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            Symposium Programme

  Day 1

0800                Registration

0830                tea/coffee


0900-1000             Welcome,

Dr Alexandra Dumitrescu and Lucy Boermans

What if a River Wants to Sing? Jillian Sullivan


1000                 morning tea

1030-1215       Session 1

Lines and grains: the terrain and narrative of the Samoan Cosmogony,

Solo o le Vā, Dr Albert Refiti.

Acknowledging Indigenous Leadership in the 21st Century, Pasha Clothier.

Pre/non/meta/modern : Shifts, Tensions, Pluralities in Landscape Relationality, Hannah Hopewell and Daniel Coombes.


1215                lunch


1330-1515       Session 2

Listening-Telling and Telling-Listening; Considering Stories of Earthly Matter, Shelley Simpson

A Politics of Becoming, Lucy Boermans

1515                afternoon tea


1545-1715       Session 3

Video reading, Redemptive Literary ‘CPR’, Tasha Haines.

Affective Geographies: A MetaModern Sympoietic Painting Practice,

Janet Mazenier. 

Video screening, Is it a rock? Is it a mirror?, Natalie Tozer

Artist’s Talk, Michelle Mayn, St Paul’s Street, Gallery 1.

1800                Exhibition opening 

breathing space / space breathing Lucy Boermans, Shelley Simpson,

Michelle Mayn and Yana Dombrowsky-M’Baye,

St Paul’s Street, Gallery 1.


  Day 2

0830                tea/coffee


0900-1015       Session 1

Cultural Identity and Race in Postcolonial Literature:

Hanif Kureishi and V.S.Naipaul, Emilia Ursachi (Hasmatuchi).

Rethinking Doctoral Education – Could it be Better Aligned

with Metamodernist Principles?  Rachel Spronken-Smith.


1015                morning tea


1045-1245       Session 2

Growing Seeds of The Metamodern in Individual Awareness, 

Maria Ross.

Workshop, Rewilded Learning: Ecological Ways of Knowing and Learning

Dr Matthew Stevens.


1245               lunch

1400-1530      Session 3

Reading, Siobhan Harvey.

Metamodern Master: 101 Lessons from Heaney the Poet Translator,

Marco Sonzogni

I C U: Intrinsic Creative Universality, Susan Nelson


1530                afternoon tea

1530-1730       Books and Magazine Launch

Transformation, Alexandra Balm, launched by Valentina Teclici (publisher)

and Fiona Kidman.

Longing Songs Between Two Worlds, Valentina Teclici, launched by

Jillian Sullivan and Alexandra Balm.

becoming, metamoderncreatives, launched by Alexandra Balm and Lucy Boermans, with readings by Lincoln Jaques, Jillian Sullivan, Irena Karafilly, Karine-Gwenaëlle, and Sandra Arnold.

1730                Symposium closing  


What if a River Wants to Sing? 

Jillian Sullivan


This presentation allows the audience to be with the Manuherekia River from the high mountain valley near the Hawkdun Mountains to the confluence with the great Clutha/Mata-Au.  Four years ago, I walked the length of the Manuherekia River in Central Otago, to enter into a place of respect for the river.

I have seen the river at its beginnings; at the tributaries falling silver from the mountains – the Ida Burn, Rocks Creek, the Dunstan. I have seen the wild shags on rock cliffs, the dart of young fish in clear pools over clean stones, and felt the surge and thrust of the stream through stretches of tussock and rock, over boulders that glisten golden, or white pierced through with green.

And I have seen how humans stand apart from the natural world and say this is not us, but for us. To say the river has rights and needs, to say the river deserves our responsibility to further generations, to say the river is one being from mountain torrent to the wide, luminous stretch between shingled banks, is to go against those who have the voice of power.

My hope is if we see and understand what we’re doing to the life force of our streams and rivers, this will lead us to humility, gratefulness, and respect for our natural world.




Lines and grains: the terrain and narrative of the Samoan Cosmogony, Solo o le Vā 

Dr Albert Refiti


The paper discusses the Samoan cosmogony as having a consistent direction of how matter unfolds in the universe. The expression of life unfolds between two states, mavae, the divaricating process of creation, and tōfiga, folding and ordering. 


A spatial exposition and diagrammatic outline of the cosmogony will be presented to highlight the cosmic emplacement of the human, the emanation and spatial qualities of mana, and the genealogy of matter connected to Papa leading to the creation of the fale.


This paper draws out the spatial characteristics of Papa and the creation of tagata relating to the creation of matter. A spatial exposition of these concepts in which mana, tapu, and noa become important concepts that structure the spaces of rituals and the construction of important places within settlements. They are explored as places of tūlaga fale and nofoaga for matai and the extended clan, marked by the mounding of earth and stones to form a paepae (platform) over which a fale (house) provides shelter.

Acknowledging Indigenous leadership in the 21st century

Pasha Clothier


In 2006 Intercreate launched Solar Circuit Aotearoa New Zealand (SCANZ) with a powhiri at the historic Owae Marae and concluded the event with a poroporoaki at the Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki, the venue for residency. At the time, within a framework of ‘art, science, technology, and culture’ Intercreate’s aim was to promote the notion that Indigenous should have a voice at the table where discussion of the environment was concerned. Increasing guidance from tangata whenua over thematics for the hui and residency prevailed over further SCANZ events and international exhibitions,  leading to the location of the entire hui and residency at Parihaka in 2018.


