deadstream_TV Episode 8
Collaboration: Libby Harward and Joseph Burgess
Livestream video 19:43sec
Still image by Libby Harward

“This is a sound performance using an archaeological sieve and a 44-gallon drum fitted with an “irrigation sound system”, amplifying instruments of occupation, classification, extraction, and greed. Hear the sound of sieving ourselves through the mechanisms of ongoing colonisation to prove our existence under the oppression of foreign law.” – Libby Harward

Listen, Embody, and Participate in the rising tide of protest globally against exploitative systems based upon greed and oppression. 

Affirm with us resistance against capitalism, an economy of extinction – polluting the land, waters and skies.  

Listen with me as I join the many First Nations voices across this continent calling for healing.  

Embody with me a healing act of sound amplification through detourning instruments of occupation, classification, extraction and greed. Instruments used for Archaeology and irrigation in an Agri-culture that is depleting our lands. 

Embody the sounds of these Instruments that First Nations families have arduously operated in order to remain on country after it was stolen by foreign law.  

Today, we Aboriginal people are still being asked to prove our past existence here through instruments and systems which extract our knowledge, classify and oppress us. 

We do this in order to have some access to the land which we belong to. 

We have had our hands on these instruments through labouring in western agriculture construction and development. 

We have been forced to do this. 

We have done this to stay alive, to stay on, or near country that we belong to. 

Listen with us to the sound of evidence amplified as we sieve ourselves through the mechanisms of ongoing colonisation to prove our existence under the oppression of foreign law.

Protest with us against capitalist oppression using violence and genocide to remove whole populations that stand in the way of the drive to extract “resources” from our lands where all living things are threatened with extinction. 

Together we will hear and touch the ochre calling, as it is sieved over memories of pieces of place yet to be returned. 

Hear,  Mother Earth shouting, screaming, calling on the power of the elements (thunder, lightning, winds) to remind humans of their place in the order of the universe.  

We have a responsibility as First Peoples to amplify Nature’s messages that are falling on ears that cannot hear and eyes that cannot see. 

Get comfortable for a twenty-minute amplified meditation, feel this unceded Aboriginal land beneath you, while I make loud the trauma so it can be heard and acknowledged in order for it to be integrated fully in our bodies and our spirits as part of a continued process of healing. 

Together we join the call for healing.


Water is our lifeblood and we need to protect and look after it, as it looks after us. 

First Nations people of this country have been holding cultural responsibilities to sustain our waterways from the beginning of time. Yet after just 230 years of colonial mismanagement, our ancient river systems are in grief; over-extracted, commodified, depleted and disrespected. From the speculative marketplace in water futures to rorting of water allocations, excessive irrigation IS colonial violence. Our rivers, in other words, are being bled out.

deadstream_DABILBUNG (broken water) presents deadstream_TV: a selection of film and sound works centring the issues facing fresh and saltwater country and culture.

The “wild”-flower season 2019 began my journey with my two children, through what is known in contemporary western terms as “The Murray-Darling Basin” (The Baaka and The Bidgee), on a project that longs to restore traditional custodianship of our fresh-water-ways: the rivers, creeks, lagoons, channels and wetlands that are currently threatened with imminent extinction. Following the footsteps of my Ancestors, we began this journey on my Ancestral country, beautiful Mulgumpin, in the Quandamooka, spending time with my Ngugi Elder, Gheebelum, Uncle Bob Anderson, listening with my children and reflecting-in fresh-water stories. 

In Oct 2019, we took a 2800km, 12-day road trip, crossing at least 10 of the 27 Aboriginal Nations that make up the Murray-Darling Basin, to join the Yaama Ngunna Baaka Corroboree, with Uncle Bruce Shillingsworth. We listened to the fresh-water stories of Traditional Custodians, in order to join the call to reinstate Traditional Custodianship over these hungry water-ways, and help expose the forces that are starving and choking them.

In March 2020 my work hit a bend in the river due to the restrictions forced upon us by COVID 19. I was gifted a shift in my focus that gave me a sense of urgency to present and archive the conversations I had with traditional custodians and allowed the time to re-imagine the production of these works for an online output. Due to the home schooling requirements, I was also able to continue the involvement of my children in the realisation of the work, so their footprint is now not only on the creative development, but also they are co-creators of some of the final works.

Listening is integral to reinstating Indigenous governance, and these audio and visual works in this stream include opportunities for extended attention with re-projection and amplified soundscapes. These are works of expanded sound and vision in which you, the spectator, are invited to listen with your eyes, and your ears.  

deadstream_TV is an experiment in online gallery practice.

It is also a kind of spiritual blood-letting, through which thoughts – concepts – conversations – and First Nations perspectives – may flow.