I’m Nick Carson, an artist-activist living in Melbourne, Australia.
What do I do as an artist? I curate open, participatory, free improvisation, performative-sonic events. I compose and record sound art work. I perform in an eclectic range of collaborative musical groups from folk-punk to krautrocky noise to gloomy industrial thrash. I make experimental-political films. I compose score for short films and video art.
What do I do as an activist? I work with many different groups and collectives to plan and participate in creative and critical, nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience within a range of environmental and social justice campaigns and struggles.
Why do I do what I do? I’m interested in examining ‘free collaboration’ and co-operation at the confluence of the artistic and the political. I seek to pursue a prefigurative art practice that attempts to escape unequal power relationships, and intersect identities of the artist with the activist, creatively interrogating the nature of power amongst the dynamics of working collectively within non-hierarchical organisational forms.
What else do I do? I write and distribute zines. I blog. I am the current convener of the RMIT Sound Collective. I co-produce the Beyond Zero Emissions radio show on 3CR Community Radio in Melbourne. I’ve accepted invitations to guest lecture at the University of Melbourne and RMIT University, and often facilitate workshops and discussions at conferences and gatherings. I’m involved a fair bit in the Australian Student Environment Network and various other networks, groups and collectives.
What is my background? I’ve worked and/or studied in the fields of art, music, political theory, ecology, history, architecture, transport, philosophy and spent much of my time in DIY music and activist communities.