Correspondence 2.1

Correspondence 2.1 designed by Jane Maloney, MK Press. 

Correspondence 2.1 designed by Jane Maloney, MK Press. 

Correspondence is a biannual tabloid, publishing pairs of works for the page, web, and ear, as openings into artistic practices and relationships.

Volume 2, Issue 1 includes audio and print contributions from Jane Wallace, David Garcia, Ziggy Lever and Lucy Meyle, Isla Martin, Erin Lee, and Balamohan Shingade and Nkosi Nkululeko. 

Publications & Writing Coordinator Orissa Keane, editor of this series, invited contributors to thinking about what a spacious atrium could be, what potential lies in this pair of words or imagined architecture. Gathered in this issue are the results of that invitation. Correspondence 2.1 is also available for listening through an audiobook edition, recorded by the contributors themselves, alongside the two 2021 issues of this bi-annual tabloid publication by The Physics Room.

We hope you'll be able to pick up a copy from one of our listed distribution points below. However, you can also enjoy this issue by downloading the full PDF, by listening using your screen reader, or by listening to the audiobook below.

Please note that the HTML text version of Correspondence 2.1 on this webpage is intended mainly for screen readers. If you're a sighted person, you might better enjoy the thoughtful design qualities of the downloadable PDF and print versions. The audiobook is there for all audiences to provide as an alternative way to engage with the contributions in this issue.

Correspondence 2.1 is designed by Jane Maloney, MK Press. 

You can find Correspondence 1.1 here, and Correspondence 1.2 here


Spacious Atrium
Orissa Keane

Editorial note
Orissa Keane

Fibrous Rhythm
Jane Wallace

Unsettling Cartographies
David Garcia

Image After Imago
Ziggy Lever and Lucy Meyle

Spacious Atriums for a Modern Hine
Isla Martin

Hallway Fieldnotes
Erin Lee

Correspondence Game 2022-23
Caro-Kann, Advance Variation [B12]
Balamohan Shingade – Nkosi Nkululeko

About the Contributors


How to dispose of your copy of Correspondence 2.1 responsibly... 
Illustration by Min-Young Her




These are the sites who will be holding stacks of Correspondence 2.1 for free distribution to the public (limited supply):

Fibre Gallery, Ōtautahi
Central Gallery
Christchurch Art Gallery
Ilam School of Fine Arts

Blue Oyster Art Gallery
Dunedin Polytechnic School of Art


Te Whanganui-a-Tara
Enjoy Contemporary Art Space
The Dowse Art Museum
Massey University, Wellington CoCA Campus


Tāmaki Makaurau
Artspace Aotearoa
Corban Estate Arts Centre
Fresh Gallery
Elam School of Fine Arts


RAMP, Kirikiriroa Hamilton
Pātaka Art + Museum, Porirua
The Suter Art Gallery, Whakatū Nelson 

Book shops

Strange Goods, Tāmaki Makaurau
Scorpio Books, Ōtautahi
Good Books, Te Whanganui-a-Tara



Correspondence Volume Two, Issue One

Published November 2022
ISSN 2744-7529 (Print)
ISSN 2744-7537 (Online)
ISSN 2744-7545 (Sound recording)
Edited by Orissas Keane
Designed by Jane Maloney, MK Press
Printed by Allied Press
1000 copies of a 32pp tabloid on 52gsm newsprint
Featuring new audio/print comissions by: Jane Wallace; David Garcia; Ziggy Lever and Lucy Meyle; Isla Martin; Erin Lee; Balamohan Shingade and Nkosi Nkululeko. 

Correspondence 2.1 Full PDF (PDF)



Volume Two, Issue One




 Spacious Atrium

This atrium is vast but, like a gas, it fills whatever container it is offered. Mostly it takes the shape of the in-between; the height above clouds; the pocket of air beneath a bird’s wings, whether in flight or stationary. It fills the seaweed vase when it holds no flowers. It is the space between the binding and the cover within the spine of a book when it is open.

It is held, and ejected, by the Wh sound between lips and teeth. It occupies the trachea but it does not speak for itself so it continues to seek out spaces within and without the body. The spacious atrium begins and ends as you walk through it. It seeks the spaces that describe the abundance it wants to represent. An atrium is a passageway of sorts. It holds a space for you but you cannot stay within its boundary indefinitely.

It doesn’t always need a physical container; sometimes a thought can contain a spacious atrium. Thoughts shared by more than one person.

On any given surface, there is what’s called a boundary layer. In the boundary layer, because of the friction on the surface, the air is still—the wind cannot enter. Because the air is still, it is warmer, and the moisture coming off the surface stays within the boundary layer. This is where mosses grow. You can mark the height of the boundary layer based on how tall the mosses are, growing within their own greenhouse of perfect conditions. The boundary layer acts like a spacious atrium but some things like moss never leave the boundary layer. And one must have an intention of leaving the spacious atrium.

I can’t decide whether a carpark is the same as a spacious atrium or its opposite. The shapes created by desire lines across the grass, ignoring the paved path, often mimic a spacious atrium. When it’s windy and there’s rain on the wind but you find a space round the side of a restaurant where it smells good and you’re sheltered and you can imagine being warm, that’s a spacious atrium.

Inside a public post box is a spacious atrium because things are constantly coming and going from it. Although this atrium is more like the atria of the heart because there is only one point of entry and one point of exit and who knows what would happen if that is reversed.




 Editorial Note
Several months ago I asked Jane Wallace, David Garcia, Ziggy Lever and Lucy Meyle, Isla Martin, Erin Lee, and Balamohan Shingade and Nkosi Nkululeko to wonder with me and contribute to what a spacious atrium is: what disparate parts make up its whole. The text above was issued as a prompt to these contributors. At that time the idea was only partly formed in my mind, but ready to be opened out to a wider collective. Gathered in this issue are the results of that invitation.
Jane Wallace introduces an atrium close to us here at The Physics Room in Ōtautahi, writing about Tīkawe, by Mata Aho Collective, a new artwork installed at Te Puna o Waiwhetū, Christchurch Art Gallery. This glassy vast atrium may be considered the imago of a spacious atrium, to borrow the term which Ziggy Lever unpacks in his contribution. Ziggy searches for the, imago, the “ideal” snail—which may turn out to be just a shell and not a snail at all: the snail shell that sits mysteriously, whose occupation or vacancy is unsure.

Zooming out from the garden, in David Garcia’s fifth map you may see either a microscopically detailed image of something from the sea floor, or a topographical view of islands in Te Moana-nui-ā-Kiwa. In his work David proposes an unsettling of conventional digital cartographic practices. In so doing he invites readers to consider cartography as a generative and reparative tool in decolonising methodologies.

