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Next talk postponed

Hi all,

The next scheduled talk for Dorkbot will be postponed. We hope to welcome Melanie to join us another time.


November 18, 2013 at 11:00 pm Leave a comment

November Dorkbot CBR x 2

This month we are very lucky to have not one, but two special guests on Skype for Dorkbot CBR!

On Tuesday 5th November, media artist Jo Tito will join us to talk about a number of her artistic projects. Jo had a key role at SCANZ2013 as a cultural guide, sharing with the residents her knowledge of culture and of the Taranaki area, her home.

A couple of weeks later, on Tuesday 26 November, we will be joined by Melanie Cheung, another SCANZ2013 participant. Melanie is a neuroscientist committed to exploring Indigenous and Western scientific approaches and will be talking to us about electricity and creativity in the brain.

Jo Tito
When: 6pm, Tuesday 5 November 2013

Where: Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Gorman house, Ainslie Avenue, Ainslie

Melanie Cheung
: 6pm, Tuesday 26 November 2013
Where: Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Gorman house, Ainslie Avenue, Ainslie

Peace Mandala 29th Sept by Jo Tito

Peace Mandala 29th Sept by Jo Tito

Jo Tito

Abstract for talk
Jo’s work utilises a range of media including photography, video and painting to explore her passion for life and love and caring for the earth. At Dorkbot we will talk about some of Jo’s recent works, including her “Rock a day project” and her new mandala series.

Biography: Who Am I?

I am a Māori woman indigenous to Aotearoa NZ who is passionate about life and love and bringing about change in the world. I love to write and paint and take photographs. I love to be outside in nature experiencing the elements; the sun the rain and the stars but I also love to be inside snuggled up in a blanket in front of an open fire watching a good documentary or movie!

I love to help people be their best, to help them find who THEY are and share who they are with the world.

I have experienced many things and traveled to many lands where I have felt the spirit of the people and the land, but here in Aotearoa is where I feel most at home. I am currently living on the East Coast of the North Island although my heart is with my mountains: Tarawera, Matawhaura and Taranaki who move through me and remind me of where I come from and of my ancestors who have gone before me.

But I am also this person; my own person outside of where I come from and where I have been and what I have done in my life, I am this person who is constantly searching for who I am, delving into what it is that my heart desires and trying to understand where I fit into the scheme of things and how I can help in the world.

So here I am, I am here ever experiencing the present moment because in my quest to achieve and be something into the future I have found and learnt that the power is right here in the present moment and so I be here, right here, right now. This is who I am until next time…

Melanie Cheung

Abstract for talk
The brain is a fascinating organ that allows us to make sense of the world. As it turns out the brain uses electrochemical signals to do this. Melanie’s talk will discuss some ideas about electricity and creativity in the brain.

Dr Melanie Cheung (Ngāti Rangitihi, Te Arawa) is committed to exploring both Indigenous and Western scientific paradigms to help Māori and Indigenous people with neurodegenerative diseases. Over the past 5 years Melanie and her research team have worked closely with a large Taranaki Māori family that have Huntington’s disease, a dominantly inherited neurodegenerative disease that affects movement, personality, and higher cognitive functions. Their current research projects together include: (1) Developing a model of mutually beneficial partnership between Māori families and biomedical scientists/clinicians; (2) A Photovoice Research Project highlighting the Taranaki families’ wellbeing practices; (3) Clinical and Translational Huntington’s disease research. Dr Cheung’s other scientific research projects have included: Validating a transgenic songbird model of Huntington’s disease (with Rockefeller University); The isolation and culturing of 19 novel primary human cell culture models of brain disease; Using Indigenous values and practices in scientific practice, with specific focus on developing culturally respectful laboratory practices for working with human tissue. This research has been featured internationally in Science (2007, 318:907) and ABC’s award winning All in the mind radio show (3 May, 2008). Melanie has also worked extensively on culturally-responsive science education for Māori and Pasifika students studying biology. She currently works alongside Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith as the academic coordinator of MAI ki Waikato, a Māori capability program which facilitates the academic, professional and cultural development of 71 Māori and Indigenous doctoral students at Waikato University.

Melanie has worked throughout USA, Hawaii and Australia. She undertook research as a visiting scholar at both the Nottebohm Laboratory, Rockefeller University in New York and the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute, University of Washington in Seattle. She has also been a visiting lecturer at School of Education, University of Hawai’i in Hilo and School of Indigenous Australian Studies, James Cook University in Cairns, Australia. In 2014 she will undertake a Fulbright Fellowship with Professor Michael Merzenich at the Brain Plasticity Institute in San Francisco.

