SCANZ 2013: Body Imperfect

Authors: Mark Harvey, Dermott McMeel, Becca Wood, Mark Jackson, Maria O’Connor


“As we sit here at this table and try to think about what we are going to talk to you about we just can’t quite come up with something because we keep being distracted by the feeling of these uncomfortable seats, our bad air and the hot sun probing into our necks. Our bodies can’t take it. Our foolish bodies. We need some technology. Any technology. Anything that can give us a quick fix. Our bodies are so difficult for our lifestyle and our environment. What we want are perfect bodies that don’t need technological interventions. So we’ll just have to make do.” (Crunch, 2012)

Body Imperfect will explore through choreographic performance and architectural/spatial studio practices and theoretical discourse the concept of what it means to test the human body from an audience’s perspective as an imperfect albeit difficult and polluting site in relation to technology. Rather than exploring the notion of the ideal body that is so often associated with disciplines like dance modernism and prosaic spatial ergonomic posture diagrams for the ‘ideal’ use of your work environment and furniture, we will explore the audience’s embodied environment through technological interventions that might not fit within normalized Western codes of acceptability and usefulness – via ‘the foolish body’. We will explore how this can interface through technologies, both in spirit and through digital apparatuses and interventions.

Foolishness in this sense might be conceived of through the actions of Maui the trickster, and other like-minded assassins of our sensibilities as elucidated by Lewis Hyde (1999). Maui through cunning reveals the ridiculous, hidden within the so-called day-to-day and public spectacle – of for instance the ridiculousness of his brothers who mocked him before he fished up the Te Ika a Maui (the fish of Maui, the North Island). We posit that it is not just if Maui and Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s ‘the Idiot’ (1992) go to a dance party in West Auckland, fall in love and procreate by mistake and regret it, but when we add in a mix of Frederich Nietzsche’s (1974) call to play the fool in The Gay Science (2001), Michel Foucault’s ‘techniques of the body’ (1975, 1978-1979), the ever pervasive Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s ‘bodies without organs and desiring machines’ (1972), some deodorant, some breath freshener and some bifocals so as to reconsider a sense of spatiality, the foolish body becomes a device for scrutinizing the environment, creative practice and technology.

Each panelist will offer up their current obsessions with the imperfect and body, technology and the performance environment in relation to Maui the trickster, using one or more of the above notions as a point of reflection and/or departure. We will present on the potentials that fooling around with MP3 players, and light sound and touch sensors can bring to messing with the choreographic expectations and environment of participating audience members with lighting, sound and their own somatic responses. We do not promise a pleasant journey but we aim to offer some revitalized readings and approaches on how we can interface with our corporeal identities when they are dispersed, intersected, multiplied, decentered and dematerialized by prosthetic technologies and related reflections. Questions asked by us will include what it means to play with: tensions between expectations of performance and environment and the real of the body with technology, scales of the body in relation to techno-desire, and how did we get ourselves into this mess in the first place.

Co-conveners and co-panelists: Dermott McMeel (architecture and technology researcher, School of Architecture, NICAI, The University of Auckland) and Mark Harvey (performance artist, Dance Studies NICAI, The University of Auckland)

Invited co-panelists: Becca Wood (Dance Studies, U of A), Mark Jackson (Spatial Design, AUT) and Maria O’Connor (Spatial Design, AUT). Consultant: Te Oti Rakena (School of Music, U of A/ Taranaki iwi).

SCANZ 2013: Societal Acceptance of Ground-Source Heat Innovations for Rural Māori Communities with the example of Ngati Rangiwewehi

Authors: Gina Mohi, Paul White and Diane Bradshaw


Iwi/Māori have a long association with New Zealand’s natural environment that is based on knowledge that has built up over time through centuries of interaction with the natural world. This includes the use of natural resources within many iwi/Māori communities. Mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) also includes tradition but is a broader collection of Māori knowledge, or set of subjects relating to esoteric and spiritual knowledge based in the past but often used and evolving in the present, for the future (Bradshaw and Faulkner, 2009).

