Olivia Guntarik is a new media theorist and creative practice researcher.
Olivia has a passion for the history of our cities and in unearthing stories of the past through critical engagements with our natural, built and cultural heritage. She is drawn to human experiences that tend to be overlooked, misrepresented or relegated to the margins, and chooses to situate her work alongside the histories, narratives and cultural politics of Indigenous, migrant, refugee and women's experiences. This is a political position from which she writes and chooses to privilege.
Olivia's central research focus is on how media shapes our environment, identities and interactions, and how we in turn shape media. This research has appeared in writings on how we use old and new media in protests (edited with Vicki Grieves-Williams for Bloomsbury) and a special issue on different styles of literature, storytelling and performance in creative expression (collaboration with Michael Taussig and Michael Angelo Tata for New Writing, Routledge). This interest extends into her teaching in popular culture, and industry collaborations designing location-based augmented and virtual reality experiences and downloadable audio walks.
Industry Engagements: Olivia is a regular presenter for ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) and its Education in Games Summit and MPavilion. She works closely with schools, community groups and the creative industries, implementing digital storytelling and media workshops focused on extending skills and knowledge.
Speciality areas include:
- Community archives
- Interactive technologies and place-based user experiences
- Cultural tours using mobile apps (audio sound walks)
- Digital strategy and engagement
- Digital curriculum development
- Environmental, technological and spatial design (museums, galleries, cultural centres, memorials, parklands and public art spaces)
See LinkedIn profile for upcoming speaking engagements and events: https://www.linkedin.com/in/olivia-guntarik-30058410b/
Higher degree research supervision: Olivia welcomes project proposals from prospective students interested in pursuing postgraduate study in areas relevant to her research in cultural studies (especially popular culture), Indigenous media and creative practice research (including postcolonial literature, creative non-fiction, memoir and ficto-criticism). She has experience supervising students undertaking both creative practice-based research, and traditional MAs and PhDs. She is a regular examiner of doctoral and Masters level theses and practice-based projects for a wide range of Australian and international universities.
Teaching: Olivia coordinates the Approaches to Popular Culture contextual studies minor based in the School of Media and Communication. She teaches into the following courses: Pop Culture in Everyday Life; New Perspectives in Contemporary Pop Culture and Television Cultures.
Grants, awards and honours:
- 2019 DSC/RMIT Europe Fellowship
- 2018 ARC Kathleen Fitzpatrick Laureate Fellowship @ the University of Melbourne with Joy Damousi (convener)
- 2017 Research Fellow, Institute of Critical Social Inquiry @ New School for Social Research, NYC (Fellow in Michael Taussig's seminar 'Thought-Images, Body and Mimesis in Walter Benjamin'.
- 2017/18 Award recipient Creative Victoria, Virtual Artists in Schools program (with Ben Byrne and Patrick Kelly)
- 2016/17 Award recipient Creative Victoria, Virtual Artists in Schools program
- 2016/17 Research grant, Lowitja Institute & the Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) for the project, Koorramook Yakeeneeyt (Possum Dreaming): Cultural Revitalisation Practices, Health and Wellbeing in Aboriginal Communities (with Vicki Couzens)
- 2016 Teaching grant, RMIT, Office of the Dean, Learning and Teaching Investment Fund (LTIF) for the project, Learning on the Go: Mobile-Learning and Indigenous Pedagogy
- 2015 Teaching Fellowship, RMIT, Office of the Dean, Learning and Teaching for Sustainability (LTfS) for the project, Place Narrative: Strengthening Students' Environmental Literatures through Aboriginal Art Education
Industry and Community Experience
Olivia works with creative agencies, schools, Indigenous communities and organisations, and the cultural heritage sector to bring digital ideas to life. This includes developing models, tools and strategies for a range of place-based technology-focused problems related to urban planning considerations, environmental challenges and the constructive uses of public spaces. Maps, archives, artefacts, audiovisual and cultural heritage material are important features of her work. This interest brings her into contact with people working across multi-disciplines and industries from writers, artists, gamers, designers and digital experts to geographers, ethnographers, psychologists, educators, ecologists, historians and computer scientists. Her site-specific digital work seeks to create experiences that are attentive to place, change, flow, social connections, disruption and cultural difference.
