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The Art of High Tech and History

The Art of High Tech and History

8 November 2015

A high impact sculpture embracing a potted version of New Zealand history with electronic gaming is to be installed on the four plinths on the Waterfront between Te Papa and Circa Theatre. Aluminium sculpture forms each representing a phase of history are to be placed on the top of the two meter high plinths, with QR codes attached to their sides.

The work of Tauranga artist Kereama Taepa, its four pieces in pixelated “space invaders” shapes show a Maori meeting house representing Maori habitation; a mitre, representing the missionaries and early European settlement; a crown, representing the Queen and the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi; and the Beehive representing our current government.

Today’s technology is further conveyed by large QR codes fixed to the sides of each plinth. These take the viewer with a smart phone device to a web-based game in the popular space invaders format with icons similar to the sculptures above the plinths.

The artwork, named a (very) brief history of aotearoa and valued at over $40,000, was selected and commissioned by the Wellington Sculpture Trust and is planned for installation in February 2016 at the commencement of the New Zealand Festival. It will be the fifth in the biennial series of prominent sculptures on the site, named the Four Plinths Sculpture Award.

The existing sculpture, Glen Hayward’s Rita Angus used to grow her own vegetables, will be removed early in the new year.

Sculpture Trust spokesman Neil Plimmer said, “Our panels were impressed by the interface between the sculpture forms on the plinths and the technology. This is an interdisciplinary approach by the artist which will reach a new audience that is young and advanced in the use of technology. But even without that its space-shaped history will have wide appeal.”


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