Nicholas Males

Literature Review 2018

Fig. 1 Robert Smithson, 1970, Spiral Jetty

Robert Smithson’s work ‘Spiral Jetty’ made of Basalt Rock, Salt Crystals, Earth and Water spans an incredible 460 Meters across the Great Salt Lake in Utah. This work is an interesting yet extremely effective way of displaying both notions of time and entropy; this is forever a moribund process as the salt and earth washes away we are left with a shadow to what was with the work.  Before I talk too much about Entropy I should first explain the meaning and where the word is used. Originally, it is from the Second Law of Thermodynamics that the term Entropy comes from. This ‘law’ states that “in any cyclic process the entropy will either increase or remain the same.” (Hyper Physics) It is this cyclic process that is most confusing with the understanding of entropy and what is captured within this. From my understanding and the purpose of this essay, many people covering this topic have described the universe as the biggest ‘closed cyclic system’ with ourselves being one many stuck in its cycle. Thus, everything and everyone is affected by its process; this gradual decline of everything towards dust, unpredictability and irreversibleness of this is what is described as the entropic process.

Smithson is an artist where some of my main ideas have either rooted from or been furthered due to his work. In his text ‘Entropy Made Visible” he discusses the everyday struggle of entropy and explains why humans find themselves trying to slow or even halt it. His example of waste is interesting to reflect upon stating that “if we want bigger and better cars we are going to have higher waste productions. So, there’s a kind of equation there between the enjoyment of life and waste,” (Smithson). This equation is in most senses playing with ideas of the entropic and the gradual equilibrium of this process, and how can we really fix or stop such an overruling process. Smithson uses America’s Bingham Pit in Utah as an example of the ‘unfixable’, this pit being one mile deep and three miles across with over 100 years of copper mining that has taken place there. The process of mining reclamation to fill these pits in is a huge one, “dealing with a general dream or an ideal world long gone, we have to accept the entropic situation and more or less learn to reincorporate these things that seem ugly.” (Paraphrased, Smithson)

It is for these unavoidable, ugly situations I have found myself more interested with the housing crisis within New Zealand, as throughout the country this issue is worsening. Philippa Howden-Chapman’s ‘Home truths: Confronting New Zealand’s Housing Crisis’ is a text that not only describes this issue but more importantly explains the process of how New Zealand came to this. “Over the last century most new housing is aimed at the top end of the market or at retirees, with few young households can afford to buy a house or an apartment. Thus meaning those who can afford to buy mostly with the help of their parents, are much more in a secure position.” (11) This little national oversight for housing needs, and largely reactive economic and social policies for New Zealand’s cities, some unsustainable choices are being made about how and where to develop new housing.” (12) This link between New Zealand housing and entropy are culturally underpinned and influenced by this entropic equilibrium; more specifically at this stage it seems to feel like a punctuated equilibrium, this being that once something has reached a level of stability, in this case Housing, it shows little change to evolve for the entire course of its history. This by all means is extremely pessimistic view, but take Arlington Apartments: a site that was built in the 1970’s out of cold concrete state housing riddled with asbestos that are currently within the process of a 33 Million demolition / rebuild. By all means this is a step in the right direction and I believe the intent to do well is there, but anyone who walked around these blocks would understand that a new courtyard with housing surrounding is somewhat distended to fail. Demographically there are mob/ gang relations within the apartments and I believe security and more attention to the general layout should’ve been the biggest focus rather than surrounding the courtyard with towering buildings with one exit/ entrance.

