Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Maoriland Calling

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  • kmont,

    someone to go through it with some joy in their heart

    I've got that joy joy joy joy down in my heart.
    Where?
    Down in my heart.
    Where?
    Down in my heart.
    Where?
    Down in my heart to stay.

    I've got that peace that passes understanding down in my heart.........etc

    If you know this song poor you ; )

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Wikipedia has the lyrics. Let's gather round the campfire and have a singalong!

    (Actually, I just checked, and all I have down in my heart is an old tyre swing, a broken microwave and a dried up marker pen.)

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Jonty,

    It seems incest was alive and well in early NZ. From "Distant Homes; or the Graham family in NZ" in the Maoriland series:

    Lucy Graham was working very hard at a number of fancy bags and baskets, evidently intended for a Christmas tree, when her brother George entered the room.

    “Mamma wants you, Loo; go to her dressing-room, and then back to me. Look sharp like a good girl, I want you very much.”

    Katikati • Since Mar 2007 • 102 posts Report Reply

  • kmont,

    I actually do have the joy, just not the peace that passes understanding.

    Excellent song to annoy people on long car journeys.

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

  • hudsie,

    With regards to the Widescreen presentation of TVNZ broadcasts you mentioned I have noted terrible inconsistency from TVNZ in this department.
    I hate to say it but it may simply be a case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing. I have even noticed Commercials, which are formatted for wide screen, being broadcast with letterbox and pillar boxes around them, playing alongside other commercials which are broadcast in full and true widescreen. I am sure the advertisers paying for these ads aren't terribly impressed by this.

    TV3 have been broadcasting WS for much longer and almost never make a mistake.

    Although it sounds like a geeky and techy subject I think it warrants further investigation.

    Since Nov 2006 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Contrast Te Papa and other NZ public institutions with the British Museum, which is quietly releasing it's collection onto the web: image database

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Tze Ming Mok,

    The Boy's Own style 'Amongst the Maoris: a Book of Adventure' is particularly... illuminating, as to the nature of heathen Maori as dirty, smelly, flea-ridden kidnap-happy savages, who are far too fond of laughing.

    Poor Bernard and Jack.

    ...the general appearance of the people was dirty, and the smell which came from them was very disagreeable.

    “Why is it that most, if not all, barbarous people love dirt?” said Bernard to Colonel Bradshaw as the two stood outside the hut after dinner.

    “Cleanliness is next to godliness, they say, you know,” answered he. “I think the Christian Maoris are cleaner, though they might wash their blankets oftener. I suppose as they become more civilized they will get cleaner.”

    “But it cannot be natural to be dirty,” returned Jack, “for animals are always clean.”

    “That is true, but it is not an argument. Animals follow their instinct in this as in everything else: they know it is unhealthy to be dirty. Men seem to be without instinct, excepting on rare occasions.”

    “Well, my instinct induces me to feel very sick,” said Jack.

    SarfBank, Lunnin' • Since Nov 2006 • 154 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Contrast Te Papa and other NZ public institutions with the British Museum, which is quietly releasing it's collection onto the web: image database.

    And you know what the really good part of that page is? It's these words:

    If you wish to use an image from this site on another website, you have permission to do so subject to the following conditions:

    - the site must be non-commercial
    - full acknowledgement must be made of the Museum’s ownership of the object shown, and of the image, in the form © The Trustees of the British Museum.

    It's the equivalent of a Creative Commons "Attribution, Non-commercial" licence. Unless you intend to use the images in a commercial way, you don't even have to contact them. Inspired.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Poor Bernard and Jack.

    Priceless.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Oh, and I've fixed the links in the post to the National Library's Gilsemans and Hodges images too. The URL for the results page doesn't bring up the search results -- you have to grab the search URL before it outputs.

    What a bad way of doing it ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Kris W,

    Some comparisons between Isaac Gilsemans and William Hodges' work features in the book 'Strangers in Mohua : an investigation of the first recorded contact between Maori and Pakeha' by Robert Jenkins. It tries to set some context around the 1642 visit, including speculation on the presence of Moko at that time and place.

