Dr Tracey Benson is an interdisciplinary artist, media strategist, researcher and creative producer based in Australia. Specialising in online and screen based art, locative media and site specific installation, her work has been presented in Australia, USA, Europe, New Zealand, India, South East Asia and Scandinavia.
Her interests cut across a range of disciplines including environmental science, renewable energy, data visualisation, online engagement, user centred design and sustainability behaviour change.
Tracey is considered a pioneer in the area of net-art and online engagement and has worked with the web since 1995. In 2000, she worked with Margaret Turner at the University of the Sunshine Coast to create one of the earliest web design courses in Australia that included the World Wide Web Consortium’s Accessibility Guidelines (published in 1999).
Over many years, Tracey has been active in broad range of media arts communities. For example, in 2007, she co-founded the Canberra chapter of dorkbot with Alexandra Gillespie and was a moderator on the internationally renowned new media list –empyre- from 2005-07. She is currently a Trustee for Intercreate – a transdisciplinary cross-cultural organisation focusing on exploring and responding to environmental challenges. She is also a Director of Ethos Global Foundation, who has delivered communications infrastructure to remote communities in Australia and beyond.
Her creative work has focused on the connections between landscape and identity. This has been realised through a number of umbrella projects including Big Banana Time Inc (1995-2000) – a parodic investigation of the landscape, tourism and consumerism and Fauxonomy (2007 – 2013). Fauxonomy uses source material of a factual and scientific nature, but by way of constructing a fictitious or personal narrative, the authenticity of the data is challenged.
More recent creative explorations have utilised mobile and hand-held online technologies for the creation of virtual and augmented reality (AR) works. The move to working with handheld devices has also coincided with an increased focus on working collaboratively with Indigenous groups and individuals to gain better understanding of the landscape we inhabit and to raise awareness of the current environmental crisis. Her current major project Words for Water focuses on the humanitarian and environmental issues related to water. Tracey also utilises solar energy in her installation work, as an attempt to make electronic artwork ‘off the grid’.
In 2001 she received a Research MA from Queensland University of Technology, focusing on souvenirs, nostalgia and personal identity. In 2010 Tracey was awarded a PhD at The Australian National University, which explores online communities and social networking tools. Recent publications include chapters in Mobile Media Practices, Presence and Politics and Locating Emerging Media.
For fun, Tracey loves bushwalking, travel and travel writing. She is currently based in Canberra, Australia.
For more information, check out Tracey’s forthcoming projects.