Areas of research & work experience.

My PhD in Screen & Media, awarded in early 2016, was an examination of creative practices in the field of experimental sound art, interactive media and collaborative audio/visual performance. The focus of my research has been the intersection of scientific practice and art: material practices in creative technologies involving a transdisciplinary approach; and the role of material agency in creative strategies within the studio/workshop space. As part of this ongoing practice-led research I have experienced and developed the practice of a wide variety of teaching pedagogies based on both practical and theoretical engagements with various forms of media technologies. This is reflected in my peer-reviewed publications and the areas of research I have pursued which explore the intersections of media art and technology practices, as well as areas such as e-learning and the political dimensions of the internet.

 

My initial training was as an electrical engineer - in which I completed all necessary unit standards required for an industrial/ domestic electrician – including working with industrial computer control systems and basic programming. Instead of completing my apprenticeship to become an electrician I decided to continue education in computer sciences – learning a variety of programming languages including java, actionscript, visual basic and C++. Following on from this I completed several Graphic design papers, learning further computer skills, which went towards my B.A. in Screen & Media studies. In this degree I found scope to follow my growing interest in moving image and animation studies – see:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4NWErJ_nvE an animation I made involving the alteration of human and puppetry movements in a musical performance piece.

My PhD topic involved looking at DiY [Do-it-Yourself] electronics and performance –focusing on the processes of practitioners working in robotic performance and the use of material agency as a creative element: publishing on the themes of material agency, robotic performance and DiY electronics.

Reviewer of journal articles for E-learning and New Media journal – Sage Publications.

Reviewer of journal articles for Visual Ethnography - Altrimedia Edizioni University of Basilicata, Italy.

Papers and courses designed for University of Waikato as lecturer 2015-2017.
SMST201-17A Media of Aotearoa / New Zealand. –Situated media lecturer and course designer.
SMST590-16B Practice-led research into interactive media: Directed study supervision- postgraduate.
CRPC502-16A Supervision of research projects – postgraduate
CRPC301 -16Y Creative technologies interactive project –level 03.
SMST112 -16B Theory & practice of filmmaking – level 01.
SMST212 -16B Theory & practice of filmmaking – level 02.
SMST210-15T Studio-based creative audio/visual practices – level 02.
SMST310-16A Studio-based creative audio/visual practices- level 03.

Director and administrator for Hamilton underground Film Festival – 2006-2017.

Administrator of the Hamilton Underground Film Archive of independent & experimental filmmaking in Aotearoa.

Numerous collaborations with the Priorat arts council, Catalonia, including various simultaneous media events involving live internet video and audio links between performers in New Zealand and Catalonia.    

Website designer and administrator for Educational Experience (Educational toys) New Zealand Building and design of an environmental sound art installation for Hull, UK city of culture 2017 expo.
Intersections of art and technology.
Material practices in Creative Technologies.
Interdisciplinary electronics and human interfaces.
Environmental arts and technologies
Maker Culture and the third Industrial revolution
Robotics and Lo-Tech innovations
Hamilton Underground Film Archive of independent & experimental filmmaking.
Techno-Animism: Material agency.

(2001 – 2016).

 

 

•Experience in developing electromechanical systems, including mechanical hardware, electronics.
With Greg Locke as my mentor since 2006, I have a long term experience of developing ideas and procedures through discussions and collaborations involving the development of the robot garage band. My main role was in creating music videos of the robots, capturing the movements of the Lo-Fi robotics of The Trons – a robot garage band built using a central control CPU to control solenoids. Several video performances were made to explore the potential of robotic movement and their musical performance- as seen here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NQxYmgqrhM
or by googling: “video the trons snakebeings”

• Experience in developing robotic systems, incl. control software.
My experience of programming control have centred on the extensive use of Arduino and its IDE software to develop my recent sound art projects – specifically for the Hull, UK city of culture expo – some of my latest devices can be seen here: http://snakebeings.co.nz/overview%20DiY%20electronics.php
(as works in progress).