    Gilsemans first encounter with Polynesians was fairly tragic. Close to a major trading route during a time of tribal rearrangement, he watched 4 colleagues get brutally murdered and spent 4 days trying to find uninhabited access to drinking water. Hodges arrived 125 years later in a more peaceful place with a Tahitian ambassador and a trunk full of trading goods....

    I've only seen one episode of The Big Picture and found Hamish's rapid delivery a bit slurry and hard to hear - another good reason to try Freeview out. Otherwise Robert Hughes could teach him a thing or two about booming arty round vowels for TV.

    Cook Strait • Since Nov 2006 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Chapter XXVI of "Frank Melton's Luck, or, Off To New Zealand" has a very promising title: "The doctor gives advice - Fanny nurses me - I try to make love."

    But upon reading it, I realised that it was the pre-20th century use of "make love", meaning to pay amorous attention.

    Frank's having romantic woes with Fanny (his cousin?!). He bitches to his uncle:

    I cannot remain longer in the house to be constantly seeing her as miserable as that cursed wretch is making her by his infernal shillyshallying behaviour.

    So Uncle offers him a hunting trip, "You can take Tim and one or two Maoris if you want 'em. What d'you say?"

    Frank says yes, but will the hunting take his mind of his dear Fanny?

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    There are, it should be noted girls'-own stories amongst the Maoriland works too -- which was another reason the macho cultural nationalists were inclined to dismiss them.

    I thought this, from Charlotte Evans' Strange Friendship: A Story of New Zealand, was pretty:

    From the windows of our sitting-room, and from those of my bedroom, we commanded a lovely view. The country seen from them was, it is true, dull and monotonous looking, but it stretched away to a magnificent range of mountains, clothed in the winter in raiment of dazzling snow.

    The outline of these mountains, cut sharp with the crystallized clearness of outlines in the New Zealand climate against the bright blue morning sky, or the opal heavens of sunset, I soon knew by heart; they always assumed, to my imagination, the form of a dead giant maiden lying on her back, with arms folded on her icy breast, and billows of hair flowing backwards till lost in the softer outline of more distant hills.

    These mountains became, at the time I write of, a part of my life. I never recall any of those days but once more they rise before me, and claim me as a friend. In all their countless aspects, lustrous and dazzling in the sunlight, lurid and menacing in cloudy gloom, they were dear to my heart, and have stamped themselves upon my memory for life.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I think that's an important principle. I was glad when the Turnbull stopped vandalising its small online images with "sample" watermarks, but I feel bound to note that institutions in other countries don't feel the need to run copyright warnings under every image on their websites.

    Ugh, copyrights over images and their various reproductions is rapidly becoming part of my job, it's a mine field.

    I couldn't comment on international law, but of course the copyright message is simply a reminder, copyright holds whether the message is there or not. You'd have to explicitly put up a note releasing copyright into some sort of non-commercial arrangement in order to do so. I don't think many artists or holders of their works are there yet.

    Copyright also lies, not just with the artist or their estate, which has to release it, but also with the current owner of the artwork, and additionally, the person who photographed the artwork to make it available digitally. All of them have to agree to release the copyright. (My upcoming work is more complicated, as our digital images are scans of slides taken by a photographer out of a book who printed a photograph of the original. The copyright chain is: 1. Artists, 2. Owner, 3. Photographer, 4. Publisher, 5. Slide photographer, 6. My work).

    To be honest, if the artwork is online, and viewable in a reasonably good quality, uncorrupted form, what does it matter if they assert copyright? The last thing a gallery or museum wants is to piss off an artist when they find their artwork floating around the world wide web, at least with a copyright note they can say that the person knew what they were doing when they stole it.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    To be honest, if the artwork is online, and viewable in a reasonably good quality, uncorrupted form, what does it matter if they assert copyright?

