Finlay Macdonald is a widely respected contributor to newspapers and publications throughout the country. He is the former editor of NZ Listener, commissioning editor for Penguin Books, and now writes columns, social commentary and edits the Sunday Star-Times books pages.
He has also worked for Metro Magazine, and as a writer for television, including documentary, serial drama and comedy.
At last year's Qantas Media Awards, Finlay was given the Best Overall Columnist Award for his weekly Sunday Star Times column. British-born Macdonald recently joined Radio Live, hosting a Sunday morning show with a focus on current events, politics and reviews.
John Barnett is CEO and co-owner of New Zealand’s largest film and television company, South Pacific Pictures. He has been producing distinctly Kiwi stories since 1975 and produced or executive-produced four of New Zealand's six top grossing films: 'Whale Rider', 'Sione's Wedding', 'Footrot Flats' and 'What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?'
John has served two terms on the Board of the New Zealand Film Commission and was a member of the Screen Production Industry Taskforce, a Government initiative to further develop the New Zealand film and television industry.
In May 2007 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Commerce degree from Wellington’s Victoria University for his contribution to the establishment of New Zealand’s growing film and television industry and its growing international reputation.
Dr Angelina Russo
Angelina Russo researches the connections between communication and technology from a design perspective. She is Chief Investigator on the Australian Research Council Linkage research project Engaging with Social Media in Museums at RMIT University, which brings together three Australian museums and the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, A Smithsonian Institution to explore the impact of social media on museum learning and communication. Between 2005 and 2008 she led the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Creative Industries and Innovation, research project New Literacy, New Audiences which examined the development of digitl content and multiplatform distribution in collaboration with six major Australian cultural institutions. Russo is a co-conveynor of www.museum30.ning.com, a social network of over 1600 members, established to provide an online forum for cultural institution professionals. She holds an Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship (2008 – 11) and is a former Queensland Premier’s Smithsonian Fellow (2005).
Aidan Lang is General Director of The NBR New Zealand Opera. Prior to his arrival in New Zealand, he was Director of Productions of the touring arm of the famous Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Artistic Director of the Buxton Festival in the UK and the initial Artistic Director of Opera Zuid, a new opera company formed in 1990 to tour opera around the Netherlands.
He has directed over 60 different operas around the world, his productions being seen throughout the United Kingdom, in France, Italy, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Canada and Brazil, where he directed Wagner’s Ring Cycle in the historic Teatro Amazonas, Manaus.
His production of The Marriage of Figaro was seen last month in Auckland.
Pitch Black are multimedia artist Michael Hodgson and music producer Paddy Free who have spent the last 13 years rousing dance floor punters, generating rave reviews, winning awards and gaining thousands of fans across the world.
Their sound is distinctive; ranging from organic ambient beginnings and layered soundscapes to skanking keyboards, cutting acid riffs and thumping rhythmic grooves, with dub being the glue that holds their sound together.
Visually they are in another dimension due to Mike's cutting edge visuals, which he manipulates at the same time as mixing the sound. Not for nothing have they been hailed as the "Hexstatic of New Zealand" and have been warmly embraced by England's Big Chill - playing the festival 3 times. They recently debuted a new set projecting onto 12 cubes for the Splore Festival and celebrated the Govett Brewsters 40th Birthday by mapping their live show onto the outside of the gallery.
They have released 4 albums, 4 remix albums and created a host of remixes for other bands. They have toured the world relentlessly for the last nine years, playing everywhere from Amsterdam to Zagreb and their music has been used in fashion shows, computer games, TV shows such as True Blood and CSI plus many films, including the Oscar nominated, Whale Rider.
This LATE, Pitch Black and guests will create an audiovisual playground that traverses the Natural History Floor of the Museum with cutting edge technology - a multitude of audio and visual installations to tantalise your sensors. The evening will culminate in a surround sound electronic music performance pushing the reverberation qualities of the Grand Foyer to a new dimension.
New Zealand's Nigel Wright is part of a loose conglomerate of artists, circling around the CMR label, who have found new ways to approach computer music. Wright works with big, weighty chunks of sound and his palette is all oppresive greyscale and flickering hints of kaleidoscopic colour. He uses laptop to weather and and rust his guitars strings, ricocheting hefty down-strummed chords through cavernous banks of effects and then watching the overtones drift in the distance, like trailing headlights captured on polaroids. Sometimes Wright's music suggests the early releases on German techno label Chain Reaction if they were stripped of all rhythm; on the evidence of Tapir, however, I wouldn't be surprised if soon he was spoken of in the same breath as Tim Hecker and Christian Fennesz