Binary Code

An indigenous perspective for the Asia-Pacific Multimedia Conference, Melbourne October 1997

Koori Arts Collective



In ‘Crack the Binary Code’ you ask what multimedia means to an arts audience, we ask you what you think multimedia represents to the indigenous psyche.

Speaking from an indigenous perspective where the oral tradition regulates the distribution of information to a very personal level, the Koori Art Collective is wary of the dimensions offered up by new information technology. Indigenous people have a direct connection with the ancient words of our ancestors because all of our information has been spoken along the line through the generations and across millennia. There are two elements a play here, identity and time, each element is embraced by a deep and abiding respect. Each person’s identity gives that individual a moral right to very particular information at every stage of their life. Certain information is only available to individuals at a time in their lives when they are equipped to give the information the respect it deserves. Information is only a particle of knowledge which is ultimately what we all aspire to, but which we as individuals must earn with time. You will earn the right to knowledge only by respecting all aspects of the information that you are given.

If you come across indigenous information on the WWW or through this new technology or by any other means please take the time to identify the traditional keepers of the information and then takes the steps to gain their permission to use that information. Be mindful of the need to earn the right to use the information by your own moral obligation to respect what you are given by this means

The Koori Arts Collective would like you, the participants of this multimedia conference to respect and abide by the indigenous concept of identity and time in this new dimension with no obvious physical boundaries or perceived moral codes.


Regards with deference, esteem or honour

Avoid degrading, insulting or interfering with or interrupting

Treat with consideration, space, refrains from offending or corrupting or tempting

Respect person’s feelings innocence or neutrality.