Laser Karakia Artwork Selected as Media Art Project 2014
A project that utilises laser light technology to carry sound has been selected as the Intercreate Media Art Project 2014. Ko Tatou Te Tangata by Stuart Foster and Kura Puke, with Dr Te Huirangi Waikerepuru and Te Urutahi Waikerepuru, will employ oscillating lights to carry both the human voice and environmental sounds.
The technology was tested at SCANZ, an artist residency held at WITT in New Plymouth earlier this year. Laser beams were sent to a light receptive panel that had speakers connected. The result was that waiata, karakia, karanga and sounds of moving water were transmitted. For the SCANZ project, the karakia was contributed by kaumatua Dr Te Huirangi Waikerepuru with the tangata whenua, Ngāti Tawhirikura.
Kura Puke (Tapuke) has whakapapa to the hapu of Katere ki Te Moana marae, which extends from the clifftop at Fitzroy, to Te Rewa Rewa Pa on the coastal walkway. Both Puke and Foster are lecturers at Massey University Wellington, while Te Huirangi Waikerepuru and Te Urutahi Waikerepuru direct Te Matahiapo Research Organization based in New Plymouth.
For the Media Art Project they wish to deepen the engagement with tangata whenua and locals, and investigate how to “transform an environment often seemingly subsumed by commercial industry into an awareness of the dynamic layered diversity of the land” which involves embracing “the intangible and the unseen energies” to inquire into and visualise ideas about, wairua (essence), mauri and the virtual.
As the commissioner of the work funded by the Arts Council of New Zealand we are extremely pleased with the calibre of the project, and the way advanced technology is integrated with the local environment, local community groups and customary Maori knowledge.
Background to the project
Intercreate Trust is based in New Plymouth and Auckland, with head office in New Plymouth. Funding was received from the Arts Council of New Zealand to commission a project that inspired “artists and creative teams to think boldly about combinations of cultural ideas and contemporary media technologies, that could be implemented in public space and/or Pukekura Park in New Plymouth. The projects are likely to involve working with local groups.” A second project is under consideration.
The selection process involved blind review, where the selection panel does not know the names of the people applying. While the applicants submit a CV, the CV also doesn’t mention names.
The panelists were: Chris Connolly, Pukekura Park curator; Nina Czegledy, who is the Intercreate International Research Fellow; and Australian based curator Leah Barclay. Intercreate’s Executive Director was not on the panel and ensured names were omitted from the applications, prepared the applications for review by the panel and also collated the panel responses. Rhana Devenport was on the selection panel until she left for Auckland, as was Anna Carrington until her move to Wellington.
Artists full statement
In their application, the artists Puke and Foster stated that “this trans-disciplinary collaboration hopes to contribute to innovative knowledge transfer with the tangata whenua, and to offer an experience that may deepen the engagement of local people and visitors through inclusive visual-aural ceremonial and relational events. They also wish to investigate, through social encounter and art-design culture, how to transform an environment often seemingly subsumed by commercial industry into an awareness of the dynamic layered diversity of the land which involves embracing the intangible and the unseen energies to inquire into and visualise ideas about, wairua (essence) mauri and the virtual.”
Intercreate page describing the project and how to apply
Maori translation and dictionary site
WITT (Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki) site of SCANZ residency where technology was tested by the artists
Creative New Zealand Toi Aotearoa The Arts Council of New Zealand, funder of the MAP 2014 project
Initially Jo’s project was just going to focus on WAI – WATER and where the science of water and te reo Māori meet.
Now, the project will also include:
EARTH – geology, harakeke, stones, geography
LIGHT – photography, photosynthesis, natural light
STONES – as storytellers, creative, healing, spiritual, connection
Jo will venture into different spaces and places within the Taranaki landscape to sing new waiata (songs), to create art in the moment in harmony with nature, impermanent art works that over time will disappear into nature itself. She will document these creations through photography and moving image and will sing these new songs inspired by nature…
While in those spaces, she will also explore Māori concepts within nature, looking at the science of how water flows, the effect that light has on spaces within the landscape and on the living earth.
The process will be very organic, created alone and with others. Te Reo Māori will also weave intricately through these landscapes and will at some point meet with science. Again an organic process to find where that place and space is.
For more info on the project and Jo visit: