Wild, Wild Life

CIRCUIT and Auckland Council are inviting proposals for six new artist moving image commissions that will form Wild, Wild Life, an installation of video art across sites in Auckland to coincide with the 2024 Auckland Arts Festival.

The successful proposals will each receive $20,000 towards the production of a new single channel video work, which will enter the Auckland Council Public Art Collection, and be displayed on the Auckland Council Public Art and CIRCUIT websites.

What kind of works are sought?

We are seeking responses that consider the following themes:

How is Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland city described outside of official city maps? What other kinds of wayfinding exist beyond prescribed routes, paths and junctures? How are these activated by people, fauna and flora? What discrete spaces exist in the plain sight of everyday work, life and commerce? Beyond visual recognition, how might we know them, sensorially? How does revitalisation occur in the transitional spaces of the urban landscape? What economies are supported in the grey zone between the formal and informal? Can abundance exist in a void? What speculative systems and forms might reshape the future city?

Wild, Wild Life: project context

The City Rail Link is the largest transport infrastructure project ever to be undertaken in New Zealand. Scheduled for delivery in 2025, this transformative project will expand and connect existing Auckland rail services by excavating two new subway tunnels, removing dirt and rocks to the surface and installing infrastructure. On completion the City Rail Link will deliver a train every 10 minutes to four new stations, carrying a daily load of 54,000 passengers.

As this massive urban project continues towards its determined purpose, Wild, Wild Life will present artists' moving image works to form an alternate map of Auckland. Sometimes subversive or unexpected, these works utilise the city’s discrete, informal and overlooked spaces as vital nodes, networks and sites of community. Installed as a series of dispersed video screens in street-facing city premises, the video works are likewise presented during the Auckland Arts Festival as discrete city wayfinders.

Wild, Wild Life is curated by CIRCUIT Director Mark Williams.

As life must adapt to site-specific solutions, the real life of cities often takes place in the corners where no one is watching.” — Steffen Lehmann, The Unplanned City: Public space and the spatial character of urban informality (2020).

The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication featuring a map of the installation sites, a conversation about informal systems in urban spaces, and a public programme which includes a conversation between the curator and the artists. An essay response to the artworks will be commissioned and published on the Auckland Council Public Art and CIRCUIT websites.

How to apply

To apply, please submit a proposal to Mark Williams, director@circuit.org.nz that includes:

  • a proposal detailing your proposed artwork

  • a statement about the relationship of the work to public space and the particular context of Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland

  • a broad outline of the production process and key collaborators (even if unconfirmed)

  • a biography (no longer than one page) describing your practice and highlights from your exhibition history

  • links to video/images of previous work, and if available, your website


The deadline for proposals is 12pm midday, Monday 4 September 2023.

When will I be notified of the outcome of my proposal?

Some applicants may be asked to attend an interview to address conceptual, logistical or technical aspects of their proposal which may be unclear. Applicants will be notified by end of Wednesday 13 September 2023.

Completed artworks will be delivered late February 2024 and  individual production schedules will be negotiated on a case by case basis. Please note: biographical, supporting and visual material supplied in the proposal may be used by Auckland Council for the initial promotion of the project.


How will the works be shown?

Proposals should only be for a single monitor. This allows 24/7 looping for the duration of the presentation, rain or shine. The selection of monitors over large scale projection also speaks to the discrete nature of the activities suggested by the proposal. With city noise ever present, we cannot guarantee a pristine audio listening environment and recommend videos are either silent or audio soundtracks are ambient. Audio will be heard through installed external speakers, or if appropriate, the existing speaker on the monitor, we are unable to supply headphones. We do not recommend dialogue, unless subtitled.

Where will the works be shown?

The works will be shown in existing public spaces and in street-facing windows of partners in inner city Auckland. The exact locations will be determined once the themes of individual works are known, in discussion with the artists and once technical and logistical issues have been considered.

What support is available during the production and installation process?

Curator Mark Williams is available during the production process to discuss conceptual issues and questions around working in public space. Representatives of the Auckland Council Public Art team will be available to address questions about logistics. Auckland Council Public Art will arrange for equipment and installation.

What does the fee cover?

The fee covers all production costs, your time making the work and purchase of the finished work for the Auckland Council Public Art Collection. It also covers subsequent presentations by Auckland Council. The fee payment schedule will be negotiated on completion of artist selection.

How will artists and projects be selected?

 A selection committee including the curator and members of the Auckland Council Public Art team will assess proposals against criteria including: how the proposed project addresses the theme? Will the proposal deliver a dynamic, contemporary artistic project? Is the project likely to be successful artistically and technically in urban public space? Can the proposed project be delivered within the available resources and time frame? How will the proposed project compliment the other selected works?

The Auckland Council Public Art Policy aspires to everyone experiencing thought-provoking, culturally vibrant, enjoyable and challenging public art and public space.

What happens when the work enters the Auckland Council Public Art Collection?

Auckland Council has a collection of over 400 artworks which are displayed in public contexts to enhance and enliven our experience of public space. After the initial exhibition the work will be formally accessioned into the Auckland Council Public Art Collection. It will be available to view on the Auckland Council Public Art and CIRCUIT websites. For more information, please see the Auckland Council Public Art website here. The work can be shown elsewhere by negotiation as a loan from the Auckland Council Public Art Collection.

CIRCUIT is the
leading voice
for artist moving image
in Aotearoa New Zealand,
distributing works,
critical review and
which reflect our unique, contemporary
South Pacific context.