When Earth calls, talk back

19:00, Jan 28 2013

Information that makes Trudy Lane go "wow" has inspired the web designer to walk on the wild side where art meets science.

Lane is one of 21 artists involved in SCANZ 2013: 3rd nature, an exhibition opening at Puke Ariki at dawn on Saturday.

"I'm coming from the approach of personal wonders," the Aucklander says of her work.

Lane and Halsey, Burgund from Boston, United States, have created A Walk Through Deep Time. This involves an iPhone app and a "treasure map" for people to take an imaginary stroll through 4.57 billion years of Earth's history, pausing in parts of Puke Ariki to hear people talk about the planet's origins, first life, energy and more.

Lane says people will be able to hear a wide variety of viewpoints on the big questions from scientists, artists and people of different cultures.

The flipside is that visitors will be asked to add to her project by speaking into their phones and answering questions about time, energy, the living and non-living, and ancestors.


"Their voices will be immediately uploaded into the work, and if they stand in the same spot later, they will hear their own voice," Lane says.

Curator of 3rd nature, Ian Clothier, says the exhibition explores the connections between art, science, technology and indigenous perspectives.

Presented by New Plymouth's Intercreate Trust, the exhibition stems from a work by Taranaki ahorangi Dr Huirangi Waikerepuru, a longtime Maori language and culture advocate and environmental campaigner. He has produced Te Taiao Maori, a video animation that shares pre-1840 knowledge of the Maori universe.

"The title 3rd nature suggests a hybrid space - the third space - of overlap between cultures," he says.

"There are reference points in the exhibition to the cultures of Kiribati Islands, Australia, Japan, Canada, Hungary, the US, Aotearoa, and indigenous cultures of the Americas."

The project creators include two scientists, an artist-scientist, artists, a choreographer, an electronics specialist and a mechanical engineer.

Visitors will discover a vast array of artworks, including movies used to photosynthesise real-life cyanobacteria, floating jellyfish made of crocheted wire, a computer visualisation showing how sharks swim and feed using electromagnetic fields, and digital images of temperature maps projected on to peoples' bodies to illustrate future sea level rises in the Pacific.

The projects will be installed around Te Takapou Whariki and Taranaki Naturally galleries, and out on to Puke Ariki Landing and up into Pukekura Park.

3rd nature is the exhibition component of SCANZ (Solar Circuit Aotearoa NZ), a biennial Intercreate event that includes a hui-symposium and a two-week residency, this year involving 25 artists.

The other artists in 3rd nature are Mike Paulin, Hideo Iwasaki, Janet Laurence, Anne Pincus, Darko Fritz, Pierre Proske, Nigel Helyer, Jo Tito, Rulan Tangen, Nina Czegledy, John Fass, Laszlo Kiss, Ramon Guardans, Martin Brown, Josh Wodak, Tracey Benson, Sonja van Kerkhoff and Sen McGlinn.

Taranaki Daily News