    Yeah, I don't mind that -- although I viscerally objected to the "sample" stamps that used to run across the Turnbull's web images -- but it does seem that most overseas institutions don't feel the need to have a copyright nag notice in red letters under every image.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • kerry w,

    the 'macho cultural nationalists' - do you mean Curnow, Glover, Sargeson, Fairburn?

    As Belich points out it's hard not to be amused by Fairburn, who used to light the hairs on his chest for the amusement of children, as one of his party tricks.

    I've just done a fair bit of research on mid-20th C lit. and one interesting stat (from kai Jensen) is that women far outnumbered men in book writing up to 1920. The nationalists as they're called didn't really get going till mid 30's, so it's hard to know why women suddenly stopped producing so much. The nationalists were more about 'high culture' and nz developing a literary culture of our own that wasn't imitation british. Some included as macho nationalists were closet gays - Brasch, Sargeson, McCormick. Their work reads differently now. Women writers like Mansfield, Jane Mander & Robin Hyde were fed up with the imperialist thinking and lack of opportunity for women. But we've always produced lots of low culture writers - thrillers, romances, westerns. A case of kiwis producing more than our fair share compared to other countries, as we seem to do.

    Since Nov 2006 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    the 'macho cultural nationalists' - do you mean Curnow, Glover, Sargeson, Fairburn?

    As Belich points out it's hard not to be amused by Fairburn, who used to light the hairs on his chest for the amusement of children, as one of his party tricks.

    Oh, I love Fairburn -- of all of them, he'd have made a brilliant blogger. He wrote some brilliant tosh: most notoriously, The Woman Problem, which I gather wasn't really intended for publication.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Cresswell,

    I have to say that when posting images by contemporary artists on my own blog, the artists and galleries to which I always link them have been only too happy for the publicity -- no matter what their explicit copyright statements under, around or on the originally posted images might say.

    Perhaps another example of how common internet useage is leaping ahead of copyright as she was known.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • Hamish Keith,

    I am glad you raised this subject of images and institutions. Frankly the whole business of images for the series and the book The Big Picture was a nightmare of bureacratic obstruction, pettiness and greed. One image alone from the Hocken library - using an existing transparency - was charged out at fee that I will have to sell several hundred books to earn. Let's be clear none of those fees go anywhere near an artist or an artist's estate which might have seemed marginally reasonable at least. (Most living artists were happy to have a work included ) Worse for the book - for the film a number of major players intervened to ensure access - museums put up such impenetrable barriers to obtaining images - all in the name of "procedure" or "cultural sensitivity" - that Maori are again being written out of history and covered in a fog as dark as any of the red paint those same people's predecessors used to splash over polychromatic carvings to make them more "authentic". I would have thought - regardless of how personal or not the view might be - that the book and the series was extending the reach of the museum and gallery collections and that was a good thing! The lack of web back-up to the series is as you say the result of production inertia I tried to go there but there were too many other obstacles to persist with that - the book does acknowledge sources - the series just spins them by on the rolling credits.

    Since Nov 2007 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Paul Wood,

    I find that if I go straight to an institution's marketing/PR department rather than through the curators, most of the red tape regarding picture copyright evaporates rather quickly.
    It's a lot more of a nightmare if you are trying to extract anything from a family trust - they tend to be extremely money driven (the M_____'s spring to mind).

    Christchurch • Since Jan 2007 • 175 posts Report Reply

  • David Cauchi,

    I have to say that when posting images by contemporary artists on my own blog, the artists and galleries to which I always link them have been only too happy for the publicity -- no matter what their explicit copyright statements under, around or on the originally posted images might say.

    If you make a reasonable effort to get permission from the artist before posting them, that's fine. If you just blithely post them on the assumption the artist will be 'only too happy for the publicity', that's not at all fine. Please note that Hamish's comment 'Most living artists were happy to have a work included' says 'most' not 'all'.

    Artists tend to be quite careful about where and in what context their work is reproduced. The reasons for this should be obvious.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2007 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Copyright is a curious thing. I have over 1500 photos on Flickr, and I recently changed the copyright to a Creative Commons licence.

