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.


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.

Project Proposal – Brooke Sturtevant-Sealover

Prototype 4.3
12” by 12” by approximately 24”- size varies according to the growth of the plant
Custom Built Circuits by Karl Palm, Plant, 2011

Project Proposal:


a) to study the interactions between the plants, other living organisms, and the environment,

b) to dialogue and/or collaborate with scientists

c) to create a set of traditional and/or allographic drawings based on collected data


I am particularly interested in complex relationships like the endemic mistletoe Peraxilla tetrapetala[1] has established to ensure its survival.  This mistletoe plant creates exploding flowers whose morphology allows native birds, such as the Bellbird, to nibble at the buds in a certain way to open the flower.  In exchange for the sweet nectar the bird inadvertently pollinates the blossom. This plant has also established an interesting relationship with two species of native bees that are the only known invertebrates to be able open an explosive, vertebrate-adapted flower. [2] In return for pollination, the Peraxilla offers the bees an untouched supply of nectar in over-harvested areas.  As a parasitic plant, the mistletoe is also dependent on the success of its host. These relationships exist in a unique delicate balance.

To study these relationships I will use custom-built galvanometers to measure the changes in electrical resistance within a selected group of plants. The changes in electrical resistance denote the plant’s physical responses to their ever-changing environment.  These changes will be monitored and recorded using a set of Arduino microcontrollers and laptop computers. I will also employ stop-motion cameras to follow the movement of the plants as well as the motion in the surrounding environment throughout the day.  To create my work, I will use a method of generative notation to explore the vital nature of the plant through the use of collected data and two, three and four-dimensional drawing strategies.  I have found that this method of working often produces new insights concerning the nature of the plant’s growth and intensions.

Is it possible through these methods of observation to determine if plants can sense a bee or bird’s proximity? Can other plants sense the opening of a neighboring plant’s blossom? How connected are the Peraxilla tetrapetala plants to their host? How do the established relationships of the host plant affect the growth and flowering of the Peraxilla tetrapetala?

Moving from the individual to the species as a whole- I will also work with a botanist from the Allan Herbarium, as well as other scientists to see what correlations exist between the climate changes (weather conditions, habitat disruption) and fluctuations in bird and bee populations (changes in amount of plant interactions), with the population of Peraxilla tetrapetala and its flowering density.  This research will also generate a series of drawings – much like the ones described above.


[1] If for some reason I would be unable to work with the Peraxilla tetrapetala, there are many other interesting relationships established between plants and other species. The Harakeke or Flax plant, for example, is home to several symbiotic insects that spend their entire life cycle on the plant. I would work with this plant or another in a similar way to what is described above.

[2] Ladley, J. J.; Kelly, D. (1995) Explosive New Zealand mistletoe. Nature 378: 766


Brooke Sturtevant-Sealover is an artist who establishes relationships with plants and investigates their intentions and life strategies. The drawings that emerge from this examination explore the changes in growth and morphology of the plant as well as how our relationship with plants is different from what is perceived. Her work is a product of the ever-changing relationships between the plant, the artist, and the carefully constructed environment surrounding the plant. Through the use of generative notation she explores the vital nature of the plant with the data collected from her investigations and two, three, and four-dimensional drawing strategies. Her method of working, which creates unintended visual results, leaves open the possibility for producing a new awareness concerning the nature of the plant’s growth and intentions.




SCANZ 2013: Wānanga-symposium second call

third nature logo

ian clothier logo
Matahiapo logo

Feb 1st–3rd, 2013

We know we have built a civilisation which is unsustainable. How are we developing today the new culture that will allow us to create a sustainable civilisation?
— Roger Malina, Astrophysicist and Editor of Leonardo

Second call for abstracts, due September 7th 2012

This is the second call for wānanga-symposium abstracts. From the first call we received proposals for presentations from the perspectives of Mātauranga Māori, art-science, culture and climate change, pre-Columbian sustainability, bio technology, creativity and the environment from the social perspective.

We are very interested in further proposals from tangata whenua, indigenous peoples, scientists, engineers, artists, thinkers and environmentalists. Our topic is important to this country, the planet and humanity and we all have a role to play in a positive future.

We are also interested in workshop proposals that meet our themes.

Following is a list of selected abstracts from the first call.


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
Kura Puke and Stuart Foster The substance of experience
Nina Czegledy Keynote 2
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
Society – human, animal, informational
Lesley Pitt A Pakeha social work view: liberation starts right here
Pinar Yoldas The very loud chamber orchestra of endangered species
Vanessa Ramos-Velasquez Digital Anthropophagy
Lenka Dolanova KRA – Kravín Rural Arts
With regard to indigenous cultures
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
Data and technology
Vicki Sowry Echology: Making Sense of Data
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?


