No One is Sovereign in Love

In March, we started reading and reading made us vulnerable. Reading together always involves becoming suspicious of one’s interpretative habits, methods, and capabilities. Reading together involves making arguments for or about a text knowing that texts, even if they are cogent and robust, tend to be fickle things. This vulnerability, though, can be transformative. Acknowledging that what we bring to reading is the weight of our own experiences, orientations, affinities, and predilections, and acknowledging that reading together is never an exercise in scratching at the truth of the text, but in sensing out and staying with the tensions produced by our different priorities might, if we let it, enable us to imagine different, exciting modes of being together.

The prompt for our reading was recent writing by Lauren Berlant, Lee Edelman, Michael Hardt, and others around nonsoveriengty. Nonsovereignty provides a way of thinking through subjectivity as, first and foremost, relational. If liberalism structures itself around the fantasy, or aspiration, of the autonomous, sovereign individual, then nonsovereignty is an attempt to attend to the ways subjects are acted upon as much as, or more than, they find themselves acting. Thinking of ourselves as nonsovereign foregrounds what is unbearable, overwhelming, and estranging about being around other people, or, as Lee Edelman writes, ‘to encounter another is to have to confront our otherness to ourselves.’2 I would argue that nonsovereignty can make itself most palpably known when some scene of relation goes awry. Here, I am referring both to the ordinary violence of racism, homophobia, transphobia, and misogyny, but also to small acts of tenderness, cruelty, or misrecognition that throw conversation sideways, that force an averting of gazes, a momentary pause as people try to pick themselves up, brush themselves off, and regain a handle on the situation.

None of the works in this project would make claims to illustrating the nonsovereign. Rather, the strangeness, and estrangement, of relation becomes something of a foundation upon which we might try to reckon with the world’s grip on us. Robbie Handcock’s paintings draw upon a lively archive of queer eroticism. These images are ecstatic, even utopian, gesturing towards a time before marriage equality, before the decriminalisation of sodomy in Aotearoa and beyond, before AIDS in order to make contact with the altered, and altering, forms of intimacy that find themselves able to flourish in hostile circumstances.

Laura Duffy’s work engages with intimate archives of a very different kind. In Laura’s work, one’s return to a lost love object appears as thoroughly mediated, whether through family documents, obsolete technologies, or the failures of memory. In Laura’s work, though, the failure of memory to bring about a satisfying return is not necessarily something to be disavowed. It’s an obstacle, but one that must be dealt with as a precondition for loving at all.

Ruby Joy Eade engages playfully with a psychodrama exercise called concretisation. Concretisation gives form to moods, traumas, messy relations. The object becomes a problem; something to be moulded, hidden, incorporated, or abjured. Here, emotional objects are rendered in the language of platitudes and cliches. They speak, though, to a failure of language itself rather than a failure of sincerity. Repetition and vagueness seem to make evident that locating oneself in a mood, in a scene of action, in a field of relation, all depend upon rubbing up against the limits of what words can do.

Aliyah Winter’s work is a meditation on the break down of a relationship from a queer perspective. Aliyah writes, ‘The artist documents their movements through their bedroom; their intimate domestic space. Through ritual actions they explore the nonsovereignty and nature of attachments to lovers through objects, sexuality and power.'

Michael Hardt, in his introduction to the term, calls nonsovereignty ‘a gauge of your capacity to really be in the world.’2 In this project, being in the world amounts to a continual undoing of oneself. Being in the world here requires remaining attuned to surprise, miscalculation, and misrepresentation, as well as remaining open to the possibilities contained within being undone for new forms of living together to make themselves known.

– Simon Gennard

Decomposing family VHS footage has been digitally converted and further manipulated in attempt to reach or to be closer to someone or something.