Isla Martin’s contribution is founded in the abundance of meanings held within a series of kupu Māori. ‘Iwi’ describes both strength and bone; ‘whānau’, both an extended family group and the act of being born. As the text says, ‘Māori’ similarly dennotes a breadth of context-specific meanings. Isla's narrative text reflects a sense of spaciousness inherent in language, and its capacity to resist or unravel ideas of a fixed identity.

A conversation with Erin Lee resulted in an impassioned rant about frustrating encounters with art in hallways. On the one hand Erin is sympathetic, miffed at passers-by ignoring the art; on the other hand, she is disappointed by the poor selection of art for these awkward spaces. Maybe a hallway is best left a hallway.

Balamohan Shingade and Nkosi Nkululeko’s exchange occurs over email, and in parallel with a game of chess: each move made two days, three days, seven days apart. Spanning Matariki to Matariki, this game of chess will be continued in Correspondence Issue 2.2. Issue 2.2 will also find Lucy Meyle writing with corresponding images sourced by Ziggy Lever, Isla Martin will be inviting a contribution from a friend and fellow writer of her choosing, and further new contributors will be invited to join the conversation.


Ngā mihi,

Orissa Keane




 Fibrous Rhythm 
Jane Wallace


Harakeke doesn’t grow much in the Port Hills, but other fibrous things do. Wī, or silver tussock, cross-hatch the landscape in the northeasterly wind patterns. When it catches them just right, the slender blades hiss all the way from the lookout over Otokitoki to the Gondola summit station.

Mata Aho’s Tīkawe is an expansive work: forty tightly braided bands of harakeke, each between eleven and sixteen metres. Together, they amount to about six hundred metres of weaving, a motion of one under, then one over, practised and repeated. The ends are finished with heavy ratchets, which are used to hold the tension, and linked to another exact belt, or bolted in parallel sets to the perimeter of Christchurch Art Gallery’s atrium. The entrance to Te Puna o Waiwhetū is a glassy place, and used to being hammered by bright afternoon sun. The transparent panes wrapping the façade bounce the light and draw high lines. I often think of this form like the shell of an insect, an articulated and translucent shelter for life to pass through. Tīkawe suggests but does not record the passage of rays through the foyer. Instead, it might encase them,
catch them,
a net for a suntrap.

The Hills rise almost six hundred metres. More precisely, the highest point is marked at Omawete, at five hundred and seventy-three metres, though I am sure that this distance might swell upward a little more along the ridgeline, or where the coast falls further down below. Either way, if every strap of Tīkawe were to form a single cable, it could be anchored at the foot and offer a gentle handrail all the way to the top. With a heavy pack on, walking uphill, breathing becomes heavy too, and it is difficult to keep a steady pace. Heart-rate increases as oxygen-deficient blood moves through its right atrium, and to the right ventricle, and then into the lungs, and back to the heart through the left atrium, and the left ventricle. The phrase shouldn’t be breathing room, but breathing rooms—a motel-shaped arrangement of chambers to come and go from.

At first sight of Tīkawe, it took me a moment to clock that it was made of plant matter. I initially assumed that Mata Aho had used the kind of domestic industrial material that they have previously employed in works like Kiko Moana (2017) or AKA (2019), constructed from tarpaulin and marine rope, respectively. Harakeke means that there is an unknown element to the work and its longevity that differs from previous projects. Exposure to heat and sunlight may dry the fibre and cause it to tighten or slacken. However, kawe have a tried and tested strength, and the addition of ratchets, transforming them into replicas of commonplace strops is functional as well, as the work is able to respond to the effects of these environmental conditions. Tīkawe does not just visually reference tie-downs, it utilises them as a practical solution that allows such large-scale weaving to be displayed: a spirited synthesis of technology.

The apex of Urumau Reserve provides a vantage point down to the industry of the port, not only the labour of the main quay, but also around the shadowy corner to where the vehicle-carrying ships dock. Containers are hoisted off vessels and new cargo is loaded on with the use of cranes and winches. It is easy to get caught up in the romance of the names of freighters—Maple Breeze, Cherry Dream—and the brightly-coloured corrugated building blocks, but this is just a work day for a lot of people.

Attaching two whiri together results in kawe, a customary innovation used to carry a heavy load on the back. Now, in the gallery, they are holding the space.
What is the sculptural equivalent of a quickly beating heart?
Can it be activated when more people start to circulate the area, creating pathways between threshold and internal cavity and back into the external world?

Mata Aho make with an awareness of the combined energy of their four brains and eight hands, and I guess that equates to four hearts too. Collaboration enables something that exists at a scale proportionate to the body to be enlarged and shared beyond oneself, descending,
or star-bound.




Unsettling Cartographies 
David Garcia


My professional background is in geography, geospatial analysis, and spatial planning. My ongoing work explores conditions of spatial vulnerability and risk, including conflict, the climate crisis, and colonialism. As a mapmaker, I respond out of necessity, given that these such issues affect my peoples materially, spiritually, economically, and more. I am a native Kapampangan and Tagalog from the Philippines, living in Aotearoa on whenua of Kāi Tahu, who are my relatives as Austronesians.

Here, I present five maps, reflecting on the fluctuations, tangents, and developments within my mapmaking practice over the past three years due to many sources of inspiration—including professional, artistic, civic, and academic work—as mediated by networked and digital information technologies and supported by the collectives I belong to. [footnote 1]

The first map introduces Austronesian connections between the sea of islands of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. [footnote 2] Here in Aotearoa, I've noticed very similar words to those spoken back home in the Philippines used by tangata whenua speaking te reo Māori. I find it amazing to experience these connections: our wayfinding peoples have been expanding over thousands of years and kilometres. This map, which is inspired by the stick charts of our relatives in Lolelaplap (The Marshall Islands), is a deep and dynamic relational timespace that does not treat history and geography as a mere background. Rather the relationships themselves make up the time and space which we navigate.

I used my bed as a background. The original stick charts are educational tools for young wayfinders on land before they set out on the ocean. I made this one to illustrate our oceanic connections as Austronesians, whose cultures originated from Southeastern Taiwan thousands of years ago in front of us. [footnote 3]

The second map is an articulation of a possible future, but one which I hope will never arrive. I made it during a phase in my life when I was filled with climate grief and very worried about the future of the Pacific and its peoples. For some, the storytelling of loss and damage is an important tool for raising awareness. However I think and feel it can also be a trap in itself because it is the very idea of salvation that has been at the core of colonialism. I made this map to express the overwhelmingly sad emotions I felt witnessing the globalising world accelerate towards climate change and expecting folks like me to fade away. Today, I acknowledge the capacity of this map and this way of thinking to retraumatise, and for this reason regard it as a stumbling block on the way to ethical and effective climate action.

