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New Brighton artists establish new economic zone, for 7 days

Submitted by on November 7, 2013 – 9:54 am

ProductiveBodiesTEZAWelcome to TEZA: The Transitional Economic Zone of Aotearoa

New Brighton, Christchurch

25 November – 1 December 2013

For information go to:


A group of artists from around New Zealand are establishing an economic zone in New Brighton, Christchurch for seven days.

Being held Monday 25 November to Sunday 1 December, The Transitional Economic Zone of Aotearoa, or TEZA for short, is being produced by celebrated national public art producers Letting Space. In partnership with organisation Renew Brighton they will occupy the Creative Quarter, at 101 New Brighton Mall. This will serve as a centre for daytime and evening workshops and discussions from which the activities of least a dozen artists, each working with different community groups, will radiate out across the suburb and Christchurch city.

The extensive programme and projects are now online at

Watch out on the street among the activities for a bicycle choir, street performances exploring different ways people can be productive, a poster campaign by recent migrants to Christchurch, Ngai Tahu flag and food exchange gatherings, and sound carrying light beams crossing the New Brighton skyline.

TEZA is all about exploring new ways of working together for common good, say curators Mark Amery and Sophie Jerram of Letting Space.

“Since the quakes, Christchurch has been a hotbed of projects that explore different forms of exchange, full of zeal and innovation. We want to recognize this energy and achievement and highlight how vital such experimentation is to the future of our planet, as the economic systems we currently use show signs they are past their use by date.

“‘Special Economic Zones’ are a common late-capitalist mechanism that allow multinational companies to operate globally and extract resources from a region at a local community’s expense. We want to explore what a more positive model for an economic zone might look like – how a group of artists from many different places might visit and exchange with communities and tangata whenua for the local good.”

The Transitional Economic Zone of Aotearoa’s New Brighton hub will be a site for exchanging ideas about new systems. “It recognises how artists and the public can all contribute to society employing alternative economic models, and the importance of public and community space to enable this.”
TEZA is being produced in Christchurch in partnership with Renew New Brighton and the Positive Directions Trust. It has funding support from Creative New Zealand, The Chartwell Trust and the Canterbury Community Trust. Other funders and supporters include Loomio, Massey University, WINTEC, University of Canterbury, Ngai Tahu, Ministry of Awesome, The Physics Room and many others.

Over the last four years Letting Space has commissioned artists to create over a dozen temporary public artwork and events designed to provide dynamic new spaces for public engagement – projects that aim to increase the public commons around New Zealand and provoke social change. A number of these projects have received national media attention, sometimes quite heated, as the projects often ask questions of the status quo.

Working actively with the community of New Brighton, the physical hub of the zone will create a welcoming space created by Tim Barlow of Wellington and Te Urutahi Waikerepuru of Taranaki. Many works will extend out from the zone creating new lines through the suburb and city to sites of significance, including a soundwork by Phil Dadson, a light work by Kura Puke and Stuart Foster and a performance work by Mark Harvey, extending on his Productive Bodies work with Letting Space during 2012’s NZ International Festival of the Arts.

Also working with Letting Space again is Kim Paton whose waste-forecasting project in New Brighton will extend on her celebrated Free Store project of 2010, which has led directly to new schemes with the supermarkets in Auckland and Wellington. Extending a project first presented in New Mexico in 2012, Simon Kaan presents Kai Hau Kai, a Ngāi Tahu exchange working with communities to explore the concept of sharing of food, and its importance in creating and maintaining social and economic relationships. Photographic artists David Cook and Tim J Veling will work with students of Freeville School, New Brighton to take a visual stocktake of their social and ecological environment, artist and designer Kerry Ann Lee will work with local designers, writers and publishers who identify as ‘migrant setllers’ to create posters and a zine that makes their communities more visible. Richard Bartlett from Loomio co-operative will present an open site for presentation of projects that have recognised principles of generosity and abundance.

All of these projects will bring communities of people together in exchange in New Brighton Mall and elsewhere. The public are encouraged to join the Letting Space Facebook page for regular updates. A TEZA website and events programme will be released shortly.

For further enquiries and images contact publicist Gabrielle McKone 021373873, or curators Mark and Sophie or 029 934 9740

Letting Space:

Attached below is further information on Letting Space and the ideas behind TEZA.



“Letting Space are undertaking rare and important work that has the capacity to both generate social transformation under the guise of contemporary art, and in so doing assist in the transformation of the norms of contemporary art itself.”

Blair French, Artspace Sydney, and Curator Scape 2013

“In New Zealand there is a growing desire for art that questions the roles of consumption and the excesses of globalisation at the same time as offering a focus on the local and the tactical. Letting Space have led the way with exhibitions and workshops and interventions that have already made a critical difference to the way that systems of exchange and reciprocity are understood.”

Su Ballard, Art writer and lecturer University of Wollongong

“Letting Space has consistently delivered an innovative and genre-changing programme of public art that has reshaped the workings of the city, and the role artists can find within it. The use of vacated commercial buildings as the site of engagement between artists, their audience and the public commons was a masterstroke that has led to the creation of what will be remembered as some of the most important art projects staged in Wellington over recent times.”

Aaron Lister, Curator, City Gallery Wellington

Letting Space seeks to transform the relationship between artists, the public and their environments to enable social change. Based in New Zealand, we empower artists to be courageous as agents of change. We work with commercial and property partners to create programmes that transform the way we treat urban spaces as living spaces. Letting Space also asks the public to become engaged in art as participants. Through creative provocations, we treat art as part of the social fabric, providing impetus for change in our cities and communities. Managers: Mark Amery, Sophie Jerram and Helen Kirlew Smith

We currently run with the support of Wellington City Council Urban Dream Brokerage, enabling urban change through brokering creative use of vacant space in Wellington. We also recently completed our first independent media project Studio Channel Art Fair at Auckland Art Fair 2013, and are also in development with new public art series in Auckland and Wellington.

Previous projects have been commissioned from Eve Armstrong, Tim Barlow (Erupt Festival, Taupo), D.A.N.C.E Art Club (Erupt Festival, Taupo), Mark Harvey (New Zealand International Festival of the Arts), Colin Hodson, Bronwyn Holloway Smith, Dugal McKinnon, Kim Paton, Julian Priest (Splore, Auckland), Monique Redmond and Tanya Eccleston (Auckland Arts Festival), and Tao Wells.


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