A model of white branch like figures.

Aotearoa Digital Arts presented Cloudland, a showcase of New Zealand artists for ISEA 2008 in Singapore. The exhibition featured film, video, installation, and sound works by Len Lye, et al., Stella Brennan, Alex Monteith, Kentaro Yamada, Bruce Russell, PSN Electronic (Peter Stapleton, Su Ballard and Nathan Thompson), and Adam Willetts. Cloudland, curated by Su Ballard, Stella Brennan, and Zita Joyce, wss one of only four exhibitions invited for this international event.

The works in Cloudland demonstrate the range of electronic art practices in New Zealand, by focusing on the ephemeral nature of both digitality and place. Each of the works imagine and articulate place: in Len Lye’s scratch film Free Radicals (1958/79) the velvety black of celluloid suggests the interatomic void; in Stella Brennan’s South Pacific (2006) the vast ocean is glimpsed by radar, video and ultrasound; Etherradio (2008) reveals unseen atmospheric intensities through the radio-based sound work of Bruce Russell, PSN Electronic (Peter Stapleton, Su Ballard and Nathan Thompson), and Adam Willetts. In Kentaro Yamada’s Listening Heads (2006) the viewer is situated through gaze and the glance in a simulation of human interaction mediated by the screen. Alex Monteith’s four-channel video installation Composition for farmer, three dogs and 120 sheep (2006) choreographs sheep mustering into a meditation on the camera’s framing of time and space. The work reflects on the agrarian archetype that is both keystone and millstone for New Zealand’s self-representation. In et al.’s the social meaning of things (2008) space is distanced and controlled; territory is closed off and subject to constant surveillance. Together these works present a picture of digital arts practice in New Zealand today.

Cloudland opened to the public on 24th July  2008 at The Substation, the leading experimental gallery in Singapore. Cloudland received substantial support from Creative New Zealand and the Asia New Zealand Foundation, with additional support from the Len Lye Foundation, AUT University, University of Canterbury, Otago Polytechnic, and the Auckland Art Gallery.

Download the Cloudland catalogue