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David Chesworth’s Indexing the Cylinder recounts his experience of viewing and listening to a one hundred year old wax cylinder recording of an Indigenous elder while visiting the storeroom at Melbourne Museum twenty years ago. As Chesworth contemplates relocating the cylinder, his halting recollections explore memory, the recording’s cultural status and its agency as an archive.

The artwork itself becomes a document that archives dubious certainties of human memory and questions our ability to categorically define and locate experience.

David Chesworth’s interdisciplinary practice involves sound, music, video and installation. Together with Sonia Leber, his works arise from research-based residencies in sites undergoing social change. Their mid-career survey exhibition ‘Architecture Makes Us’ was organised by Centre for Contemporary Photography (2018), touring to UNSW Galleries (2019) and Griffith University Art Museum (2019). Group exhibitions include the 56th Biennale of Venice (2015) and the 19th Biennale of Sydney (2014). Known for his experimental and at times minimalist music and sound, he has worked solo, in post-punk groups, electronic music, contemporary ensembles, experimental opera and performance. He is currently a Vice-Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow at RMIT University.