Fig. 2 Nicholas Males, Arlington Apartments, 2017

This ‘anxiety’ of the site is given off throughout the area as the sheer emptiness of it feels eerie and ominous, thus making any passer by feel unwelcomed to entering. “Vacant dwellings – its emptiness becomes a concrete representation of a crisis. An empty shop on the corner can bring down the whole neighbourhood.” (Tiso) Tao Well’s ‘Beneficiary’s Office’ occupied a space in downtown Wellington above the Bank of New Zealand, rather than occupying a shop [retail] he occupied a [business], a shift in terms and much broader meanings. The office was titled ‘Wells Group’, described as “Nothing more than a public bogus relations company.” (Tiso) This setup, as seen by many in the public, was an “out of work artist” on the work and income benefit speaking publicly about unemployment and receiving public money to do it. There by all means was a public outcry and misinformation around the whole project; this I found the most interesting as to what length people went in order to state how wrong this artwork was. These outbursts ended up making work and income respond by suspending Wells benefit. This level of controversy, and outcry about a group of society that is less visible and has less of a voice and generally speaking is of lower profile. Broadly speaking these issues of unemployment directly affect issues around that of housing, as these people are of the lower income profiles which thus have lower standards of living. Did these people always live in this manner in state housing, private rentals etc., and have never been finically able to afford a home? It is growing up via lower incomes, receiving little education from poor schools and overall unable to break this downward entropic loop, that this society seems to force them into conditions that worsen as time carries onward. These conditions seem somewhat pre-set by economic structure and more importantly its inequality with New Zealand as many of these issues in ‘later life’ are pre-determined mostly by income and wealth, “these aren’t the only things that matter for a good life, but they drastically change the nature of that society, and how healthy and connected it is.” (Rashbrooke)

These views and the disconnect with life are indeed bleak but aren’t new ones, as the term the “No Future” generation started in the 1970’s related directly to the punk youth “marked by dullness, almost negativism: persistence, struggle, resistance, self-reliance,” (Brock, 179). Even with the Sex Pistols releasing the track ‘No Future’ with lyrics such as “God save the queen her fascist regime,” controversial and nihilistic explains not only the way these people thought but this general lack of vision for the future. Brock’s text speaks of this austereness which these people or generation embody down to the soul, it’s the notion that there’s a “generation gap” or that all those verities no longer exist. Brock’s statement about how “We will not witness a re-emergence of forces or recurrence of or return to the past, of pre-1945 or pre-socialist era,” (Brock, 183). This I somewhat dissent as Brock speaks of the technological rapidity of the current modern era, “a new cynicism of the greatest sophistication in creating ‘evils’ beyond what we have imagined,” (Brock, 183). Is this not just an advancement on this engrossed rational?  This level of anxiety is still present in this generation and I would argue more pertinent than any generation prior. By no means are like living in prior to 1945 but no one can predict the future and it seems like these cumulative advancements are superseding their creators - thus such higher pressures on the everyday human, as if where are all stabbing a sponge creating indefinite pricks among the millions.

This issue of housing is one that needs to be addressed in a much larger manner. This eagerness is contradicting what I said prior and that I no longer believe it’s an entropic issue, which frankly I still believe it is in a larger and broader sense. I guess I want to be proven wrong, and perhaps I’m the modern day notion of the No future movement. My art echoes these themes, hence why I chose the ‘brick’ in my current work as a form of measurement, unit and direct link to housing. These ‘Specific Objects’ is something Donald Judd’s work plays on the idea with although I wouldn’t consider my art within his direct terminology There’s a use of this ‘middle ground’ as he speaks of work being “neither painting nor sculpture, usually it has been related, closely or distantly, to one or the other,” (Judd, 1). I think my two most current works resonate with this, as I come from a painting background but currently do mostly Three Dimensional works. These ‘Specific Objects’ are the reason why I like to keep my art simplistic, giving every little piece of information away to the viewer through the process and display. On some levels I believe Judd contradicts himself by saying that “the new three-dimensional work doesn’t constitute to a movement, school or style” (Judd, 1) as you the mind will always relate physical objects to memories and what impact that object speaks and /or relates to such person. Saying that it doesn’t constitute to these things in art terminology as proper in a sense, but no matter how hard one tries it’s almost near impossible to have this ‘fresh’ experience with viewership. In saying this, Judd’s ‘middle ground’ is an interesting concept that springs from his disinterest in the association that comes with being a ‘painter’ or ‘sculptor’ confined to these methods, stating “Three dimensions are real space. That gets rid of the problem of illusionism,” (Judd, 4). Objectifying most rational methods of painting and sculpture from previous years – stating them as limits that will no longer be present. These methods to be new, and little to none have been used in art previously such as many industrial techniques; “these materials vary greatly and are simply materials yet are specific, if used directly they are more specific,” (Judd, 5). This to be held true to that of concrete as a lone material. A flat sheet for example placed on the ground in this form, I consider that the form would relate directly back to that of the material and less of the connotations of architecture (its primary use) as it has yet to take on that form it might even become adsorbed by such a space.

