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30.5.09

architecture love fest!!

how awesome is this cheesy 80s rap edu-vid on architecture!! i'm in love!! (thanks to design tavern for this one..)

"1.2.3! When you look at a building reaching up to the sky there’s a lot more to building it than meets the eye!
ITS AR!..CHITECTURE! ITS ARCHITECTURE!"




i'd even go so far as to say it was better than the hadron collider rap kickin' around prior to the start of this parallel universe...




BTW, if you're into big deals, like the end of the known universe and architecture competitions, the shortlist for the melbourne uni architecture faculty competition has been posted.

and there was all this talk of zaha hadid... pfft!

some interesting finalists. and a few same-old-same-olds.
i'm cheerin' for DS+R.

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29.5.09

sound on demand




the other night i went to the MSO performance, to the new world. it was a freebie through the test-drive the arts program (ace program, by the way).

and whilst i was being swept away by dvorák, i was thinking about the experience of music and composed sound. that all-encompasing, performative artistic expression which is seen 'out' - in public. i don't know a lot about the history of music, but i can imagine that prior to, say the 17th Century, music was not an altogether "accessible" experience. at least not in a dedicated space. you would probably hear chamber music during the dances and (depending on your station in life) perhaps an orchestra once every 6 months, or a year. maybe not even as much as that.

spin.

fast track 400 years (not all that long really, in the history of 'civilisation') and now, we're all walking around with own private soundtracks all the time. even if we're not rockin' the latest 32G iPod touch, we've got car stereos, walkmans, mp3 players, turntables, ghetto blasters, transistor radios, etc. all 'dedicated spaces' for hearing an all-encompassing sound. my friend from apple calls it 'on-demand'.


perhaps it is just me, with a slightly warped focus on sound in public at the moment, but i think this is amazing.
given that i'm now listening to a nick cave and the bad seeds slam their way through 'i'm on fire' at about 8, it's pretty incredible to imagine that my 17th century compatriot might only ever listen to music that loud once a year. no wonder symphonies had such a profound effect on people. and that the cultural significance of a song lasted so long (see faris' interesting article on latency with regards to that)

MMOP Headphones

i'm about to start some research on threshold shifts, but given what we hear now, given that we carry 100 db around in our pockets on a daily basis, plus we have to deal with cars, HVAC systems, trains, buses and much larger populations, it's pretty astounding how quickly we have adapted to that level of sound (or noise, depending on which side of the fence you sit on).

unsurprising really, that our 'dedicated spaces' for listening to (electronically) amplified music have become an architectural/design category in their own rights: up there with the MRC, the sydney opera house and carnegie hall.

expect more in this in the future...


images: turntable by josh sandler
mso by tengtan

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26.5.09

blatant self-promotion #234 - 238

this year is a busy one for me - i have projects coming out of my ears, so sorry if the shameless plugs become a little dull. but then again, i happen to be a tiny bit proud of what i do, so you'll all just have to deal with it.

this week is crazy in terms of 'what's on':

the wardrobe

Dead Cert.indd

hosted by skylab in fitzroy, the wardrobe is a little theme-based cabinet space on charles st, just behind Somebuddy Loves You on Smith St. the current theme is decay, so of course i put my hand up to include something.

here's the little blurb about the work, Dead Cert.

decay doesn't always mean death.
but you can't have death without decay.

death is one of those omnipresent rites of passage that still confounds humans. we're all incredibly supportive of people grieving, but rarely do we like talking about our own death with a sense of lightness, whimsy or fun. even humour about death is called black humour. but when you think about it, death is quite an absurd idea - one minute you're there, the next you're a small pile of ashes in a box.*

this work makes "public" and "official" absurd acts of death which intersect with magic, turns of phrase, or soppy romanticism. this work also give me, as the artist, the freedom of being dead. in a conceptual sense. i can't tell you how simultaneously liberating and magical it felt to see myself declared deceased. a freedom from decay.


deets:
mon 25th may - sun 31st may
24/7

at The Wardrobe
1/193 smith st
fitzoy, 3065

http://skylabcreative.wordpress.com/


orr st garden

Orr St

penny algar, an artist who specialises in horticultural vs art projects has created a public garden focusing on cultivating and celebrating weeds and insect, as part of her masters work.
working with amanda coulston whose work on emergent system in entomology is fascination, the garden space on orr st, melbourne (in between lygon and cardigan sts) is being launched tomorrow night (wednesday).

