No direct line from my brain to my heart

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Cuckoo at the Critical Studies Test Site


Cuckoo at the Critical Studies Test Site
Rooseum Center for Contemporary Art, Gasverksgatan 22, Malmö, Sweden
May 23 to June 10

We had not shown outside of New Zealand before. This far from home, we liked the idea of featuring an aspect of how we do what we do. We like to say that we make omelettes without breaking eggs:

For the past three years everyone we've worked with - artists who've shown work with us and gallerists who've given over their galleries to us - has been gifted an egg, blown and decorated by us, as a thank you. We make omelettes from the whites and yolks at our egg-making sessions. For our nesting in Malmö, we asked everyone to make a drawing of their gift egg to give back to us for the show. Potty potlatch? This gives away two other aspects of our operation: we are non-financial and entirely community oriented, even if we do take advantage of institutions.

The following Cuckoo associates have made things for Malmö:

Raewyn Alexander, Fiona Amundsen, Dan Arps, David Bennewith, Lisa Benson, Chris Braddock, Johnny Cameron, David Clegg, Andrew Clifford, Charlotte Craw, Simon Cuming, Cushla Donaldson, Violet Faigan, David Hornblow, Denise Kum, Tessa Laird, Deborah Lawler-Dormer, Peter Madden, Daniel Malone, Warren Olds, Nova Paul, Dylan Rainforth, Lisa Reihana, A.D. Schierning, Rachel Shearer, Yuk King Tan, Lauren Winstone

Cuckoo collective member Jon Bywater was at the Rooseum at 11am on June 9 to talk about Cuckoo and Australasian artists' initiatives, the hospitality of art and the art of egg cookery.

We launched Cuckoo's new publication at the Test Site. It documented our projects to date and contained an interview with the Cuckoo organising committee. See

A PDF of the publication is available for download here: cuckoo_publication.pdf


Cuckoo is an artists' initiative from Aotearoa/New Zealand, operational since late 2000. We put on shows in other peoples' galleries, or rather, we make people give us their gallery to run our programme in.

An artist-run space without a space, a non-financial organisation, we are an informational entity rather than a room. We've been through all that, tracing our lineage through various old school artist-run spaces and public galleries.

We organise shows according to the time and energy we have for our ideas and the opportunities that come that come up for us to realise them. The Cuckoo core are five artists and writers: Jon Bywater, Judy Darragh, Daniel Malone, Ani O'Neill, and Gwynneth Porter. Our internet and design stuff is looked after by Warren Olds.

A PDF of our documentary publication 01/01-06/03 is available for download here:



For the Next Wave Festival in Melbourne in March 2006 - two projects!

A. Cuckoo presents Richard Maloy

For Cuckoo’s container in the container village, the marvelous Richard Maloy built a nest out of all sorts of things. This was another in his series of welcoming, crafted occupations (tree-hut, kissing booth etc.).

B. Silver Clouds

Cuckoo and the Melbourne artist-run project CLUBSproject came together to present "Silver Clouds". Or more correctly, CLUBS hosted Cuckoo, the good ole brood parasite...

Two things happened:

  • Cuckoo sent a team over and they made work, in a two-a-day relay at the CLUBSproject's Next Wave container.
  • The SCs and CLUBS also presented work at an offsite location on the rooftop of the store Order and Progress.
CLUBS is Michelle Ussher, Cate Consandine, Nadine Christensen, Bianca Hester, Terri Bird, Spiros Panigirakis, Chris Hill, Marcus Keating, Laresa Kosloff and Lizzie Newman.

The Cuckoo Silver Clouds team was Dan Arps, Nick Austin, Fiona Connor, Janet Lilo, Kate Newby, Seung Yul Oh, Sriwhana Spong and Ben Tankard.

Visit the CLUBS website at:

Visit the ORDER + PROGRESS website at:

Visit the NEXTWAVE website at:

Cuckoo Next Wave