Friday, October 31, 2008

On the shelf of books

On the shelf sit three unpublished manuscripts including two illustrated children's books. Every now and then they get an airing. Here's a page from my 2003-2006 poetry manuscript.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Social Warming

Until today we have managed to live on our 1/4 acre without one single fence, with the exception of temporary guards around our vegetables to keep the chooks from helping themselves.

However our neighbour to the North has insisted we build one because he doesn't like looking at our water tank and 'unsightly' produce area. We agreed as long as we could design and build it and not have to pay for it, so this is the beginnings of our social warming fence.

The Cuban says, "grow your own food, catch your water, say hello to your neighbour" – a reachable suburban anarchy.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Spoerri's Magic á la Noix, p9.

If the fact of becoming an architect after having built castles in the sand, of becoming a butcher after having pulled the wings off flies, of becoming a professor after having stuck one's nose in books, if all that indicates an incapacity to grow up, then I agree...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Donovan Hohn does plastics

"Never mind that only 5 percent of plastics actually end up getting recycled. Never mind that the plastics industry stamps those little triangles of chasing arrows into plastics for which no viable recycling method exists. Never mind that plastics consume about 400 million tons of oil and gas every year and that oil and gas may very well run out in the not too distant future. Never mind that so-called green plastics made of biochemicals require fossil fuels to produce and release greenhouse gases when they break down. What’s most nefarious about plastic, however, is the way it invites fantasy, the way it pretends to deny the laws of matter, as if something—anything—could be made from nothing; the way it is intended to be thrown away but chemically engineered to last. By offering the false promise of disposability, of consumption without cost, it has helped create a culture of wasteful make-believe, an economy of forgetting."

This thing on the other hand is 100% compostable, printed with vegetable based inks.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Zephyr carves up Swallow

A few years ago Zeph, Michael Farrell and I were walking from one room at the Ian Potter (NGV) – a gallery for non-compostable toxiculture specifically obsessed with Australian art – to another room where Ricky Swallow's dumb Vader object sat mutely on the floor. Zeph took one look at the dark ziggurat-like mask and launched himself at it, quickly mounting the top. At the time I expressed my delight to Micki Faz (as nicknamed by Nick Keys) that Zeph, at age 4, had out-done his dad in terms of cultural achievement. This little flick, taken a month or two ago, reminds me of that beautiful spirit at the Potty.

Offline blog (1967) meets our girls

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Nipple (for Peter O'Mara)

Photography is the art of certainty that accepts as its limits the impartial something that can be captured of the everything that precedes the lens. 

Then there is photoshopping. A digital technique that confiscates the already memorialised before pushing it into the abject world of hyper-mediation. Not to be confused with collage or sampling.

Of course, the tiresome lineal premises of art's capitalisation (as discussed via skype with J this morning) is central to any critique of representation or object fetishised by the bourgeoisie, photographic or otherwise.

And, on another topic, it feels satisfyingly indulgent to be reading Spoerri's 'Mythological Travels..., given to me by my graphic friend Ian, and taken this afternoon by bike to the lake with Meg and her book of essays on plastics and ducks. But not indulgent in the same sense as the bourgeoisie's addiction to impure (non-compostable) consumption, because dipping into Spoerri's peculiar fetishised but unsentimental obsessions with macabre and other objects, crudely printed on the page like roneo copied black and white photos, (Something Else Press, Inc.) – the topographer of chance, the eternal infantile Spoerri – is go!

Marginal carpentry



Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

How to Do Things With Friends (2005)

Several years ago, inspired by reading John Cage, I asked Michael Farrell and Toby Sime to join me in a day's adventure with big dice in Melbourne. I made the dice with off-cuts of plywood and painted them with fast drying acrylic – my work tends to be compulsive; no rehearsal, little planning, loads of opportunity for de-authorisation. I asked a filmmaker friend, Ivor Bowen, to document the day as a surveiller, or as a jaw-agape tourist. Michael, Toby and I just hung around the city inventing games, sitting around, talking to people, walking aimlessly and throwing the dice. A few years later another friend of mine's band, The Haints of Dean Hall, put out an album and I choose the following, completely unrelated country soundtrack to accompany the activities we had previously invented in the city, and spun the two together into the following flick.

