The Substation/
Currently closed

The Substation/ Diego Pizarro/​ Electric Man/

Electric Man by Diego Pizarro
11 November 2022–29 January 2023
Wed–Sat 12–6pm
Substation Program/​Exhibition

Wheelchair accessible




Inspired by the qualities of Superman, Batman and Spiderman, Electric Man is a tracks worker who becomes a superhero when he encounters an electric fuse box at Footscray Station.

Electric Man is the brainchild of Diego Pizarro, a comic-book artist who is currently undertaking an ArtLife Residency at Footscray Community Arts.

Loosely based on the narrative of Robin Hood, Electric Man first came to Diego as a solution to social issues after witnessing homelessness in the streets of Melbourne and Santiago. The narrative focuses on electricity and light, addressing global imbalances of power and the unequal distribution of resources in the world.

The project will be the stepping stone for a future comic book – to explore and share the narrative of Electric Man.


Electric Man is a multi-venue program presented at The Substation, Footscray Community Arts, Gabriel Gallery, Footscray Station, Seddon Station, Yarraville Station, Spotswood Station and Newport Station.

Electric Man will have a combined exhibition launch with House of Mother Tongue on Saturday, 19th November from 4–6pm.


The installation at The Substation will be able to be viewed from The Substation's Foyer during opening hours. The Substation is wheelchair accessible and gender neutral accessible toilets are available.

Presented by Footscray Community Arts in association with The Substation as part of NEIGHBOURHOOD Festival.


Woke in Fright
Woke in Fright
11 November–23 December 2022
Info Expand

The Apocalypse is here and we are doing busy work. Our days are spent staying awake/afloat, thriving to remain hopeful. Where liberalism persists; there is no spiritual reprise.

Woke in Fright
brings together artists who challenge a myriad of dystopian functions of our absurdist society.

Thriving in slippages of the pervasive cultural and political divides, the exhibition explores our ideological blind spots at a time of unprecedented circumstances.

A hyper/hypo-critical project curated by Nikki Lam and Mat Spisbah, the exhibition invites local and international artists to break down permission structures and decipher conformance from intent.

Enter these artistic and corporate institutional realms where ideologies and KPIs collide.

Stay woke, don’t fright. Give into the contradictions and be sedated by hopeful retreats, where spiritual, sensory and capitalist stimulants may fill you up with critical thoughts, or healing, or whatever… we are thirsty.


Join us for free drinks to celebrate the opening night of Woke in Fright from 6pm–8pm, Thursday 10 November 2022. All welcome!


This exhibition is wheelchair accessible and gender neutral accessible toilets are available.

Exhibition wall labels are also available to view online. Download wall labels.


Please be advised that this exhibition contains nudity, sex scenes, violence and flashing imagery.


Artists: Veeeky, EJ Son, Ip Wai Lung, April Lin 林森, Li Hanwei, Jaime Emily Powell and Ari Tampubolon
Curator: Nikki Lam
Curator: Mat Spisbah



In the context of internet of the things, algorithm, cyborgism, post- Anthropocene, bio-art and robotics, Wei Chia Wu is developing her stories based on the thinking of contemporary society and the current social disclosure, discussing internet capitalism/gender/information/channels/globalization-localization content.

Rooted in the culture of Asia, especially Taiwan, her works are mainly created with 3d softwares, coding and open framework algorithm to present a high saturation utopia, where we often see flexibility between subtle culture symbols and stories, collage of digital/ offline visual and auditory pieces.

EJ Son

EJ Son is a multi-disciplinary artist, working across new media, sculptural installations, video and ceramics. They utilise provocation and humour as a tool to interrogate the complexity of power in the construction of gender, sexuality and race.

Their practice is oftentimes paradoxical, arousing the tension created by our subconscious tendencies to binaries. They hope to deconstruct and create space for new feelings to be considered.

They completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts (First class Honours) at Sydney College of the Arts in 2018; they are a recent recipient of the Parramatta artist studios on-site residency at the Powerhouse Museum, winner of the 2020 Emerging Artist prize from the Gosford Regional Art gallery and was commissioned by MAMA Albury to make titty tower (2021) to exhibit for SIMMER 2021.

They have exhibited at the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Bus Projects, Cool Change contemporary, Verge gallery and PARI and will be showing at Firstdraft, OZAsia Festival at the LEXUS gallery, The Lock-up and The Substation in 2022.

Ip Wai Lung

Ip Wai Lung is a meditation enthusiast who embraces impermanence, as conventional religious beliefs are static, yet the world is constantly in flux.

He intervenes with life by mediation in an attempt to process all the impermanence, queerness, and ambiguity the world throws at him.

Through art Ip stages meditation, he detaches and engages with the consciousness and unconscious. This constantly shifting of roles, modes, and discipline is the backbone of his art works.

His works might be plain and dry at first glance, yet there is a never-ending restlessness bursting from the seams.

April Lin 林森

April Lin 林森 (b. 1996, Stockholm — they/them) is an interdisciplinary artist and independent curator investigating image-making and world-building as sites for the construction, sustenance, and dissemination of co-existent yet conflicting truths.

Working across moving image, performance, creative computing and installation, they dream & explore & critique & fret & catastrophise & imagine & play — for a collective remembering of forgotten pasts, for a critical examination of normalised presents, and for a visualising of freer futures as, of course, imagined from the periphery.

Interweaving strands of auto-biography, documentary, queer ecology, and new media, April Lin 林森’s works are topped off with an inevitable garnish consisting of the other matters dialoguing with their brain and heart during the making process of each piece.

Uniting their genre-fluid body of work is a commitment to centring oppressed knowledges, building an ethics of collaboration around reciprocal care, and exploring the linkages between history, memory, and interpersonal and structural trauma.

Their work has been shown at the Museum of the Moving Image New York, Sheffield DocFest, Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival, the V&A Museum, HOME, Malmö Konstmuseum, LA Filmforum, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Manchester Art Galley, MADATAC, Arebyte Gallery, Lausanne Underground Film & Music Festival, NOWNESS Asia, and 4:3 Boiler Room.

Li Hanwei

Born in Xuzhou, Jiangsu province in 1994, Li Hanwei graduated from Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts in 2018, and currently lives and works in Shanghai. Li’s practice is based on adapting the forms of commercial advertisements and films as metaphors. Through the study of communication methods, the artist uses CG images to establish a worldview in the fictional world where counterfeit of the real world and science-fiction coexist, as a way to present the intersection of contemporary culture forms and individual identities.

Jaime Emily Powell

Jaime Powell is an Indian-Australian artist who uses lithography and mark-making to investigate what our mind does when the body extends into space.

The examination of belonging is at the heart of Jaime’s practice.

Ari Tampubolon

Ari Tampubolon is a filmmaker, writer, and performer with a vested interest in the endlessly repetitive formal mutations of pop culture. Working across film, installation, and theatre, her artistic practice takes cues from practitioners such as Andrea Fraser, Adrian Piper, Ari Aster, if the three of them were polyamorous and had a baby via IVF who would later be named Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, otherwise known as Lady Gaga.

Ari has shown recent works with Running Dog Journal, Miscellania, Gertrude Contemporary, and Composite, with an upcoming short film ‘BLEACH’ commissioned by Multicultural Arts Victoria currently in pre-production.

Nikki Lam

Nikki Lam is an artist, curator and producer based in Naarm. Working primarily with moving images, her work explores hybridity and memory through the contemplation on time, space and impermanence.

Born in Hong Kong, her work deals with the complexity of migratory expressions. Her current research focuses on the artistic agency during cultural, social and political transitions, particularly within the context of moving image and screen cultures. With an expanded practice in writing, exhibition and festival making, she is interested in exploring anti-colonial methods in artistic and curatorial practice.

