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Jill Bennett is Scientia Professor and Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow. She is Founding Director of the National Institute for Experimental Arts and of The Big Anxiety Festival; and is part of the leadership team of the Ageing Futures Institute.
In 2017, she founded The Big Anxiety – festival of people + art + science, a research-driven, mental health festival, which won ‘Best New Event’ at the Australian Event Awards in its inaugural year, 2017 https://www.thebiganxiety.org/. In 2019 she co-curated (with Bec Dean) The Empathy Clinic as part of The Big Anxiety.
Jill’s ARC Laureate fellowship (which commenced in 2018) supports the transdisciplinary Felt Experience & Empathy Lab [fEEL] at UNSW. fEEL brings together psychologists and creative practitioners, specialising in mental health engagement, and in the use of experiential media such as virtual reality to communicate embodied experience. fEEL’s innovative approach to subjective experience and knowledge exchange utilises immersive media/Virtual Reality to create perception simulation, facilitating ‘seeing through the eyes of another’. Outputs include the IEEE Award winning The Visit, an interactive avatar made with women with dementia.
https://vimeo.com/showcase/6799615. Collaborations include work with NPY Women’s Council/Uti Kulintjaku https://www.thebiganxiety.org/events/uti-kulintjaku-initiative/.
Jill’s books include Empathic Vision: Affect, Trauma and Contemporary Art, Stanford UP, 2005 and Practical Aesthetics: Events, Affect & Art After 9/11, 2011. She has recently co-edited Thinking in the World: A Reader (2020) and is series editor (with Mary Zournazi) of the Thinking in the World series (Bloomsbury).
Recent articles describing the strategies of The Big Anxiety within a psychosocial framework include Bennett, J., Froggett, L. and Muller, L. (2019) Psychosocial aesthetics and the art of lived experience, Journal of Psychosocial Studies, 12(1-2): 185–2010.
The Empathy Clinic https://www.thebiganxiety.org/events/the-empathy-clinic/
Big Anxiety highlights https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiQMVd2XVO0&t=52s
New body mapping tool: https://vimeo.com/390897803