Issue 1: Editorial


Notes on

A manifesto is a claim, a mark in the earth, a feeling of making a stand, and creates a sense of committing to a new way forward. A call to action: declarative, persuasive, performative.

BLOT’s contributors have approached the manifesto directly, obliquely, from all sides.

Ruby Solly helps us discover the whakapapa of language, and considers te reo o te taiao, the reo of the environment, wandering conceptually from weaving worlds and knowledge together with sound, to encountering how the land sings a song of both its history and future—a song of its well-being.

Calling on the work of Joseph Dumit and Donna Haraway, Celeste Oram offers a guide to productively implode one’s practice: a how-to for deepening one’s understanding of your practice, through lenses activated by social, historical, political, cultural, and bodily dimensions. What makes your work work?

Nathan Joe lays out a vision for queer performance in Aotearoa, dealing to: the queer body; the place that destabilising hierarchical ways of working has in order to reflect, in the process of creating a work, the values reflected in the work itself; and how, through pride, smashing the closet, and documentation, we can cast hope into the world.

Alys Longley and Becca Wood present an audio-visual-textual manifesto for a way of working and working together—through propositions, for themselves and all of us, they put forward a “cry across spaces, a signal to act”.

Marcus Jackson ponders threads of memory, meaning, and what this might mean for his own practice: what needs to be in the work in order for an audience to truly understand it.

Scott Wilson applies a Lacanian lens to the manifesto via “The Signification of the Phallus”, exploring what the manifesto really demands.

Kosta Bogoievski proposes a new filter through which to choreograph in the cultural and economic contexts of commercialisation and digitalisation—the attention economy.

Stella Corkery delves into drumming, painting, influences, improvisation, feminism—and tantrums.

In BLOT’s first set of ‘creative responses’, Jazmine Rose Phillips responds textually to Nathan Joe’s Scenes from a Yellow Peril, Samuel Te Kani writes on the maximalism of Beyoncé’s latest offering, Renaissance, and Kerian Varaine critically reconstructs Dunedin Symphony Orchestra’s recent celebration of Matariki.


So hm   hm- yeah

We are driven about discourse, about building community through conversation, communal pondering, towards collaboration, towards collective.

We are cross-arts practice/cross-arts scheming/cross-arts contamination.

We are dedicated to creating a place for generative ideas and transformative thinking, for celebrating all of us, particularly in amplifying voices previously underrepresented and marginalised (let’s be real, read: previously actively oppressed).

We are attentive in considering the multitude needs of the humans this mahi is for. Audience is.

We support new and original writing—making—being.

We are committed to being curious, open-minded, staying independent, and to honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi by upholding its values as part of our everyday.

He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata he tangata he tangata. We are honest about the challenges we face as artists, and, in thinking about how this project can provide for people, we always want to come from a position of positivity and generosity.

We are earnest about treading softly, steering gently, exploratorily, barefoot.

We are green. We are environmentally-friendly. We are forever learning.


BLOT is an artist space: run by artists for artists.

Stay amazed. This is for you.

Mauri ora


We’re so grateful for the generous support of our funders, with particular thanks to the Chartwell Trust and John & Jo Gow for helping get this off the ground and ensuring artists are recognised and remunerated for their work.

We’re indebted to the contributors for their mahi, thankful that they came on board, and honoured to share their words, thoughts, sounds, and images with you. Thank you to Dave Currie, for your easy and professional approach, and to Marcus Jackson for helping get things started back in 2018.

Ngā manaakitanga

Antonia + Samuel

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