Shapes of Asia Pacific Time

karekare Waves
Fig 1. Patterns left by the receding waves – Karekare beach Auckland.


Shapes Of Asia Pacific Time is a project involving both the AUDIO and VISUAL expression of a question: what do the patterns in nature, and the patterns of everyday human action, reveal about the emerging rhythm and shape of a particular place? And how can we re-interpret these forms and patterns in artistic terms?

French philosopher Henri Lefebvre, (working with the earlier concept of “Rhythmanalysis” from Portuguese theorist Lucio dos Santos), developed a theory that was an attempt to get us to think about space and time differently. He proposed that both time and space needed to be thought of together, in rhythmic terms. ­ Both cyclical rhythms (like the sun setting and rising), and linear rhythms (like the information broadcast from a radio).
His theory encouraged a sensibility, as much poetic as scientific.
As Lefebvre notes, it is possible using Rhythmanalysis to “listen” to the emerging pattern on sand after the receding waves (rf. Fig 1), or indeed to be “capable of listening to a house, a street, a town as one listens to a symphony, an opera.”
It is with this background thinking that this project is conceived.

The patterns reveal information about change and repetition, contrast and continuity, and diversity and identity.
They also reveal information about our similarities and our differences across Asia and the Pacific.


The project involves musicians and visual artists from various countries in the Asia­ Pacific region re­-imagining selected local patterns (or source material images) both visually and musically – either through mathematical, indigenous or abstract means – in order to create a cultural snapshot, a contemporary “passport” of underlying rhythm and pattern in each territory.
Contributing artists will provide source image(s), interpretation methodology and finally the resultant responsive music piece (1-2 minutes).

Stage One (concept design, initial reading and collaborators confirmed) is due to begin early 2017.


  • A cross cultural Asia-Pacific artistic collaboration, representing a snapshot of local patterns from different parts of the region, re-interpreted and realised artistically.
  • An exchange of artistic skills and cultural knowledge both in the methodology of interpretation of local patterns and spacial philosophy, and in the final artistic expression.
  • A working example of cross-cultural communication, collaboration and mutuality.
  • Production of a visual and musical snapshot, a “passport” of the differing “Rhythmanalysis” of each territory’s selected source patterns.
  • Final project collateral becomes an archive of cultural pattern and interpretation, with an exhibition of the material with accompanying collateral (visual/audio).
  • A unique and subtle broadening of the scope of artistic cross cultural working.