One Day Sculpture  

Adam Hyde

(b. Auckland, New Zealand, 1968; lives and works in Amsterdam, Netherlands)
COMMISSIONED BY Blue Oyster Art Project Space




Douglas Bagnall, Adam Hyde, Walker & Bromwich, Intertidal, Kamau Taurua Quarantine Island, Dunedin,
20 December 2008. Commissioned by Blue Oyster Art Project Space for One Day Sculpture. Photos: Stephen Rowe
(click to enlarge)



Saturday 20 December 2008, 3.30 – 7.30pm 

Kamau Taurua / Quarantine Island, Dunedin

Sea Cadet ferry left the jetty adjacent to the Aquarium, at the end of Hatchery Road, after Portobello on the Otago Peninsula. The Sea Cadets then ferried the audience for the duration of the work, starting at 3.30pm and returning at 7.30pm (low tide 5.17pm).

Click here for a map

> Click here for information from the Public Programme event

Sea Cadets rowing in front of Kamau Taurua/Quarantine Island, 2008. Photo: Charlotte Dick


Stories are transported across time and continents; distorted histories that may or may not have happened take on a different form in different lands. Through the distortion of history new meanings are created.

Artists and visitors alike had to travel to this work, ferried by Sea Cadets across the sea, enacting an expedition as both ethnographers and enablers of a new story. The island became a 'ground' for this shared experience; examined and experienced at various points, and in all the spaces in-between. Knowledge is periodically and temporarily revealed.

The Cave | Walker & Bromwich

The following tale is a Scottish Story brought to Quarantine Island:

Robert the Bruce was crowned King of Scotland in 1306 and henceforth tried to free Scotland from the English.

After being defeated six times in battle, Bruce escaped and found a hideout in a cave. Hiding in a cave for three months, Bruce was at the lowest point of his life. He thought about leaving Scotland and never coming back.

While waiting, he watched a spider building a web in the cave's entrance. The spider fell down time after time. Finally, on the seventh attempt, the spider succeeded with his web. Inspired, Bruce gathered himself for his own, seventh attempt.

He told his men: "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again".

Taking as a starting point the story of Robert the Bruce’s epiphanic encounter with a spider, we set out to discover new histories created through the exchange of stories in a cave perched on the edge of the intertidal zone created through time and tides somewhere between fact and fiction.

Discovery | Adam Hyde & Douglas Bagnall

In comparison, Adam Hyde and Douglas Bagnall set out to discover a new species in the intertidal zone, throwing into focus the ever-present potential for new knowledge. Drawing upon 19th century methods of species discovery, involving collecting, looking and drawing, their work formed questions around what we don't know.

We are going to try to discover a new species of seaweed on Quarantine Island. It is also possible that we will find invasive seaweeds that didn’t previously live here, perhaps carried by a ship. There are many undiscovered species in and around New Zealand and taxonomy is a dying art.

The process of discovering new species hasn’t changed much in the last hundred years…you need to collect samples, draw them, describe them in detail (measure) and then look them up.

The best place to collect seaweed is the intertidal zone, the point at which the land meets the sea at lowest tide, and looking at different habitats, eg rockpools, beaches.

Quarantine Island/Kamau Taurua is the largest island in Otago Harbour, close to the city of Dunedin, New Zealand.

The island covers an area of 15 hectares, and is mainly designated as a recreation reserve, owned by the Department of Conservation. 

The island served as the quarantine station for Otago from 1863 until 1924. When ships arrived in Otago harbour with infectious diseases, the passengers were sent to Quarantine Island until they were well or died. There is a small cemetery on the island.

Only one of the quarantine buildings from these years is still standing, and this has currently begun to be restored. After the quarantine station closed the island was leased. The present lessee is the interdenominational St Martin Island Community, founded in 1958 for work and worship on the island. Since then a great deal of reforestation and replanting has been done.

The unofficial name of 'St Martin Island' is in common use. In 1996 as part of the Ngai Tahu settlement the name of Kamau Taurua, meaning 'a place to set nets' was restored as part of the official name.

Commissioned in association with Blue Oyster Art Project Space and curated by Caro McCaw and Rachel Gillies. Supported by Otago Polytechnic and with thanks to Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Taste Nature, Bendigo Foundation, Tangente Cafe, Edinburgh College of Art, CNZ Creative Communities.


Adam Hyde, Adam in Antarctica, Polar Radio Project, 2007

Adam Hyde is a new media artist from New Zealand, with a special interest in streaming media, in both visual and audio contexts. His practice is supported by a history of working in radio, television and web development, as well as his work as a musician and format artist. He has performed sound works in many real and virtual situations, most recently experimenting with remote, collaborative live internet sound performances. In 1998 Hyde co-founded the acclaimed audio project r a d i o q u a l i a with Honor Harger. Still in process, r a d i o q u a l i a experiments with the concept of broadcasting, using the internet, radio and television, performance, publishing and gallery contexts. Purposefully operating as a geographically isolated project from the antipodean context of the South Pacific, one of r a d i o q u a l i 's primary motives is to explore the notion of using online broadcasting media to critique geographical distance as an impediment to creative collaboration.

Hyde continues to produce geographically dispersed projects. Recent major works include Silent_TV, with Tetsuo Kogawa, Rotterdam International Film Festival; The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth (2006), Radio Astronomy, ICC, Tokyo (2005); ISEA2004, Helsinki (2004); Ars Electronica, Linz (2004) and The Frequency Clock, Sonar, Barcelona (2001); Video Positive, Liverpool (2000); EAF, Adelaide (1999); Ars Electronica, Linz (1998).

Hyde is active across a number of cultural fields. He co-founded HelpB92 and Open Channels for Kosovo, which assisted independent media in the former Yugoslavia and was also the initiator of Net Congestion: the International Festival of Streaming Media, held in Amsterdam in October 2003. Further he was co-founder of the Open Source Streaming Alliance, an initiative that has established several internationally distributed, streaming media servers for arts and cultural use. He currently lives in Amsterdam.