over the weekend, i captured some sound and did some sound-based drawings of the garden, which will be projected as part of the opening festivities.

deets:
wed 27th may
5-6:30pm

at Orr St Garden
Next to Bldg 50
Orr St, Melbourne


abracadaver

Architecture of Death - Pop-Up Funerary Urns as Monument.

regular readers may remember that about this time last year, abracadaver featured at allan's walk, as an exhibition with the lovely linda mcrae.
this year, some of the work comes to melbourne, with a little bit of new stuff too.

for those who don't know, here's a bit about the show:

abracadaver is a show about magic, death and artifice. The exhibition draws on aspects of the macabre and the somber, as well as the fantastic to create architecturally-inspired and objects and spaces of death.

..including jack-in-the-box funerary urns and hurdy-gurdy coffins, the show investigates the social taboo of housing death and its links with the secrets of magic and trickery: sound/light-based work and interactive sculpture actively “put the fun into funeral”.



deets:
opening tuesday 9th june, 6 - 8pm.
exhibition continues until saturday 26th june
wed - sat, 12 - 6pm

at Bus Gallery
Level 1, 117 Little Lonsdale St
Melbourne, 3000
Skinny Gallery

http://www.bus117.com



a candystriper project: bus

BusOfficeDoor_IndicativeWeb

following on from our projects at trocadero and as part of the melbourne laneways commission (which we were successful for, but had to sadly pass up), the candystripers have hit the BUS gallery foyer.

a little blurb about the project:

Seeking to create hyper-real spaces that walk the line between exterior and interior experiences, The Candystripers project at Bus transforms the foyer into a cross between Victorian wallpaper, an oversized minimalist painting and a helicopter landing pad.


deets:
opening tuesday 9th june, 6 - 8pm.
exhibition continues until saturday 26th june
wed - sat, 12 - 6pm

at Bus Gallery
Level 1, 117 Little Lonsdale St
Melbourne, 3000
Foyer

http://www.bus117.com



added to all that i have a string of shows for my sound-based masters project (which has divorced its previous title: soundproofing the city). i'll post about that separately methinks, as there's much afoot.

anyways, so that's what i've been up to and if you get a chance to see any of the works, or come to the opening nights, do come and say hello.


*paraphrase: Esther Anatolitis, not the ON, or the OFF, but the ON-OFF, ON-OFF; catalogue essay for abracadaver.

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22.5.09

some cool stuff i've seen lately.

MMOP Primitive Calculators Print

i have to apologise for being largely self-centred on this blog of late. you know, masters projects will do that sometimes, i hear.

i made a promise to myself that i would reduce the amount of shows i was seeing - not out of some crazy "don't let the ideas get filtered" kind of paranoia, but mostly out of a time-management kind of thing. "if i'm spending every night at an exhibition opening, i'll not get any work done" kind of paranoia.

anyway, i've been able to squeeze a few shows in over the last couple of weeks and wanted to tell you about them.

Langford Structure 4

my own private idealogue, at gertrude st and curated by emily mccormack, was a group show of new zealand artists and it was rockin'. NZ is killer right now and this just goes to shows it. featuring joanne langford, peter madden and rohan walleans, the show was predominantly sculpture, with a real focus on paper-like materials.

personally i liked the langford city/structure-type-things (unsurprising, given my predilection for all things architectonic) and the peter madden works. his delicate and multiple and flight-like works are amazing. in fact, they reminded me of jeremy bakker's works at bus last year (and the current show at bus by lewella lewis, ex-field gallery also has some soft, city-type sculptures atm).



and speaking of jeremy bakker, his show at west space - a continuation of that show - is ace!! it's more about space and architecture than the mostly 2D works from last year, and is quite a stunning space to walk into. his little orifice trumpet type things are overwhelming and the repetition of the hole is reminiscent of astronomy, pianola roll, yayoi kusama and something a bit hossein valamanesh too. [and, if you're in sydney - go see the valamanesh show at GRANTPIRRIE - his work is always divine.]

