A Transitional Imaginary: Space, Network and Memory in Christchurch THE BOOK! – get your copy details (preamble to the project below)

The ADA BookSprint – Space, Network, Memory: Media Art and the Transitional City

Space, Network, Memory: Media Art and the Transitional City is an innovative collaborative publication that critically addresses the themes, outcomes, and questions of the ADA Mesh Cities project. The book will be written by an invited group of ten people as a 5 day ‘book sprint’. The book sprint is a publication methodology developed by New Zealander Adam Hyde that brings participants together to collaboratively conceptualise and write a book in an intensive and creative period of work.


Space, Network, Memory: Media Art and the Transitional City will be a publication that is immediately published via onlinePDF, print on demand and e-book services at the end of the sprint. However the sprint is itself the enactment of a creative network of collaboration enabled by careful facilitation (by Adam Hyde in this case), and the network platform of a synchronous shared production environment. So both a publication that documents a significant body of artist work, interwoven with broader contexts and theory, and a very focused collaborative, creative event.

Space, Network, Memory: Media Art and the Transitional City will include documentation and discussion of media art practices from around Aotearoa that engage with these interconnected themes (space, network, memory). The works discussed in the book may include those supported by ADA in the course of the Toi Uru Kahikatea-funded Mesh Cities project, including workshops, symposium presentations, and the ADA Artbase web archive, as well as the ADA projects that immediately preceded that project, including the Douglas Kahn Masterclass Tour, and the Simon Pope Netwalking tour. The publication will also cover relevant media art works presented by other organisations, with an emphasis on those developed in response to the Canterbury earthquakes and postquake art practices in Christchurch. In this the publication will continue the work of the first ADA Reader (2008), but with a focus that reflects the ADA Mesh Cities project.

While the beginning point for ADA Mesh Cities has been the specific situation in Christchurch since September 2010, our focus on transitionality addresses the conditions in all New Zealand urban spaces. These include the spatial limitations and possibilities media artists address, artist engagement with networks of all kinds, and the layers of memory making that all characterise all cities.

Content may include discussion and documentation such as:

  • ADA supported projects: Neighbourhood Air (Janine Randerson) and Sound Sky (Trudy Lane and Halsey Burgund);
  • and works presented at Mesh Cities Symposia
  • Christchurch-based events, and work emerging from them, such as Festa (The Festival of transitional architecture), Audacious (festival of public sound art), Scape, The body festival
  • Work from other, ADA-related networks such as Circuit and the Audio Foundation.

The full chapter structure will emerge within the book sprint process, but will revolve around the three key words: memory, space and network. Within these three broad concepts content will most likely draw on the following  areas of interest and expertise:

  • Media technologies in transitional environments (not just Christchurch)
  • Disaster, catastrophe and resilience (historically, not just in Aotearoa, New Zealand)
  • Documentation and discussion of field work including walking and orienteering
  • Working site-specifically in urban environments
  • Environmental practice
  • Memory, archive formation, and history
  • Media arts practice in Aotearoa
  • Reflections on geology and entanglements with creative practice
  • Urban space, infrastructure and issues
  • Networks of all kinds, from interpersonal to infrastructural
  • Memory and media
  • Mediation as a practice of media
  • Transmission and energetic approaches to media arts

Participants: The writing participants, included people who have been closely involved with the ADA Mesh Cities project and others with specific experience in related projects and valuable perspectives on media art and who are;

  • confident writers and collaborators from both academic and non-academic backgrounds
  • participants in ADA Mesh Cities projects including the artist workshops
  • researchers, writers and artists with interest in and knowledge of some or all of the following fields: media arts practice in Aotearoa; urban space, infrastructure and issues; networks of all kinds, from interpersonal to infrastructural; memory and media.

 See Booksprint in action: The Story of a Book tracks a booksprint process through the creation of the book Nameless  https://vimeo.com/119069409

Confirmed Facilitator and Writers

Facilitator: Adam Hyde


New Zealander Adam Hyde is a Book Sprint Facilitator and Platform Designer based in San Francisco. Adam specializes in collaborative book and knowledge production techniques and technologies, and offers consultancy on these topics.

Currently he is leading the development of a new open source science publishing project for the Public Library of Science spearheaded by Harold Varmus, a Nobel laureate in physiology and medicine. Adam’s clients have included the European Commission, Mozilla, Cisco, Google, Revenue Watch, Open Oil, The Burundi Government, and The World Bank Institute. As well as the above Adam is the founder of Booktype (the first web based book production platform), FLOSS Manuals, and the Book Sprints methodology. He hopes to continue to connect his work facilitating and consulting on online and collaborative knowledge production to inform the development of platforms that meet a real need. Adam also frequently presents at conferences on these topics around the world.


