Criptic Critic Conscience and Known for it

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

When the fingers that have touched the stove, are chopped off; in the idea that the body will avoid the pain.

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  • I do feel left out so, feel free to write this off as a losers complaint, but I just don't understand TEZA, I've read your media releases, and I am lead very carefully around in circles that I fail to grasp the relevance of.. and I want to grasp it!

    I really really love the energy and effort of Letting Space and most of the artists they work with, with your recent fame postings of artists spotted with politicians, I really got the sense that something is going on here but I don't get what it is.

    The question ''How can artists establish a collective environment outside of galleries and institutions which allows for the genuine exchange, development and banking of ideas?' Hinges on the idea of 'genuine" and to me falls into a brutal and blatant trap of suggesting that what goes on inside galleries and institutions is not genuine and therefore not as real.

    That's a big call, a major line drawn in the sand of such, what kind of hierarchy of authority is being established here, that is visible, transparent, that enables this kind of dialogue , between the genuine and the un-genuine to be true and real. Because I am looking for it and I can not see it. Can i ask for some help? Some clarity?

    In Mudoch's essay on TEZA it is asserted that "art is love", that smacks to me of enormous white privileged, and a perpetuation of the propaganda of a ruling class who know better than the rest of us... but wait, right, don't jump to conclusions, TEZA intends to do something different... as it "pairs art to the indigenous, and people to a place".

    The presence of a politician, here on site, begs me to ask, does this make TEZA real, more genuine, than those other artist. galleries/ institutions? Some how yes, i think so, but then because they've been presented here in a dangerously vacuous context: I know it's called an "autonomous zone" I just don't know what that is, is it a meeting between anti-capitalists and the bourgeois? Isn't Brownlee the anti-democratic dictator of Chch? Is now TEZA smoothing over trouble like any good gentrification with a round of faux radicalism, with support from 'real star' spotting?

    "Art might be the most contentious of omissions from SEZs. How far can we stretch the definition of art to include the practices of SEZs?"

    “You’re seriously asking if sweatshop labour is performance art?”
    (http://teza.org.nz/transmission/)

    I'll say it again, in my experience, ask what is art? and you'll get an expert robbing you of your power to articulate the answer with their own. Ask what is it the art of? and you perhaps can begin to separate phenomena into categories, relative to your self. At the very least begin to interact with what is.

    This is a critical project that I'm missing the criticality of. I see only an out an out celebration of capitalism's adaptability. Parody I feel has been missed and reality is simply being reproduced. Perhaps I just miss the frame of reference or the perspective that positions this so... which to that end, just who is the audience for this work, can the general public respond to such a fuzz? Will so much public funding be felt by the general populace, or is this really just about another round of shifting chess pieces around Nzzzzzzzzzzz's art board. A dedicated socialist's perspective, too locked into it's own privileged to risk waking those whose shoulders it stands on...

    And I know I'm biting the hand of the mouth that is trying to bite the hand that feeds. I'm starving.


    Like · · · Unfollow Post · November 23 at 12:28am near Nelson · Edited
    • Mark Harvey This is really valid questioning to me, and being in the project I feel that I share similar questions about it. In my project one of my bigger goals right now is to encourage people to vote in the by-election and referendum there this coming week and to facilitate them in reflecting on the conservatively capitalist, corporate and environmentally toxic approach of the current political status quo. If I can't achieve anything else from my own privileged white position, then I'll make sure I do this so that maybe people there might be inspired to have a care to make a difference with their voting and referendum. For me the privileged position can still be useful if it's used to question and destabilize what creates privilege in the first place, and I hope to do this.
    • Wells Tao Yeah,ok Mark does that include informing this public that you are doing a job they are paying for?
      I'm sitting here in real time, on the night my show "Notes from the Long Term Unemployed" was due to open, but was cancelled, generally I would have to
      say from a lack of support. To much pressure was put on the gallery by me, by my work despite my ongoing willingness to compromise, because its transparency was "saying something". So looking around and seeing what else is happening.. and I see the gains being 'celebrated' by TEZA and its fuzzy logic and I can't help feel that if organizations/ collectives like Letting Space, can't risk saying something, clearly; no wonder individuals like me are wiped out.
    • Murdoch Stephens Nice points, Tao. It will be interestgin to see how the writers and artists associated with TEZA in ChCh respond to the worth and validity of any parody of SEZs.

