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OutlinesShortwaveNew Digital Commissions

Shortwave is a platform for early-career, interdisciplinary Australian artists, commissioned to create new work which explores and extends their digital practice. With Brad Darkson, Nasim Patel, JD Reforma, Claudia Nicholson, Riana Head-Toussaint and Feras Shaheen.

New commissioned works from interdisciplinary artists redefining their practice

Shortwave is a series of commissions for interdisciplinary Australian artists, seeking to further explore and extend their digital practice.

In the 2023 program, Brad Darkson, Nasim Patel, JD Reforma, Claudia Nicholson, Riana Head-Toussaint and Feras Shaheen present performance films that speak to our moment, channeling dance, the internet, photography, disability and artificial intelligence to reimagine their creative relationship with technology.


Feras Shaheen
The Bop

Riana Head-Toussaint
Animate Loading: 3

JD Reforma

Brad Darkson
Dream Job 

Claudia Nicholson
The Deep Rivers Say it Slowly 

Nasim Patel


Shortwave is a digital commissioning program from Sydney Opera House, in collaboration with organisations across the sector. The Bop is supported by Sydney Opera House & Parramatta Artists’ Studios. Dream Job is a co-commission between Sydney Opera House and Liquid Architecture's online journal Disclaimer. Animate Loading: 3 and non-paradise were facilitated through Critical Path’s digital and choreographic exchange program.


Meet the artists

Feras Shaheen

Feras Shaheen’s art practice spans across performance, semiotics, street dance, readymade art and digital media. Shaheen was born in Dubai, to Palestinian parents, and moved to Western Sydney at the age of 11. Shaheen traverses different roles within the arts, working as a director, performer, teacher, choreographer and digital artist. He holds a Bachelor of Design from Western Sydney University (2014).

Feras is currently working with Marrugeku presenting Jurrungu Ngan-ga, a collaborative production that addresses both local and global issues regarding the fear of cultural difference. In an ongoing capacity, Feras works on a duet titled ‘Klapping’ with Ahilan Ratnamohan, a contemporary project that consists of choreographic research into football, initially commissioned by Campbelltown Arts Centre (2017). In 2021, Feras has conceptualised and designed ‘Forum Q’ - a hybrid art form between public art installation and recreation space for the community in collaboration with CAC and Campbelltown Council. Feras has been awarded The Australian Ballet’s Telstra Emerging Choreographer (TEC) in 2021. Feras has recently directed and choreographed a full-show length performative video installation that draws from the postmodern concept of hyperreality titled 'Plastic Bag' which premiered early 2022.

JD Reforma

JD Reforma is an artist, writer and curator. Across these practices he employs collage and quotation broadly, recontextualising elements of contemporary visual culture – pop music, film, fashion, celebrity, media and advertising – to articulate their influence on our personal, political and emotional topographies. His work spans video, sculpture, performance, and installation, and often reveals the inequities of race and class that intersect across our relations, cultures, institutions, and society.

Recent exhibitions include Dreamhome: Stories of Art and Shelter, curated by Justin Paton and Lisa Catt, Art Gallery of NSW; Like A Wheel That Turns: The 2022 Macfarlane Commissions, curated by Max Delany and Annika Kristensen, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne; Free/State, the 2022 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, curated by Sebastian Goldspink, Art Gallery of South Australia; the 67th Blake Prize, Casula Powerhouse; the 2020 John Fries Award, curated by Miriam Kelly, UNSW Galleries; Acid Mantle, COMA, Sydney; Hyper-linked, 2020, curated by Isobel Parker Philip, Art Gallery of New South Wales; HI-VIS, 2020, curated by Luke Letourneau, Casula Powerhouse; Don’t Let Yourself Go, 2020, curated by Megan Monte and Josephine Skinner, Cement Fondu, Sydney; and Collective Trace, 2020, curated by Anna May Kirk, Sophie Penkethman-Young and Nerida Ross, PACT, Sydney.

His work has been extensively profiled by Broadsheet Sydney, Art Collector Magazine, Artlink, The Guardian, The Saturday Paper, RUSSH Magazine, Running Dog and Runway Journal. He was a 2020 City of Sydney Live/Work Space Artist; a 2019/20 Resident Artist at The Clothing Store, Carriageworks; a recipient of the 2018 4A Beijing Studio, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art; and is currently a 2023 Waverley Artists Studios resident. His work is held in various private collections and by the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Brad Darkson

Brad Darkson is a South Australian visual artist currently working across various media including carving, sound, sculpture, multimedia installation, and painting. Darkson's practice is regularly focused on site specific works, and connections between contemporary and traditional cultural practice, language and lore. His current research interests include traditional land management practices, bureaucracy, seaweed, and the neo-capitalist hellhole we're all forced to exist within. Conceptually Darkson's work is often informed by his First Nations and Anglo Australian heritage. Brad's mob on his Dad's side is the Chester family, with lineages to Narungga and many other Nations in South Australia from Ngarrindjeri to Far West Coast. On his Mum's side he's from the Colley and Ball convict and settler migrant families, both arriving in 1839 aboard the Duchess of Northumberland.