the other two works at westspace are also pretty good. my first impression of doug heslop's near death (pictured, from the westspace site) was 'just another boy art install'.. but i've been thinking about it a lot lately. i'm still a bit tired of most of the plaster/plastic school of messy symbols stuff, but there's been something about the large distorted fuselage in the gallery that i think i might like.
sophia hewson's painted resin romantic images are quite stunning too.

i'm liking the seventh projection window - the previous work with that gillian wearing-type creepy mask? awesome. and looking forward to seeing more stuff there.

and i was able to pop into dianne tanzer last week too. i really only liked a couple of works in the project space - the photo-realistic paintings of vintage photographic equipment (by victoria reicheldt) and andrea innocent's work at lamington drive is also amazing. loads of beautiful japanese illustration, plus a little cubby of japanese packaging heaven and/or hell - depending on your point of view.


oh, and the MMOP open day i went to? killer! loads of fun - bands (primitive calculators - see above pic), vegie burgers, great prints, lots of cool stuff to see and a feeling that the museum might just be loved again. there's a flickr group with loads of cool pics to see.




some shows i'm excited about in the near future include a group show at horus and deloris in sydney, called evolving madly mark making. my dear friend david peddle has work in it and it should be a great little show. the gallery is tops and worth a trundle down to pyrmont.

plus, marco fusinato is at anna schwartz in june (yay!), the creative aggression magazine (above) launch at no vacancy looks good, michael georgetti and rob bartolo at shifted, raster noton at the shop (the e-flux space in NYC) looks to be a corker and i'm super excited to hear about a new gallery opening up in melbourne focusing on proces/conceptual works: sarah scout. eep!

oh, and considering i have a slew of shows, projects and stuff that i'm doing over the next little while, there may well be an avalanche of self-referential, bordering on the blatant.

i'll try for moderation.


PS - this is post #500 on she sees red. whoa.

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18.5.09

harassed on the street.

The angry watermelon man

saturday was a hell of a day to be an artist out in public. well, for me anyway.

firstly i went to frankston and, whilst recording sound outside the station, got told i was a wanker and that i should "go back to melbourne, where you belong!". hmm.. did i have to think about that suggestion for too long? ah, no.

secondly, recording in st.kilda, on grey vs gurner, i had a full-on argument with a 'concerned' (read: paranoid) citizen that i was taking photos/video of him and had to rescue my camera from being busted. even after showing him the very tightly cropped footage of me and my laptop, he was being very unreasonable. he threatened to complain to the uni and was unimpressed that i was unwilling to just divulge my name, course, subject, etc because he was unimpressed.

then, the piece de resistance was the effeminate ice-head on chapel st who sidled up to me (photographing headphones in a window) and said

"hey random lesbian" (presumably because of my short hair [gasp!] and casual attire, not because i was fucking a girl on the street)

to which i replied "hey random idiot"

which of course resulted in idle chit chat and pleasantries, such as cigarettes being flicked at me, jostling, menacingly following me up chapel street and yelling at me "YOU GODDAMN FUCKING... PUSSY MUNCHER!!".

charming.

i've not been quite so shocked at the level of vilification about my sexuality - especially as i'm not a lesbian. although this isn't the first time that the crime of being a lesbian has been the worst insult random idiots have thought to throw at me, this is the first time i have actually feared for my safety - being intimidated/followed down chapel street isn't really warm and fuzzy.

thankfully, i have been followed through kings cross in sydney and i just happened to have had a tripod handy, so i just strode of confidently down the street and prayed that the little misogynist would contract syphilis.

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16.5.09

using a fashion device.




Over the last year, i've been doing more and more conceptual work, primarily about the process of measuring spaces.

Not being a natural born killer on screen, and not wanting the work to be about 'me' per se, i've taken to using a fashion device as a costume of sorts: my black st pauli cap and a black hoodie.

It has been interesting to see it creep into my process on a semi-conscious level and to notice the relationship between what i wear when i am doing these process works and how it fits in with what other artists have used when making similar works, primarily joseph beuys, eminen and every graf artist in the history of the world.

