Issue 2: A List of Positions

A List of Positions

^^^ RIP TIDE ^^^

The Artist’s heart doesn’t know how to stop. It creates collective action with the slow, determined force of a tsunami or the dynamism of a rip tide. A gush. A waterfall of clear and present danger. Taking you From The River To The Sea.

/\\//\ STAY IN THE FIRE /\\//\

The Artist doesn’t need you to propose ways to fight the fire while they are burning in it.  Step inside and stay in it. Rage like a bush fire. Clear all so that new growth can take hold.


The Artist knows that the future belongs to indigenous and black people ~`~ especially queer ones ~`~  They don't need speculation. They have already left and started a universe on their own.

(*) A BLACK HOLE (*)

It’s time to discover what happens at the threshold. Untether yourself from the limitations of capitalism. Untame your thirst for adventure. Cut and break. Slip and slide. Transform water into wine.

666 NINE LIVES 999

|||| A DANCE FLOOR ||||



Artificial Intelligence doesn't belong to the digital realm or Lensa. Art is its own algorithm. The Artist creates, displays and facilitates systems of understanding that will outlast time and crack through power.


The Artist makes images and sounds that pull you softly into remembering. Think, feel and see another way.


History has proven that when there is no space, The Artist will create it. Bite the hand that feeds. Step into the future collectively. From here we can imagine multiple lives together.


The Artist needs a giant public display of affection and a lot of money.


_,_| NEXT |_,_

If your world doesn’t serve you anymore, make a new one.

Pictured: F.O.L.A. Scene at Basement Theatre, February 2023. Photograph by Megan Goldsman

Pictured: F.O.L.A. Scene at Basement Theatre, February 2023.

Photograph by Megan Goldsman

Live Art is typically practised in Aotearoa by artists who dwell in the most potent of political intersections (feminist, QBIPOC). It is not surprising then, that this work has been underrepresented by the Western-colonial-capitalist regime within which we live today. The most accurate picture of living in Aotearoa comes straight through the eyes of these very artists and we want to share that with the world.

We created F.O.L.A. [AKL] as a haven for those subversive, dirty, playful, humorous, and, above all, daring artists who make life so much better by being in the world. We got sick of how notoriously poorly neoliberal and capitalist structures create space for Live Art and artists in general. So, one day in a hot tub on Waiheke Island we decided to change it.

We wanted to build a community of artists and safeguard their artform, livelihoods, and legacies by creating new models within which they could flourish. We heard and felt clearly, as artists ourselves, that space was needed for alternative modes that centre care for artists. This festival is led by artists, for artists—through care, responsibility, and responsiveness. When we say care, we want to be clear that we mean the kind that goes so hard it needs a safe word. We wanted F.O.L.A. to feel like New York or Berlin—a gateway drug to the wildest and strangest of Tāmaki Makaurau.

F.O.L.A. [AKL] was our excuse to throw a big goddamn beautiful party because, while there was a perverse pleasure in wearing track pants everyday during lockdown, we missed everyone and needed to get our flirt on, dance for 3 hours non-stop, and feel bodies, bodies, bodies.

Twenty events across five days programmed in step with the setting sun and rising moon, F.O.L.A. was set to be a glorious constellation of sassy, sexy art. An act of subterfuge, Trojan-horsing the seemingly elite and avant-garde, white practice of experimental art through big bright party vibes and dense programming of QBIPOC artists.

F.O.L.A. was meant to launch in late 2021. But Covid stopped that. Then it was meant to launch in 2022. But Covid stopped that. Then we were set to launch in 2023. But Cyclone Gabrielle stopped that. Each a reminder that if our models aren’t flexible and able to sway in and out of what our global climates demand from us, we simply can’t go on.

In the end, we put on one epic day and night at Auckland’s Basement Theatre that drew out hundreds of art brats from around the city. One of those perfect, balmy, Auckland summer nights, and the kind of party where a dance floor hook-up ends up in eloping and getting married in a courthouse.

The impact of that one night was so profound a spell, our lives changed and our hearts deepened. You best believe we’ll be back in 2025.

Nisha Madhan & Julia Croft
F.O.L.A. Co-Directors

Pictured: Julia Croft & Nisha Madhan, F.O.L.A. at Basement Theatre, February 2023. Photograph by Megan Goldsman

Pictured: Julia Croft & Nisha Madhan, F.O.L.A. at Basement Theatre, February 2023.

Photograph by Megan Goldsman

Julia Croft is the Executive Director of Auckland Pride and a live artist/performance maker. She has built strong relationships with artists and curators across the world, particularly in the UK, Mexico, and Australia. In addition to her artistic practice Julia is a producer, director, researcher, and works regularly as a teaching artist.

Nisha Madhan is an independent artistic director and producer. She is the Lead Creative Producer at Next Wave in Naarm Melbourne, and until recently she was the Programming Director of Basement Theatre. Her eclectic career includes creating, directing, and producing experimental and live art, performing on stage and screen, and critical writing.

next essay