Punctum experiments in live arts - making the difference, by making differently
Founded in 2004, Punctum is an artist-led live arts organisation on Dja Dja Wurrung Country and based in Castlemaine, Australia.
We work towards a future where:
• Live arts and the idea of ‘making differently’ are situated at the heart of regional culture.
• Regionally based live arts experiments and artists are a key part of the national arts map.
• Artists, audiences and communities are connected to local issues and universal concerns through regional live arts practice.
• Contemporary regional contexts are reflected in Australian cultural discourse and part of national and international creative engagement and exchange.
• Regional artists are supported in terms of experimentation and ‘making the difference’ locally.
• Artists, audiences and communities are better equipped to know ‘the difference’ we can make.
We're a key organisation for arts excellence and enquiry. We examine the relationship between artist, audiences and systems through live arts productions and residencies.
We work in collaboration with established and emerging artists, audiences, institutions, organisations and businesses.
Our works are grown regionally and are presented locally, nationally and internationally.
We are small in scale and big in commitment.
We seek to advance contemporary performance practice through experiments developed in regional contexts.
We foster new approaches to live performance making and audience engagement.
Our productions, programs and curating generate unique opportunities for artists to experiment and create new works with audiences in supportive settings locally, nationally and internationally.
Our aesthetic, like our approach to creating and collaborating, shifts with the expression of each subject, artists and setting.
Artists associated with our programs develop new works that push boundaries and open the way for audience collaboration and participation. We invite artists to experiment with installations and performances that encourage action and reflection; to build contemporary art forms that are inclusive. We draw on local and expert knowledge, systems, sites and civic concerns, working in close proximity with researchers and residents. Through our programs we seek to gather people together to collectively reinterpret their present, reconsider their past and re-imagine their future.
We create programs which give contemporary art and experimentation a central place in regional culture.
We drive two programs:
Works - Punctum's in-house multi-year commissioned, curated and created works. We've created and produced seventy-one works since 2004.
Residencies - Our residencies are renowned for the approach we take to hosting. We've hosted and mentored over four hundred artists since 2008.
In 2011 Punctum was funded as a cultural leader in live arts through the Australia Council’s Cultural Leadership initiative. In 2012 we were cited in Regional Arts Victoria’s Key Producer document as being one of two regionally based Victorian “icon” arts organisations. We were the sole Australian arts organisation commissioned for the international program in MONS2015 - European Cultural Capital, Belgium and in 2017 the sole regionally based organisation to be commissioned in the inaugural AsiaTOPA program for Big Walk to Golden Mountain.
We have undertaken fifteen major live arts investigations and creations, which have given rise to many works. Like Russian Matryoshka dolls, these contained works within works. Through these investigations and creations, Punctum has gathered a considerable body of knowledge and experience. We’ve established strong and productive long-term relationships with many local, national and international partners and keep connected with a rolling roster of Punctum artist alumni.
In 2017, Punctum's Live Art Auction was awarded two industry Green Room Awards in the Experimental and Contemporary Performance Category for Production Excellence, and Innovation in Audience Participation; in 2019 Punctum's Public Cooling House was nominated in the same Green Room Award category for Curatorial innovation.