The third map is a reflection on my career in the humanitarian industry. I used to work full-time in cities and communities hit by disasters and war in the Philippines. My journey as a mapmaker has also involved working for international organisations on reconstruction and resilience initiatives. I have seen a lot of what actually happens in these places. According to Taiyon
J. Coleman, a poem can be a map to express what cannot usually be rendered in conventional digital cartography.4 As my work moves away from conventional cartography, [footnote 5] I am continually inspired by Jim Enote, a Zuni mapmaker, who said: “There are maps in songs and in prayers. There are maps that are etched in stones and woven into textile and painted in ceramics.” [footnote 6]

The fourth map is an inversion of typical ‘crisis mapping’. Over the centuries, places and peoples in the Global South,7 including those in the Philippines, have been painted as inhabiting red zones and dangerous lands full of disease, poverty, and emergencies, as explained by the historical geographer Greg Bankoff. [footnote 8] In cartography, during the Renaissance, this ideology of rendering non- Western places as ‘unsafe’ has manifested in the depiction of map monsters during a time when Europeans were defining themselves through judging the humanity of the ‘Other’. Surekha Davies, an historian of art, science, and ideas, talks about the deeply embedded historical basis for this: seemingly a mere embellishment practice that in fact helped provide justification for colonial projects. [footnote 9] In other words, if you, as a European power, did not like another country, then paint them like an octopus.

Such problematic practices persist today. What is usually not mapped in mainstream mapmaking is the role of colonialism and imperialism in
the reproduction of crises, whether through humanitarianism, militarism, developmentalism, or environmentalism. This is translated into modern geospatial dashboards, which are digital and interactive visualisations of geographic information, that again depict mostly the Global South in a state of permanent emergency and in need of intervention and so called ‘development’ and ‘progress’. I felt compelled to offer my own intervention into this. Subverting their own cartographic traditions and propaganda, here is the United States Empire as a map monster, which has hundreds of military bases and countless geopolitical operations such as intelligence, diplomacy, espionage, and aid worldwide. [footnote10]

The fifth map is about desire. Professor Eve Tuck has cautioned against the centering of damage in dealing with native and Indigenous issues. [footnote 11] Instead, she proposes to express desire. My desire as a native Kapampangan and Tagalog as well as an Austronesian is to see our descendants in the future behind us enjoying life and the galaxies. This map is about oceanic futurism, which has been largely inspired by Indigenous Futurism and Afrofuturism. [footnote 12] Borrowing an image from the James Webb Space Telescope, here it has been modified to look like the seafloor, for my peoples and relations, the ocean is the universe is the ocean.

In the future behind me, I would like to decentre the visual through unmapping, as mentioned by Professor Tao Leigh Goffe, whose work is in making auditory, gustatory, and many more kinds of spatial memories possible.13 With my relations, I am creating a collaborative playlist on Spotify called Astronesia. I hope to meet you there. [footnote 14]



1. I would like to thank the following collectives: Ministry of Mapping, Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, Cartographies of Racial Justice summer course, and the waka whaanau. My writing this article also highlights my citation politics and worldbuilding. Check out the work on citation politics by Sara Ahmed and Zoe Todd.
2. Epeli Hau’ofa, “Our Sea of Islands”, in Peoples of the Pacific, ed. Paul D’Arcy (Melbourne: Routledge, 2008), 148–161. edit/10.4324/9781315247175-26/sea-islands-epeli-hau-ofa
3. Peter Bellwood, Geoffrey Chambers, Malcolm Ross, and Hsiao-chun Hung, “Are ‘Cultures’ Inherited? Multidisciplinary Perspectives on the Origins and Migrations of Austronesian-Speaking Peoples Prior to 1000 BC”, in Investigating Archaeological Cultures, eds. Benjamin W. Roberts and Marc Vander Linden (New York: Springer, 2011), 321-354.
4. Taiyon J. Coleman, “Poems as Maps: An Introduction to the Series”, in Places Journal, (2017).
5. I have also been recreating Filipino food as part of my spatial practice, but I will expound on that in another timespace.
6. Jim Enote, “Native Cartography: a Bold Mapmaking Project that Challenges Western Notions of Place”, in Emergence Magazine, (2018). native-cartography-a-bold-mapmaking-project-that-challenges-western-notions-of-place.
7. The term Global South is used in reference not only to physical-geographical location but also socio-economic and political status, tending to include marginalised countries and regions within global capitalism and centred on high-GDP countries in East Asia, Europe, North America, and some parts of Oceania like Australia and New Zealand.
8. Gregory Bankoff, “Rendering the World Unsafe: ‘Vulnerability’ as a Western Discourse”, in Disasters, (London: Overseas Development Institute, 2001), 19-35. https://
9. Surekha Davies, “Renaissance Ethnography and the Invention of the Human”, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016) books/renaissance-ethnography-and-the-invention-of-the-human/231E1484C8DCCD3568D27C1FA87FBF38
10. Alexander Arroyo, “(Race) War Games”, in The Avery Review 53, (2021).
11. Eve Tuck, “Suspending Damage: A Letter to Communities”, in Harvard Educational Review, (Cambridge: Harvard Education Publishing Group, 2009).
12. Here in Aotearoa I first heard and read the term “Astronesia”. To learn more about it and Māori and Pasifika futurisms and how Afrofuturism inspired it, please read works by Sophie Yana Wilson, Dan Taipua, Gina Cole, Hana Burgess, Te Kahuratai Painting, NahBo, Kahu Kutia, and more. Start here.
13. Tao Leigh Goffe, “Unmapping the Caribbean: Towards a Digital Praxis of Archipelagic Sounding”, in Archipelagos 5, (New York: Cornell, 2020). https://africana.
14. In relation to this, I have started learning how to DJ and recreate sonic geographies.

Map 3: Loss and Damage poem by David Garcia
Image After Imago 

Words by Ziggy Lever, images selected by Lucy Meyle


As a dyslexic person, I often turn to etymology to help me figure things out. Finding that words can be unravelled and their parts traced back through time has led to no end of joyful and creative misunderstandings and discoveries. Strange traces seem to appear between things as a word is picked apart. Proto forms and senses are revealed under the layers, and in the shifting spellings and arrangements of letters surprising connections are made. Unfortunately, this doesn’t really help me in Scrabble.


Finding an empty snail shell in the garden, I thought of the entomological etymologies of imago and image. Imago is a term that describes,of an insect, the stage at which it becomes sexually mature, a final form in the biological life cycle that leaves behind images of itself through trace: carapace and cocoon. The imago stage is so-called because it represents a kind of ‘true’ image of the insect, the definitive version that casts off the mask of previous representations. The fresh cicada, having emerged from its image, is considered an imago, the iconic version. But when is an insect really in imago, and for how long? Is imago a moment caught, passed by on the way to a different state? The moment imago begins for the snail is less clearly defined. There is no obvious eruption or shedding that occurs, rather a steady calcification of layers and gradual increase in size. Perhaps this is why the term is only applied to insects. Both image and imago can be traced from the latin imitari – to copy or imitate – and further back to the Proto-Indo-European root *aim-. [footnote 2]



Perhaps imago is the symbolic form of the insect, the stage when it is most readily imagined and represented. How might images form after imago, in varying stages of hardening and softening, evidencing duration? What is the ‘true’ image of the snail? If it is difficult to ascertain the moment a snail is considered sexually mature, is the imago of the snail the classic picture of a fully grown adult snail? Is it a symbolic representation of a spiral shell, with foot and antenna out, as in the portrait of the snail that hibernated in the British Museum for nearly four years? [footnote 3] Or perhaps it’s the snail shell that sits mysteriously, whose occupation or vacancy is unsure. If the snail is the imago, the shell is perhaps an afterimage—an image after imago—trace evidence of the once-living being that grew it.

