Sumugan Sivanesan is an anti-disciplinary artist, researcher and writer. Often working collaboratively his interests span migrant histories and minority politics, activist media, artist infrastructures and more-than-human rights. He is currently pursuing fugitive radio to research anticolonial and migrant media in Helsinki, in collaboration with Pixelache and with support from the Kone Foundation. In Berlin he organises with Black Earth, a collective who address interacting issues of race, gender, colonialism and climate justice.

Sumugan earned a doctorate from the Transforming Cultures research centre at the University of Technology Sydney (2014). He was a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute for English and American Studies (Cultural Studies), University of Potsdam (2016) supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to research ‘Urban Eco-politics of the Anthropocene’, blogging at:

He has received grants from Kone Foundation, Finland (2020, 2019), Create New South Wales 360 Visions virtual reality development program (2017), Australia Council for the Arts Literature (2014), Australia Council for the Arts Emerging and Experimental Arts (2013) and Australia Council for the Arts Music Board (2008, 2005) among others.

With the artist and writer Tessa Zettel he co-founded The T. Rudzinskaitė Memorial Amateur Lichenologists Society during a two month residency at the Nida Art Colony to develop a work for its 2018 Inter-format Symposium ‘On Rites and Terrabytes.’This follows on from their multispecies urban/artistic research project, Plan Bienen.

Over September and into October 2020 he participated in the Onassis AiR collaborative research residency, School of Infinite Rehearsals, Movement I in Athens.

In November 2018 he was in residence at Insituto Procomun LABxS Santos, Brazil where he intiated Lunch Against Work: Almoço Contra o Trabalho, a social kitchen and laboratory for exchanging knowledge about plants, poverty, foraging and food systems.

Late in 2014 he undertook a two month residency with the Faculty of Arts, University of Peradeniya, funded by the Australia Council for the Arts Literature (2014) and Arts NSW (2014). Here he initiated a critical writing and micro-publishing project, Theoretically Tamil.

Sumugan has produced events and exhibitions at: Pixelache Festival #BURN____2021 (Helsinki), nadine laboratory for contemporary arts (Brussels 2020), Akademie Schloss Solitude (2020), Tehai (Dhaka 2020), Frame Contemporary Art (Helsinki 2019), The Floating University Berlin (2019), EX-EMBASSY (Berlin 2018), BE.BoP 2018: Black Europe Body Politics, Maxim Gorki Theatre (Berlin, 2018), Nida Art Colony Inter-format Symposium (Lithuania, 2018), Art Laboratory Berlin (2015), ZK/U Centre for Art and Urbanistics, Berlin (2015, 2014), Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (2014), The Reading Room (Bangkok 2013), Performance Space (Sydney 2013), Yautepec Gallery (Mexico City 2011) and 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art (Sydney 2011, 2010). Sumugan was a member of the experimental documentary collective theweathergroup_U who formed for the Bienale of Sydney 2008. He was active with media/art gang who engaged Australian publics in issues of borders, race and nationalism between 2002 and 2014.

His published texts on art and culture are collected at

Academic Publications:
'Movements of Minorities: AusLankans Struggle for Transnational Justice', (book chapter). In Kandasamy, N., Perera, N., Ratnam, C. (eds) A Sense of Viidu: The (re)creation of 'home' by the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora in Australia, Palgrave Macmillan, March 2020.

'Alex & I: Narrative and network resistance.' Social Identities, August 2018.

'Eco-politics, for teh Lulz: Transmedia Civil Disobedience in the Age of Fossil-Fuelled Information Capitalism' Critical Habitations: Pluralising Practices, December 2016.

'Alex & I: Against Indifference', Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, vol 8. no. 1, March 2016.

'Plan Bienen: Sharing (in) the more-than-human city.' (with Tessa Zettel) A Peer Review Journal About: Excessive Research, vol. 5, no. 1, DARC (Digital Aesthetics Research Centre), Aarhus University, School of Communication and Culture, February 2016.

'Alex & I: In proximity to the Other of politics', Law Text Culture: Re-Orientating Hospitality, Re-Orientating Law, vol. 17 iss. 1, February 2014.

Select Arts & CulturePublications:
‘The T. Rudzinskaitė Memorial Amateur Lichenologists Society Bulletin, Summer 2086.’ In Michelkevicius, V (ed) Nida Art Colony. On Lines & Rituals, Vilnius Academy of Arts, Neringa 2019.

'Queering and Quaring Virtual Space,' Runway #35 Space, December 2017.

'Mass Action Media: Ende Gelände, Break Free 2016.' un Magazine, iss.10.2, October 2016.

‘Institutional Reform: Art as Anti-Statecraft.’ Runway #30, Ecologies, 2016.