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my listening consolation collection

i have work to do, sure. but the last week has been a bit crummy, so i've dived back into listening to a lot of music and riding around on my bike. i feel like i'm the 13-year old girl i never actually was.

i while back someone wrote an article about not asking artists about art, ask them about music, given the amount they listen to whilst making work. considering how much of it i've been listening to lately, i'd say he was right. plus i've been getting into music blogs, reading music mag subscriptions on the ipad, tracking back hip hop crew connections from the late 90s on wikipedia, using last.fm again?!

it's like i'm having a shit-hot threesome with nostalgia and half-arsed heartbreak.

and i miss seeing art that consoles me that much.

the tate had a thing a while back, rethinking its collections and inspiring audiences to make their own themed version of the collection. i remember The Heartbreak Tate Collection - a few images that would simultaneously stir and console a broken heart.  I'm pretty sure a Rothko was there.

if i was going choose a collection of works based on my recent listening collection, here's what'd be:

an infinite livez performance

rothko's black paintings

lerato shadie's video mmitlw

tracey emin's whole venice biennale installation from 2007

tracey moffatt's other

yoko ono's the cut

marina abramovic - art must be beautiful, artist must be beautiful

rubens - st george and the dragon

the original performance of hennessey youngman's performance art lecture

soda_jerk's astro black

bruce nauman's art make up 1 - 4 (white, pink, green, black)

any of these louise bourgoise works

tim noble and sue webster's black narcissus

almost anything by alice neel

tiepolo - allegory of planets and continents

bellini's st therese sculpture

francis alÿs'  - the green line

francis bacon - seated figure

fischli and weiss - der lauf der dinge

see? all maudlin and pain and fuckery. but sometimes you gotta go there.


from atari



the boom

i recently saw a photo of five awesome women, all sitting in a loungeroom. all smiling faces.

they were all on the one couch, all in a row. and all of them held a baby that was about 6-months old. all of the children belonged to the women.

it's quite a sight, seeing five women with five babies of about the same age. in the same way that it's quite a sight seeing any five people in a row all holding up anything of the same type. you realise that it's officially a 'thing'.

i know i will sound unkind about this, but i almost want to say that it's a trend.

it's certainly a boom.

i don't think it's just because facebook shows me all the baby photos from all women around my age, or because i hang out with some peeps who are having kids, but everyone is having children! it's quite amazing.

and the older i get, the more i feel decidedly on the outer of that boom. and even more committed to my decision to not have children.

i feel quite strongly about my place in society, the world and my friend's circles, as the woman who hasn't had children.

i am quite old fashioned in believing that a woman's identity is not just as a mother or a whore. i feel like it's quite important that i remind the world (both men and women) that women are also artists, academics, thinkers, travellers, code-monkeys, writers and a myriad of other things we contribute.

i feel like it's my role to provide mothers with other things to talk about other than nappy rash, difficulties with teething/sleeping/feeding. they may not want to talk about those things for a while. but when they do, someone needs to have held the fort.

i want to be the one who still goes out dancing until 5am regularly, without it being some kind of nostalgic kick-back to my youth. surely womanhood is an extension of such exhileration?

and, if i'm really honest, i'm quite disappointed at this current boom - largely made up of gen x-ers who, like me, grew up with the riot grrl crew - spouting the importance of fucking with female role models, railing against hair bands, not shaving our legs, swearing, fucking. i know that's a bit black'n'white thinking of me, but there, i said it.

without the banal, there can be nothing remarkable

welcome to this... situation - tino sehgal.
life is either a daring adventure, or nothing - helen keller.

last week was quite the remarkable week.
an amazing week of synchronous interactions that have filled me up. you know that feeling, when you're open to whatever life brings.

and it does.

bring it.

give me something to listen to

a chunk of this was all about just being available and open to whatever people bring you. i had an amazing night and it was kind of the beginning of being open to new experiences.

arty farty friday

breakfast with raphael, coffee with stephen from fitzroy presses, lunch with eddy and birthday celebrations with a stack of arty farty types.

sometimes you just have those days where everyone you meet on the street is awesome and leads you to the next awesome person.

old mate saturday
after being nursed back to health by thomas at small block,  i walk into penny farthing in northcote and run into an old mate - michael. michael studied art, is a shit-hot musician and is studying anthropology! awesome. the last time i saw him was also a chance meeting in monmouth covent garden. it's almost our MO.

