Wai dawn opening

Wai will open at dawn, 6.53am September 19th 2012 at 516 Arts, 516 Central Ave SW Albuquerque,  led by Dr Te Huirangi Waikerepuru, as part of ISEA 2012 Albuquerque Machine Wilderness. All welcome.


There will also be a special session of ISEA, at OFFCENTER in Albuquerque from 12 to 1.45pm on Sunday23rd September. All welcome to that event too.


Later that same day, the 23rd, from 4pm till 9pm, the third Intercreate.org project for ISEA 2012 Machine Wilderness Bus garden will be presented as part of the Block Party on Central Ave.




Car garden + Neighbourhood air

Bus Garden
ISEA 2012 Albuquerque Machine Wilderness

Once I was in a bus in Japan and I had a vision of being in a forest at the same time as being in the bus. These two are often seen as antagonistic, but we must find ways to unite them.

The Car garden merges two apparently divergent entities to suggest a future cohabitation. On the one hand we continue to use fossil fuels in transportation and on the other hand we must change our relationship to the earth to one that is more sustainable.  This a ‘complex duality’ because it is not a simple dichotomy between transportation or reforesting. Plants filter the air we breath, and inside the Car garden you can explore the Neighbourhood air project while breathing cleaner air.

Neighbourhood air is an epiphyte growing in the Car garden. The work is an ambient software that responds to environmental sensors. Cars, breathers of city air and temperature and humidity circulate in a slowly moving monitoring system. This interactive, online artwork gathers live pollutant levels from Auckland city air. Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city and despite the ‘100% PURE New Zealand’ tourism campaign even geographically remote cities have air quality problems that the winds can’t disperse. Pollutants from vehicle combustion in Auckland, New Zealand in the Southern hemisphere circulate in the same atmospheric container as cities like Albuquerque.

To plant and regenerate the earth’s remaining oxygen producing forests can heal the atmospheric imbalance created by vehicular emissions, alongside crucial changes in human car usage. Somehow we have to leap over where we are, to be where we want to be.


One Man is an Island – Rachael Rakena

One Man is an Island, 2009, Rachael Rakena (Iwi – Ngai Tahu, Nga Puhi), High definition video, courtesy of Bartley and Company Art, Wellington

Residency Proposal: Korou Dance



Korou Productions is currently in the first phase of research and consultation for Ūkaipo – A new dance opera in Te Reo Māori.  SCANZ 2013 will be an welcome opportunity for the Ūkaipo kaupapa to connect with mana whenua and tangata whenua of the Taranaki rohe and attending interdisciplinary artists and scientists.

Ūkaipō Celebrates the divine feminine, the mother nurturer; mother nature.

In exaltation of the natural realms of Papatūānuku and Ranginui where earth meets sea and sky, we honour the sacredness of water, our relationship to the South Pacific, distant homelands of Hawaiki and new horizons. Cloaked in a korowai of sacred forest we re-connect to ancient consciousness in a new form.

Toitū te whenua, whatungarongaro te tangata.  Papatūānuku calls for tremendous healing.  Mankind continues to use the provisions of Papatūānuku in excessive amounts. People live and die, disappear, but land remains, what state are we, the current generations leaving our lands for future generations?

Ūkaipō Births a new art form, merging the traditional vocal genre of classical and Avant-Garde Opera, in Te Reo Māori with contemporary Māori dance theatre.  Envisaging the earthy creation of Rangi Mareikura: Heaven of the adorned sweet voiced singers.  Ūkaipō moves toward creating a celestial experience to affirm our physical, spiritual and intellectual interconnectivity with our intact but remnant environment.

Ūkaipō Will work within Māori and Tauira communities that promote environmental care and wish to expand their stories and their messages of resilience, conservation and sustainability.

Ūkaipō Will engage with allied art forms and artists that desire to share in the holistic and conscious approach to this new work including fine artists, body painters and special effects, sculptors, creators of taonga, adornment makers, glass workers and multi-media and computer graphics design.

Ūkaipō Is to be the first of its kind specifically designed to actively encourage a dedicated team of professional artists to engage in a Dance Opera in te reo Māori, and through wānanga outreach to communities in Aotearoa – both Rural and Urban.

Ūkaipō Is currently in Phase One Research supported by Creative NZ Te Waka Toi Arts Grant 2011.

Residency Project: Agnese Trocchi and Giovanna Dante

Back to the antipodes

Our project is on the razor edge between poetry, science and science-fiction. We will enquire into the anxieties and expectations of humanity in these days of uncertainty.

We will explore the collective subconscious and it’s relationship with the earth, the geodesic energies and the human settlements.

Our attempt is to use scientific and creative tools to represent the collective dreamspaces across two continents, one at the antipodes of the other.

“Back to the Antipodes“ is a reminder that if we want to give a chance to human beings to live in this planet we should go back to our roots which are deeply connected to the heart of the planet and to the heart of our subconscious.

