Inhabiting the Archive

Promotional postcard created by Arts Victoria in 1997 for Lucy Guerin. Image from Robbery Waitress on Bail.

Inhabiting the Archive is a collaboration between the Digital Studio at the University of Melbourne and Digital Heritage Australia that aims to create content-rich visualisations of significant performing arts venues in Melbourne that will soon be closed. These interactive tour experiences combine photosphere images that document venue interiors and exteriors with 360-degree videos that bring the venues to life.

The tours also prioritise inter-operability with the resource-rich Theatre and Dance Platform, a digital repository for performing arts-related material established in 2017 at the University of Melbourne. Relevant digital objects from these collections – including posters, programs, archival audio-visual material and other ephemera – have been embedded in the tours, along with short commentaries and specially commissioned interviews, to provide historical and research context.

Inhabiting the Archive traces the changing function of performance venues of national importance in the cultural ecosystem over a fifty-year period, revealing changes in the theatre and dance culture of the city against the background of shared public spaces. These tours and the Theatre and Dance Platform were created as part of the University of Melbourne's commitment to supporting the AusStage Visualising Venues project (ARC LIEF 2017-8) with AusStage, a key resource for research into live performance in Australia.

This first project has focused on performing arts venues – the Union Theatre, Guild Theatre and Des Connor Room – in the Union House complex at the University of Melbourne and the Lucy Guerin Inc Studio in West Melbourne, both venues slated for imminent destruction and redevelopment.

Lucy Guerin

Explore the former West Melbourne headquarters of Australian contemporary dance company Lucy Guerin Inc.

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