20 - 29 Nov 2015
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TEZA (the Transitional Economic Zone of Aotearoa), commissioned and curated by Letting Space is an artist led project community week-long project in Poprirua, Aoteaora/New Zealand involving a selection of NZ artists such as Kim Paton, Mark Harvey, David Cooke, Tim Barlow, aiming to change our ideas about what wealth is, under the current context of climate change and mass inequality.
TEZA (the Transitional Economic Zone of Aotearoa) is an artist led project commissioned and curated by Letting Space aiming to change our ideas about what wealth is, under the current context of mass inequality and climate change.
Public art producers Letting Space have confirmed a wide ranging programme of projects that form the wider Transitional Economic Zone of Aotearoa (TEZA), a bi-annual event that highlights new forms of exchange and economic wellbeing. The Transitional Economic Zone of Aotearoa has its first iteration in November 2013 in Christchurch, a place where people have already had to creatively rethink fundamental ways of interacting and organising.
A DIY coffin service, a “People’s Library”, a Porirua Loaf baking kitchen, a Volunteer Refinery (for climate chnage) and a roots festival (for sustainable living and community engagement) at the time are some of the items that will integrate Porirua locals with artists from across New Zealand. Some of the artists include Kim Paton, Mark Harvey, David Cooke, Tim Barlow.
All projects and the communities of Porirua will form part of an ‘economic zone’ which highlights beneficial reciprocal exchange running between November 21-29th around Porirua City. The hub of these projects is currently based in a disused building formerly occupied by NZ’s first McDonald’s.
TEZA is a platform for projects commissioned through arts funding and community initiatives, hosted under one umbrella. Borrowing from the concept of international zones that exploit local resources for multinational needs, TEZA is a way of providing a platform for demonstrating abundance that is not usually recognised. TEZA is a way of providing a platform demonstrating economies of mutual benefit rather than exploitation.
TEZA explores how a group of artists might visit and exchange with others for the local good. Turning the capitalist idea of the special economic zone on its head - where usually regulations are lifted to allow a foreign company to extract resources at the local community’s expense - TEZA will be a site for exchanging ideas, and the workshop and presentation of projects that are about new systems of exchange. TEZA aims to recognise how artists and the public can all contribute to society employing alternative economic models.
In a time when places are increasingly treated as globally homogenous, TEZA - the Transitional Economic Zone of Aotearoa - asks how a group of New Zealand artists can travel under a singular identity and work in a specific place meaningfully as outside agents with local communities.
TEZA is about how temporary experimental art projects can lead to permanent change - because life is transitional, a series of fleeting moments, rather than one governed by permanent structures.
The TEZA model is adapted from that of the Special Economic Zone (SEZ), commonly employed by multinational companies in Asia and Africa to extract resources from a territory. Yet while the SEZ gives people freedom to extract and destroy without oversight, TEZA aims to create an autonomous zone that not only provides freedom from coercion but also the freedom to create new relationships. This allows for the recognition of new systems of value and forms of exchange.
TEZA will provide physical and digital media platforms that extend its reach beyond its physical site. In doing so it seeks to break down isolation of all kinds, creating links and encouraging new kinds of trade and currency locally, nationally and internationally.