Volunteer Refinery2Celebrated NZ performance artist Mark Harvey’s work is often infectiously joyous and absurd but has a serious purpose. In 2014 he wrestled people about climate change on the sides of the Venice Canal as part of the Venice Biennale.

Volunteer Refinery will be a center of excellence for volunteer training, harbouring productivity centered on the shores of Porirua in the site of New Zealand’s first ever McDonalds. In Volunteer Refinery we aim to be the best volunteer programme in New Zealand.

Volunteer Refinery will be a week-long participatory art project promising the generation of changes in public behavior towards greater involvement in socio-ecological and political issues facing the region around Te Awarua o Porirua (Porirua Harbour) and Aotearoa in general.

Harvey, an over-qualified and experienced community volunteer will be leading a programme consisting of a range of workshops, seminars and consultation sessions that play with notions of ecological productivity in helping to up skill locals in their volunteering around Porirua Harbour.

Rather than do what the local community already does well, Harvey aims to generate reflection on what issues can be at stake for volunteers in this local context.

Volunteer Refinery1We may not always be serious, but serious is always our intention.

This project will be a development of previous works by Harvey with Letting Space: Productive Promises (TEZA 2013) and Productive Bodies (2012).

Mark Harvey is an Auckland artist working across approaches. He has presented internationally such as at: The 55th Venice Biennale (2013), The Trendheim Kunstmuseum (Norway, 2011), The New Performance Turku Festival (Finland, 2014), and ZET (Amsterdam, 2011). He has presented nationally such as at: TEZA 2013 and Letting Space/New Zealand Festival of the Arts (Wellington, 2014), Te Tuhi gallery (Auckland, 2014), Ramp gallery (Hamilton, 2014), The Govett Brewster (Taranaki, 2012), The Physicsroom (2002, 2009, 2012), and Enjoy (2003). He completed a PhD in AUT’s School of Art and Design and is a Senior Lecturer at The University of Auckland.

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