Do we really need to innovate, and, if so - who for? 


Ngāpuhi, Waitaha

Cat Ruka (Ngāpuhi, Waitaha) is an indigenous artist from Te Tai Tokerau, and is the recently appointed Artistic Director of Tempo Dance Festival. For this keynote presentation, Cat opens space for brave and provocative kōrero around the concept of innovation itself, poking at the often invisibilized platform of privilege and elitism that values innovation and enables it to manifest. Society’s institutions have always applauded and made heroic celebrities out of innovators, but what about the unseen, unheard and underpaid ‘maintainers’ of our world who do the crucial and quiet work of sustaining what we already have? This conversation will turn our consciousness toward the systems that exist around our practices as contemporary artists, and the implicit assumptions embedded within our relentless need to innovate.