what a beautiful date today has.
and two rad-town things happened today:
- the opening for the show i'm in at seventh gallery: respond. musicians played, there was some art on the walls, peeps gathered and a good time was had by all. the gallery are having some stressful times with landlords at the moment, so it was super-ace to have a party.
- my netball team got into the grand final!
yeah, i know. v-bogan thing to do, let alone brag about. and besides, we haven't won yet. but i'm still super-excited.
so, if you haven't already been to seventh, i'll be invigilating on saturday afternoon - come and say hey. it's at 155 gertrude st, fitzroy. open 12 - 6pm.
and if you know me and wanna be a cheerleader next wednesday night for our netball grand prix, get in touch. pom poms will be most welcome.
what a beautiful date today has.
ok, so here's a guilty pleasure: this mason/luciana electro-pop track: yeah yeah. always reminds me of awesome times dancing at 3am.
what's especially awesome about it is the clip - it's all hot loved-up semi-erotic gettin' it on. with headphones. taking the private moment into the ultra-private. where you've made your make-out session into a hot porn flick with soundtrack.
is this the aestheticisation of erotica through headphone usage now? fucking to the same song is ace, but it's also interesting to imagine what it would be like if you were both listening to different music - could you have sex to the sound of discordant rhythms? anyways, interesting questions, in light of my thesis/research topic about sound in public and the use of headphones as the aestheticisation of public space.
and now here would be where i'd normally embed the video so you could see what i was talking about. but universal music have blocked embedding on that vid. i'll never understand why the fuck they do that.
go see it on the you tubes here.
last night i saw the pixies for the first time ever. i was in the UK when they toured here last time. and i was back in melbourne when they played in the UK. d'oh!
it was ecstatic, frenetic, uplifting, nostalgic, visceral, expansive and intimate - all at the same time.
within that quasi-public/private space, engaging with sound, music and shared acoustic space/taste, i noticed that standing in a crowd of people presents a particular experience of space. you get half-spaces, framed by the negative space of people's silhouettes and together that makes up your total spatial experience. add to that an immense soundtrack over the top of it all and it's quite a peculiar and indelible experience, irreplaceable.
viva la musica!
sometimes the artworld collides right in front of me. you know those times when a bunch of seemingly unconnected people are all talking about at the same thing at the same time? well, it's one of those weeks.
this time, it's about presenting inspiration.
Part of the L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival (which kicked off this week, in case you weren't aware of all the extra heel around town), this little projection series has been curated by my friend Simon Winkler and his creative partner-in-crime Chimere Cissé. It's a showreel of the snapshots that inspire a range of fashion/jewellery designers, including TV the label, Dhini, Karla Way, Yeojin Bao and Kate Rogers from Dazed and Confused (pictured). With the launch at £1000 Bend on Saturday, the works are at a bunch of places around Melbourne town: Fed Square's big screen, Alice Euphemia, Georges and the City Library. more info here.
Celine Inspiration Books
I saw this on these on The Sartorialist the other day and thought that they were a pretty neato idea. It works really well as a nice anchor to the perfomative aspect of the fashion spectactle: lights, catwalk, bump'n'grind, in your face style - and this little tangible history of the collection.
Opening tonight at CCP, again this is the presentation of artists' 'collections' - the images they have on their studio walls or in their hearts. These were presented in an array of styles that hark back to trad gallery/object formats (which adds a bonus little twist for the relationship between art history/the object and The Photograph). Some of the images are hilarious. Some are so adorable. The one from Hany Armanious is gorgeousness. [i'm purposefully not mentioning the Andrea Fraser video because i'm going back to see it later. i'm almost peeing with excitement]
See? All three within a week!
It seems the structure of artistic/fashion concept has become desireable simultaneously. We don't just want the finished and polished product and the final narrative anymore. We want the inside scoop, the cheat sheet and the secrets to the magic. Or at least a little clue.
From an artists' perspective I do love these shows - i get to feel part of the club. But part of me feels une petite tristesse too - like i've peeked into the dressing room after the show and the illusion has been tarnished. Am i reading too much into it?
in the forward to the fantastic book, technospaces: inside the new media, editor sally munt writes about the dynamic nature of culture, that is both binary and complex. And in it, she highlights the unanswered questions about what the future holds for culture in the so-called Information Age:
"what will be the new strategies, tactics or dispositions [in this Age]? What will happen to identity after Postmodern? Will cyberlife ensure further fratured forms of consciousness and social atomism?"
most of the 'spaces' discussed in the book are that of the public realm: online/institutional and traditional public spaces and the ways in which technology, or technological systems are changing/influencing dynamics in these areas.
I would be interested to see what the contributers to the book thought of the SLQ's new venture The Edge: Digital Culture Centre and whether it answers any of those questions.
It is a quasi-programmed public space, within a public institution, that is specifically geared towards investigating, researching and sharing new and traditional kinds of experiences within the culture of (digital) technology.