In 2022 the SCANZ panel at Balance-Unbalance in Bogota, acknowledged “and endorses indigenous leadership in regard to environmental practice and systems of knowledge.” Personal development, governance, the inner dimensions of life, political systems and the eco-system need to be addressed as one integrated entity rather than a suite of trajectories. As Hui, Yuk argued, the separation of meta from physics in the lead-up to the Industrial revolution created an ideological ground where the environment, humans and nonhuman species could be subjected to exploitation, mainly in the name of wealth accumulation. To resurrect ethics into science and industry involves more than simple pledges and changing practices, and the key part of the solution follows that outlined by Dame Anne Salmond citing His Highness Tui Tupua Tamasese Ta’isi Efi, head of state of Samoa.

Pre/non/meta/modern: shifts, tensions, pluralities in landscape relationality

Hannah Hopewell and Daniel Coombes


This paper observes a shift in how landscape is contemporaneously interpreted. Such a shift bears upon how relationships between humanity and nature are expressed. We trace theoretical and practice-based momentums to indicate a departure from the idea of landscape as pre-given and enclosed by euro-centric modern and post-modern contexts. In acknowledging the tensions and complicities of the (modern) landscape idea in settler colonialism and its ushering of ontological and epistemological hegemonies, we critically examine mounting tendencies to align landscape on the one hand with new materialist ontologies, and on the other with indigenous knowledges. Whilst it is well established by landscape and geography scholars of the 1990s that the euro-western idea of landscape is multifarious—the implication of alignments with new materialist and/or indigenous forms of knowledge is less critically understood.


New materialist ontologies and indigenous knowledge are increasingly seen as containing opportunities for enacting pre/non/meta/modern relations between nonhuman and human ecologies. In this paper, we focus on deploying the non as a heuristic device for responding to ideas one wants to resist, yet resist without perpetuating the violence of supersession, displacement or overcoming. Invocating the non, vis-à-vis modern, is an attempt to open a door for the co-existence and co-contemplation of difference without the jostle for epistemology authority. Through creative and critical practice-based research, our inquiry asks how nonmodern modes of existence within and between lifeworlds might emerge without slipping into well-worn modern/post-modern positions.



Listening-Telling and Telling-Listening; Considering Stories of Earthly Matter

Shelley Simpson


In this paper I consider the concept of storied matter as a linchpin to explore the relationship between the metamodern and posthumanism. The posthuman concept of storied matter considers matter (matter as earthly materials) not only lively, agential and generative, but densely storied. All matter is “storied subjects of an ever unfolding onto-tale.”[1]  Rather than a narrative, storied matter is a “dynamic process of material expressions.”[2] Stories emerge in relation, with humans and other-than-humans creating stories together in a distributed event. By recognising that there is a distributed agency at work in the expression of stories, a decentring of human exceptionalism occurs. Each engagement with a material opens up a realm of story, always being co-composed and spatio-temporally shifting. In my visual art practice, I hope to foster a re-enchantment with matter, specifically extracted material resources  ̶  a re-enchantment that can create empathy. Empathy can translate into more respectful, more considered approaches to how we interact with both each other and the other-than-human; how we live here and now. How do ideas such as re-enchantment and empathy with others relate to a key idea of metamodernism  ̶  that we are at a bend in history, that there is a shift in the ‘structure of feeling’?[3]

Is It a Rock? Is It a Mirror?

Natalie Tozer


In the opaque and deformed capitalist societies that we struggle to make sense of,

corporate elites constrain the idea of the non-hierarchical collective. Seen as weak

and depleted from capital and without a continually expanding bubble, the aims of

the collective are not understood by the current and reigning economic system.


To counter political and economic restraints and the broad species-thinking of the

grand narrative of the Anthropocene, collectives engage in imaginative narratives

that explore the geologic. With its underworld, dirt, and ancient matter, the geologic offers alternative modes of perception for communities living precariously.


Protagonists and participants seeking geologic knowledge acknowledge there is

no grand narrative, no single species, and no single solution. Grand narratives with normative structures  ̶   such as the beginning, punchline, moral judgment and end  ̶   are reductive and alienate, and critically — prevent both debt payback and debt refusal.


Digging through hostile surfaces into the underland enacts a process to counteract

the ever-expanding structures of economic debt — a type of debt that can be

refused or forgiven. However, debt to deep time and non-life is a debt that requires



Sense-based narratives allow for a more complex, derailed approach with messy,

unresolved, damaged, and contaminated stories with multiple and open-ended

speculation. These stories explore relationships with the nonhuman and primordial.


Through imaginative, sense-based, and belief-based narratives in the geologic,

another time or matter may coexist, a geological time/space that can’t be known but

that may be sensed… and in this way the uncanny totems of sentient geologies, or

perhaps, the small, curious, anthropocentric marvels of community and collective,

can be acknowledged.

Politics of Becoming

Lucy Boermans


“…to defamiliarize understanding through language games, and to throw the mind sufficiently off balance that room is opened for an understanding that transcends the categories that held it captive.”  Arthur C Danto


There is value in extracting lines of text from their source  - not as a sign of the fragmentism of the postmodern, but as a gesture towards the metamodern as a paradigm of integration that is non- and de-colonising. There is a resonance between (word) parts when abstracted from the constructed whole; they appear like reconfigured shorthand, messaged to the self, and to others. I could explain their root source to you. Instead, I would like to present them as a deformative prompt, after Jerome McGann’s notion of deformance that asks us to disrupt or re-organize a text’s original order,  to bring our attention to possibilities of meaning that “were there all along, though perhaps obscured, in the original. Deformance merely brings them out. It does this by putting us in a new relation to the work's form (in this case a paper presentation).


