A virtual powhiri

Added to the Museum of Data by Haidy Geismar on Wednesday, March 13, 2019. Museum of Data Collection ID: 195.

Public description: These videos show the opening minutes of what may be the world's first virtual powhiri, held at UCL on June 17, 2014. A Powhiri is a Māori word which refers to a welcome ceremony, and is part of the protocols of welcoming guests on to the marae (the meeting space surrounding the meeting houses, whare, which form the centre of Māori communities). This powhiri was designed by Kura Puke, an artist, and Stuart Foster, an interaction designer, both of Massey University in New Zealand, working with Haidy Geismar (curator of the UCL Ethnography Collections) and aimed to envelope a beautiful Maori cloak in the UCL Ethnography Collections with sound and light from Aotearoa New Zealand. A digital interface, made using projectors, screens, FaceTime connections, and gel lighting was set up in UCL's Octagon gallery, transforming that gallery into a Māori space. Te Matahiapo Research Organisation, based in Pouakai, Taranaki New Zealand, were given symbolic ownership of the space and during the ritual, welcomed UCL staff and representatives from Ngāti Rānana (the London Maori club) into their marae. The event was recorded in both locations. These videos show you how the event was experienced in each place. You can here the welcome mihi,

Materials used: bits and bytes, digital images, digital sound, screens

Credit: Footage in New Zealand was shot by Pip Guthrie, in London by Lisa Peatfield, a student in the Documentary and Ethnographic Film department

Copyright: This footage is reproduced here with permission of the filmmakers under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Language: English and Māori

Creation date: 2014/06/17 00:00:00

Tags: 14, 13, 12, 11, 9

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