New Director's Merseyside heritage
22 February 2007
His grandfather worked as a shipping clerk at the world-famous tobacco company Ogdens, a major employer in the area. Mike says, "I still possess cigarette cards he gave me as a child, which depict movie stars from the 40s."
At a key period in Liverpool's cultural development, Mike says he's delighted to be moving to the city, "I am massively excited to take up the post of Director at FACT, the organisation at the cutting edge of art and media and one of the jewels in the crown of Liverpool's ongoing cultural renaissance. I have followed the development of FACT from its very beginnings originally as an artist hosted so well by Moviola (the founding organisation behind FACT) at the first Video Positive Festival in 1991 and as Director of Hull Time Based Arts - the organisation on the other end of the M62 - proving that innovative arts practice did not only happen in London."
For three years, Mike has worked at the world leading and state-of-the-art, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), based at Melbourne's Federation Square, which celebrates, explores and promotes the cultural and creative richness of the moving image in all its forms - film, television, games, new media and art, first as Curatorial Manager, then as Head of Exhibitions. He believes that experience will feed into his directorship at FACT, "Liverpool now has even greater opportunities in progressing as a world class arts and cultural hub, and I look forward to applying my more recent experiences in Australia in driving that process forward through FACT. I hope to explore possibilities for future collaborations between ACMI and FACT as two futuristic moving image centres based in cites with strong track records in social and cultural regeneration. I feel a strong connection to the city of Liverpool, having enjoyed a long and warm relationship with a range of cultural communities as a guest to many of the exhibitions and biennales mounted."
Mike will move with his family to Liverpool in May, "Gina Czarnecki, my wife, is a different kind of moviestar, herself a distinguished filmaker, media artist and researcher. Gina and our two daughters are due to arrive with me in Liverpool, in mid May ensuring a cross fade between Melbourne autumn and Liverpool spring. Similar I hope."