Eugene Hansen - Port Replicator

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Media Release: August, 2003. 

Prepare yourselves for visual and aural overload – Port Replicator is coming! From the 10 August to 7 September 2003 the Michael Hirschfeld Gallery will be transformed in to an immersive visual and audio environment by Wellington artist Eugene Hansen, operating under the alias of VJ Rex.

Port Replicator, is a collaboration between Hansen, Wellington painter Simon Morris, Wellington audio artist Kaleb Bennet, and Auckland audio artists Field Audio and Keri Whaiteri. Together they will create a digital, pop-culture wonderland populated by dinosaurs, cowboys, spaceships, oversized ‘Chuppa Chup’ lollies wearing furry balaclava hats and animated characters.

The starting point for the show is a selection of found video footage, from television shows and movies, which is then, reworked using audio and visual mixing techniques from contemporary DJ culture. The name, Port Replicator refers to a device which plugs into a notebook computer allowing it to be used as a harddrive which printers, monitors and keyboards can then be plugged into. This is art 21st century style.

The exhibition is a true work in progress. The soundtrack and visuals change weekly, updated every Monday by a live performance remix in the gallery by Hansen and one of the audio artists.

Curator Emma Bugden says that perhaps the best way to describe the experience of viewing Eugene Hansen’s work is to think of being in a shopping mall or video game parlour, both of which, like Hansen’s work, completely immerse you in sound and colour.

The gallery walls are painted lilac and pink, connected by a sleek blue stripe, produced by painter Simon Morris, which runs the length of the gallery. Sound emerges from speakers inserted into pop objects and plastic toys from the $2 Shop scattering the gallery, and digital print-outs which are stills from the video clips hanging in the back gallery.

In this exhibition Eugene Hansen is playing with ideas of everyday pop culture as being data to work with, rather than throw away rubbish to be seen when channel surfing. Drawing on current communication and entertainment technologies, Hansen explores the way in which technology can be used to format that data through different processes to make it useful in a variety of applications.

Eugene Hansen (Ngati Maniapoto, Ngati Mahuta) is currently based in Wellington where he is a lecturer at Massey University’s College Design, Fine Arts and Music. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Canterbury in 1991 and with a Masters of Fine Arts from RMIT University, Melbourne in 1998. He has exhibited widely throughout New Zealand, and in 2001 was included in the major City Gallery Wellington survey exhibition Techno Māori: Māori Art in the Digital Age.

The live performance remixes will take place on Monday 11, 18 and 25 August and on Monday 1 September between 10 am and 2 pm.

Eugene will give a free artist floortalk on Wednesday 20 August at 6 pm in the Michael Hirschfeld Gallery.

City Gallery Wellington is open daily from 10am to 5pm.

Port Replicator is presented within the 360 programme – a full perspective on Wellington art and design, which is generously sponsored by Designworks. Thanks also to Massey University, Colourcraft and Publication & Design, Wellington City Council. City Gallery Wellington is managed by the Wellington Museums Trust with major funding from the Wellington City Council.