“In Laura Duffy’s work, one’s return to a lost love object appears was thoroughly mediated, whether through intimate archives, obsolete technologies, or the failures of memory. In Laura’s work, though, the failures of memory to bring about a satisfying return is not necessarily something to be disavowed. It’s an obstacle, but one that must be dealt with as a precondition for loving at all.” - Simon Gennard

Exhibited with; Aliyah Winter, Ruby Joy, Robbie Handcock, Freya Daly Sadgrove and Alexandra Hollis. After a 5 week reading group considering the concept of “Non Sovereignty”. (Michael Hardt, The Power to be Affected, 2015). No One is Sovereign in Love, MEANWHILE, 24th May - 10th June 2017.



The video work $3xY was curated by Bryce Galloway as apart of the Cindy Sherman Symposium at Wellington City Gallery, on 18th March 2017. 

$3xY was screened after anellists: Ellie Buttrose (Queensland Art Gallery/ Gallery of Modern Art) and Chelsea Nichols (Te Papa Tongarewa) - spoke on Cruelty and Comedy Considering comedy, the grotesque, feminism and its cracks.

The symposium was finished off by performances: The Photogenics and Fantasing. 



"Click Analyze To Begin" shown at 121 NY DOOF 





8 Egmont st




We’re in heaven!


Brains and language have to need to categorize, western thinking often relies on the binary. ((Yes/No. Black/White. Heaven/Hell. Bad/Good.)) Without taking a direct standpoint of yes or no, like or dislike, ANGELWAVE explores binary categorization in relation to digital media. With video and audio works by 6 Wellington artists.


Annalise Enoka - “Straightening” - 40”, diamonds & chains.

Dilohana Lekamge - “Don’t choose us because we’re not you” - 3 x CRT TV’s.

Isaac Dalke - “Future/Protect” - Live CCTV Surveillance, Plastic drop.

Kerry Males - “Angel Mov” - CRT TV.

Laura Duffy - “Fruit flesh bless” - 3 X iPhone & Macbook.

Maddy Plimmer - “Cyberbabe”, iMac Live Stream.


Conceptual and aesthetically inspired by Angelcore, with themes of abjection, eurocentrism, christian iconography, nationalism, capitalism, sexuality, power, and surveillance. With a heavy ugly-internet aesthetic of low-res, reappropriated, desconstrcuted and reconstrcuted imagery which is linked by a broad array of electronic, wireless, and optical networking technologies.


Images infiltrate us, entering our consciousness; fed to us often through screens. Language fails us, there is a distance between experiencing and articulating experience. Aware that art itself is a language, we believe that this is where a visual language can attempt to bridge the gap between words and experience.


With a harsh internet aesthetic Angelwave locates itself within the social media, digital culture that surrounds and consumes us.  JPEG2000 values that an image of the art is not the art, the art is the art.


Oh My loRd!

What the Devil!?



The forever looming fear and reality of surveillance following us, following you. Follow me!

This exhibition brought to you by JPEG2000 x Play_station


Soft solipsism

Collective consciousness

God of your universe

See you in hell!

Amen and other diseases

 ! !! ! ! ! !  ! !  ! ! !



Deconstructing and reconstructing language through the digital medium of Google Translate. The Lord’s Prayer, Hail Mary and Eternal Rest were repeatedly translated, heightening what can be be lost or found in the process of translation. New meaning is both exposed and created. Making louder the distance between experiencing something and articulating it.


Three iphones hang suspended from the ceiling of the URL ANGELWAVE exhibition playing three video works, inviting for a comparing and contrasting. Surveillancing the banal world through the lense of snapchat, with an emphasis on textural elements such as; wet concrete or fried eggs. Allowing the viewer the power of finding patterns and creating their own meaning - Apophenia is the human tendency to perceive meaningful patterns within random data . Softly referencing art historical triptych paintings. Thinking about the comparison of the function of images over history, considering a time when people were commonly iterate and large scale religious paintings functioned as a policeful threats: (sin and burn in Hell for eternity). Contemporary media and Digital media still functions in a similar way, we can still policed into considering images within binary categorization as good or bad, heaven or hell.




Laura Duffy
Tayi Tibble
Faith Wilson
Elijah Winter
Jordana Bragg
Georgina Watson
Hana Pera Aoake
Dilohana Lekamge
Hera Lindsay Bird
Piupiu Maya-Turei
Mya Morrison-Middleton


10th October. National Portrait Gallery, Wellington.

