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Creative Concept & Sound Design: Monica Lim
Coding: Bingqing Chen & Ying Sima
UI Design: Melanie Huang
Piano MIDI interface: Angus Donald
Special thanks to all students and course coordinators from the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, School of Dance and School of Computing and Information Systems who participated in the residency. In particular Dr Jarrod Knibbe for additional supervision.

Thank you to Dr Ryan Jeffries, Dr Heather Gaunt, Dr Sarah Kirby and the team at the Grainger Museum for all your help and support. 

Video by Celeste de Clario and Patrick Telfer.


We live in an age of Simulacra, where versions of ourselves are created, multiplied, stored, transformed and shared, often without our knowledge or consent. We fear losing our humanness, individually and as a species, not knowing whether the thing we encounter is real or merely a symbol of what was once real.


In much the same way that Artificial Intelligence is the amalgamation of many peoples’ bodies, knowledge, thoughts and creativity, Simulacra is an amalgamation between resident researcher Monica Lim, the Grainger Museum and students from the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, VCA Dance and the School of Computing and Information Systems. We thought deeply about AI in the creative arts and more broadly in society, speculating about its promise of freedom to reach new artistic frontiers, in contrast to the risk of accelerating a monoculture in a feedback cycle of data scraping, copying and regenerating.

We found a strange companionship with Percy and Ella Grainger’s mannequins, simulacras that served both as a metaphor for AI and as a repository for our anxieties and exhilaration about new possibilities. Grainger’s legacy of retranslating folk songs and other composer’s works, and producing multiple versions of his own work drew parallels to technology being used to ‘preserve and embalm’ our everyday life, then producing multiple created selves in our social media feed and big data models.

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