Water, Peace, Power 2016
About the Project
Water, Peace, Power 2016 develops from the highly successful SCANZ 2015: water*peace event held in Nga Motu New Plymouth from January 18th to February 2nd 2015. The themes of water and peace proved to be a magnet for artists worldwide and the local community who attended events. The project is supported by funding from Creative New Zealand and Taranaki Savings Bank Community Trust. Many attendees have contributed toward their costs.
The themes of Water and Peace follows on from our engagement with tangata whenua, the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand, in particular the inspirational Dr Te Huirangi Waikerepuru ONZM, Ahorangi (loosely, leader) of te Matahiapo Indigenous Research Organisation. He first placed stress on Wai – which is Māori for water or flow – at the SCANZ 2011: Eco sapiens hui at Owae Marae. Then in 2013, after visiting Parihaka as part of SCANZ 2013: 3rd nature, in discussion with Inahaa Te Urutahi Waikerepuru we developed the themes of water and peace for SCANZ 2015, as a means to bring artists together with the Parihaka community. It should also be acknowledged that there is a World Indigenous Forum on Water and Peace, with Dr Waikerepuru as Aotearoa New Zealand representative.
We ensure the involvement of indigenous groups and tangata whenua is our major projects, because we see acknowledging the indigenous voice as critical to resolving humanity’s negative relationship with the environment. Through an engagement with indigenous groups our awareness of the environment and what the environment is, can become deeper. We also seek cultural bridges where multi-cultural viewpoints meet. This is a dynamic space of interaction.
To Water and Peace, we have added the theme of Power which can be interpreted in many ways. For Māori there are multiple senses of meaning. For Intercreate, we intend exploring multiple meanings at each new biennial event. In 2016, one focus will be based in our on-going concern for the environment: exploring alternate means of powering artworks: 5 volt, 12 volt and solar. This builds on earlier engagements with alternative energy sources – Haiku Robots from 2008 and The Park Speaks in 2009 utilised 5 volt systems, at SCANZ 2011: Eco sapiens Andrew Hornblow led workshops in solar powered art works. More recently Allan Giddy, an alternative energy pioneer participated in SCANZ 2015, presenting a solar powered installation on New Plymouth’s foreshore and facilitating three projects using 12 volt power.
It should be pointed out that with a 12volt car battery and an inverter, it is possible to connect a laptop, data projector and sound system in the bush, far from gridded electricity. This immediately provokes the question: what is an ethically correct approach to placing art works in the environment? To not damages trees and plants is clear, but what are the ways that might be permissible to attach equipment? What concerns should we have for animals, insects and birds when placing art works off grid in the environment?
We want to discuss the perspective of indigenous groups on placing work in the environment. We’d like to bring together different knowledge bases, across cultures and disciplines. What view can environmentalists and scientists bring to the issue? How can we share knowledge and share works in public space that allows for a new understanding of our relationship with the natural world?
From these questions, the aim is to develop art works suitable for placement in the environment, off grid in terms of power source. That in itself requires discussion about what is suitable policy and protocol on placing works in the environment, and that is why we are hosting a hui to discuss this matter. The hui will be held in the environment, with no technological aids (except where mobile phones might receive signal).
Above all, it is important to avoid the traps of a colonial attitude to the environment where the environment is subjugated to human will. To not be destructive to the visual and auditory environment requires careful consideration. If you plan to save a tree, it turns out it is better to get a group of people to link arms around the tree, than it is to climb up it. A protocol for art works in the environment is therefore needed, and tangata whenua, scientists, environmentalists, the public and creatives are invited to take part.
The People Attending
At the hui, conversations will be led, followed by discussion. Discussion leaders include Nina Czegledy (artist-scientist, curator Canada/Hungary), Lee Joachim (Yorta Yorta Nation Australia), Chris McBride (The Kauri Project, curator Aotearoa) and Charles Dawson (literary environmentalist, Waitangi Tribunal facilitator) and Charlotte Sunde, with more to be added shortly.
Artists and participants include Sandy Sur (Vanuatu), Nigel Helyer (Australia), Tracey Benson (Australia), Martin Drury (Australia), Ilka Nelson (Australia), Jo Tito (Aotearoa) and Ian Clothier (Aotearoa), Vicki Smith (Aotearoa), Don Hunter (Aotearoa), Ana Terry (Aotearoa) with more expected via the application process. Workshops will be led by Andrew Hornblow, and Allan Giddy. New Zealand born Giddy is an alternative energy pioneer with expertise in solar energy.
Friday 29th, Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st January
The event will comprise a hui on the first weekend where protocols, approaches and policies to placing works in the environment will be discussed. The powhiri process commences on Friday 29th sometime after 7.30 pm.
Monday February 1st to Friday February 5th
This will be a residency period with artists creating 5 volt, 12 volt and solar powered art works.
Saturday February 6th
This is a day to test placing residency works in the environment.
Sunday February 7th
Works will be presented for the public to view at Parihaka.
The first three nights are booked at the camphouse on Mt Taranaki. The cost is $65. There is then a 7 nights stay at Te Henui Lodge, the cost is $200.
Hui/symposium on environmental art practice
Registration is $65, which covers ingredients for lunch and breakfast, plus shared evening meal. Participants will be rostered for doing clean up and dishes.
Food costs for one shared meal per night, plus some breakfast supplies is $25 per day or $250.
Registration, accommodation and food come to NZ$580.
Please contact ian dot clothier at intercrete dot org with queries.