PAA at CAA 2011: Abstracts

PAA at CAA 2011
Documenting Oceania after the 20th Century: Complete Abstracts

Session Chair: Bernida Webb-Binder

1. Ursula-Ann Aneriueta Siataga, M.A. candidate, Social Documentation, University of California, Santa Cruz

A Samoan Diaspora-The Perspective of Our Lives through our Lens
/Fa, Tasi, Lima (4-1-5)/, is a 30-minute documentary, which takes a glimpse of multiple stories of Samoans living in the San Francisco Bay Area and the lives they lead. Through these stories, the Samoan migration and Diaspora will be explored while also examining the notion of the "Fa'aSamoa," (The Samoan Way of life).

I will use the art of the video medium to collect missing histories, as this film aims to portray an array of missing stories, such as Samoan memories of 1960s San Francisco, and the multi-generational experiences, of Samoan immigrants and their descendants.

As Samoan Americans briefly 'talk story' of their migration to this new urban place from their rural homelands, the main focus will be of their lives here in the United States. The film will ultimately examine how Samoan identity is influenced by various diverse places in the city.

2. Dr. Julie Risser, Director/Curator, American Museum of Asmat Art at the University of St. Thomas

Issues Surrounding Museum Website Development-The American Museum of Asmat Art at the University of St. Thomas
In 2007 the American Museum of Asmat Art moved to the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota. The collection, created by the Diocese of Agats and the American Crosier Fathers and Brothers, contains objects collected during 1960s through 2010. Works range from traditional items such as shields and paddles to contemporary sculpture. The collection reflects the mission of the original museum to preserve and promote Asmat art and culture. This focus, which addresses continuity and change, suits Asmat art produced during the 21^st century - as artists create for local and international demand, traditional, creative and formulaic works result.

Today, the original museum mission is being pursued through the AMAA@UST website, in the cyber world, This presentation explores some of the issues surrounding web content, the potential of high-quality images accessible via LUNA Commons, and some of the additional benefits for general documentation/inventory that website development encourages.

3. Luseane Nina Kinahoi Tonga, PhD Candidate, Department of Art History, The University of Auckland, New Zealand

Ethnic Avatars: Pacific Artists Creating Digital Homelands
The birth of the internet provided a new (cyber) space for the articulation and expression of identity. The popularity of online expressions of Pacific identity suggests that the internet is a critical site of identity performance. User created art forms such as vlogs and graphic interface skins have become new means of expressing and documenting Pacific identity.

For Pacific Island diasporic communities, the internet has also become a site of re-territorialization allowing for the collaborative creation of 'digital homelands'. The sharing of images and videos between networked individuals has created an online visual culture that is collaboratively authored and constantly revised.

New Zealand-based Pacific artist, Janet Lilo uses elements of online visual culture in her multi-media practice. Utilizing online imagery and media platforms her work challenges spatial definitions of art and identity. This paper examines the work of Janet Lilo in relation to the ongoing construction of online identities and digital homelands.

4. Craig Santos Perez, Doctoral Candidate, Comparative Ethnic Studies University of California, Berkeley

Documenting a Chamorro Poetics
The emergence of Pacific Islander literature in the past fifty years has proven that cultural expression is an important element in decolonization. Specifically, the use of documentary aesthetics has allowed writers to capture the devastating effects of colonialism, as well as the uplifting reclamations of indigeneity. For this panel, I will discuss how my poetry explores the history, culture, politics, and diasporic geography of my people---the native Chamorros from the Pacific Island of Guahan (Guam) in Micronesia. Additionally, I will highlight how memory, oral history, and mapping have shaped my documentary poetics. To conclude, I will read a selection from my two poetry collections: /from unincorporated territory [hacha]/ and /from unincorporated territory [saina]/.