Fig. 3 Carl Andre, Equivalent VIII, 1966

This ‘hiding in plain sight’ is something Carl Andre’s work in the Tate Modern exemplifies well, with these 120 firebricks becoming a part of the environment, only marginally disrupting the viewership of the space. This is described as an ‘immaterial’ as a purely intellectual object “a work of art that leads nowhere, that inspires nothing,” (Jones). This reaction I regard to be a fantastic and emotional one. This work somewhat a ‘specific object’ and yet so demoralising. Is Andre commenting on the state of modern art? Andre’s work has many entropic qualities which Is another reason I’m drawn to it, as this mind-set of the ill-fated emphasizes that of the No Future Generation, perhaps this is just nihilism and not a re-emergence. 


Smithson, Robert. Entropy Made Visible. New York University Press, 1979

Used his explanations to further the understanding of entropy and to converse with Smithson’s examples to deepen this notion to where we stand presently. These historic misjudgments as he proposes give substance to my writing and significance.


Smithson, Robert. Entropy And The Monuments. University of California Press, 1996

The elements around the way artists play on themes of entropy or energy-drain many of these artists listed I evaluated or used as images within this text.  How they work with the entropic and their understanding it within an artist context.


Tiso, Giovanni. Tao Wells’ The Beneficiary’s Office. Letting Space, 2010


Interesting text commenting on the standpoint the greater public had on Well’s work these reactions something I mentioned that I want to convey within my own work. Commenting on the issues around unemployment within New Zealand and what this means to be within this group.


Burke, Gregory. Entropy in reverse – Sam Durant. Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, 2003

Thought-provoking ideas around Entropy and how Durant speaks of the fragile state we find ourselves at the tipping point, using the example of the Rolling Stones Altamont Concert being this point of disharmony.


Fitzpatrick, Kathleen. Planned Obsolescence- Publishing, technology, and the future of the academy.

                New York University Press, 2011

Relates obsolescence to the future of the academy and authorship, many issues around the longevity of this form questioned by Fitzpatrick and why this entropic issue is doomed by technological advancements.



Abrams, Charles. The World Housing Crisis. Taylor & Francis Ltd, 1967

The minimum dwelling (housing) and the social sciences behind this bourgeois invention, explaining how the term needs to be changed.  As there are many different dwelling types and the only way to understand them is by eternal values.


Unknown. Second Law of Thermodynamics. Hyper Physics, 2000

Definition of the Second Law: Entropy and the infrastructure behind the terminology and meaning of the cyclic processes involved. 


Tante. The Future Generation. Tante cc, 2013


Narratives around the ‘No Future’ Generation process and how it has been infused into most media outlets, this dystopia an overused idea and how it is still far too prominent today. Creating very nihilistic views of the future and how the dystopia views are no longer so far out of reach.


Howden- Chapman, Philippa. Home Truths: Confronting New Zealand’s Housing Crisis. BWB Texts,


State housing examples in New Zealand and how these issues relate to our country and what they affect.  On what scale does our government have to accept these topical issues and how can we slow these issues of housing. What help can be given to the younger generation to help aid with stopping such issues.


Judd, Donald. Specific Objects. D. A. P, 2002

The determination and association of objects within an art context having to fit between either painting or sculpture, this middle ground of the Three Dimensional something getting explored more within art and what this does to the reading of such objects.  


Brock, Peter. The ”No Future” Generation? World Council of Churches, 1992.

Notions of the generation gap and an argue point for why It still currently exists, why we need to abandon the perspectives of past generations and this nihilistic way of thinking.


Rashbrooke, Max. The Inequality Debate: An Introduction. BWB Texts, 2014.

Debates the New Zealand standpoint of Economic Inequality and what affects it has on a global scale and how truly bad New Zealand is on this scale, the associations with poverty and the unemployed. 


Jones, Jonathan. Carl Andre’s Equivalent VIII . The Guardian,2016.

Use of blending into environments through plain site, and commenting on the state of modern art through absolute minimalism. The provoking nature of the work comments on how many see modern art.





Reference List


Smithson, Robert. Entropy Made Visible. New York University Press, 1979


Tiso, Giovanni. Tao Wells’ The Beneficiary’s Office. Letting Space, 2010



Unknown. Second Law of Thermodynamics. Hyper Physics, 2000


Tante. The Future Generation. Tante cc, 2013



Howden- Chapman, Philippa. Home Truths: Confronting New Zealand’s Housing Crisis. BWB Texts,



Judd, Donald. Specific Objects. D. A. P, 2002


Brock, Peter. The ”No Future” Generation? World Council of Churches, 1992.


