Tukutuku panels between the poupou in many wharenui are a beautiful series of patterns, the holders of memory and complementary to the story told in the kowhaiwhai, and whakairo that also decorate the walls and roof. They are complex patterns of single or crossed stitches that reveal their information to those who can look beyond the seemingly random pattern.
QR or Quick Response codes are also holders of information to the discerning viewer or those who have the technology to unlock the code embedded in the pattern of squares. This can be a scanner or reader usually on a late generation mobile phone or tablet.
This project proposes to take the craft of tukutuku and to create panels that are accessible via QR readers to be installed around the city. The first stage would be to explore the tukutuku panels of the Owae marae to hear their stories and to understand how these are told. Through researching the meaning and gaining an understanding of patterns and themes used locally it is hoped the memories are shared as well the objectives for the iwi, and the environment around them.
The information gathered will then be situated online and a QR code created to access this, referencing the world wide web as the biggest repository of ‘woven information’ [Tukutuku-Ao-Whanui].
The final stage of the project will be the creation and installation of the QR/Tukutuku within the city and environment of Taranaki. The act of creation of the work in public space will serve to engage the local community in conversation about issues of environmental impact locally and to seek to build connections with the future and creative solutions.
The artist would prefer to work through this process alongside manu whenua of Mankorihi pa and as a workshop with local youth. Ideally exploring the possibility of creating the QR codes with enough coding information but also flexible enough to emulate in some manner the patterns of environment or environmental dislocation they refer to.
For more information please see: Pattern Recognition Project Page
Vicki Smith is an interdisciplinary artist, educator, digital storyteller and community agent using a range of creative tools. She is one of a global collective of artists who began performing through networked environments in the last millenia and is co-creator of UpStage (a realtime online performance environment) that is ‘made in NZ’ and internationally acknowledged especially through the annual festivals she co-curates.
Vicki is an observer, explorer and navigator siting one of her current works on an 11 metre sailing vessel – Kiritea. She has always been interested in how digital spaces can be site and tools for exploring traditional technologies. Through her online activities, she is part of an arts and education community that is global.
Aroha Timoti-Coxon is a weaver who currently lives in Hokitika, she is Ngai Tahu (Te Runaka o Makaawhio). In 2004 Aroha spent two months working on the Tukutuku panels at Te Tauraka Waka a Maui. She has taught at most of the local schools (including the ICARUS project Raraka Wanaka). Aroha has also taught Tuahiwi Marae, and wanaka with high school rangatahi over the christmas holidays 2008 – 2009. Aroha has taught at staff at Department of Conservation as well as the Driftwood and Sands Symposia. Vicki and Aroha have worked on several projects together since first meeting at a Raraka Wanaka (Weaving workshop) that Aroha ran through Karoro Learning in 2008.