Oceans of Air

From the Bottom of an Ocean of Air – Tega Brain, Kirsty Boyle, Ramon Guardans

From the Bottom of an Ocean of Air, 2011 from Tega Brain on Vimeo.

Artist and scientist Ramon Guardans traces pollutants and their effect on local and global populations, health and environments and examines the relevance of different ways of life in understanding exposure. He has been involved for 20 years in international action on atmospheric and marine pollution including the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP). Ramon was joined by roboticist Kirsty Boyle and environmental engineer and media artist Tega Brain in conducting experiments within the atmospheric environments of New Plymouth, Taranaki during the SCANZ 2011: Eco sapiens creative residency.

The intrepid team is currently undergoing further investigations in Noosa on Australia’s Sunshine coast, as part of the Floating Land event.

Where was the Wind? – Ramon Guardans

Where was the Wind? Installation view.

During the SCANZ 2011: Eco sapiens creative residency, Artist and Scientist Ramon Guardans took an air sample at the same time each day of the two week residency, sealing and placing it within a growing installation for the project.

These captured air samples were traced in time using the NOAA HYSPLIT model to reveal their surprisingly variable and global recent travels. An indicator of the great oceans of air that we live beneath – and the tiny viewing window we have on these vast and ever-changing forces – what we call weather. The visualisation of these phenomena which know no national boundaries, speaks to an essentially inescapable condition of interconnectedness between the biospheres of the earth and between ourselves. It equally brings to mind the folly of expecting that the impacts of global conditions such as climate change can be successfully mitigated via nationalistic or even continental mechanisms.

In Ramon’s own words, he asks:

Where was the air we breath now yesterday and the day before… ?

Air masses move over long distances in the atmosphere, and change their properties (temperature, humidity, pollutant load etc) along the way.

A given air mass can be followed over several days as it travels and mixes with other air masses.

Using the global meteorological information obtained from weather stations and satellites it is possible to calculate the “backward trajectory” of an air mass, and see where the air we breathe today was some hours, or days ago.

In a sense what we are doing here is “playing the film backwards” and seeing where the recent story of the air in our lungs started some days ago.

A map is calculated and drawn for each day and paired with an air sample for that day.

The calculations are made using the HYSPLIT model from NOAA (The US weather service) each small triangle on the trajectory represents a 6 hour interval and the larger triangles represent 24 hour intervals, the distance between the marks indicates the speed at which the air mass travels.


How-to – Tracing Wind Trajectories

1. Find the GPS coordinates for your location.

2. Run the NOAA HYSPLIT trajectory model
Use default settings…

3. Next: Location
Location: Enter Latitude and Longitude

4. Model Run Details Page
Trajectory direction: backward
Start a new trajectory every: [increasing this will increase the number of lines showing]



Ramon Guardans – Artist and scientist Ramon Guardans traces pollutants and their effect on local and global populations, health and environments and examines the relevance of different ways of life in understanding exposure. He has been involved for 20 years in international action on atmospheric and marine pollution including the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP).


Remnant Breath – Keith Armstrong and Leah Barclay

Leah Barclay (AU) and Keith Armstrong (AU) (as part of Remnant/Emergency Artlab/SCANZ 2011: Eco sapiens) invite you to an immersive sound walk on the Te Henui Walkway this Wednesday 26th January.

The work invites an acute sensitisation to this place solely through the often ignored senses of sound. The 20 minute experience reveals remnant sonic layers of this environment and explores stories of water, breath, place and environmental action.

‘Remnant Breath’ is the first showing of a work in progress. The project will evolve into an interactive garden of ephemeral sound growing and conversing with the natural environment.

Walks start at either 9pm or 10pm and last around 20 minutes  – please arrive on time as it will not be possible to join the walk late.

Enter the Te Henui Walkway from the Lemon Street Entrance (close to Watson Street)  – right next to the entrance to the Te Henui Graveyard on Lemon Street.

Presented as part of the SCANZ 2011: Eco sapiens events which have brought over 20 local national and international artists to Taranaki.


View Remnant Breath in a larger map

Plume update: ‘PLUME: 4000 Varieties of Orange’ Raewyn Turner & Brian Harris

Emerging from PLUME, Raewyn Turner and  Richard Newcomb, is a work in progress 4000 Varieties of Orange by Raewyn Turner and Brian Harris. This new work  explores the idea that humans living in cultures have a distinct smell–which indicates that the smell of the food we eat, the flavour and fragrances may flow into the human plume. Food is fragranced and flavoured with an increasing diversity of synthetic flavours and fragrances  These are creating new sensations and associations, feelings and perceptions of taste and smell, which may be included in the human plume.

