Transitionalfieldwork -36.8670511, 174.7597644
Curated by David Cowlard & Rebecca Steedman
Exhibition included work by: David Cowlard, Catherine Griffiths, Yolunda Hickman, Luckybulldozer, Oliver Neuland, Caroline Powley, Rebecca Steedman and Ruth Watson
The closure and subsequent demolition of the Downtown Shopping Mall in Auckland in mid-2016 signalled the start of the Central Rail Project (CRL), a significant infrastructural project financed by government, Auckland council and public private partnerships.
As with all major projects the announcements, following public consultations and meetings, heralded a new Auckland. However, the prospect of a landscape that would be in a state of constant flux offered up not only the possibilities for large scale changes but also the opportunity to investigate how we grasped those changes, the impact on lives and the creation of an ongoing series of transitional landscapes.
In the early years of the 21st century not only will the landscape(s) of central Auckland undergone a process of transformation but the very notion of landscape has undergone a series of shifts in emphasis. It is something physical, experienced and seen. With the rapid expansion of locative media the physical landscape and its virtual corollary have come to be closely related. It was the conditions of flux that prompted the formation of transitionalfieldwork as a mutable, interdisciplinary focus point for researchers, artists and residents to respond broadly to the changes that would occur.
21 Shaddock Street, the site of DEMO artspace was chosen as the starting point for its very temporal fragility. Mt Eden station will be the point at which the new rail line will meet the existing Western line. The space on which DEMO stood has now disappeared.
David Cowlard and Auckland based artist Rebecca Steedman invited practitioners and researchers to respond to the territory flagged for infrastructural development. Participants of the experimental research project had six weeks to imagine; re-imagine; map or record an archive of the existing landscape, or propose alternate futures.