Dr. Petra Gemeinboeck

Petra Gemeinboeck’s installation practice explores the ambiguities and vulnerabilities in our relationships with machines, making tangible the desires and politics involved. Her experimental research program in the area of creative robotics focuses on machine agency, autonomy and performativity.

Currently, Petra collaborates with the AI researcher Rob Saunders, University of Sydney, to develop installations on an architectural scale that embed autonomous robots into the walls of the gallery. The practice explores novel entry points into performatively examining the co-evolution of humans and machines by turning the architectural fabric of our social spaces into habitats for curious, social machines.

Previously, Petra has developed performative and interactive installations and locative media works that implicated participants in the production of hybrid spaces, problematising the paradoxical ground common to both, intervention and surveillance. Her immersive virtual spaces challenged dominant notions of control, knowledge and representation by placing participants inside responsive and yet wilfully behaving performative realities.

In 2012, Petra was a finalist for the National New Media Award at the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, with her robotic installation ‘Zwischenräume’. She has received project grants from the Australia Council for the Arts and the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture, ANAT and NAVA. She has been artist in residence at the Ars Electronica Futurelab in Linz, Austria, Artspace Sydney, University of Applied Arts Vienna, Sony Computer Science Laboratories Paris, Do While New Media Art Residency in Boston, Cité des Arts in Paris, and the Fraunhofer Institute Stuttgart, and was a participant in the European Mobile Lab for Interactive Media Artists, 2009–10.


Institution affiliation

College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales



Book chapters

Tanaka, A., Gemeinboeck, P. (2009) “Net_Dérive: Conceiving and Producing a Locative Media Artwork” in Goggin, G. and Hjorth, L. (eds.) Mobile Technologies: From Telecommunications to Media, London: Routledge, pp. 174–186.

Gemeinboeck, P. (2004). “Un element tiers, autre / Something third, other”. In Lootsma, B. (ed.) La ville à nu / The naked city. Catalogue Archilab 2004. Orléans: Editions Hyx, 235–41.

Gemeinboeck, P. (2003). “Constructing Shadows in Cyberspace”. (Text in German) In Mörtenböck, P. and Mooshammer, H. (eds.) Visuelle Kultur. Körper – Räume – Medien. Wien: Böhlau, p. 191-210.

Journal articles

Gemeinboeck, P., Saunders, R. (2011) “Urban Fictions: A Critical Reflection on Locative Art and Performative Geographies”, Digital Creativity, Special Issue Mobile Ubiquity Effects: Communication, Gaming, and Innovation. Routledge, London, pp. 160–173

Gemeinboeck, P., Saunders, R. (2011) “Other Ways Of Knowing: Embodied Investigations of the Unstable, Slippery and Incomplete”, Fibreculture Journal, A. Mackenzie, A. Murphie, M. Whitelaw (eds) Special Issue “Trans” – Transversals, Transduction, Transmateriality, pp. 9–34.

Gemeinboeck, P., Traenkle, M., Dement, L., PRINZGAU/podgorschek, Saunders, R. (2010) “On Track: A slippery Mechanic-Robotic Performance”, Leonardo: Journal of the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, pp. 488–489.

Veronesi, F., Gemeinboeck, P. (2009) “Disembodied Landscapes”, Performance Research: Transplantations Issue, 4(4), Routledge/Taylor & Francis, London & New York, pp. 74–80.

Veronesi, F., Gemeinboeck, P. (2009) “Mapping Footprints: A Sonic Walkthrough of Landscapes and Cultures”, Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, Special Issue on Cultural Memory and Digital Preservation, 15(3), Sage, London, pp. 359–369.

Veronesi, F., Gemeinboeck, P. (2007) “Encountering Space, Places and Memories in Australian Landscapes”, Media International Australia, Incorporating Culture & Policy, 124, August 2007, Nathan, Queensland, pp. 166–176.

Gemeinboeck, P., Blach, R. (2005). “Spacing the Boundary: An Exploration of Perforated Virtual Spaces”. In Space, Place and Technology. Presence in Mediated Experiences (Special Edition) PsychNology Journal. 3(1). http://www.psychnology.org/article804.htm

Gemeinboeck, P. (2004). “Negotiating the In-Between: Space, Body and the Condition of the Virtual”. In Crossings – Electronic Journal of Art and Technology. 4(1). University of Dublin. http://crossings.tcd.ie/issues/4.1

Gemeinboeck, P. (2004). “Virtual Reality: Space of Negotiation”. In Visual Studies. A Routledge Title, Vol. 19, April 2004, London: Routledge, 52–59.

