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Tending Networks: The 5th Aotearoa Digital Arts Symposium
February 22-24, 2008
Design and Arts College of New Zealand, 116 Worcester St, Christchurch.


Introduction, programme, and additional event details below


Tending Networks: The 5th Aotearoa Digital Arts Symposium will address new developments, connections, and opportunities in digital, new media and electronic art practice in New Zealand and internationally.

The symposium will feature presentations by major international artists Young Hae Chang Heavy Industries of Korea, and Adam Hyde, a New Zealander based in Amsterdam. A wide range of artists and researchers from Christchurch and around New Zealand will present current projects, and panel discussions will focus on the creation of new work, including the role of community networks, the value of collaboration, and the challenges posed by exhibiting digital art.

ADA, the Aotearoa Digital Arts Trust, invites artists, researchers, curators, art enthusiasts and all those interested in creative community networks from Christchurch and around New Zealand to participate. More detail on presenters and associated events follows.

Tending Networks takes place February 23-24, 2008,
at the Design and Arts College of New Zealand,
116 Worcester St, Christchurch.
Cost: $50 (waged), $30 (unwaged and Physics Room members)

For registration and more information email:

Tending Networks is supported by The Physics Room Contemporary Art Project Space, Design and Arts College of New Zealand, Creative New Zealand, the Asia New Zealand Foundation, and the ADA Trust.



Friday: Feb 22:

5:30 pm: Exhibition opening
‘A Geekosystem’ by Adam Hyde and Julian Priest at The Physics Room
The show will have been installed/evolving over previous week
(see further details below).

Saturday: Feb 23:

9:30am: Welcome
Registration, introduction, tea+coffee
10:00 –11:00 am: Keynote Presentation: Adam Hyde (nz/nl)
‘Tending networks’, international connections, projects:
Adam will discuss his own work, and also provide an overview of the role of online and offline networks in developing and nurturing new media art and open source software tools. 
11:00 am – 11:30: Morning Tea
11:30 – 12:30: Panel discussion:
Tending networks + building communities
Discussion of the nature of 'community' online, the relationship between on- and off-line communities, issues of participation, and the role of digital communities in tending networks within and beyond new zealand.

Chair: Caroline McCaw
(Artist, designer, senior lecturer in communication design Otago Polytechnic)

Julian Priest
(, free networks, open spectrum, collaborative art,
Emma Hart
(Bardic Web - Collaborative Fiction Communities)
Zita Joyce
(ADA Network, Audio Foundation – on- + off-line community building)
John McCallum
(Southern Oscillations - electronic music collective)

12:30 – 1:30: Lunch

1:30 – 3:00pm: Workshops
Held in A Geekosystem at The Physics Room
Led by Adam Hyde + Julian Priest

3:00 –3:30: Afternoon tea

3:30 – 4:30: Short presentations:
- Jo Burzynska (Sustain magazine)
- Naomi Lamb (VJ logistics at open air festivals)
- Jenna Todd ("The YouTube Criers")
- Aaron + Hannah Beehre (Digital art practice)
- Philip Lindsay (Arduino - open source hardware)
- Annie Bradley ("Interpulsator"
- Lucy Arnold ( - design and craft online)

4:30 – 5:30: ADA Meeting, general screenings and work-showing
A catch-up with the Aotearoa Digital Arts Network, and also a chance for participants to demonstrate or screen work.

8:00 - Onwards: Séance for Nam June Paik
A screening/performance event presenting new works to channel the 'Father of video art' curated by Daniel Agnihotri-Clark
(see below for more details)

Sunday Feb 24:

10:00 – 10:30: Welcome

10:30 – 11:45: Keynote presentation:
This seoul-based artist collective’s multi-lingual, text-based online artworks have been shown at the Tate Modern, the Centre Pompidou, the Whitney Museum and the Venice Biennale. Symposium attendees will have a unique chance to discuss their work and experience a new flash-based, digital artwork generated specifically for the symposium.

11:45 – 12:00:  Morning tea break

12:00 – 1:00:  Panel discussion:
Making and collaborating in new media art
Discussion of the process of making digital + new media art, and the role of collaboration in the realisation of complex projects.

Chair: Daniel Agnihotri-Clark
(Artist, curator and musician, doctoral student and tutor in the School of Fine Arts at Massey University, Wellington)

Stella Brennan
(South Pacific – using sonar, radar and ultrasound to create visual images)
Douglas Bagnall
(Machines that take the tedious work of experimentation, abstraction and learning out of the process of making art)
Eddie Clemens
(Pinball Lanterns kinetic light installation, Auckland Public Library)
Avatar Body Collision
(Globally dispersed troupe of cyberformers, exploring the meeting points of theatre and the internet)

1:00 - 2:00 pm: Lunch   
2:00 - 3:00 pm: Short presentations:
- Daniel Agnihotri clark (Open Source Film)
- Kurt Adams (Drawing Textures - Development of a landscape and negotiating the digital surface)
- Morgan Barnard (Chinese Whisper: Mediating oscillations between the physical and the virtual)
- Luke Munn (‘Window’ online art curation)
- Trudy Lane + Ian Clothier (SCANZ and the Digital Strategy fund educational resources project)

3:00-3:30 pm: Afternoon tea

3:30 – 4:30 pm: Panel discussion:
Curating and presenting new media
Curating, Funding and finding a public for New Media Art: a discussion of the issues curators and artists face.

