The Beauty & The Geeks: Di Ball Attempts to Get Her Geek Back

At ISEA Singapore I presented an artist talk entitled " I am so off myFace: I used to be the oldest geek girl in the world but I lost my geek ...". In 2011, I will attempt to get my geek back. Proclaiming myself " Beauty in residence", I will participate in the greatest gathering of geeks and blog the results. If you see me across a crowded room, please HELP ME!!
Saturday, 17 September, 2011 (All day)
Di Ball in her office
Fleur Ball and the Icelandic Cowboy
Glo Ball at The Wall
fat-arsed harajuku grrl sets fire to her hair
famous people who have met me: Marilyn
Di Ball

In 2008 at ISEA Singapore I presented an artist's talk entitled " I am so off myFace: I used to be the oldest geek grrl in the word but I lost my geek and now I am just the oldest grrl in the world". I explained that as technology had moved to meet my needs, I had become more unable to use it. I described my journey both IRL (in real life), and URL (unreal life); I introduced Fleur Ball and Krystal Ball and Beach Ball and Glo Ball. I spoke of my work as an early techoevangelist and called her iBall. I ended with a frame grab of my hideous fat-arsed harajuku avatar accidentally setting fire to her own hair in an attempt to enter Second Life.

Arsmanifesto blogged:

(...........) Between pop culture, human grittiness, provocative undermining of contemporary technology and a sane sense of humor about the insanity of our contemporary lives, the nostalgia and sentimentality of her art practice filters through the wit of her performances.

My life has  been described to me as a search for my medium of creativity. I have been an architect, a performer in a wheelie bin ensemble, a country and western singer and a human statue. I now call  myself an artist (new media, hybrid, whatever is the latest term for mixed and varied ) and operate/perform different personae under the ubertitle " the ballPark: my life as a theme park".

Like a disco ball faceted with multiple mirrors, she reflects aspects of popular culture using an ever-growing series of individual personas, each with a name derived from her own. There’s Krystal Ball the cyber clairvoyant, Fleur Ball the cuntry (sic) & western singer, Meet Ball the online introduction agency madam, and most recently Glo (Gloria) Ball the international traveller and celebrity hunter. (……..)

She has a beady eye for the most exquisitely naff aspects of modern life and an ability to find the user-friendly aspects of French feminist theory. Ball is part Julia Kristeva part Edna Everage She revels in a promiscuous familiarity with lowbrow aspects of the mass media, from new age women’s magazines to television body makeovers. [1]

Technology has provided me with a medium allowing for multiple outcomes, and in the heady early days I revelled in its potential. As i was subsumed by the joy of connectivity, I felt like the kiddy in the candy shop, nose pressed against the glass of possible pleasure. I want to re-connect my ideas with the potential ofered by todays' technology and yearn a return to wearing my geekgrrl badge with pride.

"The Beauty & the Geeks" appropriates its name from a reality tv show where intelligent geek stereotypes are matched with pneumatic bosomed peroxided barbie babes  in the hope that they will learn to love the differences in each other and find common ground. I will "perform" the beauty, in itself a comment on popular culture ideals of beauty. My mission statement is to attend lectures, workshops and of course parties and document this hopeful journey back to geekdom. I describe this project as a performance or intervention, and the blog outcome a self portrait borrowing from the Foucault notion that "we must create ourselves as works of art".

“Di’s itinerary of personae each have ‘boundary stories to tell – how they came to be here – and roles to play in both virtual and real life. (Her) personae (…)represent various of Di’s subjective and embodied experiences. In short, as Di claims, “all my work is about me and the things I’ve done”. Given this, the personae are not merely masks, but rather biographic renderings emerged from a really ‘out there’ life. [2]

1. Morrell, Timothy (2006) Australian Art Collector, p126

2. Carroli, Linda (1999) Krystal Clear: catalogue essay

Bio of the Presenter

Di Ball


2001-2010      Doctorate of Visual Arts, Griffith University (not completed); Certificate of Digital design (part         completion)
1997                  B.A. Visual Arts QUT (honours)
1994 -1996      B.A. Visual Arts QUT
1993                  Certificate Visual Arts (Computer Graphics), Mt Gravatt TAFE
1977                  Registration, Board of Architects (Queensland)
1970-1975        Diploma in Architecture, Queensland Institute of Technology