Gemeinboeck, P. (2003). “Something Third, Other”. In M/C—a journal of media and culture. Special Edition FIBRE. http://www.fibreculture.org

Conference papers

Kocaballi, A. B., Gemeinboeck, P., Saunders, R., Dong, A. and Loke, L. (2012) “Embracing Relational Agency in the Design Process” in Proceedings of Design and Semantics of Form and Movement (DeSForM 2012), Wellington, pp. 99–109.

Kocaballi, A. B., Gemeinboeck, P., Saunders, R., Dong, A. and Loke, L. (2012) “Transformations, Enactments and Distrust in Promoting Multiplicity in Design Process” in 2012 Participatory Innovation Conference (PIN-C 2012) Digital Proceedings, 12–14 January 2012, Swinburne University, Melbourne.

Gemeinboeck, P., Saunders, R. (2011) “Material Matters: Machine Agency and Performativity” in Proceedings of the 17th International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA 2011), Istanbul, 14–21 September 2011, Istanbul, Turkey, available online at http://isea2011.sabanciuniv.edu/paper-list.

Kocaballi, A.B., Gemeinboeck, P., Saunders, R., Dong, A. (2011) “Towards a Relational Approach to Design Process” in Proceedings of the 45th Conference of the Architectural Science Association (ANZAScA 2011), 17–19 November 2011, Sydney, Australia.

Gemeinboeck, P., Saunders, R., (2010) “Zwischenräume: The Machine as Voyeur” in S. Baker and P. Thomas (eds), New Imaging: Transdisciplinary Strategies for Art Beyond the New Media, Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Transdisciplinary Imaging at the Intersections between Art, Science and Culture, 5–6 November 2010, Artspace, Sydney, pp. 63–71.

Kocaballi, A.B., Gemeinboeck, P., Saunders, R. (2010) “Enabling New Forms of Agency using Wearable Environments” in O.W. Bertelsen et al. (eds), Proceedings of the 8th ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems (DIS’10), 16–20 August 2010, Aarhus, Denmark, pp. 248–251.

Kocaballi, A.B., Gemeinboeck, P., Saunders, R. (2010) “Investigating Potential of Shared Agency using Enactive Interfaces” in K. Beilharz et al. (eds), NIME++: Proceedings of the 2010 Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME 2010), 15–18 June 2010, Sydney, Australia, pp. 47–50.

Saunders, R., Gemeinboeck, P., Lombard, A., Bourke, D., Kocabali, B. (2010) “Curious Whispers: An Embodied Artificial Creative System” in Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Computational Creativity (ICCC-X), 100–109, January 7–9, 2010, Lisbon, Portugal.

Gemeinboeck, P. (2009) “Negotiating the In-Between: When Machine-Agents become Co- Performers” in S. Grant et al. (eds), Proceedings of Time.Transcendence.Performance, 1-3 October 2009, Melbourne, Australia, available online at http://arts.monash.edu.au/ecps/conferences/ttp/.

Gemeinboeck, P., Dement, L., PRINZGAU/podgorschek, Traenkle, M. (2009) “Perforating and Leaking: The Production of the Collaborative, Performative Work On Track” in S. Spurr (ed.), SEAM 2009: Spatial Phrases, Proceedings from the SEAM Symposium 2009, Critical Path, Sydney, 18–20 September 2009.

Gemeinboeck, P., Dong, A., Veronesi, F. (2007) “Who Writes The City?” in G. Goggin and L. Hjorth (eds), Proceedings of Mobile Media 2007, Sydney, Australia, pp. 13–22.

Tanaka, A., Gemeinboeck, P., Momeni, A. (2007). “Net_Dérive: Participative Artwork for Mobile Media”. In Mobile Media 2007: Proceedings of an international conference on social and cultural aspects of mobile phones, convergent media, and wireless technologies, 2-4 July 2007, The University of Sydney, 189-197.

Gemeinboeck, P., Tanaka, A., Dong, A. (2006). “Instant Archaeologies: Digital Lenses to Probe and to Perforate the Urban Fabric”. In ACM Multimedia 2006 Proceedings. New York: ACM Press, 279-286.

Tanaka, A., Gemeinboeck, P. (2006). “A Framework for Spatial Interaction and Locative Media”. In Proceedings of NIME 06: 6th International conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression, Paris: Ircam–Centre Pompidou, 26-30.

Gemeinboeck, P., Dong, A. (2006). “Discourses of Intervention: A Language for Art &Science Collaboration” in Proceedings of International Conference: New Constellations: Art, Science and Society, March 17–19, MCA Sydney (CD-Rom)

Gemeinboeck, P. (2005). “Impossible Geographies of Belonging”. In ACM Multimedia 2005 Proceedings, November 6–11, 2005, Singapore. New York: ACM Press, 567–70.

