Trace (7/11/2019 – 30/11/2019)

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Please join us to mark the opening of ‘Trace’, a collective meditation on the sonics of Trace and traces of the Sonic.


This collection of works continues an exploration of recording and representation, interactivity and memory, initiated at a 2018 exhibition programmed by Wellington-based artist and musician, Karl Leisky, and hosted by Dunedin’s Blue Oyster Art Project Space. Here, as in the previous exhibition, a group of artists assemble to consider how Trace as a concept relates to their working with and thinking about sound.

Through installation, performance and sonic-sculpture by Tash van Schaardenburg, Rory Dalley and Sam Longmore, recording, memory, and echo combine in an exploration of Trace as it relates to Sound.

The opening of this event will coincide with performances by the artists.


Public Programme:
On Sunday 17 November, we invite you to join us for tour of the CRL Tunnels in downtown Auckland. Numbers for this event are limited. If you would like to experience what is sure to be an intriguing and unique acoustic environment, please RSVP to

The tour will be followed by optional discussion about the experience with a focus on Echo and Reverberance.


Tash van Schaardenburg

The Elam Fine Arts Library first opened in 1950, and moved to its current location off of Whitaker Place upon the completion of the main building extension in 1977. With the controversial closure of this library set to take place on November 18, the quiet and company of strangers to be found at the Elam Library now seems all the more precious, and precarious.

‘Elam School of Fine Arts Library – 5 Weeks Before Closure’ documents the atmosphere of the Elam Fine Arts Library, where Tash van Schaardenburg began working as an assistant librarian in March 2019.

“Since studying and later working at the Elam Library, the silence and wealth of aural curiosities to be found there have come to play a significant and grounding role in my life. Such refuge is uncommon among the bustling sonics of city-life, and in the Elam School of Fine Arts Library the threshold for ‘noise’ shifts as the usually peripheral actions of others become audible. In the acoustic-space of the Library, the slide of a hand across a page, the thwack of a large art book closing, the intermittent staccato of a laptop keyboard, they all stand out against the ever-present hum of the air con and neighbouring motorway.” That this much loved space is about to disappear – its collections being absorbed into those at the main UoA library – affords these recordings an intimacy which goes beyond that of most archival documents.

Conceived in 2018, several weeks prior to the announcement of the library’s future closure, this work was conceptualised originally as an exercise and experiment with the relocation of particular soundscapes, with the intention of highlighting their value. Since the announcement of the Library’s immanent closure, the work has been imbued with a deeper significance. For van Schaardenburg, “this collection of recordings now do more than documenting the library as a treasured academic resource to the creative community of Aotearoa, functioning also as a personal biographical reflection on this part of my life”.

Come the 7th November, 2019, the day of the opening of this exhibition, there will be 11 days until the doors at the Elam School of Fine Arts Library close for good, bringing to an end of 69 years of student patronage.

And, for 11 days after its closure, this snapshot of it’s soundscape will linger as Trace.


Tash van Schaardenburg is an artist, musician and graduate of the Elam School of Fine Arts.

Recent artistic projects have explored the acoustic signatures of downtown Tāmaki Makaurau, situating field recording as an activity undertaken in relation to the personal bias of the ear of the artist. Other projects have explored this theme through biographical audio recordings and film works rooted in their personal day-to-day.

Musically, they maintain an number of projects, performing solo with pre-recorded materials, manipulated with a DJ controller, as Citacsy CBD, and alongside Michael Sperring as Auckland’s resident electro-clash ratbags.


Rory Dalley (IRD)

Rory Dalley is a Christchurch-based artist with a background as a solo and group performer, producer of improvised music and maker of sonic art. His work explores an especial interest in textural noise and concepts of quietness, erasure, and self. Rory has been involved in collaborations with a large range of local and international musicians, dancers and theatrical performers.

Over the years, under the nom de plume, ‘IRD’, Dalley has employed a wide array of live-setups, at times functioning as open environments of chance and opportunity, at others as situations where creative impulse is borne from restriction. These events frequently involve blank cassette tape and the manipulation of pre-existing materials, whether this be by means of deconstructed turntables, or other repurposed playback devices. In his new work, ‘Domestic Meditations/ Domestic Remediations’, Dalley deals with the excavation of the magnetic tape from one such cassette.

Used originally in a live performance, the magnetic strip within this cassette eventually snapped, becoming entrapped within its casing where it remained for a number of years. Freed from its plastic tomb by forceful means, the coiled tape has since been repaired and recycled into different enclosure, ready to perform again.

Rory has been involved in collaborating with a large range of local and international musicians, dancers and theatrical performers. Some notable performances have been with Dutch sound poet Jaap Blonk, Japanese drummer Shoji Hano, and support slots for a number of touring Altmusic artists, from Philip Jeck in 2008, to Rashad Becker in 2018.  He has enjoyed accepting invitations to play solo and collaboratively throughout Aotearoa. Recently this has included appearances at Nowhere Festival 2018 in Auckland and Pyramid Power Festival 2019 in Wellington.

As a member of Borderline Ballroom since 2008 (later, the Managerial Committee of Canterbury Society of Sonic Artists (CSSA) / The Auricle), Rory has been active in organising and hosting events in Christchurch and currently hosts the radio show “Surprise Attack”, on RDU 98.5FM.


Sam Longmore

Sam Longmore is an artist, electronic music and writer based in Auckland. His work is informed by the relationships between geography and acoustics, soundscape and phenomenology, installation and architecture.

Building on a 2014 project which sought to reposition a collection of pre-recorded events as original and unique experiences, ‘Echoes After Bonnet’ explores the phantasmic and echoic qualities of sound itself. By combining recordings made during his recent trip to Korea and Russia with spoken excerpts of text from sources as diverse as Françios Bonnet, Titus Lucretius Carus, and Marcel Duchamp, this work considers how hearing, transduction, and reproduction coalesce at the most fundamental level of our relationship with sound.

Weaving together a dense web of references and excerpted proclamations made in relation to the fundamental basis of sound and its reception, ‘Echoes After Bonnet’ serves to frame Longmore’s thinking about sound and listening, recording and re-playing, and also as a continuation of his abiding interest in the ontology of recorded material as it stands in relation to the recorded.

Sam has been employed at The Audio Foundation since 2016. He completed a MFA at the Elam School of Fine Arts between 2014 – 2016, during which time he twice received the Paul Beadle post-graduate research scholarship. He has performed and exhibited at galleries and project spaces throughout Aotearoa and abroad, and contributed writing to several institutions and journals, notably a piece for Artspace about Julian Priest’s 2014 Chartwell commission, La Scala, and to the Goethe-Institut Neuseeland’s  Themendossier around Hanno Leichtmann’s 2018 artist residency.

In addition, he runs the mf/mp imprint with Wellington-based artist and musician Karl Leisky.


Opens: Thursday 7 November, 5.30pm (w. refreshments from Liberty Breweries) w/ performances by Tash van Schaardenburg, Rory Dalley and Sam Longmore.
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 12.00pm – 4.00pm.
Closes: Saturday 30 November, 4.00pm