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What is 30under30?
30under30 is an Anthill initiative launched in early 2008 to encourage and promote entrepreneurship among young Australians. Each year, we invite our readers to nominate young Australian entrepreneurs deserving of recognition for their outstanding entrepreneurial endeavours. More.
Cara-Ann Simpson, VIC (b. 1985)
Name: Cara-Ann Simpson
Age: 26 (Born: October 1985)
Known for: caraannsimpson.com (sound installations)
Cara-Ann Simpson is interested in how sounds are made, distorted, and perceived by the human ear and in society. As a sound installation artist, her works frequently rely on the participation of visitors, who willingly submit their aural nerves to be tickled and strangely enlightened.
Simpson’s case, on the surface, does not seem to have much to do with entrepreneurship. However, she very much functions as her own business, and the chief skills of the everyday businessperson — creative conceptualisation, networking, tireless fund raising and aggressive self-promotion (read: make some noise) — are hers as well.
Profit is not her first motive, but Simpson’s studies in sound, especially their interactivity, could prove applicable to many disciplines, including interactive marketing and workspace optimisation.
“I take ideas and make them happen,” says Simpson, “to inspire, engage, challenge and enjoy. I find ways around problems, or make problems beautiful solutions; finding answers for questions, and questions for answers. But mostly, I make things happen.”
There’s also her highly relevant work with “emerging technologies,” requiring collaboration with technical specialists and engineers which, Simpson says, “encourages entrepreneurial skills and diversifying of skill bases.”
Simpson came to Melbourne in 2009 from Toowoomba, Queensland because of such a collaboration. The result was Noise Cancellation: disrupting audio perception, a study in how manipulations in noise can alter sensations of environment.
Her best-known installation is perhaps Geo Sound Helmets, which requires participants to poke their heads into oversized, geodesic caverns, wherein they can control what they hear through their motions and breathing.
The goal of this project, for which Simpson received financial backing from the City of Melbourne and Australia Council for the Arts, is to “[investigate] new technologies, the place of environmental sound in society and interactivity through biological responses.”
Simpson reveals that she “learnt a lot about how to read funding priorities, current trends in the field that were being funded, and how to gain attention. I worked with people who specialise in raising support for arts projects and listened to their advice.
“In the end, I want to be known for innovation and creation, not just in the arts.”
Anthill asks: Cara-Ann Simpson, what is your super power?
I have an ability to come up with crazy, ‘undoable’ ideas and just plod away at them until I can find the way to make them happen. I have vision, passion, determination and the thought process to follow through — it is, what I believe, makes my projects successful, viable and innovative.
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To check out the full list of Anthill’s 30under30 winners, click here.