“Back to the Antipodes” means that we are all interwoven and our attempt is to search for connections between New Zealand and Europe, both on a physical and on a psychical level.

Do the connections exist? How they may be represented?

With our project we are going to collect dreams from the collective subconscious fields in Italy and in New Zealand.

We will choose two different areas and we will focus on the ancient and contemporary human settlements. We want to enquire the etrurian areas (the former inhabitants of Italy 3000 years ago) in relationship with the original indigenous settlements in New Zealand.

To collect dreams from the contemporary humans we use different means: interviews, private audio-box, websites, social networks, private recordings.

We will develop an online platform and a questionary to engage with who will be willing to share their dreams with us.

In the second step we analyze the collected dreams to find recurrency of words, actions and elements.

With the data estrapolated from the analysis of dreams we create one or more tableau vivant to be filmed: the tableau vivant are moving postcards from the dreamscapes.

At the same time we are going to draw territorial maps in GIS environment of the two locations that we choosed for collecting dreams.

In the maps we are going to underline the dream-sources areas (the places from which the dreams arise) with a particolar attention to the distribution of different topics in dreams.

The outcome of the work will be a multimedia installation (video-audio-text) which will show the process of data collecting, the maps and the postcards from the dreamscape.

Residency Project: Cecelia Cmielewski

What is wind?
The art based research brings my thirty year history of cross cultural communications together in this project in concert with the cross fertilization facilitated through the WITT Art Space.

I will research exchanges of different knowledge systems – comparing and contrasting Maori and Indigenous environmental concepts with each other and western scientific ‘descriptors’. This first exploration will be kept very simple and look at an everyday experience by asking people “What is wind?”

The work would consist of interviews and data gathering (many of which I would complete in Australia before arriving in NZ) and ideally range between older experts and the younger generation. I intend to include some interviews taken during my visit to Northern India in October.

The outcome would combine photographic documentation (a portrait) with some text from the interviews and perhaps an illustration by the interviewee.

The topic that I am researching and producing is one that has yet to be well realised in a multi and cross cultural approach in Australia. The rich intersections between different cultures and their knowledge systems will expand the creative opportunities for those who participate and those who engage with the work. This project is the first phase to refine the methods and ways of presenting differing cultural perspectives on a seemingly simple question “what is wind?”

I will seek and obtain formal permissions from the participants prior to the research beginning which will add to the body of knowledge of ethical approaches in the arts.

The public are welcome to attend and much of the cross fertilisation will occur, in terms of projects and discussion. I will present an overview of my experience at a Friday seminar at SymbioticA, which is open to all Perth residents, and will contribute to the blog that is part of the SCANZ program. I will also present at the SCANZ symposium which will be published by Leonardo Journal.

The high level of international networking and collaboration, through working spaces and discussions, will produce opportunities that go beyond the time of the residency.

Residency Project: Josh Wodak

Image: >2 degrees before 2028, detail, photograph 45×65

My proposal for the residency is three-fold:

  1. – to participate in the Open Lab, in sharing perspectives and approaches to exploring environmental issues through interdisciplinary art+research
  2. – to participate in the low cost electronics workshop to build a rapid prototype of the LED light strip (described below)
  3. – to liaise with local community members and fellow participants to develop the following project, and to seek out potential participants for the project in New Zealand through SCANZ 2013.

‘Ocean Island’ is a series of staged video-portraits of 6 individuals from Tuvalu and Kiribati, now living in New Zealand in light of climate change effects on their islands of origin. Production would take place after SCANZ 2013, over two months, at locations determined by the participants.

The video-portraits symbolically depict futuristic sea level rise on today’s Pacific Islanders.

Each portrait is of a participant standing on shallow New Zealand sandbars with their body facing the camera, to appear to be figuratively ‘standing on water’, as they are filmed from the nearby shoreline with open ocean behind them. One arm is held outstretched, to symbolise the fable of King Canute holding back the rising tide. This stance and composition is illustrated in the photograph below.

A 3cm wide, 100cm long strip of 50 red LED lights is attached along their right arm, going from their fingertips to the their head. They stare at their fingertips for 2 minutes while the LEDs are lit up, from their fingertip and then increasing one-by-one to their head. This rising column of lights symbolises the sea level rising up their body, as per the sea level rise forecasted for the end of this century.

Staring at the fingertip while this symbolic flood height rises symbolises the cumulative passage of time and how each subject is metaphorically passing through the remaining 88 years of this century (represented by each successive LED light, like a growth ring on a tree or ‘lines of age’).

Speed and playback of each real-time 2 minute recording is manipulated to evoke the different ways sea level rise will occur if global temperatures increase more or less than 2 degrees by 2100. Each recording’s length will correspond to an equivalent temperature rise: e.g. Portrait A @1”45 seconds represents 1.75 degree increase, Portrait B @2”30 seconds represents 2.5 degree increase. Each video-portrait has a corresponding 2 channel sound collage of wind, rain, surf, thunder, hail and other weather phenomena (drawing on my practice in sound arts and classical training in music composition).