Ground-source heat pumps (GSHPs) are an established technology, capable of delivering efficient heating and cooling utilising the immense renewable energy stored in the ground, ground water or surface water. They are being recognised as an alternative to fossil fuel systems and can offer significant reductions in the overall CO2 emissions. GNS Science Māori Strategy seeks to identify the opportunities of GSHP technologies as a consideration for housing or marae development. This technology has much to offer communities, particularly in rural areas because resource use is relatively benign. Also, this technology has much to offer Māori and the important rural marae that fulfil a crucial role in New Zealand communities.

In this paper, we describe a comprehensive framework for ground-source heat pump technologies in rural Māori communities aiming at societal acceptance of resource use and the technology associated with ground-source heat pumps. For these communities, resource utilisation must be consistent with long-term Māori custodial responsibilities. The framework is developed and tested with Ngāti Rangiwewehi and the Awahou Marae on the shores of Lake Rotorua.


SCANZ 2013: Viruses and mataitai – Achieving Shellfish Safety for Maori through collaborations with Crown Research Institutes

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Authors: Emma Gibbs and Dr Gail Greening


ESR (the Institute of Environmental Science & Research) has conducted a number of research projects in regard to Maori wellbeing, and presently has projects involving views on DNA evidence and sustainable decision making around foods. In 2003 a strong working relationship was established between scientists from ESR – a Crown Research Institute – and the Waitangi Marae Maori Committee. A survey was carried out to find out whether local shellfish were contaminated with human viruses from sewage which can cause disease in those who eat the shellfish. ESR has developed virus detection systems that show when shellfish are safe to eat. The research process necessitated professionals of all disciplines of the life sciences and tangata whenua getting together to aggregate, discuss and share their views, with the outcome being the development of a collaborative research process. This is suitable to approaches founded in Matauranga Maori.

The two year survey began in January 2004 and was funded by FoRST – the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology. Members of the Waitangi iwi collected pipi, cockles, oysters and mussels from two traditional local shellfish harvesting sites (Waitangi and Te Haumi) monthly for 2 years. The shellfish were sent to the ESR Environmental and Food Virology Laboratory, where shellfish were analysed for the presence of human viruses (adenovirus and norovirus) which cause gastroenteritis or ‘tummy bug’ and also for presence of viruses and bacteria which are indicators of faecal pollution.

Our research showed that these customary shell fishing beds were sometimes contaminated with human viruses, and that shellfish would be unsafe to eat at these times. Therefore consumption of these shellfish could be a threat to the health of the iwi. As a result of our research findings, from 2007 the local and regional councils and public health unit improved the efficiency of the sewage discharge processes and also the water quality in the area. It is now generally safe for the iwi to gather shellfish from these areas. The regional council funds a monthly virus monitoring programme carried out by ESR which indicates potential risk to iwi from viruses in shellfish. This study is an example of how scientists and Maori can work together to obtain the necessary scientific evidence to help with sustainable management of their shellfish resources.

SCANZ 2013: An integral theory analysis of barriers to an ecologically sustainable civilization

Author: DonnaWillard-Moore


John Sterman observes in his book Business Dynamics: Systems Thinking and Modeling for a Complex World, (2000) that:

“The environmental sustainability problem has proven difficult to solve. The modern environmental movement has attempted to solve the problem in a large variety of ways. But little progress has been made, as shown by severe ecological footprint overshoot and lack of sufficient progress on the climate change problem. Something within the human system (is) preventing change to a sustainable mode(s) of behavior.” (pp. 5-10.)

Sterman has framed the issue in terms of human behavior; thus, recognizing a deeper barrier to creating a sustainable civilization. Is the issue actually ecological or environmental in scope or is it psychological?

Integral theory developed out of psychology, recognizing the AQAL framework developed by Ken Wilber and the ‘Spiral Dynamics’ of Don Beck and Christopher Cowen. These authors focused on the human psychological, cultural, and physical systems in a developmental sequence. It is through an integral analysis of these different worldview perspectives and their interactions that a new insight on ecological issues becomes apparent. Integral theory suggests that many viewpoints in relationship to each other is a better description of what we see in the world and therefore, a greater source of potential solutions to the ecological environmental problems.

