Queer PowerPoint is the brainchild of Xanthe Dobbie, Harriet Gillies & Thom Smyth, produced by Unfunded Empathy.
Harriet Gilles (Co-Curator) is an award-winning performance artist working across a range of performance modes. She has performed in immersive and interactive projects such as Pony Express’ Ecosexual Bathhouse, PVI Collective’s Blackmarket and Hermann Nitsch 150 Actions. Backstage for Nat Randall & Anna Breckon’s The Second Woman and Peaches’ There’s Only One Peach With a Hole in the Middle European tour. She completed residencies at the Watermill Centre and with Marina Abramović for Kaldor Public Art Projects. Her work has been presented across Australia, New Zealand and North America. Her solo performance, The Power of the Holy Spirit, won Best Experimental Show at the Melbourne Fringe Festival, and her latest work 8/8/8:WORK with Marcus McKenzie is nominated for 2 Green Room Awards. Her digital performance PLEASUREDOME was performed online at Griffin Theatre Company and again with Sydney Festival.
Xanthe Dobbie (co-curator) is a media artist and filmmaker, whose recent projects have included live-streamed, interactive theatre. Their works dredge content from the vast databank of the Internet, re-configuring it through the lens of queer world-making and feminist critique. Recent significant exhibitions include PLEASUREDOME; One Million Views with Tiyan Baker at Next Wave; and Heavenly Bodies: Altered Pieces, John Buckley Gallery. Notable group exhibitions include Double Adaptor, NGV for Melbourne Design Week; Widgets and Doohickies from a Camp Toolbox at RMIT; Artivisms Now, La Trobe Art Institute; Femmosphere, Schwules Museum, Berlin. Dobbie won the Best Experimental Show with Harriet Gillies’ The Power of the Holy Spirit, and won the People’s Choice for No Vacancy, Midsumma Australia Post Art Prize (2018). They were a finalist in the John Fries Award, and the Macquarie Digital Portraiture Award, National Portrait Gallery.
Thom Smyth (Creative Producer) is a creative producer with a keen interest in socially-engaged and queer experimental performance. He supports Sydney’s queer artists and event makers to foster bold ideas and bring communities together. As Unfunded Empathy, he has produced Queer PowerPoint (6 presentations nationally in 2022); All Day Queer Dance; Happenings; and large-scaled durational performance 8/8/8:WORK at Rising 2022, which has garnered 2 Green Room nominations. Thom is a Producer with national creative producing company Performing Lines, and has worked with artists across Australia, including Amrita Hepi, Betty Grumble, Paul Mac, Roslyn Oades, Nicola Gunn, Lz Dunn & Lara Thoms, Chunky Move, Aphids and Pony Express. He has held positions with Performance Space, Force Majeure, Proximity Festival, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts and The Blue Room Theatre.
Unfunded Empathy is a sidehustle of sorts; a creative exorcism of financial and cultural anxieties. We seek radical change; deep connection; sweaty moments of abandon. Unabashedly political and progressive, our programming rationale explores notions of ‘possibility’, creating living spaces and alternative futures in action.