Art, Tech & Culture

How Can a Maori Girl Recolonise the Screen Using Mighty Pixels

Art, Tech & Culture
13 Sep, 2021

How Can a Maori Girl Recolonise the Screen Using Mighty Pixels

with Lisa Reihana
Artist, Aotearoa/New Zealand

Presented with Berkeley Arts + Design as part of the ATC | Art, Technology and Culture Colloquium and the Indigenous Technologies Initiative. Co-sponsored by the Arts Research Center and The American Indian Graduate Program.

Register for the Zoom link here!
Watch the YouTube stream here:

Click here to view the transcript!

Inspired by the work of American and Canadian video artists fuelled my interest in non-standard formats. The freedom the art world offered, and the ability to wrestle with the tools associated with cinema, the commercial realm, magazines and broadcasting provided an opportunity to challenge and further late nineteen-eighties New Zealand society. Here was an opportunity to colonise the visual language of the time which led to much self questioning: What does it mean to be a first gen urban artist in Auckland, New Zealand - the largest Pacific city in the world ? How does gender affect access to indigenous knowledge, and what is it’s impact on the stories you tell? The resulting strategies has led to a sustained practise that attempts to both normalise and transcend ideas of what it is to be Māori.

About Lisa Reihana

Lisa Reihana Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Tūteauru and Ngati Hine. Through a pioneering practice combining photography, video and installation. Her philosophy is ‘making’ rather than ‘taking’, with a long-standing emphasis on portraiture photographs and historical and ancestral narratives. The collaborative nature of Reihana’s practice is made possible with the help of her family, numerous friends and fellow artists. Reihana’s work has been exhibited in museums, art galleries, and art festivals around the world.

In 2017 she represented Aotearoa / New Zealand at the Venice Biennale with Emissaries which included in Pursuit of Venus [Infected], a 64-minute and 24 meter long video projection inspired by Josef Dufour’s 1804 French scenic wallpaper Les Sauvages De La Mer Pacifique. Utilizing green screen technology to superimpose performers against a backdrop based on Dufour’s whimsical Tahitian landscape, vignettes explore meetings between Polynesian ancestors and early European explorers. Historic characters such as Captain James Cook present glimpses into some of the darker ‘infected’ moments of those encounters, as well as presenting the scientific motives for European expeditions alluded to in the title.

About Indigenous Technologies

Indigenous Technologies is a program of the Berkeley Center for New Media that engages questions of technology and new media in relation to global structures of indigeneity, settler colonialism and genocide in the 21st century. Our Indigenous Tech events and ongoing conversations with Indigenous scholars and communities aim to critically envision and reimagine what a more just and sustainable technological future can look like. We will highlight Indigenous engagements with robotics, computer science, telecommunications, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, social media, online activism, video games, and more.

Read a full description of the program and find more resources here.


BCNM events are free and open to the public. All of our events for the Fall 2021 academic semester will be held on Zoom in English, in Pacific Standard Time (PST). We provide live-captioning in Zoom and offer a separate Streamtext window for live-captioning with options to customize text size and display. We strive to meet any additional access and accommodation needs. Please contact info.bcnm [at] with requests or questions.

BCNM is proud to make conversations with leading scholars, artists, and technologists freely available to the public. Please help us continue this tradition by making a tax-deductible donation today. If you are in the position to support the program, we suggest $5 per event, or $100 a year.

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