david pledger

david pledger.



2970° 2015

Our world is undergoing tectonic change.

We are connected in a way we have never been. Much of this is due to accelerated technological advances and how humans make sense of them in daily life. Our cultural response is simultaneously multi-faceted and rapacious. It is a process that rapidly creates new social spaces and knowledge gaps that need to be understood, communicated and filled.

Unsurprisingly knowledge is now created and produced in a very different way. Its shape owes more to the matrix and the web than the silo and the horizon of previous centuries. And it’s driven by the concept of the ‘multiple’ which applies to manifestations such as cultures and companies, platforms and directions, thinking and policy.

In this process, artists have become ‘required players’. They inhabit change as a matter of vocational necessity. Their reflex is to explore, experiment, interrogate and translate the material of the day by creating artworks that are mentally, socially and politically innovative and challenging. They are the adhesive that sticks together disciplines, schools of thought and action and social portfolios, simultaneously inhabiting spaces of science, architecture, health, politics and sport.

Conversely, scientists, architects and sportspeople identify artists and artistic practices as significant partners and inspiration in their ongoing research and outreach initiatives.

2970° is designed to unpack this trend towards cross-sectoral engagement and to try to harness whatever new knowledge is being produced in an effort to have a positive agency in creating and affecting the future.

At the heart of the event are local artists, cultural operators and thinkers whose task it is to respond to the material of the keynote presentations and process those meanings for themselves, their local context and the broader social and global contexts in which they work.

Specifically for the Gold Coast, the establishment of a forum interrogating the space of invention, imagination and ideas between the arts and non-arts sectors is timely in a national context and consistent with a city keen to position itself at the forefront of thought and action in the lead up to the 2018 Commonwealth Games.


Image credit: ‘Samsung City Night’ by Liam Young


Hotelling 2016

Surfers Paradise has lots of hotels, around 150 of them depending on where you set your boundaries. Heading north from southern Gold Coast you meet them as a façade, a front, a barricade. They are arranged as if to defend the indefensible, the appropriation of land for the recreation of humans. Development and hospitality, the primary drivers of life in paradise.

As a visitor, I see the hotels as a strength of the local culture, an opportunity to re-imagine the whole idea of culture through the prism they offer. So I wanted to write a new story in which a Surfers Paradise hotel was the major character.

The protagonist of our first chapter is QT Hotel, a highly theatrical establishment. Its identity is ‘designer-detail’ but highly inclusive because of its emphasis on play. In fact, you could say the sensibility of the hotel is that of a ‘play ground’.

You can see and feel it in the way its spaces interact, in the designer benches that greet you on every floor, in the uniforms (costumes) worn by staff that cast them as ‘characters’ in the QT play. It’s very Gold Coast, showy, colourful. But it’s also very stylish and sensual.

So the artistic canvas – the daily life of the hotel – is already a highly theatrical event occurring and changing on a daily basis in a site that in architectural terms is highly performative. The opportunities to embed artists, art-making and, ultimately, art in the hotel are irresistible and infinite.

Like any protagonist, the hotel needs a three-dimensional rendering for it to connect with its audience. I call it Hotelling, a 24 hours-and-a-bit on a fast-finishing, eclectic rollercoaster of an arts happening in all the corners of the hotel, top-to-bottom, left-to-right, inside-out. Hotelling is a new sport, a game for an adult audience, an alchemy of contemporary art and cultural hospitality.

Check in.

Curated by dp
Produced by Bleached Arts
Supported by City of Gold Coast
4-5 November 2016 | QT Hotel Gold Coast

Hotelling on Instagram!
The Guardian reviews Hotelling


Future Mammal
Digital Projection
Craig Walsh

Queen of Hearts / Dark and Gothic
Moira Finucane
Finucane and Smith

Bureau of Returns
Object Installation
Byron Coathup

The Situation Room
Participatory Digital and Live Performance
The Farm


The Crying Man
Live Performance
Original Concept dp
written by dp and made with Todd MacDonald

Location-Specific Live Performance
Original Concept dp
made by dp and Hayden Jones with Tammy Zarb, Marco Sinigaglia, Steph Pokoj, Reuben Witsenhuysen

Tied Up/Tidy Up
Object-based Live Performance
Original Concept dp
made by dp with Sam Foster

Like a Rolling Stone
Original Concept dp
made by dp with Kate Harman

Driven-In Drive In
Site-Specific Live Performance
Original Concept dp
made by dp with sam foster, ellen bailey and kristian zantic

The OtherWorld
Location-Specific Live Performances
Original Concept dp
made by dp with Alicia Min-Harvie, Ellen Bailey and Kristian Zantic

Ghosts in the Machine
by Lawrence English