Category: 2018 Exhibition

Jill Sorensen

From November 5, 2018, Jill will be the RM Archive resident.

Rm Conversation Pit

Over the next twelve weeks Rm Archive will host Rm Conversation Pit, a series of habitable installations and amicable talking events. Adopting the impromptu format of a happening and the architectural intent of a conversation pit, each Rm Conversation Pit will bring together a small group of people and a provocation on re-thinking nature-culture through which to engender speculative freeform discussion. Conversation Pit invites participants to share in a dynamic of thinking-together, a process articulated by object-oriented ontology philosopher Timothy Morton as “a physical process that happens in-between people and in interactions with people”[*] For each conversation a conversation pit (or nook, cranny, hut or den)  will be constructed in the Archive room, an evocative dwelling-space in which to incubate small moments of re-thinking-together and hopefully seeding ongoing thinking and sharing.

A common thread that may be traced through discourse surrounding the changed state of our planet, often referred to as the ‘Anthropocene’,[†] is the urgent role of active imagination in making the transition from an anthropocentric stance to the yet un-named identify-value arrangement we are, literally, dreaming up for ourselves. This project directly engages contemporary art practice as a modality for this imaginative passage from disempowered, passive consumption in the Holocene to the active caring required in the Anthropocene. These conversations set out to catalyse moments of active engagement in which we might ponder together the implications of this re-imagined being. To speculate on how we might act and interact now that we find that we are human, and not our anthropocentric alter-ego Human. These concerns may be addressed in many ways and via various terminology; Rm Conversation Pit sets out to hold space for all voices as we talk our way into small steps of reimaging the here and now of dwelling together.

You are invited to enlist in a conversation or conversations of your choosing, please respond to with your name and availability within the allocated time-frame. Conversations will be convened in groups of 3-5 participants and will be two hours in duration. Unless otherwise arranged they will be 6-8pm weekdays and 4-6 pm weekends.

Rm Conversation Pit Part 2

22 – 27 February 2019

For the duration of this event Rm Archive has been transformed into a conversation pit, a relaxed summer space for talking and sipping a cool beverage. Conversations will happen daily and can be arranged to suit. Suggested times are Lunch time (lunch provided), after work or weekend afternoon (for a cool cocktail) at 5.30pm, or evening (for a wine and snacks) 7.30pm. If you would like to be part of this talk-fest please contact us on with you name, contact details and preferred time(s) and date(s).

The environmental crisis has toppled our self-appointed Western position as masters of the Natural World. A so-called Natural Order in which, subservient only to God and Angels, it was proper for Humans to (in descending order and variable over time), admire (whales, dolphins) nurture as companions (dogs, horses, cats) raise to eat (sheep, cows, pigs, chickens) kill as vermin (rats, stoats, possums) plunder to eat (fish, sea food, ‘game’ animals and birds) grow to eat (fruits, vegetables, nuts) cultivate to host the above (soil, land) build on, mine, drain (land) throw unwanted material items into as ‘waste’ (land, sea, atmosphere) As this hierarchy collapses around us we are beset with questions of how we should now live. Rm Conversation Pit Part 2 invites you to think-together on two of these questions

what, or who, should we eat?

The above ‘Western position’ expects urban and suburban dwellers to be passive consumers, how might we reclaim roles of active participation?

I am hungry, I have teeth, what can I eat?

In a post-Holocene Earth eating becomes strategic, what can I eat if I care? What can we eat and survive as a biosphere? How can I eat and not participate in resource hungry Capitalist consumption?

In this charnel ground we are preparing for ourselves, this polluted, denuded and climate changed earth what is there for a person to eat?

Not a passive consumer

Under the banner of Modernism urban and suburban dwelling evolved as a passive transition point between a flow of resources from a generalised and abundant ‘somewhere’ and an unseen and endless ‘away’. If we now accept that nature is not that thing over yonder, existing perfectly in wilderness and imperfectly in farmland, but rather is an immersive biosphere in which all participate how then should we live?

Could we, should we and how might we transition from site of passive consumption toward a role active participation in a cyclic domestic hub?

What happens to the category of things we now term ‘waste’ garbage’ or ‘rubbish’ now we know there is no away? How might we live with nonhuman others now that we are not at the top of an anthropocentric hierarchy?

