Steven Ball
Marie Craven
Solrun Hoaas
Daryl Dellora

Melbourne independent filmmakers

Leo Berkeley
Giorgio Mangiamele
Michael Buckley
Moira Joseph

Barry Brown
(b. Phillip Whitney)
b. 1962, Carlton, Melbourne, Australia.

BIOGRAPHY:   Barry Brown grew up in the industrial coal-mining town of Morwell.

Largely self-taught he eventually studied Media Arts specializing in sound at RMIT University.

As a teenager he undertook formal guitar lessons and performed in the anti-art riot quartet, a fluctuating free-form ensemble.

Barry Brown

Gradually he veered away from real time extemporisations and became increasingly interested in the abstraction, manipulation and post-reconstruction of sonic events. Initially experimenting with turntables and phonographic re-representations and later devising indeterminate scores utilizing the outcomes as source material for magnetic tape compositions he called dub improvisations, he developed a mis-en-phonic style that eschews stereo images preferring to build multi-layered mon-aural textures. The audio works are generally a-thematic, ranging from shapeless, disfigured adagios to explorations into experimental consonance and are composed of blurred superimpositions, dissolving tape cannons and hyper-static arpeggios.

After obtaining work in a large manufacturing workshop Brown began a series of audio verity recordings documenting various job tasks and industrial settings which he broadcast on Subterranean Underground, a program he compiled for 3GCR community radio.

He stumbled upon avant cinema whilst peering through the viewfinder of a toy Super 8 camera a friend had purchased from the op-shop which was consolidated shortly after by the chance meeting with a librarian from the local university. Brown was informed that the school had axed its film course but still retained a fascinating collection of history and theory books, and was offered to be keyed in, in the guise of a student. Brown fronted up the following day thus beginning his imaginary degree. Coinciding was the advent of the Melbourne Cinémathèque, and many of the films he was discovering one week were being screened the next. He regularly travelled from country to city to try to work out what these films were really all about. Almost three years later, just prior to completing his imaginary degree, Brown was busted by the head Librarian and thrown out of the Academy.

Four Pitches for Saxophone

His Super 8 constructs are abstract and paralogical miniatures, examining alienation and the unconscious, combining obscure montage clusters, dysoptic interludes, telematic inserts and ambient illusions. The works also include experimental animation studies investigating analogue & electronic optical feedback and the fabrication of phono/optic anti-patterns via chance permutations.

In the early 1990s Brown became involved with the Footscray based TVU and assisted in the staging of numerous test transmissions in the drive to secure a public television license. It was here that he was introduced to the revolutionary and now discontinued Amiga computer and began – with Irene Proebsting – a series of oblique documentary installations for time based media and/or photography & text; The Last Metal Trades Junior (1992), refer the attached attachment, brew BOY in idler spacers and Industrial Vesper #11 (all 1993), Dissonance (2011) and Abandoned Empire (2012). Abstract didactics and random occlusions, ambivalent trenchants examining privatisation, technological obsolescence and post-industrial somnambulism; the inability of capital to form new systems of exchange, just and equitable structures that are aesthetic, ecological and inclusive.

He was an active member of the Melbourne Super 8 Film Group establishing Interval Music(s) and experimental audio series that accompanied the monthly screenings.

Brown lives in Boola Boola on Gunnaikurnai country.


CRITICAL OVERVIEW:   My sound films are more or less anti-idiomatic … absurdist ambient … hyper expressionist … free-form … minimalist … documentary abstractions … miniature systems pieces and improvisations concerned with misperception and disorientation of memory.

I guess I’m a believer in avant-garde preoccupations with representational and non-representational abstraction as a device to engage personal, social and/or political transformation.

- Barry Brown 2013

See also (silent cinema) or the lazy fitter

See also Industrial Vesper #11


Industrial Vesper #4
Industrial Vesper #4

Untitled Projection I (for amplified projector and effects) (1989, 6 mins)

random rhythm pattern (1989, 3 mins, Super 8)

noodle (1989, 3 mins, Super 8)

Jelly No. 3 (1989, 4 mins, Super 8)

pander dressings (1989, 3 mins, Super 8)

10.X.1990 (1990, 3 mins, Super 8)

Industrial Vesper #4 (1992, 2.5 mins, Super 8)

Sibelius loops
Sibelius loops

28.X.1993 (1993, 2 mins, Super 8)

Blow Market (1993, 4 mins, digital)

Four Pitches for Saxophone (1994, 4 mins, Super 8)

Eleven chords for two guitars (1995, 5 mins, Super 8)

Poss (s) bathtub (1995, 6 mins, Super 8)

Holiday Movie (1996, 9 mins, Super 8)

Sibelius loops (1996, 5 mins, Super 8)

Latrobe Regional Gallery Portal, Morwell, Video. Jelly No. 3

Made In Collaboration With Irene Proebsting:

Industrial Vespers #11
Industrial Vesper #11

The Last Metal Trades Junior (1992, 15 mins, Computer, Photocopies, 2 tape players)

Industrial Vesper #11 (1993, 18 mins, Computer & tape player)

Still Life without Oranges (1997, 7.5mins, Super 8)

Instruments for Chorus & Orchestra (1999, 12 mins, Super 8)

