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so, my laptop is still in apple service centre purgatory and i'm writing this in an internet cafe on windows vista with internet explorer on a german keyboard.  i can't work out whether you should pity me, or be impressed at my committment to blogging in the face of such appalling conditions. actually, me and half the developing world are totally tight right now. maybe i should take up spamming and earn some cash, while i'm here.

so, christmas.

santa's sleigh

can i just tell you that it's sooooo awesome being in germany for christmas. it's super fluffy sprinkly white snow everywhere. candles are lit, everyone is cheery, the shop assistants offer you marshmallows when you're browsing and the decorations are rad. because it's dark at about 4pm, everything is really cosy. i went to my first Weihnachtsmarkt last week and that was the beginning of my christmas spirit.

i baked gingerbread the other day (and have now eaten too much of them - lucky i have a second batch to give away) and have wrapped almost all my christmas presents. i've made cards, wrapping paper and am all skipping and cheery and red-cheeked from drinking hot Kindepunsch (which is the non-alcoholic version of Gluhwein).

it's awesome.

and yet, weirdly, it doesn't feel like the end of the year. maybe it's the winter-thing messin' with my internal clock, but i have to keep reminding myself that there are only 10 days left of '10.

my dear friend rob has tagged me in one of those memes that are relentless, but which i secretly love. so here are my answers to that. and some extra for all the goodness for the year - to combat the ad-heavy bent on these ones.

merry christmas to all of you and big smooches for the new year.

1/ Best single thing [personal &/or professional] you did/achieved in 2010.sorry rob - my year can't be boiled down into a single awesome thing, thankfully (imagine having such a singular life! how dull...) so here's my top 5:

1. moved to germany for the second-half of the year. as all the australians and a couple of english peeps i know will attest, that is not easy. living in a city in which you're not a native speaker is hard enough, but then there's the unspoken elements of living in a place you're not culturally from that really tickle your haemorroids. the fact that i have done it, impresses me still. i haven't done it perfectly and will be heading home in feb (because of that), but i did it. and i know that i'll be back here again - hopefully soon.

2. made some really good work. it may not all have been received well, but i'm pleased with the work i made this year. and i made a lot of it, which i'm also pleased about.

3. i got some funding from the government. it was pretty handy and helped me do both 1 + 2. it will also mean that i'm going back to australia to do another amazing project.

4. went to some bloody fantastic festival/symposia this year. ISEA, ars electronic, agents/actors/applicants, thrilling wonder stories. i learned SO much and had my brain baked several times. which is fantastic.

5. danced every weekend until at least 4am from september onwards. so that may not warrant top five in anyone else's book, but it totally is in mine. i've had loads of fun and really got to see some shit-hot electronic and dancehall acts play over the last few months. it's something that i just cannot do back home and will be something i dearly miss in melbourne.

2/ Most shameful thing [personal &/or professional] you did/achieved in 2010.i would love to only have done one shameful thing this year, but i did quite a few. most of which i have either made amends for, or learnt from. but they still kinda sting too:

1. installed work that i didn't check properly. the file i uploaded to the ipod for a recent exhibition was incorrect - with parts missing and a double-time section of the the track. it was awful. and embarrasing. i learned about quality control, and taking time with making work. and having someone else look at it too.

2. took on a job then left again after four weeks when i got arts funding. i didn't handle it with the kind of courtesy that i would like to think i had. and i disappointed people i had known for a while.

3. made my mum cry. my mum and i have a good but slightly fraught relationship and this year the difficulties between us came to a head. it's all good now and we're going to be doing some awesome talking and working shit out when i get back, but that was not a nice moment.
 3/ Ad industry scandal or scoundrel of the year.
i have my opinions about a very specific 'scandal' i'm aware of, which i'll keep to myself.
but actually, there are greater scoundrels than some of the peeps involved in that anyway. actually, i think that rupert murdoch continues to be an ad industry scoundrel that has far too much control over media and public opinion. when i log out from my hotmail account and see the GARBAGE that passes for news, content or even advertising, i want to vomit. i also think that the fact that sexist, racist and homophobic content continues to pass as advertising these days is scandalous. can't we just leave that shit in the last decade, please?

4/ Your overall rating for 2010 out of 10.
9 there were a few weeks where i thought i was going to lose it there, otherwise it would have been a 10. this year has been pretty stellar. and, even better, i feel like next year is going to be even better!

5/ What do you think will be the most overhyped advertising related subject of 2011?

i think television should be euthenased. it is already become a bigger pile of stinking turdishness, for which content isn't really being 'developed', but is being kept on life support by the drugs of advertising. the sooner advertising pulls the plug, the more that writers, producers, actors, etc, will be able to focus their money, time and energy on producing great content for more selective media: dvd, online download, online viewing and mobile content. hopefully the days of all staring at a big box on a sunday night are almost over.

5/A The best exhibitions of 2010?

again, a top 5 is in order, as i saw quite a few (and apologies for the lack of art-related posts lately. you know, iphones aren't really blogging-friendly devices, as awesome as they are)

1. rachel whiteread's drawings at tate britain. ms whiteread is one of my all-time art inspirations, so seeing her drawings filled me with such joy, hope and kick-in-the-pants motivation that i could hardly speak.

2. & (ampersand) at the daimler collection. heavy with politics, determination and a whole lot of sadness, it was a show that wasn't 100% brilliant, but the ones that were, really stayed with me for a long, long time.

3. michaela gleave. both her work at anna pappas, and her work in berlin. i've like michaela's work for aaaages, so it was a pleasure to get multiple chances to see it.

4. abby mcculloch at helen gory. stellar. standout. every work was stunning and it sold out and i was really proud of her. even though i don't know her.

5. innere stimme at veneklasen/werder. uplifting, goosebump-inducing, long and heavy with meaning. it literally resonated with me. and sat in my sonic memory for a couple of weeks afterwards.

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At 20 December, 2010 23:54, Blogger john dodds said...

Liked the Rachel Whiteread but you missed out the standout that was Chris Ofili.

At 21 December, 2010 00:06, Anonymous lauren said...


At 21 December, 2010 00:15, Blogger john dodds said...

Thats not very Christmassy.

At 21 December, 2010 00:54, Anonymous lauren said...

no, but it's very chris ofili and very 2010.

At 21 December, 2010 01:03, Anonymous Rob said...

Ignore Dodds ...

Nice to know you had a bloody good one and don't worry about 'quality control', it's still going to be better than most banks and they have done alright.

At 21 December, 2010 11:29, Anonymous gemma said...

Happy Christmas Lauren. May all your Christmasses be merry and rad. G.xxx


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