Gemeinboeck, P., Krell M. A., (2005). “Art Exhibit: Impossible Geographies”. In ACM Multimedia 2005 Proceedings, November 6–11, 2005, Singapore. New York: ACM Press, 1065-1066.

Gemeinboeck, P., Blach, R. (2005). “Interfacing the Real and the Virtual: User Embodiment in Immersive Dynamic Virtual Spaces”. In Bob Martens and Andy Brown (eds.) CAAD Futures 2005 – Special Publication. Vienna University of Technology, June 2005. Vienna: ÖKK-Publishers, 171–80.

Gemeinboeck, P. (2005). “Constituting, Traversing and Perforating Boundaries: Embodied Interaction in Immersive Virtual Spaces”. In Proceedings of 5th Creativity and Cognition Conference. Goldsmiths College, University of London, New York: ACM Press, 41-48.

Gemeinboeck, P. (2004). “Tele-immersive Dialogues and the Other In-Between”. In Proceedings of Interaction: Systems, Practice and Theory Conference. Sydney University of Technology and Powerhouse Museum, November 2004. New York: ACM Press, 411-431.

Conference Presentations and Workshop Papers

Gemeinboeck, P., Saunders, R. (2012) “Embodied Surveillance: The Look of Machine Desire”, Surveillance and/in Everyday Life Conference. 20–21 February, 2012, The University of Sydney, Australia.

Gemeinboeck, P., Saunders, R. (2011) “Rethinking Machine Agency: From Cybernetic to Robotic Art”, Rewire: Fourth International Conference on the Histories of Media Art, Science and Technology (Rewire 2011), 28–30 September, 2011, FACT, Liverpool, UK.

Gemeinboeck, P. (2011) “Thinking Machines or Why Matter Matters”, Experimental Arts Conference, 19-20 August, 2011, University of NSW, Sydney, Australia.

Kocaballi, A.B., Gemeinboeck, P., Saunders, R., Dong, A., Loke, L., (2011) “Embracing Relational Agency in Design Process of Machine-Mediated Performances”, SEAM 2011: Spacing Movements Outside In, 5–18 September, 2011, Critical Path, Sydney, Australia.

Kocaballi, A., Gemeinboeck, P., Saunders, R., Dong, A., Loke, L. (2011). “Multiplicity through connectivity: investigating body-technology-space couplings in participatory activities”, Workshop at the 23rd Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference: Design, Culture and Interaction (OzCHI 2011), University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.

Gemeinboeck, P. (2009) “Urban Fiction: Between Map and Landscape”, 15th International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA 2009), 26–29 August 2009, University of Ulster, Belfast, UK.

Gemeinboeck, P., Dong, A., Saunders, R. (2007) “Permeable and Elastic Terrains”, Imaging the City Workshop, CHI 2007, 28 April–3 May, 2007, San Jose, California, USA.

Gemeinboeck, P., Tanaka, A. (2006). “Concepts in Locative Media: Instrumental and Theoretical Considerations in the Design of a Framework”. ISEA 2006 Symposium, August 7-13, San Jose, CA.

Major Exhibitions

Gemeinboeck, P., Saunders R. (2013) Accomplice, solo-exhibition, curated by Mark Feary, Artspace Sydney, 02 May – 16 June 2013.

Gemeinboeck, P., Saunders R. (2012) “Zwischenräume” in National New Media Art Award 2012, group exhibition of 8 finalists, curated by Peter McKay and Amanda Slack-Smith, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia, 3 August–4 November 2012. Exhibition catalogue, Queensland Art Gallery, 2012, ISBN: 9781921503450.

Gemeinboeck, P., Saunders R. (2012) “Zwischenräume” in abstraction contraption, group exhibition, curated by Kirsty Boyle, The Edge, Brisbane, January–March 2012.

Gemeinboeck, P., Saunders R. (2011) Politik der Wand (Politics of the Wall), solo-exhibition, curated by Ursula Musil, FORUM STADTPARK, Graz, Austria, September 2011.

Gemeinboeck, P., Saunders R. (2011) “Urban Fiction 2.0” in Love Lace, group exhibition of finalists of the International Lace Award, curated by Lindy Ward, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, July 2011–April 2012. Exhibition catalogue, Powerhouse Publishing Sydney, ISBN: 9781863171540.

Gemeinboeck, P., Williamson, L., Saunders, R. (2011) “Complicit” in Underbelly Arts Festival, group exhibition curated by Imogen Semmler, Cockatoo Island, Sydney, July 2011.

