Make a big difference to The Big Idea.

Help us tell the most creative stories.

Become a supporter

× Sorry, this event has been and gone! Visit our EVENTS section to see what's coming up.

Bruno's Thin Skin

29 Jul 2021 to 8 Aug 2021
Daily from 5 PM
A site-specific video art installation, that speaks to our lively biofilm, our water bubble: our precarious niche on this fine planetary skin that has made life as we know it possible.
Event type: 
Art, Live event, Public Art
343 George Street


Local video installation artist David Green and Dunedin Dream Brokerage are teaming up for a third collaboration: Bruno’s Thin Skin, a site-specific video installation opening on the 29th of July at 343 George Street.

The UN Agenda for Sustainable Development includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with the dictum “leaving no one behind”. Whereas SDG #6 (“Ensure access to water and sanitation for all”) explicitly addresses this issue, underpinning all 17 goals lies the global demand for a radical change in our individual and collective relationship with water. In the same way, the four cornerstones of Te Whare Tapa Whā rest on our inalienable requirement for clean fresh water. There can be no physical, spiritual, family, or mental health without robust systems and agreements in place that guard and uphold this fundament. Water is the life force: orthodox or atheist, we can all agree that water is sacred; no life can stir without water in its liquid form.

At this moment, across the planet, people are fraught with anxiety over water issues; every day we find ourselves confronted — in real- time — with our absolute reliance upon enough and our utter vulnerability to too much. Water quality, something until now we in Aotearoa/New Zealand have had the luxury of taking for granted, is slipping through our fingers. Once lost, the remediation of waterways becomes intensely problematical.

Perhaps the time has finally come to pause, have a good think about our relationship with water, and take a few hard decisions.

Seeing the Earthrise in 1968 made us feel that although we may be alone in the Universe, the Earth is still colossal. Since 1991 Bruno Latour has been quietly working to reset the way we conceptualise our planet. From the top of the atmosphere to the bottom of the ocean, life’s playground is as slight as the skin of an apple relative to our planet. Environmental scientists now refer to the fragile soap bubble that surrounds our sun orbiting rock, the “critical zone”:

“At the scale of the usual planetary view, the thin surface of the critical zone is barely visible, it being only a few kilometres up and a few kilometres down at most. It is no more than a varnish, a thin mat, a film, a bio film. And yet, pending the discovery and contact with other worlds, it is the only site that living beings have ever experienced. It is the totality of our limited world. We have to imagine it as a skin, the skin of the Earth, sensitive, complex, ticklish, reactive.” - Bruno Latour on Critical Zones

Bruno's Thin Skin is a site-specific video art installation, intended to speak to our lively biofilm, our water bubble: our precarious niche on this fine planetary skin that has made life as we know it possible. The design primarily features organic motion dynamics such as tree leaves in the wind, zooplankton, bull kelp flowing in the tide, cataracts, and other small fragments of digital video captured around Te Waipounamu. The digital projections will spill out of the shopfront windows and onto the street, image fragments interacting with interior and exterior architectures, cars, trucks, buses, and pedestrians.

Dunedin Dream Brokerage has delivered 53 unique events since it’s launch (as Urban Dream Brokerage: Dunedin) in 2015, and aims to activate the city’s under-utilised buildings through a lively and diverse programme. Dunedin Dream Brokerage is funded by Ara Toi Åtepoti, the Dunedin City Council’s Arts and Culture Strategy, with support from the Otago Chamber of Commerce and Otago Polytechnic.

The installation will run for 10 days.

Written by

Dunedin Dream Brokerage

22 Jul 2021

The Dunedin Dream Brokerage brings life into empty urban and retail environments through brokering a lively programme of art project occupation.