Public Programmes 03
Running parallel to our project space exhibitions , The Physics Room has developed a reputation for presenting a diverse range of public programmes including international film, experimental music and sound art, interactive events and seminars. In 2003,six such events brought an added dimension to The Physics Room programme, providing rare opportunities for Christchurch audiences to participate with and experience contemporary art up close and in real time .
Working with regular Physics Room collaborators, the Goethe Institute, Thomas Munz of the Transmediale Festival screened a selection of European video art. Munz was curator of the Berlin based Festival’s video and image section “Play Global!” Outlining the history of Transmediale (founded in 1998) and the 2003 content, Munz also invited New Zealand artists working in new media to submit works for consideration in future festivals.
University of California Professor of Art History and Theory, John Welchman, visited New Zealand in August as a keynote speaker at the Cultural Provocations conference in Auckland. The Physics Room and Art & Industry made it possible for Welchman to visit Christchurch, where he presented his lecture “Faces and Power”. This seminar was a detailed look at the representation of faces through history and in postmodern art practice. Welchman, a widely published art writer and theorist, was brought to New Zealand with the Artspace /Creative NZ International Visitors Programme.
Christchurch and the South Island in general has a long history of artist-run initiatives and spaces, working with Artists Alliance, we invited speakers to take part in Initiate, a forum to air some of the issues and histories around lo cal and national artist initiatives. Panelists Tessa Giblin of Gridlocked and Sam Eng from High Street Project discussed their current and local projects. Stuart Griffiths provided a historical perspective on South Island Art Projects and its development into The Physics Room, and was joined by Karl Chitham who gave an overview of artist-initiatives in Auckland .
The strength of the New Zealand sound art scene was further evidenced in September with Bruce Russell performing in collaboration with Wellington’s Birchville Cat Motel (Campbell Kneale). The duo was supported by an improvising quintet featuring Chris Burke, Ben Gerard, Michael Kimi, Greg Malcolm and Jenny Ward.
Ziti Joyce and Adam Willetts of ethermap.org curated an off-site sound art performance for The Physics Room, Trambience, inviting artists to work with the Christchurch Tramway as a unique venue . Performing on the first instalment of Trambience (which was repeated in 2004) was Adam Willetts and Canadian performer Sarah Peebles (also an exhibiting artist in the project space programme).
Internationally based New Zealanders, r a d i o q u a l i a, made a visit home in late 03 and took the opportunity t o present a recent computer gaming project at The Physics Room. Curated for the Institute of Contemporary Art, Cape Town,<re:Play> was a unique presentation of six artists using gaming technology and vernacular to create works with a political / critical imperative.
This essay originally appeared in
The Physics Room Annual 2003
Published October 2004
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Public Programmes 2003