My Robotics experience has been through extensive discussions and observations during the writing of my PhD – in which Greg Locke and The Trons were one of the case studies. Through this experience I have learnt a variety of techniques of robotic movement, including Lo-Fi approaches which incorporate the flexible qualities of materials to produce life-like movements and sound.
   
• Experience with contemporary CAD packages, e.g. SolidWorks.
I have limited experience with CAD but am willing and able to learn – my main experience has been with 3D design packages such as MAYA and 3DMAX

• Experience in designing mechatronics systems to meet given specifications.

Through my workshop practices in the making of experimental electronic instruments I have a constant need to meet specifications- both functional as well as in following physical dimensions. My interest and skill in programming constantly involves the practice of researching and working with the given specifications of various types of hardware.

 

• Experience with writing technical documentation for electromechanical systems.

My PhD involved a large amount of technical writing in building a context for the electromechanical processes of The Trons and other case-studies which were also of a technical nature (DiY electronics in the making of musical instruments – and the human-machine interfaces of the Bingodisiac project).

• Excellent interpersonal skills and oral and written communication skills.

Through initiation and management of numerous projects I have extensive experience with communicating and interacting with a variety of organisations and individuals. I believe these experiences, in both leadership and as collaborator in projects, have allowed me to develop excellent communication skills, both oral and written.

• Ability to work independently and to prioritise and meet deadlines.

Most of my project experience has been self-directed –working independently towards deadlines which are both externally set (i.e. exhibitions and performances some of which are documented here: http://snakebeings.co.nz/events%20visual%20CV.php
And also in my enclosed C.V.

My experience of engineering can be viewed at:
http://snakebeings.co.nz/overview%20Electrical%20shrines.php
in which over 10 years of making coin-operated electrical shrines have been documented.

• Experience in developing project specifications.

My current project involves the design and making of a series of ‘sound machines’ –working around specifications to produce certain functions from a combination of physical soundmaking device, sensors and Arduino / Axoloti programming boards.

Experience in writing academic research publications.

I currently have 5 publications in peer-reviewed journals, some of which are ‘A’ grade journals. In addition to this I have several other papers due for publication in 2017, accepted at various stages of review. Two of these works-in-progress explore approaches to human-material engagement:
Techno-animism: The DiY (Do-it-Yourself) ethos, re-functioning and the engagement with ‘material media’ (Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, Australia) and The entangled agencies of Maker-culture: art practice as an engagement with material forces. (working title) Abstract accepted – (Transformations Journal of Media & Culture).

Ability to manage a project and set deadlines.

 

My experience of initiating and managing projects include:
Writing my PhD entitled: The DiY ['Do it yourself'] Ethos: A participatory culture of material engagement was a long-term project which involved initiating the human-machine performance work Bingodisiac in four cities (Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Melbourne) – its management included working with over 60 musicians (many of which were later interviewed for the writing up of the report).
My Masters entitled: The construction of Karen Karnak: The multi-author-function. Involved initiating a Wikimedia based project of 39 participants to construct the avatar author called Karen Karnak. This worked towards several deadlines including participation in an on-line festival called UpStage (see C.V.) and an exhibition of completed work called incarnate –see C.V. under the section “Creative projects and exhibitions” for numerous other projects involving both participation in existing events and others initiated by myself – also http://snakebeings.co.nz/events%20visual%20CV.php displays many events and projects initiated by the applicant.
Kaosphere Orchestra (also known as Bingodisiac within the context of my academic writings) – 2001-2011: an interactive audio/visual installation involving computerised cues for musicians performing a sound track to my own silent film –the event toured all of the major cities of New Zealand as well as performances in Melbourne, the Blue mountains and as part of the ‘other film’ festival in Brisbane. Over 120 musicians were involved over the 10 year period of the project)
The Hamilton Underground Film Festival 2006-2017: Director and initialiser of a series of events. Duties included compilation of DVD, annual event and the collection and distribution of experimental films. The project management also included the archiving of the event and the preservation of over 250 films shown over the time. This archive is one of the largest in New Zealand and the festival was also the longest running experimental film festival of its type. 