The issues of creating a ecologically sustainable civilization is from integral theory awareness, a first tier to second tier developmental and psychological transition. This transformation currently underway is a change of ethics, cultural goals, as well as, a goal of technological development that focuses on a ecologically sustainable civilization.

SCANZ 2013: Remote interventions

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Author: Cecelia Cmielewski

Remote Interventions describes works produced in rural and remote parts of Australia that have community, scientific and technological aspects to them.

Australia may be one of the most urbanised and coast-dwelling populations in the world. However, our imagined and projected national and self-images also tend towards the expanses of the interior and the ‘bush’. I will explore some examples of what ‘remote’ means in the context of an imagined Australia.

Two long term research projects from Western Australia will be discussed in relation to how quality art making across cultures, landscapes and practices stem from their collaborative aspects.

The spaced: art out of place biennale included projects developed in very remote areas of Western Australia:

BirndiWirndi – Worlds Apart, developed over 2010 when Sohan Ariel Hayes spent two months in Roebourne working with Michael Woodley from the Juluwarlu Aboriginal Corporation.

On the tiny Abrohlos Islands archipelago off the coast of Geraldton (500kms north of Perth, Western Australia), Nigel Helyer spent two months with the crayfishermen and women to produce CrayVox.

And closer to urban incursions, in a rapidly developing area one hour south of Perth, Adaptation, arose from several years of research at Lake Clifton by artists working with SymbioticA. The resulting works broadly scope the creation of life, Indigenous culture, colonisation, scientific discovery, developmental booms, to fragility in the face of climate change.

SCANZ 2013: Wānanga-Symposium abstracts

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Feb 1st–3rd, 2013

Developing the culture to create a sustainable civilisation

Following is a list of abstracts selected for the SCANZ 2013 3rd nature wānanga-symposium. It is not quite complete yet. This page also has registration information and  an outline of the wānanga schedule.

Mātauranga Māori (for international viewers) refers to traditional Māori knowledge pre 1840s colonisation. The boundary of Mātauranga Māori and science is significant at (formerly) Crown Research Institutes in Aotearoa New Zealand and world leading in terms of integrating indigenous knowledge and Western science as a part of daily operations and core research activity. This integration is a feature of recent projects in the creative sector, and forms one foundation of the 3rd nature project. There are instances worldwide of this occurring, and the wānanga-symposium will provide a range of solutions to issues of working across cultures and disciplines, from several countries. For those interested in understanding more Te Reo (Māori language), there is a dictionary at:


Potential grouping and paper title
Mātauranga Māori, Science and Art
Dr Te Huirangi Waikerepuru Keynote 1
Alex Kmoch, Sheena Mannering-Tawera, Diane Bradshaw, Paul White and Hermann Klug A groundwater resources portal for New Zealand
Ian Clothier From second to third nature: building cultural bridges between Mātauranga Māori and Western science
Te Kipa Kepa Brian Morgan, Tumanako N. Fa’Aui and Robyn Desma Manuel Decision making at the Interface: Mauri and its contribution to the Rena Recovery
Margaret Smith & Fiona Clark Sustaining Waitara Waterways 
Josh Wodak Comprehending Complexity: Art in the Anthropocene 
Ricardo Dal Farra & Leah Barclay Balance-Unbalance: Arts + Science x Technology = Environment / Responsibility
Te Matahiapo Māori Society
Lesley Pitt A Pakeha social work view: liberation starts right here
Donna Willard-Moore An integral theory analysis of barriers to an ecologically sustainable civilization
Maja Kuzmanovich; Verena Kuni; Lorena Lozano; Reni Hofmuller; Annemie Maes; and Lenka Dolanova with Michal Kindernay Skype bridge – live presentations from Europe
Nina Czegledy Keynote – reFraming Nature
Nigel Helyer and Mary-Ann Lea Under the icecap
Cecelia Cmielewski Remote interventions
Mark Harvey, Dermott McMeel, Becca Wood, Mark Jackson, Maria O’Connor Body Imperfect
Indigenous cultures
Kura Puke and Stuart Foster The substance of experience
Gabriel Vanegas Logics of nature-driven technologies in a place Called America
Leah Barclay SONIC ECOLOGIES: Practice-led intersections of sound art, science and technology in global communities
Ana Terry & Don Hunter Un Litro de Agua
Deborah Lawler-Dormer He Poi, pattern, collaboration and electronic art installation
Melanie Cheung The Brilliant Brain Cell Show: Using Art for Neuroscience Education
Data, art and ecology
Vicki Sowry Echology: Making Sense of Data
Pinar Yoldas The very loud chamber orchestra of endangered species
Brian Degger Make, Do, Mend and Hack (MDMH) the biotechnologies of the 3rd Nature
Elise Smith and Anne Scott Technology meets Ecology – Where have all the little blue penguins gone?
Jock McQueenie The Art of Engagement
Christine Fenton, Tengaruru Wineera, Nina Czegledy, Mike Fenton Policy recommendations from the SCANZ residency session on working across boundaries of culture and discipline
Haritina Mogosanu Martian Diaspora – a discussion on what culture can mean to a spacefaring civilization 