In short, Cage's writings on chance and the Situationists' manifesta on 'experimental behaviour' and 'drifting' cumulate into three poets fucking around the city writing poems with big die.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


People say again and again that philosophy doesn’t really progress...It is because our language has remained the same and keeps seducing us into asking the same questions...As long as we continue to talk of a river of time, of an expanse of space, etc. etc., people will keep stumbling over the same puzzling difficulties and find themselves staring at something which no explanation seems capable of clearing up...And what’s more, this satisfies a longing for the transcendent, because in so far as people think they can see the “limits of human understanding”, they believe of course that they can see beyond these.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Composting as collective offensive (for Hamish Morgan)

The following flick is an eyepiece for aerobic composting, where the aeration of the body is contiguous with the world. It's a short flick cut to a short track called Fall by the band called The Thing (now Dirtbird). It's a how-to-do-words-with-things film that emits little methane, recalling "All things fall and are built again" (W B Yeats, 1939), together with "Once upon a time the world was round, and you could go on it round and round" (Gertrude Stein, also 1939).

Carbon is fixed in the soil if the compost is damp and aerated. If the compost is too wet and not turned (not aerated), the organic matter rots, giving off methane. Carbon is the gaseous nutrient. It's transformation, into a greenhouse gas, is CO2. But carbon is organic matter in the soil, if treated well there is less gaseous transformation, less reduction of humus and therefore less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

All things fall and are built again in a closed-cycle ecology – NO WASTE – and those that build them again are microbial and joyous. Our economics and our ecology can now come home – Oikos – together. To give up on gaseous transformation – aspiration/celebrity – is to act as a collective offensive, or in mutual self defence.

So take your pitchfork and give some air to your body. The movement exclusive of industrial agriculture – supermarkets, refrigerants and Monsanto – is in full swing!

This blog is

in gestation.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

To what end?

"The economic crisis is petty by comparison to the nature crunch. But they have the same cause... As we goggle at the fluttering financial figures, a different set of numbers passes us by. On Friday, Pavan Sukhdev, the Deutsche Bank economist leading a European study on ecosystems, reported that we are losing natural capital worth between $2 trillion and $5 trillion every year, as a result of deforestation alone(1). The losses incurred so far by the financial sector amount to between $1 trillion and $1.5 trillion. Sukhdev arrived at his figure by estimating the value of the services - such as locking up carbon and providing freshwater - that forests perform, and calculating the cost of either replacing them or living without them. The credit crunch is petty when compared to the nature crunch." Read more Monbiot here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Past Present Future

Today I continue to work on a text that has inspired this blog's beginnings, The Garden of Self Defence: a postscript to a Free-dragging Manifesto

In this piece I take one diagram, which was originally published 
by the Situationist International as a poster –

New Theatre of Operations for Culture, 1957

And add 51 years of 'everything' compostable and reusable to create my own diagram (in draft form); based upon a return to a closed-cycle ecology – NO TRANSPORTATION OF RESOURCES and NO WASTE! – except of course for experimental anomalies like free-dragging and a trillion other cultural mutations based on chance and experimental behaviour.

Atheatre of Operations for Permanent Culture, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

Pop Fascism

Read more at Just Free Water.

Ian Robertson

Designer of all things and How to Do Words With Things
Distributed by Books@Manic.

Accessing public drinking water

Click on this image to read the map.

How to Do Words With Friends

Public necessity

Everything we buy is likely to be unsustainable 
and/or abusive in terms of its production and 
transportation. Water bottled in plastic is both. 
Read more here and here.

A Free-dragging Manifesto

Read Astrid Lorange's review in Jacket.

Graffiti auction for street kids

All 5 panels of the roaming graf wall stay in Melbourne.