Chair: Lissa Mitchell
(Te Papa - Collection Manager Art (Photography and Media Art))

Danny Butt
(Elam School of Fine Arts – bringing artists from Aotearoa to exhibit in China)
Trudy Lane
(RCIC - discussing a range of curatorial models past and present involving online media)
Kate Montgomery
(The Physics Room – issues of exhibiting new media art in a gallery space)
Mercedes Vicentte
(Curator of Contemporary Art, Govett Brewster Art Gallery – issues of exhibiting new media art in a gallery space)

4:30 – 5:30: Symposium follow-up and wrap-up session

Additional Events:

A geekosystem, Robert Henke (Monolake), and Seance for Nam June Paik

'A Geekosystem' Exhibition at The Physics Room

By Adam Hyde and Julian Priest

Free walk-in workshops: 18–22 February 2008
A Geekosystem Launch: Friday 22 February 2008, 5:30pm
Project Exhibition: 23 February–22 March 2008

A Geekosystem is a collection of interconnected recycled devices constructed, contributed and connected by visitors to the gallery. Throughout the entire week (18–22 February) anyone can come to The Physics Room and work with Adam Hyde and Julian Priest on the construction of A Geekosystem.

For more information contact The Physics Room on 03 379 5583
or email:

Robert Henke (Monolake): Thursday Feb 21

Workshop and performance by Berlin artist/musician Robert Henke, who plays minimal techno under the name of Monolake as well as producing abstract music and sound installations under his real name.

Performance: 'Layering Buddha',Thursday 21st February, 8pm
Studio1, NASDA, CPIT, Madras St Christchurch (access simplest off carpark opposite Catholic Cathedral in Barbadoes St Block E (old auto block) on Campus map

Layering Buddha' is based on permutation and layering of sounds from the FM3 Buddha Machine, a low-fi loop playing device. It is performed in an immersive six-channel surround sound environment, totally in the dark. It was awarded an Honorary Mention in the Digital Music category at the 2007 Prix Ars Electronica competition. Installation of the 6-channel surround sound system will be kindly provided by MAINZ - the Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand

Workshop: Too Many Choices - how to make music if everything is possible.
Imagitech Theatre, CPIT, Madras St Christchurch 2pm-4pm Thursday 21 February $10

Music software reached a state where its possibilities exceed the knowledge of most of their users. While it became very easy to create sound, a lot of people are completely overwhelmed by what their tools offer and get confused and defocused. The solution: usage of only a few tools and trying to understand them well enough to master them. The aim of the lecture is to provide ideas of how to dive deeper into any kind of music software to make most out of it. Examples are presented using Ableton Live 7, Operator and Sampler.

The lecture and talk is for all audiences which are interested in computer generated sound. Very basic knowledge of Ableton Live or any other music software or hardware needed.

Robert Henke is a renowned Berlin artist/musician who plays minimal techno under the name of Monolake as well as producing abstract music and sound installations under his real name. Robert has performed in such places as the Tate Modern in London the Centre Pompidou in Parisand at the Mutek festival in Montreal. He has been an influential figure in the development of computer-based music performance and expressive software and hardware to support this, most notably Ableton Live.

For more information see The Physics Room

Séance for Nam June Paik: Sat 23 Feb 2008

A screening/performance event presenting new works to channel the ‘father of video art’, curated by Daniel Agnihotri-Clark

8pm, SOFA Gallery Basement, Christchurch Arts Centre.
$15/10, free entry with Tending Networks registration
[Televisions generously provided by The Powerstore]
“I use technology in order to hate it more properly” Nam June Paik
Screening:                                                Performance:
Disasteradio                                              Andrew Clifford
Naomi Lamb                                             Morgan Barnard
Emil McAvoy & Damian Stewart                Dan Untitled
Bronwyn Holloway-Smith
Nathan Thompson
Dell McLeod
Nam June Paik is widely regarded as the father of video art.  Innovative digital artworks by  Aotearoa/New Zealanders will be presented in a new project: to channel (and negotiate with) the spirit of the late Korean artist’s practice. Séance for Nam June Paik provides the opportunity for Aotearoa/New Zealand (affiliated) digital media artists to examine and respond to the legacy and currency of Paik’s influential career. A peer-reviewed selection of new artworks will be presented - as a series of faux séances for the Korean artist.  Works will include video, audio, robotics and network-based pieces.
While Paik’s work was largely analogue, his pioneering use of technology in art practice has had an immense impact upon contemporary digital practices. Séance for Nam June Paik roughly coincides with the one year anniversary of the Korean artist’s death (on 29 Jan 2006). This anniversary is a timely opportunity to reflect upon and respond to Paik’s influential practice.  The project will naturally highlight the broader context of the 1960s Fluxus movement, and it’s relevance to contemporary practice.
Paik’s œuvre addresses a broad cluster of concerns which sustained considerable currency in the 1960s (and beyond).  The aim of this project is to test the relevance and influence of these ideas amongst Aotearoa/New Zealand affiliated artists who are practicing now.  How do today’s digital artists dialogue with and respond to Paik’s ideas?  How do they find their own original voice, and progress past the ambitious energy of his practice?