Registration information

Registration includes dinner on Friday night at Owae marae, plus light lunch on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, plus morning and afternoon tea. Early bird registration before December 14 2012 for waged people is $345 (student/unwaged $245), the full registration from December 15 is $395 (student/unwaged $295). One day registrations are $120 (Early bird) or $150 (from December 15).

Click here to register for the the wānanga-symposium.

The Friday night dinner is also a Wonderlogue event led by Trudy Lane, which involves interdisciplinary discussion.


Wānanga-symposium Schedule

Fri 1 Feb Day 01 Wānanga-Symposium
8am All: Depart WITT/Te Henui Lodge accommodation for Owae Marae
Morning tea
Afternoon tea
6pm Wonderlogue Dinner with Trudy Lane
9pm Depart Owae Marae for WITT
Sat 2 Feb Day 02 Wānanga-Symposium
6am All: Depart WITT for Puke Ariki
6.28am Toi Whakaari (Dawn Opening) of 3rd nature exhibition
Tea, coffee and biscuits
Live presentations from Europe
Return to WITT
Afternoon tea
5pm Day 02 Wānanga-Symposium ends
Sun 3 Feb Day 03 Wānanga-Symposium
9am Wānanga-Symposium
Morning tea
Pukekura Park projects
Afternoon tea
3pm-4pm Poroporoaki (closing reflection) at WITT
4pm onwards Continued informal discussion and socialising


Thematic framework

Integrating indigenous perspectives with creative, environmental, scientific and academic views on reality is essential to a sustainable future. At the same time, computing and digital media are changing our relationship to culture and the environment.

On the one hand digital technology allows us to analyse and display data in new ways, as when anthropologists use language databases to shed light on the movement of culture.

On the other hand digital technology adds to our senses, and extends them beyond the body to the forests and the land. Scientists, artists and others are transforming the environment into an organism, as Maori and indigenous peoples have always known it to be.

SCANZ 2013: 3rd nature brings together diverse people to discuss how to approach working together across culture, discipline and media. We must work together to resolve the issues emerging at the boundary between fresh knowledge and deep knowledge, beginning with sharing knowledge and projects.

Presentations and projects which highlight cross cultural interchange and/or computing and electronics projects and/or the hybrid arts were sought. The ensuing discussion and presentations will be shared in a special edition of Leonardo Electronic Almanac, the online publication of Leonardo – the leading Massachusetts Institute of Technology journal.


Who should attend?

Tangata whenua, indigenous peoples, scientists, artists, environmentalists, academics, philosophers, educationalists, musicians, teachers, technologists, and those concerned about sustainability, the future of Earth and humanity. Tangata whenua –people of the land – are indigenous to Aotearoa New Zealand.

The first day of the hui will be held at Owae marae. Keynote speakers are Dr Te Huirangi Waikerepuru (Aotearoa New Zealand) and Intercreate International Research Fellow Nina Czegledy (Canada & Hungary). The second and third days are to be held in Te Piere o te Rangi on the Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki campus and in Pukekura Park.


Register now

Registration information and the preliminary schedule can be found here.