then i'm walking down the street on phone call and i get the big reeni 'hey lozza!!!' (which only a few people get away with these days :). we end up catching up properly on saturday afternoon at mess hall, amongst the saturday wedding fracas.

falling in love sunday
i'm in northbridge, after hangin' out at the fringe freebies comedy session and i'm heading towards the bird to check out a band. i'm actually stopped, texting on my phone when a dude in sparkly jacket, tripod/video camera and cat mask comes up to me and asks if i'm adventurous.

yes i am!

admittedly, i kind of have a clue as to what the hell was going on (the mask and the camera being a bit of a giveaway for gob squad), but i was still clueless to exactly what was going on.

this cat, erik, asked me if i was willing to fall in love. and that in that journey, would i be willing to kiss a rabbit. sure! why not! all of this is kind of happening on camera (i assume). but i had no idea that it was live. i got spun around northbridge, ended up dancing with other peeps in costume (a fabulous silver sequinned jumpsuit), a gorilla and a few peeps watching.

then, an oversized rabbit came running towards me, he took me in his arms and kissed me in slow motion. he picked me up in  his arms and we assumed the pose of a thousand movie kisses.

the he proclaimed his gratitude to me by sacrificing himself - well, taking his clothes off bit by bit. his mask, tie, sweaty shirt and pants.

then i was whisked off to the state theatre to watch a show that i had wanted to see (but it had sold out) and was now the star of!

it was quite exciting to see the context for what just happened, watching the story unfold (and being a bit behind the rest of the audience who had participated in the first part of the show).

and it was a little weird seeing myself on screen, but it was actually much better than it has ever been before. i obviously chose relatively flattering clothes :).

at the end, the cast whisked me onto stage with them and i got to do curtain call and clap and say hey to the peeps! it was quite amazing.

see? you get to fall in love if you're open to what life brings.


pitch, roll and yaw

i'm back at CIA studios for a few weeks. huzzah!

this time on my own self-directed residency, trying to make a good start on an interactive wearable project i feel like i've been on about for ages! in fact, it's the one that i went to UOW to make a start on.

well, just today i feel like i've made a new kind of progress!

last week was about planning and writing applications for other exciting things, but today i spent a chunk of the day getting my head around the process for making works again (conception, research, design, build, test), doing some more codecademy lessons and starting to fuck around with a wii-mote.


i wrote about this a while ago and have started to revisit josh noble and his excellent suggestions. especially because at some stage this morning, half way through a drawing, half way through eating, half way through a lesson and surrounded by a stack of pulled-apart boards, i had a moment of 'oh fuck, what do i do now?'.

i know that this residency is about play - it's about giving myself the time to get my head into learning some basic programming, to mess around with circuit boards and to work on some prototypes. it turns out that i've become quite accustomed to producing work, go, go, go, outcome, outcome, outcome that i had forgotten what it was like to just get a bit lost.

and sometimes i freak out when i get lost. (conception, research, design, build, test. sigh)


steve berrick (my geek partner-in-crime and general awesomesauce) put me onto this site.

apparently it's Code Year - the year we can all learn to get technical and this site is set up to give week-by-week lessons. Codecademy is one of the initiatives for it.

And it's really amazing! it's exactly for dumb-asses like me.

You get little badges and running scores, things to work towards, step-by-step lessons, hints and a Q&A section that is full of questions. including dumb ones like mine.

var The_Gist

And it's supported by some amazing people, including the ubiquitous online startup VC rad-man Fred Wilson. He's kind of everywhere. I like his quote from the site:

I'm currently getting my head around javascript, which i think is going to stand me in good stead for processing later too.

I'm only at the end of the first week's lessons/projects (I have a FizzBuzz badge, for those playing along at home), and i have a few weeks' worth of catching up to do, but i feel like it's already making a difference.

One of their partners is Girl Develop It, a site which supports more girls programming and developing (which i totally endorse). A fantastic idea, that certainly makes me even more determined to learn shit.
Although, i have to say, the get-together aspect of GDI is not as interesting to me, or exciting as the format that Codecademy have done.*

wiimote and osculator

on the weekend, i went to OK Gallery to see David Egan's show. There is an interactive sculpture in it and i was lucky to find out a bit more about the magic behind it.

