Dial Tone awarded 3rd place in Health Poetry Prize

My poem Dial Tone came third in the University of Canberra 2017 Health Poetry Prize! Congrats to winner Joe Dolce and runner-up, Vanessa Procter.

“The University of Canberra Health Poetry Prize aims to inspire others through poetry to consider the journey to live life well. The poem may be focussed on mental or physical health, and can investigate what ‘living life well’ means. This may include barriers to living a well life, promoting a life lived well, or describe the experience of, or transition to, living life well.

The prize-winning and short-listed poems will be published by the University. Meanwhile, here is an excerpt from Dial Tone:

Redial 1

The message mentioned belongings. I comply, search afterglow
for jasmine, rose, orange blossom, hands fallow at my sides,
on tabletop, in rarely hostile earth. “Good to have you back.”
But I cannot be sure. Our arrival is delayed by asymptote, slowed
by imperfection. Bloodshot meanders skirt lawns to be mown,
drains to clear, vermin to evict. Amid cartons and packing crates,
window shades jealous our skin, discontent curtains our perspective.
We substitute bluff with categoric denial, switch to silent mode.

Click here to see more about the Prize.

Heard on the Wind soundscape in Adelaide

From 7th September until 9th October, my soundscape, “Heard on the Wind”, commissioned by Adelaide City Council, played in the breezeway at 25 Pirie Street, in central Adelaide CBD.

The breezeway at 25 Pirie Street is surrounded by texts: memorial plaques, notices regarding public safety and well-being, tightly-crafted slogans of the Smart City Studio windows and Enterprise Adelaide brochures. By definition, silent, largely ignored by passers-by, 25 Pirie Street : Heard on the Wind gives voice to these texts using digital sampling technology. 18 text-to-speech synthesisers read the texts, generating a base set of 500 voice samples, that were sped up and slowed down, reversed and delayed, repitched and translated into solos, conversations, choirs, snatches of melody, the heard out loud, and the barely heard at all.

It runs for about 45 minutes. You can hear the whole sequence on my Bandcamp page:

Here is the original ACC link: http://www.cityofadelaide.com.au/…/publ…/soundscape-program/


public art

Ian has contributed to several public art programs, either solo or as part of a group project.

25 Pirie Street: Heard on the Wind.  (dur: approx 45 min). Soundscape commissioned by Adelaide City Council, 7 September – 9 October, 2017.

42nds. Public art projection video loop for WORD! (dur: 0:45). Commissioned by Adelaide City Council and Australian Network for Art and Technology (ANAT); projected nightly in Rundle Street, Adelaide, May – July 2017, re-screened April 2018..

Situs Inversus. Commissioned video projection onto glass window (dur: 3:18). Part of Body of Evidence installation, curated by Carollyn Kavanagh, Adelaide Convention Centre, June 2016.

Situs Inversus Viscerum Totalis. Commissioned video for large scale LED display (dur: 6:11). Part of Body of Evidence installation, curated by Carollyn Kavanagh, Adelaide Convention Centre, June 2016.

Chandelier. From The Microscope Project, with Deb Jones and Catherine Truman. Installed in The Student Hub, Flinders University.

Tramstop 6: Way To Go. Glenelg Tram Line. Collaborative project coordinated by Mike Ladd and Cathy Brooks, with Jude Aqulina, Cathy Brooks, Indigo Eli, Alison Flett, Simon Hanson, Kerry Harte, Mike Hopkins, Jules Leigh Koch, Mike Ladd and Cecilia White, 2015.

Signs of Life. Bowen Street, Adelaide. Collaborative project coordinated by Mike Ladd and Cathy Brooks, with Jude Aquilina, Cathy Brooks, Jelena Dinic, Ian Gibbins, Kevin Gillam, Simon J Hanson, Fiona Johnson, Jules Lee Koch, Jack Ladd, Mike Ladd, Stephen Lawrence, Rachael Mead, John Pfitzner, Thom Sullivan, Heather Taylor-Johnson, Amelia Walker and Cecilia White, 2012.

heartsong. Video / performance / installation at Flinders Medical Centre and RiAus. Coordinated by Sally Francis, FMC Arts in Health. Produced and written by Cheryl Pickering, with music by Richard Chew and Ian Dixon, sculpture and installation by Dwani Oak, video and animation by Dan Monceaux and Emma Stirling, and poetry by Ian Gibbins, 2009.

Excerpts from ward rounds in signage around Flinders Medical Centre, 2005.


In 1642, Dutchman, Abel Tasman (1603 – 1659), was the first European to reach what the Maori call Aotearoa, the islands that became known as New Zealand. On the 4th January, 1688, English buccaneer, William Dampier (1651 – 1715) set foot on the north-west coast of Australia, then known as New Holland. His expedition report, A New Voyage Round the World (1697), was very popular. Amongst other things, it provided more “evidence” for the supposed lowly status of the Indigenous inhabitants of the New World. On a subsequent journey, he intended to explore the east coast of New Holland, but never made it.

This piece is built from acrostic and reverse acrostics of Aotearoa / aoraetoA, using only words beginning or ending, respectively, with the appropriate letter, selected from each of the 16 paragraphs in Dampier’s 1697 text describing his time in New Holland. The word order in each section follows that of the original text. Click here to read it.