Just as art critic and writer Wystan Curnow experimented with writing styles that sought “to develop new forms of art writing to meet the ambitions of new forms of art”. In a metamodern vein that opens avenues of communication between often divergent realms, such as politics and art, I consider reconfigurations of writing art in-the-now of today, in a post-postmodern age, to respond to the following question:


How can politics be adjusted to an increasingly complex world through such acts of reconfiguration in art and writing? 


To act, you must first notice. This paper seeks answers through the sharing of noticed resonances, after Anna Tsing’s Arts of Noticing, in the form of excerpts of writing, reflection and examples of interdisciplinary practice. Such noticings are deeply metamodern in so much as they shed light on a process that all people use, but few are aware of: we make sense of the world by bringing together fragments of perception, knowledge or insights, which we organise around or allow to take over our own self-perception, thus creating new meaning. In Emily Dickinson’s words, “a Something overtakes the mind.”



Redemptive Literary ‘CPR’

Tasha Haines

A hybrid prose work for remote/online presentation. (a pre-recorded performative reading).


In 1993 David Foster Wallace said, the writer’s job is to “give CPR to those elements of

what’s human and magical that still live and glow despite the times’ darkness.” While I hope ‘the writer’ will never have a ‘job description’, my auto-theoretical prose poem explores and exemplifies a testimonial poetics of literary hybridity for a post-postmodern era.


The poetic hybridity I employ entails generative tendencies that aim to not only perform the “CPR” Wallace speaks of but also testify to a kind of ‘duty of care’ for the self-and-other in textual art towards an unfinished exemplification of how best to redeem the “time’s darkness.”


Through a postmodern lens, redemption is anachronistic with its suggestion of vulnerability / error / remorse / accountability, and up surges the problem of metanarratology. However, in an anthropogenic age, modes of redemption may be necessary, speaking of solutions to the climate and other crises, and becoming progressively post-postmodern. I use the concept of redemption, to underpin my hybrid forms and flag the shift away from postmodern nihilism into something that ‘breathes life’.  


Working from a personal-particular point of view in a stream-of-consciousness style (because of a preference for ‘honesty’), I explore Wallace’s phrase about CPR and make an exemplification of the qualities and inclusions of a ‘life-saving’ textual art. My hybrid work will interweave with a simple and similarly testimonial video footage.   


... a big part of real art fiction’s job is to aggravate this sense of entrapment and loneliness and death in people, to move people to countenance it, since any possible human redemption requires us first to face what’s dreadful, what we want to deny. (Wallace, McCaffery interview, 1993)

Affective Geographies: A MetaModern sympoietic painting practice of slow walking,

looking, thinking, and making situated in a series of abstracted topographical landscape artworks.

Janet Mazenier


Janet Mazenier’s artistic practice engages with a visual language of tension in contemporary painting between realism and abstraction. This language contributes to what is inherently an experimental approach to each stage of every artwork creation, each mark, daub, and surface acting as a portal into the cognitive site of the encounter responsible for its existence. 


Theorist Donna Haraway (1944-), in her book Staying with the Trouble, states that “we relate, know, think, world, and tell stories through and with other stories, worlds, knowledges, thinking yearnings.  So do all the other critters of Terra…other words for this might be…sympoiesis…” (Haraway, 2016).  Through this presentation, Mazenier relates Haraway’s concept of sympoiesis i.e. “making-with” to MetaModern ideas, applying this thinking and practice to the notions of interconnectivity, agency, and matter as an empathetic nexus between landscape, human agency and the observed and imaginary worlds of human and non-human.  Nature’s materiality is a duality of the visible and invisible. 


Mazenier’s supporting research encompasses input from, for example, theorists, historians, experts in geology and geography, tangata whenua, political and soil systems.  Enlisting the memory of experiential encounters from which to derive a visual vocabulary, her research traverses unconscious and conscious processes as observed and imagined relationships that are re-envisioned into artworks, echoing elements of process art, automatism, environmental art, world-making and conceptual art. 


Artist’s talk


Disrupting time, space and matter through a process-based installation 

Michelle Mayn

A reflective discourse on the process-based installation method of breathing space / space breathing* exhibition held in ST PAUL Street Gallery, Auckland (2023).  Utilising a response driven methodology, the exhibition materialises through a reciprocal affect and a resonating response by each artist.  This relational curatorial and installation approach, rather than a collaborative method, allows each individual work to be subtly informed by nuances within newly situated works.  Through this gradual evolution, works further absorb subtle cues offered by site, material, environment and architectural space.  This discourse focuses on relational ontologies and agential realism theories within the field of a textile installation practice that explores the life force of material.