When i went to Brisbane last month, i happened to time it perfectly so I could attend the opening of the new space/program (note the forward slash. no rocket ships). i had previously applied (unsuccessfully) to the resident program, but was still very keen to check out the space, see for myself what kind of possibilities it held and to show my support in a way. plus i got to attend a low-key, but very exciting workshop on Fruity Loops.
My excitement, as it stands to date, is at the potential of The Edge.
The launch seemed like fun - a bit of music stuff, a few peeps sitting around, obligatory twitter hashtags (including a very cool twitter blimp) and some live streaming. The next day was super quiet - a lot of people still trying to figure out exactly what the crux of the space is about; mandatory technical difficulties (some matter with projectors and labelling - see, technology is really all about the labels) and a lot of touch screens.
I registered for an Edge Account and I've got myself a little project planned (even from Melbourne), but i can imagine that if I was in Brisbane, this is a space that would quickly ramp up in my usage. As far as I can tell, it's like the awesomest library/AV department you've ever seen, with a cafe, on the river. I'm not quite sure what some of the meeting spaces will be used for exactly, but if i was a film-maker, or musician, i think they'd be great project spaces to work in for development.
Given the size of the auditorium, i was kinda amused it wasn't fitted with surround sound, especially given the depth of amazing sound artists in Brisbane, who could probably benefit from a space that was geared more towards a particular array. But the availability of the space and its focus on multi-ness will be interesting to keep tabs on.
It is early days yet and i have no doubt that the esteemed David Cranswick (ex-d/Lux Media Arts) and his team will crank this into something amazing - their workshops alone are enviable. Although i can't wait until their blog is a little more social and a little less bulletin board. ahem. :)
Watch this space peeps.
just to interrupt our flow of reviewing others' works. i have some works in a couple of group projects. both have produced beautiful posters, so i think i'll just save the words and post them instead [click to enlarge].
come and check 'em if you're in the hood.
UPDATE: here's the page from the ICH blog on my stuff: jack
a couple of days before leaving for my lightening fast sydney/brisbane escapade, lucas (the great connector) emailed me about tony birch/tom nicholson's work at artspace, which needed some [artist-as-]participants. i can't remember lucas' description exactly, but it mentioned a lecture, tom nicholson, a building in carlton and a spare spot on the 26th february.
lock me in!
i have been really interested in tom's work for a while and his sound/performance/list collaboration 'lines toward another century' with andrew byrne with had me hopping from side to side.
thanks to a bit of a crazy schedule, i didn't have time to do any research into the project, which worked in my favour i think. i just rocked up, said hello to the gals at artspace, got instructions and launched into it. no time for over-analysing - plenty of time for that during the performance.
the darkened room featured included 5 desks, with a desk lamp and a series of projections behind the 'stations'. each participant/artist read the lecture aloud and to themselves, according to the instructions, as we were giving a paper to a room of 30 students. easy. kinda.
the inbuilt difficulties (and points of interest) included reading at the same time as everyone else, the combination of reading internally and aloud whilst maintaining the same timing and the slight physical duress of sitting in the high-contrast environment for 40 minutes at a time. i always forget how quickly my body is affected by durational work.
despite having to concentrate quite heavily, i found myself thinking A LOT about the work in a variety of ways. so much so that it has taken me about a week to work out what the hell i need to say about it.
camp pell is based in and around royal park, melbourne, and the lectures are about a series of images from the state library of victoria. the idea behind tom's research of the imagery was to not just imagine the context for the photos in question, but to catalogue and corroborate the stories and history of the time/place. unsurprisingly, the complex relationship to imagery, history and colonialisation comes up very early in the piece.
the area in question is very "local" to me - i ride across, around, through there regularly and is a permanent fixture in my psychogeography. reading about this place and its history/image-history was instantly transportive. rather than imagining the events or the landscape of the images, it was like i was remembering those places. the works, for me, were quite different to enacting an arbitrary narrative. they were infused with a sense of my own experience. which, as any good installation artist knows, is the stuff you want people to take from a work.
the sound elements to the work were also interesting to me - the syncopation of vocal relay and the differing tones was amazing. not to mention the randomness of timing. having to share the soundscape with others at times was amusing - another aspect to the territorial nature of the work - but also the sense of authority with which we all projected our voices. in a way, it homogenised the pitch and weight of our ranges. in the way that i guess memory will desaturate imagery, a lecture format desaturated our vocal contrasts. i think this is an area that my vocologist friend tim noonan would have been fascinated by.
reading aloud is physically exausting too, and i think that this shared effort required to communicate the work is another interesting point of connection with other artists and the work itself. it became a visceral task, which has become physical memory, as well as a mental one. something infinitely bound with psychogeography and a relationship with the indigenous manner of remembering ones place.
as well as remembering and listening, i learned a lot. despite the line in my lecture about 'only the most demonstrative student could have gotten away with not hearing about this history of the ill-fated [burke and wills] trip' i actually knew hardly any detail about the crazy hair-brained voyage up the guts of the place. in history lessons i only ever remember wondering why the hell they started the trip in the first place and thought it was blatantly obvious to trust the local indigenous kids to help you survive. but i guess, at 15 i hadn't really discovered the true nature of the proud white colonial male.
