Monday, April 24, 2006

skin of my teeth

Art and Mayhem barely scraped through this week - and there wasn't even enuff time to play a one minute track by Inch Time - in order to evoke the nice live drawing thing by roy ananda that I saw last night.

this is a pity because the soft organisc fluffy electronica woud have well matched the gentle tones of Daz's programming.....

oh well. a shakey, scrapey rushing start - but, at least i didn't get called "miss" and I do hope to hang in there, somehow.....

Yesterday was a nice day of Kulcha - the art in the park had nary a shade of Khadi, and there was only one truly appalling piece, whihc was so bad it was kind of cool. A chrome polished steel cuved swoosh wiht little ladyfeelt on the end, perched on a black plinth - well, I decided htat it was an open field reference to the ambiance of the partk - and tyring to tie in the Oxford Tavern on the next corner. Hope the oxford tavern buys the work - coz it'd make a great addiiton to the neon legs on the Rita's Restaruant sign......

There were lovely shimmering latticey things hanging from a tree as I tried to track down Christopher Newman's details from Anna Bazzi Backhouse - the new arts officer. Chris, if you, or anyone you know is reading this YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY GAY IN THE VILLAGE - and we're having a school reunion. (even our mother's went to school together!) email me now!

well the shimmers reminded me of fun times in the last decade heading off the the Gayand Lesser Beings parades - or kookey, or something, or frigid even?

and then someone had a calderesque cow skull going mobile i the corner - and this made me really happy - coz I'd been listening to nick Cave all morning - and ksuls in the sunlight are kinda cheery and winsome.......

and nick's parrallelax was great, and sams stuff fabric bits were great, and I'm real glad to see that Kaz has moved on from mdf - and used that great piercied pinboard stuff to good effect.

I saw lucazoid plus nobody and the rock star that was Maxine Foxx. We all headed off on a reconnaisance mission ot the barefoot bowls at petersham. Chek cout lucazoids blog for more ifo.

Ten I went to frigid - and nearly missed the ananda eyeball experience - due to being conrerned by a feral from the weld (volunterily I giht add - twe had gossip to caht up on).

I snuggled up at the front for the nice fluffy inchtim set - which was neatly introduced by Seb's bold and crafty seguing of random global fusion bits......

Roy was stationed at a big white board - and I'd assumed that the live drawing would be some kind of trippy gestural butoh thing....... (wher drawing becomes an extension of dancing....)

but. Roy - kind ostuck to the same bodily movements of DJ's - that kind of calm cerebral containment. he had 2 poses; one standing up and oe crouching down, and he styed pretty much on the spot. Stefan Panzak was iitially the most compellig mmebe rof the duo - (you shold have seen is eyeballs roll) - but we only had a back view of roy.

His picture that ememrged was a cerebral quasi-Klee kind of slow gental whimsly. Bery tructural - lines and cones and cylinders forming a type of body. Then he got out the gouache and knwckd some of th planes back. It was nice. I enjoyed it.

Enough art reviews!

this week - Greg shapley has recycled a hamburger from a first draft show in 2004. I've tacked on the media release below.

It opens on wednesday 26th April at GLint Gallery, level 1, 226 Union street South Newtown. It should be visible thurs, frid and sat during the day. for this week only!

Gallery 4A have an opening on Friday 28th April . Called ghosts of the coast, it has a pretty good lineup including Lional Bowden, Cherine Fahd, Alex Kershaw, Pat Sae-Loy, Evan Salmon, Todd robinson, Mel O'Callaghan and Prateep Suthathongthai.

I spoke about some fashion disasters contest on saturday, but I've lost the flyer. sorry.

THE BURGER REPEATS (The Sleazeburger)

An installation by Greg Shapley

WHERE: Alpha Gallery (In the Alpha House Artists' Cooperative Ltd)
Level 1, 226 Union St, Erskineville (South Newtown)
(Around the corner from the Union Hotel)

WHEN: Opening: Wednesday April 26th, 6-9pm
Running from Thursday 27th to Saturday 29th April
Gallery Hours: 1pm-5pm

A day or two before Australia Day last year, fellow artist, Deb Baker,
and I did something quite uncharacteristic: we stopped off at
Blacktown McDonalds and bought a cheeseburger. This turned out to be
no ordinary cheeseburger however.