* Lucy Boermans, Shelley Simpson, Yana Dombrowsky-M’Baye and Michelle Mayn



Cultural identity and race in multicultural societies

Ema Hasmatuchi


In times of migration, people experience a continuous search of a cultural identity, of a self. The migration process means the loss of the original home, of cultural traditions, and the need to reconstruct a new self, a new identity in order to achieve the feeling of belonging. The idea of this essay came from my personal experience, as, since I moved from my hometown, I constantly had the feeling of compromise due to my relocation, missing home, my traditions. The process of adaption, assimilation, and integration will never be completed, so I constantly have the impression of being in-between, a concept defined and analysed by Indian English scholar and critical theorist Homi Bhabha. He is one of the most important figures in contemporary postcolonial studies due to his key concepts such as hybridity, mimicry, ambivalence, the Third Space. This paper focuses on the representation of race, identity, and home in postcolonial literature, especially in Hanif Kureishi`s The Buddha of the Suburbia, V.S. Naipaul’s The Mimic Men, and David Dabydeen`s The Intended.


Key words: cultural identity; race; mimicry; home; self, the Third Space; hybridity; postcolonialism.

Rethinking doctoral education – could it be better aligned with metamodernist principles?

Rachel Spronken-Smith

My musings about the future of doctoral education are well aligned with the key tenets of metamodernism. We know our doctoral graduates are entering an uncertain, complex, and fragile world. We know many feel unprepared for the career pathways they enter. If we want our graduates to be caring global citizens who are able to contribute to solving wicked problems, how can we best prepare them? Is it enough for doctoral education to continue to focus on typical outcomes that define ‘doctorateness’, such as the ability to produce original and significant research, and to demonstrate high levels of critical thinking and communication ability? Or should we be broadening their education to include a focus on more affective attributes such as global citizenship, characterised by cultural literacy, socio-communicative literacy, digital literacy and environmental literacy? In this session I will outline how the doctoral curriculum can foster more holistic attributes to enable our doctoral graduates to be well positioned to make a positive impact in this volatile world.




Growing Seeds of the Metamodern in Individual Awareness

Maria Ross


The past few decades saw the emergence of a new paradigm in several spheres of social life from literature to politics. It goes a step further than the modernist challenge of rationalism and postmodernist inclusiveness of “the other” to a new set of values surpassing all divisions, be they racial, gender, social, national, religious or otherwise, and herald an era of unity, compassion, and motherly care, not only of other people but also the environment that supports our very existence.

These metamodern values are often accepted by societies and individuals in theory but even among the most liberal parts of society, cases of conscious and unconscious bias, materialism, greed, and self-centredness clearly demonstrate that there are powerful barriers in our mind preventing these values from becoming the reality of everyday life.

Such limitations of the mind can be overcome through  experience of mental silence (thoughtless awareness). It takes the awareness to a higher level, above our mental projections harbouring all those barriers. This state can be achieved through the technique called  Sahaja Yoga meditation introduced by Nirmala Shrivastava in the 1970s. It is based on awakening of the subtle energy which is dormant in every individual which is able to take the practitioner into the state of mental stillness, or thoughtless awareness. The centres responsible for compassion, creativity, innocence, forgiveness and self-mastery are awakened, nourished and start manifesting their qualities effortlessly.

The benefits of Sahaja Yoga meditation have been shown in a large body of academic studies and can be experienced by every person irrespective of their age, gender, religion, nationality, education, social position or any other differences.

The participants will have a chance to experience a short meditation during this presentation.


Rewilded Learning: Ecological Ways of Knowing and Learning

Matthew Stevens


Rewilded learning is learning beyond the boundaries of schools and qualifications  – out in the wilds of the community and domains of practice. As a natural organic process, learning emerges through, and as, experience. Following the radical empiricism of William James (Bernstein, 2010), the empirical naturalism of John Dewey (1929), the ecological psychology of James Gibson (1971), and the radical enactivism of Shaun Gallagher (2017), the organism and the environment co-define each other in their dynamical interaction. Within these ‘situations’, knowing and learning emerge as dynamical processes of integrated body-mind attunement, adjustment and adaptation. In this way, living, as a journey through a continuum of unfolding situations, is synonymous with learning (Stevens, 2020). The implication is that all situations, throughout life, are potentially affordances for learning and knowing. Taken as a whole, these living-learning situations form an ecosystem of learning affordances in which both the subject and the situation learn (Bateson, 2015). Ecological ways of knowing and learning have parallels and convergences with Mātauranga Māori (Māori ways of knowing) and Māori pedagogy.


The workshop begins with a brief overview and introduction to ecological ways of knowing and learning. This is followed by a group discussions and ideation about the possible forms that rewilded learning situations and ecosystems – out in the community – might take. The  workshop finishes with groups presenting their ideas back to the wider group. The ideas and concepts will be collated after the workshop and be made available. Participants will also be invited to participate in an ongoing research project as co-researchers and co-designers of a community learning ecosystem.




Bateson, N. (2015). Symmathesy: A word in progress; Proposing a new word that refers to living systems.


Bernstein, R. J. (2010). The pragmatic turn. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Polity.


Dewey, J. (1929). Experience & nature. London, United Kingdom: George Allen & Unwin.


Gallagher, S. (2017). Enactivist interventions: Rethinking the mind. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.


Gibson, J. J. (1977). The theory of affordances. In R. Shaw and J. Bransford (Eds.), Perceiving, acting and knowing: Toward an ecological psychology (pp. 67–82). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.


Stevens, M. (2020). Dissolving the walls: An inquiry into nomadic agile learning (PhD thesis). Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand.