      I wanted to point out that I'd never assert that 'art is love' and I doubt Mark or Sophie
      would publish that as an assertion - that phrase is used in the essay as part of a back and forth between a skeptic of the project (in italics) and someone trying to defend it (in plain font). I used that form because this was written in anticipation of the New Mexico version of this show in mid-2012 and it is tough to see how rhetoric matches reality that far ahead of time.

      I'd hope that one of the writers working with TEZA will respond to the idea of parody and whether that has any relevance to the present TEZA project in ChCh. Without going there I don't know if I will be able to say how the artists respond, I sort of assume that'll be built into the work itself.
    • Mark Harvey - Tao - in answer to your question above, yes, and I'll point out that what we get in Teza (for me there's no artist fee I add), is funded by tax-payers and it's far far far less than the money that's been thrown at CEO's etc that Gerry Brownlee has set up that do nothing for Christchurch
    • Mark Amery Hey Tao, not coming down this week? It would be so good to see you as you know. We're well aware of these questions. They are good clear ones. Of conceits vs reality. Its something we've had to struggle with. But I would suggest to you that sometimes we do things we feel are important when they are fraught - but that stepping into the fray is the only way to push through some glass walls/ceilings. Working with both you and Kim taught us this! To be brave hopefully. Try, fail, fail, suceed, fail again. etc. There is tease in TEZA. Broadly though we feel we can do something worthwhile and good and change some preconceptions. I do disagree with your decision to interpret our words as meaning galleries can't be genuine in approaching these things. thats an oversimplification. I could naturally write at length on this and indeed we have a discussion on it next Saturday. This is a city without its major public gallery with Scape, Gapfiller and FESTA all cheek by jowl. Re criticism I equally hope the writers will consider this - a major reason to get Murdoch's essay up. Great discussion thread! We posted the Bill English images because it is their theatre - a happenstance meeting.
    • Barry Thomas I am interested in your opinion on this... why does my cynical blood feel so RED!!!??? http://teza.org.nz/the-teza-concept/

      The TEZA concept

      teza.org.nz

      Broadly based projects such as Teza often nudge up close to issues but even a cursory examination reveals a lack of detail. Lots of adjectives and adverbs but not much to hang your hat on. Also, I must confess - as you've asked for my opinion - that being class-concious, I wince at the overtly middle-class look of all of this. Where are the measuring tools? How will success or progress be gauged? Are the outcomes sought elliptical or finite? I know some of the people involved and I would not describe them as revolutionaries or even social experimenters. If I were to share your cynicism, I might feel that the devil has indeed made work for idle hands.
      12:01pm
      Thanks and I trust your divining rod on this... hadn't thought of the measuring tools angle... very good... let alone - so let's paint this 'revolution' ... what colour is it? shall we offer up alternate means of exchange? what does that look like? ok and so we are talking/mouthing 'occupation' ... so let's talk about land tenure - exactly... who controls what? how? where when et al... so f...ing flimsy and 'groupee' wishy washy poop. A brass band plays on bicycles... so fuckin what? someone make something out of sustainable glue - so fuckin what? I guess the green tinge I get is that - with the cabbage patch we/I did any and all of that 35 years ago and these kids haven't the nouse to reach out to me - at all. it's as if they have to find their own wheel to spin and brand it with all the posters and self generated dayglow logo fest social media spin so it is seen and believed to be entirely new... new??? One thing I have considered doing in and or for CHCH is take the goal posts of the once was Lancaster park and animate them into the centre of the rumpled pitch and twist them on their axis so they form a cros... then bend the tops of the posts so they form a spire... elongate the spire to 100 feet or so and call it... 'cathedral' now that's what I call moving the goal posts ha!!! but can you imagine the beginings of the 'debate' over such a provocative work in this TEZA groupee context... it wouldn't even get on the agenda ... lol alot... I guess as with so much art/political discourse we see here they haven't even begun to face the inevitable... how do we allow, foster dissent???