In Rm Conversation Pit Part 2 Rm Archive resident Jill Sorensen invites you to take part in a meandering, amicable conversation about urban dwelling and ecology. While Rm Conversation Pit Part 1 engaged with academic discourse, Part 2 of the project aims to draw on every-day knowledges, DIY ideas, and personal opinion.

Conversation #1

Thursday 22 November­­, 6 – 8pm
Tuesday 27 November, 6 – 8pm
+ Drop in Saturday – informal meeting and talking space with the artist
1-3pm Saturday 24 November

Sharing in an intimate world: Rethinking human vs nature

sharing in an intimate world acknowledges the impossibility of maintaining an anthropocentric worldview[‡] in an era of eco-crisis and invites us to tease out ways to orient ourselves within a biosphere in which we are continuous with the network of entities we previously called nature.

This re-imagined world-view has been described as the third-place (Bruno Latour) or in the words of Timothy Morton, an experience of intimacy and closeness with nonhuman entities, which may include the bacteria in our bodies, the biota, animals and plants with whom we cohabit, but also trash; the plastic, chemical and biological waste we have carelessly spread around and are now intimately surrounded by.

I would like to draw attention to the semantic origins of the term intimacy, a noun deriving from the Latin root intimus, meaning innermost, most personal, profound. If we put aside the anthropocentric usage of intimacy as referring solely to close and/or sexual relations between humans, we may find the original meaning instructional for addressing this unexpected encroachment of nonhumans into physical and psychological human space. When intimacy is extended to include nonhumans, it appears less comfortable, indicating a close, family-like connection between disparate entities. Close, as in next to your skin and embedded in your thinking, and family-like as in inherited, an inescapable birth-right.

Conversation #2

Monday 3 December, 6 – 8pm
Tuesday 4 December, 6 – 8pm
+ Drop in Saturday – informal meeting and talking space with the artist
1-3pm Saturday 1 November

The Agency of Things

Water, soil, rock, a tree, a chicken, a cat, some wheat, some excrement, a plastic bottle, a river. Our relationships with these things may be articulated as resources and waste that we need to manage but also as entities with whom our lives are intertwined. Both statements extort us to act responsibly toward these things, however the dynamic at stake in each is significantly different. In the first and more familiar statement, we adopt the position of guardian and primary actor in an active/passive relationship. In contrast to this, the second statement reflects emerging thinking and language elicited by the realisation that human activity has irreversibly changed the planet. It suggests a recalibration of human identity to a less anthropocentric role in which we interact with the autonomous agency of other entities, of things.

Our language, the vehicle of our thinking, falters here; It is telling that the word ‘thing’ appears to fill a gap in English language, operating as a proxy-term that stands in for those ‘objects’ and ‘materials’ we are not quite able to imagine as entities, beings or persons. We can acknowledge effects of things (carbon becomes coal, becomes carbon dioxide and energy, a cow eats, farts and produces carbon dioxide and milk), but we baulk at ascribing things agency as such. While we can scientifically imagine a timeframe in which we can apprehend their action we fail to philosophically imagine this more-than-human scale activity as a mode of being.

Conversation #3

Tues 11 December, 6-8pm
Tues 18 December, 6-8pm

Between elsewhere and away: reimagining the suburban/urban home

The big wake-up call of the environmental crisis is the reminder that we are not separate from nature, Earth is not an infinite resource for our progress, and there is no away. Urban dwelling emerged from a culture in which we imagined our human selves as cradled between infinite earthly resource and a mythical ‘away’. Home became normalised as a house and garden, a two-part structure demarking an inside for human dwelling and an outside for all other entities. The permeability of the house is strictly monitored; there are clearly defined orifices for the entry of entities, energies, goods and resources. There are equally well-defined orifices for departure; the multifunction entry/exit for inhabitants (human, companion and machine) are supplemented by multiple exits to ‘away’ for entities no longer required, which exit discreetly as ‘waste’.

