The following address was given at the opening of the Photon, art school & beyond, the current exhibition of photographs by twenty Tutors and Graduates of NorthTec’s photographic programme. In the context of a proposal to close Fine Arts courses at NorthTec, the exhibition is a timely reminder, if any is required, of the extraordinary success of NorthTec’s photography programme.
The Shutter Room Photography Collective
Old Library Community Arts Centre
7 Rust Avenue
17 November 2017
My name is Kenneth Adams, I am Chair of the Shutter Room Photography Collective, an organisation responsible for operating a community-based photographic studio and gallery located in the Old Library Community Arts Centre at 7 Rust Avenue, Whangarei. I am writing on behalf of the members of the Shutter Room to express our concern at the proposal to close the Visual and Digital Arts Faculty.
From its inception the Shutter Room Collective has been a remarkably successful cooperative venture with the North Tec’s Visual and Digital Arts Faculty. Staff and students are free to use the Collective’s facilities during and beyond courses. Both take an active role in the management and use of the photographic facilities and in return receive a valuable extension to course studies as part of ‘real life photographic experiences of working within their community. In September, the Collective hosted an exhibition by third year photography students, ‘PHOTON: art school & beyond,’ an exhibition of staff and ex-student photographers is due to open in the Collective’s Gallery this coming Wednesday.
In a broader sense, North Tec photography students actively work within the context of their community. The North Tec motto “Stay Close, go far” is fully implemented by staff and students to achieve their educational goals. Students build on the strengths and resources of extended families, school friends and community organisations such as the Shutter Room as a vibrant context for creative work. Young creative people who pursue their studies elsewhere without a supportive family or community, frequently find themselves in dire circumstances, sometimes resulting in personal tragedy. Distance learning is no substitute for community based creative learning - ‘adult’ North Tec Photography students with family commitments take active roles in the Shutter Room as they have few practical alternatives to further their education. Equally important, on completion of their studies young people frequently never return ‘home’ - without their revitalisation, communities begin to wither and then to die.
If the proposal is implemented, it is likely that the Shutter Room will cease to exist and Whangarei will lose one of only two Photographic Collectives in New Zealand. At a time when there is great nationwide concern about ‘a youth crisis,’ it is reckless, in my opinion, to send the brightest creative people away from Whangarei and to ‘hope for the best.’ Put simply, we cannot be so irresponsible as to let them and our community down, there has to be a better way.
The Shutter Room Chair
Kenneth E Adams
In other big news, the removal of Net Neutrality was announced yesterday. What does that mean for us? It is simple to say but harder to explain. It means that ISPs, who are the organisations we buy our Internet access from (mine is Orcon) can now decide to allow traffic to some sites priority over others.
Say for example that Vodafone do a deal with Netflix and you get your Internet from Vodafone but watch Lightbox. It means that Vodafone can make Lightbox run slower for you so that you will (hopefully for Vodafone) cancel your subscription to Lightbox and take one out with Netflix thereby earning a commission for Vodafone.
I use Vodafone as an example because they are already selling deals like that that have the distinct possibility of becoming like that with their Social, Chat and Music packages.
How so? Let's take two, people Ken and Barbie. Barbie has bought their Social package and Ken hasn't. Barbie sees updates in real time but Ken doesn't, his Facebook goes slow, Barbie is watching videos smoothly but Ken's videos sputter and stall. Net result: Ken has to buy the Social package, another win for Vodafone.
It is early days yet, some have described it as the great leap backwards where the giant telcos want to turn the internet into a "revisited cable tv" model (which has failed) where you buy access to a bunch of channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Which means that if what you want to access is not one of the "channels" on offer then you will not be able to access it.
This is the new Shutter Room Blog and heralds the upgrade of the Shutter Room website.
Just outside the main door of the library
Wednesday 10.30 am - 2.30pm
Thursday 10.30 am - 2.30pm
Friday 10.30am - 2.30pm
Saturday 10 am - 12.30pm
If you are interested in joining The Shutter Room Collective then please click here
Interested in exhibiting? See our Guide For Exhibitors
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