Richard James Allen and Marie-Stella McKinney, The Physical TV Company

Text Messages from the Universe

Film / Moving Image, Multi-disciplinary, Performance Art


'Text Messages from the Universe' is a unique, hybrid, live event, combining an award-winning dance film and a widely published poet in performance.  It immerses its audience in a richly-textured journey through the delirium and delight of the ‘Bardo’, the intermediate state between death and rebirth, as described in ‘The Tibetan Book of the Dead’.  ‘Text Messages from the Universe' updates and reconfigures the familiar combination of live music with a screen work. This screening/performance at Art, Not Apart will be the world premiere of this mixed media production.  Acclaimed actor/dancer/poet Richard James Allen's live reading of the 'messages' will unfold in concert with the magical, colourful and choreographically edited dancing of more than 25 seasoned performers onscreen and a commissioned score by Ola Turkiewicz.

At Sound and Fury After Party, Albert Hall

'Text Messages from the Universe’, produced by Richard James Allen and Marie-Stella McKinney for The Physical TV Company, crosshatches an array of art forms to touch on the unknowable and perhaps inexpressible: what happens to human consciousness after death.  Elements of this uniquely hybrid work (weaving together dance, poetry, visual art, music and cinema), will also appear in surprising ways to augment participants’ experience of the Sound and Fury after-party at the Albert Hall.



Richard James Allen is a director, with Karen Pearlman, of the critically acclaimed Physical TV Company (, which creates drama, documentary and dance films informed by scholarly research into the history and the future potential of the cinematic medium. A three-time ATOM Award winning director and producer, Richard’s films have been commissioned or purchased for multiple broadcasts by ABC and SBS-TV, picked up for broadcast in China, Europe and on cable TV in the USA. His productions have travelled to over 300 film festivals or public screenings on five continents. They have garnered over 70 nominations or awards and many have attracted grant funding or support through government or philanthropic arts funding bodies. In addition to his creativity as a director, producer, writer, actor and dancer for the screen, Richard is an acclaimed Australian poet. His latest book, 'The short story of you and I', was published by UWA Publishing in Feb 2019. He also has an extensive track record of creating critically lauded works for the stage and edited a landmark national anthology of writing for performance. Richard won Chancellor’s Award for Most Outstanding PhD Thesis for his doctorate at the University of Technology, Sydney, and graduated with First Class Honours for his B.A. at Sydney University.

As a voice within Australia's independent artist space, Marie-Stella McKinney believes it is up to those within our community to establish a national identity and culture that is inclusive of all elements of our past, present and future. It is this vision towards broadening the public perception of identity that drives her passion towards working with like-minded creatives, to tell stories that have been buried by traditional media. Marie-Stella works with artists from diverse backgrounds to give audiences a perspective of reality that engages with the very heart of what it means to be human.



1:30 pm - 2:45 pm | Arc Cinema

4:30 pm - 6:00 pm | Arc Cinema