What's On

Artist Sessions

Alexander Powers & Andy Butler with Latai Taumoepeau

Presented in Season 1 2022

Live Online Artist Talk
Presented by Arts House as part of Makeshift Publics Critical Response Series

Thu 3 Mar, 2022


Free – Watch the recording here

Auslan Interpreting
Closed Captioning

From transcendent new forms of gathering to the ghosts of white saviourism, our first Artist Sessions series is brimming with provocative ideas.

Join us for the first in our Makeshift Publics Artist Sessions series, and hear from two artists from the 2021 cohort as they present research, ideas and themes in their practice.

This session includes electronic musician, DJ and dancer Alexander Powers who will talk alongside writer, curator and artist Andy Butler, hosted by Makeshift Publics facilitator Latai Taumoepeau.

Powers will discuss Powertrip, a club night and music label through which she has tried to reimagine prescribed economic and social structures within the underground electronic music scene in order to reveal transcendent new forms of gathering and spectating.

In Beauty, Benevolence and Patronage, Butler continues his ongoing and wide-ranging investigation into how the ghosts of white saviourism haunt the arts and cultural sector, and asks how we can push past or subvert these legacies that still shape the way artists are able to make work.

The session will be followed by a Q&A.


About the Artists

Alexander Powers is an artist residing on Wurundjeri land in Melbourne, Australia, whose work spans experimental performance, electronic music, DJing and event organisation. Their choreographic work has been performed at Brunswick Mechanics Institute, the Immigration Museum and most recently in video form for Liquid Architecture’s online journal, Disclaimer. As a dance performer, they have most notably performed in Luke George’s work Public Actions as part of Dance Massive, as well as in works by Rebecca Jensen and Sarah Aitken.

As a DJ, performing under the name Female Wizard, they have gained national and international recognition, having played at festivals including Golden Plains, Dark Mofo, Boiler Room, Soft Centre and Hybrid Festival, creating mixes for Discwoman and Boiler Room’s Hard Dance series, receiving a four-year residency at Le Fag, and hosting their own series of experimental club events called Powertrip. This year, under the same moniker, they extended their practice into music production, and released an album of experimental techno on local label Anterograde. Across all these mediums, Powers displays a commitment to the interruption of hegemony, dedication to the experimental and a deep enquiry into finding new forms of gathering and spectating.

Andy Butler is a writer, curator and artist. His multidisciplinary practice investigates the structures of power that shape cultural and artistic production. For Makeshift Publics, he is researching how current discourses of social justice reflect the ideals of white saviourism used to justify the American colonisation of the Philippines.

Andy’s writing on art and politics has been published widely, including by The Saturday Paper, The Monthly, Art + Australia, Runway, Overland and more. Recent curatorial projects include Always there and all a part (2017) through BLINDSIDE’s Emerging Curatorial Mentorship and Those Monuments Don’t Know Us (2019) at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre. He is the exhibitions curator at West Space. As an artist, he has exhibited at Bus Projects, Firstdraft, The SUBSTATION and Footscray Community Arts Centre. In 2019 he undertook an Asialink Residency to Manila, and in 2017 he participated in FCAC’s Emerging Cultural Leaders program.

Latai Taumoepeau makes live art. Her faivā (performance practice) is from her homelands, the Island Kingdom of Tonga and her birthplace Sydney, land of the Gadigal people. She mimicked, trained and un-learned dance, in multiple institutions of learning, starting with her village, a suburban church hall, a few nightclubs and a university. Her body-centred performance practice of faivā centres Tongan philosophies of relational space and time; cross-pollinating ancient and everyday temporal practice to make visible the impact of climate crisis in the Pacific. She conducts urgent environmental movements and actions to create transformation in Oceania.

In the near future she will return to her ancestral home and continue the ultimate faivā (performing art) of sea voyaging and celestial navigation before she becomes an ancestor.

Artist Statement

Powertrip is a club night and music label run by DJ, electronic music producer and choreographer Alexander Powers. In this project, she has tried to reimagine prescribed economic and social structures within the local underground electronic music scene, in order to reveal new transcendent forms of gathering and spectating. In this artist talk she discusses the questions and ideas that continue to lead her into this inquiry, what has and hasn't worked, and what's on the horizon.


Artists: Alexander Power & Andy Butler
Hosted by Latai Taumoepeau

Image credit: 
Alexander Powers – Supplied
Andy Butler – Leah Jing McIntosh

Image description:
Alexander Powers – Image shows the artist sitting on the floor stretching her leg out against a bright orange background with striped trousers and a bright patterned top
Andy Butler – Image of a man with long dark hair and a green shirt smiling against an orange background

Related News & Insights:

Makeshift Publics - Lucreccia Quintanilla

Makeshift Publics Critical Response Series

By the artists from Makeshift Publics 2021