Reading (creative nonfiction)

Siobhan Harvey

A sample of ‘Living in the Haunted House of the Past: or Renovation, Writing and How to Construct a Living Room While Searching for a Home’ from Ghosts (Otago University Press, 2021).


I C U: Intrinsic Creative Universality

Susan Nelson


This research started from a broad interest in how ontology (the nature of being and metaphysical relationships) and epistemology (theories of knowledge and truth) relate to current-day pedagogy: or essentially how we embody and impart knowledge, learn, and expand our individual and collective understanding of being in the world. As an investigation into how inner meets and shapes outer in reciprocal relationship, it was distilled down to three key areas: intrinsicality, authentic individuation, and the importance of creative potential within a wider ecosystem.


Metamodern master: 101 lessons from Heaney the poet-translator 

Marco Sonzogni


In the year Mas’ud Zavarzade coined the term metamodernism, 1975, one of the most epoque-making collection of poems was published: North, by Seamus Heaney (SH). This book contains SH’s first published and collected translation, from the French of Baudelaire. Using his translations as a case study (The Translations of Seamus Heaney, Faber, 2022), I will argue that SH the poet-translator is a metamodern master – if it true, and I think it is, that metamodernism mediates aspects of modernism and postmodernism and integrates them indigenous and traditional cultural matrices.


[1]Oppermann, Serpil, “Storied Matter”, Posthuman Glossary. Edited by Rosi Braidotti and Maria Hlavajova, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2018, p 413.

[2] Iovino, Serenella, and Serpil Oppermann, eds. Material Ecocriticism. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2014, p 8.

[3] Vermeulen, Timotheus,, accessed October 12, 2022.


Bios according to presentation order


Dr Alexandra Dumitrescu


Alexandra Dumitrescu writes poems, short stories, and literary studies. At the start of the millennium, she proposed metamodernism as a cultural paradigm and a period term. In 2014 she completed her PhD (Otago, Dunedin) with a thesis about Metamodernism in Literature, followed by a Master of Creative Writing (AUT, Auckland) with the novel Why Don’t I Keep a Diary or A Secret Story of Metamodernism. She received awards, fellowships, and scholarships from various universities and organisations at home and overseas. Her work was published in Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia, America, and Europe (Czech Republic, Greece, Romania). She taught at the Universities of Cluj (Romania) and Otago (Aotearoa New Zealand). She lives in Auckland, where she teaches at Manurewa High School and is a PhD Adviser for AUT. Garry Forrester called her “mother of metamodernism” in his 2014 memoir More Deaths Than One.


Lucy Boermans


Lucy Boermans is a motion design lecturer and interdisciplinary artist. Boermans’ research pathway looks to "atmospheres in motion" to realize new "points of crossing" (affective resonance) that could inform the establishment of a new, intercultural art school outside "the institutional norms" in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Boermans completed a Master of Fine Arts at Elam School of Fine Arts (first class honours) at The University of Auckland in 2021. Exhibited work and presented research includes: Towards a Collective Imaginary (poster presentation), Forum for Global Challenges, Birmingham, UK (2022); Turning (solo show), The Malcolm Smith Gallery, Auckland (2022); Unseen (group show), The Tuesday Club, Auckland (2022); Ecologies of Movement, LINK 2021, AUT, Art and Design Symposium, Auckland (2021); Iteration 12, installation with Michelle Mayn, mothermother, Auckland (2021); Our Symbiotic Habit: Telling Stories of Things That Matter (Paper Presentation), AAANZ Conference, Auckland (2020); Meeting Half Way (group show), Projectspace (2020); Materiality in Motion: Ecologies of Transformation (installation), San Diego (2019); Connected Bodies? In Search of the Affective Dimension (paper presentation), AAANZ conference, RMIT, Melbourne (2018); Hingespace (solo show), George Fraser Gallery (2018), Materiality in Motion (poster presentation), 13th Conference of Arts in Society, Vancouver (2018); Performance 2120, showing as part of Wunderuuma (AAG), The Gus Fisher Gallery (2017); Akin (solo show), Objectspace (2017).


PhD candidate at AUT, Vice Chancellor scholarship recipient.

Lecturer, Media Design School, Auckland


Dr James Charlton


James Charlton is a second-generation New Zealand Post-object artist whose work includes video, object-based sculpture, stereo-lithography, installation, robotics, interactive screen-based, and performance work. He lectures on sculpture and interactive installation, topics that reflect his interest in new Realist ontologies and parallel his PhD research on digital materiality with Plymouth University (UK).


Recent projects include: Thrown (Te Uru Gallery, Auckland, NZ, 2020), Rebound (KARST, Plymouth, UK, 2017), Catch|Bounce (LJMU, Liverpool, 2017), Three Action in 56 Bytes (Berlin, 2014), Waiting event: 64 bytes (Lisbon, 2014), iForm (Boras, 2011), Inside Out (AUS, UK, 2010).


Recent publications include: ‘Getting Things Straight,’ with Jim Allen (Anthology of New Zealand Performance Art  ̶  upcoming), Pocket-calls: Point(s) of Contact between Art Practice and Philosophy (Kaiak, Journal of Philosophy, 2021), No More and Less: The Withdrawal of Speculation (maHKUscript, Journal of Fine Art Research, 2019), Catch | Bounce: Towards a relational ontology of the digital in art practice (Plymouth University, 2017), catch/bounce: Stack Overflows and Digital Actions (in Digital Movement. Palgrave MacMillian, 2015), Post Screen Not Displayed (Post Screen Festival, PT, 2014).


