OpenAustralia Foundation in residence at Frontyard Projects

A photo posted by FRONTYARD (@frontyardorg) on

A few weeks ago my partner Lisa and I were checking out the Marrickville Open Studio Trail (MOST). MOST is a wonderful initiative organised by my local council, Marrickville Council, where over 50 local studios and galleries have open days over the one weekend.

Being the artist of the two of us, Lisa had picked a few places she wanted us to visit. The first place we visited was Frontyard Projects. As I walked around the gallery, and got a sense for what they do, several ideas started to come together (the Marrickville cà phê sữa đá must have kicked in!).

Years ago OpenAustralia Foundation co-founder Kat had the idea for an “Office of Ideas – a public space for public data work”. This would not only be a physical office space for the Foundation but also an open office where anyone could drop in and hack democracy.

My experience being on the jury for last month’s Walkley’s Editors Lab hackathon had reminded me of how much I like a good hackfest—and we hadn’t yet planned one for this year.

Frontyard offer mini residencies to artists and non-artists. In return for the space and time to think, Frontyard asks for a small gift of time from each resident. That could mean anything from giving a public talk, sharing skills via a workshop, symposium, film night, performance, or something else important for the community.

So I thought – could we combine all of these things?

After a quick chat with the lovely people that run Frontyard the answer was a resounding yes! So from the 11th of April OpenAustralia Foundation will be in residence at Frontyard Projects, culminating in one of our renowned hackfests on the 23rd.

During our residency we’ll have an open office and we invite anyone to join us to hack, share ideas and skills, all while we prepare for the hackfest. If you’d like to join us just pop down to 228 Illawarra Rd, Marrickville NSW 2204 weekdays between 10 am and 4 pm from the 11th to the 22nd of April.

As PlanningAlerts is our most locally focussed project it makes sense for us to work on that at the hackfest. During the Frontyard PlanningAlerts Hackfest we’ll expand the coverage of PlanningAlerts by writing scrapers, work on the core project, and hopefully create some art with public data. We hope you’ll join us – please RSVP to reserve your spot and so we can organise catering.

And yes, we even have some artworks in mind during our residency so make sure to come by and check them out.

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