Moana digitalities: a talanoa
September 12-18 Ars Electronica, LASER Talk Garden
What can digitalization offer Moana communities towards a more equitable and inclusive future? In this talanoa, artist Nooroa Tapuni, author Lana Lopesi, and Janine Randerson, co-host of Tāmaki Makaurau LASER, will converse on their respective practices as non-cis male and part of the digital native generation, in Aotearoa New Zealand and in Moana-nui-a-Kiwa, the South Pacific diaspora. In interdisciplinary media projects such as self-portrait-tetai an(other), Nooroa Tapuni’s artwork explores the extent to which the Mangaian concept of continuum can be expressed across digital and physical spaces. Tapuni’s artworks create an environment where the observer, researcher and artwork become conduits within a continuum, where other is same. Lana Lopesi argues that a digital native generation of Moana artists have positioned themselves away from the narratives of displacement and nonbelonging featured in the Moana art of previous generations, imagining their subjectivity in globally routed, yet locally rooted, ways. Lana and Nooroa are both researchers in the Vā Moana / Pacific Spaces research cluster at AUT University – an international research platform engaging Pacific and Western thought to investigate Vā Moana, Pacific spaces. This talanoa will consider both the divisive and connective potential of online spaces and media artworks for social change.
Nooroa Tapuni is an interdisciplinary artist that seeks to derive a correlation between seemingly disparate knowledge sets to unfold power relations. Their past projects posited an indigenous understanding of interconnection as a cybernetic system, a relationship of communication and control, through interactive digital art practice. It did so as a way to explore the extent that digital material can be the interface for intuitive understanding and indigenous knowledge. This culminated in the interactive installation tetai(an)other (2016) and VR experience untitled (figures over the ocean) (2016). The researcher is currently exploring the ambiguity of communication through the process of code-switching, transcoding in a series called #onlockdown (2019 – present).
Lana Lopesi is an author, art critic, editor and multidisciplinary researcher. She is the author of False Divides (2018: BWB) and Bloody Woman (2021: BWB). Lana’s writing has featured in a number of magazines, journals and publications in print and online including Metro, Art New Zealand and Afterall. Currently Lana is Editor-in-Chief for the Creative New Zealand Pacific Art Legacy Project, a digital-first Pacific art history told from the perspective of the artists. Lana is also currently a co-editor on a volume about issues of Race in Aotearoa to be published by Bridget Williams Books. Lana received her PhD in 2021 from the Auckland University of Technology. The thesis is titled Moana Cosmopolitan Imaginaries: Toward an Emerging Theory of Moana Art.
Janine Randerson is an artist and writer from Aotearoa New Zealand. She often practices in collaboration with community groups and environmental climate scientists with a focus on socio-ecological issues for the Moana region. Her book “Weather as Medium: Toward a Meteorological Art” (MIT Press, 2018) focuses on modern and contemporary artworks that engage with our present and future weathers and climate. In 2021 she co-edited Ngā Tai o te Ao: the global tides The Global Tides (2021) with St Paul St Gallery AUT and Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU. She is a LASER talk chair and an Associate Professor in Art and Design at AUT University, Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland.