Land Radius|2 (HDV:60 min) is a collaborative audio/visual exchange on the subject of irreversible sea level rise. It was produced in Aotearoa New Zealand in 2021 for the art + climate science exhibition Dear2050 Oceans on the Rise. Land Radius|2 juxtaposes imagery of the rising tide with an array of human voices expressing knowledge, fears, frustrations, and teachings from the tüpuna (ancestors) as told by two Māori attestants.
A trail camera was placed, as a proxy human sentinel, amongst the mangrove trees that grow along the edge of the Hauraki Gulf, aka Tīkapa Moana (the Mournful Sea). The video presents a record of the unceasing tide, natural phenomena (moonlight, gravitational forces, atmospheric conditions, sunlight) and some of the creatures who dwell there. A blue plastic tube shaped into a circle interrupts the ebb and flow to emphasise the multiple and often clashing claims made upon this environment by humans. The recording relies on a combination of favourable atmospheric conditions (wind causing movement and a change in temperature) to activate the motion sensor and trigger the trail camera into action. For the artist, this incapacity to influence when and for how long the camera makes a recording runs counter to usual videography methods. Yet, in the context of climate change, this methodology epitomises the powerlessness that society is experiencing as we come to address our impact on the biosphere. As several witnesses acknowledge in their testimonies, 'we can no longer influence what is unfolding but must find new ways to live with the consequences'.
The details of the speakers you hear are as follows (in order of appearance):
01 Craig Turvey is a sea swimmer. He describes his experiences of swimming amongst the mangrove forests of the Hauraki Gulf’s shoreline.
02 Alex Rogers is the Executive Officer of the Hauraki Gulf Forum. He shares his knowledge around the politics of protecting and restoring the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.
03 Stephen Perry is a fine art photographer based in Devonport, Auckland who has a passion for documenting coastal concrete structures along his local beach.
04 Dr Michael Allis is a coastal engineer who discusses adaptation responses in communication with communities affected by sea-level rise.
05 Sharley Haddon (Ngāti Wai) is a horse woman and Pakiri Beach resident who attests to the impact of sand extraction on the biodiversity of her local beach.
06 Dr Paula Blackett is an environmental social scientist with who talks about decision-making on sea-level rise using Serious Games to activate timely adaptation measures with communities.
07 Bianca Ranson (Ngāti Kahu ki Whaingaroa, Ngāpuhi) is a founding member of Mauri o te Moana, an organisation established as a collective Māori voice calling for urgent action for the protection of the moana (ocean). She presents a comprehensive Māori overview of the challenges faced by many communities affected by sea-level rise along the Pacific rim.
This audio visual work was part of Climanosco DEAR2050 Oceans on the Rise art-science exhibition that took place in Zurich (2021).
They have now released a catalogue of the exhibition which you can download here