Rashbrooke, Max. The Inequality Debate: An Introduction. BWB Texts, 2014.


Jones, Jonathan. Carl Andre’s Equivalent VIII . The Guardian,2016.


Illustration List


Figure 1. Smithson, Robert. Spiral Jetty, 1970

Great notions of time and the entropic process within this work as it embodies such themes as the process takes place. Really interesting use of scale to show how it affects things on a larger scale.


Figure 2. Males, Nicholas. Arlington Apartments, 2017

Physically showing the elements of housing on a New Zealand scale and more importantly Wellington’s state housing or ‘government run housing’ which manifests many issues around the issues of poverty and its relation to housing.


Figure 3. Andre, Carl. Equivalent VIII, 1966

Demonstrating Judd’s specific objects idea in act and arguing the point of art and reactions to it.

Research Essay 2018

My art is profoundly process based, as everything I create is based on what suits the materials I'm working with the best. Currently, I'm using concrete as my main medium which is a problematic material. Initially, I didn't think it was at all, however, so many things can go wrong with the casting process - the temperature, the moisture, the ratios (water and concrete) and many other variables which all have the potential to impact the final result. In my case the adding of various types of rubbish interferes with the strength of the overall object, making the concrete crumble. The temperament of the material is an extremely important element in order to understand the decision making involved for the creation process of the work/s.

Previously I have spoken about my interest in Arlington Apartments and how my art has developed from this site almost as a site-specific artwork. This interest in the site created a connection to my current work which I used site-specific colours in order to paint my objects, this connection which sparked a lot of a familiarity with the works but didn't quite hit the mark of council paint. Many comments on how 'nice' the tones were and I would think the very opposite when entering these sites as perhaps the sparing use of them gave them a much more artistic feel and creating a disconnection between the site and the sheer amount colour. Arlington Apartments a purpose-built a site for housing, the riff of an ideal space for the poor, built and designed by the rich, who in turn will never know or even inhabit such places.

I find the details of this site very eerie and prison-like, and while there are clear visual differences there are also comparisons to be drawn. The use of concrete is the main connection which culturally underpins both of these types of sites. The use of concrete is abundant amongst the sites, with Arlington Apartments becoming more obtuse with the more time spent within it. It seems to span onwards with sharp corners and narrow alleyways making an elaborate maze, with the towering apartment block the only landmark preventing one from getting lost within the houses. This connection of feeling lost is something that echoes within the notion of a prison for me. I was interested in the connection between Housing and Prisons, namely what are the differences between the housing and prison standards - are they very different at all, or are they similar? After a few emails to Corrections New Zealand, I finally got the information I needed, only to be astounded by the results which found that most housing regulations are not only extremely out-dated but also worse than that of prisons. Although these differences were small, such as 200cm in length, they are still disparities. Armed with this new-found information, I was then unsure how to present it in a manner that wouldn't bore people, as frankly these dense and weighty documents aren't designed to be used in any artistic manner.

Fig. 1 Donald Judd, Art Studio, 1990

Currently, I'm using this information to build and cast window frames of concrete, this being the smallest to New Zealand Housing Regulations, which will be installed in front of two windows, visually showing these disparities to the viewer and hopefully creating a provoking piece of work. As I mentioned my interest in Donald Judd's work and mostly his writing, but the spaces he creates are intriguing as well, such as his Art Studio in Marfa, being extremely minimalistic with hard edges, clinically straight lines and geometric shapes dominating the space. These spaces embody his style as he "was very conscious that placing a sculpture in a space conditioned the way you looked at it, it conditioned the way you felt about it, it conditioned literally the way your own body responded to it, and so he became increasingly absorbed with the way in which his work was installed in spaces." (Serota) This is something I have given far more attention recently as my works as read in the context of a university, rather than a wider field as for example a prison cell built by me would be read more as sculpture and not as object and no matter how close I get the work to the real thing It most likely will be read with these preconceptions. My bricks/blocks were laid out in this line formation on the ground for this very reason as displaying them on a plinth would raise them to something they are not - sculptures, and/or something to behold. I want these to be seen more as purpose-built objects much like the spaces I'm looking at, as they are designed to fulfil a soul purpose and that being to provoke the viewer, this art prods the person into reacting through how loud it is - it's hard not to be pointed or state an opinion.

