Dr Aaron Corn works with endangered intellectual traditions that remain fundamental to Indigenous cultural survival in remote Australia, and inform contemporary Indigenous engagements across different legal systems and cultures. Focusing on Indigenous initiatives in music and dance, festivals and film, recording and archiving, and law and politics, his research foregrounds the unique perspectives of Indigenous peoples on current public and academic debates over the cultural, economic and political futures of their communities. His book, Reflections and Voices, explores the leadership and creative agency of the Australian band, Yothu Yindi, from Arnhem Land.
Aaron collaborates with Indigenous elders to create seminal records of their endangered performance traditions, and works through the Pacific and Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures (PARADISEC) and the National Recording Project for Indigenous Performance in Australia to field test new digital recording technologies and archiving protocols. Through his current ARC Future Fellowship, he collaborates in these initiatives to apply Semantic Web techniques to digital archives management for endangered cultural resources.
Aaron also works closely with Indigenous elders and scholars to identify and repatriate their material culture from collections worldwide. In particular, his work with Dr Joseph Gumbula from Arnhem Land on rights management and access to Indigenous cultural heritage has affected new approaches to curatorial policies and practices among numerous major collections. Aaron plays yidaki ‘didjeridu’ in the traditional Manikay style from Arnhem Land under Dr Gumbula’s direction. He has also produced traditional performers from Arnhem Land in a variety of concerts at major events and venues including the Garma Festival, the Cité de la Musique in Paris, Womadelaide, the National Museum of Australia, and the ANU production of Crossing Roper Bar by the Australian Art Orchestra.