On the big long white cloud


Pic by Senor Lebowski

You left Christchurch, New Zealand.

The flight gave you the chance to see the landscape from a fantastic advantage point, you had a window seat on a clear day.
You where impressed by the width of the river beds, as if the washing downstream on sediment is happening at an amazing rate.
New Zealand has a much more active geology that Australia, volcanoes and earthquakes are realities to beckon with.
The high mountains of the South Island sports glaciers who feed the impressive water basin of Canterbury.
A fantastic place for farming. While you were there you noticed a newspaper article on the Guinness record-breaking crop of a particular wheat farmer.
The extremely fertile silts, rich in minerals and base elements pour down the maintains.
Deforestation happened at an amazing rate, through out New Zealand, as you learned from a number of publication acquired in second hand bookshops.

You would like here to quote the foreword in Birds, Beasts & Fishes, an account of the first hundred years of the North Canterbury Acclimatisation Society


Foreword

By F.J.Gorton

The North Canterbury Acclimatisation Society decided that the publication of an account of the work done by previous members would be a suitable way of marking the completion of 100 years.
As President of the Society I have been asked to write a foreword to the book.
The work done by the Society and its many willing helpers has brought about the successful establishment of sporting fish in North Canterbury. Brown and rainbow trout are doing very well, as also are quinnat salmon.
As for game birds, pheasants have been disappointing, but California quail and chukors are in fair numbers in favoured localities.
Black swan and Canada geese have done so well that theirt numbers have to be controlled. The introduced mallard duck has crossed with the native grey duck, and there is some concern that the later may cease to exist as a pure species.
The examination of old records has shown that many early settlers were interested in estabilishing birds, beasts and fishes from other countries in the hope that they would prove suitable for sport.
This book afford some idea of the work done and of the difficulties that had to be overcome. We were very fortunate in that Mr Lamb consented to do the necessary reaserch and writing. He has put into it a great deal of work, going through many volume of records, and examining material submitted by members of the committee which assisted him. I am sure that the book will be of value to all who are interested in acclimatisation.

F.J.Gorton
President, North Canterbury Acclimatisation Society.
7th October, 1964

The true is humans ‘acclimatise’ their surroundings all the times, creating more ‘suitable’ environments populated by useful species: wheat, cows, horses, chickens, vegetables, rice and so forth.

Interesting to find out the acclimatisers of North Canterbury not only programmed and masterminded a systematic tampering with local vegetation and wildlife, but als0 had a licensing system for the people willing to use such introductions, It was seen as a way to generate funds for the implementation of the schemes.

About info

Diego Bonetto is a multimedia artist living and practicing in Sydney, Australia, and is a key member of artists' collectives SquatSpace and the BigFAGPress. -The SquatSpace collective has been producing ground-breaking events and projects since 2000. The group has been curated in a number of shows both in Australia and overseas. The current initiatives, the Redfern-Waterloo Tour of beauty (www.squatspace.com/redfern) tackle issues of social representation and the politics of space generated by gentrification. -The BigFagPress (BFP) is a publishing facility housed in Wooloomooloo, Sydney. The BFP is a salvaged 4-tonnes Off-set proof press. The press allows for the creation of countless artworks by keen printmakers and self-started publishers. www.bigfagpress.org Diego has also been working with WeedyConnection, an environmental art campaign. The project involves an online resource (www.weedyconnection.com), short documentary films, cooking shows, blogs, installations, prints, facebook interventions and various site-specific installations in the form of self-guided tours. WeedyConnection tackle the anthropocentric view of what environment should look like. Based on research and data provided by disciplines as far apart as biology, anthropology, paloenthology, social ecology and ethno botany it formulates ethical questions about cultural representation in times of environmental urgency.
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