Su Ballard is an experienced writer and editor. She is a senior lecturer in Art History and Contemporary Arts, and convener of the MECO research network, at the University of Wollongong, Australia. Su’s research examines the histories of materiality, machines, sound and nature in contemporary art and the art gallery, with a particular focus on artists from Australasia. Recent publications include essays on ecology, networks, birds, Google Art Project, aesthetics and utopia. She edited The Aotearoa Digital Arts Reader in 2008, and recent publications include essays in Reading Room, Convergence, and Australian Feminist Studies. She is an editor of The Fibreculture Journal. http://suballard.net.nz

Zita Joyce is an experienced writer and editor. She is a lecturer in Media and Communication at the University of Canterbury, and board member of the Aotearoa Digital Arts Network. Zita’s research has focused closely on Christchurch since the earthquakes, and in particular the experiences of independent radio stations, personal media archiving, the practices of transmission and sound arts, and the translation of earthquake experiences on social media, exploring interconnections between mediated memory and the changing spaces of Christchurch. Zita has published essays on media arts in Art Monthly Australia, and books including Erewhon Calling: Experimental Sound in New Zealand; Sean Kerr: Bruce is in the garden; so someone is in the garden; and The Aotearoa Digital Arts Reader. She co-edited a special issue of Medianz, the Media Studies Journal of Aotearoa on the mediation of the Canterbury Earthquakes, and an issue of the Fibreculture Journal with Su Ballard.

Helen Moore is a trained artist, designer and arts educator with tertiary qualifications in education and visual communication, and a Masters of Design (Hons). Her research focuses on construction and imagining of national identity, belonging and place. She is based in Christchurch.

Tim Corballis is the 2015 Creative New Zealand Victoria University Writer in Residence. His fourth novel, R.H.I., is appearing from Victoria University Press in August 2015. It takes the form of two novellas, based on the situation and work of Joan Riviere, an early English psychoanalyst, and Hermann Henselmann, chief architect of the GDR, respectively. He has also written a large number of shorter pieces, including short stories, essays and art writing. His essay ‘Winter’ won the 2013 Landfall Essay Competition.


Tracey Benson is a green geek/artist/researcher into connected communities, eco-sustainability, tech/art synergies, maps and open source software. In 2001 she received a Research MA from Queensland University of Technology, focusing on souvenirs, nostalgia and personal identity. In 2010 Tracey was awarded a PhD at The Australian National University, which explores online communities and social networking tools. Recent publications include chapters in Mobile Media Practices, Presence and Politics and Locating Emerging Media. Benson is the Secretary/Treasurer for New Zealand based interdisciplinary organisation Intercreate. She is also an Adjunct Postdoctoral Fellow at the ANU School of Music, where she is researching semantic web, augmented reality and geolocation technologies and their application to storytelling and notions of place.


Julian Priest is a Wellington based artist and writer who works with participatory and technological forms. He is director of The Greenbench and is a board member of the Aotearoa Digital Arts trust. He has lectured at the Banff Centre, Whanganui School of Design, and A.U.T University. Recent exhibitions include: The Blue Marble, Machine Wilderness Public Art Finalist Exhibition, Abuquerque, 2012; Sink, Machine Wilderness, ISEA, Abuquerque (2012-13); and Local Time, Local Knowledge, Dowse, Wellington, (2011-12). His interactive sound work La Scala was recently installed in the Chartwell Stairwell at Artspace Auckland (2014-15).


Robert Carter is an Auckland-based artist, writer and researcher with an interest in
site-specific work incorporating sculpture, sound and performance. In Support of the Lunatic Fringe (2013); a collection of short ficto-critical essays and The Party Line (2014); a masters thesis, represent his most recent collections of writing. Exhibitions include: Used Parts (with George Hajian). Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland, 2015; Sometimes a Great Notion. Audio Foundation, Auckland, 2014; The University of Who? Artspace, Auckland, 2014.  Robert received an MFA from Elam School of Fine Arts in 2014 and is currently a board member of the Aotearoa Digital Arts trust.


Vicki Smith is from the West Coast of the South Island and is based currently in Nelson. Her work navigates the permeability between visual and virtual, weaving science, the environment and traditional practices in her collaborations.
As well as performances in the online venue UpStage, recent work includes a print Approaches to Puke Ariki (2013); a book of sailing bound in fish vellum under her skin (2013); a public participation light installation Ship’s Pass in the
Night (2014); a media art weaving collaboration Pattern Recognition (2014); a mural painting George Bolt’s aerial adventures (2015) and an interactive fiction work Finding Lucinda Fairweather (2015). Vicki is a board member of the Aotearoa Digital Arts Trust.



  • 23 – 27 November 2015: BookSprint
  • 28 November 2015: Launch Event a public event will promote and reflect on the book itself, and also on the book sprint process.


XCHC @ 376 Wilson Road is currently tipped to be the venue for the ADA BookSprint to take place. Exchange Christchurch is a space for the production, showcase and public exchange of creative work and is a collaborative, networked organisation.

More info about Exchange Christchurch here: http://www.xchc.co.nz/