ADA Mesh Cities Logo
ADA Mesh Cities Logo

Dunedin, 13-15 September.
Proposal abstracts due 10 June, 2013

Space : Network : Memory is the 8th ADA Network symposium. ADA symposia have a formidable reputation for critical collegial exchange within the expanded field of digital and media arts. This September in Dunedin we mark a decade of ADA Symposia in response to themes generated by the three year ADA Network research project Mesh Cities Christchurch.

Space : Network : Memory  welcomes proposals for provocations, panel participation and presentations of work engaging with aspects of the broad range of practices and approaches necessary for rethinking the contemporary city, the networks that surround and emerge from it, and the memories it holds.

Space : Network : Memory will include artists, designers, media practitioners and performers, urban planners, historians, theorists, curators, writers, educators, and storytellers.

Space : Network : Memory recognises that the situation of post-quake, post-‘blueprint’, transitional Christchurch generates problems and possibilities for all of Aotearoa/New Zealand. The DUNEDIN symposium will continue this discussion. Dunedin is an historic city with many evident remains of the past, yet, for seismic and economic reasons these environments are in transition and their stories are under threat. Dunedin’s historic warehouse precinct is one focus of discussion, and will feature as a site of conversation. Space : Network : Memory will engage closely and playfully across Dunedin city.

Space : Network : Memory seeks;

  • Proposals for short provocations that respond to histories, architectures, art and media as they interplay and feedback with civic processes, and/or re-engage people in urban and public spaces.
    Your abstract should include: name, contact information, title and a 300 word abstract referencing the relevant symposium theme, and any technical requirements.  Please expect to give a ten minute presentation and contribute to a panel discussion – online resources to support your presentation are welcome. Due 10 June, 2013
  • Panel proposals. These abstracts should include: name of  at least three people to form a panel, contact information, title and a 300 word abstract referencing the relevant symposium theme, and any technical requirements. Please expect to present a collaborative 30 – 40 minute panel – online resources to support your panel presentation are welcome. Due 10 June, 2013
  • Presentations of work. These should include; name, contact details, an image or documentation of the work (if possible), and a 150 word abstract for a five minute discussion. Online resources to support your works are welcome. Due 10 June, 2013
  • Please email your proposals or requests for information to adasymposium2013_at_ada_dot_net_dot_nz

Details of the conference format, programme, registration and accommodation options will be announced by the end of June 2013.

The 8th ADA Symposium in Dunedin is part of ‘Mesh Cities Christchurch’


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The research project Mesh Cities Christchurch begins in the post-quake city and looks outward to the possibilities and implications of this transitional state for urban, public, and social space in Aotearoa New Zealand. Through the idea of the ‘Mesh City’, The ADA Network asks, how can networked media artists respond to the conditions of contemporary Aotearoa? What opportunities arise here? What does the ‘smart city’ mean for media art practice? How can nimble processes respond to public spaces as creative venues and their importance for future community development?  And how can media art contribute to reimagining, remembering, reinvigorating, reconnecting with, or indeed resisting, urban and social space?

Mesh Cities Christchurch references the ‘sustainable, intelligent city‘ of ubiquitous mobile networking, in Robert Oullette’s MESH concept, but contextually positions the ubiquitous cyclone fence as a metaphor for interconnectedness in Aotearoa – in which the strength of the fence lies in its interwoven strands. The wireless networks of a ‘smart city’ however carry inevitable inequities of access and exclusion; like the modular fencing that surrounds so many broken buildings and empty sites, the technological mesh delineates ownership and regulates access. However, spaces between the wires enable other meanings and possibilities to slip through. In Christchurch, for example, a palpable disjunction emerges between the top down approach driving government designs for the city’s rebuild, and the highly social, bottom up and collectively imagined future. The city is rich in creative responses to resident experience, which emerge through the telling of stories, the co-creation of new experiences, and constant negotiation between the co-located spaces here / ‘now’, and there / ‘then’ / ‘when?’.

These are issues important for any city, any location. Space : Network : Memory asks how might the mesh city of Christchurch be just one starting point for new ways of thinking the impacts and place of media and art.

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