After resisting the temptation to devour it on the long journey home,
we installed it as part of our work in the exhibition 'In Pursuit of
WMDs' at Firstdraft Gallery. Just like the now famous Mary, Mother of
God cheese-on-toast apparition (that sold for thousands of dollars on
Ebay recently), this burger was destined for a greater use than a
tasty snack or a one-off appearance. Thus 'The Cheeseburger' makes its
second appearance - over one year later. Miraculously, it has not
deteriorated at all; the meat is not maggotted, and the cheese is as
fresh as the day it was umm... processed (in fact, an upturned cheese
corner has given the burger a somewhat cheesy grin).

This time the cheeseburger has been filmed sauntering sleazily down a
conveyer belt. It is pitch black, except for our softly focussed -
almost pornographic - iconic fast food. It is soon followed by a
perfect replica - a simulacrum. A cross between bumper cars and
Pacman, these two burgers go through a prolonged ritual. Are they
colliding? ...having sex? ...melding into one? ...or all of the above?
the second burger becomes one with its pursuant, the ritual begins
again and never ends - the burger repeats.

Greg Shapley is an audiovisual artist and composer. His last work was
A THING OF BEAUTY: AN ACT OF TERROR. It explored the infinite
possibilities of the finite using planes, statues, and jaywalkers.


Thursday, April 20, 2006

Stuff this Week

I'm getting back into town on Saturday.

so far I'm managed to avoid ALL semblance of CULCHA in thoe coutnry. Mym mum is a volunteer minder at the local art gallery - so I may pop in - and we were planning on dropping by NERAM - befor eI fly out on saturday.

Not that sydney readers would give a stuff - so why bother?

Back In sydney - I've got dreams of spending sunday avoiding my backyard life drawing grouop - and whizzing around chekcing out the white boxes..... well not quite.

Marrickville council has some ART In THE PARK thing at Manudrell Park at Petersham.
It sounds Ghastly and they should get someone new to rewrite their press releases.

Fortunately I do KNOW some of the artists involved - and know that they are the sculptors from the STONE VILLA - some of whom used to be at that fun studio at the back of Kelly COuntry studios - before it got Dog Boxed.

So I reckon it won't be the ususal frightening community arts event (with unshaven members of the ALP left doing their pseudo boho thing by wearing patchwork batik pants- argh!!!) but maybe more like a traditional sculptors pissup.

Nick Strike had some stuff at SLOT last year , and even took on the men of metal one year with an installation involving used water bottles, and Sam whittingham does great soft stuff and despite using MDF, Caz Hazwell makes nice things so I hope she's brought one of her big ones along. Other sculptors are Szilvia Gyorgy, Rodney Nash, Phillip Barnes, Greame Endean, Stephen Ralph, Bernard Appassamy, Daniel Simon and Kelly Leonard.

ART IN THE PARK - A biannual exhibition of work by local sculptors at Maundrell Park, which is located on the corner of Stanmore Road and Hopetoun Street, Petersham.

Sunday 23rd April 11-4 pm. Official Opening 12pm

Afterwards I'm gonna toddle up Canterbury Road to NEWTOWN RISSOLE for something that loks really fun.THOSE noyce boyz form tha Proppa KULCHA lifestyle experience that is SUB BASS SNARL - are doing an ART & MUSIC HYBRID experience. If anyone listens to Paradigm shift on 2SER - or has attended FRIGID in the past 10 years, or looks at the OZCO funded Cyclic Defrost mag - or, you know, whatever.... come on down to the Neetown RISSOLE for a bit of LIVE DRAWING. I've tacked on the blurb below. I'll be there with boots on.