I think this interest in etymology has something to do with the idea of research, and how found images, citations, and other texts can become part of a project. In Snail Time, and across other collaborative exchanges with Lucy Meyle since 2014, the presence of ‘research’ within the installation has been a common thread. This is usually as a series of ephemera, pages or documents to be taken away or read within the installation. Sometimes, this ‘research’ is a sound work or projected image–usually it’s compiled into a publication alongside other texts. I think we both feel that the way in which images and texts sit in relation to each other is important, and that the goal is a kind of montage of meanings. Montage, rather than collage, because a collage is a single image made up of other images, whereas a montage is a series of images that fold and unfold over a duration, frames that flow meanings together. [footnote 4] With each new secreted layer of shell, the snail builds up an archive of image traces. Do the lines between the segments represent a cut (as in film)? If so then it is a cutting-together, or stitching. Montage, like archive and writing in general, promises a surplus value, that there may be “more (and other)” meanings to what “it says” at the “literal—letteral—level”. [footnote 5]



What is the imago of an installation? In its most basic life-cycle, the installation is established, opened to the public, and de-installed. When opened, it reaches imago: photographs are taken and uploaded to websites, people are invited for a viewing. The main images of the installation are made to represent the work in the future. But this fails to account for other stages: the research and planning that happens before access is given to a space; the initial realisations of difference between drawings and reality; the subtle and not so subtle material transformations that occur over its duration; the written responses made after the work is taken down. What traces those materials back to the installation after it disappears? How do they share a history as they are dispersed across archive boxes and in friends’ houses and gardens? Between these stages are a series of faster life cycles (that might contain their own imagos): The open and closed periods of the gallery or site; private viewings and public open hours; lunch breaks ‘BACK IN 5’; the time it takes to turn the work on and off; troubleshooting, problems, and mends; the change of light over the course of a day and perhaps over several weeks, passing between seasons. Are these all not valid candidates for imago? Imago is the image, the ‘perfect’ icon and the aim of all mutations and transformations. For an installation, its documentation cements a point in time as the image (or images) — puncturing other durations and experiences. Yet the documentation image is also an imitation of the installation (*aim-), the fictions of the camera remake the installation into an image. How then can an installation be more like the snail’s shell, always image after imago? Can an installation cast off the mask of its previous representations?



Collecting this research is often the first step towards our working together, something to share back and forth and then respond to—images and texts operating as materials in the work. Through making, the research unravels, and connective tissues of meaning form across the project at hand. As the project continues and in each iteration, research becomes a re-search as we go over similar ground and return to ideas. The word “research”, from the Old French recercher can be split into two actions: the first is RE, which itself has two senses. Re- means “back”, to move backwards, or return to a place, and also “again”, to repeat, to undo, turn over, renew. The origin of re- is uncertain, but possibly comes from the Indo-European *wret: “to turn”. The second action is CERCHER – “to seek for”, implying a forwards orientation and direction of looking. The word cercher can be traced further to the Latin circare which means to “go about, wander, traverse”, and in turn from circus (see circle). [footnote 6] Research as walking, circling back, looking forwards and backwards.



1. An early version of this text was published in Snail Time II, by Lucy Meyle and Ziggy Lever. Ziggy Lever, ‘Image After Imago’, in Snail Time II, 1st ed., Snail Time (Auckland, 2022).
2. The asterisk denotes a “root” word. See *aim-. | Origin and Meaning of *aim- by Online Etymology Dictionary’, https://www.*aim-#etymonline_v_53247.
3. See A Manual of the Mollusca; or, Rudimentary Treatise of Recent and Fossil Shells by S. P. Woodward, F.G.S (1851).
4. Gregory L. Ulmer, ‘The Object of Post-Criticism’, in The Anti- Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture, ed. Hal Foster, 1st ed, (Port Townsend, Wash: Bay Press, 1983), 83–110.
5. Ibid., 94.
6. ‘Research | Origin and Meaning of Research by Online Etymology Dictionary’,



Spacious Atriums for a Modern Hine

Isla Martin



(noun): extended kinship group, tribe, nation, people, nationality, race - often refers to a large group of people descended from a common ancestor and associated with a distinct territory.

the marae is locked. i consider staging my own death, causing the catalyst for a tangi. it turns out, my cousin said, if you respect the river it’ll never kill you, even if you ask. i use aunty’s toilets in the campground office. i take a photo of the locked gate, the ātea fishnetted by metal. on the banks, i put my ankles in, and say he honore in that place behind my eyes. i do not believe in one atua, but it’s the only one i know. we say it every morning in class, before whaea is fired.

it’s a gravel road to the convent. i know about the poet, so i’m looking for his house. i don’t yet know about the raping. in the kitchen, a brown nun takes five dollars a head for the night. i don’t yet know how many greens there are, but i can see them all. i can smell the dirt. i sleep in the infirmary bed on the upper floor. a paradox, really, the waiting to be murdered by whats beyond the plastic drape, and the lack of concern about it. i say to mā when i’m urbanised again, about the way the fog rolls on the river in the morning, about writing a fake prayer in the chapel and leaving it on the altar. about mother mary in stone, in the garden. i say to her about these villages i am possessed by, about tīpuna and graves and birds. she says she regrets my scottish name.

in tūrangi, i consider death too. i know it like the back of my hand, which is an emergency exit from where i came; which is the wet earth and each star that led us here. i know i want to be a hot body, like really geothermal, brown and smelling like sinew. i am child floating, not yet city thrusting or yearning for another kind of sun, all artificial. i’m sober, looking at the forest floor, saying, i know you from somewhere.

maybe from somewhere in my digestive tract, or in aunty’s house where we chat up the whakapapa over elderflower cordial, about how it’s more circle than line, about how hinewai is a synonym for every kui that ever lived. by god, it is almost dangerous like meningococcal to wash in my own body of water. in tūrangi i consider just laying me down with the weta. fuck i feel māori when i’m not scared. when crater lakes steam the phlegm from my shell and it comes up half vomit, half karanga mai, karanga mai, karanga mai rā.