Born inside of her amniotic sack, she thinks one day she will drown. Floating weightless in water, imagining she’s within the comforts of the womb. Laura’s video work explores cleansing of the soul through a baptismal ritual, freeing herself from an idea of sin. Thinking about purity, ritual, cleansing and washing of the body she explores the space between inside and outside, between me and you, between birth and death.

Sound design in collaboration with Tasmin Pritchard.

The Gaze is Not Something You Have or Use (It is a relationship entered into) ~ Curatorial Intervention


In the curatorial intervention of the group show The Gaze is Not Something You Have or Use (It is a relationship entered into) Laura Duffy has created space for an artist she feels deserves recognition, Nathaniel Gordon Stables. Nathaniel is a Wellington based artist currently in his 3rd year of his BFA, and uses his personal experience as lens to critically examine dominant cultural narratives.

Nathaniel isn’t wāhine, he is tangata ira tane as well as takatāpui. The idea of the curatorial intervention was to disrupt the notion of ‘women’, not only in the pre-existing exhibition, but to reconstruct the constraints that ‘women’ has as a category in order to be more inclusive and diverse.

Cyber Nectar surrounds ideas of decolonisation: takatāpui in itself has an unfortunate history of being erased  within the process of colonisation and the western documentation of Maori culture. This intervention attempts to respect takatāpui and allow them to gain more visibility.

Nathaniel explores self-care. The washing the body, which is explored in the work is a domestic and private act enacted for and upon one’s own body, the cleaning and maintaining the exterior of the self in relation to one’s inner self. Art making in itself can be thought of as a form of self-care, in that art provides space to gain strength from exposing and discussing vulnerabilities.

Nathaniel explores self-care by presenting himself washing his own body – a homely and private act carried out for one’s self and upon one’s own body. The ritual of cleaning the external body could be seen as simultaneously providing both mental and emotional care for one’s self. Displaying the bareness of his marginalised body he gives the audience an opportunity to enter into a relationship of viewing that many are unfamiliar with. The creation and display of this series, just like a lot self-narrative based art making, is a form of self-care, in that it provides an opportunity to gain strength from exposing and discussing vulnerabilities.

The video installation titled Where I Stand, Where I Sit consists of 3 T.V. screens in the centre of the exhibition window space. The intervention remained simplistic in its idea to create space, which was done by adjusting the works slightly. At a closer look you can still see the drill holes and pencil drawings where previous works were.

Nathaniel moves performatively in domestic spaces; exploring a conversation surrounding place, belonging, body and identity. In the very public window space of Meanwhile, showing the private is made public. As the maker and the subject, Nathaniel gives himself a relative amount of control over the viewer’s gaze upon his body – granting himself power within the viewing relationship of the gaze.

Written by Laura Duffy
Edited by Dilohana Lekamge










Your memories are fabricated, and the future doesn’t exist.
This is it! Everything! Now.

Local Artists:
Laura Duffy + Callum Devlin + Jesse Bowling + Maddy Plimmer

Present artworks in response to time: its ever-passing nature, and how we experience and define it.


All artworks ephemeral and only exist for the time of the exhibition. They should not be later re-disseminated as an online image-object.

This exhibition brought to you by

All design by Sean Burn of JPEG2000

photos by Hugo Robinson

photos by Hugo Robinson

Ten Hours Behind.. Ahead

'Ten hours behind Ahead' encourages new dialogue and perspective about time and distance. Friends are Artists (FaA) third exhibition features the works of eight New Zealand artists. 

Caroline McQuarrie
Laura Duffy
Negin Dastgheib
Ruby Joy Eade
Teresa Collins
Talia Smith
Josephine Jelicich


Gone Fishing. Leipzig, Germany. 

Curated by Megan Dieudonne. 

26.08 19:00 - 28.08 19:00

 Laura Duffy’s work inspects the ocean through video documentation. 

