ah man. why did it all have to get so nasty? I was enjoying this
conversation until it hit a gnarly bitter bend. Anyways, I want to take
this down another road if I can. No one has also mentioned the amazing
work Julian is doing in Wanganui. Hes getting involved on the local
scene and inviting local and 'over-the-seas' artists to come and do cool
this is what i (dimly) remember of NZ - it takes someone to step up and
do something. The big problem here tho is that, often when that person
walks away the whole thing collapses. I shudder to think what would
happen if Zoe had walked away from AF in the last years...who would have
taken over? So, my point is, I think an interesting strategy is to see
what could be done to support people already doing things, with
the hope that with some support they can keep doing it...why not, for
example, an ADA app to rally behind and support Julians work? He clearly
has the motivation in this area and is (in my opinion) a very community
minded and generous guy - so it might be nice to get behind him. Of
course, I can't speak for Julian, and I dont know what discussions may
have already taken place within ADA about this, so its just a on-the-fly
Also, thanks Zita for pointing out the non-acknowledgement of Leons
amazing offer. Pretty fantastic. I hope there is someone to take it up.
I would if I could but wellys a bit of a long commute for me at the
mo (see next email...)...
On Mon, 2009-10-05 at 10:21 +1300, Zita Joyce wrote:
well all the other posts are quite long so i just
skimmed them, and
then went and wrote a long one of my own. trying not to get grumpy,
This has all been very entertaining, and is fairly well worn ground.
Many of us over here have enjoyed the facilities and opportunities
various spaces, residencies, and organisations in
Europe and are
aware that we don't have facilities that directly
match them here.
There are a few things we do have here that are an attempt to
that lack in a way we can achieve here, and there are
things that can be done.
It should be relatively apparent that it's easy for people in New
Zealand find it a bit tiring to hear what we should be doing from
people who are in other places. Yes, sure great ideas, wanna help
it happen? Cause we're pretty busy already.
It's not (just) about 'funding' it's about someone actually stepping
up and doing something. As Bronwyn pointed out earlier that's what
Makerspace in Wellington is about, and it's also
Creative Space is about (Damian you may have seen Phil
at the ADA Symposium). They are both maybe more geek
than your ideal european 'media lab /
whatever', but they are spaces
started, in Phil's case, after visiting exactly those places, in
Vienna and such, and finding a practical way to do a version of that
here, with dreams of making it bigger + better. The chch group has a
space that gets used twice a week as a drop in and hang out + do
space - it's about skill + project sharing, about
coding and cross
stitch, and about building community.
Leon de Lorenzo has offered a space of his own in wellington as a
possible starting point for something as well. That's a bloody great
thing to see, and no-one seems to have acknowledged it (unless i
glazed over at that bit). What helps is actually stepping up +
offering something, not bitching from afar (not saying that's what
some of you are doing, but it's easily read that way).
I've kind of skimmed most of this discussion, but there are a few
things that leap out that I'll pluck from the midst...
> what is so 'unique' about New Zealand that
> means that what works very well in more or less every country in
just won't work there?
As douglas has been saying, and as is quite obvious, we are not a
country that is attached to a whole lot of other countries, and do
have the kind of people + money flow that those
countries + cities
have. As well as, and probably more difficult than that, we are
cross two pretty big islands and just cannot have the
relatively easy flow in and out of a central place as others do.
Access to an organisation in Vienna from within Austria and a few
other countries is a completely different scale than access to an
organisation in any nz city is.
that is not, ffs,
the kind of post-colonial islander vanity that
defaults to all-excusing apathy; of New Zealand being a land of
cursed, hard-up battlers gripped with cultural isolationism.
geographical reality that we find myriad ways to work
+ also celebrate, that we are enriched by and
A lot of us here travel a lot, we are actually
involved with the
world, and we come back here for many productive reasons.
I think that it is more interesting + more productive in the long
to find ways to make the most of that unique geography
isolation to create a different kind of distributed, mobile model of
building community between practitioners, sharing skills, and
access to equipment. I don't believe in
concentrating all of the
resources for a particular form of practice in a room in a city in
What ADA, for example, is working towards, is creating opportunities
for connection, skill sharing, and ideally equipment access, that is
as accessible as possible for the whole country. That's why we move
the symposium to a different place every time, and more or less swap
between the north and south islands. This year we expanded the
symposium with workshops, which was hugely successful, and we'll try
to increase access to skills + connections every time. This list is
ideally a distributed space for building community + ideas about
access etc, but it doesn't get used as much for that as it could. We
have another project re equipment to announce at our amazingly
accessible and distributed AGM on sunday that I can't speak to
authoritatively enough yet. Basically we are about being as
distributed as possible, and that I think is far more interesting +
ultimately productive in this weird distributed country than being
The symposium is a kind of mobile lab i guess, and I'd like to see
other more 'labby' / project and workshops-based mobile labs happen
different places around the country, but I don't
have time to
ADA isn't, and shouldn't be, the answer to this 'media lab' thing,
it would be great if every city had someone who sticks
to create a space on some scale for connection +
think it would be great if there could be some funding
multiple small-scale spaces, but they need to be able to survive
without it, because surely NAct could dismantle CNZ at any moment,
the open Society Initiative doesn't see nz as a
and we can't get any of the european funds etc
etc. That's not
proclaiming hard-upness, it's just pointing out that we have to do
On 5/10/2009, at 4:45 AM, Julian Oliver wrote:
> Anyway, as I say, you know the weather in NZ better than I. The
> picture you
> paint is of a country of careerists too self-interested to
skills and knowledge. If so, that's both boring and sad.
oh, right, I see it more as a country of people with no concept of a
'career' (how the hell does that work?) in media art, who are unsure
of themselves and their work in relation to the kind of work being
made in other places, and who are not part of the flow of
residencies, etc that traverses Europe, so just
don't get to see +
inspired by a whole lot of stuff, and who get together
every year or
so to poublicly disseminiate skills and knowledge at ADA symposia,
may not feel they have things to offer at other
No wonder media artists I know that've
visited NZ return entirely
lost as to why
they couldn't find or connect with any local scene of makers.
because there just isn't one!
No indeed maybe there isn't one. Musicians of course return feeling
like they've just connected with an amazingly active + creative
and I imagine that artists in other media (as opposed
would feel much the same. Those are long established scenes that
thrive on little money and are well supported by art schools,
mythology, venues of various kinds, people's homes, studios, and
artist-run spaces, etc... none of which the 'media art' scene has or
I don't know what the answer is, I still hope ADA is part of it, but
it's hard to get away from the feeling that money is. I (obviously)
don't think that investing in a centralised resource is the answer,
but I'd be really interested in hearing some more innovative,
distributed, community-building, creative possibilities that could
involve money. I'd be even more interested in hearing from people
are keen to help make things happen.
(there are some pretty obvious institutional elephants in this
conversation as well of course, which probably make a lot of people
nervous about what can happen to centralised resources, therefore,
more distributed = better)
> Better to see public money in NZ go into a project of this kind
Shockwave Flash art on a DVD or some artist's for-sale, month-long
somewhere in Ponsonby..
you could actually look at the cnz funding outcomes online and see
what they do fund.
+ I've completely forgotten what this whole thing was about in the
first place - cnz strategic plan anyone?
home: New Zealand
based: Berlin, Germany
currently: Berlin, Germany
Ada_list mailing list
Ada_list mailing list
Founder FLOSS Manuals
German mobile : + 49 15 2230 54563
Email : adam(a)flossmanuals.net
"Free manuals for free software"