Inside The Story of the Moving Image

ACMI’s centrepiece exhibition, The Story of the Moving Image, will change the way we view exhibitions in Melbourne, and around the world.

An image of the installation that plays with light and shadow to produce psychedelic colours in blue, purple and red.
06 Apr 2021
Last updated
28 Jul 2021
Reading time
2 min

The new centrepiece exhibition follows the Story of the Moving Image – a journey through the past, present, and future of visual entertainment.

And the best part about the new centrepiece exhibition is you can collect and capture fragments of the exhibition using The Lens to take home with you.

The Lens is a free, handheld, take-home device that lets you collect artworks and objects from the exhibition. By tapping the Lens icon on an installation (like you would 'tap on’ with a myki), it curates everything you collect into a bespoke online collection you can explore more at home.

A walk-through begins with a visual installation titled Yanmeeyarr (Flickering in the firelight) by prominent local First Nations artist, Vicki Couzens . This sets the scene for the humble beginnings of moving images; where light and shadow were used to tell stories.

Moving on you’ll see the different cinematic eras, production styles and creative processes of Australian film and television, and finish with the enchanting possibilities of where the future of visual storytelling and entertainment might take us.

The Story of the Moving Image centrepiece exhibition is an immersive one too, with a myriad of interactive experiences you can take part in that feel incredibly current. Like the booth where you can film and print your own flipbook, reminiscent of viral TikTok dances. Or the Edit Line; a storyboard wall with gif-length snippets of film and tv quotes you can move around to create wild, viral-worthy mashups.

The new ACMI is an immersive experience for all five senses. Yes – even smell and taste are covered, with a new dining area and menu developed by Chef Karen Martini.

If you're thinking of visiting the newly refurbished ACMI in Fed Square, here are our top pics from the centrepiece exhibition:

Australian TV Miniatures – by Emily Boutard

A display made up of six televisions…until you look a little closer. Inside you’ll find miniature dioramas of lounge rooms from different decades, showing how television fit into our everyday lives.

Edit Line

Move physical story-board pieces of bite-size quotes from famous films and TV series to trigger edits on a large screen. With more than 100 pieces to pick from, you won’t make the same edit twice, and you can take all of them home on your Lens!

The Memory Garden

A pure moment of serenity within the exhibition, the Memory Garden projects beams of light from the ceiling, showing Australian home videos that animate when you hold out your hands.

The Constellation

Before you leave the exhibition, use the Lens to trigger your Constellation; a galaxy showing not just what you’ve collected on your travels, but the interconnectedness of screen media curated by ACMI staff.

While we highly recommend a visit to ACMI itself, we realise this isn’t possible for everyone.

And that’s okay! Because you can still explore the Story of the Moving Image on their website no matter where you are.

The Story of the Moving Image