This paper grew out of the Posthuman Lecture Theatre Hack, an ambitious, activist research project that explored the present and future of creative research and education through the ‘takeover’ of a decommissioned 180-seat lecture theatre. Researchers used creative practice in three phases to create a critical discourse about who and what the University is becoming. Led by Contemporary Art and Social Transformation (CAST), the School of Art research group, with researchers across the University, PhD candidates, and independent artists, the project culminated in the thought-provoking and immersive installation titled “What’s Coming is Good…”.
The research began with an opening symposium featuring esteemed Emeritus Prof Rosi Braidotti as a visiting research fellow, where researchers and HDR candidates presented their work through a posthuman lens for dialogue and discussion. This symposium fostered diverse discussions and creative conversations among academics, practitioners, and the public. In the second phase, undergraduate students in the School of Art engaged in a collaborative “student hack,” where they contributed their unique perspectives and ideas to shape the project’s trajectory, exploring themes of institutionalisation, gender, and race and their historical and contemporary formation in the University.
The final phase, “What’s Coming is Good…”, transformed the decommissioned lecture theatre into an multimedia and performance, immersive installation. Taking Astrida Neimanis and her thinking as ‘Bodies of Water’ as inspiration, the theatre was transformed into a relational speculative sea where human, non-human, and more-than-human collaborations unfurled. The Posthuman Lecture Theatre Hack exemplifies the power of collaborative, interdisciplinary endeavours in imagining and shaping the academy’s future. Therefore, this paper invites conference attendees to explore the transformative possibilities of creative activism at the University.