Can art do good and be good? Are artistic excellence and social impact mutually exclusive ends? Explore world’s best practice...

Do Good, Be Good: Keynote


2006 NSW

Do Good, Be Good: Keynote


Steve Lambert

Steve Lambert (USA)

Artist and Activist

Steve Lambert is an American artist who works with issues of advertising and the use of public space. He is an artist, artistic activist, creative activist, co-founder of the Center for Artistic Activism and and Associate Professor at SUNY Purchase. 

Lambert made international news after the 2008 US election with The New York Times “Special Edition,” a replica of the “paper of record” announcing the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and other good news. In the Summer of 2011 he began a national tour of Capitalism Works For Me! True/False – a 9 x 20ft sign allowing people to vote on whether capitalism worked for them. Steve has collaborated with groups from the Yes Men to the Graffiti Research Lab and Greenpeace. 

He is also the founder of the Center for Artistic Activism, the Anti-Advertising Agency, Add-Art (a Firefox add-on that replaces online advertising with art) and Self-Control (which blocks grownups from distracting websites so they can get work done). 

Steve’s projects and art works have won awards from Prix Ars Electronica, Rhizome/The New Museum, the Creative Work Fund, Adbusters Media Foundation, the California Arts Council, and others. Lambert’s work has been shown everywhere from museums to protest marches nationally and internationally, featured in over fourteen books, four documentary films, and is in the collections of The Sheldon Museum, the Progressive Insurance Company, and The Library of Congress.

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Do Good, Be Good: Keynote
Do Good, Be Good: Conference 
Masterclass with Steve Lambert 

Natalie Jeremijenko

Natalie Jeremijenko

Artist & Engineer

One of America’s brightest digital pioneers, Natalie Jeremijenko has been named one of the Top 100 young innovators by the MIT Technology Review, and one of the Top 40 most influential designers by I.D. Magazine. She now directs the xDesign Environmental Health Clinic at NYU. A fascinating speaker, Jeremijenko gives audiences a glimpse into the future of design.

Natalie Jeremijenko is the former Director of Yale’s Engineering Design Studio. Her experimental design—hence xDesign—explores the opportunities new technologies present for social change. It centers on structures of participation in the production of knowledge, information, and the political and social possibilities—and limitations—of information and emerging technologies. Much of it involves biochemistry, physics, neuroscience and precision engineering, and almost all of it is carried out through public experiments.

xDesign’s environmental goal is to develop and prescribe locally optimized and often playful strategies to effect remediation of environmental systems, producing measurable and mediagenic evidence and coordinating diverse projects to effective material change. Some of Jeremijenko’s work includes a permanent installation on the roof of Postmasters Gallery in Chelsea Model Urban Development which provides infrastructure and facilities for high-density bird cohabitation. Her work spans a range of media from statistical indices (such as the Despondency Index, which linked the Dow Jones to the suicide rate at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge) to biological substrates (such as the installations of cloned trees in pairs in various urban micro-climates) to robotics (such as the development of her famous feral robotic dog packs that investigated environmental hazards). 

Jeremijenko is also a visiting professor at the Royal College of Art, in London and an artist not-in-residence at the Institute for the Future, Palo Alto.

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Do Good, Be Good: Keynote
Do Good, Be Good: Conference 

Jess Scully. Vivid Ideas Curator, Policy Thinker, Festival Director, and Media Producer. AUS

Jess Scully

Vivid Ideas Curator, Policy Thinker and Media Producer

Jess Scully is a curator, policy thinker, festival director and media producer who is passionate about using creativity to inspire social change: she seeks to curate projects that inspire curiosity, spark conversation and explore opportunities for the arts and creativity to deliver impact in communities and add value to the broader economy. Jess is the curator of Vivid Ideas: an annual event connecting creative practitioners and businesses with global leaders, to support professional development and expand market opportunities for the sector. Spanning industries from art and architecture to gaming and filmmaking: the Vivid Ideas program now brings together close to 80,000 participants and has been recognised by the Guardian as one of the top ten ideas festivals in the world.

Jess is one of the curators of TEDxSydney: since 2013 she has collaborated with a talented team of volunteers to help deliver one of the most sophisticated talks events in the world. As a public art consultant, Jess is delivering permanent public art and temporary projects for Green Square Library and Plaza. She is also public art curator for 60 Martin Place and Barrack Place, and public realm activations at Quay Quarter Sydney. In the past, Jess served as policy advisor to the NSW Minister of the Arts, directed the Qantas Spirit of Youth Awards (SOYA), and edited magazines including Empty, Yen and SummerWinter.


Event Details

Can art do good and be good? Are artistic excellence and social impact mutually exclusive ends? Explore world’s best practice in socially-engaged architecture, theatre, visual art and culture.

In this event, Steve Lambert, founder of the Center for Artistic Activism, and Natalie Jeremijenko, director of the Environmental Health Clinic at NYU, will each deliver an insightful keynote followed by a conversation. They will discuss their practice, staging provocative and playful interventions in public space, and approaches to engaging with and effecting change in communities.  

Discover exciting new approaches to generating social impact through the arts, and explore the many ways art can raise the profile of worthy causes and elevate the conversation around social inclusion. 

This event is presented by Vivid Ideas, Sydney Ideas and the Seymour Centre. You may also be interested in the Do, Good, Be Good: Conference.


Image credit: Steve Lambert, Tell The Truth (2012)

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