The Noojee Garden (1996-2001, 16 mins, Super 8)

Harmonic Ghosts (2009, 3 mins, Super 8)

Abandoned Empire (2012, 9 mins, Col & B&W, Super 8)

Industrial Nocturne No. 2

Luna Berlin (2013, 9 mins, Super 8)

Postlude (2013, 3 mins, Super 8)

Industrial Nocturne No. 2 (2016, 6 min, Video)

Edge of the Range (2018, 6 min, Super 8)

Tonal Drift (2018, 6 min, Super 8)

Mirrored Light (2019, 3.15min, colour, Super 8)

Rising Thermal (2022, 9:46, col, video from Super 8)

Industrial Vesper #11 (reconstructed) (2023, HD Video, 18:33)


1993, The Last Metal Trades Junior, Opening Night – Cowwarr Art Space. Installation

1994, New Minimalism, Experimenta, Grant St Theatre, Melbourne. Super 8 Film

1994, Giddy Radiance, Cinamateque, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Sydney. Super 8 Film

1994, Kiosk 8, Domain Theatre, Art Gallery NSW. Super 8 Film

1995, Reel Art, Gorman House Arts Centre, ACT. Super 8 Film

1995, Virtualities, Industrial Vesper #11 with Irene Proebsting, Scienceworks, Melbourne. Computer Installation

1995, Super Kiosk 8, State Film Centre Melbourne and 24 Hour Art Darwin, Super 8.

1996, VIVA 8, London Filmakers Co-op, Super 8 Film

1996, Naked 8, State Film Theatre Melbourne, Super 8 Film

1996, Horror 8, Cafe Bohemia Fitzroy, Super 8 Film.

1997, SURPRISE International Short Film Festival, Taichung City, Taiwan. Super 8 Film

1998, Mayana (remix) 24 Hour Art, Darwin, Super 8 Film.

1999, Best and Worst, Open Screening, Erwin Rado Theatre, Fitzroy.

1999, Ultraprojections #2, Dancehouse, Melbourne, Super 8 Film

2001, Ultraprojections #3, La Mama Theatre, Melbourne, Super 8 Film

2010, Artist Film Workshop (Performance and projections), Tape Projects, Melbourne, Super 8 Film

2011, In the View of the Lens, AIEFF, The BAck doOR Preston, Super 8 Film

2012, seensound: visual/music, LOOP Project Space, Melbourne, DVD

2012, Transiting Cities, Dual monitor and sound installation, Latrobe Regional Gallery Morwell and RMIT Design Hub Melbourne

2013, Questions of Beauty, The Question of Divinity, AIEFF, LOOP Project Space, Melbourne, Super 8 Film.

2013, Abandoned Empire, Night Projection, Bus Stop Clock Tower, Winter Festival Morwell, Video.

2014, Luna Berlin, Seensound:Visual/Music Series, LOOP Project Space, Melbourne, DVD.

2014, Of the Human Condition, AIEFF, The Artists Film Workshop, Melbourne and Replants Perth, Video.

2016, Discreet Montage, Latrobe Regional Gallery, Video.

2017, A Landscape Sideways, Metanoia Theatre Brunswick, Video.

2018, Obscure Transmissions, RetrOZ!, Artist Film Workshop, Fitzroy, Super 8 film.

2018, Industrial Nocturne No. 2, CCP, Fitzroy, Video.

2019, Remix, Latrobe Regional Gallery, Morwell, Video.

2020, Moving Pictures, Latrobe Regional Gallery, Video.

2020, RGB, Latrobe Regional Gallery, Video.

2020, Field, Latrobe Regional Gallery Portal, Morwell, Video.

2021, Love, La Mama Cinematica!, Video.

2021, 50 Years 50 Artists, Latrobe Regional Gallery (photomedia and video)

2022, Fragile Earth: Extinction, Gippsland Art Gallery, Video and Sound Installation.

2023, Industrial Vesper #11 (reconstructed), Born Digital Cultural Heritage Conference ACMI.


Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art, Berlin

Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), Melbourne

Gippsland Art Gallery, Sale

Latrobe Regional Gallery, Morwell

Eleven chords for two guitars
Eleven chords for two guitars


"Industrial Vesper #11", by B. Brown & I. Proebsting. Cantrills Filmnotes, No. 79-80, November 1995.

"(silent cinema) or the lazy fitter", by Barry Brown Melbourne Super Eight Group Newsletter, Special 100th Issue, March 1995.

"Mon-Aural Projections", by Barry Brown, Sonic Eight, Newsletter of the Melbourne Super Eight Film Group, Issue 102, May 1995.

Mise-en-phónics, by Jake Wilson, Discreet Montage catalogue, 2016.

Instruments for Chorus and Orchestra: A polemical feminist reading by Kate Zizys, 2019.

Rising Thermal by Irene Proebsting & Barry Brown, Gippsland Art Gallery, Gallery News, Vol 54, No. 1, Spring 2023.

Collecting, Curating, Preserving and Researching Media Arts: A good practice report by Melanie Swalwell, Helen Stuckey, Cynde Moya, Denise de Vries, December 1st, 2023.

© Barry Brown, February 2024.

Barry Brown and Irene Proebsting's website

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Melbourne independent filmmakers is compiled by Bill Mousoulis