen, Netherlands

Scanning the Code, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney

Space 90, Queensland College of Art Gallery, Brisbane

RSVWWZ, Ausgraph 90, Melbourne;

belowZERO, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane

Video Art and New Technology Festival, Film and Television Institute, Fremantle

Queensland Images – A Film Festival, Queensland State Library, Brisbane



Visual Poetics, Museum of Contemporary Art, Brisbane

Random Access, Museum of Contemporary Art, Brisbane


1988 Axis File, Sites of Dis-Closure, 2B/The Garage, New York City, U.S.A.;

arch lane PUBLIC ART, Brisbane.


1985 Brisbane Hot, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane

Opening exhibition, THAT Contemporary Art Space, Brisbane

This is THAT, Gladstone Art Gallery, Gladstone

This Work Was, THAT Contemporary Art Space, Brisbane



Individual Exhibitions


The River, The Night Screen, Seventh Gallery, Melbourne



Propeller, The Night Screen, Seventh Gallery, Melbourne



PhD examination exhibition, School of Art Gallery, RMIT, Melbourne



For one night only, Gossard Project Space, RMIT, Melbourne



burning . . ., Bartlem Galleries, Brisbane

Video installation, McWhirters shop front window, Valley Mall, Brisbane



Recent Drawings, Savode Gallery, Brisbane.



The Great Australian Landscape:

Part I, MINI MOCA, Museum of Contemporary Art, Brisbane

Part II, arch lane Annex, arch lane PUBLIC ART, Brisbane

Part III, arch lane PUBLIC ART, Brisbane



Brisbane Community Arts Centre Gallery, Brisbane






Print of a Pulse, dance/performance/installation project, Dance House, Melbourne



K/nights in Shining Amour – Part II (The Maiden’s Revenge), with David Crouch, Jacqueline Eyers, and Adam Wolter, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane



K/nights in Shining Amour, with David Crouch, Jacqueline Eyers, and Tony Moore, Galerie Brutal, Brisbane



Something Fishy (A Little Cat Nap), with Adam Wolter, installation, La Boite Theatre Foyer, Brisbane.

Gallery of the Dyslexic Frog, with Tony Moore, gallery/installation/performance/community art project, Public Service workplace, Brisbane



Installation, with Ruth Propsting, Art-Space/Street-Space, Art Space Annex, Sydney



Sunday Afternoon at the Gallery, Friday Night in the Mall, Sunday Afternoon in the Gardens, series of public performances, Brisbane, with Barbara Allen, Peter Anderson, Barbara Campbell, Maria Filippow, Claudje Lecompte, Ruth Propsting, and Ted Riggs



Grants and Awards



ArtStart, Australia Council, funds to develop business, marketing, and networking tools for a new media art practice



Digital Media Fund, Film Victoria. Funds for research and experimentation towards developing a computer-based interactive virtual character



Individual Professional Development Program, Arts Division, Queensland Government



New Image Research program, the Australian Film Commission and the Queensland Film Development Office




Johnson, F., “Out of the gulag”, The Age, Friday, April 17, 2009

Zurbrugg, N., “John Waller Interviewed by Nicholas Zurbrugg”, Electronic Arts in Australia, Continuum, Vol. 8, No. 1, 1994, pp. 437-443

Lillington, D., “Southern Crossings/Empty Land”, Time Out, London, August 5-12, 1992

Zurbrugg, N., “Instant Imaging”, Eyeline, No.16, Spring 1991, p 32

Zurbrugg, N., “Random Access”, Eyeline, No.11, Autumn 1990, p 27

Woolcock, P., “Charlotte Street arrives as an art centre”, The Courier Mail, June, 1985

Catalogue, Gulag Studios 1994 – 2009, Sheridan Palmer, Gulag Publishing, 2009

Catalogue, RMIT University Shool of Art Postgraduate Art Research by Project, catalogue for International Students’ Exhibition, Shanghai Biennale 2008

Catalogue, Southern Crossings/Empty Land, Camerawork, London, 1992, pp 11, 67-68

Catalogue, Instant Imaging, Queensland Art Gallery, 1991, pp 6, 8-9

Catalogue, Visual Poetics, Museum of Contemporary Art, Brisbane, p 55, 1989

Catalogue, Random Access, Museum of Contemporary Art, Brisbane, 1989