Who said culture had to be exclusive? This year’s Melbourne Festival has a program of free events to challenge the way you look at art and at the world around you, physical and political. Head along to a few this weekend, you have literally nothing to lose.

To make you think ...

Torrent by Martine Corompt is a multi-screen animation of black-and-white graphics. The work deals with flowing water, visualising the essence of the life source. It’s accompanied by a solo harp score by Philip Brophy that underpins the serenity of the fundamentally important element.

Centre for Contemporary Photography, Friday October 2 to Sunday November 15. Wed to Fri: 11am–6pm. Sat & Sun: 12pm–5pm

Text, Body and Technology
Changing technologies are influencing the way audiences consume art. Join creative producer Julianne Pierce and director and choreographer Gideon Obarzanek, alongside festival artists Andrew Schneider (YOUARENOWHERE) and David Chisholm (The Experiment) for a conversation on the evolution of artistic practices.

Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall, Sunday October 18, 3pm

Aural Contract
Lawrence Abu Hamdan’s work delves into the politics of listening in a social, cultural and legal context. Melbourne Festival has teamed up with sound art organisation Liquid Architecture to present a series of his work: recordings from his sound archive, including political and criminal court hearings, literature and films. Stay for talks on sound and surveillance by Dr James Parker, director of research program Law, Sound and the International at the Institute for International Law and Humanities, and Poppy de Souza, whose work deals with the relationship between. technology and cultural production.

ACMI, Sunday October 18, 3pm

Mapping a Vibrant Independent Ecology
As part of the New York Narratives series, a panel of influential Melbourne and New York art directors and producers will explore the similarities and differences between the art scenes in both cities. The panel will include Vallejo Gantner (PS 122), Angharad Wynne-Jones (Arts House), Daniel Clarke (Theatre Works), Adena Jacobs (Fraught Outfit), Karen Therese (artistic director of Powerhouse Youth Theatre) and Dan Koop (Melbourne Fringe). The discussion will be facilitated by Emily Sexton (The Wheeler Centre).

Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall, Saturday October 17, 3.30pm

And just for fun …

Flight Facilities Live Stream
Didn’t get a ticket for the Flight Facilities performance with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra? The band will recreate the five-year journey involved in the making of its acclaimed debut album, Down To Earth, with more than 50 of the city’s best classical musicians. The live performance includes a light installation by French studio Chevalvert. Melbourne Festival is doing a live stream for all those who didn’t get themselves sorted.

Federation Square, Saturday October 17, 7pm