A little about the current focus of PLUME :  We’re interested in…

Subliminal odours and unconscious sensing

Hedonics: relating to or considered in terms of pleasant or unpleasant sensations

Valence: referring to the emotional value associated with a stimulus

-A very important part of that would be in finding out what it is in the human plume that human receptors can detect or not

Prior to this, in 2010 The Sensory Lab at Plant and Food Research   guided Raewyn in sensing and creating standards used to determine fragrance/ flavour thresholds –that is the limits at which flavours and fragrances  are perceived. This was for Internettraces: The Internet as a Winetasting 2009.

Internettraces : Raewyn Turner &  Mary Griffiths

4000 Varieties of Orange is in collaboration with Brian Harris who works in robotics and engineering, explores secondary (the smell of place, food we eat)  + tertiary (playground of perfumes and deodorants), human smell.

We’ve  designed a food tasting event to be held New Plymouth at Eco Sapiens and its theme will have a focus on food monocultures and fragrance/flavour biodiversity.

Our intention is to create delicious foods using a limited palette of four staple foods and a large palette of food flavourings.

At SCANZ Ecosapiens headquarters we set up a kitchen and have begun to create  flavoured pies.

We’ll make pies from the  4 staple foods and flavour them with nature-identical flavours.

Formula Foods is generously providing flavours for the project.( Thanks Formula Foods!)  Formula Foods

The recipes and flavours will be drawn from the recipes from Mrs Beeton’s Everyday Cookery and Housekeeping book ( around  the  turn of last century).

An example from Mrs Beeton’s book : November : ‘Things in Season’

Fish: brill, cod, crabs, eels, haddocks, oysters, pike, soles, turbot, whiting

Meat: Beef, mutton, veal, doe venison

Poultry: Chickens, fowl, geese, lark, pidgeons, pullets, rabbits, teal, turkeys, widgeon, wild duck

Game: Hares, partridges, pheasants, snipe, woodcock

Vegetables: Beetroot, cabbages, lettuces, late cucumbers, onions, potatoes, salading, spinach, sprouts-various herbs,

Fruit: Apples, bullaces, chestnuts, filberts, grapes, pears, walnuts

We researched historic food ingredients and presentation, focusing on the creation of hand raised pies and sprung metal pie moulds.. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, pies were made in very elaborate shapes. Ivan Day’s Historic Food.

Months before EcoSapiens we started experimenting in Auckland. We wanted to get the flavouring to work and develop pastry recipes to create pie sculpture


Hot water pastry for hand – raised pies:

4 cups flour

1 cup suet or shreddo

hot water to mix

pinch salt

Below: Our first pie creation in celadon green with gold leaf detail,  was filled with shaped tofu pieces fired with organic red onions and garlic. The filling was flavoured with drops of beef, chicken and bacon flavourings. The lid was hand modelled.

We found a wild apple tree on

the side of the road between

Waitaanga and Ohura.

It was laden with fruit which

provided us with apples for

our first pie experiments.

Flavouring the pies was a challenge due to the complexities of combining texture, fragrance, flavour and visual attraction.  We sought advice from award-winning chefs on recipes to create tasty pie fillings which we then adapted for the project( using soy instead of meat.)

An example of one of the pies was where we’d used chicken, beef and bacon flavourings to substitute for bird flesh. The filling was mock chicken—a type of soy protein.

When the pie was opened we noticed a definite shift from the visual pleasure of the pie to olfcto/gustatory displeasure.

We decided to utilize readily available food that would give a more pleasant taste experience – the sort of food that is readymade and available in supermarkets and already had a positive hedonic value, eg sponge cake made with wheat flour.

Our tastes are changing and adapting due to a vast diversity in fragrances and flavours being added to food. New associations are being made. Similarly our sense of colour is changing as we become accustomed to the concept of ‘millions of colours’, and the colour spectrum of coloured light—red, blue and green, on computer screens.

4000 Varieties of Orange ( in progress): Each piece of cake is individually flavoured.

We’ve started tasting authentic  flavours alongside synthetic flavourings.  We found that the synthetic flavourings are more real than the real flavour—they’re molecular constructions that convey the IDEA of flavour, thereby creating illusions.

