Researcher of the month

Professor Paul Carter

Professor Paul Carter

Place-based knowledge is undergoing a revolution. No longer are terms like 'place', 'community' and 'sustainability' the exclusive domain of planners and economists. The emergence of extraterritorial communities, ephemeral communities and notions of place as distributed, doubled and mobile foreground the fact that places are poetic institutions, imagined into being and maintained through the promotion and circulation of their symbolic capital.

Through his design practice, his many books and now his role as Chair of Creative Place Research at Deakin University, Paul Carter is active in brokering new partnerships between the Humanities, Social Sciences, the Creative Arts and external communities in order to produce places of care.

As Acting Director of Deakin's Centre for Memory, Imagination and Invention he is keen to position Deakin as a major source of research leading to enhanced sociability in the public domain.

His new book, Ground Truthing: Explorations in a Creative Region is an engaging and poetic account of the 'social traces' that underwrite the Mallee region of Victoria. Retracing these, he describes a method for seeing the globe as a whole in terms of nested regions of care. It is a vision that foregrounds concrete thinking and accommodates change as a condition of vitality rather than a threat to it.

'Golden Grove', the public artwork Paul completed with Taylor, Cullity, Lethlan (Landscape Architects) was recently recognised by the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects in their award of the 2010 National Landscape Architecture Award of Excellence for Design for Darlington Public Domain (University of Sydney) Stage Two.

Paul was recently a guest of the Edinburgh International festival where he inaugurated their 'Explorations' series of public lectures. For this event he spoke on the topic: 'Pacific Solutions: new archipelagos in an ocean of thought.'



Recent activities

Ground Truthing: Explorations in a Creative Region (331 pages, 42 illustrations, 2010), University of Western Australia Publishing. Published on 1 October

Paul Carter, 'The Forest in the Clearing:  The Environmental Poetics of  John Shaw Neilson',  pp. 131-156 in  Halfway Houses: The Poetics of Australian Spaces, edited by Barbara Holloway and Jennifer Rutherford, University of Western Australia Publishing. Published in October.  

Paul Carter, 'The Chi Complex and Ambiguities of Meeting', Ambiguity in Culture and Literature, edited by Paolo Bartoloni and Anthony Stephens in CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture, 12.4 (December 2010): <>  (ISSN 1481-4373) Purdue University Press ©Purdue University.

Performance Works
'Pneumatics', provisional title of work for solo voice and parrot calls, co-directed and produced with Chris Williams (ABC, Adelaide) due for online release 16 October 2010 through my website
'Pneumatics' accompanies 'Parrot Language: an original improvement', 2000 word essay contributed to Intellectual Birdhouse: Artistic Practice as Research, edited by Florian Dombois, Ute Meta Bauer, Michael Schwab and Claudia Mareis). To be published and distributed by Rodopi, Amsterdam.

'Nearamnewspeak', radiophonic composition originally broadcast in Australia in 2004. First UK broadcast in September and October 2010, Frequency Oz: An On Air Festival of Australian Radio Art, Resonance Radio, London 104.4 fm.

Public lectures
Paul Carter, 'Pacific Solutions: new archipelagos in an ocean of thought', inaugural lecture in the Explorations Series, Edinburgh International Festival in association with British Council, The Hub, Sunday 22 August 2010 2.30pm.

Paul Carter, 'An Auditorium for Echoes: Inventing Sound Places and the Ethics of Recollection', inaugural lecture of the John E. Sawyer Seminar Series 'Embodied Values: Bringing the Senses back to the Environment'' at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, 6pm, 7 September 2010.

Paul Carter, 'Dry Thinking: On Praying for Rain', written paper based on published essay 'Trockenes Denken: vom Verlust des Wasserbewustseins und von der Poesie des Fluiden', Lettre International, Winter 2008, 76-81, Anthropological Futures, invited seminar, Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, June 12, 2010, 10.00am.

Industry Partnerships
Alice Springs Revitalisation - Todd Mall and Street; and Meeting Place Initial Designs and Business Plan, a commission of the Northern Territory Government Department of Planning and Infrastructure, a collaboration with Design Urban and Sue Dugdale Architects. Capital works budget: $5.5 million. It is hoped that this engagement will provide the vehicle of a broadly-based research partnership delivering a holistic approach to securing goals of prosperity, civility and environmental sustainability focusing on the longer term partners.


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