(noun): strength, bone.

in this city, it costs more to live by the airport than by the sea. we get stoned in the car, at the end of the runway, waiting for the emirates A380, laughing, as the richest boys chant my dad is your dad’s boss when they score a try. try harder -

i reckon, there’s a swamp beneath us all, a cathedral in the abdomen, and rūaumoko, in our decade of dreaming. claire’s brother swimming in the burst drain is what i remember, and burnouts too; babes cruising colombo, soy milk in the tussock at taylor’s, and driving down linwood ave in my bra.

mine are the bodies high and dry, in the backseat, orange sundown coming in hot. mine are the kicks on the dash, in the flotsam. the kaiapoi preachers, perfume like sausage and fire, i run
until there’s a meadow to scream in:

i did not run out on grace. grace ran out on me.

mine are the sunny-siders, the ones on leave, hurling up n’ go looking for the stars buried on brighton dunes, where the plastic sky turns out to be a memorial for something dead.

mine is the metropolis named for the worshipped and the place to worship him, just in case we forget. in case we spend too long in rāpaki and start using big words like rangatiratanga or tamatea pōkai whenua, who called the heat to come home.

mine is the city muted; bin inn on stanmore, buying poppy seeds for the tea we take lukewarm in pump bottles, up the bridle path. realising halfway that we’d be terrible settlers because you can’t colonise what you’re too high to climb.

mine is the city that smells like shit when the wind hits, unswimmable piss-ponds in the nervous system. all of us here wanna drive so fast we just lift off, wanna lay down in a field, until the
continents rise up to meet us where we’re at

which is home-adjacent which is bone deep. which is like a hustle of hips foaming at the mouth
saying swim, swim, north, to the light. 



(noun): extended family, family group, a familiar term of address to a number of people — the primary economic unit of traditional Māori society.

my koro lives in the north west. i see his whare in clay-beige, and the car burning blue. it has a licence plate with our portuguese last name so as to say yes, i really love half of my ancestors, so much. my koro doesn’t ask the kids over. i mean, if we were one body (which we are), all except the extremeties would be gay and all including the extremeties would be brown. my koro is rich with inheritance and we won’t inherit it, he asks me if i’ve had my twentyfirst yet i say four years ago koro and do you want a wine.

he’s sitting in the corner of the pātī, waiting for the little ‘uns to come to him and remind him how to pronounce our names. when he hears rata huia does it sting? when he hears miriama is it the strap? when he hears te aroha is it like god, fuck? when he hears ruhia is it like hail mary hail mary? what about tamihana, and what about hinewai? what about all the ones who haven’t come yet, but will come like open doors, like waharoa, like the son.


(noun): to be born, give birth.

dr reckons i need the smear because statistics. instead, i delay my own death via the avoidance of unknown numbers and thrice daily karakia. when i am finally harpooned, snared to a chair that can only become a bed i am too loud, the waiting room my witness i say, no sugary strangers,
no truck-laden streets, no after-dark anything. i am dabbling in good decisions at last,
and intuition too which encourages me to kick, fight, turn ugly, be a dog, make fuss to the degree
of conviction. i say no to your masters of women’s health, i want you to strip back the curtain rip the plastic, hold my hand, and let in tamanuiterā, the only man i’ll ever love, except my brothers.

doc says the hikareti are killing my very big national family. our lungs and livers and livelihoods
are susceptible to a collective ruin any day now - imagine, all of us hawaikii bound on one hospital sized waka, built from māori sweat and tobacco discards, biopsy matter,
half of three hundred good (used) cervixes, vodka, all of that leftover skin, calling the whales by name. what a party.

i can see us now, winking up at the light. what say you we charm them dead.



(noun): Māori, indigenous New Zealander, indigenous person of Aotearoa/New Zealand - a new use of the word resulting from Pākehā contact in order to distinguish between people of Māori descent and the colonisers.

i go to rongoā on wednesdays at a place named after dead cows and i love it. prise me back to my loosest body. speak my tongue over my head. through the gap on the bed, i cry. through the gap on the bed, i analyse the kaimahi’s socks. my dead best friend isn’t traumatised anymore. karekare is a portal.

(modifier): normal, usual, natural, common, ordinary.

i learnt to karanga at university. i practised but it didn’t come out how it needed to. where’s the mauri in the courtyard? what is the kaupapa? karanga mai, karanga mai, karanga mai rā. i’ll do it better in real life, promise.

(modifier) native, indigenous, fresh (of water), belonging to Aotearoa/New Zealand, freely, without restraint, without ceremony, clear, intelligible.

hinewai says the only place you’re maori is in your liver
once again, i coughed up underwater and chunks of peace came out
it’s like the skies are so well groomed for fallin they are
singin alleluia so pure, i swear i’ve seen something
explode in the pacific, perhaps in this room.
hinewai would fan herself dry with a whole pork.

(noun) aboriginal inhabitant, indigenous person, native.

ko ruapehu te maunga
ko whanganui te awa
ko aotea te waka
ko te āti haunui a-pāpārangi te iwi
ko uenuku te hapū
ko te puke ki raetihi te marae
ko au te awa
ko te awa, ko au.


Hallway Fieldnotes

Erin Lee

A hallway is a thoroughfare, designed to deliver us from point A to point B. It directs our bodies away from the walls as we move past them, onwards and outwards to our destination. There’s a flow and a pull through the space, from one end to the other; keep to the left or risk getting tangled in the oncoming traffic of other bodies. But, if you do stop, if you do linger, you become an obstruction, at odds with the people who are, quite reasonably, using a hallway as a hallway.

For a few years I’ve been collecting experiences of artworks in hallways; like I do with pretty seashells on the beach, taking them home only to add them to a purposeless amassed pile. Though I don’t know exactly why, my ambivalent feelings about art exhibited in hallways have persisted.


First hallway: Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, ground floor

AAG has branded this space as a ‘long gallery’. A gallery in name only, the corridor connects the Foyer to the South Atrium. More often than not, I’ve found that this stretched and compressed passageway undercuts my experience of whatever work is hung along the wall. It feels like the otherwise bare walls are adorned with something to simply fill the void where real estate is at a premium. I remember Lindauer portraits of tīpuna Māori, displayed along the eastern wall of the hall: I bristled at the sight of fellow gallery goers only glancing at the portraits as they walked past, quickly moving from one part of the gallery to another. Although, quite reasonably, a hallway is designed to make passersby of us all.


Second hallway: Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, first floor

When the Louise Henderson survey was exhibited at AAG, the massive canvases that make up her magnum opus, The Twelve Months, were hung in a hallway. Trying to get back far enough to look at them all together was thwarted by the other wall pressing against your back. The length of the space stretched the paintings apart and isolated them as standalone works rather than distinct pieces of a whole. In contrast, when this touring show was hung in Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū, I was reintroduced to Henderson’s seasons in a larger room that let them breathe and expand. The room was big enough to have a seat on the opposite wall that invited you to spend time with them. It gave you enough space to see them all at once—see their relationships with each other—far from the experience in the AAG hallway which hurried you along and spat you out.


