Terri Te Tau

Doctor of Philosophy, (Creative Arts)
Study Completed: 2016
College of Creative Arts


Thesis Title
Beyond the Corners of Our Whare

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Ms Te Tau investigated power relations and surveillance by juxtaposing a Maori worldview with state sanctioned surveillance of citizens. Using a creative practice-based enquiry she explored intersections and differences between these two perspectives against the backdrop of ‘Operation 8’ an anti-terror investigation carried out by the New Zealand Police in 2007. As an artist within the community subjected to the surveillance action she was motivated to explore how an interdisciplinary arts practice, informed by Maori concepts might respond to state surveillance. Installation, video and a science fiction narrative form the creative components of her research. These components were developed against Maori concepts of mana, tapu, mauri, hau, whanaungatanga and mana motuhake and explored in the context of art and literature informed by global developments in surveillance. Her research proposes that the interconnected relationships between these concepts mitigate the tendency to replicate the power dynamics within state and citizen surveillance, and are therefore able to resist it.

Professor Bob Jahnke
Professor Huia Jahnke
Associate Professor Darryn Joseph