The table centrepiece :A further experiment in progress is an ‘apparatus’ intended as an interactive flavour dispensing  table display stand–photos coming soon.

‘Nothing is allowed an odour of its own, even food

The deodorising of things…to smell like ‘ nothing’

…smells of the denial of imagination’

( Bamford, Christopher, Green Hermeticism 2007


Areosphere and Atmosphere – Nina Czegledy and Janine Randerson

See images here of the final screening night »

In the era of increased scientific debate about the terraforming of Mars (a process of chemical warming of the frozen Martian climate) in order to sustain a future human population, the Areosphere and Atmosphere project enacts a sensorial connection between Earth and Mars. Materially, the project draws on the historical naming of the two planets’ polar regions by earthly colonists, science fiction imaginings and satellite mapping. As we contend with an anthropogenic climate crisis in our own bio-system, the work ruminates such ‘Big Science’ proposals as the deliberate staging of artificially produced climates in other parts of the solar system. The project will be projected on the dome of the New Plymouth Observatory on Tuesday 25 January 8.30-11pm.

Nina Czegledy, an independent media artist, curator and writer, has collaborated on international projects, produced time based and digital works and has led and participated in workshops, forums and festivals worldwide. Electromagnetic Bodies, Digitized Bodies Virtual Spectacles and the Aurora projects reflect her art, science and technology interest. These projects focus on the changing perception of the human body and are presented via on-line and on-site events in Canada and internationally. On behalf of the Leonardo SpaceArt Network Czegledy recently coordinated a space art workshop in conjunction with the Impact of Space on Society IAA Conference – in March 2005, Budapest.

Nina Czegledy Biography

Janine Randerson – New Zealand-based new media artist Janine Randerson explores the interface between the bio-system, meteorology and technology. In 2008, she was in Denmark for an art residency studying radio and satellite- tracking data of Arctic bird and mammal species at DMU (The Danish Environmental Research Institute). She has recently completed a currently a doctorate at the University of Melbourne. Janine works with a range of time-based media including 16mm film, digital audio and video and computer programmed interaction design. Her art practice includes both site-specific work and single channel video.

Janine Randerson projects and information

Live Food Café – Dhyana Beaumont

Green smoothie preparations, step 1

Using bike pedal-powered smoothie blenders and various food-foraging expeditions, Dhyana creates a connecting device between the power of fresh nutrient-rich food, and the pragmatic politics of finding or growing sources of fresh food today. Expeditions to/from the local farmers markets, community gardens, enviroschools efforts and other local growing spots will be explored, as well as trips to seek out other local food sources, such as several council-tended gardens which are specifically grown to be foraged.

You are invited to participate:

Please keep an eye on this project page if you would be interested to join in with Dhyana project and either make yourself a bike blender, come for some biking excursions, or simply try out her best recipes. Below are some of the current opportunities where Dhyana will be out and about with her smoothies and bikes.

Participate as part of the Festival of Lights

23 January, 7-9pm – Band Rotunda

If you see a glowing bike blender it is Dhyana Beaumont and her fabulous green smoothies! Say hello and check out what green smoothies are and what the taste sensation is like. You might find your kids love vegetables after all.

109 Devon St W-  (SCANZ Central)

18-29 January

Make a green smoothie on a bike blender, view re-blended :: remixed video moments of previous LIVE FOOD CAFE ventures.  Check back for times for group foraging to the public orchards, times may vary according to need.  If you have an idea to discuss or are interested to join in on workshops, please let Dhyana know via the
workshop registration form
or drop by SCANZ Central.

Farmers Markets

22-30 January, 9am-12pm – Sunday Farmers Markets
Dhyana will also be at the weekend Farmers Markets in New Plymouth on the 22nd and 30th of January.


LIVE FOOD CAFE (raw footage) from Dhyana Beaumont on Vimeo.


LIVE FOOD CAFE from Dhyana Beaumont on Vimeo.


bike blender mashup 01 from Dhyana Beaumont on Vimeo.

LIVE FOOD CAFE :: presentation from Dhyana Beaumont on Vimeo.