Jillian Sullivan


Jillian Sullivan lives in the Ida Valley in Central Otago. Her thirteen published books include creative non-fiction, novels, short stories, and poetry. She’s taught fiction and creative non-fiction in New Zealand and America. Her awards include the Juncture Memoir Award in America, the NZSA Beatson Fellowship, and the Kathleen Grattan Prize for Poetry.  A  grandmother of eleven, her passion is natural building and earth plastering. She’s a keen environmentalist for the Central Otago Environmental Society, and co-founder of Under Rough Ridge Writers Retreat.


Her latest book is Map for the Heart- Ida Valley Essays (Otago University Press 2020).    


Session 1


Dr Albert L Refiti


Albert L Refiti is Associate Professor of Art and Design at Auckland University of Technology and specialises in the study of Pacific material culture and the architectural environment with extensive research and publication in the area including co-editing The Handbook of Contemporary Indigenous Architecture (2018) and Pacific Spaces: Translations and Transmutations (2002). He and Rau Hoskins are co-principal investigators of the Marsden-funded Artefacts of Relations: building in the Pacific (2022-2025) research. Albert was Andrew W Mellon Senior Scholar at the Metropolitan Museum of Arts in New York (2019/2020), where he researched the design developments for the new galleries of the Rockefeller Wing in the department of Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. He leads the Vā Moana Research Cluster at Auckland University of Technology.


Pasha Clothier


Pasha Clothier is a collaborator aiming to bring about dimensional change across borders of culture, environment, and knowledge, now working with millennia-old imagery mixed with whakapapa, rocks, and plants. Acknowledging leadership in Indigenous practices in regard to the universe and environment, Pasha is now engaged in a radical enrichment of humanity's relationship to the environment and species, as a means of countering the climate crisis. Current artworks involve imagery that does not require rationality or logic to access and understand. In Clothier’s universe, a unity of feminine and masculine occurs on a trajectory to the essential; Pasha is māhū, the middle gender on Tahiti and Hawaii.


PhD candidate at AUT, Vice Chancellor scholarship recipient.


Hannah Hopewell


Dr Hannah Hopewell is a tangata Tiriti landscape architect, urban designer, and educator whose research critically focuses landscape-led urbanism and associated environmental justice. Hannah teaches at Wellington Faculty of Architecture and Design Innovation / Te Wāhanga Waihanga-Hoahoa, and practices design with Kaupapa Māori TOA Architects. Recent publications include Beyond Landscape in The Politics of Design: Privilege and Prejudice in Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, (Non)landscape and (general) Ecology as agents of Creativity in Kerb Journal, and installations Ko Wai Au? | Who Am I? and Ko wai hoki koe? | Who the hell are you?


Daniel Coombes


Daniel Coombes is a creative practice PhD candidate and tutor in landscape architecture at Te Herenga Waka  ̶  Victoria University of Wellington. For several years he taught landscape architecture in Korea and China. Daniel has presented his research at conferences within culture studies, ethnography, philosophy, landscape, and architecture. His creative practice research is included in the forthcoming publication Fieldwork in Landscape Architecture  ̶   Methods, Actions, Tools (Routledge, December 2023).


Session 2


Lucy Boermans

(See above)


Shelley Simpson


Shelley Simpson is a visual artist based in Aotearoa, New Zealand. She is currently a PhD candidate at AUT. Simpson received an MFA (First class honours) from Elam in 2016. In 2017, 2020 and 2021 she attended a summer school programme exploring Posthumanism with Prof. Rosi Braidotti at Utrecht University. In 2021 she created an Artist Lab for summer school participants. From 2017 to 2021, she was a member of the RM directorial collective. Simpson’s creative practice is an enquiry into the way in which matter – the material and non-material that makes up the world – is densely storied. She works to deepen the way in which we, as humans, can become aware of how embedded and embodied we are in complex material, more-than-human interactions.

Natalie Tozer


Natalie Tozer is a multimedia artist based in Tāmaki Makaurau exploring narratives of the underground to unearth objects and knowledge. Working with time-based processes and materiality she is interested in mythology, debt forgiveness, access to the ground, digging, science fiction, anarchist anthropology and the collective.


Recent shows include Companion Pieces at Public Record, Māter Mater at Silo 6, National Contemporary Art Award finalists exhibition at Waikato Museum, He Iti and Piki Mai: Up Here for mothermother at the Aotearoa Art Fair, Femisphere 4 (online), and Salted Earth at Sosage Gallery.


Tozer holds an MFA with first-class honours (on scholarship) from the University of Auckland (UoA). During her time at Elam, UoA, she received the Lightship Award which funded the presentation of an open-air 110m video work at The Ports of Auckland, was selected for the Emerging Artists Show at Sanderson Gallery, and represented Elam School of Fine Arts at the Guangzhou Graduate Art Fair.


Tozer is a director at LOT23 Media which produces video media focussing on the collective such as the White Ribbon documentary Raise our Men to raise awareness of domestic violence, and ‘Oh No’ for the Sweet Mix Kids, which was in the official selection Music Video category at the NYC Independent Film Festival in New York and the PSA Union live streaming series for the Aotearoa Wellbeing Commitment to Universal Basic Services.