as an aside, the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the burke and wills trip is on the 20th august this year and no doubt, there will be commemorations of some kind. it will be interesting to see what, exactly. given that its place as a valuable point in our history has become an uncomfortable indication of our true colonial history (ie bumbling idiots with too much money kill the only help they get and are survived by the only member of their trip who is humble enough to follow guidance from local aboriginal tribe). i'm almost intrigued enough to go along. almost.
other points of goodness in the work are the obvious conceptual links between art and text, art and language, language and meaning, text and meaning. not to mention tom's regular investigation into publication/archive/library/reading-as-political-action and the contemporary nature of artist-as-participant/audience-as-participant in performative works. i can't even begin to digest all that stuff today, i'm glad that i was able to participate - it gave me a burst of food for thought and reminded me why i make the kind of work i do, and to follow the lead of artists like these guys.
i just got back from a roaring trip to sydney and brisbane. sucking in as much art catch-up as i possibly could in two days for each city. easier said than done.
olafur eliasson at the MCA was a massive drawcard and, thanks to sydney's terrible public transport, and my awful time management skills in the face of such chaos, i didn't get to the gallery until friday morning.
funnily enough, it was exactly the kind of exhibition i expected it to be. usually i like surprises in my blockbusters, but there was something extraordinarily comforting about this sense of familiarity.
the mirrored window extension as you first walk in, with its tunnel of one thousand reflections, was perfect for the vista over circular quay and his spectral mirrored architectonic passageway into some of the main galleries was just beautiful. that colour reflective acrylic is an amazing material that seems to be made for OE and his light/colour spectrum schtick.
on either side of the entranceway were two moving light-based works, both reminiscent of film history (especially hitchcock) - one created spaces using the angles of 7 massive quartz light cans and the other used the combination of filter and refraction to create a revolving light/colour installation.
i have seen the lego room before, so didn't participate, but i wasn't surprised to see it filled with teenage boys, building their koolhaasian architectural monuments to the phallus. it was so cliche, that it took the glee out of it for me. although i was pleased to see the one asian boy building a great wall-esque extension - going for span rather than height. interesting ethnographic studies in that room abound!
bracketing the lego room were two spaces that investigated pure colour and light. the circular reflection cylinder was dreamy - on a slow time-loop which graded the colour from one end of the spectrum to the other, slowly moving through from violet to red and every shade in between. as i overheard, at no time, were you ever a witness to a single pure colour - always moving from one to the next.
the other colour-light room was all pure colour. yellow (which, strangely, is the single colour i have always associated with OE. probably because of his sun work, but maybe even before that..). whilst loads of visitors were all freaked out by the purple compensation sensation, i enjoyed the strangely flattened depth of field. it was beautiful to just watch the human form in an altered palette - all nostalgic and dreamlike. i could have actually stayed in that room for a really long time, but sadly i had time constraints.
tracking back through the gallery, past the entrance to the southern wing i flicked past the photos of geological colour samples. i kind of found it boring, although it certainly put his practice in to context. and i went straight into the model and print room, where i fell in love with his 3-part colour wheel/palette prints. they were embossed and layed over each other so that the colours were in a wheel, created by an overlapping triptych of prints - with a perfect triangle of space in the middle. oookkkaayyy, so it does sound pretty simple, but my colour/shape/math geek self went a little weak at the knees.
which was backed up by the part of the show that made me go quite silly with love. i call it the tessellation station.
the first room was lined with his moss wall. by this stage of the show, it was whitey-yellow, all the chlorophyl having been drained out of it. in fact, it reminded me of how the great barrier reef is going to look in the not-too-distant-future, will all the coral being bleached out of existence by the lack of ozone.
in that room was the coolest kaleidescope object - aluminium cones joined together to create a myriad of facets and reflections that produced such simple, but beautiful shapes of reflections. these were visible either through being inside the space and looking out through the cones, or from the outside, looking into the cones. even the structure itself, with its quasi-industrial connections and materials. and, at the same time, the whole thing reminded me of something out of Dragonball Z. or something like that.
the final space was the water-room, which was preceeded by an earthenware brick corridor, floor to ceiling, which modulated temperature, insulated the space and acoustically deadened it. although most treated it as an interstitial space, i loved that in and of itself.
so much so that i forgot to go back into the cloud room. d'oh! if you're going to the show in the next 4 weeks, don't do that. go all the way to the end and into the cloud room. especially if you don't have the chance to go back. like i don't. boo!
anyway, the OE show is fantastic. i was a little concerned that the show might end up being an extension of ego and i would end up hating mr eliasson, or at least feel slimey afterwards. not so - its timbre is so perfectly weighted that i could go back again and again and again.
image credits: all pinched from the mca site.
thanks to my creative catalyst pal, stan, i've discovered yet another reason why i love the internet:
the dila swedish furniture name generator. i love a good visual meme.
here's me as an item of swedish furniture
what's your name? go here.