LIVE FOOD CAFE FLYER:: call 4 participation




opening of the hive taranaki:: 5th Dec

opening of the hive taranaki:: 5th Dec:: bike blender in action

Dhyana Beaumont has exhibited nationally as a painter since 1992. Recent study involved Masters of Fine Arts investigating socially responsible art with an environmental edge, incorporating video installation in site-specific contexts.  Masters projects were a response to the Wellington Bypass cutting through the top of Tonks Ave and Cuba St. Projects were intervention or event based for projecting at street parties, projection nights to raise awareness about rebuilding community, voting strategy nights, installations on the streets, CBC film raising night pro sustainable communities peaking in a presentation at a Green Party Convention.

She later Collaborated in video installation project for the Fringe called “VanTV: Transforming Video on Wheels” involving projection in public spaces.



Refer to my blog for further information/inspiration
This blog is a thinking out loud space and involves my research to get this project alive.


link to my videos – recent videos will be titled as live food cafe
http://vimeo.com/18046744 (raw footage)

(mixed video)

actual videos – raw footage is unmixed video
mixed video::  poetic doco using layers of transparent footage using Chaos Lab a VJ program being developed by Cameron Mckechnie

Pollinator Frocks – Update

This update makes public a series of short experimental videos that develop the ‘Pollinator Frocks’ project (prototype clothing designed to attract and feed endangered pollinating insects). The three video shorts are works in progress and are representative of ‘process led’ research and practice currently in progress in New Plymouth, NZ as part of the SCANZ: Eco Sapiens 2011 residency, public events and exhibition. There are three shorts: Circular Pollinator Walkabout NZ and Chasing Moths and most recently Monarch on Pollinator Frock NZ. All of the videos have been shot in Pukekura Park as part of the Festival of Lights programme of events. For more on the Pollinator Frocks project see the other videos on Karen Ingham’s You Tube channel and visit the main project page on the Intercreate project website: http://www.intercreate.org/scanz-2011/residency-projects/pollinator-frocks-project-karen-ingham and see also http://www.kareningham.org.uk/pollinatorfrocks.html

PLUME – Raewyn Turner and Richard Newcomb

Electron microscope image of olfactory sensors

In this project Raewyn Turner and Richard Newcomb focus on the unconscious perception of the human plume — the scents and particles we all shed behind us in the form of a wake. Research into plant/insect/animal/human sensing of the human plume, shows that the plume may include emotional state information. The many new synthetic flavours and fragrances being created may also be taken up into the human body and expressed in the human plume. We need to ask what impact these newly fabricated olfactory and gustatory molecules are having on our reading of the emotional signals of our everyday lives. What would be the consequences of being able to smell the full fragrance of life? And what trails of information are we leaving about our lives to those that follow?

Project Update: During the residency period, Raewyn will be joined by Brian Harris as her cooking collaborator at the 109 Devon Street working space. This edition of the project is called PLUME; 4,000 varieties of orange.

Project Research Phase — Crossing Wires

Crossing Wires - public dialogue

Crossing Wires - public dialogues

The ‘Crossing Wires’ installation provided a window into the seldom seen world of the science laboratory blended with performance exhibition art. The installation offered the public the opportunity to experience science experimentation and participate in active dialogues on the cultural, social and temporal constructions of our sensed reality.

Scientist, Dr Richard Newcomb has research interests in olfaction in both humans and insects, and in ways of comparing these different biological systems to address how they have evolved. Raewyn Turner is a practicing artist exploring sensory science through alternative expression, including the extrasensory and subsensory plant-animal-human communication. ‘Crossing Wires’ acted as a fusion of their two worlds where science meets art and the boundaries between each dissolve.

The project worked together with the public to categorise odours extracted from worn socks. Over the three week installation, raw material was collected and processed to obtain olfactory samples representative of the essence of humans currently walking on the earth.

Richard Newcomb and Raewyn Turner also decided to create a ‘fish-bowl’ environment for the ‘Crossing Wires’ working installation in order to allow them the time to learn more about art and science collaboration and to generate the first draft for their larger scale overall project.

For more information see:

Miniature Green Bikes (donate or pimp your old rides!)

Green Bikes in action

Green Bikes is a community bike recycling (fixing, modding, reselling very cheap or giving away) scheme.

During SCANZ we will hold a miniature, two-week version of the scheme in order to try to get all our residency participants and local people on safe, self-propelled, low-carbon transport.

The different parts of the scheme that will be going on during the 2011 SCANZ event are as follows below, and we welcome your participation.

Bike refurbishment – donate your old bike:

Do you have an old bike going unloved or unused? The bikes will be refurbished for use during the residency, and then sold to the public, with all proceeds going to Hive Taranaki, our regional environment centre.