She is the founder and caretaker of the artists-run project and collective mothermother which continues to support curatorial activism for underrepresented artists since 2019.


Session 3


Dr Tasha Haines


Tasha is a writer and artist based in Wellington New Zealand. She has a PhD in literary theory and creative writing from Deakin University, Melbourne, and an MFA and a BFA in fine arts from Auckland University. Her diverse creative interests and experience inform her work on visual and textual hybrid forms, which has involved many years of visual arts teaching at tertiary level; and numerous awards, scholarships, publications, and mixed-media art exhibitions. Tasha seeks and welcomes opportunities to collaborate on interdisciplinary projects.


Janet Mazenier

Based in Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland, Janet Mazenier’s art practice engages with landscape, the work acting as a kind of portal accessing and interpreting place, space and land.

Mazenier’s artworks attempt to tell stories by providing a connection to our spirit of place, Papatūānuku’s genius loci…its Tūrangawaewae.


Although her artworks are inherently abstract, they speak of terrain, the unseen and hidden, sometimes of the uglier elements within the landscape such as toxic waste; and of the beauty contained within a multi-layered strata of wetland material.

Mazenier’s studio is located in a deconsecrated, historic church in Devonport. Although a working studio, people are welcome to visit.

A finalist in the 2022 National Contemporary Art Awards, recent group shows also include the Mothermother iteration 14 lockdown special, The Places we Tread at Space Gallery, Whanganui, Spaces of Synchronicity, Uxbridge, Is It Real, Is It True, Flagstaff Gallery, Love Your Maunga, Maungauika/North Head, The River Runs Deep, George Fraser Gallery, Auckland.  She completed her Master of Fine Arts (First Class Hons.) at Elam, University of Auckland in 2021.

Michelle Mayn


Michelle Mayn works primarily with harakeke, New Zealand native flax, using universal methods of weaving, binding, twining and knotting; often incorporating found objects.  Informed by traditional weaving practices alongside agential realism theories, Mayn’s object-based installations and small-scale sculptures considers how the life force of material might manifest through an installation practice. 

This process-based practice places primacy on materials, actions, and durational processes that drive the making.  As such material becomes a conceptual notion of itself.  Mayn’s intra-active installations utilise air currents, water, light, gravity, tension and other unseen forces to activate material whereby the viewer experiences the material world as vibrant and alive.


Michelle Mayn studied Traditional and Contemporary Māori Weaving at Unitec, Mixed Media at The Art Students League of New York in 2017, and holds a Master of Visual Arts from Auckland University of Technology. Mayn has exhibited regularly in New Zealand and internationally.


Day 2


Session 1


Emilia Ursachi Hasmatuchi


Emilia Ursachi (Hasmațuchi), born in 1980, PhD student in philology with a thesis focusing on multiculturalism under the coordination of Prof.univ.dr. Maria-Ana Tupan, at the Philology Doctoral School, “1 Decembrie 1918” University of Alba Iulia, Romania. Bachelor diploma in Letters at the Faculty of Letters and Arts of “Lucian Blaga” University of Sibiu. Her main research interest focus on multiculturalism, postcolonial literature, globalization, and multicultural education.


Dr Rachel Spronken-Smith


Rachel is a professor in higher education and geography at the Higher Education Development Centre (HEDC) at the University of Otago. Following nine years lecturing in geography at the University of Canterbury, she returned to Otago to lecture in HEDC. From 2013-2022 she was dean of the Graduate Research School and is now back in HEDC. Rachel’s research interests include doctoral education, graduate outcomes, and undergraduate research and inquiry. She has won several university teaching awards and a national tertiary teaching award. In 2016 she won the TERNZ-HERDSA research medal and was a Fulbright Scholar in 2018.


Session 2


Maria Ross


During her 15 years as a lecturer at AUT, Maria’s main research interest was developing critical thinking in tertiary education. She presented her research and led workshops internally and also participated in a number of conferences in Australia and the UK. At the same time Maria has been practicing and teaching Sahaja Yoga meditation for over 30 years and took part in international seminars in India, Australia, the UK and Italy.

At present Maria works as a communication consultant at MLabs (UK).


Dr Matthew Stevens


Matt is currently the coordinator for the postgraduate “Digital Transformation” courses at Media Design School and has had over 11 years teaching experience in interactive design across a range of undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate programmes. His research interest is in ecological forms of learning across and beyond the boundaries of schools, workplaces, the community and domains of practice. Informed by Classical Pragmatism, Contemporary Enactivism and Ecological Psychology, his PhD “Dissolving the Walls” (2020) explored “nomadic agile” forms of learning in which knowing and learning dynamically emerge from practice situations – involving learners, teachers, practitioners and workplaces. His current research project ‘Rewilding Learning’ involves real-world collaborations between teams of Media Design School students and Auckland Council. Prior to teaching, Matt was involved in web and interactive design and development, and before that ran his own independent cinema and film distribution company.