      That's a lot of ground you've covered there. Taking the historical pov, it is important that the movers own the actions- but - and it's a big but - the growth/movement that occurs must be experienced through opposition - preferably direct. Changing consciousness is about a subjective intervention into objective reality. It won't matter a jot if this is simply a bunch of vaguely discontened bourgeoise forming a circle to pat each other on the back.The acts and deeds must be reaching out and bumping into the world. The measurement must be of that process. Otherwise, we're back to Cartesian Dualism and 'I think, therefore I am' nonsense. Also, I'm decidedly in favour of positing a new experience on a previous one because that's instant growth that creates a new level of consciousness for those involved. You, because you make the conscious leap represented by the appreciation of the changes experienced historically; the others because they place the fresh experience on the theory of your 'template'. But, yes, it's all done by turning out - not turning in - and with rigour. And rigour's always about leadership.
      wo... now they are re-writing free labour as social value... I guess it can be both grrrrrrrrrrre... the above http://lettingspaceorgnz.squarespace.com/.../men-in-hi...

      www.lettingspace.org.nz - Blog/News - Men in Hi-Vis Jackets
      lettingspaceorgnz.squarespace.com

      Ah. A Hi-Vis jacket and a walkie-talkie eh? Instant equity. Funny - but I never saw ACC as a sponsor of Occupation.
      5:51pm
      ha ha ha ... very good - the sanitisation of radical efforts... the mediocratisation of such ... the bla-ing of bla de bla


      teza.org.nz
      OPTIMISM DOESN’T NEED A PERMITNATURE KNOWS NO WASTE 
WHAT ARE YOU WORTH? WHAT DO...ES
 OCCUPATION LOOK LIKE?
LETS BRING ART AND PEOPLE MORE TOGETHER  HE TANGATA HE TANGATA HE TANGATA
PUT THE NEW BACK ...See More
    • Wells Tao Hi Mark, and Murdoch, I do applaud the effort, I thought I was clear about that, I applaud your effort. I am from my perspective offering you what I can of constructive criticism. I was fairly blunt due mostly to my own constraints but I felt quite clear. But I'll say it again, the obscurity of the main framing arguments, puts generated content in a vacuous space that ultimately ends of reinforcing the status quo. Or how you put it Mark Amery " it is their theater".
    • Tina Zucchini Hey Wells Tao, just landed chch and I'd love for you to be here. Your voice would be wonderful to have. I'm sure we can find a bed around the traps. X Sophie
    • Tina Zucchini You too Barry Thomas We would love to debate this on site. The joy of working in this way Bev Tso Hong is that we can't describe the relationships that will emerge in the way you can describe a 10metre high piece of core 10 sculpture. We are pretty clear about our kaupapa but I'm sorry if its not crystal clear to those who are there. X
    • Wells Tao Thanks Tina Zucchini, I appreciate your kind offer, can i ask what does that "love' translate to? A ticket, money, access? I do have a few friends in Chch, places to stay, thank you, I lived there for seven years. I am enjoying TEZA as I can from a far, as any member of the public. And here is my voice, you can have it, it's here.
    • Wells Tao Wonderfully lucid response Barry Thomas, Ok about, Kaupapa, Tina Zucchini, is this an appropriated word, representing an english concept like, process, or is it actually rooted in Te Ao Maori, and specifically what is the iwi your are working withs kaupapa. What is the relationship here to the two treaties, or is it just one treaty? Meaning exactly who is it that you are working with that is representing this Iwi, and where is it recorded their position on this. Where is the complexity that comes from understanding the complexity and finding the simple forms that go some way to articulate the flow. I guess all I am saying is 'more more more'!
    • Murdoch Stephens I found the question of kaupapa a really fascinating part of writing this essay, particularly with reference to the New Mexico programme. That is because, "To establish the TEZA host for the ISEA symposium in New Mexico, communications did not go throu...See More

      teza.org.nz
      Producers Letting Space: Mark Amery, Sophie Jerram and Helen Kirlew Smith Creati...ve Core Richard Bartlett, Tim Barlow, David Cook, Phil Dadson, Stuart Foster, Mark Harvey, Simon Kaan, Kerry Ann Lee,...See More
    • Bev Tso Hong Hm - I like the work of Letting Space and that it explores new ways of translating/expressing society through public art, participation and experience. I don't expect a description in the way that one would describe a statue but I guess I was thinking that perhaps there might be a sense of how I might engage in it - but maybe that's not the point given I am not in ChCh... I am glad you have a strong sense of your kaupapa and perhaps that will become more apparent as your work evolves... All the best with it.
    • Mark Amery Great question Bev. We actively worked initially to create a digital platform that would see a more active engagement elsewhere in NZ. This has proved too hard to pull off. This time. We've worked under pretty constrained conditions...
    • Mark Amery Tao your comments on 'kaupapa' and use of language and 'whose' and with whom is EXACTLY what has been engaging us in thinking about this. And it engages me in my dealings with biculturalism in my own life daily. most of us are complicit in monoculturalism by silence. We are leaving ourselves SO open to criticism. i guess we want to open this umbrella up to take those problemmatics out of the box. which maybe goes some way to explain the breadth/scope of the concept.
    • Richard Dennis Bartlett Teza: everything is problematic, everyone's trying their hardest.
      Teza: let's practice living in the better world our heart knows is possible and compare notes.
      Teza: don't feed the trolls.

