Day 3, Stream 3
Resistance is Fertile
Andrea Eimke: colab, AUT University, New Zealand
Angela Tiatia: Independent artist, Sydney
Clinton Watkins: colab, AUT University, New Zealand
Laurent Antonczak: colab, AUT University, New Zealand
Charles Walker: colab, AUT University, New Zealand
Last, loneliest, loveliest, exquisite, apart
On us, on us the unswerving season smiles,
Who wonder ‘mid our fern why men depart
To seek the Happy Isles
Rudyard Kipling The Song of the Cities – Auckland (c.1895)
Written at the high point of the British imperial globalisation project, Kipling’s romanticisation of physical remoteness – apartness – and the qualities of beauty, isolation and difference it evokes, remains at the core of a contested, yet pervasive, narrative of identity that links individuals, institutions and industries across a diverse range of creative and cultural practices in New Zealand.
In our own age, it has become routine to assert that time, space and distance have been compressed, subsumed, augmented, eliminated and/or replaced by relations, experiences or symbolic values. From this viewpoint also, digital art is frequently characterised as indicative of an assumed universal shift from ‘traditional’ practices towards novel forms of cultural production, interaction and consumption.
Yet, for New Zealand, the most remote OECD country, with an agriculture-based economy and small population, “the enormity of the globe” remains a significant factor (Le Heron and Roche, 1995, p.25). New Zealand’s culture has historically been shaped by the profound experience of remoteness; simultaneously material (distance from population centres, markets, cosmopolitan culture, industry, raw materials, pollution, audiences) and immaterial (metropolitan discourses, ideas, social networks, cultural capital). At the same time, this isolation also offers access to new forms of cultural capital (e.g. the rhetorics of nature, environmental purity, sustainability, self-reliance or cultural distinctiveness).
This panel session will address the theoretical, practical, philosophical and rhetorical implications of remoteness or (exquisite) apartness as locus of resistance. We present creative projects and speculations by colab members and partners, and other ISEA2013 participants who recognise issues of the remote in space, time, politics or culture.
Charles Walker graduated in architecture from Edinburgh College of Art. He has an MSc in Urban Development from the Faculty of Business at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow and a PhD in Architecture from the University of Auckland. He has practised and taught in the UK, Middle East and New Zealand, designed buildings, objects and virtual environments, and curated and exhibited in major public exhibitions. Current research explores place-based imaginaries, and new models for collaboration across diverse ecologies of practice. He is a founding co-director of colab, a trans-disciplinary colaboratory for creative technologies based at AUT, developing innovative models for research, knowledge transfer and entrepreneurial practice across the design, electronic arts, digital humanities, science and technology sectors.
Angela Tiatia is a multimedia artist and curator whose work has been exhibited in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Mexico City and Honolulu as well as throughout New Zealand and Australia. In her practice, Tiatia explores structures and exchanges of power at interpersonal, group and international levels, and how these interactions affect identity, with particular consideration of their impact on the commercialisation and representation of the Pacific. Tiatia gained a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Auckland (2002) and a Bachelor of Visual Arts from Auckland University of Technology (2012). She grew up in South Auckland, Australia and Samoa with her mother and two sisters, and now lives in Sydney with her husband and son. Recent exhibitions include: Edging and Seaming, Wellington City Gallery, NZ (2013); Home AKL, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, NZ (2012); Culture Currency, Casula Powerhouse, Sydney (2012); ATA, Harris Gallery, Los Angeles (2012); Foreign Objects, Fresh Gallery, Otara, NZ (2011); Neo-Colonial Extracts,Te Tuhi, Pakuranga, NZ and Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato, Hamilton, NZ (2011); Samoan Art: Urban, de Young Museum, San Francisco, USA (2010); Tiaho (To Shine), Instituto Latino de Mexico, Coyacoan, Mexico City (2010); and 100th Street Art Salon, Armory Art Week, New York (2010).
Clinton Watkins investigates affect through the construction of combined immersive experiences of sound, colour and scale. His work focuses on the characteristics, structures, phenomena and processing of sonic and visual material, and his installations incorporate found and custom-made audio and video hardware to create repetition, distortion, duration and form, distilled via a minimalist sensibility. He has exhibited in solo and curated group exhibitions throughout New Zealand, Australia and Europe, and is represented by Starkwhite Gallery, Auckland. Watkins is also a practising experimental musician who regularly produces and performs as a solo artist and collaboratively, most recently working with artist Santiago Sierra. He has a Doctorate from Elam School of Fine Arts, and lectures in experimental time-based media in colab at AUT. Recent exhibitions include Delta, Air New Zealand In-Flight Entertainment System (2012-13) and Transcode, Wellington City Art Gallery (2012).
Born in Germany, and now a permanent resident of Atiu, Cook Islands, Andrea Eimke lives amidst the influences of her European heritage and her adopted Polynesian environment. This liminal space forms the conceptual basis of her current work. After primary and secondary schooling in Düsseldorf she studied languages at Heidelberg University. Subsequent work as a translator, interpreter, and management secretary took her to Spain, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria. A radical life change aged thirty began with a formal embroidery apprenticeship and migration to Atiu. With local shareholders, she founded the Atiu Fibre Arts Studio, and has been director there since 1986. She has promoted tivaivai (traditional Cook Islands textile art) in numerous national and international exhibitions through her own artworks and video documentaries about the art. In 2009, she co-authored Tivaivai – The Social Fabric of the Cook Islands with Dr. S. Küchler. In 2011/2012, she exhibited the outcomes of her Master of Art and Design, Third Space, at Powerhouse Museum, Sydney. Her current PhD research at colab combines traditional barkcloth with smart textiles.
Laurent Antonczak is a multicultural entrepreneur specialising in Digital Strategies (branding, visual communication, social media, transmedia and information architecture) and emerging technologies (web and mobile phones). He operates globally, with a particular interest in New Zealand, France and Japan. Laurent is one of the co-founders of MINA (Mobile Innovation Network Aotearoa), which aims to explore the possibilities of interaction between people, content and the emerging mobile industry. He lectures and supervises students in New Media and Visual Communication mainly at Postgraduate level (on campus and online delivery) at colab.