This Sunday we are back with a big week after last Sunday's
intermission. This week we have former Adelaidian and now UK resident
Inch Time performer live with his artist friend Roy Ananda who has
worked with him for many years.
Inch-time (aka Stefan Panczak) makes music that focuses on the
melding of organic and electronic sounds; combining minimal, melodic
electronica with such diverse influences as jazz, folk and World
music to create a wholly unique and beautiful sound. Returning from
his London base for the April Tour he will be previewing new songs
from forthcoming album "As The Moon Draws Water", out in June on
Static Caravan (UK). Expect to hear some sparkling, chiming and
seductive electronica that's as subtle and beautiful as it is
impossible to resist.
Roy Ananda is a visual artist who works in the fields of drawing,
sculpture and installation. Roy’s collaboration with Inch-time began
some five years ago in the form of improvised live drawings
accompanying Inch-time’s live performances and DJ sets. The
collaboration has continued by way of Inch-time’s EPs and albums,
with Roy providing artwork for all releases so far. For the April
Tour, Roy will once again provide a live visual accompaniment;
locating mark and surface next to notes and silence, mapping out a
drawing-based analogue to Inch-time’s distinctive and sublime

And, fresh from their new live set and lineup at The Great Escape,
ollo pop in for a suprise live set showcasing some material from
their upcoming new album . . . so no excuses!

Frigid @Newtown
52 Enmore Rd, Newtown


Sunday April 23
8pm to 1145pm

Inch Time (live, UK)
Roy Ananda (live drawing)
ollo (live)
Seb Snarl

If you dig anything from Four Tet to ambient electronics, or are
curious about what 'live drawing' might entail, then drop in. Its free.

We now have just six weeks of Frigid left to run so come and enjoy
the good, innovative live electronic music while you still can.

After 10 years we are finishing up with our 10th Birthday which
happens on the June long weekend - Saturday June 10 with Luke Vibert
and plenty of surprise guests. You can buy your tickets at http://

Saturday, April 15, 2006

ART the easter manifesto - Part 2

I'd like to think that ART - as a culturally contested zone where desires, play, surprise and rules get mediated. Of course this means that any activity that is 'avant garde' is placed immediately in a position of recuperation within consumer culture and this is largely what ART institutions are designed to do: manage creativity so it can be harnessed and projected back into the capitalist imaginary. The speculative art market is just the financial fetishizing of this very significant cultural role that ART actually plays in consumer society. I also think that 'outsider' art is just as implicated within capitalist cultural management as anything else. And I don’t see kitsch as some sort of quasi-primitivist authentic parallel universe. I think shunting art into this little space of ‘outsiderism’ often just facilitates the acute conformity, either of the individuals concerned, or of the society that champions it. The most bourgeoise boring fucks in the world wet themselves at the idea of the artist as ‘enfant terrible’, and the real tragedy of genuinely madness – is that mentally ill people are incredibly boring. There are few surprises in a solid word salad.

So I think art is implicated with capitalism. Artists do operate largely as extreme sports entrepreneurs. Most of us are just fledgling bits of the petite bourgeoise who find new forms of real estate (from squats to warehouse apartments), new fashion (obvious) new communication systems (blogs, podcasting, film) and other accroutements. And also new forms of self sufficiency. Artists work from home, work odd hours, don’t unionise, don’t separate themselves from their work. We’re a perfect model for the new TEAMCREW corporate slaves of the new knowledge economy. Why is it that so many artists either come from middle class (open minded but cautious parents) families, or drag along huge suitcases of their aspirational class resenting baggage?

I shouldn’t be so cynical should I? Why do I cane the avant-garde – when so much art, especially in Sydney is not even aspiring to being avant-garde? Its just really drab flat stylised shit – that’s about as transgressive as a misspelt cappuccino in a country town? You know the kath & kim stuff on Glenmore road, or the evil evil toadlike shit of Pro Hart & Charles Billich, that sucks the soul out through your eyeballs. People reckon they are “aussie heros” but people also vote for John Howard. There’s no excuses for confusing demagogy with popularism.

I think its because the avant-garde still represents the capitalist imaginary and its an imaginary that still holds true for most people – and almost certainly for the readers/contributors of OSAS. How many of us are scraping by the fringes of academia/curatorship – or some other little fucked up corner of the knowledge economy? (Who else is living off a trust account? Or an inheritance?) Just on the edge of some nice hidey hole – that we try to despise while clinging to like a life-raft as we drift on the sea of precarity… Hell! there’s no way I’d say no to a lectureship or some nice curatorial position – would you? Isn’t OSAS also about creating our own circulations – our own new niche that can allow us to wedge our way into the systems that exist. I’ve heard that a couple of uni lecturers now mention my BLOG in their art writing courses. It gives them easy kudos to be talking about blogging – when they only publish where they can earn DEST credit points, and it might help me brow-nose my way into the odd guest lecturing scam – where I get paid to be the officially sponsored freak for an hour. Queer theory anyone? Would you like it illustrated or served with Deleuze? Then I can say I’m an artist, maybe show a coupla slides from some naked whacky performance piece – but no, not my oil paintings. No that won’t quite do, will it?