Personal acknowledgement: I acknowledge RMIT, Creative Victoria, Department of Education and Training, Australia Council for the Arts, Lowitja Institute, Boonwurrung Foundation, Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation and the Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages, for their generous support. This has enabled me to continue my research over the years. I respectfully acknowledge that I live and work on the unceded, ancestral and traditional territories of the Eastern Kulin Nations (Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups). I extend my acknowledgement to their elders and leaders past, present and emerging. I acknowledge my ongoing relationships, connections and commitments to the First Peoples, and the benefits and obligations these bring.
- PhD UniMelb (The Australia Centre, Faculty of Arts and School of Historical Studies)
- MA RMIT (School of Media and Communication)
- BA Latrobe (Cinema Studies and Sociology)
- GradDip RMIT (School of Education)
- Guntarik, O.,Bellote, C. (2021). After Life: Laying Flower Memes on My Mother’s Grave and the Recollective Realm of Life after Death In: Beyond the Veil, Berghahn Books, United States
- Guntarik, O.,Trott, V. (2020). On Solitude and Solidarity In: From Sit-Ins to #revolutions, Bloomsbury Academic, United States
- Guntarik, O. (2020). On the Concept of Progress In: From Sit-Ins to #revolutions: Media and the Changing Nature of Protests, Bloomsbury Academic, New York, United States
- Guntarik, O.,Grieve-Williams, V. (2020). 'Together we are more': New Media for Old Tales In: From Sit-Ins to #revolutions, Bloomsbury Academic, United States
- Briggs, C.,Burfurd, I.,Duckham, M.,Guntarik, O.,Kerr, D.,McMillan, M.,San Martin Saldias, D. (2020). Bridging the geospatial gap: Data about space and indigenous knowledge of place In: Geography Compass, 14, 1 - 17
- Guntarik, O. (2020). Lest we remember In: Overland MELBOURNE, Australia
- Briggs, C.,Davies, H.,Guntarik, O.,Innocent, T. (2019). TIMeR Audiowalk: Stories of Land, River and Sky In: RMIT Engaging for Impact 2019 conference Melbourne, Australia
- Guntarik, O.,Kelly, P.,Byrne, B.,Fiegert, B.,Glisovic, S. (2019). CREATIVE TECHNOLOGIES a case study of place-based learning and teaching in the digital age In: Creative Victoria and Kangaroo Flat Primary School Melbourne, Australia
- Guntarik, O. (2018). FIG(URATIONS): One Extended Metaphor for the Poetic Method, a Vignette for Convolute H (and an Ode to Walter Benjamin) In: Critical Arts: South-North Cultural and Media Studies, 32, 143 - 155
- Guntarik, O. (2018). mimesis In: Culture Shock Melbourne, Australia
6 PhD Current Supervisions7 PhD Completions and 4 Masters by Research Completions
- Memefest Social Design: Food and Culture. Funded by: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade - Competitive from (2021 to 2023)
- Talking Country: Sharing Indigenous stories of place through mobile media. Funded by: ARC Linkage Project Grants 2018 from (2020 to 2024)
- Koorramook Yakeeneeyt (Possum Healing): Cloaks, Cultural Traditions and Wellbeing in Aboriginal Communities. Funded by: Lowitja Institute CRC - Contract Research from (2016 to 2018)
- Voices from the Margins: First and Second Generation Narratives of Place and Belonging. Funded by: Malcolm Moore Industry Research Grant from (2012 to 2012)
- Festival places; Mapping the Social Dimensions of Cultural Festivals in Australia and Asia. Funded by: RMIT Emerging Researcher Grants from (2008 to 2009)