UNCONTAINABLE: Second Nature
UNCONTAINABLE: Second Nature
Curated by Ian Clothier with an advisory panel of Nina Czegledy, Trudy Lane and Tengaruru Wineera, the exhibition crosses cultural and discipline boundaries. A cultural bridge has been constructed, based on a framework of both Māori and European knowledge. Five themes from within European and Māori world views were located: cosmological context, all is energy, life emerged from water, anthropic principle and integrated systems. All the selected works address more than one of these thematic regions.
Given the intercultural bridge, works from art and science are recontextualised as cultural texts symbolic of belief systems. Discipline is not fixed, but fluid in a transformational environment. In the exhibition, digital and post-digital exist in a state of hybridity.
Lanfranco Aceti, ISEA2011 Istanbul Artistic Director and Özden Şahin, Program Director
UNCONTAINABLE: Second Nature is part of the Official Parallel Program of
the 12th Istanbul Biennial.
This project is supported by Toi Aotearoa The Arts Council of New Zealand, Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki, Intercreate.org, ISEA 2011 Istanbul and the Embassy of New Zealand, Ankara.
Julian Oliver – psworld 2011
psworld is work of 'philosoftware'. It began as a modification of the utility'ps', found on all UNIX and UNIX-like operating systems, a program used byprograms and people to list the processes running on a computer.
psworld maps these processes onto visual features in the world, creating a perceptual dependence between a computer and the world around it. As the computer's visible surroundings change, the instability of the operating system increases.
psworld at ISEA 2011 Istanbul is affixed with a 400x microscope. Micro-organisms, typically Protozoaor motile and non-motile freshwater algae define the world upon which psworld depends.
Lisa Reihana and James Pinker - Whanaunga 2011
Whanaunga has been commissioned for ISEA Istanbul and features Maui, a semi-god from the whakapapa (genealogy)–cosmological framework of Maori awareness. The importance of water is underlined in the short moving image work, which also features a form of digital taniko (weaving).
The figure of Maui and the video used in this work is orientated in Reihana’s Digital Marae series which inverted colonial appropriation by appropriating Western advertising production values as an artistic strategy. This approach straddled cultures in Aotearoa New Zealand decisively, but in a way that interconnected the two main cultures of the land.
Julian Priest – Information comes from the sun 2011
Information comes from the sun mixes lights sensors and animation with ‘objects’ collected from the Whanganui River environs. These include water gathered from a scared stream which according to Māori custom must be collected by women only, a protocol followed here.
The collected units in conjunction with the digital interface constitute a small scale integrated system, and point to post-digital discourse.
Sonja van Kerkhoff, Sen McGlinn and Toroa Pohatu - Kāinga a roto Home within 2011
This work directly addresses notion of integrated systems. A culture – a symbol system - is one integrated system. The human person is an integrated system (memory, hopes, relationships, reason and spirituality), and so is an individual biography. A person, seen as a system, is a microcosm in contrast to the natural world's macrocosm, which contains elemental systems - of water, wind and earth, and of the biosphere.
Kāinga a roto (Home Within) is an art-system, consisting of five distinct videos, with sounds, lights and shadows, and a physical space. This art-system is used to represent the complex system of a particular biography (growing up in Taranaki), using a visual language composed of references to the natural world (water in particular, but also earth, wind and bird life) influenced by Maori cultural values.
Sophie Jerram and Dugal McKinnon – Te Kore Street of Breaths 2011
In Maori cosmology, Te Kore is the void of potential, the moment before the universe was created. This work proposes to bring an experience of the void of potential into the phatic and microcosmic: to bring awareness to the viewer of the place just before we inhale. This pause that takes place once our lungs are empty is the parallel to the pre-life moment.
The artists in this work are exploring relationships between Te Kore and the streets of Istanbul, navigating a phenomenological shift from exterior public space to interior private which is also a cosmological space — the boundless space of interiority.
Jo Tito – Mauri Wai - Mauri Wai Mauri Ora 2011
This work explores the Māori concept of energy or mauri. The stone carries the energy of the land from which it comes, as well as the stories and energies gathered on it’s journey here. Following the acknowledgement of the mauri of this stone, it is seen as encapsulating all the works that are presented here.