Session 3


Dr Siobhan Harvey


Siobhan Harvey is the author of eight books, including the poetry and creative nonfiction collection, Ghosts (Otago University Press, 2021 which was long-listed for the 2022 Mary & Peter Biggs Poetry Award (2022 Ockham Book Awards). She was awarded the 2021 Janet Frame Literary Trust Award for Poetry, 2020 New Zealand Society of Authors Peter & Dianne Beatson Fellowship, 2019 Kathleen Grattan Award for a Sequence of Poems, 2019 Robert Burns Poetry Prize and 2016 Write Well Award (Fiction, US). Recently her work has been published in journals and anthologies such as, Acumen (UK), Asia Literary Review (HK), Feminine Divine: Voices of Power & Invisibility (Cyren US, 2019), Fourth Genre (US), Griffith Review (Aus), Mslexia (UK) and, Out Here: An Anthology of Takatãpui and LGBTQIA+ Writers from Aotearoa (AUP, 2021). She's a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at The Centre for Creative Writing, Auckland University of Technology where she holds a PhD in Creative Writing.


Susan Nelson


Susan is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work explores and celebrates authentic process and properties. “I love the evocative syntheses between the materiality of a medium and the mystery of figment. The ‘alchemy’ that occurs between imagination and matter that culminates into unique objects that share a kind of universal language.”


Her passion as a creative is complemented by a longstanding career in Arts Management where she has worked with Creative New Zealand, Touch Compass Dance Co, Indian Ink Theatre, and NZTrio in various strategic and management capacities.


Dr Marco Sonzogni

Director of Translation Studies, Victoria University of Wellington


Marco is a widely published scholar, poet and literary translator. He is a Reader in Translation Studies at Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington where he directs the MICAT-Master of Intercultural Communication and Applied Translation and the New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation.  




Dame Fiona Kidman


Fiona Kidman has written about 35 books. She is a novelist, short story writer, poet and memoirist. Her work has been recognised with numerous prizes and awards. In 2006 she was the Katherine Mansfield Writers Fellow in Menton and in 2021 she was the Inaugural Irish Writing Fellow at Otago University. Her novel This Mortal Boy won the 2019 Jann Medlicott Ockham Prize for Fiction an several other prizes, including the Ngaio Marsh Award for Crime Fiction. She is a Dame Commander of the New Zealand Order of Merit (DNZM, OBE) and has been awarded the French Legion of Honour by the French Government, in recognition of her work on behalf of the Randell Cottage Writers Trust (it hosts New Zealand and French writers).


Dr Valentina Teclici

CEO, Scripta Manent Publishing House, Napier


Romanian-born, Valentina immigrated to New Zealand in 2002. In 1999, she completed a PhD in sociology at the University of Bucharest, with a thesis about street children. Her debut book, De la noi din gradiniţă (From our Kindergarden), Ion Creangă Publishing House, 1986, was awarded a national prize. Poems and excerpts from her creation for children are included in the bibliography and textbooks for primary and secondary education in Romania. She has published several books on sociology, poetry, and stories for children in both Romanian and English. Her work has been translated into French, Te Reo, and Spanish and published in many magazines and anthologies in New Zealand and overseas. In 2016 and 2018, Valentina edited and translated the bilingual collection Poetical Bridges – Poduri lirice (Vol I & II) which includes the work of 24 Romanian poets and 24 poets from NZ.



Karine was born in Neuchâtel, a little town in the French Canton, mentioned in a song by Zaz, ‘Je veux.’ She has been traveling since her infancy, having lived so far in five countries: Switzerland, Germany, New Zealand, Spain, and now Romania. At the age of 21 years, she considers herself quite the nomad. Art is in her blood; like her grandfather who was a painter in his free time, she likes to experiment with different mediums and styles. And like her mother who was a (closet) writer, web developer, and businesswoman, she tries to make sense of the world by putting her thoughts and experiences into words. Some of her writing deals with the many tragedies that have struck her; the biggest one was the abrupt loss of her mother at 17 and being left to fend for herself by the rest of her immediate family.

After she got her diploma and finished two years of cooking school in Murcia, in the south of Spain, her grandmother took her in. That is where she lives now in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania.


Sandra Arnold

Sandra Arnold is an award-winning writer who lives in rural Canterbury. She is the author of five books including The Ash, the Well and the Bluebell, Mākaro Press, NZ, Soul Etchings, Retreat West Books, UK and Sing no Sad Song, Canterbury University Press, NZ.  Her short fiction has been widely published and anthologised internationally. She has received nominations for The Best Small Fictions, Best Microfictions and The Pushcart Prize.  She has a PhD in Creative Writing from  Central Queensland University, Australia.


Lincoln Jaques


Lincoln Jaques’ poetry, fiction and travel essays have appeared in Aotearoa, Australia, Asia, America, the UK, and Ireland. He was the winner of the Auckland Museum centenary ANZAC international poetry competition, a finalist and ‘Highly Commended’ in the 2018 Emerging Poets-Divine Muses, a Vaughan Park Residential Writer/Scholar in 2021, and was the Runner-Up in the 2022 International Writers’ Workshop Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poems (judged by Janet Charman). He holds a Master of Creative Writing from AUT.


Irena Karafilly


Irena Karafilly is an award-winning Montreal writer, poet, and aphorist. She is the author of several acclaimed books and of numerous stories, poems, and articles, published in both literary and mainstream magazines, as well as in various North American newspapers, including the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune.  Her short stories have been published, anthologized, and broadcast, winning literary prizes such as the National Magazine Award and the CBC Literary Award. She currently divides her time between Montreal and Athens.


Her novel, Arrested Song, is about to be released in the UK (March) and will be available from Book Depository (which offers free shipping around the world).

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