I discovered a component that is perfect for what i want (bluetooth enabled, gyro responsive, connected to ableton). for some godforsaken reason, sparkfun have retired the board and it's no longer available!


in my lazyweb call for help, the kids at ololo suggested (probably not for the first time) that i look into the wiimote as a sensor.  and that i could use this ace new program call osculator, which graphs the OSC data from the wiimote, which can then be exported, or played. yay! exactly what i needed.

this began an exciting day of shifting my head side to side, watching the axes go up and down. using words like roll, yaw and pitch - seriously (not just to win words with friends).

i also pulled apart an after-market version of the wiimote and will start playing with how to package it using cloth, leather, felt - other things, not plastic.

i feel like i actually made progress today and that i could almost start to build something! yay!

*mostly because I'm a nomad, between time-zones/hemispheres and often i'm not so interested in the meet-up model, but the actually learn shit at the same time model.


obligatory chris brown post

i just want to go on the record saying that chris brown and i are not related.

which is just as well: being related to a violent misogynist is hard work. half the women in the world know what i'm talking about.

breezy, who got pwned by busta rhymes in look at me now *(perhaps the grammy really needs to go to busta, huh), is a terrible blight on music, poetry and even crass celebrity. i will never get within a thousand miles of him, but i still feel the clunk of fear in my guts when i hear his name.

and i have never quite understood why he's still out there, without so much as an apology or a sense that things really have changed. in fact, it seems to be business as usual.

i only really learned that he hadn't become a pariah when i was doing the residency at collingwood last year and a 9-year old gorgeous girl, sonnie, loved chris brown and i had to include him in the mix tape. i never weighed in on people's musical choices during that process, but when she said that she liked chris brown.

it's for girls like sonnie that the thought of chris brown getting a grammy: more sales, air time, more weight - makes me sick to the bottom of my uterus. it's girls like sonnie that boys like breezy get away with beating on. the only thing i could say to her that i really didn't like him. that he was a nasty man.

and you know, honestly, i didn't realise quite how nasty. last night i read the police report on mtv (like everyone else) and it's quite shocking. the fact that rihanna is still an amazing confident performer after that shit is impressive.

and then i read the sickening buzzfeed link on twitter responses to c-brown. the 'i'll let you beat me' feed. oh i almost vomitted. not to mention the revolting comments after their post.

this post by lamb beats wolf put it into another level of perspective (including the fabulous counter tweets by @JennyJohnsonHi5).

i do believe that people make fucked up mistakes, that change happens and that people deserve the chance to make things differently. i have lots of friends who have become amazing people, thanks to that second chance.

but from what i know of people who have fucked up, they have humbly admitted it, often publicly and they change.

and you know it - you can hear it in their voice. they disappear for a while, they pull back and work out how to be better. they don't hire a crack PR team and keep telling people to 'get all the way off my dick' on twitter.

which i'm pretty sure is why there's quite the furore over my man CB's grammy thang. it's not just because he's a shit musician, or that we can't forgive.
it's not because we don't understand the complexity of domestic violence.
but because we can see a liar from a thousand paces and when you reward bad behaviour, it says a whole lot about the world you want to live in.

domestic violence resources
[map of the world's data on women's physical security]

*do yourself a favour, click on the lyrics starting with 'ayo breezy' and check out the 'meaning' behind them.

image source: lamb beats wolf, via buzzfeed.


something to listen to


i just wanted to quickly back up on last week's performance Give Me Something To Listen To.

it was an amazing experience.
sometimes i bit terrifying, right?

i didn't actually know what would happen. i could have sat in an empty chair for three hours, trying to convince myself that 'better luck next time' is adequate consolation.

thankfully that wasn't the case - there was a pretty steady stream of people who liked the idea and had things to bring me. some people knew me and brought things that were incredibly meaningful (or just mean - ahem). others heard about the work, liked the idea and brought things they thought i might like, or that they wanted me to like. others brought their favourite song or even their own work.



my 'performance' in this instance is quite subtle. another artist described it as 'not performing performing'. but with an ever-changing audience, those that stayed and watched me listening noticed a few interesting things about the action of listening in this way.