Like all mammals, we are made up of a plethora of entities; bacteria, microorganisms, viruses and inherited DNA. Like all mammals we are permeable; food, water, oxygen, oils and chemicals move continually between our environments and our bodies. Unlike other mammals we dwell extravagantly, co-opting soil, water, building materials, solar energy, wind, air CO2, oxygen, biota, plants, animals (as pets, food or pests), consumer goods and fossil fuels to use and discard. However, despite sectioning ourselves off into a human enclave, I suggest that we still desire connection with nonhuman others, and this desire emerges as accultured nature; we keep pets, we value views out across the land and sea, we cultivate gardens. It emerges as vicarious care, we watch nature documentaries and YouTube videos of funny cats and heart rendering animal rescues.

How might we, speculatively or pragmatically, reimaging dwelling as continuous with a complex web of biota?

Contextual background

This research project is informed from and sets out to test, interrogate and build upon the speculations of some key thinkers:

Object-Oriented Ontologist Timothy Morton[§]; in particular his thinking on the symbiotic real, solidarity with nonhuman people and of collectivity[**] as active and uneasy cohabitation. In particular I recommend  Timothy Morton in Conversation with Verso Books sections ‘the individual and the collective’ and ‘the ontological is political’ at time point 9:40 – 15:45

Science Studies writer/philosopher Bruno Latour articulation of the third place[††]which he articulates in  Why Gaia Is Not the Globe, 2016,

Nature/culture writer Michael Pollan on nonhuman agency and taking a non-anthropocentric view of evolution and symbiosis.

Donna Haraway, feminist, science and technology scholar and storyteller, in particular, the tentacular complexity Haraway acknowledges in making-do with nonhumans[‡‡].SF: String Figures, Multispecies Muddles, Staying with the Trouble. In the four minute section from 20:00 – 24:40min Haraway talks through her process of thinking with other thinkers, highlighting the importance of how we think and what platforms we think from. It is this self-reflexive mode of thought that I hope to foster in Conversation Pit.

Levi R Bryant, philosopher, Lacanian Psychoanalyst and champion of all things ontic. A formative thinker in defining the field of Object Oriented Ontology, currently researching a line of object-oriented thought, called which he terms ‘onticology’

I welcome your suggestion of thinkers and resources to add to the mix to expand and complicate the discussion.

[*] SCI-Arc Channel, ‘B. Arch Program Chair Tom Wiscombe Interviews Timothy Morton’, accessed 26 April 2018,  (section 1:03 – 1:45)

[†] The term Anthropocene was coined by atmospheric Chemist Paul J. Crutzen and currently under review by the International Union of Geological Sciences as the geological age in which the most profound influence for the change has been human activity.

[‡] In which Humans are separate from the Nature, a construction in which the natural world exists over yonder, providing both resource and backdrop for human activities.

[§] Morton, Timothy, Humankind: Solidarity with Nonhuman People (London. New York: Verso Books, 2017).

[**] Verso Books, ‘Timothy Morton in Conversation with Verso Books’, accessed 26 April 2018, .

[††] Faculty of Arts, Aarhus Universitet, Bruno Latour: Why Gaia Is Not the Globe, 2016,

[‡‡] Donna Jeanne Haraway, Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene, Experimental Futures Technological Lives, Scientific Arts, Anthropological Voices (Durham London: Duke University Press, 2016).

Hannah Berry- Don’t Sweat Your Metal

Hannah Berry
Don’t Sweat Your Metal

\\ 8- 24 November

RM Gallery presents Don’t Sweat Your Metal, a series of sculptural works by Auckland artist Hannah Berry.

DSYM continues an on-going investigation in Chronology-building, and how production processes (material vs digital, tactile vs industrial) inform the emergence of iconography that is then dispersed on a cybernetic scale, and intuitively recognised upon human encounter, giving rise to the creation of epochs.
A departure from Berry’s previous works which employed Digital or Time-Based elements to talk about contemporary modes of “affect”, DSYM regresses back to the intimacy and immediacy of working with a single material. Wax is heated, scraped, sliced, pushed into embodiments of information, employing haptic processes as a form of present-tense archaeology. Primitive modes of production point towards dialogue surrounding the role of the body in artistic production, meaning-making in Contemporaneity, or an incidental tool for “fleshing out” the emotional subtext of objects/symbols during the production process.