 

Monash 5th April 2017

Emit Snake-Beings

Key selection criteria
Essential criteria

  1. A Level B academic shall have an undergraduate or postgraduate level teaching experience in Communications and Media Studies and teaching experience including a demonstrated track record in achieving outstanding outcomes over a sustained period.

Over the past 10 years I have taught and been involved in teaching a variety of media studies papers at the Screen & Media programme at the University of Waikato. This experience has involved a variety of roles including: course design as convenor, co-convening, co-teaching and also as a teaching fellow. These short-term and fixed term contracts have involved a constant process of evaluation and development of skills, including collaborative work on the updating and re-design of outdated course outlines and implementing changes in evaluation and assessment. My teaching record has been supported by favourable responses from both students and fellow staff – which has been evaluated through outstanding reports in the course evaluation process. I have taught and convened at both undergraduate and post-graduate levels, including directed study supervision and media research courses. My teaching experience has encompassed a variety of aspects of communications and media studies: including traditional media approaches, looking at distribution, production and reception, to practice-led production papers which incorporate the use of creative technologies as active components of the teaching environment.

  1. Possess a high level of interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to work independently and as part of a team across both the education and service sectors

As a fix-term lecturer I have developed a high level of interpersonal skills through the co-convening and co-teaching of papers, as part of an education team. I have also contributed in formal discussions the design of the curriculum and through staff meetings engaged with a variety of staff members, both academic and administrative. My abilities to work independently have resulted in suggestions and preparations for staff meetings in the running of the screen & media department. As course convenor for several media papers I have successfully engaged with tutors and teaching fellows, the programme convenor, administration staff as well as the head of school where necessary. Several of the papers I have convened involved working collaboratively with other staff members to ensure consistency in following a collectively agreed curriculum across different occurrences of the paper.  In the studio production papers I have been required to provide my own technical support and demonstration of equipment, as well as interact with ITS technical services, maintaining a good working relationship with the technical service sectors of the university.

 

  1. Ability to work positively and cooperatively with students, internal and external teams and agencies

Through my interactions with students I have maintained a positive working environment – working cooperatively with students to ensure a successful understanding of concepts and also the requirements of any given course. As supervisor of postgraduate directed research projects have striven to maintain a positive learning experience, working collaboratively to explore potential avenues of research topics, methodologies and analysis of data. In the capacity of course convenor for studio based production papers I have worked positively and extensively with members of the university’s technical support team, working together with them to problem solve technical issues and to develop and maintain safe and effective strategies for operating equipment, for both students and staff.
In my role of initiating and managing numerous research projects I have worked collaboratively with various external teams and agencies, including: negotiating funding with local council bodies, working with museum staff and administration, working with both local and international art galleries and venues to organise screenings or performance events, and forging connections and links with various international agencies, for example, I worked extensively with the Priorat arts council in Catalonia, despite language differences, to conducted various simultaneous media events involving live internet video and audio links  between performers in New Zealand and Catalonia.

 

  1. Demonstrated strong record of teaching experience in a tertiary environment

Through my interactions and discussions with fellow teaching staff I have a strong understanding of what is required as an educator within a tertiary environment. Above this requirement I have also developed a strong practice and understanding of various pedagogies and approaches to education, taking an interest in collaborating with other staff members to explore more effective approaches to enhance the learning experience. My experience of co-teaching and acting as teaching fellow has exposed me to a variety of teaching styles and approaches to education, allowing me the opportunity to develop a strong and diverse record of tertiary education. My research collaborations with staff in other universities, for example Assoc. Prof. Andrew Gibbons head of AUT’s school of education, has offered me the experience to explore the role of tertiary pedagogies in the wider environment – with collaborative research towards publication on the topic of the future of tertiary education, the effective instigation of e-learning strategies and the use of technologies within the classroom. This research into the techniques of education has enabled me to ensure my usefulness in the tertiary environment, through positive student feedback and active engagement of students in the tertiary education environment of the University of Waikato.    

