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Taranaki technology to feature in US Art show

Taranaki technology to feature in US Art show

Technology developed by Taranaki arts organisation Intercreate ( will feature in an art exhibition in Albuquerque, USA in September. The art-technology involves using data sensors connected to the internet. Online, each data reading corresponds to audio. This means that the resulting sound is controlled by the data sensors.

The exhibition is the 18th International Symposium on Electronic Art (, which showcases leading art and technology projects.

Intercreate developed the technology for a project where sensors were located in Pukekura Park. The Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki (WITT), Auckland University of Technology (AUT) CoLab, Puke Ariki and NPDC were project partners. The resulting art work was shown in Puke Ariki in 2011. For that project, the sensors detected temperature, UV and also counted people. The data was related to spoken phrases that were heard in the exhibition space. That project was called 'The Park Speaks.'

For Albuquerque, sensors located in Opunake - temperature, tree voltage and light - will control sounds heard in the 516 Arts Gallery ( The sounds heard are those made by playing traditional Maori and Navajo instruments. Darren Ward of Weltec recorded the traditional Maori sounds using instruments he made himself. The Navajo audio is recorded by Albuquerque local Andrew Thomas.

The sensors in the Taranaki town of Opunake are located around the home of Andrew Hornblow, who has custom made the data sensors. Julian Priest and Adrian Soundy worked on the internet part of the project.

The Albuquerque project is called 'Wai', following the direction of Dr Te Huirangi Waikerepuru. Uniting traditional Maori knowledge with leading edge art and technology is an aim of Intercreate projects. The exhibition also includes objects installed in the space - a Pou Hihiri by Te Urutahi Waikerepuru and a model of ocean acidification by Julian Priest, and four videos playing on two data projectors.

One video is made by Sharmila Shamant, an Indian artist currently exhibiting in the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery. Her video features Te Huirangi Waikerepuru talking about Wai, which means water or flow. Jo Tito, a contemporary Maori artist has made a video specifically for the project. The Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences has contributed their video 'Raumoko' which also features Dr Waikerepuru. The fourth video is made by Australian artists Leon Cmielewski and Josephine Starrs, and shows the words of Dr Waikerepuru etched into the Taranaki mountain landscape.

The exhibition opens on September 19th at dawn with Maori and Navajo ceremony, and is supported by WITT and ISEA 2012 Albuquerque.

For further information:
Contains an introduction to Wai, with an image by Jo Tito

Introduces components of the exhibition, and has a visualisation of the exhibition space in Albuquerque
Introduces roles and responsibilities of Te Hunga Wai Tapu, the collaborative group formed for the project

Ian M Clothier
Faculty of Humanities
Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki


Executive Director

March Waterwheel (online) presentation Tunisia
May Presentation at Technoetic telos - Planetary Collegium, Kefalonia Greece
Sept Wai (curator) at 516Arts, ISEA 2012 Albuquerque
Sept Bus garden at ISEA 2012 Albuquerque

Jan-Feb SCANZ 2013 3rd nature (creative director)
Jun Sea of Ubiquity ISEA 2013

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