About


Agency 296 is an art & design studio with a practice that combines a broad range of disciplines including public art, temporal installations, design and architecture. The studio has an inclusive approach to collaboration, diverse skills to continuously evolve new technologies and materials, which in turn suggest new artistic directions. The studio's lines of enquiry include the tension between real and synthesised experiences – the questioning of our relationship with technology, and the creation of phenomena that transcend the purely physical.


Tom Mùller was born in Basel, Switzerland in 1975 and graduated with a Bachelor of Visual Arts (1st Class Hons) from Curtin University of Technology in 2000. In a number of senses Tom Mùller is a big picture artist. Globalisation, the environment, space and time all fascinate him. He seems to prefer vast data sets, expansive geographies, sweeping timeframes and sequences of history. And yet, at the same time, Mùller is attentive to fine detail, to the specificities of things local, to the poetry of small, momentary and fleeting things that resonate. An astute observer, subtle activist and deeply humane artist, Mùller posits far-reaching analytical links and associations between the seemingly distinct but invariably interconnected elements that together comprise the architecture of our world. His work is rich in ironic and sometimes humorous insights into how we grasp and assimilate knowledge and about the dazzlingly complex systems we inhabit. Even as we calculate the chances of eventual worldwide calamity, Mùller's thought-provoking practice offers vantage points from which to imagine optimistically better futures. His diagrams and graphs create rhythms in the chaos and suggest the emergence of other worlds and alternate horizons. Tom has exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally, including The Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, Art Gallery of South Autralia; Primavera, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; Mix Tape, Art Gallery of Western Australia; Luminous Flux, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery as part of the Perth International Arts Festival; Maschi Fontana, Musée d'Art Contemporain Moutiers; 69e Biennale de la Chaux-de-Fonds, Musée des Beaux-Arts de La Chaux-de-Fonds. In 2000, Tom was awarded the Advanced Visual Arts Scholarship, Fondazione Antonio Ratti, Italy; he also worked as an assistant to Ilya and Emilia Kabakov in New York. He has received numerous grants from the Australia Council and the Department of Culture and the Arts. Mùller's work is held in the collections of the Art Gallery of Western Australia; Parliament House, Canberra; Artbank, Sydney; The City of Fremantle; The University of Western Australia; and Curtin University of Technology. In 2010, Big City Press published a major monograph on his work, Tom Mùller, Rhythms in the Chaos spanning ten years of active practice. Tom is currently the Artistic Director at PS Art Space (PSAS) in Fremantle.

Ariane Palassis was born in Perth and grew up with sea and bushland always within reach. From an early age she accompanied her father on his many journeys into regional Western Australia, a necessary part of his work as an conservation and heritage architect. Receiving her Masters in Architecture from The University of Western Australia gave Palassis a broad skill base coupled with an appreciation for materiality and the details of construction. While practising Palassis worked on a wide range of projects, from new residential and commercial developments to conservation works on some of WA's most important heritage sites. These include Fremantle Prison, Sunset Hospital and the Midland Railway Workshops. While still studying Palassis began tutoring and continues to teach architectural design and drawing as a sessional tutor at Curtin University of Technology, The University of Western Australia and Curtin College. In 2009 Palassis began collaborating with fashion designer Fenella Peacock, creating custom textile designs.This fed into Palassis's passion for visual art and provided the impetus to pursue her own work. 2012 saw Palassis become one half of Feast Your Eyes, a business dedicated to the celebration of local art and design. Palassis finds greatest satisfaction in projects that use her architectural and construction experience in combination with her fine art sensibilities. 'The Hollow' was commissioned by the City of Fremantle as part of the Temporary Public Art Program. Standing over 8 meters tall in Kings Square, 'The Hollow' was designed to make the most of the structural properties of box cardboard, while playing with ideas of geometry, pattern, light and colour. These themes also came into play with the stage design for the National ArchitectureConference 2014, held at the Perth Convention Centre.