Release the Ether from Dominion - A Ritual
Rushi Vyas & Zak Argabrite
(Ōtepoti / Dunedin & Pōneke / Wellington)
Unfortunately this event has been cancelled.
If you are reading this on your phone or tablet, you are holding land: extracted, displaced, and abstracted from its origins. The iPhone, for example, is composed of metals mined from Mongolia, gold from Peru, and copper from Chile, among other sources. Each time we purchase a device, we are purchasing land. Each time we discard a device, we are discarding land. New Zealand produces over 80,000 tonnes of e-waste annually, but only recycles 2% of that waste. What stories enable our extractive habits?
Release the Ether from Dominion is an interactive installation in a shipping container that asks us to reconsider our relationship to technology as a relationship to land. While looking over the water at Te Whanganui-a-Tara, interact with sculptures made from recycled e-waste and create rituals that deepen your consideration of the places you inhabit, and the many lands embedded in your devices.
10am - 10pm, 24-27 Feb | Te Whanganui-a-Tara (behind Te Papa) | FREE
Zak Argabrite is an interdisciplinary artist working in music, art and technology based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington, New Zealand). Zak creates pieces for performance and installation and designs performance scores, handmade instruments, sculptures and circuitry. Zak’s artistic practice is varied and ever-evolving, exploring art making as a fluid and personal process that often involves learning new skills and stretching between established disciplines.
In 2020 Zak received the Victoria Doctoral Scholarship to begin work on a PhD at Victoria University of Wellington. The focus of Zak’s PhD thesis is on establishing a deeper understanding of the complex pasts and futures of technology through research grounded in creative practice. Zak researches the international network of land extraction, manufacturing, distribution, consumption and waste processing that make up technology’s lives. Zak’s creative work surrounding this research (re)uses old, obsolete, discarded technology or e-waste to create audiovisual performances and installations. Zak was born on ᏣᏣᏣ (Tsalagi) land (Louisville, Kentucky). Zak’s personal connection with that land and ᏣᏣᏣ heritage remains an important part of Zak’s life and artistic practice.
Zak grew up playing jazz, funk, blues, experimental and classical music, while maintaining a passion for visual arts. Zak moved to Lenapehoking (New York City) in 2012, where they studied Jazz, Composition and Sound Arts, and worked for several years in audio engineering and venue management. In 2019, Zak relocated to Aotearoa (New Zealand) and is currently pursuing a PhD in Sonic Arts at Victoria University of Wellington.
As a composer, Zak has had the privilege of having international performances and has written for large ensembles, orchestras, big bands, chamber ensembles, and solo artists. Zak has also had the opportunity to exhibit works of installation and video art, and has performed internationally in a variety of settings on wind instruments (saxophones, clarinets and handmade designs), handmade electronic instruments, and as a visual projection artist.
Rushi Vyas is a writer, educator, and current PhD student at Te Whare Wānanga o Ōtākou / University of Otago. He is the author of the forthcoming poetry collection When I Reach For Your Pulse (Four Way Books, 2023) which was a two-time finalist for the National Poetry Series in the US, and the co-author of the chapbook Between Us, Not Half a Saint, with Rajiv Mohabir. Born in Ohio, Rushi has called Michigan, Colorado, New York home, and is a recent immigrant to Ōtepoti Dunedin.
Rushi has served as a Career Advisor at the University of Michigan, a Curriculum Developer and Co-Founder at an education based start-up, Assistant Director of Career Services at NYU, and teacher of creative writing and psychology at the University level. His current creative and critical practice uses creative ritual ritual and poetry to think through cultural inheritances and (de)colonial systems.