Olivia Guntarik is a new media theorist and creative practice researcher.Dr Guntarik's research is interdisciplinary, bringing together collaborative teams that work at the intersection of digital technologies, people and place.
Dr Guntarik has a passion for the history of our cities and in unearthing the less visible stories of the past through critical engagements with our natural, built and cultural heritage. Olivia is drawn to human experiences that tend to be overlooked, misrepresented or relegated to the margins, and chooses to situate their work alongside the histories, narratives and cultural politics of Indigenous, migrant, refugee and women's experiences. This is a political position from which Dr Guntarik 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 teaching in popular culture, and industry collaborations designing location-based augmented and virtual reality experiences and downloadable audio walks.
Dr Guntarik is a regular presenter for ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) and its Education in Games Summit and MPavilion. They work closely with schools, community groups and the creative industries, implementing digital storytelling and media workshops focused on extending skills and knowledge.
Olivia's 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
Higher degree research supervision
Dr Guntarik welcomes project proposals from prospective students interested in pursuing postgraduate study in areas relevant to research in cultural studies (especially popular culture), Indigenous media and creative practice research (including postcolonial literature, creative non-fiction, memoir and ficto-criticism). Olivia has experience supervising students undertaking both creative practice-based research, and traditional MAs and PhDs and is a regular examiner of doctoral and Masters level theses and practice-based projects for a wide range of Australian and international universities.
Olivia coordinates the Approaches to Popular Culture contextual studies minor based in the School of Media and Communication and 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
Dr Guntarik 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 their work. This interest brings Olivia 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. Olivia's site-specific digital work seeks to create experiences that are attentive to place, change, flow, social connections, disruption and cultural difference.
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 respectfully acknowledge 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.
- 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.,Daley, L. (2017). Indigenous creative practice research: between convention and creativity In: New Writing. The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing, 14, 409 - 422
- Couzens, V.,Guntarik, O. (2017). Ephemerality:Morality:Sovereignty In: Sovereignty Melbourne, Australia
- Ridgeway, B.,Guntarik, O. (2017). This sense of place/This living archive: Cocreative digitization and First Nations People's remembering In: Collections: A Journal for Museums and Archives Professionals, 13, 185 - 198
- Guntarik, O.,Berry, M.,Arnoldi, E. (2017). Spheres of influence and new technological trajectories In: Culture, Migration, and Health Communication in a Global Context, Routledge, New York, United States
- Guntarik, O. (2017). Sonic Cartographies In: Education in Games Summit Melbourne, Australia, ACMI
- Guntarik, O.,Garcia Mendoza, J.,Howard, S.,Dyer, A. (2017). Traces: mobile eye tracking captures user sensory experience in an outdoor walking tour environment In: Leonardo, , 1 - 2
- Guntarik, O.,Harwood, A. (2016). Landscape and literacy on Aboriginal country In: Proceedings of the15th World Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning (MLearn 2016), Sydney, Australia, 24-26 October 2016
- Guntarik, O. (2016). Cultural Ecologies In: RMIT University, Office of the Dean, Learning and Teaching Investment Fund Aukland, New Zealand
- Guntarik, O.,Trott, V. (2016). Changing media ecologies in Thailand: Women's online participation in the 2013/2014 Bangkok protests In: ASEAS: Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies, 9, 235 - 252
- 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)
5 PhD Completions and 4 Masters by Research Completions8 PhD Current Supervisions and 2 Masters by Research Current Supervisions