The integrated nature of the Māori world is also captured. A rock is shaped by water flowing from the mountain through the landscape to the sea. Wai is Māori for water and is contained in the question: “ko wai au?” – “who am I?” Water is seen as part of who we are. As such the human connection to the environment is apparent, and the importance of water as essential to the survival of the planet and people can be discerned on reflection.
Mike Paulin - Computational Visualization of the Electromagnetic Sensory World of Sharks, 2008
This is a mathematical work which fundamentally utilises computational modeling for both the dogfish and the electromagnetic sphere according which it navigates. The shark’s system for detecting prey is also modeled. Paulin is not however solely interested in computation, discussing the way the “shark’s electrosensory system evolved, from simple(r) creatures that drifted with the ocean currents, gathering small amounts of information … to sophisticated creatures extracting every bit of information from every available channel in the environment and picking a path through it …. there’s a story there, about art and science and storytelling as ways of seeing and navigating.”
The interconnected world of Māori is also referenced, with Paulin documenting the energy of the planet – the electromagnetic sphere – and aligning that with swimming life forms, which can also be read as a representation of the Maori belief that life comes from the sea.
Paul Moss – Photo Astronomy
The images of Paul Moss, taken as they are via telescope stand in contrast to the microscopic work of Julian Oliver. Moss’s work is also a reminder that cosmological context is almost as universal globally as culture itself, as there are very few cultures that do not observe some form of cosmology.
There is a poetry attempted in the exhibition with Moss’s images within the same space as the words of Te Huirangi Waikerepuru, and direct linkages there, while also experienced concurrently with Te Kore Street of Breaths by Sophie Jerram and Dugal McKinnon.
Dr Te Huirangi Waikerepuru - Mātaranga Māori
Mātaranga Māori according to The National Library of New Zealand ‘in a traditional context means the knowledge, comprehension or understanding of everything visible or invisible that exists across the universe.' Te Huirangi Waikerepuru is a widely respected kaumatua (elder) and nationally known in Aotearoa New Zealand for his contribution to the radio spectrum and subsequently Maori Television. He has provided consultancy on the project conception and has written the chart that forms the backbone of the exhibition, based on a lifetime of involvement and engagement in Mātaranga Māori.
Rachel Rakena - One man is an island
In 2009 Rakena began creating work based on a form of moteatea, a traditional chanted Maori song. The series, 'He Waiata Whaiaipo', commenced with three videos entitled 'Kaore te aroha (Endless is the love)', 'Ka u te kai a te Po' and 'One man is an Island'. These works employ the act of eating as a metaphor to play out ideas about desire, pursuit and fulfillment. A solitary and self-contained male figure eats at the table of Tangaroa (the god of the sea) in a dark water world, which is at once sensuous and forbidding - evoking narratives of Narcissus, Maui and Hine nui Te Po. Water has long been a prominent feature of the artist's work and it surfaces in 'One man is an Island' to provide a poetically amniotic medium for the expression of ideas about love and culture.
Bios of the Artists
Ian M Clothier – curator
Ian Clothier is Director of Intercreate Research Centre (intercreate.org), Founder and Co-director of SCANZ residency, symposium and exhibition and Senior Academic at Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki New Zealand. As an artist his projects intersect art, technology, science and culture. Recent creative projects include the integrated systems The Park Speaks and Haiku robots; and the hybrid cultural Making History a project of his internet micronation The District of Leistavia. He has had thirteen solo shows and been selected for exhibition at institutions in twelve countries including three ISEA exhibitions; What if at Puke Ariki Museum New Zealand; ISEA 2009 Belfast Ireland exhibition; Taranaki culture at Puke Ariki; ISEA 2008 Singapore symposium; net.NET at The JavaMuseum; for Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival in the USA (upstate New York); ISEA 2006 San Jose exhibition; Graphite at the University of Otago NZ; the First International Festival of Electronic Art in Rio de Janeiro; Fair Assembly at ZKM; New Forms Festival in Vancouver; ISEA 2004 Tallinn/Helsinki exhibition; ReJoyce in Dublin and Wild 2002 in the Tasmanian Museum. He was awarded a Converge Artist Fellowship at the University of Canterbury in 2005 for an augmented reality project. Written work has been published in respected journals, Leonardo, Convergence and Digital Creativity and he has delivered papers to conferences and symposia worldwide.
