Vā Moana / Pacific Spaces session, Recounting alternative modes of action and design in public spaces in the Pacific, ASAO, 13–16 February 2019

Recounting alternative modes of action and design in public spaces in the Pacific

Co-organisers: Carl Douglas, Layne Waerea

“One of the first questions I am asked by a member of the public, when I am carrying out an intervention, is usually “What are you doing here?” They can see I am part-Māori and I try and have an answer prepared, sometimes I am an artist doing some research, a student doing a project or a teacher – it depends on who’s asking and how much trouble I’m in” (Waerea, 2018).

Our situatedness and agency are conditioned by social, cultural, and legal rules that configure what we are able to do in a given place or at a given time. Public spaces, and hence public identities, are circumscribed and delimited. How might the conditioning of public space be disclosed or reconfigured through intervention? In particular how might art and design practices offer alternative modes of action and being and therefore alternative ways of being-public?

This informal session opens a preliminary and speculative discussion of the conflicts and tensions between what is often understood to be public space as infrastructure and bounded, in opposition to a more topological, relational ways of structuring the public in Pacific culture. We invite papers and accounts (especially but not exclusively, first-hand accounts) of experimental creative practice and ethnography that work across boundaries, particularly in the context of Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific.

Send the organisers an email if you’re interested, and an abstract later, if you want to be part of the session.

Carl Douglas carl.douglas@aut.ac.nz

Layne Waerea layne.waerea@aut.ac.nz

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