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The Australian Centre for the Moving Image will reopen its renovated space in early 2021. But ACMI has already unleashed XOS, the shorthand title for its new internet “experience operating system,” which features artworks and performances curated and created specifically for online, and a new video-on-demand service for arthouse and festival films.

An interactive history of television, film, games, digital art and social video is also being built online, and there will be a greater emphasis on Indigenous contributions to the moving image.

Covid-19 has thrown huge challenges at Australia’s major arts festivals this summer, not least the maintenance of audience physical distancing at crowded events and border closures excluding most international artists.

To mitigate the risk of viral spread this January, Sydney festival will build a large stage for several shows at the Barangaroo headland, where the festival stages Vigil each year, designed to keep people seated at safe distances. “Our surveying says people feel that being outdoors is safer,” artistic director Wesley Enoch says.

Steve's essays Bent Man Running published in Growing Up Queer in Australia and Stream drama in Meanjin autumn 2020.
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