Third hallway: Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū, ground floor

There's a hallway next to the front desk at CAG that leads to the toilets. There tends to be a video work hung at the mouth of the corridor, right under the sign for the wharepaku: at the moment, there’s one by Marie Shannon.
I was ready to be indignant at this positioning, but I ended up quite enjoying it. Car Stories is shot POV, driving along a rural road while a voice-over by Shannon recalls stories about the cars of her life. There’s something about this work that undoes the effect of the thoroughfare; the momentum offered by the screen sets a trajectory at odds with the up and down, in and out flow of the hallway. The same way you get sucked into any screen, this one creates its own space and dimension beyond the confines of the hallway. I think video works well here because it gives you permission to pause and watch; if you’re in someone's path that's okay because you’re watching an artwork. It’s just a little awkward when your view is interrupted by someone who just needs to get past you to use the loo.


Fourth hallway: University of Auckland Business School, Owen G. Glenn Building, third floor

The OGB building is bizarre. On the third floor there’s a sharply curved wall with hallways running down either side. Wrapped around this wall is ORIGINS: Always, in these islands, meeting and parting, shake us, making tremulous the salt-rimmed air, 2008, by Max Gimblett. This floor to ceiling ceramic mural consists of individual clay doodles scattered across a blue wall. On the website for the university’s art collection the mural looks fine. However, within this functioning hallway, this artwork falls apart. Literally. The lifespan of ceramics isn’t long when they are placed in a crowded hallway with tote-bagged students (of which I was one) jostling past each other, trying to get in and out of the same small spaces simultaneously, every hour, on the hour. As a protective measure, a line of white electrical tape on the floor sits about a foot out from the wall, running the length of the mural. But the sad little line has no hope of commanding any authority in the hallway. The hordes of Business School students don’t see it, let alone abide by it. They could have taken a cue from Owen Connors (read on).


Fifth hallway: Parasite, stairwell

All this is not to say that hallways are inherently bad places to display and experience art. Daniel John Corbett Sanders’ gallery Parasite, which was on Karangahape Road from 2020-2022, was homed in a hallway/stairwell hybrid that led to Sanders’ apartment. The compressed hallway served to exhibit LGBTQ+ artists who are routinely excluded from more palatial galleries. Owen Connors' tempera paintings in the exhibition For Future Breeders found a way to nestle themselves in, sinking into holes cut into the plasterboard so that the paintings were flush with the wall. Still, the hallway squished you up against the artworks in a way that felt like squeezing past a friend in a crowd.




Correspondence Game 2022–23
Caro-Kann Advance Variation [B12]

Balamohan Shingade — Nkosi Nkululeko


from: bshi034
to: JohnBuryman
date: 9 Sept 2022, 13:54
subject: [White] Shingade–[Black] Nkululeko, Correspondence 2022

Dear Nkosi,

1. e4

We’d met after your poetry reading at the KGB Bar in East Village, April 2019. I was in New York with my partner, Erena. Like you, Erena is a poet, and during our weeklong travels, we wanted to attend as many readings as possible. That’s how we came to be at the KGB Bar, which I later learnt was the old haunt for Ukrainian socialist party members under McCarthyism.

I remember being startled by your poems, especially those about growing up in Harlem set to the vocabularies of chess! They were powerful. If I’m not mistaken, one poem referenced the King’s Gambit, games with old men at Harlem, and beheadings of kings. Please, could you share one or two poems with me again?

From where we were seated, we could see mothers, aunties and sisters who’d come to hear you. Afterwards, I asked for a game of chess, so we exchanged usernames. I’ve not had the luck to meet you in person since.

Thank you for agreeing to this game of correspondence chess, dear Nkosi! It’ll be our second. Oh, and by initiating our exchange, I’m presuming to play white.

There are approximately 53 volcanoes in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Since my family’s emigration from Hyderabad, India in the year 2000, I’ve lived near one the city's tallest, Maungawhau Mount Eden. I say this because I’ve always imagined the chess board as a gentle mountain. The Auckland Chess Centre is located in this neighbourhood, and I trained there with Ewen Green as a preteen. Ewen’s first lessons included that classic instruction: control the centre, which I imagined as a piece climbing Maungawhau. Therefore, e4.

I wonder, what things occupy the centre for you these days?

To be continued,

P.S. You might enjoy the Stalflinga-Green, Esbjerg 1974 game that's posted on Ewen's Wikipedia page, here.


from: JohnBuryman
to: bshi034
date: 12 Sept 2022, 04:18
subject: Re: Shingade–Nkululeko, Correspondence 2022

Yooo Balamohan!

...1.c6 (the first move is always the most stressful to think about haha)

It's great to engage in this correspondence with you. And yes I remember that night like it was both yesterday and exactly 3 years ago haha. Thanks for enjoying my work. I'm glad it stuck with you-- those images are specifically from one of my first "chess" poems (I first penned it around 2015/16 I think). For some reason I never really referenced my love for the game that often, despite me literally obsessing over both crafts on a daily basis.

Have you ever gone through this dilemma? Do you keep your personal passions separate or have you experimented with combining them in any capacity?

Maungawhau Mount Eden sounds absolutely lovely. I def have to look up photos at some point. Wow! To have a Chess Centre in that type of setting is a joy. The closest thing to a mountain we have is this long hill in Harlem that I have to walk up and over to get to Riverbank State Park, a place I've been teaching chess to kids for a few years now.

What's occupying my center right now has been Chess Gossip! I don't normally engage in online gossip for this long, but there hasn't been a bigger story recently than about how world champion Magnus Carlsen withdrew from the Sinquefield Cup midway. Many folks are drawing up cheating accusations about this player Hans Niemann who beat Magnus with the Black pieces before he left. Have you heard about this?? Sorry for taking this into Chess Reality TV mode lol.

Other than that, I'm still working through techniques I'm creating for these Square Poems. I attached 2 that I really like. Sadly, the poem you referenced earlier is not in my current computer.

Thanks for sharing that link on Ewen Green! That "notable game" was a dope tactical combination! Does he still teach there? How did you even decide to go? I have to hear that story.



from: bshi034 
to: JohnBuryman
date: 14 Sept 2022, 18:18
subject: Re: Shingade–Nkululeko, Correspondence 2022

Nkosi! Hey,

1. e4 c6 2. d4

I know exactly the tension you’re describing about combining or keeping passions separate! For me, it’s a triangulation between studying philosophy, singing Hindustani music, and working as a writer–curator accompanying artists.
What’s curious is that I’ve found that the broader communities who’re deeply involved in each are distinct. They don’t hang out in the same places or care about the same things. I think I go between these worlds not only for the love of each discipline, but also because each offers its own social context and constraining affordances. When I feel too embedded in one group to the point of feeling encircled, then I find refuge in the others.

