Humanity and Earth are at an important juncture: the intersection of past unsustainable approaches to environment and the potential for a sustainable future. An important factor in these issues is listening to the voice of indigenous people on the subject of environment. It is quite clear that the West will not by its own means resolve climate change issues.
Dr Te Huirangi Waikerepuru, a highly respected Māori Kaumatua (elder) from Aotearoa New Zealand has provided the core concept and ideological underpinning for Wai (which means water or flow). The project is selected for exhibition at 516Arts during ISEA 2012 Albuquerque Machine Wilderness.
Wai is an integrating focus – embracing rain and snow in the mountains, rolling downward via rivers to the beach and into the human body via breath. Māori worldview involves seeing an integrated whole with humans in direct relationship with nature.
Notions of integrated systems will be familiar to many, and the connection to electronic art is found in the words of Associate Professor of Zoology Mike Paulin “Scientists, artists and others are transforming the environment into an organism, as Māori and indigenous peoples have always known it to be.” Wai consists of data sensors in Aotearoa New Zealand, integrated with works by Maori, New Zealand, Australian, Indian and Navajo/Dine artists in an electronic art installation.