This video work considers the restraints on human connections through language; our interpretation of reality could be thought of as trapped by language. Time could also be thought of as interpreted linguistically as words and language frame and have effect how we experience time. Art can be used as a space to connect outside of linguistic constraints.

The ocean charged with symbolism signifies to emotional depth, subconsciousness, fluidity, disparity and distance whilst simultaneously being a universal and timeless connection. Overwhelmed with something bigger than anything, a vulnerability appears in the wake of the strength of the oceans tide. An emptiness reveals itself within the connection and disconnection of the languages used, heightened by the overlapping and fragmentation of the text as well as the black screen of nothingness. The heaving body of water’s distance spans time and space. 

The cinematic subtitles float in a inner monologue poetic spoken word flow. Breaking the wall with almost instructional“ ( inhale ) / ( exhale )” , bringing the attention to the viewers body in relationship to the work. The audio waves with the fluidity of electricity within the video itself ad to the rocking poetic flow. 


 - water as memory - water as body - water as love - water as consuming -

EKARE Music Video

 EKARE - "3" E-Kare is JVB* + PMT**, noise duo who use computers, birds and gameboys to create chaotic and estatic chipthrash for a cynical generation


* Jos van Beek (Dutch boi )

** Piupiu-Maya Turei (Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairarapa aa Atihaunui-a-Paparangi )




Ekare plays with experimental sound art, an angry, aggressive and purposely harsh sound. The collaboration uses themes which fall into an internet aesthetic of mixing high and low culture, and purposely doing it kindov badly. 

The footage is from two an old VHS tapes, Giggles and Bubbles (Disney Princess), and Wildlife Symphony. This has been digitally imported, and then hacked at within Premiere Pro. The editing process is ridiculously sporadic, as violent as the sound, and then cleaned up to work with timing of the audio. The footage acts as a timestamp of the millennial child I am; childhood of VHS tapes + experiencing teens through the internet.

It holds an idea of digital water, which doesn't really make sense. Which suggests a sort of metaphor for helplesness // overwhelmingness // heaviness, which I have tried to control via editing. The function of the work is also an expression of anger towards representations of femininity which I have been continuously fed through media consumption. As well as simultaneously flipping the hatred and embracing the cuteness and ridiculousness.

It builds on a line of a practise i've been working on, not necessarily signifying this as a permanent move, more of another element.


Beautiful times doing a signing of Salient for The Welcoming Party at Meanwhile! lolz



The Welcoming Party / Free Time / Meanwhile / Elisabeth Pointon & Lucas Donnell / August 2016

swallow me/(you) text


process works ~

Text from "swallow me/(you)" included within "Ten hours behind... ahead." Featuring work from 8 New Zealand artists. Leipzig, Germany. 26th August.


2016 marks 30 years since the homosexual law reform in Aotearoa, New Zealand. As a reflection upon this history InsideOUT has repurposed audio from the debates in 1986 into a video campaign for Day of Silence - a day where people remain silent in representation of the silence and oppression the rainbow community faces. The contrast between historical audio with contemporary video shows about how far we have come and how much work there is yet to do. 

Our aim is to create pathways for further and necessary progress for our rainbow community both collectively and individually. We present the history of our struggle in hope that we can unify our community by validating and strengthening the identities of its members. 

Archival audio "20 years out" by Gareth Watkins, 2006. RNZ: by Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Filmed and edited by Laura Duffy



I have recently filmed and edited this teaser for Lokal Stories. 





Lokal Stories presents Cyber Nectar, a series of exhibitions disrupting colonial narratives around the body online and self care

scanner series (unfinished)

A stray off the path i was on, I have recently been experimenting with capturing images through a scanner. 

Using berries to signify horror or a fakeness of horror. 

Exploring themes of the feminine grotesque whilst referencing art historical still life painting.


(These works are yet to be exhibited. I think these images would be successful when printed large scale mimicking movie posters.)



I see this mini series as a way of embracing my own fat female body. 

The intention of these images isn't to replicate the flesh in which I live, yet to utilise pink comment on the socialization and construction femininity whilst simultaneously embracing it.