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Michael Goldberg is an artist, curator and writer, born in South Africa, and living in Sydney Australia since 1988.

All installations and performances mentioned below as well as earlier South African work can be found with more information and images on the SELECTED PROJECTS. Use the 'hamburger' menu above.

To contact Michael Goldberg, scroll down to the message form.


Between 1995-2000 the artist examined Australia’s colonial history with site-specific installations in museological locations such as Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens (Ground Zero), Tusculum House (Real Estate) and Elizabeth Bay House, 1830s residence of Colonial Secretary, Alexander Macleay (A Humble Life). The projects presented alternative views of political and historical issues, those often ignored by conventional museology.

With the new millennium, projects delved into global stock markets and financial speculation. Produced for the sesqui-centenary of the discovery of gold in Australia, the performance/installation

NCM open/high/low/close (2001) explored the international commodity market, turning the walls of the Bathurst Regional Art Gallery into large scale graphs representing the price of gold and the share price of Australia’s major gold producer, the Newcrest Mining Company (Auriferous - the Gold Project, curated by Amanda Lawson and Craig Judd).

For the performance/installation (2003) $50,000 was raised from a group of financial speculators to trade on the stock market. In the quest of making a profit, shares were bought and sold in global media giant, News Corporation.

Precognition and psychic divination of the stock market became the focus in Remote Predictive Viewing (2008), a performance staged at the Banff Centre, Canada.

After 9/11, anxieties emerging from the distribution of media images of global terrorism became a focus. In Disobedience (curated by David McNeill and Zanny Begg) at the Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Avatar (2005), used an off-the-shelf Microsoft flight simulation computer program to depict a ‘9/11’ scenario for downtown Sydney.


The restriction on global mobility in the era of the 'War on Terror' was addressed in Strong Language, Some Violence, Adult Themes (Artspace, 2008).

Financial markets were again in focus with The Force of Desire/The Force of Necessity (2009), a project for the 10th Havana Biennial (Australian component curated by Christine Morrow). The installation and performance, where the artist employed two Havana artists to produce portraits of bluechip company CEOs, considered the isolation of the Cuban economy from speculative U.S. capital.


Toward a New World Order (2011) created a post-apocalyptic archaeological site spread over an entire vacant lot at the back of Sydney's Artspace.


Justice, Prudence, Temperance and Fortitude (2014) reflected on the Southern Cross constellation in an installation in the gardens of the Hazelhurst Regional Gallery in South (curated by David Corbet).


Ticket of Leave (2014), a multi-site specific performance conceptually linking local and Australian sites was staged at the b-side Multimedia Arts Festival in Portland UK.


An Inn for Phantoms (2014) was produced for the Museum of Old and New Art's Dark Mofo festival in Hobart, Tasmania. The installation, incorporating archival objects and photography, was located in the historic house museum, Narryna. 

The artist's curatorial projects such as Artists in the House! (1997), produced for the Historic Houses Trust of NSW and Swelter (1999/2000) at the Royal Botanic Gardens, featured installations by a number of prominent Australian artists. The Butterfly Effect (2005), interpreted and interacted with the displays of the Australian Museum, the country’s oldest museum of natural history. The Glebe Point Road Public Art and Art and About Project (2006) featured artists' installations along the main street in the Inner Sydney suburb of Glebe (City of Sydney Project Officer: Glenn Wallace).

Michael Goldberg retired as Associate Professor and Head of Sculpture at Sydney College of the Arts in 2018.


Selected Bibliography:

What is Performance Art

Eds. Mimi Kelly and Adam Geczy, Power Publications, Sydney 2018


Australian Artists in the Contemporary Museum

Jennifer Barrett and Jacqueline Millner, Ashgate Publishing Limited, Farnham, Surrey, 2014


Putting Sincerity to Work

David McNeill in The Rhetoric of Sincerity, Ernst van Alphen. Mieke Bal, Carel E. Smith, Stanford University Press, Stanford, 2009


Escape the Overcode: Activist Art in the Control Society

Brian Holmes, Van Abbemuseum Public Research #2,

Eindhoven, 2009


Unleashing the Collective Phantoms:Essays in Reverse Imagineering

Brian Holmes, Autonomedia, Brooklyn, New York, 2008


Art et Economy

Jean-Marc Huitorel, Imaginaire, Mode D’Emploi: Editions Cercle D’Art, Paris 2008


Michael Goldberg, Strong Language, Some Violence, Adult Themes

Artspace Visual Arts Centre, Sydney 2008


Processual Media Theory in Organized Networks: Media Theory, Creative Labour, New Institutions

Ned Rossiter, NAi Publishers, Institute of Network Cultures, Rotterdam 2006


What is Installation Art? – an anthology of installation art in Australia

Eds. Ben Genocchio and Adam Geczy, Power Publications, Sydney 2001

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