Place Stories Matariki: Augmented Reality Sound Experience

Augmented Geo-Locative Town-Wide Sound Installation


Place Stories (Matariki) was a geo-locative app-based sound installation that wove through the spaces of Papakura, South Auckland. To hear about it listen to this Radio NZ Interview.

Local artists contributed poems, waiata, sonic soundscapes, and eclectic soundtracks celebrating Matariki and the land and spirit of the town. These works were then ‘placed’ in different spaces around the town using the latest in locative mobile technology supplied by Imersia Group.

The audience downloaded the app from iTunes and Google Play store, put on their headphones and walked around the town listening to sounds appear and disappear as they travelled.

4.7-inch (iPhone 6) - Screenshot 1 (2)

A wayfinding map assisted them to locate and listen to the works.

The audio was designed to play only in and around spaces that need some love, attention or celebration – allowing person and place to connect via the portal of the mobile phone.

Contributing artists included mana whenua, the Audio Foundation, Tokelauan cultural leaders, local kaumatua, new media artists and underground collectives.

Waiata, spoken word, samples and synthesised tracks, and sound effects were all part of the town-wide installation which celebrated the town’s diversity, and the spirit/wairua of the town at Matariki, a time when the boundaries between worlds are at their thinnest.

For those who did not have smartphones, an installation was created within Papakura Art Gallery using AR technology to trigger images provided by Fred Harrison a local Maori artist. The images represented portals through to the spirit of Matariki, with the tablet acting as another portal to access the audio works.

Dr Maggie Buxton conceived of Place Stories, and produced and curated the work; App development and visual design was undertaken by Kim Newall

Participating artists were

  • Fred Harrison = Sound Artist (via Audio Foundation)
  • Whiri-Aroha (Papakura Marae Korowai Weaving Group)
  • Uniform – Feminist Punk Band (via Audio Foundation)
  • Moe Lolesi – Tokelaun Traditional Singer
  • Haare Williams – Maori Poet
  • Mahu Rawiri – Mana Whenua Musician
  • Kim Newall – Creative Technologist

Additional supporters included the Audio Foundation (who had two artists participating), Papakura Art Gallery, and Imersia Group  who provided the technical infrastructure to support the experience.

Funding was kindly provided by:

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