Curatorial experience includes the current exhibition; Inter:place at Puke Ariki Museum 2010; selection panel member for SCANZ 2011: Eco sapiens; SCANZ 2009: Raranga Tangata; Solar Circuit Aotearoa New Zealand 2006; WITT-wide an exhibition covering work by staff of all departments of Taranaki’s Institute of Technology at Taranaki in 2009; Interactive City selection panel for ISEA 2006; with several gallery positions held between 1984 and 1992.
Dr Te Huirangi Waikerepuru
Te Huirangi Waikerepuru is a Taranaki kaumatua with a nationally significant record of contributions to the cultural life of Aotearoa including early work in developing Māori Television and ensuring a path for legislation of the Māori language to be held as a national taonga (treasure). He is Te Kāhui Kaumātua for the Tertiary Education Union Council, serves as a Guardian of Taranaki, fulfils the role of Cultural Advisor to WITT and is a prize winning author of childrens books in Te Reo Māori. He holds an Honorary Doctorate for his contribution to Māori submissions on the radio spectrum.
Julian Oliver is an award winning New Zealand artist based in Berlin. He won the Golden Nica at Prix Ars Electronica in 2011. He has been active in the critical intersection of art and technology since 1998. His projects and the occasional paper have been presented at many museums, international electronic-art events and conferences, including the Tate Modern, Transmediale, Ars Electronica and the Japan Media Arts Festival. His work has received several awards, ranging from technical excellence to artistic invention and interaction design.
Julian has given numerous workshops and master classes in software art, augmented reality, creative hacking, data forensics, object-oriented programming for artists, virtual architecture, artistic game-development, information visualisation, UNIX/Linux and open source development practices worldwide. He is a long-time advocate of the use of free software in artistic production, distribution and education.
Lisa Reihana is a Maori artist who has played a leading role in the development of film and multimedia art in Aotearoa New Zealand. Her works communicate complex ideas about indigenous identity and bi-cultural living, and are drawn from eclectic sources, including Maori mythology and contemporary culture. Reihana reinterprets important oral histories and customary lore, making them available to a collective Aotearoa New Zealand consciousness through their contemporary presentation.
Julian Priest is an artist and independent researcher. He was co-founder of early wireless freenetwork community Consume.net in London. He became an activist and advocate for the freenetworking movement and has pursued wireless networking as a theme in fields of arts, development, and policy. He was one of the instigators of WSFII, the world summits on free information infrastructures, an international series of events to promote grass roots information infrastructures.
He has commented on radio spectrum policy and co-founded policy intervention OpenSpectrum UK to advocate an open spectrum in the public interest, in Europe and the UK. Since 2005 he has developed an artistic practice around participatory and collaborative forms and has shown works internationally in the UK, Latvia, Germany and New Zealand. He has worked with the Banff New Media Institute in Canada as peer advisor to post graduate students at the Almost Perfect residency and has lectured in Online and Interactive media at Whanganui School of Design and Auckland University of Technology.
He is currently focused on art practice and his current interests are themes around the physical and cultural boundaries between technology and the environment, particularly on energy and information. He is based in Whanganui, New Zealand where is director of project room 'The Green Bench'.
Jo Tito Is a creative entrepreneur and artist who is passionate about art and bringing about change in the world. An innate connection to the land and environment inspires her creativity and the stories she tells through her work. She has been a photographer for the past 16 years and is also a multi-media artist working in painting, sculpture and digital storytelling. She also has a background in health and education and has worked at the grass roots level of community using art as a tool for change.
Connections and relationships are important to her and are at the heart of everything she does. Over the past 10 years, she has have had the privilege of working with some of the most talented artists from around the world through overseas travel, exhibitions, festivals and gatherings.
Sophie Jerram is an independent Wellington-based artist, curator and writer, interested in inter-disciplinary practice and in working outside conventional museological contexts.
Her work includes Last Grasp and Refined Life for Article Biennial, Stavanger, Norway (September 2010) www.article.no-en, Refined Life at Green Bench’s BURN Show (December 2010), the animated film Mud People of Tawharanui, Tawharanui Open Sanctuary, Rodney District (March 2010); Oil on Troubled Water at Enjoy Gallery Wellington (2007) and the Water Show, at the Physics Room, Christchurch 2008. She produced and wrote cult 2005 short film "Fatty", (directed Colin Hodson).
