Article categories: Issue 72
November 27th, 2009

The Audio Foundation was founded by Zoe Drayton in 2004 to enhance connection and community for New Zealand experimental music and sound art practitioners.

Lines of Flight Festival, Chick’s Hotel, Port Chalmers, Dunedin, March 28, 2009. Photograph by Tim Coster.

Lines of Flight Festival, Chick’s Hotel, Port Chalmers, Dunedin, March 28, 2009. Photograph by Tim Coster.

It supports musicians through a website, a mailing list, the Altmusic tours of international artists, a range of preservation projects including oral history and archiving, and promotions such as a compilation CD distributed with the February 2009 issue of The Wire magazine. The Audio Foundation website acts as a promotional portal and networking space for artists, hosting user-created profiles with discographies, gig listings, audio clips, and connections to other artists related by mutual projects. The mailing list, however, is the thread that connects these broader strategies of support, preservation and promotion; the site where community is most visibly created and affirmed. Where the other projects are complex logistical combinations of funding, people, and time, the list, as a mechanism for connection and community, is open, unmoderated and ideally self-generating.

The AF List was launched on 28 April 2005, with previous recipients of AF newsletters automatically subscribed. Its first substantive posts were expressions of pleasure at the sudden sense of connection it enacted: AF list: ‘Delighted’; AF list: ‘hello there’; AF list: ‘can we post gig announcements here?’[1] The AF site already enabled a degree of passive connectivity, but as Andrew Clifford observed in its early hours, the list itself was ‘surprisingly exciting. Like a great big information tap was just turned on. Yay!’ – a sense shared by other first-posters: ‘What a buzz. Such a simple idea and presto – community!’

Zita Joyce
Zita Joyce is a a lecturer in media and communication at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. She is a member of the Audio Foundation trust board, and a fan of the artists on the list.


[1] Many thanks to all AF list contributors quoted. For the list archive, see

[For more, read the special Arts of Sound November 2009 Issue of Art Monthly Australia]

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