 In 2015 he completed a BFA at the University of South Australia and in 2017 he completed an MFAD at the University of Tasmania. Selected exhibitions include Make Yourself Comfortable I (solo exhibition) Post Office Projects 2022, Neoteric (group exhibition) 2022, Experimenta Life Forms (international triennial of media art) touring 2021 - 2024; Adelaide//International (group exhibition) Samstag Museum 2020; International Symposium on Electronic Art (South Korea) 2019; VIETNAM – ONE IN, ALL IN (Country Arts SA national exhibition) touring 2019 – 2021; The Return (group exhibition) Dark Mofo 2018; LOSS. GAIN. REVERB. DELAY. (solo exhibition) Vitalstatistix 2017.

 Darkson currently sits on the board of The Australian Network for Art and Technology, the Guildhouse Artist Advisory Group, and as an Arts South Australia peer assessor.

Claudia Nicholson

Claudia Nicholson is an interdisciplinary artist living and working on Bidjigal and Gadigal land. Her practice examines psychic (relating to the soul or mind) and physical connections to place through multidisciplinary forms of art making including painting, installation, performance, and moving image.

In 2019 Claudia was commissioned by Museum of Contemporary Art (Sydney) and Vivid Sydney as part of Vivid Sydney Festival and presented new commissioned work, By Your Side, at the Art Gallery of NSW. In 2020 she was commissioned by the National Gallery of Australia to develop Art Trail, an art education resource for young people and was invited by the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences and TAFE NSW to deliver the inaugural Creative Studio presented by the Powerhouse and TAFE NSW. Recent exhibitions include Looking at Painting, Casula Powerhouse, Dream Sequence, Urban Theatre Projects 2020, Belonging, Art Gallery of NSW, 2019, Unfinished Business: Perspectives on art and feminism Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, The National 2017: New Australian Art Carriageworks, Sydney; 2017. In 2017 She was awarded the NSW Emerging Visual Arts Fellowship. Her work is held in the collections of the Art Gallery of NSW, Campbelltown Arts Centre and Artbank.

Nasim Patel

Nasim is an artist engaging with diasporic culture, identity, technologies and the Anthropocene through hip-hop, digital work, and writings. He graduated from the VCA with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Dance) in 2018 and is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts in Screen & Cultural Studies and Islamic Studies. He has performed with choreographers such as Jo Lloyd, Rachael Wisby, and Chris Chua, with whom he helped develop the interactive video game performance BeatStorm. Nasim's written work has been published by Hardie Grant in the 2021 SBS Emerging Writers Anthology Between Two Worlds, as part of the Open Tab and Massaged by the Medium projects through Critical Path, and as part of ACCA's 2022 Writing in the Expanded Field IV program.

Riana Head-Toussaint

Riana Head-Toussaint is an interdisciplinary crip/disabled artist of Afro-Caribbean heritage. She frequently straddles multiple roles across her projects; employing choreography, performance, film, sound design and immersive installation to create works that interrogate entrenched systems, structures and ways of thinking; and advocate for social change.

Her practice sits at the intersection of creative expression, activism, cultural exchange and disability justice, and is deeply informed by her movement language and embodied-experience as a wheelchair-user, and her training as a legal practitioner.

Riana's practice also involves significant, broader curatorial/space-making projects, aimed at increasing creative opportunities and connections between traditionally sidelined communities, and opening up space for greater embodiment. She is the founder of ‘Headquarters’ dedicated, disability-led digital space, and CRIP RAVE THEORY, a club night outside the club fostering more intersectionally-accessible rave spaces. She is a DJ (Aquenta) and Solicitor, and has worked in various investigative, policymaking and executive/research positions at the Australian Human Rights Commission and beyond.

Her work has exhibited widely across so-called Australia and virtual spaces, and she has hosted and participated in numerous talks, workshops and panels surrounding art, culture and disability.

Most recently, she was commissioned to choreograph an iteration of site-responsive work Animate Loading, as part of the official opening celebrations of the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ North Building.

Riana currently lives and works on unceded Darug and Gadigal Country.


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