SCANZ 2013: KRA – Kravín Rural Arts

Author: Lenka Dolanova


KRA – Kravín Rural Arts is a project-in-development (since 2009), an art residency center located in a former cowhouse in a small Czech village. Based in an agricultural area, we are forced to work with “indigenous” people, the “locals”. The necessity to confront various “cultures”, or rather to coexist with them, is obvious. We dive into the environmental patterns of the village. Our aim: to use the means of emerging art to challenge the treatment of local 3 ecologies (environmental, mental, social, as described by Félix Guattari). Our method: ecological media art. We believe, that interventions of ecological media artists should range from local-based actions to global commentaries of the environmental crises.

We fight the fossilization of traditions by inserting new, living traditions and festivities. Once they root, the countryside will be more tasty. We organize walks with artists sonifying fences and trees. Walking is a good tool for getting knowledge, “solvitur ambulando” – solving problems by walking and talking. We invent new art tools. We play on barrels, on wind, on local broadcasting system. We construct beehives according to various old and new construction principles.

Not everything works: not many people come, when they might be asked to do something, make something themselves – they are used to be a passive audience more then active participants, their creativity being reserved for their families. We attempt to enliven the sense of community, beyond family units. If they do not want to participate in our activities, we participate in theirs, but trying to challenge them from inside. We input ourselves, artists and researchers, into our community, using camouflage of beekeepers, gardeners, denizens, who we became. In the tradition of artists as tricksters, disrupting rules and conventional behavior.

Cows and bees are the main figures in our new mythology. As is goat as the symbol of Garden Of Art Tools (an emerging outside lab for experiments with solar and wind energy, bee monitoring station). Kravín (name referring to the original function of the place we inabit, house of cows) is a place of cultural memory, also with lots of cowshit hidden in (in metaphorical sense, more than the real one). We poke our noses into it. Rural artistic research has to be done with hands sodden in humus, swearing grass and breathing old concrete dust, bee stings felt all over the body. While city bees have allegedly more honey than village bees, citizens consume more products from “farmers’ markets” than villagers. Countryside is losing its apples, pears and cherries. Diversity and fruitfullness is what we fight for, armed with our unholy trinity: ecology + media + art.

– KRA = “floe” or “iceberg” (an ecological aspect)
– KRÁ = “caw” or “kaah” of raven (creativity and playfulness of the mythical trickster)
– KRAVÍN = “cowhouse” (original function as the rootage of the project)

SCANZ 2013: Technology meets Ecology – Where have all the little blue penguins gone?

Authors: Elise Smith and Anne Scott


The Nga Motu Marine Reserve Society is investigating the distribution of penguins on the Taranaki coast, and monitoring the activity of known populations. We encourage everyone to contribute information, and join us in raising awareness about penguins.

The Society uses the MAIN Trust NZ Geographic Information System for the on-line data entry and analysis, providing maps and downloadable information. It uses a specially designed package of open source software – GeoServer with OpenLayers and a PostgreSQL database. This allows users share and edit geospatial data, even from a desktop Quantum GIS program. The system is very flexible, allowing integration by displaying data on any of the popular mapping applications such as Google Earth. In addition, GeoServer can connect with traditional GIS architectures such as ESRI ArcGIS.

We have been mapping existing penguin nesting sites and the areas where assistance may be given to penguins through habitat restoration, pest trapping and penguin boxes along the length of the Taranaki coastline. In order to find out more about the penguins occupying known existing burrows, we are using the Picaxe datalogging technology. This is used in schools through the Bright Sparks programmes (Andrew Hornblow) and is connected by the kihikihi wireless sensor network project, an open source platform.

We are keen to engage the community in fun ways, using technology to provide a method of seeing the world from a different perspective. We see great scope for the data to be interpreted and distributed using many different interfaces and combining audio, video and environmental monitoring records as music or images.

SCANZ 2013: Thinking outside, becoming of place, and creating the world

Authors: Tamsin Kerr and Ross Annels


Western society in the past considered thinking as a thing for expert brains to do inside an ivory tower, separated from the creativity of the hand and the ecology of every place. Environmental art begins to address this balance by making an outside haptic materiality matter, by beginning to approximate a more indigenous understanding. How might such approaches become more mainstream and would it make a difference to how we lived in and imagined the world? We understand the world and our human place within it very differently if we think outside, forget, the box.