October 22, 2013 at 11:14 am Leave a comment

Kura Puke and Stuart Foster on Skype Tuesday 17 Sept

Dorkbot CBR is on again!

On 17 Sept, we warmly welcome Wellington based artists Kura Puke and Stuart Foster who will be joining us on Skype to talk about recent projects and ongoing collaboration. Kura and Stuart both participated in the SCANZ2013 residency, creating a number of works, which we look forward to discussing.

Here is a sample of some of their collaborative work

Tipi Nga Rangi by Kura Puke and Stuart Foster

Tipi Nga Rangi by Kura Puke and Stuart Foster. This image of the laser being tested was taken during the SCANZ2013. Photo by Kalya Ward.

They were also recently awarded the Intercreate Media Arts Project 2014.

Kura Puke (whakapapa: Te Ati Awa) has a BFA in Fine Arts where she majored in glass and holds a Masters in Maori Visual Arts. Puke utilises LED (light emitting diodes) and fibreoptic thread to create illuminated works.

The combination of traditional elements and seemingly commercial materials and technologies, bring together new and ancient knowledge transforming urban visua-scapes into vital, responsive and communicative spaces culturally relevant and resonant within Maori and bi-cultural communities.

Puke’s last significant work Muramura developed out of her investigation into how Maori visual culture continues to reflect customary values, to remain relevant and to resonate withing increasingly urban realities. This work comprised of 12 tukutuku panels which featured animated patterning with variable patterns, timing, intensity and colour.

New developments are ongoing including solar power and sensor capabilities.

Stuart Foster is a spatial designer and academic based in Wellington. Stuart lectures in the spatial design programme at the College of Creative Arts, Massey University, specialising in digital interaction, digital fabrication and spatial representation practices. His research focus is on interactive technologies that operate between digital and physical environments. Other research interests include the exploration of new digital fabrication technologies and how they may be exploited within design process. Stuart is also a founding member and creative director of interrupt collective

When: 6pm, Tuesday 17 September 2013
Where: Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Gorman house, Ainslie Avenue, Ainslie

September 6, 2013 at 9:16 am Leave a comment

Ian Clothier and Te Urutahi Waikerepuru – Skype chat – 30 July

This month we are very lucky to have Ian Clothier from Intercreate and Te Urutahi Waikerepuru from Te Matahiapo as our guests for Dorkbot CBR.

Ian and Tee will talk about three projects, one for ISEA Istanbul, which was the first time Te Urutahi and Ian worked closely on a project; “Wai” for ISEA Albuquerque the second project, and then “SCANZ 2013: 3rd nature” which was a partnership between Intercreate and Te Matahiapo.

Detail of “Pou Hihiri” by Te Urutahi Waikerepuru

Detail of “Pou Hihiri” by Te Urutahi Waikerepuru

These were all exhibition projects, and Ian and Tee will show images of the works selected as they talk. Ian was responsible for curating and fundraising and Te Urutahi provided cultural audit, networking and cultural consultancy. There are elements of working across culture, and across disciplines that were explored in the exhibitions, leading to some surprising interconnections.

Ian M Clothier is an electronic artist, a member of the ISEA International Advisory Committee, Senior Academic at Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki (WITT), Executive Director of Intercreate Research Centre ( and founding Director with Trudy Lane and Nina Czegledy of SCANZ (Solar Circuit Aotearoa New Zealand). His projects have been selected five times for International Symposium on Electronic Art exhibitions (2004, 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2012) and he has held twenty international exhibitions. A hybrid Polynesian, thematically his projects involve cultural hybridity and nonlinearity, and more recently this is combined into integrated systems while working with indigenous people. Collaborative projects have involved data sensors and web applications, robotics, socio-political data visualisation, micronation creation, augmented reality, motion sensors, online survey data collection and installation. In recent years he has worked with Te Huirangi Waikerepuru on projects that explore the interface between culture and technology, old wisdom and new knowledge, traditional Maori awareness and science. His written work has been published in Leonardo, Convergence and Digital Creativity and he has given many conference presentations including to Technoetic telos, Media Art Histories and The International Conference on Thinking.

