1. My modeling of experimental arts across this book is indebted to the artists, anima-
tors, and community members who participated in the national forums Same but Differ-
ent: Experimentation and Innovation in Desert Arts I (2012) and II (2013), a partnership
between myself and Dr. Lisa Stefanoff in association with Desart Inc., which brought
together community art organizations and art sector and research colleagues across the
Central and Western Desert in a new public platform, held at the Desert Knowledge Pre-
cinct (dkp) in Mbantua (Alice Springs), for exchange, partnership, and engagement.
Select publications from Same but Different are available in a special section of Cultural
Studies Reviews (see Biddle and Stefanoff 2015).
2. The phrase “remembering the future” is borrowed directly from Melinda Hinkson
(2014). I borrow it here (as I do “remembering forward” in chapter 5) because it encap-
sulates the ways in which Indigenous aesthetics can remember or reveal tradition for the
first time; a “future- remembering” capacity I track through experimentation in all of the
chapters that follow.
3. Western Desert art is also called Papunya Tula art, after the first Aboriginal- directed
community art collective, Papunya Tula Pty. Ltd., originally established in 1972 in
Papunya, where the acrylic painting movement is said to have begun.
4. I use the term “avant- garde” not to align Indigenous aesthetics with Eurocentric art
history but rather to recruit the term to a radical materialist and practical, as well as new
public, purpose (in the purposeful way that words can do very real “work in the world,”
as Gluck and Tsing [2009] model).
5. My argument is indebted to Ryan Watson’s (2009) formulation of “art under occu-
6. Aboriginal people of the Central and Western Desert of Australia have won legal
rights to their land through a serious of state and national laws since the mid- 1970s.
In the Northern Territory, Western Australia, Arhem Land, South Australia, and Cape
York, approximately one- third of land is under some form of statutory land rights, or
exclusive and nonexclusive native title, following successful land claims and native title
determinations. There is considerable debate on how the nter Intervention intercedes
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