Dr Tracey Benson is an artist, writer and researcher currently based in Australia. Specialising in immersive and screen based media, locative media, inclusive design and site specific installations, 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, energy futures, data visualisation, online engagement, inclusive design and sustainability behaviour change.
A Professional Associate and HDR researcher at the Institute of Applied Ecology, her research focuses on energy efficiency and sustainability behaviour change using diverse knowledge systems.
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.
Her creative work foces 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 used source material of a factual and scientific nature to construct a personal narrative about place. More recent creative explorations have utilised mobile and hand-held online technologies for the creation of virtual and augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality works.
Tracey often works collaboratively with Indigenous groups and individuals on projects to gain better understanding of the landscape we inhabit. The deep knowledge held by Indigenous peoples about land and sea is crucial to raise awareness about the environment and it’s relationship to all life.
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 usually based in Canberra, Australia.