Kaoru Kodama9 Feb- 20 March 2021
Kaoru Kodama is in the final week of their RM Archive Residency. Here are some of Kaoru’s thoughts from the residency:
Throughout the last six weeks, I’ve been thinking about sharing existing artworks concerning the legacies of nuclear weapons testing on the Pacific. I hoped to make some kind of directory or a catalogue of the artworks, a type of resource that I wish I had for learning about this topic; multiple works in one place, with a particular focus on the Pacific.
One day I decided to take a walk to generate some ideas and headed to the VAANA Peace Mural at the corner of K Rd and Ponsonby Rd. Given my proposed topic for the residency, I felt curious to visit the local site associated with the history of nuclear weapons testing.
As I walked through K Rd, I kept making up associations between Pacific nuclear history and the buildings, signage, etc. that I saw along the way.
I tried to record these random associations into a documented walk, in which I introduce the artworks about nuclear weapons testing.
The end result will be available both in print and online. I’m looking forward to sharing it soon.
Regional histories of contemporary Oceania are highly contested. Through continuous interference of world powers, the region has been shaped into a stage of ongoing geopolitical struggles.
Nuclear weapons testing is one aspect of this history. The testing’s legacies enable contemporary militarisation of Oceania while its repercussions shape today’s lived experiences. Deliberate erasures obscure the nuclear history itself; state-led campaigns that tried to undermine dangers of nuclear fallout; witnesses of the tests sworn to secrecy by the state; official documentations dismissing individual experiences. Nuclear activities also exacerbate the region’s environmental desecration, including loss of places, people and the relationships that connect them.
The residency aims to contribute to the RM Archive a catalogue of audiovisual works as an act of reversing these erasures and questioning the mediations of these histories. Who is still here, telling their stories? Who is telling others’ stories? What and where are the stories?
Kaoru’s current research at AUT explores how contemporary audiovisual works engage in nuclear disarmament and demilitarisation of Oceania.
Sticker design copyright (1984) to Ursula Kortner, for the West Auckland Peace Group. Produced by the New Zealand Nuclear-Free Peacemaking Association
Spit/e Collective15 June – 24 July 2020
We are a group of theorists and writers dedicated to queer, feminist, abolitionist, antiracist, and anticolonial demands. In spite of the debilitating demand to produce dry content in late capitalism, we create our own platforms for the playful and reckless creation of knowledge. Spit/e is a split name because our identities are plural. We’re spit because universities make you dehydrated. “Critical distance” suffocates the body, that wet thing that makes you specific and passionate and desiring change. Dry work is extractive, transactional; wet work is transformative. We’re spite too because anger at the world is both information about what to change and motivation to try. Good work is done with spite for and in spite of dry political machines. (Don’t f with our friends, we’ll spit in your face.) In RM’s archive room we are working on different poetic/productive/immediate ways to theorise or work through the experience of having a “wet encounter” with a political text or idea. A wet encounter creates a rupture in the world as it was. Because of this, wet encounters in reading provoke readers to change in radical ways. The word ‘wet’ is here to emphasise the intimacy of this kind of encounter: a wet encounter reaches you as a body, in fluid relation that defies dry boundaries (such as the supposed distance between reader and writer, the potential disconnectedness of a dry page). A wet encounter is profoundly political because it forces you to rethink your being-in-the-world.
9 Feb – 20 March 2020 Tardigrade World
Waste Archive by Tardigrade World
What we do
We are Tardigrade World, a collective that seeks to establish an experimental media channel called WASTE ARCHIVE aiming to gather research and distribute art and culture archives concerning sustainability relevant to our immediate community. There is a shortage of media archives directed towards Aucklanders that delivers such information in a concentrated and accessible manner. We aim to increase awareness towards critical social issues with our media channel by finding a place for it within Auckland city’s culture and art scene.
The media channel includes podcast/video, online articles, physical journals. The content is about what is happening in the sustainable community in Auckland, matters happening globally, and how the general population could get access to and benefit from them. We hope this will also help the sustainability sector make a better social and environmental impact in general, as well as making the art sector becomes more resilient.
Join us If you are creatives, activists, community groups, or anyone who have interests or work on the same topic, we would love to know your ideas and reflections and seek collaboration with, contact us at:
Amber FrenchFrom Sept 9 – Nov 29 2019 Amber was the RM Archive Resident
making a mess.
little tentacles find, antennae fronds.
‘fronds’ little girl bitter and
—– —– from laying out
horizontal to on a vertical
small, smile, fine, tip, small,
documentation, and, I. flurry of
moves and press light
‘specific … words’ are
and press lightly
‘specific —– word
s’ are okay.