I certainly didn't set out for it to be that way. It just happened to be what i was wearing the first time i documented the measuring and patterning of the RMIT toilets. In fact, most of my friends will attest to the fact that black jeans and hoodie are pretty much my uniform during winter anyway. But the fact that it has moved from happenstance to choice is interesting to me. It has become a symbol of anonymity, comfort and specificity for me now. I step into a mode through this moda and it enables me to focus. Same goes for costume throughout the history of theatre.



The thing with the hat is kind of fascinating and little embarrassing in its obvious (although unintentional) link to beuys. i'm sure that mr beuys used the hat in similar ways- as a screen to hide behind, regular symbol of his process and a personal motif, so maybe it's unsurprising that there's a sartorial link.





And then of course there is the uniform of making (often uncommissioned) work in public- the black hoodie. Contemporary fashion device of blending in and hiding- a dime a dozen. Which also also happens to be bound up in political action, as suggested in the pics of G20 protests on flickr and eminen's cool mosh vid from 2006. The hoodie has become a fashion item of the public space, in terms of interacting with it. It's the street version of the black cloak and wig of law, or the black polo of architects (i jest).

if i had more time, and i was a fashion grad student, as opposed to half-arsed blogger, it could be an interesting point of research: fashion devices used in public and performance art.

In the mean time, you have this.

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12.5.09

i ♥ print




some of you may already know that i have a perverse love affair with print.

my first real trade was in pre-press, when you still exposed film and the pdf was just being born. i still go a bit ga-ga over print-type things, am loving mr brown's new print-focused blog and this year am hoping to do a few print workshops with the kraft kuties and hopefully hang out with the boys and girls at big fag press.

anyway, this weekend the melbourne museum of print (which is in scary danger of closing down) is having an open day with limited edition prints for sale, print/bookbinding demos, bands playing and free entry.

in the words of bill and/or ted, it will be totally non-non-non heinous. i'm going to go, in between a squishy schedule of new process works, and i expect to see you all there.

http://www.mmop.org.au/

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11.5.09

what i'm reading: may

call me a nerd, but i quite like the 'what's in your bag' pics on flickr. and i love seeing the 'what i'm reading' pics that sometimes skate around the interwebs. i think they still provide insight into who people are by what they're attached to.


so here's what i'm reading at the moment.

What I'm Reading May


i haven't done a recent 'what's in my bag' but here's one from earlier in the year, collaboratively with miss jones: the candystripers' bag.

What is in the Candystripers' bags? (a whole lot of stuff people...)

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8.5.09

You are bound by the laws of the country that you live in

gigi - november 4


I recently did the geekiest thing ever and voted in Facebook's election on documents of governance. It was an interesting exercise in becoming a citizen of a new public place. Whilst I still take the whole thing with a grain of salt, I was impressed concept of 'opening up' the ruling of facebook to its constituents, unlike myspace and some of the other online social networks. Issues of ownership over IP/Copyright came up in both networks that i've been part of and, unlike Myspace which was basically Rupert saying 'like it or lump it you young hippies', Facebook decided to create a new set of 'governing' documents - terms and conditions - which clarified a lot of the issues recently raised. As a user of Facebook (or citizen, in political terms), we each have the choice to vote on the form of rule. It's a process that reflects in some part those that happen in real life public/political environments.

That in itself i find incredibly interesting.

But, in reading the documents, this line jumped out at me:

"You are bound by the laws of the country that you live in. You may also need to comply with the laws of other jurisdictions, including the laws of the United States (because our headquarters are based in the U.S.)."

Interesting, hey.

Global citizen just took on a whole new meaning, really.

I remember when the US election was on - all of last year, practically - there was a lot of online bluster about the rest of the world voting for the president, given how many times the US stuck their nose in everyone else's business and that who got in would effect everyone else.

To be honest, i wasn't all that fussed. I figure that it'd be best to lead by example and mind my own business, and to support my US friends in their process from afar. But since knowing - or having been explicitly reminded - that i need to comply with the laws of jurisdictions for my online public life, I realised that, actually, this means that i also need to have a say in that jurisdiction, according to democracy at least.

Which raises some fascinating legal and political ideas about the public sphere, both in www and a geo-political sense.

