Contact Print
Archival pigmented photographic print


Contact Print is one component of the project New Hamilton. New Hamilton is an imagined proposal inviting extraterrestrial collaborators to site the Earth’s official ‘first contact’ in Hamilton, New Zealand.

To signal this contact, our extraterrestrial friends are invited to first place a ‘crop circle’ in a proposed commercial maize research station adjacent to Hamilton Airport, where it may be scientifically studied, visited from abroad and filmed from above.

If we are to believe crop circle folklore, once decoded, the arcane knowledge contained within the circle’s design might galvanise human advances in clean energy, ecological sustainability and universal peace, radically transforming life on Earth.

A symbol is offered here to seed this ‘exopoetic’ dialogue, influenced by ancient spiritual symbolism, the work of Gordon Walters, a Hamilton Tourism logo, and a grass design by local school students who once planted Hamilton on the (Google) map. It is hoped this symbol will act as a logo for a new Hamilton.

The suite of photographs in Contact Print and the accompanying video Lusi in the Sky were shot in Hamilton during cyclone Lusi’s procession across New Zealand, reflecting on the proposition that it is the best placed city to weather the gathering storm of climate change.

New Hamilton imagines a destination for extraterrestrial tourism, culture and knowledge exchange, soft launching the city of the future.



This Might Be The Place
Emil McAvoy, Caroline McQuarrie, Johanna Mechen
Curated by Alice Tappenden
Ilam Campus Gallery
School of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury
3 May – 1 June 2017

Finalist, National Contemporary Art Awards
Waikato Museum, Hamilton
Judge: Simon Rees
9 August – 9 November 2014