Shi Xu – Duplicate

Shi Xu

\\ 18th October – 3rd November 2018

“I’d like to say that, in my first solo exhibition, I am be-coming an artist. My present works are about the internet culture and how it relates with contemporary art. I think that since the internet is changing our lifestyles, it has becomes a part of our culture, which means that there are group of people who belong there. I don’t expect my audience to all have the same experiences, but after seeing my show, I hope that they will take some ideas away. There’s one about Miku. She’s a virtual character. Everyone can make music in her name and share it on the internet. So, it should be said that there are a group of artists called Miku, who are making Miku music. I believe it’s a good idea, because, for people who aren’t ‘Artists’ as a job, they are able to share their works and also gain honour. That makes creating art flexible and easier. Especially in contemporary art, art works don’t have to be so heavy.

I want to use my works to loudly say my reasons for being an artist; to declare my attitude towards transitions, the future and everything I am against; and to create  conversation with everything that exists that I also care about. Therefore, I re-created some famous artists’ works as my start.”

Oliver Gilbert and Daniel Satele: The Half Of Life

Oliver Gilbert and Daniel Satele

The Half Of Life

\\ 4-13 October 2018

‘Ghosts, vampires, monsters […] flourish in an era when you might expect them to be dead
and buried, without a place. They are something brought about by modernity itself. […] What
seems to be a leftover is actually a product of modernity its counterpart’
– Mladen Dolar

At least since Bram Stoker wrote Dracula in the late-nineteenth century, the vampire has
served as a subtle symbol of modern alienation in its various forms: the alienation of
individuals from larger social units; of subjects from their unconscious desires; of workers
from the value of their labour. As Roger Luckhurst writes, the vampire ’embodies in one
elusive figure everything that shiny modernity [is] at risk of forgetting about its [own]
blood-soaked history.’  Engaging the vampire figure from this perspective, The Half of Life is
a moving-image by Oliver Gilbert which is an interpretation of a short story by Daniel Satele.

Oliver Gilbert finished his BFA(Hons) at the University of Auckland in 2014. He directed The
Door to Safety is Shut in 2016 for Window Gallery.

Daniel Satele is a doctoral candidate in English at the University of Auckland. His writing has
been published in ArtAsiaPacificArt New Zealand and the New Zealand Listener. In 2017
his work featured in The Cold Islanders at Waikato Museum.

Christina Pataialii

Christina Pataialii
\\ 13-29 September 2018

Christina Pataialii’s recent paintings address objective and subjective cultural narratives that focus on more recent global shifts towards cultural and national redefinition, the rise of Western nationalist ideologies and current fixations on regression to a ‘golden era,’ contemplating the concept of a shared national identity. In her new works, she considers an objective relationship to history and heritage, constructing pictorial spaces that deal with tensions between cultural attachment and detachment and the complexities between place and belonging.

Christina Pataialii (b.1988, Auckland) graduated with a BFA (2015) and an MFA (2018) from Whitecliffe College of Arts and design. Recent exhibitions include Thoughts and Feelings, mother?, 2018; Projects, Auckland Art fair, 2018; Never an Answer, The Vivian, 2018; Slow Jamz Till Midnight, Blue Oyster Project Space, 2017; The Tomorrow People, Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi, 2017.




Sholto Buck and Antonia Nisbet

Sholto Buck, forest of ladders
Antonia Nisbet, Take care now

\\ August 22nd – September 8th 2018

Forest of Ladders
Sholto Buck

Forest of Ladders is a project which explores the self through world-building. It is an atmospheric encyclopedia, an exercise done by the artist in order to catalogue their own sensibility.

To do this, a series of short, short stories has been written, each one an account of an imaginary place or scene. Although written as individual stories, these texts form a body of work which teases idiosyncratic modes of perception. This is developed through the decision to write each text by hand, and through photography. The stories have been handwritten and then photographed against windows, shot from the inside looking out. Despite this project being formed around the description of places and worlds, its consistency of style and voice, both in material form and content, reveals the presence of a self; a specific subjectivity which emerges through images of place.

Forest of Ladders negotiates concepts of otherness through a study of place. Places which are not here, those which could become here. Places which can be seen, and those which can only be read. It is a meeting of here and there, brought into form through the conjunction of photography and writing. By bringing these opposing elements together, I hope to create an atmosphere; a sense of something forming.