The obviously important questions are:
Can the power-based be shifted, by shifting the server?
Might tuvalu become the world's greatest political power in 5 years time, thanks to the selling of its upper level domain to half of western media content?
As a user/member of facebook (and accoutable by US laws), does this open up other areas of remote legal jurisdiction?
Seeing as I'm married on Facebook, does that mean i'm bound by the jurisdiction of marriage according to US law too?

But seriously, in terms of political/public space (as opposed to a broadcast space), what does this mean? What are the rights and responsibilities of internet users back into real life spaces?

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4.5.09

mentor and muse

Where do you want to go today?


ok, to start off, here's a bad art joke i saw on eddy's blog:

Q: what do art lovers eat for breakfast?
A: muse-li.


bahahaha!


but seriously, it reminded me about some thoughts that have been brewing about inspiration and guidance as an artist.

creatively, i have more ideas than i know what to do with. the muse is never far from my side and even if i found myself in some kind of equivalent to writers' block, i would probably just do something else - write, or make music, or sew, or take anti-depressants. or something.

but what i am kind of struggling with at the moment is exactly what to do with all of my stuff. where do i go? how do i develop and manifest the kind of art career i aspire to?

i have influences at varying levels of artistic/professional "success" whom i look to for aspiration (for want of a much less-maligned word), but i can't exactly ring up, say, rachel whiteread and say

"hey, after you had your grad show and charles bought your work, then what did you do? how did you go from step A to step B".


i think i assumed that doing a masters degree would be an opportunity to develop that kind of mentor/protegee-type relationship.. wrongly so, it seems. maybe that's just my course. in fact i get more insight and guidance from the likes of mayhem and lucazoid on their blogs.

and while i'm not shy about asking people for advice on specific projects (and have!), there's something quite..eek!..about approaching someone to be a mentor. and then having them there specifically as a guide and point of reference for your whole practice - not just snippets and bits and pieces. and, like teachers, are good mentors also good artists (and obviously vice versa)? or is it better to have good, honest friends instead?

hell, maybe i'm completely out of touch and mentoring has been replaced by google.com and i should get with the program :)

image credit: seb oehme

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1.5.09

footy as a political experience

Anzac Day Ticket

Although i believe that football and feminism can co-exist in my life, i never would have imagined that going to the Anzac Day AFL match between essendon and collingwood could be a political experience*.

Bombers vs Pies09Redgum

Bombers vs Pies09Last Post

The day started with a series of ceremonies commemorating the battle of gallipoli and, whilst most of them were full of schmaltz (and thereby undermining them), there is a moment each year when almost 100 , 000 people stand, silent, and pay respects to the sacrifice those soldiers made for the sake of others**. When the last post and call is played, and i'm standing there-one amongst many- it feels like one of the most solemn acts i have ever done as a citizen. (now if only we could lord the jingoism and have all our acts of commemoration as simple and meaningful as that.)


Bombers vs Pies09 Banner

Bombers vs Pies09Cheersquad

then, the game starts and i swear it's on for young and old. I yell, scream, take the piss out of both teams and supporters. And at the end, after a good game and (thankfully) my team winning - in the last 2 minutes, there was much communal singing, dancing, high-fives with strangers, pats on the back. a sense of jubilation in a crowd. not to mention the common experience of getting absolutely drenched..

i can see why football (and other sports) are so popular here. we've lost the ability to have public ceremony and/or commemoration. we can only seem to find one way to get together and express a collective feeling - whether that be joy, sorry, anger, frustration, etc.

personally, i don't think we're trying hard enough. as a nation, we're still acting like 14-year old adolescents who smirk at the faintest idea of public emotion. but, i'm expecting that things will change soon. well, at least i'm hoping that's the case. i'm hoping that the natural growth of a country, through life experience and the rhythm of change, will gradually learn to use our collective brain, which will be equally connected to our heart and soul, as one of many.


*and when i say political, i mean as citizen, of the public, participating-in-the-polis kind of way, not just the whinge-about-the-government kind of way.

** there seems to be all this blah blah about them "fighting for and/or defending our country", but given that the ANZACs were pretty much pawns for the British Army, perhaps we can change our perspective on things and embrace our inner patsy. We could value the sacrifice for the common good - they'd be pretty good values. Better than 'i fkn live here'-tattoo-wearing-type-nationalism, surely.

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