The video-portraits would be projected in vertical diptychs, with the left video projection showing a subject holding their right arm out and the right projection showing a subject holding their left arm out (like in photograph below). The exhibition would feature all 6 segments from 2 DVD players on a looping cycle, forming asynchronous relationships between neighbouring portraits, as their playback would shift in and out of phase with one another due to the slightly different length of each portrait.


Project proposal – Nigel Helyer

Nigel Helyer has been invited to develop an audio project utilising data sensors and Open Meshwork in Pukekura Park with a custom online data to audio translation. The system is permanently installed in New Plymouth’s botanic garden.

Currently, temperature, UV and people count data is collected. Other projects involve sensors monitoring tree voltage, the electromagnetic field, moisture and penguin data. Working out how to creatively utilise data is problematic and fruitful.

The system in Pukekura Park is the basis for a number of projects including Wai in Albuquerque for ISEA 2012. The Park Speaks established the system and was a collaboration involving Adrian Soundy, Andrew Hornblow, Julian Priest and Ian Clothier.

WAI by Te Hunga Wai Tapu

The Pacific Ocean from space
Image credit: Detlev van Ravensway Science Photo Library


Te Hunga Wai Tapu roughly translates as the group of people for whom water is sacred. They are: Ian Clothier, Dr Te Huirangi Waikerepuru, Te Urutahi Waikerepuru, Jo Tito, Craig Macdonald, Julian Priest, Tom Greenbaum, Sharmila Samant, Leon Cmielewski, Josephine Starrs, Andrew Hornblow, Darren Robert Terama Ward, Johnson Dennison, Andrew Thomas, Gordon Bronitsky. Aerial imagery courtesy of Land Information New Zealand.

This group consists of people from Aotearoa New Zealand, the United States of America, Australia and India. A global community representing many cultures, including the indigenous.

The works presented consist of aspects of traditional Māori knowledge; five videos shown through two data projectors; a Pou Hihiri (which reflects the womb of the universe that holds unrealized potential ); and traditional Māori and Navajo/Dine audio generated live by data sensors in New Zealand.


Contributors and roles

Ian Clothier is the curator for the project and is project manager.

Wai rests on Mātauranga Māori provided by Dr Te Huirangi Waikerepuru. Mātauranga Māori refers to traditional knowledge, pre-colonisation in Aotearoa New Zealand, which means before 1840. At the SCANZ 2011:Eco sapiens hui-symposium, Dr Waikerepuru spoke about Wai as central to Maori world view. Wai connects air, atmosphere, mountains, rivers, beaches and humans via breath.

Te Urutahi Waikerepuru has contributed strategy, networking and core creative activity – the Pou Hihiri was created under her direction. Craig Macdonald made the Pou Hihiri graphics which involved  interpretation of traditional stars and concepts into contemporary form and materials. Julian Priest and Tom Greenbaum created the custom electronics LED control system.

Jo Tito is a Maori artist who exhibits internationally. Her contribution is a video concerning Maori notions of Wai.

Sink was created by Julian Priest and is a model of anthropogenic ocean acidification which is based on a scientific view of the interaction of humans and natural systems: a shell acidifies on exposure to greenhouse gases. Priest is well know for his work in open source, open networks and creative projects.

Sharmila Samant is a well known contemporary artist from India. She recently traveled to Taranaki in New Zealand to make a work for the exhibition Sub Tropical Heat: New Art from South Asia. Given her interest in water issues in India, she created a video work in which Te Huirangi spoke about water while standing on the banks of the Waiwakaiho river.

Sydney based Leon Cmielewski and Josephine Starrs are collaborators on an animated video and highly regarded for the work with text and landscape. Their video for features the words of Te Huirangi digitally etched into Taranaki maunga (Mount Taranaki_. Cmielewski and Starrs are fr0m Australia and met Te Huirangi Waikerepuru at the SCANZ 2011 Eco sapiens hui-symposium.

In Aotearoa New Zealand in the small Taranaki town of Opunake are situated three data sensors. The sensors are custom made by Andrew Hornblow. Data from the sensors runs to the project website, where each data reading is correlated to an audio file of either traditional Maori sounds or traditional Navajo sounds. This system was made by Julian Priest and Adrian Soundy for The Park Speaks. Julian Priest also provides server support.

Darren Robert Terama Ward is a contemporary Maori artist who also makes his own traditional musical instruments. He is contributing the traditional Maori audio. Andrew Thomas is a Navajo/Dine musician and is contributing the Navajo sounds, played on traditional instruments.

Johnson Dennison is Navajo/Dine Medicine Man and will contribute to the dawn opening ceremony led by Dr Te Huirangi Waikerepuru. Te Huirangi Waikerepuru considers it important to contact, respect and collaborate with local indigenous people.

Gordon Bronitsky is a cultural producer and has assisted us by providing connection points to local indigenous peoples and advice of a cultural nature.

wai exhibition

Wai visualisation

Visualisation of the Wai installation

About Wai

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.