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Disjunctive Archives


Tue 28 Oct 2014, 6:00pm–7:30pm

Where: AUT Auckland - Sir Paul Reeves Building, 2 Governor Fitzroy Place, CBD, Auckland

Restrictions: All Ages


Disjunctive Archives – Documents Concerning Urban Creation & Destruction

In partnership with AUT and Colab, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision presents a programme of films that thematically converges around approaches to understanding the built environment, dwelling and urban development as constructs of national identity. It presents a chronology of films, commencing with a short 1941 government film made during World War II, "Things We are Fighting For: Homes for the Free," concerning state investment in housing construction with montage edits of Hitler’s Germany. The chronology concludes with a 1976 film made by the Timber Industry, "New Zealand Pole Houses," on environmental housing, followed by a coda from the "Koha" series, a 1980s segment on identity and dwelling. At mid-point is an excerpt from a 1958 American film on designing the American Dream, made by Chevrolet, at that time a division of the American automotive manufacturer, General Motors.

This chronology shows in stark relief quite fundamental shifting attitudes to urban development, as the discourses transform from those extolling the unquestioned virtues of rapid industrialization and urbanization in New Zealand’s post-war economic expansion, to an emerging critical discourse from the 1970s around environmental agency and ecology. At the mid-point is the American promotional document extolling the American Dream. One could be forgiven when viewing this film for believing that the United States of America in 1958 had no Afro-Americans, no Hispanic people, no working class, no poverty or hardship. But, as we all know, this dream sold itself internationally.

Programme curated by by Dr. Mark Jackson.

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