Fig 2. Nicholas Males, 2018, Habitable

I decided to use a Zine to address the issues of how similar housing and prison regulations really are, and challenge viewers to differentiate between statements regarding regulations of Housing and Prisons. This proved to be a somewhat impossible task in that almost every person who answered got it wrong. I believe this is due to preconceptions around that of housing, and that 'criminals' shouldn't have a better standard of living than us law -abiding citizens. In reality, this isn't the case, although I wouldn't blame people who responded incorrectly, as the information is not common knowledge in this country. In saying this I believe it's why the Zine is complementary to that of the objects, as it grounds the works, creating a point of reference and also generates discussion. As commented on in Critique, the overwhelming political loudness of the artwork gets in the way of reading the process. All comments were made around the politics of the objects, and how they function in relation to the text.

To create works that are aesthetically pleasing (depending on the individual) but are also politically loaded is an interesting but problematic endeavour. Questions were/are raised around what it means to construct and bring together research around imprisonment and housing, which not only constructs a clash of interests through the use of context but also the social and economic issues raised within the context of New Zealand. However more importantly I would like to explain how these two issues rely on one another and are ultimately interconnected. To understand and grasp the issues of Prisons and Housing we must first understand the Criminal justice system and how it functions within New Zealand. The connection between poor housing and prisons in New Zealand is led by the crippling statistics that we have over 10,000 Prisoners, 50.3 % of which are Maori. (Corrections NZ) These statistics provide evidence that "Maori are seven times more likely to be given a custodial sentence then Pakeha," (Brooking) This can be seen as an appalling statistic when Maori only make up only 15% of our population. These statistics are driven by the "specific acts of institutional racism and social policy that have denied Maori people the economic and emotional resources to retain and transmit their cultural values." (Jackson) Jackson argues that a cause of these negative statistics for Maori is that we have a monocultural justice system that goes back to the roots of colonialism within New Zealand. Having a justice system based on the hierarchal British system impact Maori the most, one reason being that "Maori are under-represented as police, legislators, judges, lawyers and jurors and consequently lack any input into the norms and processes of the system." (Quince)

Fig 3. Statistics New Zealand, 2014, Net worth quintiles by major ethnic group

Taking this into consideration when speaking about housing and more importantly its connection to poor homes, we must also understand that the people who inhabit these homes are in most cases the poorest on the income quintile scale due to the significant economic inequity New Zealand suffers from. We live in a neoliberal country which uses trickle-down economics to benefit the rich in helping grow businesses, and the country's overall economy makes it easier for the poorer to live. But as we have seen, this isn't the case for Maori and Pacific peoples, who are all predominately within the lower quintile -"the cut-off for European quintile two (the lowest 40 percent) already exceeds that for Maori and Asian, and even quintile four Pacific Peoples." (Stats NZ) These statistics are grim, and these people live in such poor conditions as they can't afford anything any better. With rising housing costs 'Maori and Pacific homeownership rates had declined relatively rapidly to 28% for Maori and 19% for Pacific Peoples, compared with the 57% for Europeans." (Stats NZ) "Due to rising household costs which are increasingly impoverishing low-income households, one response to these costs is household crowding, which adds to the serious risk of infectious diseases and hospitalization, and another is increased rates of homelessness." (Stats NZ) The connections to homelessness/ poor housing and reoffending has been proven overseas in countries such as England which reports "more than three-quarters of prisoners (79%) who reported being homeless before custody were re-convicted in the first year after release, compared with less than half (47%) of those who did not report being homeless before custody." (Ministry of Justice UK) These prisoners have a very low homeownership rate of 13%, and although these statistics are from England their crime rate is on par with New Zealand, being 42.31 for New Zealand and 46.62 for England. Currently, no such report In New Zealand exists of housing/homeless and the relation to criminal offending, but taking England's report into consideration I believe it's fair to say that there is a link between offending, rates of re-offending and poor housing conditions. I also believe that these links are culturally underpinned.

Fig 4. Michael Craig, 2017, Paremoremo Prison under construction

Obviously, there are many pressing issues with this, especially those I mentioned in the lower quintile. People appear to be stuck in an entropic loop that the political system in New Zealand doesn't seem to want to help change, only recently showing the new 300 million dollar rebuild of Parmoremo Prison. Featuring 260 new cells at 9.09sq meters rather than the old 5.81sq meters, (Gibson) these new cells provide an extra 3sq meters larger than the current minimal housing regulations. I disagree with the decision to build a "super prison" as I believe that making more cells shouldn't be prioritized. It's a classic political strategy of an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff, instead of constructing a good fence at the top. Recently I attended a 'Just Speak' panel discussion, called 'the case against prisons' where the issues regarding the effectiveness of prisons as a way of ensuring public safety were discussed. Also included in the topic was the normality of prisons within a social system, along with some other problematic concerns that I have already raised. The idea of public safety and its relations to prisons is an ideology that has been ingrained with us since birth. It's a narrative built around ideas of punishment, fear, revenge, justice, law, and righteousness, with the notion of the 'other' going to a place of disconnection and isolation, whereby once their sentence is served they will come out miraculously rehabilitated and become a contributing member of society.

As mentioned, I feel that government needs to be taking a more preventative approach in providing a fence at the top of the cliff. I believe that this fence is housing, and more importantly not just 'more housing' that every politician is speaking about in order to win the favour of public opinion. There needs to be more attention given to details such as the type and standard of housing. Currently under the Tenancies Act there are new insulation standards which will provide all tenants with underfloor and ceiling insulation by July 2019. This is indeed a step in the right direction and the intent is there but this seems far too late. Also stated within the NZ Housing Regulations 1947 is the requirement that "every home is to be free of dampness" This is a very positive statement but also extremely vague, providing another example of the lack of detail in housing regulations which I believe need to be reviewed. A way of rectifying the dampness issue could be to have an acceptable level of moisture/humidity within a home which can be measured easily through a moisture meter. For example, if the plaster moisture content exceeds that of 3% (considered very wet/ saturated) the dampness needs to contain to an acceptable level before the property can be put on the market for rental, and prospective buyers need to be made aware of these issues if the property is for sale. As I have touched upon, my art is addressing a significant and varied political agenda. It's nearly impossible to get such an amount of information out of objects made from concrete and rubbish, as to educate someone in such a topical and complex agenda would require multiple documents and a considerable amount of time. These statements are provoking, questioning the issues and the normalities of Prisons and Poorer Housing. The questions I'm trying to answer with the work are, what can really be done by someone like me? Are these predetermined issues, this being their outcome is entropic? Can we really solve one issue without solving the other? (Housing and Prisons) None of these answers I've even come to terms with yet nor am I confident I ever really will as this topic isn't new, and has been affecting people for many years.

Fig 5. Nicholas Males, 2018, SIX SQUARE METERS

These objects I have specifically called just that, as what is a sculpture? Is it just an object that articulates some type of response? Or is it more than these things? Donald Judd described that these art forms have preconceptions that dominate and control their outcome; hence Judd describes himself as a three-dimensional artist, one that is not constrained by such conceptions and 'rules.' I have decided to adopt this term within my own practice, as I don't consider my own works sculptures. Rather, I find myself in that in-between space within these terms, as I consider my works politically loud, loaded objects. To create a level of aesthetics from just concrete, rubbish and paint perhaps is a comment on the state of art and what we define to be accepted within this term. There are so many preconceptions that are driven within the art realm that I'm not entirely sure my work is one that fits into this mould. However, one thing I am sure of is the works responsiveness and generativeness. That being said, so are many other works within the realm of minimalism and yet they receive so much slander which seems to devalue the work. In many instances it is these very responses that the artist (myself included) is trying to generate, thus the viewer doesn't even know it but they are making the work more successful.

The Industrialism and Brutalism of Arlington apartments is evident in my artistic style, as in the 1960's this era of building style was to make quick, cheap buildings out of materials easily on hand such as large amounts of concrete. This is apparent in the use of the compromises made to complete the build of Arlington apartments in 1976. It's easy to get caught up in the shape and strangeness of the site as they cut corners in almost everything they built, from the glasshouses for communal laundries and drying clothes, to the asbestos-filled ceilings. I have adopted less expensive building style into my own practice by using cheap materials for building and developing objects, from $7.50 twenty kilogram bags of premixed concrete, to the bags of rubbish I source from a cleaning company on Lambton Quay entirely free. This makes the objects very 'true' to their nature, as I feel that clean, crisp and refined art/objects such as Carl Andre's work 'Equivalent VIII' aren't the intention of a tradesman who paints or maintains Arlington in an extremely shabby and unconsidered way, so it shouldn't be mine either.