Te Urutahi Waikerepuru is a managing director at Te Matahiapo Indigenous Research Organisation, where she is focussed on developing indigenous, cross-cultural & inter-disciplinary networks to establish respectful relationships that builds rewarding & sustainable community partnerships worldwide & supports the entrepreneurship of tomorrow’s leaders today. Te Matahiapo Indigenous Research organization (, a collective established in 2012, is committed to unlocking the potentiality of customary wisdom and knowledge located within the layers of whanau, hapū, iwi of Aotearoa New Zealand and other diverse indigenous groups and communities around the world.

When: Tuesday 30 July, 6pm 2013
Where: Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Gorman house, Ainslie Avenue, Ainslie

July 23, 2013 at 6:38 am Leave a comment

Sonja Van Kerkoff – Skype Chat – Dorkbot CBR 25 June

Sonja van Kerkhoff has lived in the Netherlands since 1989, but was born in Taranaki in 1960 and raised on a dairy farm under the mountain. For Dorkbot she will discuss the creation and the logistics of the multi-screen project “Kainga a roto” (Home Within) made with her partner Sen McGlinn, which is both a site-specific architectural form as well as video and soundscape that touches on the ‘unwanted land’ of her childhood. The work has two distinctive aspects, one technical and physical, and the other spiritual and psychological. It was first commissioned by the Museum of Sculpture (Museum Beelden aan Zee) in the Hague in 2010. It was re-created in Istanbul for ISEA 2011, and its third reincarnation was for SCANZ 2013 in New Plymouth, Aotearoa / New Zealand. The works can be viewed here:

Kāinga a roto (Home Within) installation detail ISEA Istanbul 2011

Often Sonja’a videos, installations, interactive works, sculpture or drawings relate to a type of telling that plays with meanings or associations in lyrical ways. Viewers often need to take action as part of the experience of the work. In the original version of this installation, viewers could not experience all five videos without moving around in the space. She often collaborates with others and many individuals have contributed to “Kāinga a roto” (Home Within), in particular, Toroa Pohatu and Sen McGlinn.

Kāinga a roto (Home Within) is an art-system, consisting of five distinct videos, with sounds, lights and shadows, and a physical space. This art-system is used to represent the complex system of a particular biography (growing up in Taranaki), using a visual language composed of references to the natural world (water in particular, but also earth, wind and bird life) influenced by Māori cultural values.

Kāinga a roto (Home Within) installation detail ISEA Istanbul 2011

When: Tuesday 25 June, 6pm 2013
Where: Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Gorman house, Ainslie Avenue, Ainslie.

June 18, 2013 at 4:02 am 1 comment

Reminder: Shannon Novak, Wednesday 1 May @ Dorkbot CBR

Next Wednesday evening, come along, bring your iPad, tablets and smart phones and interact with NZ artist Shannon Novak’s latest work “Reorchestrated Space” at CCAS.

Shannon Novak

Shannon Novak

Exhibition description

Installation title: “Reorchestrated Space”

In 1994, artist Jeffrey Shaw exhibited a work titled “The Golden Calf” at Ars Electonica 94 in Austria. The work consisted of a white plinth in the middle of a room with a portable monitor sitting on top that the audience could pick up and view a virtual version of the plinth through with a Golden Calf on top. Similarly, Reorchestrated Space explores the idea of an empty display mechanism that the audience can populate with the artists work using a mobile device.

In biblical terms, the Golden Calf was created to remove the anxiety associated with the absence of Moses when he climbed Mount Sinai. Similarly, Shaw’s Golden Calf may have removed the anxiety associated with the absence of an expected work on the plinth. This is further examined in Novak’s work where the audience can fill an empty frame using augmented reality.

Returning to the biblical reference, people danced around the Golden Calf as an act of worship and this was reflected in Shaw’s work where it appeared the audience danced around the plinth as they moved the portable monitor around. In Novak’s work, the audience may also be seen to dance as they search for the correct position to activate the work.

Unlike Shaw’s work, Novak’s work uses sound. This reflects the main focus of Novak’s practice, which is to explore the idea that “everything is music”. His recent works have considered everyday objects or locations as subjects such as drinking fountains, light switches, or entire buildings. The musicality behind each object or location is revealed through colour and abstract forms as experienced by Novak through synesthesia, and in Reorchestrated Space, the musicality behind an empty frame is uncovered.

Shannon Novak – Biography
Shannon Novak is an artist based in Auckland, New Zealand. He works in painting, sculpture, and installation, with a focus on using geometric forms to explore his deep and abiding interest in the interrelationships between sound, colour, form, time, space, and social context. He completed a residency at CentralTrak, The University of Texas at Dallas Artists Residency in 2011, has been engaged in public commissions in Auckland, New Plymouth, and Denver, and co-founded West gallery at The University of Auckland in 2012.

