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This issue of Reading Room provides a forum for rethinking New Zealand art's relation to the world around  a concept of 'elective proximity' in which contributors are invited to consider various historical and contemporary models of interaction that conceive and realise alternatives to the prevailing discourses of centre and margin, local and global, isolation and assimilation.

Topics that engage a history of trans-Tasman, regional, artist-led, or unofficial initiatives are one line of enquiry this issue will address. Another will explore how individual practitioners negotiate the larger field of practice, whether this is self-consciously 'on the edge', within the 'centre' or by peripatetic moves between.

By choosing how to operate in the world, 'elective proximity' offers cogent means to negotiate a position that navigates difference and similarity, closeness and distance. Reading Room 6 presents this as a situated response to the imperial claims of globalism.

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