New gallery venture to bridge art and technology

Ronan Whitteker announced the opening of his Aftermath digital art gallery at a Techweek forum at the EPIC Centre in ...
CHRIS HUTCHING

Ronan Whitteker announced the opening of his Aftermath digital art gallery at a Techweek forum at the EPIC Centre in Christchurch.

A digital art gallery reflecting technical changes in society will open in Christchurch in about eight weeks.

The initiative was announced by Ronan Whitteker​ at a Techweek forum held at the EPIC Centre and facilitated by a group called Ministry of Awesome.

"We want to raise awareness of the impact of on society. We're trying to generate a challenging approach to technology in the face of massive change.

One of the Techweek forums held in Christchurch at the EPIC Centre in the central city innovation precinct.
CHRIS HUTCHING

One of the Techweek forums held in Christchurch at the EPIC Centre in the central city innovation precinct.

"You could say we're trying to disrupt the disruption. We'll have digital art workshops starting in July featuring national artists talking and teaching."

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"It's art about technology and art made by technology."

One of the artists who will be involved is Ian Clothier who is also a senior academic at the Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki.

Whitteker said he and business partner Jaya Gibson had invested some of their own money setting up the venue at 165 Gloucester St and had also received support from Creative NZ, Life in Vacant Spaces,  and a city council project fund.

There were other options his team of five people were exploring to facilitate interaction between art and technology including learning tours for tourists.

Whitteker trained as an engineer but as soon as he discovered art he knew "it was the place to be".

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Meanwhile, another presenter at the EPIC forum outlined the advances of the Participatory Science Platform.

Dr Victoria Metcalf​ who is the national coordinator of the programme highlighted some of the 100 projects funded over the past two years under the scheme.

One of them was a study of a reef 23kms offshore from Taranaki which was driven by the local underwater diving club.

It involved development of technology to enable automatic recording of photographs and videos by a camera stationed on the sea floor.

The results included new information about fish behaviour and images of sponges not seen before.

Other projects included a Rongomai School study in partnership with Landcare using sensors in homes to measure mould and atmospheric health of homes, and a beehive health project using sensors to measure temperature and other variables. 

The Participatory Science Platform is an initiative of the Ministry of Business Employment and Innovation and operates several programmes including the Curious Minds science projects which are eligible of grants up to $30,000 for local projects and $150,000 for regional projects.

They involve an array of ventures coordinated between scientists, communities and schools. Details are available on the Curious Minds web site.

Metcalf said they involve team work and numerous educational streams from English language, science, and Te Reo, all designed to encourage entrepreneurial thinking.

Fairfax Media is the media partner for Techweek'17 which is a week of events bringing together New Zealand's brightest technology and innovation talent to tackle global issues with local ingenuity from May 6 to May 14, techweek.co.nz​​

 - Stuff

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