In the first stages of this year I set out to make a room the smallest it could be by New Zealand Housing Standards, an ambitious project I'm aware of but still something I would love to create. As I got started I noticed the visual links of what I was creating and how truly prisonlike the work started looking. This provided a link to the connections in not only building regulations but how one can't be resolved without fixing the other. This side-tracked me from my first project which wasn't fully attended but yet generated some rather successful work through the responses of my peers. I was originally thinking of a much longer trajectory and an end goal which I believe has been somewhat stalled through issues around creating some buildings on campus that people have to be within. (Health and Safety issues) Although this is disappointing I do believe it has forced me to create some smaller but yet interesting works due to the information and research I have attained through the first semester. The links to the Arlington Apartments through the choice of paint to the materials used went hand- in - hand with the colour schemes and materials of a prison, which was entirely coincidental but very revealing nonetheless.

In the near future, I plan to create floor plan works which will feature a contrast in measurements showing the direct visual differences between that of housing and prisons. This is a very speculative work at this stage of thinking however I hope it will be impactful. The issues I'm having at this stage is I don't want it to be within the context of an art studio, as I want to be read from a different perspective and hopefully this will generate a reading without the help of text. More importantly, this will effectively portray to the viewer the dimensions and differences, therefore enabling them to inhabit the space without having the speculative disconnect that the use of writing within a Zine creates.


Cliff, Craig. The buildings that shape us. Stuff, 2012.


United Nations. United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners. Human

Rights, 2015.


Freyberg, B C. Housing Improvement Regulations 1947. Govt NZ, 2013.


Node Pajomo. Node Pajomo Mail Zine. Self-Published, 2018.


Just Speak, The Case Against Prisons Report, Just speak, 2018.


Tenancy Services, Insulation Statement, Govt NZ, 2018.


Fitzpatrick, Kathleen. Planned Obsolescence- Publishing, technology, and the future of the academy.

                New York University Press, 2011


Abrams, Charles. The World Housing Crisis. Taylor & Francis Ltd, 1967


Howden- Chapman, Philippa. Home Truths: Confronting New Zealand’s Housing Crisis. BWB Texts,



Rashbrooke, Max. The Inequality Debate: An Introduction. BWB Texts, 2014.


Jones, Jonathan. Carl Andre’s Equivalent VIII . The Guardian,2016.



Works Cited:


Judd, Donald. Art Studio, 124 West Oak Street, Marfa. Judd Foundation, 1990.


Serota, Nicholas. Donald Judd – A sense of space. Tate, 2004.


Corrections NZ. Prison Facts and Statistics, Dept of Corrections NZ, 2017. 


Brooking, Rodger. It’s Time to Cut New Zealand’s Prison Population, Prisons in Aotearoa, 2017.


Jackson, Moana. Prison should never be the only answer, E-Tangata, 2017.


Freyberg, B C. Housing Improvement Regulations 1947. Govt NZ, 2013.


Quince, Khylee. Maori and the criminal justice system in New Zealand. Slidex, 2017.


Stats New Zealand. Wealth Disparities in New Zealand, StatsNZ, 2007.


Ministry of Justice UK. Accommodation, homelessness and reoffending of prisoners: Results from the

surveying Prisoner Crime Reduction, Justice UK, 2012.


Gibson, Anne. First look inside $300M Auckland Prison rebuild, NZ Herald, 2017.


Judd, Donald. Specific Objects. D. A. P, 2002



Illustration List:


Figure 1. Judd, Donald. Art Studio, 124 West Oak Street, Marfa. Judd Foundation, 1990.


Figure 2. Males, Nicholas. Habitable, 2018.


Figure 3. Stats New Zealand. Net worth quintiles by major ethnic group, StatsNZ, 2007.


Figure 4. Craig, Michael, Paremoremo Prison under construction, NZ Herald, 2017.


Figure 5. Males, Nicholas, SIX SQUARE METERS, 2018