Actually, even the world of dogs as somewhat of a passion have made inroads into my other interests! I recorded a music video (here) of raga Puriya Dhanashree at Meola Reef Dog Park with my dog Mishti Boy. This reef peninsula covered by mangroves was formed when another of this city’s volcanoes erupted 28,000 years ago. (One more unrelatable mountain anecdote) 

I know that you’re in some way involved with music, too! I’d love to know more. What’s your instrument?

You know, I think I’ve been able to sustain my passions just as long as I have good company. Is it risky to allow sociality to determine one’s crafts, or unavoidable? (Actually, your response with c6 brought to mind an old friend at the Chess Centre named Michael. His love for chess was so singular and his response to e4 was always, without fail, the Caro–Kann Defence. We both joined the Centre from different local schools where Ewen taught classes for kids, just as you’re doing at Riverbank State Park!) Anyway, my stint lasted as long as my friendships did. When Michael and others stopped going, I stopped.

It’s beautiful to read your square poems! Especially how, set to the movements of knights and kings, they invite interlocutors who share those names—Etheridge Knight and Francis King. I wonder, would it be fair to extend on the ‘Square Poem: The Knight’ in a generative or chance operations sort of way? That avant-garde method which could perhaps use your board as a database to catalogue our moves. So, set to your poem, our game so far would read:

1. Wounds— Snow- Knights Imitating
2. Blundered (K)Nights

I've also been sucked into Chess Reality TV partly thanks to my YouTube algorithms! By the looks of it, still no concrete evidence of cheating...

I’d love to know how you got into chess! What is your story?

Until soon,


from: JohnBuryman
to: bshi034 
date: 22 Sept 2022, 14:52
subject: Re: Shingade–Nkululeko, Correspondence 2022

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5

Omg thank you for sharing that video! I am really intrigued by your vocal variations over the instrument playing only one note (E-flat)! Under the video you wrote that it was improvised without accompaniment. Did you add the instrument afterwards (and what is it called)? The voice is such a powerful instrument. Your side note regarding the mountain trivia fact was funny (but important!). Having an understanding of the earth and how art practically emerges from (or around) it must be such a fruitful combination.

My instrument is piano. I had lessons early on (around 7-9 yrs old) at Harlem School of the Arts. I had fantastic teachers and caught on to music theory pretty quickly but didn't have an appreciation for practice haha. It was only at 14 that I regained my passion for it when I visited my father one week, was left alone in the house and discovered an Erroll Garner concert on DVD. It was a pivotal moment to see someone have so much fun with the piano AND have such a distinct style. I was (re)hooked.

I first learned how the pieces moved from my mother when I was 3. But only got the "chess bug" around 12. My brother told me about the US chess federation and official tournaments, and since then, I played with some family friends, my brothers, and father (who was my main opposition). But I studied on my own. Playing in St. Nick's park in Harlem (literally across the street from Harlem School of the Arts where I studied piano) was a big part of my childhood. My father played there sometimes and I ended up going there almost everyday. I couldn't afford to go to many tournaments but the game stuck with me regardless.

I look back and sometimes can't believe how I abruptly dropped my intense chess life when poetry came along. But I think, due to my personal circumstances, it was good for me. I had a somewhat unhealthy relationship to my obsessions. Sometimes, very basic things can go out the window.

I really enjoy how I learned to balance my obsessions. I think I once saw chess, music, and poetry to be their own contained world but there was a huge shift in my life when I realized how sectioning off the things you love makes it hard to understand their incredible intersections.

I love the different ways you read the Square Poem! There's so many possibilities with this form. I remember coming across Sri Vedanta Desika, an Indian polymath, who apparently also wrote a poem in a similar form using Sanskrit. Just reading his story gave me a lot of confidence that it could be done in the English language too. Here is a small article about it: (there's a more in-depth one but can't seem to find it in my bookmarks right now. I'll send another time.)

I'm really curious about your thoughts on the relationship between the earth (and those mountains you seem to know a lot about! haha) and your personal crafts. I'm sure there's a whole other dimension when it comes to having an understanding about nature and letting it simply be one (of many) entry points to art-making. Maybe my short question is: what are you FEELING when you sing music like a beautiful setting like that?



from: bshi034
to: JohnBuryman
date: 27 Sept 2022, 21:11
subject: Re: Shingade–Nkululeko, Correspondence 2022

1.e4c6 2.d4d5 3.e5

It’s been a joy to watch Erroll Garner on YouTube! (You’re so right: He looks totally ecstatic while playing the piano.) Is jazz the tradition you draw from as a pianist?

Thank you, Nkosi! I’m so thrilled by your response to the recording I’d attached. I wonder if you’ve listened much to Hindustani music? It’s sometimes difficult to translate one of its core concepts, ‘raga’, but here too I find mountains and rivers to be useful metaphors!

Technically speaking, a raga is a melodic groundwork for improvisation. Usually, it’s translated as colour (as in, to colour one’s mind), mood or atmosphere. Maybe let’s take the Phrygian as an example to compare raga with modes.

In Hindustani music, the Phrygian in its straightforward ascending and descending form is more or less raga Bhairavi. But raga is a little more complicated because there can be many different raga that use the same scale—e.g. omitting the 4th and the 6th whenever ascending the scale and omitting the 5th whenever descending gives you Raga Bilaskhani Todi:

Ascending C Db Eb G Ab C (high)
Descending Db (high) Bb Ab F Eb Db C

A typical phrase in Bilaskhani Todi might be: G... Ab Bb Ab F Eb Db Eb Db C (compare this with a phrase in raga Bhairavi: C Eb F G Ab G F Eb...C Db C)

Technicalities aside, each raga is distinct in the way each landscape is. Even as Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland is like Istanbul and Seattle situated on an isthmus, it’s so distinct because of a hundred other characteristics—e.g. the volcanoes and its location in a sea of islands. And so, just as Bhairavi and Bilaskhani Todi might both be situated in a scale comparable to the Phrygian, they’re so distinct because each of the two prefer to emphasise different notes and registers, different types of intonations and ornaments, different mountains and rivers etc. To improvise a raga feels to me as if walking someone through a landscape, introducing them to familiar and unfamiliar phrases–places.

Anyway, this is a very roundabout way to answer your question! I suppose in the instance of that video, my aim would’ve been to feel raga Puriya Dhanashree as a musical landscape within which to dwell, and I chose it as a raga that’s usually performed at sunset time. The video is part of a series of experiments that attempt to vernacularise the tradition in Aotearoa New Zealand, taking into account the complexities and my tenuous belongings as a migrant–settler and citizen.

Oh, and the E-flat drone is the sound of a tanpura! You’ll see a bluetooth speaker that’s sitting in front of me from where that note was being played.

New York is such a mythologised city for chess! Equally, for jazz and poetry. To learn about your games at St. Nick’s park just adds to the picture of it in my mind. How do you experience the city? The idea of your training at Harlem School of the Arts and your subsequent post as New York’s youth poet laureate makes me think that you’ve found a lot in the traditions of the city. Have those traditions felt like an inheritance that you’ve been able to unfold, more or less straightforwardly, over the years? Or have there been times when challenging socio-political aspects loomed front and centre in your practising of these crafts?