Take care now
Antonia Nisbet

Take care now is a body of work that arises from a felt response-ability, and an accumulation of response. These responses are sensitively assembled and realised on purpose-made screen mechanisms within a video-projection based installation. There is a futile quality to the responsive gestures performed, privileging the minor gestures and emotional labour that become embedded within daily processes of caring. The kinds of caring the work is concerned with consciously reject the individualistic and the grandeur, and often approaches things from an ecological perspective. It acknowledges the multiplicity of already existing social, political and environmental processes, for better or worse, as well the subtleties and nuances that complicate such binaries. Take care now over time has become rooted in maintenance and continuation, developing gestures that have become grounded against prevailing capitalistic markers of what is considered valuable work. The porous and durational threshold between art-making and life-living means the tools for caring have been lifted directly from the artists own material vocabulary and practices of life-living which accumulate as small realities of care-based economies.

Accompanying Take care now is the open invitation to receive handwritten ‘newsletters’ from the artist throughout the duration of the show.

Georgina Rose Watson and Jaimee Stockman-Young: Betrayer, The Archetype

A collaborative exhibition by Georgina Rose Watson and Jaimee Stockman-Young
Betrayer, The Archetype

\\ July 25th – August 11th 2018

All photos Emma van Kerckhof

What we allow ourselves to say


Untold, her histories speak in written form


Images map lineages of desire



What are the architectures of these subjectivities

when conventions will not let her live?

The grotesqueness of time and taking




Internalised thefts,


Affectations, fretwork

Dirty fingers always in her mouth




Sarah Callesen and Shelley Simpson: The Entities

Sarah Callesen and Shelley Simpson (a collaboration)

The Entities

\\ July 4th-  21st July 2018


Our experience of the world around us is often mediated by technology, contributing to the idea that humans are separate from nature. In The Entities, artists Sarah Callesen and Shelley Simpson use visual and audio recordings to construct a ‘natural’ world, exploring relationships between human and non-human, natural and artificial, culture and nature. All recording is subjective, mediated by both humans and technologies used in the process. The Entities considers the role of each player within the communication system – where each offers its own affect.

Simpson has created photographs of forest floor worlds in the temperate bush of Rakiura, Stewart Island – an intense, remote environment mostly devoid of human activity. We generally perceive events that occur at human scale, not too big, not too small. We can extend our perceptual range using technology. Scale shifts, time slows. The images are presented as a two-channel video work scaled up to an immersive size. Subtle animation augments the imagery, bringing attention to the sense of process, of visibility, of observer and of mediation.

In response to the macro imagery, Callesen presents an accompanying sound piece that considers change in sound at a qualitative scale, rather than in loudness. Echo and reverb are tropes often used in film to exaggerate the sound of small things. Natural history documentaries often apply imagined sounds to visual footage, particularly for small fauna such as insects, which are too minute to capture with existing technology. Designed sound in film, television and now virtual environments, continue to fabricate what humans imagine unheard phenomena to sound like. Callesen has used designed planet atmospheres and other constructed sounds sourced from stock libraries, as well as manipulated field recordings taken by both artists.

In contrast to the digitally produced video and audio, an analogue slide machine opens conversation about past and present technologies used for generating and communicating content. The slides are drawings made by hand using ink, pen and scratches onto acetate. When magnified, these small abstract marks allude to expansive imagined lifeworld environments.




Public Screening
Saturday 14th July, 3pm
A selection of the films of Jean Painlevé’s Science is Fiction

Associated with the early surrealists, Painlevé collaborated with his partner Genevieve Hamon on over 200 films from the late 1920s to the 1970s. Their work was the precursor to nature documentary film makers such as Cousteau, Attenborough etal.  The films “testify to a genuinely ‘magic realism’ at the periphery of consensual perception”1.

1 Knox, Jim Sounding the depths;Jean Painlevé’s sunken cinema British Film Unit Publications

Gabrielle Amodeo and Evangeline Riddiford Graham

Gabrielle Amodeo and Evangeline Riddiford Graham

\\ 6th – 23rd June 2018

I have an idea for an exploded essay.