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 will bring 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 are sought. The ensuing discussion and presentations will then be shared in a special edition of Leonardo Electronic Almanac, the online publication of Leonardo – the leading Massachusetts Institute of Technology journal. Abstracts are due September 7th 2012.


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.



There are four types of presentations which will be reviewed by robust process: peer reviewed, panel presentation, solutions and individual.

Peer reviewed

Papers can be put forward for peer review and inclusion in a special edition of Leonardo Electronic Almanac. The process will be rigorous. A peer reviewed paper could be based on a presentation made as a panel, a solution or as an individual.

Panel presentations

An important aspect of the hui and symposium will be themed discussions lead by interdisciplinary teams. These presentations will be an hour long, with panelists giving a concise 6 minute presentation (each) on their work, and then leading a discussion. Panelists will define a series of questions and then develop a position on the questions as preparation for the discussion. Panel teams can be proposed, applicants can simply indicate they wish to be part of a panel, or they will be invited.


Solutions are 20 minute presentations about a completed project that crossed one or more of  boundaries of the following: art/science (or any other Western discipline)/computing and/or indigenous awareness. This may involve reporting on projects or activity that involved a negotiation of cultural borders, with an attempt made to preserve some values from both cultures;  or a computing project that put fresh light on culture, nature, the environment, science and/or art.


These are fifteen minutes duration, with a presentation of 10 minutes followed by 5 minutes of discussion. These presentations are drawn from disciplines across the spectrum. What are the health, environmental, psychological, culinary, audio, scientific, historical, engineering, business, construction, farming and/or creative implications of engaging across cultural borders or with electronic media? Presentations in this category can be from the perspective of a single discipline, but must involve engaging across cultural borders or involve electronic media. Individual refers to discussing one project, or by one presenter.


If you are submitting a workshop, please include the word ‘Workshop’ as the first word in the title field. A workshop involving drumming would be titled ‘Workshop: Drumming’ for example.


Submission process

Abstracts will be submitted using Easy Chair, a conference management system. Instructions for using this system are the following:

  1. Go to:
    This is the Easy Chair SCANZ 2013 log in page.
  2. Get an Easy Chair log in. You will need a working email address that you can use at the same time, as confirmation emails will  be sent.
  3. Log in as an Author once you have your log in details.
  4. Then click the link at the top which says ‘New submission.
  5. Enter your submission. In the appropriate boxes, enter your name and contact details. Provide a title. Write an abstract (maximum 500 words, 350 preferred). Select the category you are applying under. Enter at least three keywords with each word separated by a line (the page does remind you to do this). You must enter at least three keywords. Check the ‘Abstract only‘ check box. Papers for those submitting them are submitted later.
  6. To edit your submission. You will be able to change your submission until the deadline of September 7th 2012. To change a submission, log in as an author. Click the link with the ‘Paper’ and a number. Click the ‘update information’ link on the right side of the page. Change details as required and then click the Change information button at the bottom of the form. You can also submit a new version, update authors and withdraw using the same page.

Note: If you have any queries, please contact us at or


Project Proposal – Ilka Blue Nelson

Project Proposal

“Weaving stories with deep thinking beyond the limits of the anthropocene, I am trying to recall myself in a more-than-human world.” – Ilka Blue

The great Storyteller Robert Bly says mythology feeds our soul in the same way that science feeds our brain. So while our minds expand with discoveries like quantum physics, our souls are starved in the modern world that has historically rejected mythology. The challenge is to remember our mythological bodies so we can evolve in relationship with the more-than-human world. Deep Ecologist John Seed calls this “evolutionary remembering”.

Ecocide is not only the death of natural habitats, as biodiversity dies we loose our own diversity. Nature sustains us beyond the physical realm. Contemporary societies are awaking to the complexity of our dependence on nature including: psychological, spiritual, societal and pedagogical needs. For centuries mythologies have revealed these significant connections between self and environment. For example, in Pakeha myths the forest represents the place where initiation rites occur in order to transform innocence into maturity. As global deforestation increases we physically loose essential ecologies as well as vital reference points for the maturation of our emotional intelligence.