Come along and meet Shannon on Skype and see what interesting things he have been doing.

When: 6pm, Wednesday 1 May, 2013
Where: Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Gorman house, Ainslie Avenue, Ainslie.

April 25, 2013 at 10:37 pm 1 comment

Dorkbot CBR 2013 program – Taranaki Tales

Shannon Novak

Shannon Novak

Dorkbot CBR is very happy to announce the program for 2013 – Taranaki Tales.

This year will focus on a series of Skype conversations with artists who participated in the SCANZ2013 3rd Nature residency, symposium and exhibition, which was located at New Plymouth, in the Taranaki region of New Zealand.

The overarching theme of SCANZ2013 3rd Nature was ‘integrated systems’ and focused on three key intersecting topics:

1. Acknowledging the environmental crisis

2. Engaging with Maori and indigenous peoples

3. Engaging with Sciences and the Hybrid Arts

The Intercreate website states that:

Integrating indigenous perspectives with creative, environmental, scientific and academic views on reality is essential to a sustainable future. At the same time, computing and digital media are changing our relationship to culture and the environment.

On the one hand digital technology allows us to analyse and display data in new ways, as when anthropologists use language databases to shed light on the movement of culture.

On the other hand digital technology adds to our senses, and extends them beyond the body to the forests and the land. Scientists, artists and others are transforming the environment into an organism, as Maori and indigenous peoples have always known it to be.

Dorkbot CBR co-overlord, Tracey Benson, participated in the SCANZ2013 residency and 3rd Nature exhibition. Upon returning to Australia, Tracey was keen to continue the conversations started in Taranaki with a mind to expand the conversations to a wider audience.

The artists giving presentations are either based in the Taranaki region, originate from there or have created works in the New Plymouth/Taranaki region that respond to the location.The first speaker, artist Shannon Novak was brought up in the Taranaki region. It is worth mentioning the interesting connection Shannon has to the title of the talks – “Taranaki Tales”, which was completely incidental. “Taranaki Tales” is also the title of a book that was written and illustrated by Shannon’s mother Paula Novak some years ago.

Shannon Novak

Shannon Novak

Shannon Novak – Biography
Shannon Novak is an artist based in Auckland, New Zealand. He works in painting, sculpture, and installation, with a focus on using geometric forms to explore his deep and abiding interest in the interrelationships between sound, colour, form, time, space, and social context. He completed a residency at CentralTrak, The University of Texas at Dallas Artists Residency in 2011, has been engaged in public commissions in Auckland, New Plymouth, and Denver, and co-founded West gallery at The University of Auckland in 2012.

Come along and meet Shannon on Skype and see what interesting things he have been doing.
When: Wednesday 1 May 6pm 2013
Where: Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Gorman house, Ainslie Avenue, Ainslie.

April 10, 2013 at 2:27 am 3 comments

Pia van Gelder at Dorkbot CBR 29th November 2011

Pia van Gelder is a Sydney based electronic media artist / facilitator / teacher / student. Pia teaches Media Art at the College of Fine Arts, she is an MFA candidate at University of Sydney. She is a director at the Hybrid ARI Serial Space and the Overlord of Dorkbot (Sydney).

Image: Pia van Gelder

Image: Pia van Gelder

Van Gelder’s practice balances between two focuses for live performance and interactive installations – analogue audio/video synthesis and the modification or circuit-bending of pre-existing media-machines to facilitate their creation of unexpected and idiosyncratic outputs. She is interested in the idea of the “performing machine”, exploring the strange partnership or collaboration between artist and machine.

Van Gelder’s research is a form of media archaeology – discussing contemporary approaches to ‘composition inside electronics’ and new possibilities of ‘haunted media’ and ‘machine vision’. Van Gelder will be presenting some recent machines she has been working with and some ideas they are conjuring together.

6-8 PM

November 15, 2011 at 7:50 am Leave a comment

Tim Boykett and Pippa Buchanan at Dorkbot Cbr Thurs 16 December plus Xmas drinks + ANAT meet and greet

Times Up - Moving Information Machine

Times Up - Moving Information Machine

Tim Boykett and Pippa Buchanan will join us for a chat to finish off a great year in dork!