      Teza: I'll show you mine if you show me yours.
      Teza: post positional praxis.

      Take your pick Tao Wells
    • Richard Dennis Bartlett I have no intention of arriving with preformed questions and preformed answers. If we made paintings as explicit as the media releases you'd call it a graphic novel. How can we describe an exhibition before it is installed? Parameters, dimensions, a bill of materials? A motorcycle manual won't mention the wind in your face.
    • Barry Thomas Returning to Tao's original point... he feels left out... I do to. The prob - and please correct me if I am wrong here - is that - like some of my collaborative art ventures TEZA/ Letting Spacecraft engineers... call all the shots... ie. it is initially based on a narrow opening for 'the chosen' in other words it is not OPEN - part of its meandering kaupapa may well come to (or - already does) include - inspiring others to do stuff... but unless respect is offered up early and truely openly one feels willing and able to contribute only... (as Tao says) this level of digital offering.
    • Barry Thomas Surely - like the Philippines - people caught in major natural disasters (war for that matter) face base needs... food, shelter... and in CHCH's case bureaucracy/insurance and red tape... so I would think art - as I have heard from some dear CHCH friends - comes a long way down the track... even when it is attempting to elevate itself and its practitioners into some form of viable economic standing but as my friend Alan Francais Stuart says.... if that is the aspiration then 'play the game' give us some level of economic speak... ie. where is the business plan? the accountability? the transparency? the outcomes? the costs? the beneficiaries? Let's get real... exactly what enterprizes comprise this TEZA? what company ideas? markets? production lines? Am I missing something here? or are these reasonable yet sharp pencil comments?
    • Richard Dennis Bartlett Teza: community is defined by its boundaries. Teza is bound by its definitions.
    • Wells Tao Richard Dennis Bartlett, sorry, I feel that I've pissed you off. I don't believe you are responding to the arguments I've put forward, but have defended your right to do as you please... I guess feel free to ignore my criticism. Barry Thomas, I think I've made several points, and I'd appreciate it if you make your points with out assuming my perspective. i.e I don't feel left out, anymore. Mark Amery, I guess that is what I am asking, given that you are still working through this, in public, with an audience, is it safe, or ok for everyone involved, given your own reaction to this openness/ vulnerability. I would like to keep participating but I am concerned that my criticism is just raining on your parade. Murdoch thank you, that kind of open transparent truly fascinating detail, is exactly what I feel has been missing, and I guess what I was expecting TEZA to be all about. I also really appreciate your consideration of my criticism, and use of which to ask open questions about the process and not react like I was personally attacking you. However your link to the People page on the TEZA site sure doesn't tell the story that you have just told here. And it is these types of details, which are important! that I am trying to draw to the surface from TEZA, to participate and make it better from my experience/ perspective, as a punter.
    • Richard Dennis Bartlett Thanks Tao Wells, I wasn't pissed off - it's just your original provocation gave me flashbacks to the critiques I copped relentlessly at Occupy: 1) your platform lacks specifics so I can't engage with it; 2) I have inferred this specific piece of your platform and I'm outraged; 3) on my bloody good kiwi tax dollar!?
    • Mark Amery Tao Wells Tao no rain on the parade. I'll explain and excuse the length.
    • Mark Amery The word problematic has come up repeatedly for me over the course of this TEZA’s initial development. It took quite a while to come to grips with the fact that TEZA’s actually about provoking a whole set of questions we consider important to be discussed than necessarily suggesting any answers. It is why we ended up issuing a series of questions and provocations rather than a more defined ‘manifesto’. That TEZA might be a framework for discussion.
      There isn’t one thing that has been raised in this thread I don’t think that hasn’t been ‘vexed’ on. And in that I salute you as kindred spirits in some form (or at least neighbours with some common goals!). Those discussions haven’t just been with Sophie J and myself. They’ve occupied a group of us, among them Richard Bartlett, Kim Paton, Tim Barlow, Te Urutahi Waikerepuru. Many have been the long group skype and hui locating the common ground between different points.
      Barry Thomas you raise one of the most discussed – the open/closed issue. And I shouldn’t be surprised at your feelings given you are a friend to many of us and have bush-whacked a path with your past work, to only recent limited acknowledgement.