  1. Demonstrated ability to stimulate, actively engage and educate a given audience

My experience of teaching has been influenced largely by the active engagement of practice-led research and media production papers and the observation that students are more able to learn through the facilitation of a pedagogy of actively engaged learning. My perceived role, therefore, is to facilitate an actively engaged learning environment in which the audience are not rendered as passive receptacles of knowledge but become part of the process of collective learning. I find that there are several ways to create a more active learning environments, using a variety of effective strategies to maintain the active involvement and interest of students, or other audiences, by, for example: alternating concepts and examples with periods of discussions between audience members; feedback sessions on the understanding of concepts and re-iteration of content using different analogies and examples to appeal to multiple modes of understanding. I feel that my ability to achieve this has been demonstrated in student retention numbers – particularly through to late semester lectures where teaching staff usually experience falling numbers. In media production papers the role of the student is by default active, but I have also experienced that this active engagement can be encouraged in other more theory-based teaching situations by facilitating the involvement of students or a given audience and to incorporate strategies which are less prescriptive in their mode of address: allowing flexibility and response to become part of the process of engagement with the audience.  

  1. Proven ability, commitment and passion for engaging in scholarly and research activities

I have extensive experience of initiation and management of research projects which have been used as a source of data for peer-review journals and completion of my PhD and Masters Thesis. I have found that my long history as an arts practitioner has been complimentary to my passion for participatory practice-led research, focusing on the adaptation of media and site-specific installation, examples of which can be found below:
During the writing my PhD (entitled: The DiY ['Do it yourself'] Ethos: A participatory culture of material engagement) a long-term research project involved initiating the performance event Bingodisiac, a multi-media project performed in four cities (Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Melbourne). Bingodisiac involved collaboration with over 60 musicians, many of which were later interviewed for the writing up of the report. This project was based on a longer running project called Kaosphere Orchestra, a project initiated by myself in 2001 as a collaborative interactive audio/visual installation, involving computerised cues for musicians performing a sound track to my own silent film. Over 120 musicians were involved in the 10 year period of the project.
My Masters entitled: The construction of Karen Karnak: The multi-author-function. Involved initiating a Wikimedia based project of 39 participants to construct the avatar author called Karen Karnak. This worked towards several deadlines including participation in an on-line festival called UpStage (see C.V.) and an exhibition of completed work called ‘Incarnate’ examining the connections between embodiment and internet media.
The Hamilton Underground Film Festival 2006-2017: Director and initialiser of a series of events. Duties included compilation of DVD, annual event and the collection and distribution of experimental films. The project management also included the archiving of the event and the preservation of over 250 films shown over the time. This archive is one of the largest in New Zealand and the festival was also the longest running experimental film festival of its type. 
 – see C.V. under the section “Creative projects and exhibitions” for numerous other projects involving both participation in existing events and others initiated by myself – also http://snakebeings.co.nz/events%20visual%20CV.php displays many events and projects initiated by the applicant.

  1. A demonstrated capacity to work in a collegial manner with other staff in the workplace

Throughout my academic career I have maintained good working relationships and collaborative interactions with a variety of staff in the workplace. My collaborations with teaching staff have been productive and positive including several guest lectures on papers, collaborations and sharing of lecture notes and audio/visual resources with other lecturers and convenors; collegial interactions with both administration and technical support staff; and a good working relationship with sessionals and tutors.

  1. Demonstrated manuscript preparation skills; including a solid track record of refereed research publications

 

As a new or emerging researcher my 2018 PBRF rating is expected to be a ‘B’ grade or above. I currently have 5 publications in peer-reviewed journals, two of which are ‘A’ or ‘B’ grade journals. In addition to this I have two other papers due for publication in 2017, accepted in ‘A’ grade journals and currently in various stages of review. For a full list of publications and other research outcomes please refer to my enclosed résumé.
Two of these works-in-progress are listed below explore approaches to human-material engagement:
Techno-animism: The DiY (Do-it-Yourself) ethos, re-functioning and the engagement with ‘material media’ (Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, Australia)
The entangled agencies of Maker-culture: art practice as an engagement with material forces. (working title) Abstract accepted – (Transformations Journal of Media & Culture).

My future plans include publication of a monograph exploring the innovative re-use of discarded technologies as part of the ‘material turn’ currently affecting media studies. I am currently pursuing potentials for generating data via interviews and practice-led research.