Three ways to donate your bike:

1. Drop off at WITT reception between January 5 and 10.
2. Drop off at New Plymouth District Council reception on Tuesday 11 January between 1-5pm.
3. Email benefieldn@npdc.govt.nz to arrange for your bike to be collected.

Participate in the workshops:

Mini Green Bikes will run from 10am–4pm each day at 109 Devon Street West, so that you can also bring in your bike to do any of the below.

  • Bike Fixin’ —  Get some fixin’ help and/or to just brush up on bi-pedal machine maintenance with Jonah’s experienced help.
  • Bike Crates — We invite people to get their bikes ‘crated’ which involves fitting a carrier to their bike if they don’t have one, then simply attaching a beer crate to their carrier using a cheap $3-5 ratchet strap.
  • Bike Trailors — Have a go at making a bamboo bike trailor with Jonah’s help, and make your bike that much handier for that little trip to the shops!
  • Bike Beautification Workshops — open workshops will be held where you can attempt whatever pimpification you might have in mind for your ride. Bring in the materials you will need, and Jonah can give you a hand putting it together.  Contact Jonah if you have any questions. Also have a look here for some crazier ideas to get your thinking moving… !

Green Bikes Schedule:

  • Detailed Schedule
    18-Jan 10am-4pm Bike crate
    19-Jan 10am-4pm Bike trailer
    20-Jan 10am-4pm Bike fix
    21-Jan 10am-4pm Bike beautification
    24-Jan 10am-4pm Bike crate
    25-Jan 10am-4pm Bike crate
    27-Jan 10am-4pm Bike trailer
    28-Jan 10am-4pm Bike beautification

All workshops take place at SCANZ Central, 109 Devon Street West (next to Kina). Workshops times may vary according to need, and you are welcome to stop by at any time.

If you have an idea to discuss or are interested to join in on workshops, please let Jonah know either via the workshop registration form, or by emailing him directly.

Captain Jonah Marinovich

Jonah Marinovich of Green Bikes, Whanganui is a long-time grass roots community activist. Almost single-handedly managing and operating the Green Bikes organisation which gathers, salvages and re-sells bikes. Jonah is also a collaborator on the Slow Flow project of Julian Priest, with at least 20 bikes supplied by Green Bikes, upon which one partakes in the slow bike ride journey from Jerusalem on the Whanganui River, down to where it reaches the ocean at the city of Whanganui.

This project is being supported by the Let’s Go sustainable transport project of the New Plymouth District Council. A package of works funded by NZTA and local partners to ‘fast track’ a community that can change travel behaviour through improved transport choices. More information about the Let’s Go project is available on the New Plymouth District Council site.



[NB: All registration and contact links have been removed, post-event]

light, sweet, cold, dark, crude – ÆLab

light, sweet, cold, dark, crude (LSCDC) is a study of wastewater management systems, of water in various states of composition, decomposition and recomposition. The series of electronic art micro-events was created in conjunction with industrial and ecodesign groups, in order to reflect on two different systems. This work draws from Dr. John Todd’s Eco-Machines which work with plants, fish and algae, without the addition of human-made chemicals to create regenerative processes.

ÆLab is an artistic research unit with Gisèle Trudel and Stéphane Claude from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The artists acknowledge support from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and PAFARC-UQAM.


Participate as part of the Festival of Lights

January 19, 21, 26, 28 – 11am – meet at Band Rotunda.

During this workshop, participants will produce their own audiovisual work about the importance of water in the botanical garden, while reflecting on the possible reuse of wastewater. The focus is to work creatively with technology about ecological issues and to discuss each other’s projects, while being in direct contact with the production and (hopefully) presentation environment. Sound and image collection will happen on site at the garden, where we also hope to be able to present the works.

Workshop is open to residency participants and local residents.
Participants will work collaboratively in groups of 2-3 people.
Maximum of 9 participants.

Please note there will not be any technical support for the production of the collective works.
Each participant must be proficient in audio and video production techniques and bring their own production equipment (video camera, computer with editing software, mics, headphones, portable audio recording device, portable amplified speaker device).

A detailed outline will be distributed on the first day of the workshop.


Ælab, LSCDC, 2006-09. Stéphane Claude recording audio at the EcoMachines, Sharon, Vermont


Ælab, LSCDC, 2006-09. Gisèle Trudel recording video at the Station d