Until soon,


from: JohnBuryman
to: bshi034
date: 6 Oct 2022, 17:05
subject: Re: Shingade–Nkululeko, Correspondence 2022

1. e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 (I'm not a fan of 3.e5 haha) Bf5

That is amazing! Thank you so much for that history and the technicality behind the beautiful music! I have a young piano student and we've been going over the different modes recently. I'd love to introduce this to them in some capacity. The mode you've laid out is quite fun experimenting with.

Yes you can say Jazz is a heavy influence on me but since I was a kid I was quite interested in how musicians blended multiple genres. This album "Classic Meets Cuba" (Klazz Brothers and Cuba Percussion) was one of my favorites growing up. Someone like Erroll Garner really mixes and matches different genres regularly, so of course he stayyyssss being a lighthouse as far as integrating unorthodox ideas with one another. I remember listening to Art Tatum and becoming quite fascinated with his ability to perform certain songs while executing Bi-tonality. Garner, if I'm not mistaken, also used that technique to alter a standard tune into something stranger. For me, it's equivalent to Chess, Contrapuntals, Square Poems by way of creating art on more than one axis, [more than] one mode.

I would very much like to explore Hindustani music. Are there any particular artists you return to? I will also conduct my own search.

Yes, plenty of traditions in the various artistic communities in the city. So many to count. I think I've learned a lot from all these spaces where I could convene with writers, artists, performers, etc of many walks of life. New York is privileged to have so many wonderful people come through to share their work. I've met my favorite writers/artists and even interacted with them on more than one occasion. It's very possible to take for granted this hub of creatives.

The work around me always observes the world as is. The socio-political landscape surrounds everything the "eye" observes. I think it's quite relevant how your handling of the body, and the sound within it, is constantly in conversation with the earth and space it negotiates sound with.

I've felt most alive when I've come to terms with my weaknesses, because more often than not, I have to attempt observing and improving my way of "looking" at the world. That involves understanding my limitations with language and how it can expand.

I love this music dialogue. Sometimes I talk to my students about "harmony" in chess. It's interesting how every beginner is drawn to using very few pieces despite having 32 pieces at their disposal. Might that be comparable to how we fall into music? It feels like there's a kind of courage one needs to feel comfortable with "Experimenting" with more than one way of curating a game or song or poem. How did you assess your growth within the realm of voice control? And similarly, did you ever know what was needed to improve but decided to go back to a technique you're more comfortable with?

I feel like this is a tough wall to break through, no matter how many walls you break through.


About the Contributors

Jane Wallace is a writer based in Ōhinehou Lyttelton and also runs a small bookshop project, Blue Flower Texts. She is currently undertaking her MA in Art History at the University of Canterbury and likes thinking about space, memory, and language.

Ziggy Lever’s work draws on scientific, cosmological, poetic, and institutional material, through an active researching of sites and (paradigmatic) structures. Unfolding investigations into sites and archives, and in varying cooperative modes of practice, his works relate improvisational making to archival contexts and readings. Recent exhibitions/projects include Document Scales, at Enjoy (2022), Snail Time II (with Lucy Meyle) at RM Gallery (2022), and Snail Time I (with Lucy Meyle) at Window Gallery (2021).

Lucy Meyle uses sculpture, publication, installation, and video as sites for re-imaging and re-imagining our relations to what is human and more-than-human in the time of climate emergency. The idea of ‘bagginess’ is a central concern, where extra room within representations or interpretations can be understood as freeing and/or hazardous. Recent exhibitions include At Thresholds at City Gallery Wellington (2022), Mews Room at play_station gallery (2022), Snail Time II (with Ziggy Lever) at RM Gallery (2022), Snail Time I (with Ziggy Lever) at Window Gallery (2021).

David Garcia (he/they) is a mapmaker and his peoples are Kapampangan, Tagalog, and Austronesian. At present, @mapmakerdavid is a PhD student with the University of Canterbury and a digital geographer working on climate change projects in the Centre for Pacific Studies at the University of Canterbury. For David and his people, the boat and the ocean is the centre of the universe.

Isla Martin (Te Āti Haunui a-Pāpārangi, Ngāti Uenuku) is a te reo Māori teacher, writer and musician. Her work has been published in journals such as Catalyst and Awa Wāhine, and her first book, Talia, is set to be released in 2023. She has performed at the national finals of Rising Voices Youth Poetry Slam and the National Poetry Slam, as well as at Christchurch’s Word Festival. Isla can most often be found writing in Ōtautahi with FIKA Collective, and Ōtautahi Kaituhi Māori.

Erin Lee (Malaysian Chinese, Pākehā) is an arts writer and ranter living in Ōtautahi. She recently completed her Art History Honours Degree at the University of Auckland. Erin approaches art writing as a utilitarian endeavour and is interested in levity and accessibility in her writing.

Balamohan Shingade is a candidate for the PhD in Philosophy at The University of Auckland. Most recently, he’s been a researcher with the Center for Culture- Centred Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE), Massey University, and curator at St Paul St Gallery, Auckland University of Technology. He is also a singer of Hindustani music.

Nkosi Nkululeko’s work is published in ANMLY, Chess Life Online, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Oxford Poetry, The Nation, Poetry Northwest, and more. He is anthologised in The Best American Poetry (2018), Bettering American Poetry Vol. 3 (2019), and Furious Flower: Seeding the Future of African American Poetry (2019). Nkosi is a poetry, music, and chess instructor from Harlem, New York.


Volume Two, Issue One November 2022

ISSN 2744-7529 (Print)
ISSN 2744-7537 (Online)
ISSN 2744-7545 (Sound recording)

Designed by Jane Maloney of M/K Press. Back cover illustration by Min-Young Her Printed by Allied Press, Ōtepoti Published by The Physics Room Ōtautahi, Aotearoa

Correspondence publishes pairs of works for the page and ear as openings into and through artistic practices and relationships. You can also access Correspondence as a digital publication including audio editions of each contribution and downloadable PDFs and EPUBs at

Correspondence was established in 2021 by Hamish Petersen. This issue is edited by Orissa Keane with assistance from Abby Cunnane and Amy Weng, supported by the whole Physics Room staff: Audrey Baldwin, Honey Brown, and Chloe Geoghegan.

To contact the editor, write to, or call the office at +64 3 379 5583.

Thank you to all of the contributors to and collaborators for Correspondence Volume Two, Issue One. You can expect to see Correspondence Volume Two, Issue Two before Matariki returns to the sky in 2023.

Illustration by Min-Young Her instructing: How to dispose of your copy of Correspondence 2.1 responsibly. After you have enjoyed reading and sharing this issue of Correspondence...