Nikki is co-director of Hyphenated Projects and Hyphenated Biennial. She is previously the curator-at-large at The Substation, Artistic Director of Channels video art festival, alongside many hybrid roles in the arts including at ACMI, Next Wave and Footscray Community Arts Centre. She is a current PhD (Art) candidate at RMIT University.

Mat Spisbah

Mat Spisbah is an Artistic Director and curator focusing on New Media work. Spisbah has an extensive portfolio of commissioned and curated digital and sound performances, plus experience working with leading Australian and Asian cultural organisations.

He is currently Artistic Director of digital arts organisation Exhibitionist and also provides curatorial, consultancy and creative producing work for many of Australia’s leading arts festivals, museums and institutions such as Sydney Opera House, Rising, MONA and Powerhouse Museum (Sydney).

His work focuses on contemporary new media practices in north Asia and building connections between Australia and the region. By integrating non-traditional artistic methods with emerging technologies, Spisbah's curatorial projects offer new modes of creative expression and engagement for the 21st century.

Spisbah has worked across a variety of roles and positions - Digital Strategist in residence for Australia Council, Associate Curator for Liquid Architecture, plus an extensive portfolio of commissioned and curated works with: Lu Yang, Howie Lee, Rui Ho, Meuko Meuko, Pan Daijing, Alex Zhang Hungtai, Tzusing and Gabber Modus Operandi.

View program
Lisa Lerkenfeldt/
Tristan Jalleh,
With Water Up To Her Knees
24–25 November 2022
Info Expand

Composer Lisa Lerkenfeldt presents the world premiere of new work With Water Up To Her Knees.

In collaboration with video artist and film director, Tristan Jalleh, a densely detailed hyper reality of hidden rooms and resonances will be revealed.

Set in present day Naarm, within an amphitheater of abandoned infrastructure, With Water Up to Her Knees blends performance, animation and sound.

Drawing from the artist’s field work and electroacoustic practices, piano and tape arrangements light up lost chambers and underground histories in a patchwork of reflective musique concrète, instrumental composition and surreal cinema.

With Water Up To Her Knees spotlights underground networks opening questions of reality, virtuality and perception through oral traditions, experimental AV composition and diary-like vignettes.


With Water Up To Her Knees is performed in two variations:


Lisa will launch a single on piano in association with French arts publisher Shelter Press.


Lisa will be joined by cellists Emile Frankel, Abby Sundborn and poet Panda Wong for a hybrid ensemble performance and film.


Composer: Lisa Lerkenfeldt
Visual Artist: Tristan Jalleh
Cellists (25 Nov): Emile Frankel, Abby Sundborn
Poet (25 Nov): Panda Wong


Please note there will be low lighting and haze used during this performance.


This event is wheelchair accessible and gender neutral accessible toilets are available. The seating provided for this event is mats on the floor.

The Substation galleries, bar and bookshop will open one hour prior to the performance.

Open Station and Closing Party
26 November 2022
Info Expand

Open / Station invites you to an afternoon of new music, performance and visual arts culminating in the Neighbourhood festival closing night party.

Programmed from the ground breaking work of artists and companies who have worked at The Substation as residents or guests, Open / Station will activate the entire building, including the parts that are usually hidden from view.

Explore experiments in performance, sound and projection as well as site-responsive works by Jo Lloyd, Australian Art Orchestra and more.

After dark, see the final showing of Michaela Gleave's Between Us, a collaborative poem translated into morse code and beamed into the night sky.

Then DJs curated by Studio Slur will lead us into a celebration of the ending of 18 days of art, performance and community at Neighbourhood festival.

Open / Station is a curated spotlight on Melbourne's most exciting artists and companies, and their practice, who just so happen to call the West home.

This opportunity to showcase artists and bring the community together has been made possible by The Westgate Neighbourhood Fund, Hobson’s Bay City Council and the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund.