We focus on some examples of artists and thinkers who have visited, inhabited, and taught at the Cooroora Institute, a place that aims to sing the song of the earth through creative practice. These include painters, sculptors, craftspeople, artisans, musicians, dancers, writers, Indigenous, environmental, and sound artists. Such practical emplacement relocates thinking to an accessible collaboration with country, using both visual and sound texts, unlimited by translation. Perhaps this thinking outside, becoming place, creating country is what forms the basis for much indigenous practice of living, and perhaps it is accessible to all? We begin to know our more-than-human self, to appreciate an active sentience of country, to form partnerships with the flow of the river and the call of the birds, to create an ecological life, through the creative practice of thinking outside.

SCANZ 2013: A groundwater resources portal for New Zealand

Authors: Alex Kmoch, Sheena Mannering-Tawera, Diane Bradshaw, Paul White and Hermann Klug


New Zealand’s freshwater resources are extremely valuable but at the same time barely understood. Most of the surface waters are already allocated and groundwater resources are more and more demanded by society. With 80% of the presently allocated groundwater resources, agricultural business is demanding a share of already allocated water (White, 2006). However, New Zealand’s groundwater resource properties, like storage capacities or groundwater recharge are not well known. This might cause unsatisfactory and unsustainable developments. The regional councils in New Zealand are responsible for freshwater management, working under a common national legal framework, the management of water quality, water consents and water quantity measurement is a regional responsibility and so is data collection and storage.

Iwi/Māori have a well-recognised relationship with the natural environment which spans many centuries and is the result of interaction and adaptation with native flora and fauna of Aotearoa/New Zealand. Integral to this relationship is water which sustains life and is a taonga (treasure) with significant cultural and physical dimension. This is reflected through the on-going desire of many iwi/Māori groups to have a role in the way water is managed in New Zealand to ensure its sustainable utilisation moving forward (Kawharu, 2002). The development of scientific research tools and models that incorporate mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) and te reo Māori (the Māori language) are also beneficial to iwi/Māori resource policymakers, planners and decision makers.

GNS (Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences) has been collecting and compiling Māori terms on hydrology, geology and geothermal phenomena to, amongst other things, explore the contribution that traditional indigenous knowledge can make to the research outcomes and model development by identifying the cultural significance of groundwater and the associated cultural links with surface water (Tipa and Tierney, 2003, Boast, 1991). The potential benefits of creating research tools that utilise te reo Maori and mātauranga Māori (within government institutional settings) includes generating increased uptake in and familiarity with te reo Māori and exposure of te reo Māori as a minority language to broader audiences. Further research could identify gaps in the dual knowledge systems (either the western scientific knowledge paradigm, or mātauranga Māori) that could be explored as an outcome of this combined research (De Bres, 2008).

In order to provide a seamless spatial and multi-purpose view of collected groundwater related datasets, the SMART project joins forces to establish a valuable basis for groundwater analysis and decision support tools (Kmoch et al., 2012, Klug et al., 2011). One of the project’s objectives is to build a web-based data and knowledge portal and attached three-dimensional web visualisation tool according to OGC and ISO compliant standards (OGC, 2012).

To support te reo Māori and mātauranga Māori within the SMART portal web mapping and catalogue application, we evaluate a multi-language concept to incorporate semantic web methodologies to map and connect English and Māori terms and descriptions of presented natural phenomena as well as metadata and descriptive text within the application (Lutz et al., 2009). Beside a language template system for in-application-navigation use, a vocabulary web service based on a RDF/SKOS (Simple Knowledge Organisation System) database and an OGC CSW Catalogue server will be implemented to express structure and content of concept schemes such as thesauri, classification schemes, taxonomies, metadata and other types of controlled vocabulary. RDF/SKOS will be used to document, link and merge concepts/terms to be with other spatial and non-spatial data (Antoine Isaac and Ed Summers, 2008). Evaluation of the lexicon’s effectiveness will be measured in part by its ability to be applied successfully to the SMART portal web mapping and cataloguing application.