      Some of us come from a belief in open source (Rich), others (Kim say) from one in the strength of the curator. TEZA has evolved as an experiment in the middle. Or let us say (like previous Letting Space projects to a degree, Tao and Kim’s included) it has some sides which have a series of controlled valves and other sides open to the wind, or the will of the collective.
      As much as this is very much my and our style generally in all things in life this is of course highly problematic! It was important to LS that we tried - out of some TEZA organic growth over time - to balance the commissioning of some projects for this in terms of the range of people, communities, modes and works. This includes those on modest CNZ fees and those artists employed by tertiary institutions who’ve had to find funding from their institutions (I am unhappy that CNZ don’t ask this of their grant recipients themselves – and thank you for your strength in this Tao). Selecting those projects did involve a lot of calling out, discussion and receipt of ideas. A number of these artists have as late as last week come in to TEZA through the open tent flap.
      And you’ll recall we prefaced a LS newsletter with the words we invite you to contribute a while back. A few people have taken that up and Tao has been one to consider generously.
      What has been less familiar for us has been how most of the projects involve themselves a high degree of collaboration and the number of artists involved has continued to grow from members of the core inviting others in. This has gathered gradually and is rather exciting. Hence Kerry Ann Lees project has become Kerry Ann and Kim Lowe. Simon Kaan’s, Simon, Ron Bull, Nathan Pohio and Priscilla Cowie. Each artist bring a community with them. And the whole TEZA programme has begun to grow in this way. And yes I find in maori culture the concept of whanaungatanga some strength with this ethos. The whole exercise becomes this growth in social or artistic network and community. Perhaps I am overthinking something natural to any event like this, but it feels important to our times to consider.
      Additionally artists have brought new projects into the TEZA far beyond initial discussions, with new partners. AIO with Te Urutahi and a guy called Kiwi Henare is one. This is all very challenging having grown up in the gallery so to speak! Goodness knows what will also sprout up this week.
      TEZA feels like an experiment in form.
      When people have trouble getting their heads around what it is I think at least partly that’s because it is like art itself sometimes a little difficult to put in the existing boxes. Like a ‘zone’ rather than a building it wants to act as a bridge and place between things. This in-between space is naturally one full of conflicting currents and positions.
      As I say a structure for discussion – and we realized a few weeks ago (Rich and myself) that Facebook (rather than Loomio) was going to be the best and most open of sites for that, so thank you for cracking that open Tao and Barry.
      What we’d like to encourage is for that to continue as we post up material from the week (gonna attempt to record and upload the key discussions, cheap technology willing).
      All I suggest is that that discussion is undertaken with a generosity and openness of spirit that build some debate and welcomes people in.
    • Barry Thomas Bushwhacked??? Mark you come across as a man on safari with Mahouts and beaters doing your hunting for you... please no offense but let's talk creativity... if I have 1. seen the need for political art some 35 years back, 2. done that and 3.seen the need for participatory art - developing community thereby - well outside the gall-ery (gaullery ha) 4. oftself funded this/these - 5. made hundreds of films with and for such people/communities... your tone of 'anti bushwhacking' ... must mean your are somehow thereby far more thorough, refined, legitimate.???? wwwwwhhhhhaaaaatttttttt??? you appear thereby to miss fairly important art and science creativity fact... in process that any and all revolutions are always rough around the edges... demoiselles d'avignon.... Fountain... cela n'est pas une pipe... would you describe such leading works as 'bushwhacking' I don't think so. So I applaud your willingness to get stuff going but one of the main reasons I have stopped running the rADz project is my negative feelings for simply replicating the CNZ model of power... ie. we fund, we choose and you artistes come and play in our pit... that is not open soz... pictures of your 'A' team Camp Davidding into the brighter future look like cutely staged PR - soz - and one must accept leadership is by definition a solitary thing and the resulting small/pyramidal structure - when this is a group or community thing is probably inevitable...
    • Jakki Newton Bit off the direct topic Wells Tao (you probably know about AS220 ) but thought you might be interested in it if you don't? http://www.nzmuseums.co.nz/news/thecultureofcommunity/