as each person sat down and i handed over my headphone jack to them (the first person i plugged it into their ipod myself and it just felt a little bit violatory), it was almost ceremonial. as was the end, when they handed back my headphone jack.

each track was quite different and i tried to be as true as i could to whatever i was listening to.

i really listened and the world changed a little bit each time. sometimes my world became a movie, or a film clip. sometimes i was completely taken over by joy and movement - like when heidi gave me 'i want you back', by the jackson 5 - my favourite song of all time. or when gonzalo put jay-z and mc punjabi's remix of blame the boys. we just rolled together.



each person sitting next to me had a different level of comfort. some were completely comfortable - especially those who almost listened along with me - they could see where i was up to in the track. others were quite uncomfortable, or bored. most started fidgeting at about the 1'30 mark. 3'30 is quite a long time when you're just sitting there.

looking through the early documentation, it's interesting to look at the shape of the space between me and the other 'performer'.


sometimes it really felt like i had a partner in crime. other times that other person became a character in a music narrative, depending on the song/track.



i asked everyone afterwards about the significance of the track they chose and we had some great discussions. after the hypnosis for pubic hair loss, we discussed the idea of gender as a psychological construct (and thus able to be changed through hypnosis).

sarah gave me a song that she knew was one of the first songs she ever gave me. sarah and her brother's collection was incredibly influential on my love of music.

lynda's choice of alvin lucier's i am sitting in a room was an obvious one for her. we were able to discuss the significance of distortion, and of the next level of listening to that work in a room, different to the one i was in.

it was also amazing to see how relevant the tracks became. even by people who had never met me before and knew nothing about my practice. For instance, someone gave me Dreams by Fleetwood Mac and i had never heard the line 'play the way you feel it, but listen to the sound..' before. Wow.


it was the first time i performed that work as a whole and i have to say that i'm pretty happy with how it worked.

thanks to those who came. and for those in other cities, or if you missed out in melbourne, i have a feeling this is just the beginning.

Labels: , ,


90 in 90 days.

if you've ever given up drugs and alcohol, you might have had to attend 90 12-step meetings in 90 days. i hope you made it.

well, i've been feeling the need to get back on track with my hand/eye/brain situation, so have prescribed myself some similar treatment: 90 drawings in 90 days. it's not easy, but it feels like this kind of discipline and focus might just help keep me together in the next little while.

i'm not doing it for the final things - the drawings are pretty scrappy, but i feel good when i'm doing them. my mind feels clearer and i feel like i can see better. i also might have to blame my gauche drawing teachers at NAS for that.

they're not pretty, or clever, but here are a couple of samples so far. this will be the last post about it until maybe the last day. but i'm uploading them as regularly as i can to a flickr set. you can follow along there.

day one

06 day six

10 day eleven

13 day thirteen


Give Me Something To Listen To



disco beans and release the bats

if i followed everyone else's suggestion, i would have stayed at home on the weekend.
but i didn't.

on saturday night, akiko and i went to a rad global beats show at disco beans - featuring a stack of japanese and ex-brisbane DJs.

it's in the wacky front room of the japanese cafe/art space/bar/thang on high st. it was my first dance party at disco beans and i almost left early 'cos the first couple of acts weren't poppin' it for me.

luckily, i was too busy flirting with fellow partygoers to get around to leaving.
the headlining act, suckafish p jones was the biz. ness. i danced like a maniac for his hour-long set, which included a stack of latin, african, hip-hop and tropicalia beats all mixed up with some other wacky shit. it was gggreat and we didn't get home until 3am. and boy did i need that.

it total restored my faith in small underground gigs and the power they still have to burst into joy.

that faith was reinforced at sunday's experimental/improv music gig in studley park. featuring bum creek, snawklor and sun araw, the bands oozed out over the bell bird picnic area. their set ups on picnic tables, powered by car batteries and portable cell packs, it was a mesmorising and magical gig.

as dusk closed in to the sounds of sun araw, the bats woke up and headed out for a sunday night of partying. it reminded me to watch lost boys again.

i have missed out on a stack of big gigs this week (das racist, odd future, kanye) - my head in my own world, but this weekend, i was grateful for the brilliant local gigs that still keep me buzzing and filled.

image credits:
disco beans i like you world
bats lindi we