This event is part of the Neighbourhood Festival, co-presented by Footscray Community Arts and The Substation.

OPEN / STATION (from 2pm)

2pm–2:30pm – Adrian Sherriff / Instrumental Performance / Curated by Australian Art Orchestra / Mezzanine

2.30pm – Jo Lloyd / Performance / Featuring Harrison Ritchie-Jones, Rebecca Jensen, Thomas Woodman, Sheridan Gerrard, Deanne M Butterworth, Sophie Gargan, David Leupolu, Andrew Treloar (costume) and Duane Morrison (music) / Main Space

4pm–4:15pm – kori in collaboration with Sean Miles / Trick and/or Treat / Performance / Level 1 Corridor

An experimental piece that plays with notions of revealing and concealing.

4.30pm–5pm – The Rabble (Mary Helen Sassman and Dana Miltins) / Art for Our Sake / Performance / Main Space

Join them as they desperately try to render themselves 'essential artists'. This is 30 minutes of cut throat performance making: who will survive? It’s dog eat dog. Do or die. It’s Survivor on stage.

5pm–5:30pm – Georgie Darvidis / Edie Centric / Drag and Mime Performance / Curated by Australian Art Orchestra / AAO Office (Level 2)

5:30pm–6pm – Jasmin Wing-Yin Leung 梁詠然 / Instrumental Performance / Curated by Australian Art Orchestra / Studio 7


2pm–6pm – Slippage (Phuong Ngo and Hwafern Quach) / Mooncake Decorating Workshop / Studio 6 (Level 1)

2pm–12am – Shae Rooke, Jess Dubblu and Garth Sheridan / Material Halo / Installation / Dance Studio

A live, interactive, video and sound installation exploring Dark Matter.

2pm–12am – kori in collaboration with Sean Miles / Killing Time / Video / Level 1 Corridor

2pm–12am – Leon Rice-Whetton / Street Lights / Video / Mezzanine Window

Also showing Electric Man by Diego Pizarro and Woke in Fright curated by Nikki Lam and Mat Spisbah

CLOSING PARTY (from 7pm)

7pm–8:30pm – Studio Slur / DJ

8.30pm–9pm – Welcome to Country, Smoking Ceremony and speeches (Auslan interpreted)

9pm onwards – Michaela Gleave / Between Us / Installation

9pm–10:30pm – NayNay / DJ / Curated by Studio Slur / Main Space

10:30pm–12am – KSMBA / DJ / Curated by Studio Slur / Main Space


This event is wheelchair accessible and gender neutral accessible toilets are available.

The Welcome to Country and speeches (from 8.30pm) will be Auslan interpreted.

There will be limited free beer and wine supplied by our local partners Hop Nation and Site Wine from 7pm. Local restaurants Pango and Junction Hotel are open late, please ask our friendly staff for more information.

Neighbourhood Festival
11–27 November 2022
Info Expand
What's on
Sign up to our

1 Market Street, Newport,
Victoria 3015, Australia

Currently closed
Wed–Sat 12–6pm

(03) 9391 1110

The Substation Galleries are currently closed, and will reopen on Thursday 30 May with 'Object of Projection' by Kim Gordon.

We acknowledge and recognise the Ancestors, Elders and families of the Yalukit-willam of the Kulin Nation, who are the traditional custodians of the land that The Substation is on. We extend our respects to their ancestors and elders past, present and emerging, and to all First Nations people.

We are committed to continually improving our services to ensure our events can be enjoyed by all. If you have specific access requirements (including seating arrangements for events) please get in touch.

Privacy Policy


What's on
Substation Program/​Dance
Melanie Lane/​ Arkadia/​ 5–8 June 2024/
Outdoor Billboard Gallery/​Substation Program/​Free
Katie Sfetkidis /​ Nasty Women /​ 30 May–18 August 2024/