      www.nzmuseums.co.nz
      This site features New Zealand museums and their collections. It is also a directory of museum locations, opening hours, and ‘what's on’.
    • Mark Amery Thanks Barry. It really was meant as an awesome compliment to your fantastic work, and an adjective come up with on a train to Chch at 6am in the morning. Love and thanks. Returning to the conversation soon I hope.
    • Barry Thomas Thanks Tina Zucchini and Mark Amery - I wish you all the best for TEZA but I don't feel involved/ invited and the pathway for developing TEZA is still an exclusive club from my POV which displays little/no respect for trail blazers one elders... note also that Powhiri is as much about elder respect as it is calling those involved into a kaupapa ... TEZA is thereby displaying very large and probably elitist contradictions in this one node/focal point. My Tokotoko is whispering in my ear.
    • Anake Goodall Barry, from what i could see, no elders - either present or absent - were disrespected in any way on the day. in my view at least, the kaupapa is well launched ...
    • Wells Tao cool Richard Dennis Bartlett, yeah that would suck, "1) your platform lacks specifics so I can't engage with it; well no I'm actually trying to engage with the specifics, be as obscure as I found them, then I hop I am open to allowing other pictures to develop! 2) I have inferred this specific piece of your platform and I'm outraged; that will happen in a broad enough audience, could be expected/ accepted. 3) on my bloody good kiwi tax dollar!? Well Yes, can that old catch cry, like so many others.. (a two year old could have done that is one I still hear) be skillfully confronted, and transformed for once.. instead of the constant running away from.... or running with ... to "YES on my bloody good kiwi tax dollar!" Celebrate now before it's too late.. kinda thing
    • Wells Tao Mark, I appreciate the opportunity you and others have created for artists and others in the community to get together and form community. I am however envious of being included and I’d like to talk about that. As someone whose work I imagine represents some form of extreme politicalness, that simultaneously lives in the dull daylight of poverty I wonder about the role “Maori” are playing in TEZA as a ‘reality’ grounder, and I have wondered at their marginalisation and invisibility, and what that may have to do with my own. My point of view, sensitive to PR, and its role in perpetuating discrimination and oppression, criticised the lack of political consciousness in the public media that Letting Space had published. So the fact that you and others of LS have joined together to respond that it is generally an issue of definition, completely misses what I thought was a fairly well made point. Which exactly raises the other point I thought I made, something about the insulation of privilege and how difficult that is to crack without ‘other’ people willing to basically being open to being hauled over the ‘gangs’ rack and pecked at. Just how ‘difference’ is related to, in this grand experiment, I think is self manifesting, in other words for me the proof is not in the pudding but in the process. I see now given your latest publishing, that perhaps I was just premature, or maybe I have helped sharpen some of the language, who knows. But I have to say, now after this ‘debate’ I have lost interest and this upsets me. What I am suggesting is you have formed a community and are telling a story, it’s just not mine. I am overtly political, (I think Barry is too!) and I feel excluded to make a point. However I’d like to acknowledge how tiring it is to work with my politics, how it can weigh down, as Laura and I are still recovering from the Beneficiaries Office, I can imagine to some extent so too would you and Sophie be. Which, ironically is why I miss the support. All the best.
    • Mark Amery Thanks Wells Tao. Wish you were here. Its hard to judge something that is evolving. It is hard for us to. What I am grateful for is that we have ended up in a community here which is really genuinely diverse at least I think. New Brighton suffers from a stigma as being a place of "dope smoking hippies" as I have been told several times by people from elsewhere in Chch before. What I find is a community that is currently an uneasy mix of the poor, Maori, new middle glass greens/arts orientated etc etc. Far broader than Paekakariki, which is becoming unaffordable etc. I say uneasy because there is a real tension here as everyone tries to work together. I'm not sure I'm answering your question but after a few years of doing projects where we've felt a little frustrated that we are talking about engagement but haven't managed to be as part of the different facets as we'd like it feels like a real step for us - and that 'us' may be limited in its view. Really don't want this 'zone' to be a place cosseted from any political perspectives. But again problemmatic. I can appreciate the difficulty of me there and us here. Probably not a great answer, but its a start and your challenges really are appreciated.
    • Barry Thomas The fact is... some like Richard were deliberately INvited... others were deliberately NOT... the sad fact and truth of groups me thinks... of course a couple of airfares could and would solve that but hey... too little too late. I feel Tao and I would and probably should have been offered the value our work and histories show... that a capacity and willingness to contribute has been deliberately refused. This speaks of a form of lack of willingnes and lack of strong leadership to embrace what ever it is or could have been delivered... including challenges to the kaupapa, etc etc but really - for me there must have been good reasons for this snub... I probably would have been too provocative... does this mean the 'included' are contributing 'nice' only work? Without the honest debate as to what reasons I/we were sidelined... well that's for the artists and Mark and Sophie to fess... perhaps the heavy weights would have broken the scale???
    • Mark Amery Hi Barry, Yes good point. But its something we've tussled with and tried to at least shift to a little more open source - we invited everyone on our database and through Fb etc I think to participate and contribute projects and many have joined through this. Yes we earlier commissioned a set of projects as a core (some selffunding some CNZ -and this came from a typical LS project of going out to a whole lot of people) and looked to get balance hence my earlier comments on this problemmatic tension between curated and open process. But I am really not sure how one starts to build from without forming a core grow first that you then grow from. Perhaps we could have been braver and thrown out the whole curatorial caboodle. Its a good challenge! Off to work now! Thanks
    • Barry Thomas Ok so how much was spent on Phill's contribution and when and how was he 'engaged' ?
    • Richard Dennis Bartlett Barry and Tao I really don't know how to engage with your "I feel left out" refrain.