I said: being open
and he said:
well, that’s not
really enough so
I had to get
from the very
back of the rooms
out of the
building into the
street tears falling
I shouldn’t stay I look down
at here until late my legs
see a boy’s
The small cockro-
legs and the small
ache and its small
small babies which I find at
rm scatter confusedly gallery doesn’t
have when I turn on
everything light grip very
the light the —– —–
kitchenette. my keys to the
roller door today having
my whole pencil
From March 4-17 May 2019, Huni was the RM Archive Resident.
She produced a publication, Satellite, available on our Texts page.
Over the next twelve weeks RM Archive will host reading room, a residency project engaging with three Karangahape Road reading rooms located at RM Gallery, Samoa House Library and Artspace Aotearoa. This project responds to each location with a focus on collections, communities and the use of space to consider the transformative potential of community repositories in the wake of a current crisis in tertiary arts education.
Reading rooms are a threshold to collections held within an archival institution. They aid the discovery of material and serve as a quiet space where one can read and study. Caswell et al. (2018) proposed the concept of ‘representational belonging’ to denote the ways in which community archives can empower people who have been marginalised by mainstream media and memory institutions, to have the autonomy and authority to establish, enact, and reflect on their presence in ways that are complex, meaningful, substantive, and positive to them in a variety of symbolic contexts.
In June 2018 The University of Auckland announced the closure of three creative arts libraries, including the Fine Arts Library, Architecture and Planning Library, and Music Library, despite opposition from students, faculty and the wider public. The University’s decision signals a move away from public to private information spaces, and the precarity of libraries in the face of wider political and economic forces.
This project asks how the document is sufficient in representing histories where there is no longer a thread of continuity, but rather a fracture, a discontinuity – the mark of which is obliteration, erasure and amnesia. Western information professions espouse the impulse to record, which is activated daily through an infrastructure of standards and restrictions. Within this paradigm however the cultural practices of peoples to whom much of this material originates are often left out of the picture. Is there more to connect us with our histories than the document alone?
Included in this conversation is the Tongan spatiotemporal concept and practices of tā-vā. Tā-vā is the symmetrical marking of time (tā) in space (vā), and this marking is understood to be arranged differently within and across cultures. Sitiveni Halapua (2000) identified the historical association between vā and the Tongan concept of hala (historical connection). Halapua argued that hala and vā are inseparable, and that “hala is the connection in space, vā.” Such embodied concepts of time and space are useful to a discussion of how access to information can instill a sense of belonging.
KaupapaThe kaupapa or methodology for this project draws on talanoa, a Tongan research practice which is an extension of the Pasifika practice of community-based, face-to-face knowledge sharing. Defined as the Pasifika way of open and informal discussion, the aim of talanoa is to challenge the siloing of knowledge and resist rigid hegemonic control.
A number of talanoa will take place at all three Karangahape Road reading rooms, with one general session to be held at the RM archive. All members of the community are invited to attend the RM Archive talanoa on:
Saturday 27 April 11-2pm
Please email Huni (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to attend or if you have any questions or queries.
A printed publication will be produced at the project’s end and copies of the publication will be donated to all three repositories. Placing them within the RM Archive transforms this project from being ‘evidence of me’ to ‘evidence of us’ – a component of our collective memory.
Huni Mancini is a Tongan (Niuatoputapu/Mu’a) and Italian (Monti/Grillara) creative and information professional, currently employed at the University of Auckland’s Architecture & Planning Library and Archive of Māori and Pacific Sound, and previously the Fine Arts Library (2018-2019). She is completing a PGDip in Information Studies through Victoria University and graduated with an MA in Media Studies in 2018, for which she completed her research thesis, Mapping new terrain: self-determined Indigenous app and game development. She exhibited in New Perspectives with Simon Denny (Artspace, 2016), Dark Objects (The Dowse, 2017). Her work has appeared in BackStory (NZ), Diaspora Drama (London), and Lieu (Melbourne).
 Caswell, M.; Gabiola, J.; Zavala, J.; Brilmyer, G.; Cifor, M. (2018). “Imagining transformative spaces: the personal-political sites of community archives.” Archival Science, 2018, 18(1). p.76.
 Mereweather, C. (2006). The Archive (London: Whitechapel; Cambridge: MIT Press). p.12.
 Ka’ili, T.O. (2017). Marking Indigeneity: The Tongan Art of Sociospatial Relations. (Tucson: University of Arizona Press). p.34.
 Halapua, S. (2000). Meaning in Unity-Building: A Holistic Talanoa Perspective. (Korolevu, Fiji: Pacific Islands Development Program).
 Fairbairn-Dunlop, P. (2014). Talanoa: building a Pasifika research culture. (Auckland: Dunmore). p.16.
 McKemmish, S. (2005). Archives: Recordkeeping in Society (Wagga Wagga: Charles Sturt University). p.13.