Work History (selected)

2010-2011        tutor Griffith architecture, QCA  foundation theory
2009                  tutor QUT architecture, QCA foundation theory
2007                  tutor Introduction to Photoshop, QCA
2006                  tutor Flying Arts, lecturer QCA, lecturer Alexandra Hills TAFE,
2005                  lecturer (digital identity) Griffith School of Arts Gold Coast Campus, tutor Flying Arts
2002-2005       lecturer (Art Theory), Tutor (Intermedia), QCA Griffith University
                            presenter: Public Hangings national TVart programme,  Art to Lunch Radio 4ZZZ
2001                   lecturer in Intermedia, QCA Griffith University ; lecturer KVB Institute of Design (graphic             design)
1998 –2000      part time tutor. Communication Design and Visual Arts, QUT, Brisbane Institute of Art
                             workshop artist, various schools; web developer; performer
1993 - 1997        full time student, part time demonstrator QUT Visual Arts(digital media), graphic artist
1982-1992         self employed performer; U.N.A.A.: part time administrator
1980-1982         architect: William Job & Associates
1977-1979          architect:  Peddle Thorp & Harvey
1977                    architect: Cunnington McKerrel  ;  Donald Spencer & Associates
1976                    architect: Merrin & Cranston
1973-1975           Jack Parkinson & Associates
1970-1972          James Birrell & Partners

Personal Development:

Registered Architect
Member Royal Australian Institute of Architects (1973-1980)
Member Entertainment & Arts Alliance (1992 to current)
1999        Arts Queensland Digital Media Grant, Arts Qld Individual Visual Arts and Craft Grant
1974         Board of Architects Prize (top student year QIT)

Residencies (new media/digital artist) (selected)

2009        nes artist residency, Skagastrond, Iceland (Oct-Nov)
2006        Shailer Park SHS  Art Built Project
2004        Forest Lake SHS Art Built project, Ferny Grove SHS
2003        St Joseph’s Terrace School, “NRG” collaborative residency
2002        St Joseph’s Terrace School, “TripleC” collaborative residency
                  LaLuna Youth Group, Townsville: Flash Alice Project
                  “Indigenous New Media Residency, Adelaide Festival of the Arts
                  “Hypertextuality – a working title”, incubation residency at Powerhouse, Brisbane
                  St Joseph’s Terrace School, “Urban Assault” collaborative residency
2000        “Young people and the culture of peace:2000” project for hands on art and Southside Children’s Art Festival

Exhibitions: Group Shows (selected)

2010        women in watercolour ( a performance)
2009        X, College Gallery, Nes Iceland,
2008        presentation at ISEA, Singapore
2006        Colonial to Contemporary, Dell Gallery
2006        Schubert Ulrick Photography Prize finalist, Gold Coast Gallery
2005        Glo Ball presents Famous people who have met me, College Gallery
2005        Screening Room, IMA Brisbane
2004        Another Viewpoint-camera less, and Tales from the BallPark,  Queensland Centre for Photography,
2003        “óne night Stand”, Merivale Street Studio Space
2003        “self discipline”, Paddington, Sydney for Sydney Mardi Gras
2002         “sound altars” collaboration with Andrew Kettle, Brisbane Powerhouse
2001         “digifrot”; featured artist for;  High Fidelity, Soapbox Gallery, Brisbane
2000        Ex Libris, Soapbox Gallery, Brisbane  ;Co-installation, Double Helix, Brisbane


2009        Kaentrybar Skagastrond Iceland
2004        Lewd Room, Show us your bits: Brisbane Powerhouse
2003        Brisbane Cabaret Festival
2002        Art Star party for Tracy Moffat
2002        “Fleur Ball” opens at Tamworth Country & Western Festival
2001        “Hypertextuality – a working title”, Powerhouse, Brisbane
1997          Fleur Ball, country and western superstar, Dendy Cinema for IMA
1996          Personal Pixels; multi media solo perfomance at Shh..bango, Brisbane Festival