Gemeinboeck, P., Saunders, R. (2010) Zwischenräume, solo exhibition curated by Ruth Schnell, Schauraum Angewandte, MuseumsQuartier Vienna, Austria, June–July 2010.

Dement, L., Gemeinboeck, P., PRINZGAU/podgorschek, Traenkle, M. (2010) “On Track” in Biennale Cuvée, World Selection of Contemporary Art, group exhibition curated by Genoveva Rückert and Martin Sturm, OK Center for Contemporary Art, Linz, Austria, March–April, 2010. Exhibition catalogue, OK Offenes Kulturhaus Oberösterreich (http://www.ok-centrum.at/?q=print/1057).

Dement, L., Gemeinboeck, P., PRINZGAU/podgorschek, Traenkle, M. (2009) “On Track” in e-MobiLArt, touring group exhibition curated by Roger Malina, Nina Czegledy, Annick Bureaud, and Christiana Galanopoulou, Thessalonica Biennale, State Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, May–June 2009 and Rondostucki Gallery, Academy of Fine Arts, Katowice, Poland, October–November 2009. Exhibition catalogue, Skordopoulous, ISBN 978-960-9409-01-8.

Gemeinbock, P., Blach, R., Kirisits, N. (2008) Uzume, solo exhibition, Kunsttresor: Raum für Flüchtige Kunst, Stuttgart, Germany, February–March 2008.

Gemeinboeck, P. (2007) Impossible Geographies, solo exhibition, curated by Janice Fieldsend, Tin Sheds Gallery, Sydney, August–September 2007.

Gemeinboeck, P. (2006) “Net_Dérive” in Intensive Science, group exhibition, curated by Sony CSL Paris, Maison Rouge, Paris, October 2006. Exhibition catalogue, Sony CSL Paris.

Gemeinboeck, P., Krell, M.A. (2005) Impossible Geographies 1:1, solo exhibition curated by Matthew Miller, Gallery Fabrica, Brighton, UK, 19 November–18 December 2005.

Gemeinboeck, P. (2005) “Impossible Geographies 01: Memory” in Presence and Absence, group exhibition, ICA Singapore, Singapore, November 2005.

Gemeinboeck, P. (2005) “Impossible Geographies 01: Memory”, solo exhibition curated by Jennifer Hall, Studio Soto, Boston, MA, 28 July–7 September 2005.

Gemeinboeck, P. (2004). “Maya–Veil of Illusion” in La ville à nu/The naked city: Archilab 2004, group exhibition curated by Bart Lootsma, Orléans, France, 16 October–30 December 2004. Exhibition Catalogue, Orléans: Editions Hyx.

Gemeinboeck, P. (2004). “Maya–Veil of Illusion” in MAK nite, group exhibition curated by Lee Rodney, Museum of Applied Arts Vienna, Austria, January 2004.

Gemeinboeck, P. (2004). “Maya–Veil of Illusion” in Media in Space: 17th Stuttgarter Filmwinter 2004, group exhibition, Stuttgart, Germany, January 2004.

Gemeinboeck, P. (2004). “Maya–Veil of Illusion” in Version>03:Digital Arts Convergence, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, IL, March 2003.

Gemeinboeck, P Gemeinboeck, P., Blach, R., Kirisits, N. (2003). “Uzume” in CODE-The Language of Our Time: Ars Electronica Festival 2003, Linz, Austria, September 2003. Exhibition Catalogue, Ostfildern, Germany: Hatje Cantz.

Gemeinboeck, P., Blach, R., Kirisits, N. (2003). Pressentiments v.2, solo exhibition, Centre des Arts Enghien, Enghien-les-Bains at Paris, 8 January–9 February 2003.

Gemeinboeck, P., Blach, R., Kirisits, N. (2003) Uzume, solo exhibition, Black Cube:Platform for Media Art at Badenwürttembergische Kunstverein Stuttgart, 2 December–2-January 2003.

Gemeinboeck, P., Blach, R., Kirisits, N. (2002) SIGGRAPH 2002: Art Gallery, group exhibition, San Antonio, TX, July 2002.

Gemeinboeck, P. (2001) Female CenturyNew Polarities: Mediarama 2001, group exhibition, Sevilla, Spain, Nov. 2001.

Gemeinboeck, P. (2001) Media Space 2001, Conference and Art Event, Stuttgart, Germany, November 2001.

Gemeinboeck, P. (2001) New Media Aesthetic: Alternate Currents, Chicago Artists’ Month 2001, UIC, IL, October 2001

Gemeinboeck, P., Blach, R., Kirisits, N. (2001) The Adventure of CAVE, NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC], Tokyo, Japan, June – July 2001