As a curator her work has concerned artistic intervention into public sites. This includes the inter0disciplinary lecture series Dialogues with Tomorrow with Dugal McKinnon at Downstage Theatre 2010 and 2011, Letting Space with Mark Amery (2010-2011), Bombs Away (Physics Room Christchurch and Adam Art Gallery Wellington), Posted Love (National Library 1998,) Letting Space (Auckland 1993). Together with Dugal McKinnon she has established an ongoing partnership to examine and promote artistic responses to climate change, Now Future.
Dugal McKinnon is a composer of electronic, instrumental and multimedia work, a sound artist and a writer on contemporary music. His work has received performances in Australasia, Europe, North America and Asia. Current projects include new works for saxophonist Richard Haynes (AUS) and the Lunapark ensemble (NL), both developed during an artist residency at ZKM (Karlsruhe, DE). He is co-director with Sophie Jerram of Now Future, an organisation founded to foster interdisciplinary research and production at the intersection of art and ecology. Dugal holds a PhD in Composition from the University of Birmingham (UK), where he studied with Dr Jonty Harrison. His doctorate was completed while on a DAAD Stipendium at the Technische Universität Berlin. He teaches sonic art and composition at the New Zealand School of Music (Wellington, NZ) where he is the director of the Lilburn Electroacoustic Music Studios.
Sonja van Kerkhoff
Sonja van Kerkhoff (Hawera, Taranaki, Aotearoa/New Zealand, 1960) was born to a Dutch father and a Scottish-Irish New Zealand mother in a family of nine and raised on a dairy farm under the mountain. She studied at the Otago School of Arts in Dunedin (1982) and moved to The Netherlands in 1989, gaining a diploma from the Maastricht Academy of Arts, and later a MSc. in Media Technology at Leiden university. Often her videos, installations, interactive works, sculpture or drawings relate to a type of telling that plays with meanings or associations. A lyrical sensibility dominates over the biographical, making these works more about ideas. Viewers often need to take action as part of the experience of the work. She often collaborates with others and many individuals have contributed to Kāinga a roto (Home Within), in particular, Toroa Pohatu and Sen McGlinn.
He toa takitini taku toa, ehara i te toa takitahi
Success is not individual but collective.
Mike Paulin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Zoology at Otago University with a research interest in evolutionary biology and computational models based on experimental data coupled with interactive 3D graphics. Post graduate research supervisions include projects such as electrosensory prey detection in the dogfish; coding of head movements in bullfrog vestibular system; and an interactive 3D model of the mandible with clinical applications in dentistry.
Paul Moss was called “Renaissance Man” by the Dominion Post - his activities include photo-astronomy, video, visual arts and events management. As an astronomer he mobilized over 1300 people to look through a telescope as part of a world record attempt during the international event 100 hours of Astronomy. His video installation 'Southern Skies' played in Southland Museum and Art Gallery in 2010. He directed Space Radio for the opening night of the Museum of Audio Visual at Foxton funded by Creative New Zealand and the Horowhenua Community Trust. He also managed camera and recording crew for the Parihaka International Peace Festival main stage screen.
Born in 1969 in Wellington, New Zealand. Of Maori and European/Pakeha descent (Ngai Tahu, Nga Puhi) Rakena has a Master of Fine Arts (Distinction) and is a lecturer at Massey University, School of Maori Visual Arts. She has been exhibiting widely for more than 10 years throughout New Zealand, Australia and Europe, and in the UK and USA. Rakena is a video artist who frequently collaborates. In 2007, 'Aniwaniwa' a collaborative project with Brett Graham was included in the collateral events section of the 2007 Venice Biennale. Other major international exhibitions of recent years have included the Busan Biennale, 2008 and Sydney Biennale 2006. In work that is both ethereal and political, she employs a new language and new tools derived from digital media and video to invoke a contemporary Maori identity that is timeless and fluid. She is a highly innovative artist who explores the application of contemporary technology to articulate timeless notions of Maori culture and identity that flow from the past, through the present and into the future.