      The kaupapa is open insofar as it is "haere mai"; people have taken up that offer and contributed massively. A perfect example is Ash Howell: he heard the haere mai
      call and hitched down from Whangarei, rolling up his sleeves and digging into a project as soon as he got here, immediately cementing his place in the family by the act of contribution.

      My first interpretation of "I feel left out" is "your curation is too exclusive".

      Personally I've helped to run an uncurated space at 19 Tory St for 2 years now, so I'm particularly sensitive to any claims of heavy-handed curation. We've had more than 200 events there now so forgive me if I'm mistaken, but I don't believe I've seen either of your names on the proposals coming into to use that space. What I'm saying is, if openness is what you're after, openness is on offer.

      My second interpretation of "I feel left out" is "your curation should have included me".

      If that's the case, that you recognise the need for curation, then at some point surely you have to recognise the curators and concede that they must have some logic for their choices for who they engaged beyond the general 'haere mai'. So at that point the question becomes 'why did I fail to meet the invisible standards of the curators' and jeeeez - if it were me, I wouldn't want to have that conversation in public!

      Is that really what you're asking?
    • Barry Thomas I held a think tank for solving homelessness at 19 Tory - did you and mark and sophie not see/know bother to know or attend?
    • Richard Dennis Bartlett I didn't receive a personal invitation Barry!
    • Barry Thomas let alone remember... Look Rich - I like much of where you come from but... I have substantial capacity to do work like TEZA... and the most obvious artist I know of anywhere to also curate into this kind of work is Tao Wells... so why would curators (who are also playing at being artists) deliberately choose to deselect... coz they want nice, safe, toys in their sand pit...
    • Barry Thomas Don't know what's happened to your memory Rich... I emailed you and you put me in touch with Allanah Krause... Sophie also engaged by recommending Allanah facilitate the debate.
    • Barry Thomas ah the fuel of hegemony... damned waste From my POV ... or TEZA looking half cocked ... firing blanks?
    • Anake Goodall apologies Barry if this observation is out of line - and i am especially conscious that you and i have no previous interactions or relationship to rely on here - but from that perspective i must say that this refrain is increasingly sounding like you complaining that there hasn't been enough praying and offering of gifts at the base of the tall mountain that is you. seriously, if this is what you require for self-identification and sense of place you would be very unhappy here i suspect. it may be best to simply leave the non-egoists at Camp TEZA to do their thing; messy and unpredictable and untidy and palpably real (i.e. anything but cosy and "safe") as it may be ...
    • Barry Thomas Not at all Anake... in fact the prob I have is exactly that LS and now TEZA acts precisely with your ' praying and offering of gifts at the base of the tall mountain' ... one should question how art is made, how groups are formed, how people are in and excluded... hey I would prob have made a dozen rADz, or sat in a vacant lot and done nothing??? I dunno - hegemony acts to separate whilst promoting inclusion - I just wish LS and TEZA acted much more openly and and honestly around this deliberate process.

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