The opportunity of this project is to share and interlace cultural mythologies (Maori and Pakeha) that uncover and strengthen the reciprocal connection between individual and environmental health. It is a participatory dialogue in resistance to a paradigm of ‘mono-sapiens’. The project stakes out diverse spaces as potential ecological strongholds that will be documented (by participants) using multi-media and published via the social media platform Placestories.
Ilka Blue is the resident Magician heading the transdisciplinary studio The Last Tree. With roots deep in Bundjalung Country Australia, we branch far & wide to work with community projects. We’re currently focused on discovering the potential of storytelling as a pattern recognition & adaptation tool used to remediate biodiverse ecosystems (cultural & biological). Our practice weaves deep ecology with mythological connections to a more-than-human world. The Last Tree and Ilka Blue share a penchant for patterns and boundless passion for our planet.








Project Proposal – Guy van Belle

Within the context and continuation of the projects I have been doing over the last years I would like to propose to work out a short collaborative/open project on location, with one or more Maori artists. My own background is within the areas of sound and music, extending what I call ‘media writing’ (or “writing” with all possible media) to more interactive forms of online involvement and creativity. Over the last years I have been trying to introduce radically ecological components within new and experimental forms of art, related to current communication and multidisciplinary media forms. The purpose is to bring out a new awareness and at the same time a new sense of sensibility.

In most of my works, I am trying to work on the borderline with sound and music, but again on the edge, exploring possible relationships between the auditive and visual, starting from a perceptive point of view. Over the last years I have been living within a very multilinguistic context, and am becoming very much interested in overlapping differences. For instance, how come that certain terms in completely different language families reflect similarity, as if a master translator was at work. In a more abstract sense I would like to work in New Zealand with onomatopoeia words, which can bridge cultural differences between all age and gender categories, and different cultural backgrounds.

An onomatopoeia or onomatop¦ia (about this sound pronunciation (US), from the Greek ὀνοματοποιία; [1]  ὄνομα for “name”[2] and  ποιέω for “I make”,[3] adjectival form: “onomatopoeic” or “onomatopoetic”) is a word that imitates or suggests the source of the sound that it describes. Onomatopoeia (as an uncountable noun) refers to the property of such words. Common occurrences of onomatopoeia include animal noises, such as “oink” or “meow” or “roar”. Onomatopoeia are not the same across all languages; they conform to some extent to the broader linguistic system they are part of; hence the sound of a clock may be tick tock in English, dī dā in Mandarin, or katchin katchin in Japanese. (Source:

The idea of the project, would be to start recording specific sounds coming from water and stones. Different people would interpret these and transform these sounds through language, making onomatopoeia out of it. It is essential for working with different communities, indigenous or not, to have a local artist involved. I would do everything together with that artist. From the recording of the natural sounds to the community work and contextualisation, to the representation and documentation for a presentation at the end. And when I mean working with another artist I mean working with that artist(s) together, without any hierarchical or leading role, deciding together on every aspect of the resulting work.


Givan Bela (aka Guy Van Belle)  In his early years he studied literature and linguistics, a little philosophy and sculpting but after 1989 he made a radical switch to computer music and experimental media art. Since the millenium bug, he refuses to work but in a collaborative context. Currently he is involved in the artist run organization OKNO, finishing the larger collaborative and experimental ecological art project Time Inventors’ Kabinet <><>. Additionally he is developing a series of ecological mixed media works in the Czech countryside (Vysocina). Apart from lecturing and organizing workshops, he is also finishing a series of articles about ecology and media art, as part of a continuing effort to extend current artistic research. For SCANZ 2012 he is preparing a transcultural media work about onomatopeias. For the 7th of November, 2022, he is preparing a homage to Arseny Avraamov in Baku.<>



Remote Connections – Tracey Benson

Mobile music machine – home made ipod

Despite Australia’s position as an industrialised nation, there are still significant limitations to online access in regional and remote locations. This scenario presents as a challenge as well as an opportunity for residents. Arguably, one of the most negatively impacted demographics are people living on remote Indigenous communities. There is much talk of ‘closing the gap’ between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, which has resulted in a range of policy measures titled ‘Closing the Gap’.These initiatives have implications on a range of issues aside from online access – most significantly access to health, education services, housing and reliable power sources. In remote regions of Australia, there is also the added issue of vulnerability to climate change, which is extreme in Central Australia.

This project explores how strategies and technologies could be used in remote Australia to leapfrog the digital divide, empower communities and help build capacity. There are a number of steps in the life cycle design of the project that allow for the exploration of technologies and building capacity via skill sharing and cultural engagement.

