It’s a wicked problem. How will you solve it?
There’s an old puzzle – a DoC Ranger is coming out of the bush with a live stoat, a kererū and a bag of karaka berries. On their way out they have to cross a river in a ferry boat. But in crossing the river by boat, the DoC ranger can only transport themselves and one other thing: the stoat, the kererū, or the bag of karaka berries.
If left unattended together, the stoat would eat the kererū, or the kererū would eat the berries. How does the ranger get everything across the river? Join us in a playful reenactment of this age old puzzle complete with a boat on a river.
Through somatic exercises, costumes, playful games, collaborative problem solving and fun in boats, participants in The Stoat, the Kererū and the Karaka Berries will explore creative solutions to today’s wicked ecological problems and connect people to the unique urban ecology of the Henderson creek in West Auckland.
“The puzzle is a metaphor for our larger wicked problems – how do protect our native flora and fauna, how do we address the impact of colonial settlement on our environment, and how can we respond to the present danger of climate change." – Melissa Laing, artist and co-creator.
The Stoat was introduced to control the rabbits that were brought over by early European settlers for food and sport. It is now one of the most effective predators of native birds and one of the three animals targeted by the contentious 1080 drops. New Zealand’s bird of 2018, the ‘clumsy, drunk, gluttonous and glamorous’ Kererū is one of our most visible and widespread birds.
It is seen in our cityscape perching in power lines and in our forests. Despite being endemic, its existence is threatened by imported predators. NZ native forests depend on maintaining and growing the Kererū population as they are one of the only surviving mainland native species able to swallow and distribute the fruit of forest trees like the Karaka.
By participating in this work we explore how “Taking care of close up human, animal and abiotic relations might reveal ways of working through the problems that confront us, enabling us look far enough into the future to see the implications of our short term actions.” – Christina Houghton, artist and co-creator.
Melissa Laing is an artist, a writer and a curator who explores the creative spaces between art and politics. For the 2018 Auckland Fringe Festival she ran a series of Boat Dates on the Whau River. In 2019 Melissa will present The Controlled Environment Laboratory, an exhibition documenting the history of a laboratory facility in Palmerston North at Te Manawa, Palmerston North.
Christina Houghton is an Auckland based performing artist with a background in choreography, costume design and ecology. Her work Rafting-with 2014-2018 focused on participatory walking and boat performances based on survival drills and the environmental issues of water both locally and internationally. She also takes guided and non-guided Wild Walks around locations in Auckland.
Presented as part of Auckland Fringe festival from 19th February - 3rd March 2019.
For the full programme visit www.aucklandfringe.co.nz
Performance ticket includes one way ferry ticket and life jacket hire. You must be able to swim.