River Road: Journeys through ecology

Cook, David and Puke, Wiremu and Valentine, Jonty (2011) River Road: Journeys through ecology. Rim Books & PhotoForum (issue 80), Auckland, New Zealand. ISBN 9780473196998

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Abstract or Summary

River/Road takes an intimate look at the environmental, cultural, historical and economic factors that shape the ecology of our immediate surroundings. The narrative brings together photography, design and text to explore regional ecology from a bicultural perspective. The authors trace a journey, following the parallel arteries of the Waikato River and River Road as they snake their way from Hamilton city to Turangawaewae, seat of the Kingitanga movement. The book creates journeys which emphasise the active venture of ‘reading’ the landscape. River/Road began as a photographic and interactive design project by David Cook (this initial phase received research funding of $21,000 from Wintec / Waikato Institute of Technology) . This project was exhibited as River/Road: an ecological journey at the Waikato Museum October 2009 - April 2010. The suite of 60 photographic prints and digital interactive media are now in the collection of the Waikato Museum. This current publication proposal extends the life and reach of this body of work by distributing the work in book form. It also brings depth to the project as a result of the collaborative nature of its authorship. The book is a collaboration between Wiremu Puke, Jonty Valentine and David Cook. The authors bring a number of distinct voices to the project: • Jonty Valentine, the graphic designer, provokes and navigates the reader through a multilayered account of space and time, working with mapping concepts and juxtapositions of image and text. The design concept is underpinned by an understanding of the history and theory of the ‘Commonplace Book’ as a conventional format for the personalising/ordering of narrative, categorising, indexing and accessing schemes. Jonty has explored these design concepts in recent publications; The National Grid (2006 – 2010), Printing Types: NZ Type Design Since 1870 (2009), The Buzzing Confusion of Things(2008) and Aotearoa Digital Arts Reader (2008). • Wiremu Puke launches his story-telling journey from the slopes of Taupiri where he surveys the landscape and makes his way upriver through Ngaruawahia and on to the city of Hamilton. He writes about the creatures and people who inhabit the space; wildlife, Tainui history, colonial settlement, contemporary dilemmas and imagined ecological futures. The text is constructed as a first person conversation with David Cook. The narrative blends Wiremu’s knowledge of whakapapa and his politically active engagement with the space. • David Cook takes a photographic journey from his hometown of Hamilton, through suburbia, industrial zones, wild spaces, farms and on to Ngaruawahia, under the gaze of Taupiri Mountain. His images explore signs of the ever changing ecology of these spaces. Pausing at 600m intervals he makes paired images from the river and the road, creating dialogue through the juxtaposition and sequencing of images. Summary of book contents • 92 pages + hard cover • format = width 170mm x height 240mm • 59 colour photographs by David Cook • 6000 words- text by Wiremu Puke • maps of journeys • Print run = 800 copies • $40 retail price

Item Type:Book
Additional Information:The photographs in this book also appeared in an exhibition at the Waikato Museum, 2009-2010.
Keywords that describe the item:Documentary, Photography, Ecology
Subjects:G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
Divisions:Schools > School of Media Arts
ID Code:1610
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Deposited On:19 Jan 2012 20:55
Last Modified:09 Nov 2012 04:03

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