Aotearoa Digital Arts is New Zealand/Aotearoa’s only digital artists’ network, The list was launched in 2003 by Stella Brennan and Sean Cubitt during Brennan’s stint as inaugural Digital Artist in Residence at Waikato University’s Screen and Media Department.
ADA was born of the observation that although new media artists were often highly networked in terms of both their own practice and their professional relationships, there was no national organization drawing together those with a common interest in digital art. This recognition suggested the irreversible importance of place against the frictionless communication enabled, in theory, by network technologies.
ADA is a network by the simplest of means: it is open, un-moderated and self-defining. Members of ADA are artists, curators, writers, and teachers with some kind of affiliation to New Zealand.
In material terms ADA is an email-discussion list, a website, and three face-to-face symposia: the first, in 2003, at Waikato University, Hamilton, the second at Auckland University of Technology, the third at Otago University in Dunedin, and the fourth, in 2006, hosted by the Western Institute of Technology, in New Plymouth.
In the absence of a dedicated physical space for development of new media projects, ADA enables the sharing of practices, and contributes towards a very real sense of a digital media community in New Zealand.