CIRCUIT Symposium 2020: Sovereign Pacific / Pacific Sovereigns

Presented by CIRCUIT in association with Pātaka Art + Museum, Porirua on 24 October 9.45am-4.30pm. Convened by David Teh (Singapore), Keynote by Dr. Carl Mika (Aotearoa). This symposium asks;

What is sovereignty? Is it innate and universal, or something to be contested and won, in a given place and time? The word suggests an autonomy that is at once individual and collective, yet sovereignty may be more than political, and more than strictly human. Indeed, as our modernity culminates in mounting global crises, we are compelled to recalibrate all our rights and freedoms in favour of others, of animate and inanimate things, of the planet itself.

Art may be sovereign too; in moving images, sovereignty may be implicit (e.g., in the psycho-politics of montage, the gaze, etc) or asserted explicitly, as in ethno-fiction, or theories of third (or fourth) cinema; while in today’s digital media, both the grammar of images and the visuality of text are more material than ever. What does the new immediacy of self-expression mean for sovereignty?

This symposium, co-hosted by CIRCUIT and Pātaka Art + Museum, will explore how sovereignty is inscribed in art – on page, on screen, in space, on bodies, and in the natural world. Is it altered by contemporary media? Which histories does it invoke, and which does it counter? The 1-day programme will bring together artists and thinkers in an interdisciplinary dialogue with the 2020 Circuit Artist Cinema commissions, and special guest presenters from outside Aotearoa New Zealand. Register online here.

David Teh is a curator and Associate Professor at the National University of Singapore, specialising in Southeast Asian contemporary art. David's previous curatorial projects include Returns, a project for the 12th Gwangju Biennale (2018), Misfits: Pages from a Loose-leaf Modernity (Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, 2017) and Unreal Asia (55. Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, 2009). Due to the limitations imposed by Covid 19, David will participate in AURA 2020 via Zoom.

The Symposium keynote is Dr Carl Mika, with confirmed speakers including David Teh, Alex Monteith, Rachel Rakena, Sorawit Songsataya, Vera Mey and more. Symposium registration is $40 waged, and $10 for Students, Unwaged and CIRCUIT Artists. Advance registration includes a light lunch. Register online here. Full details TBC