Contemporary Art Organisations Australia (CAOs) is a national network of twelve independent art spaces triennially funded by state and federal governments. CAOs organisations produce, present and interpret artwork created by living artists.
CAOs is a twenty-five year old self-sustaining network representing an unparalleled collective experience of contemporary art practices and audience engagement around Australia. Within the visual arts ecology, CAOs organisations are key to generating new work, building a context for that work and connecting artists with audiences. As a network, CAOs offers a forum for collaboration across the country - for knowledge sharing, peer support and for the strategic development of ideas within the broader visual arts sector.
Individual CAOs organisations facilitate production, exhibition and interpretation of work by living artists. Working across installation, video, photography, performance, sound and interactive media they are independent, non-collecting and not-for-profit organisations. Each CAOs organisation operates in a different geographic, physical, stylistic and conceptual space, enriching the development of arts and culture as well as a range of communities.
"CAOs gives artists the space to play, to experiment, to take risks. To meet their audiences face to face in a flexible, rigorous and supportive environment. Without it Australia would lose its breeding ground for experimentation, and endanger its capacity to generate the 'new'."