News of the Uruguay Round (exhibition documentation)
News of the Uruguay Round is a multi-channel installation which features "...a series of re-constructed international film and television production company logos, filmed using a range of techniques including green-screen and simple robotics.
While the re-made logos are deliberately shonky and offer critique of a sometimes overbearing presence in our cultural landscape, this is ultimately a work of fan art, as evidenced by the amount of time and material expense taken to build the sets. Despite the political overtones of the project, the artist acknowledges a genuine personal conflict, and attempts to balance homage with critique." - Martin Patrick
As well as acknowledging the presence of American cultural influence in New Zealand, News of the Uruguay Round addresses the lack of New Zealand content on local screens and airwaves. Heynes cites a range of trade agreements which opened the door for international television and film to be produced in New Zealand, including Xena Warrior Princess (1995) and Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. While these agreements provided new jobs in the creative sector at a time when Heynes’ generation was entering the workforce, Heynes believes that as a country we have since failed to adequately invest in telling our own stories.
Read Martin Patrick's essay Mike Heynes: video art, animation, and activist critique on CIRCUIT