About Steven Durbach

Steven Durbach, aka Sid Sledge worked as a scientist doing genetic research on bacteria and viruses from 1995-2008 before turning to art full time.

Upon emigrating to Australia, he worked as an artist drawing in his knowledge and insights from the study of evolutionary theory to see what story that could tell in the arts. His principle media are drawing; kinetic sculpture and drawing animation. He has recently taken on a more research-based performative approach where during installations, performances and residencies, primarily at science institutions and other non-art spaces, he uses an experimental approach to engage the audience and evolve his work.

He has held several solo exhibitions including in 2016 at the Bondi Pavilion Gallery (Schrodinger’s Bird) and the Willoughby council’s Incinerator Art Space in 2021 (Wobbly Machine). The former was in collaboration with UNSW’s Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technologies (now Silicon Quantum Computing). He Has worked with several scientific organizations and scientists with a long-standing relationship with CSIRO’s Lindfield Hub.

Part of his mission is to present work at science institutions and in science contexts such as recently in (2022) where he held a performance of art walking into science at Top Ryde Library as part of National Science Week exploring the interfaith of art and science he has hosted online CSIRO supported encounters between Australian artist and scientists in an attempt to understand or find common ground between these two cultural entities.

2023. Bad machine ink sketch on paper

Curriculum Vitae – Steven Durbach

1998-2002 PhD in Genetics; University of the Witwatersrand; Johannesburg, South Africa

2002-2008 Worked as Lecturer and Researcher in The Dept. of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of the Witwatersrand

2008-present Independent artist at Sid’s Ledge

Selected Science / Art Publications

Durbach S.I. 2020. A Critique of Pure Measurement. FYIN Paper online Geoculture magazine


Durbach S.I., Springer B., Machowski E.E., North R.J., Papavinasasundaram K.G., Colston M.J., Böttger E.C. and Mizrahi V. 2003. DNA Alkylation Damage as a Sensor of Nitrosative Stress in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Infect. Immun. 71(2): 997–1000.

Durbach S.I., Andersen S. and Mizrahi V. 1997. SOS induction in mycobacteria: Analysis of the DNA-binding activity of a LexA-like repressor and its role in DNA damage induction of the recA gene from Mycobacterium smegmatis. Molecular microbiology. 26. 643-53.


2022 Bondi Housewarming Residency (August) with Dr. Sarah Jane Moore (principle applicant)

2020 Culture at Work residence (Pyrmont) - 1 week, November

2018 Workshop at Science Gallery (Melbourne) - PERFECTION EXHIBITION

2017 Residency at CSIRO (October, November)
Performances and Installations

2022 Performance / Talk as “The Scientist”. The Theory of Genesis. School of Astrobiology, UNSW

2022 CSIRO-supported National Science Week Performance of ‘Art walking into Science’, Ryde Library
with Dr. Sarah Jane Moore

2022 Moderating panel for a CSIRO supported discussion as part of National Science Week. ‘Does science
work properly?’; Chatswood Library

2022 Moderator on panel discussion ‘time will tell’ exhibition at Incinerator Art Space, May

2020 Coffee in the Studio (online encounters between artists and scientist); a CSIRO supported Inspiring Australia sponsored event for National Science Week.

2019 CSIRO (Lindfield) installation and performance of a mechanical assemblage as part of National Science Week 2015 (Sept) to 2016 (May) Collaboration with Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technologies, UNSW

2016 Installation at CSIRO/AIP Industry Day (November)

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2020 WOBBLY MACHINE, Incinerator Art Space, Willoughby

2018 (Joint Solo with Beric Henderson); ULTRAGRAFIK Fine Art (Port Macquarie)

2016 Schrӧdinger’s Bird ; collaboration with Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication
Technologies (CQC2T); Bondi Pavilion Gallery

2013 Queen street Gallery. Sid Sledge and other Birds. Woollhara (August)

Selected Group Exhibitions

2022 The Healer. Exhibition of animation work at Sydney Jewish Museum

2021 ‘And they taught the canaries to sing.’ Exhibition of animations at an Online Event; Sydney Jewish

2018 Illuminate Group Exhibition at Timber Mill Galleries, Bulli

2017 Field of Dreams; 14 Sept – 14 Oct; ULTRAGRAFIK; Port Macquarie

2015 A Bit Blue 3; GKJE gallery 1 Mercure Hotel , Kings Cross

2014 Redfern Artist Group show (Home); Gallery 107 in Redfern; 15 Oct to 25 Oct

2016 The Art of Mind Bending Physics; ABC Science; Daniel Keane

2016 Quantum World. The Art of Uncertainty; The Australian; John Ross

2019 ARTSCI – WHERE ART IMPACTS WITH SCIENCE (https://www.scienceweek.net.au/artsci-where-art-

2020 Curiosity the cornerstone for artists and scientists; Interview on Radio National’s, The Science show
with Robyn Williams

Art Prizes

2023 Finalist in The National Capital Art Prize

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