    I'm a bit of an advocate for Creative Commons, but when it actually came to adopting it myself, it felt a bit strange, like I was losing something.

    But yet nothing bad has happened. No one's stolen my photos and made millions from them. People who do use my photos tell me they're doing it, credit me and have courtesy link back. It actually now feels really liberating.

    I can absolutely see why people instinctively want to cling to strict copyright control, but if you lock something away (like Hamish Keith's example of Maori art being stifled by museum's red tape), then no one gets to experience it, and that is the real loss.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Hocken Collections are somewhat well known for the expense of getting publishable versions of their archives.

    When I did my honours dissertation, I used about a dozen photos which were in their collections, for which they wanted to charge me $50/image or something. I wrangled around them by having the organisation that had placed the images there write a letter asking them very nicely to release the photos into my care, allowing me to scan them all, make digital copies for both the Hocken and the organisation, and then return them.

    Partially in their defense, they are a historical archive and some of the things they hold are the only copies in existence. A lot of care has to be taken with the originals and the methods of creating copies. While you might rightly say 'but someone else paid for the transparency!', I guess why should person 1 subsidise every subsequent user who wants to reproduce that image? I presume some of the payment also goes back into paying for the Hocken Collections itself, which isn't cheap. I can't imagine they get as much central funding from the government as National Archives.

    It does help if you know someone there or they know you. I feel another police station/printer/motorcycle jacket coming on

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • David Cauchi,

    I can absolutely see why people instinctively want to cling to strict copyright control, but if you lock something away (like Hamish Keith's example of Maori art being stifled by museum's red tape), then no one gets to experience it, and that is the real loss.

    Choosing not to use Creative Commons does not necessarily mean instinctively clinging to strict copyright control, nor does asserting copyright mean locking something away so that no-one can experience it.

    None of the professional contemporary artists I know have chosen Creative Commons. None. However, most have websites and blogs where you can see their work (there's a list of links to them on mine).

    Wellington • Since Jul 2007 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I am glad you raised this subject of images and institutions. Frankly the whole business of images for the series and the book The Big Picture was a nightmare of bureacratic obstruction, pettiness and greed.

    The worst one I ever struck was Jolisa Gracewood's experience in sourcing material to complete the memoir of her late mother-in-law, Shirley Maddock, an amazing woman who produced most of the first crop of New Zealand TV documentaries.

    Jolisa paid the handsome fee for the dubbing of the interview Shirley had done for the New Zealand TV oral history project kept by Sound Archives. But when certain people at Radio NZ realised that she wanted the recording as research for a book that might actually sell, however modestly, then came the demand for more money. Precisely: a dollar for every word she quoted.

    Anyone involved in book publishing knows this is a showstopper. It's hard to make your money back at the best of times. But what made this even more bizarre was that Jolisa was completing Shirley's memoir -- so Shirley was, effectively, being charged for the use of her own memories!

    I complained to everyone I could think of, and contacted people like Brian Edwards, who also gave his time to be interviewed for the oral history project, to let him know how it was being used.

    Eventually, we got it turned around -- it had all been a "mistake", apparently, although having seen the correspondence, I couldn't see how -- but I'm not sure that would have happened if I hadn't been (a) on the Sound Archives advisory committee, and (b) in a position to complain to someone senior.

    The original decision was, frankly, one of the most culturally hostile, institutionalised things I've ever seen.

    I've had much more cordial relations with Turnbull people, but I was never able to extract from them an actual price for digitising a work (most likely, a pamphlet) I might be interested in. They just aren't set up for the idea of someone wanting a whole work.

    Which brings me to: My Hobbyhorse: I would dearly love to see a modest contestable fund to which individuals could apply to have a work digitised by the archive that holds it.

    Archives and libraries spend forever debating what to digitise. No one seems to grasp the fact that not every decision has to be top-down, and that part of what is digitised (and, ideally, made freely available thereafter) should be things that members of the public have a use for.

    Rant over. For now ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

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