In brief, the steps are:
•    scoping study and environment scan
•    the delivery of a series of skill sharing workshops on location at Alice Springs and Papunya
•    the development of collaborative works in each location utilising digital technology and online tools
•    building networks across communities to share outputs and to enhance communications between locations
•    the presentation of the work in various sites and forums

The scoping exercise is focused on developing a best practice approach to engaging with remote Indigenous communities to collaboratively develop effective information communications technology (ICT) literacy skills and improved access to communications technology. It is also a documentation of my evolving understanding of the many challenges people face in remote areas and the significant impact of the digital divide specifically in smaller remote Indigenous communities.

The other linked concern having a direct impact to online access in remote localities is reliable sources of power. On this topic there has been a number of excellent energy and sustainability initiatives in remote Indigenous communities. I focus specifically on a number of communities in the Central Australian region, mainly Alice Springs, Yuendumu, Papunya and more broadly Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY).

My decision to research online access for remote Indigenous communities came about after I read an article discussing the high uptake of mobile phones in remote communities, particularly ‘smart’ phones with 3G Internet access. This was shortly after attending ‘Web Directions South 2010’ in Sydney where I was switched on to flexible device delivery with a web standards approach (which encompasses accessible and usable design). The developments in HTML and CSS have added increased flexibility and functionality to web design, making websites more elegant and streamlined. I also have an interest in researching semantic web and geolocation technologies and their application to genealogy and Indigenous kinship systems.

Over the years I have run many workshops in regional areas, with a focus on ‘identity’ as a means to explore media in creative ways. In ‘Remote Connections’, I will use this methodology to guide the development of collaborative works about identity and place, which will evolve from the workshops.



Pattern Recognition – Vicki Smith and Aroha Timoti-Coxon

Project Proposal

Tukutuku panels between the poupou in many wharenui are a beautiful series of patterns, the holders of memory and complementary to the story told in the kowhaiwhai, and whakairo that also decorate the walls and roof. They are complex patterns of single or crossed stitches that reveal their information to those who can look beyond the seemingly random pattern.

A black-and-white photograph of two unidentified Māori women working on tukutuku panels (woven panels) inside Rangiātea, the Anglican church at Ōtaki on the lower west coast of the North Island of New Zealand taken by Walter R Oliver around 1947 and its negative measures 5 cm x 7 cm. Accessed from TePapa Image Collection.

QR or Quick Response codes are also holders of information to the discerning viewer or those who have the technology to unlock the code embedded in the pattern of squares. This can be a scanner or reader usually on a late generation mobile phone or tablet.

This project proposes to take the craft of tukutuku and to create panels that are accessible via QR readers to be installed around the city. The first stage would be to explore the tukutuku panels of the Owae marae to hear their stories and to understand how these are told. Through researching the meaning and gaining an understanding of patterns and themes used locally it is hoped the memories are shared as well the objectives for the iwi, and the environment around them.

The information gathered will then be situated online and a QR code created to access this, referencing the world wide web as the biggest repository of ‘woven information’ [Tukutuku-Ao-Whanui].

The final stage of the project will be the creation and installation of the QR/Tukutuku within the city and environment of Taranaki. The act of creation of the work in public space will serve to engage the local community in conversation about issues of environmental impact locally and to seek to build connections with the future and creative solutions.

The artist would prefer to work through this process alongside manu whenua of Mankorihi pa and as a workshop with local youth. Ideally exploring the possibility of creating the QR codes with enough coding information but also flexible enough to emulate in some manner the patterns of environment or environmental dislocation they refer to.

For more information please see: Pattern Recognition Project Page


Vicki Smith is an interdisciplinary artist, educator, digital storyteller and community agent using a range of creative tools. She is one of a global collective of artists who began performing through networked environments in the last millenia and is co-creator of UpStage (a realtime online performance environment) that is ‘made in NZ’ and internationally acknowledged especially through the annual festivals she co-curates.

Vicki is an observer, explorer and navigator siting one of her current works on an 11 metre sailing vessel – Kiritea. She has always been interested in how digital spaces can be site and tools for exploring traditional technologies. Through her online activities, she is part of an arts and education community that is global.

Aroha Timoti-Coxon is a weaver who currently lives in Hokitika, she is Ngai Tahu (Te Runaka o Makaawhio). In 2004 Aroha spent two months working on the Tukutuku panels at Te Tauraka Waka a Maui. She has taught at most of the local schools (including the ICARUS project Raraka Wanaka). Aroha has also taught Tuahiwi Marae, and wanaka with high school rangatahi over the christmas holidays 2008 – 2009. Aroha has taught at staff at Department of Conservation as well as the Driftwood and Sands Symposia. Vicki and Aroha have worked on several projects together since first meeting at a Raraka Wanaka (Weaving workshop) that Aroha ran through Karoro Learning in 2008.