Case Studies/Andrew Garton

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Andrew Garton is a prominent Australian-based writer, producer and digital media adviser who widely employs and advocates the use of Creative Commons licences.

I feel tools such as Creative Commons are part of the discussion we should be having about our lives, how we live, how and what we learn and the mechanisms required to support innovation and creativity, that which sustains life, gives it meaning and purpose - a lifetime of learning rather than a lifetime of uncertainty. — Andrew Garton, ‘Are We Insane?’


Andrew Garton is a prominent Australian-based writer, producer and digital media advisor who sits at the forefront of new media practice and community cultural development. A passionate advocate for Creative Commons and open content licensing, Garton works across a number of projects which express the aims of inclusivity, sustainability, and respect for local context. As the current Managing Director of the online and community media group, the Association for Progressive Communications Australia,, Garton places focus on building sustainable IT infrastructure and community-based media based initiatives in Australia, South East Asia, and the Pacific Islands. For example, consults on delivery platforms to the Melbourne City Council supported Home Lands project. Home Lands intends to assist young refugees to reconnect with their dispersed communities through an innovative Internet television programme. In addition, Andrew serves as Secretary of the Executive Board of the international Association for Progressive Communications, is a member of the Arts Law Consortium of Victoria and a founding member of Open Spectrum Australia.

Garton commenced his career at age 14, participating in community and public access media and contributing to the experimental music scene(s) in Sydney, Australia. Performing and producing as synthesist, saxophonist, and spoken-word performer from the late 1970s, he played with punk/soul band Private Lives (1979-1983) and fusion/improvisation outfit Lingo Babel (1985-1987). In the late 1980s he formed the acoustic-based White Punks on Hope and the jazz/punk trio, Return from Nowhere. For The Listening Room (now off-air), Garton performed the first generative sound piece for Australian radio and Internet in 1997, in collaboration with performance artist Stelarc. Composer of numerous documentary soundtracks, interactive installations both online and offline, and publisher of articles on independent media, generative music and radio art, Garton’s composition and performance has been characterised by employment of streaming technologies, generative sound works and collaborative, cross-disciplinary approaches, exploring broader interpretations of screen culture and the moving image. Andrew releases his various projects through the Secession label (a site licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic licence).

Under the auspices of Toy Satellite, Andrew has produced several of the earliest audiovisual streaming projects in Australia, contributing to internationally-acclaimed and award-winning sound works and generative compositions commissioned by both the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and ORF/KunstRadio (Austria). In 2001 he produced Undercurrents, which launched the Taipei International Arts Festival. This piece was subsequently commissioned for performance at the first multimedia event to be hosted by the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) in 2001. It was further performed, in part, for the Fringe Fashion Awards (Melbourne), Multimedia Arts Asia Pacific (Brisbane), the Melbourne International Arts Festival and the Electrofringe (Newcastle, NSW). Furthermore, in 2003, Andrew was commissioned to produce a situationist-inspired interactive work, D3, for the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), where he spent two years as interactive media consultant.

In 2005, Garton accepted the role as OPEN CHANNEL’s inaugural Program Director, effectively relaunching the 35-year-old organisation. The new programme of activities included the Creative Commons-inspired VIDEO SLAM, the Certificate III in Screen course, Producing for Community TV, the FRAMED lunchtime seminar series and the community mobile movies initiative, Talking Docklands: Video Quilt.

The significant scope and scale of his current projects are illustrated on the wiki.

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