Deakin University

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Retake Melbourne : mobile application for re-photography and comparative imaging research

educational resource
posted on 2013-01-01, 00:00 authored by J McArdle
A project of interpretive and comparative re-photography, making use of the collection of Mark Strizic's images and the documents related to his career, held by the State Library, as a basis. Strizic died in 2012. It is now 50 years since his work began to illustrate the period of the 1960s when architecture of the Gold Rush era coexisted side-by-side with, and was being replaced by, curtain-glass high-rise office buildings. It is the position of the researchers that not sufficient attention has been given to Mark Strizic’s reaction to what he saw as a plague of ugliness pervading Australian city-scapes, developing a distinctive aesthetic that in turn made his work useful to commentators like Robin Boyd and David Saunders. Strizic operated from a unique perspective as a migrant with an architectural heritage from his father Zdenko, prominent architecture professor in Croatia, and visiting professor of architecture at Melbourne University in the 1960s. Precise re-photography alongside creative work will enable a comparison of Melbourne now with fifty years ago. The public will be able to participate in and contribute to the project via a crowd-funded custom-made app. Half a century has passed since Strizic made his photographs of Melbourne. In so many cases buildings have disappeared or altered, streetscapes have changed and the appearance of Melburnians have changed as have their habits of using the city. A selection of Strizic’s photographs of Melbourne locations can be rephotographed by the public using the methods devised by Mark Klett, assisted by the app software. This will provide a core of documentary imagery of benefit in framing and completing the rest of this project and to future research through comparisons over the time span. The app enables the location on a map of the site and orientation of photographs taken by Strizic. Photographs are downloaded onto users’ devices from the online SLV Strizic picture catalogue. They appear in the app as transparent templates so that users can line up their own re-photograph with accuracy. They will be able to upload their resultant images to a server and they will be available to the Library as an archive enabling direct comparison with the Strizic holdings. It is anticipated that involvement and participation of the public will elevate the profile of the project and publicise the SLV collections and encourage their increased usage and popularity.



Deakin University, School of Communication and Creative Arts

Place of publication

Melbourne, Vic

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Material type

online system or service

Resource type




Publication classification

G.1 Computer software


A mobile device software application accessing photographs by Mark Strizic from collection of the State Library of Victoria for comparative image research


J Eales, M Strizic, State Library of Victoria

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