Gabrielle Amodeo
(In the Archive Room)

Something that sits between writing and object; between reading and performance; between the privacy of being a viewer or a reader and the interaction of a participant.

Essays are three-dimensional for me; I carry them in my mind and work on passages of text in my head, so the experience of writing an essay is as much in the world as it is in front of a computer screen or on a piece of paper.  So I have this idea for an exploded essay that can somehow be replete with objects as well as words; that takes place throughout a space as well as in the time of reading; that allows narrative to be formed through the objects as well as via the words; that the words can be heard as well as read.

But especially, I want to write an exploded essay about unfinished work, about beginnings that went nowhere, about the constant tensions between wanting to make artwork and all the constraints that suspend the making, about the artworks I wish I’d made and never did.

So, this is an exploded essay of missed opportunities; of unfinished work; of ideas had but not acted upon. This is about the sense of missed opportunities and regrets of being an artist, ten-years after graduation.


La Belle Dame avec les Mains Vertes
Evangeline Riddiford Graham
(In the gallery space)

The future’s a disaster.

Everyone knows it’s time to get proofing.

But you, you’re out of energy to bolt down the bookshelf.

You can’t afford to renovate a carbon-neutral kitchen.

Balance the math and trash the books: you won’t ever have a house.

You little worm. Do you really think you deserve your own bedroom?

Fear not! If you can’t afford to be a part of the problem, you can still buy into the compromise. There’s still time to maximise space. Make your last-ditch dive for privacy!  La Belle Dame avec les Mains Vertes offers a solution, in the shape of hand-crafted, silk-painted, made-in-New Zealand room dividers.

These light-weight, adjustable folding screens not only respond to your every civic grievance, but have it set down in writing. Please forgive the cursive: one last blast of art and crafts, for Auckland.

La Belle Dame sees your plaint, and raises it. Would you like to register a charge, or a lamentation?

She offers you RM, divided.
Thank you to Wall Fabrics, Ltd., for their generous sponsorship.


Joshua Harris-Harding and Vanessa Crofskey: Inconsolata


Joshua Harris-Harding /
Vanessa Crofskey /

// 16th May- 2nd July 2018

Language is flat-pack furniture: we are trying to build a table. We tried to get The Internet to help us build it and this is the best it could offer.

We belong to fonts, Akaroa, art school, and the dialectical digitas. Trust us, we have University Degrees. We are using our mouths and hands to think about symbols. Limbic to limbo. We are not trying to sell you anything, but we may be persuaded.

Listen, we have to talk. We have squeezed some thoughts through a play-doh extruder in a variety of shapes. A Do It Yourself Font. ________ is a shiny, clean thing that flattens out what is embodied, complex, and furry. Repeated cycles of dis/assembly that thread its screws and tarnish its veneer.

Ask Raph Leviens why he made Inconsolata; about his penchant for herrings. The compression and decompression of a defibrillator. ____ __ a directive invitation.

It might seem like talking has failed us but it is the only option left.

FOOTNOTE: Inconsolata is an open-source font created by Raph Levien. It is a humanist monospaced font designed for source code listing, terminal emulators, and similar uses. It is used by RM Gallery and is the title of our exhibition.




RM Gallery and Project Space
Thursday and Friday 1pm - 5pm
Saturday 12pm - 4pm

Samoa House Lane
Auckland Central 1010

We are located in the centre of Auckland, off of Karangahape Road, on Samoa House Lane, just off of Beresford Street -- look out for the incredible fale of Samoa House and you're nearly there. We are 2 minutes walk from Artspace and Michael Lett.

The RM Archive Project

Help us identify what is in our Archive! We have digitised many slides in our archive and invite participation to identify them. Please click here to access the collection.

Our Boxed Archive
Since 2009 RM has been building an archive of material related to our exhibition and event programme. An index to the collection is available here.

Safe Space Alliance

RM is a member of Safe Space Alliance

A safe space is a space where the LGBTQI+ community can freely express themselves without fear. It is a space that does not tolerate violence, bullying, or hate speech towards the LGBTQI+ community.

A safe space does not guarantee 100% safety, rather, it’s a space that has your back if an incident (violence, bullying, or hate speech) were to occur.

Click here to find out more about Safe Space Alliance

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