Dr. Sarah Barns

Co-Founder and Director

Curatorial Practices & Engagement Adviser LinkedInsarah@esemprojects.com

Dr. Sarah Barns is a public artist, writer, researcher and consultant whose work today is committed to elevating the role of creative practices in sustaining hopeful futures.

Inspired by the potentials of site-specific arts and storytelling to connect with multi-layered histories of place, Sarah has developed a range of acoustic and mixed-media approaches to engaging the histories of places through a range of community and cultural engagement methods, spanning oral history, community workshops, field recordings and collections research.

Sarah's creative partnership with multimedia artist Michael Killalea since 2011 has supported the co-creation of over 30 cultural and participatory digital arts & curatorial programs through Esem Projects, spanning digital projection, interpretation, sound design and more.

Sarah's previous background in strategic design and policy also informs her work as a cultural and digital strategist, supporting future-focused organisational and strategic frameworks that link digital, community and place-based objectives for public good outcomes.

In 2023 Sarah was awarded a Vice Chancellor's Senior Research Fellowship at RMIT, building on her experience leading a range of academic and practice-led research programs that span technology, cities and creative practices. She is author of Platform Urbanism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), and a recognised speaker, researcher and expert in the fields of urban digital strategy, digital placemaking and digital cultural engagement. Her research has been published in a wide range of books and international journals, spanning Cities, Culture and Society, Space and Society, Urban Geography and the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies (see full Research profile here).

When she's on the creative tools she loves to craft immersive soundscapes and write creative non-fiction essays (see Inside Story).

Read more about Sarah's background and experience on LinkedIn.

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