The Microscope Project: How Things Work

TMP How Things Work front cover COVER small

What were we going to do with a collection of decommissioned research microscopes? Two scanning electron microscopes, one almost completely disassembled, fluorescence microscopes, once state-of-the-art, that generated the images underpinning the international recognition of a generation of neuroscientists at Flinders University, a whole room of ancillary preparatory equipment and spare parts?

… and then there was all their supporting documentation: schematic diagrams and plans, manuals, advertising brochures, catalogues, certifications of performance, packing lists.

Some of the texts were so powerful, they needed only to be sampled and edited according to a pre-determined rule. Others formed the core of a new piece of writing. And in cases where we lacked any clear documentation, new texts were invented, imagining, re-imagining how things might have been, who might have been involved, how things might look, how things work…

Over more than 12 months, Ian Gibbins, Catherine Truman, Deb Jones, Angela Valamanesh and Nicholas Folland collaborated with these elements in the unique shared environment of The Distillery to create The Microscope Project, exhibited at the Flinders University Art Museum & City Gallery, 26th July – 21st September, 2014, and curated by Fiona Salmon and Madeline Reece.

How Things WorkClick here for more.


ABN 39 580 050 698


sd18: A Skeleton of Desire

10 poems, 22 pp
Garron Publishing, Spring 2018,
Southern-Land Poets, Edition 6
ISSN 2202-7246
A$5.00 plus $1.50 postage and handling (Australia wide).




fb15: Floribunda 

floribunda front cover pic 1

19 full colour plates by Judy Morris, 13 poems by Ian Gibbins, 32 pp
21 x 21 cm, paperback, published June 2015
ISBN 9780646937892
A$22.50 including postage (Australia wide)

Nearly sold out – contact Ian if you’d like a copy.


mp14: The Microscope Project: How Things Work

TMP How Things Work front cover COVER small

Large format, 17 poems, 72 pp
Full colour images by Catherine Truman, Deb Jones & Ian Gibbins
Flinders University Art Museum, 2014
ISBN 978 0 9925472 1 9
A$35.00 plus A$5.00 postage & handling (Australia wide)


ub12: urban biology

45 poems, 96 pp
Wakefield Press / Friendly Street Poets, 2012
ISBN 978 1 74305 099 6
A$19.95 plus A$5.00 postage & handling (Australia wide)



CD 014: Microscope Music

15 tracks, total playing time: approx 50 min, 2014
A$10.00 plus A$3.00 postage & handling (Australia wide)



CD 010: urban biology – audiodraft

12 tracks, total playing time: … Click here for more.


Although he can knock out a pretty decent boogie-woogie on a real piano, mostly Ian produces electronic music, generally composed to accompany his poems, videos and collaborative installations. Styles range from retro R&B riffs and beats through to abstract noise compositions… Much to his surprise, Ian won the Studio Instrumental section of the SCALA 2015 Festival Of Original Music for his piece, Caza.  Listen to it here.

Ian has made several sound installations as part of gallery exhibitions, including not absolute, The Microscope Project, Floribundaand Water Under the Bridge,  and public art projects, most notably, 25 Pirie Street: Heard on the Wind, commissioned by Adelaide City Council.

In 2019, Ian collaborated with Swedish-French artist and musician Frédéric Iriarte to produce Meta ‘Pataphysical Interactions, an album of Ian’s poems with Frédéric’s music, recorded in his studio just outside Stockholm. Click here to see more about the project and links to the tracks. In 2020, Frédéric and Ian collaborated on a second project, where Ian remixed Frédéric’s music tracks with his poetry, to create the album Sent From Elsewhere.

A wide selection of Ian’s music can be found on Bandcamp. Click here to explore and Click here for more.