Save the date: Thursday 16th December
Time: 5 – 7pm
Location: CCAS GALLERY, Gorman House Arts Centre
Street: Ainslie Ave. Braddon

And you are also invited to CCAS earlier at 3pm to meet Vicki Sowry, Program Manager for the Australian Network for Art and Technology, ANAT. Vicki is visiting Canberra and she would love to meet you and answer any questions you have about ANAT’s Synapse residency program and your project.

For the past two decades, Vicki has established and delivered professional programs for artists and filmmakers in partnership with industry. She has worked at Metro Screen, the Australian Film Commission, ABC Television and the Media Resource Centre. In 2007 she joined ANAT to manage the Art Science program and, in early 2010, was appointed Program Manager for the full suite of ANAT programs. for more info on ANAT please visit

Where: Canberra Contemporary Artspace, Gormon House
When: Thursday 16 December 3pm – 4.30pm

Please RSVP for catering purposes

And back to Tim and Pippa…

Tim Boykett, was born and grew up in Australia, has been living in Austria since 1991. Operating between the areas of mathematics and media art, performance and interaction: the boundaries have been and remain fluid.

Pippa Buchanan, runs the P2PU / MOzilla WebCraft project and will talk about this project

As a continuing founding member of Time’s Up, Tim has been involved in conceptualising, planning, building and presenting extended interactive mediated physical environments for the past ten years. There have been four main phases of work: the Hyperfitness Studio series, the BodySPIN series the Sensory Circus and the current series of Physical Narratives. Interwoven in these developments and installations have been a series of smaller experiments, workshops, performances and other events, including a series of “Closing the Loop” workshops. Essential to this work has been an ongoing theoretical development that rests upon a protoscientific world view (both for the development and for the participant) with an understanding of the axes of Control, Perception and Biomechanics. Parallel to this, Tim has been active as a researcher in algebra, combinatorics and computer science with several publications in international journals. His work here has included the analysis of computational models for physical processes, modelling of processes and the generation of combinatorial designs.

The cross-fertilization from the theories of mathematical and computational spaces and environments to the creation of experimental situations, leads to a abundance of possibilities. The problems of implementation and realisation are significant; one of the strengths of the Time’s Up work has been the continuing concentration upon reliable and solid physical structures for their spaces. Current developments include the development of character based physical narratives as well as investigating the parallels between mathematical and aesthetic research

Selected recent publications include:

“Notation und visuelle Musik” with Andrei Smirnov, in “Klangmaschinen zwischen Experimenten und Medientechnik” editor Daniel Gethmann and Elisabeth Shimana, September 2010.
“Aesthetic and Mathematical Research” in Bridges 2010 Proceedings, Tesselations Publishing, 2010.

“Designing performativity for mixed reality installations” with Andrew Morrison, Alex Davies, Geska Brečević, Idunn Sem & Robert Brečević, FORMakademisk, volume 3 number 1, July 2010.

“All difference families are derived from groups” in Algebra and Discrete Mathematics, Nr 2009-1, 2009.

“Conservation laws in rectangular CA” with Jarkko Kari and Siamak Taati, Journal of Cellular Automata, 2007.

“An Orderly algorithm to determine the UPP2 graphs of small order” Acta Math. Sinica 23(2), pp 249-264, 2007.

“Playing the Game: Notes on Games, Play and Gameplay in Interactive Installations” in proceedings of the Game-Art-Interface session, CGIE Conference, Perth, Australia 2006.

“Extensive multiscale interactive situations” in Proceedings of the International Digital Games Conference 2006, Portalegre.

“The Care and Feeding of Transient Realities” in TRG: On Transient Realties and their Generators, Edition TOX, Maribor, 2006.

“Sensory Circus: Yes, you will go to the Moon” in “Timeshift” edited by C Schöpf and G Stocker, Hatje Kantz Publishers, September 2004.

“Efficient exhaustive enumeration of reversible one dimensional cellular automata,” Theoretical Computer Science, Vol 325/2 pp 215-247, 2004.

“Space from Nonspace: Emergent spatiality in dynamic graphs,” Proceedings of Bridges 2005, edited by R Sarhangi.
“The development of SPIN or On the seeming impossibility to realise virtuality in the midst of virtual realities” in “Art&D,” V2 publishers, 2005.

December 6, 2010 at 11:26 pm Leave a comment

Dorkbot now on Pandora

Dorkbot CBR is now being listed as part of the National Library of Australia’s Pandora Web Archive at

November 12, 2010 at 8:34 pm Leave a comment

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