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WWUD? In Conversation with Uniform

WW..D? Is an interview segment where we get to know awesome people that are a part of the creative community in New Zealand.

This week we spoke to Uniform. Uniform is an art collective based in Auckland, New Zealand working across all creative mediums. The female only collective recently finished a residency at Auckland’s Artspace and are about to move on to a project at Blue Oyster Art Project Space in Dunedin. Read more for what would Uniform do?

For those of who may not know who is Uniform and what do you do?

Uniform is the name a group of friends use when we work on projects collaboratively. Uniform could be two of us working on a sound piece or twenty of us participating in an event. We are mostly Auckland based women working in art, film, sound, writing, print and archiving.

Do think there are any gaps within our country’s arts landscape?

Hope so! Gaps are the out of bound spaces we like to dwell in. That’s where the change happens

Uniform makes art across all platforms – music, visual art, print publications, film and performance – what is it about a multidisciplinary approach that excited you?

For us that’s a more “normal approach”. Breaking disciplines apart makes barriers. Using a multidisciplinary approach means you are always adapting and challenging yourself in terms of learning new skills. Feels empowering.

You have been making collectively for a number of years now, how do you manage the politics of working within a group?

Keeping it loose with roles undefined so people can come in how and when suits them. Thinking of ourselves as a community/family rather than a collective or group.

You have recently finished a residency at Artspace in Auckland. How did you find this type of art space foster (or not) Uniform’s practice in comparison to working indecently in a more ‘guerilla’ type manner?

Artspace’s initial question to us was how  they could “learn from artists to develop a better understanding of a public institution”. Uniform believes strongly in doing. Assertive actions together help us understand, change and cultivate art in a public institution. In practical terms it has been useful to have a regular physical space for our actions particularly somewhere to print, paint and build. However for more immediate performative and film work we have found it unusually restrictive. The benefit of the “guerilla” approach is that you know and trust your actions and can work fast . Working with an institution can mean building trust and communication with people outside of the action.  Approval isn’t something Uniform is particularly interested in seeking.

The print journal seems to be a key part of the material output for Uniform, how did that come about and how is the editorial premise each issue of the journal decided?

Uniform actions and the publication go hand in hand. We usually have a meetup and decide on what is coming up for us and how we can document it through the publication.

We are up to the third issue now and as it has evolved, we are more interested in it being an instruction manual type document. Uniform cares about process and how things are done more than technical ability or the end result. We consider this when we are taking photos or asking questions or interviewing artists. We want people to walk away from it feeling inspired or that they can do it better. ha.

And lastly, do you have any advice for young collectives?  

More doing less talking


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