But back to sex. Not that I’m getting any of it lately. (can’t quite face the country boys in the pub and am way too scared of potential sapphic encounters at the local indoor cricket centre). I still believe that this libidinous force, is one that impels delightful things like fucking, swimming, dancing, painting, singing. It’s a breathing animal force, or movement, structured movement outwards that takes us forwards towards surprises. If I swim – I make a rule – do this stroke, go here, don’t go there, do it this many times – and I see, feel, touch things on the way. If I did this every day for a few years I could probably call myself a swimmer – especially if I wasn’t just doing laps in the local pool – but say, swimming across the harbour – or along Pittwater, or some new place. Sex? – how many things can you do with another persons body while you’re naked? How many things can you touch? taste? Feel? It’s about moving, surprise, delight. Not static, not a morbid thing at all. And yet some people perform sex as some sort of one sided ritual. Some people it’s a drudge and other it’s a dirge. For many it’s a like an orgasm race – with minimal physical contact. And sometimes, when its flat and dull and hellish – it is like death. And what is death like – is the incredible feeling on aloneness – which happens after a sexual non-encounter. And it is hell.

This is probably a good point to bring in why Charles Billich is so bad. His works look like bad graphic designer life drawing sketches superimposed onto illustrated architectural sketches and then printed out onto canvas. The nymphs – are like bad soft porn – and look like whoever drew them spend 5 seconds looking at a woman -before executing a generic pneumatic nymph with varying hair styles or cropped views. The nymphs have no individuality, no age, nothing more than ‘this is a nymph’. Believe, while bored, I’ve tried to get a wide on for a Billich nymph. And I have failed. Porn – always needs to convey something outlandish and impossible. Good porn suggests an element of surprise, an explosion of tumescence (even though you know what will happen), some kind of eruption, shock, surprise, which pneumatic pseudo sabled smoothed surfaces just don’t. Good porn happens in good painting. Strange eruptive surfaces. Stepping towards a work and being surprised by something. A strange surface – a rupture revealing a colour you didn’t thing was there before. A blob that looks like something or reminds me of some bug I saw when I was a kid. Ok the juices running may be more likely to be coming out of my nose – but its still a damn delight. Surprise, nostalgia, delight. A very strange little link between intimate gesture of one person – ends up feeding the imagination of another. An it’s magic.

So even if the desire gets recuperated and channelled off into someone’s desire for a fucking new couch or new pair of shoes. Or it makes you feel all awkward and sets of latent aspirational tendencies to go climb that corporate ladder, or to be a better manager, a better mother, a good well fitting cog in the machine. If it smears and smooths down into a smug little sentiment of self satisfaction at a dalliance with some naughty little thing that you don’t have to share with your bedding companions, does the thing that produces it still deserve to exist? Is it ART? Is it worth it?

I’m going to argue that of course it is, because I’ve invested my life and most of my ego in art – so I’m destined to find some pat moral solution to resolve my own discomfort. I still hold that the thing that separates life from death is surprise and change, and I’m all in favour of piss bolting away form death and finding some sort of sustainable surprise wherever I can lay my hands or eyeballs on it. I’d call a surprise ‘sustainable’ - when the level of exchange, interchange, delight, familiarity, nostalgia, longing, desire, satiation – go much deeper and profoundly and affect my being. It’s why a cheesy novel by Tolstoy still moves me than a cheesy novel by err…. Ahhh….. (I’m looking around my bedroom) …. Enid Blyton? Gaston Bachelard very nicely conveyed how Great Literature – alters the very fibres of our psychic being by setting off associations with our material imaginary – and he did it way better than I could – so I’ll stop this line of argument right here. “Of water and dreams” is really good.

What I like in BAD ART ™ - is that if someone does something inept – they usually haven’t got as many competent cultural controls over their processes and so there is a space for surprise. What is usually called kitsch – (especially in ye olde clemente greenberger model) – is usually just displaying an excessive delight in colours and textures, and a strong affective indulgence in fetishized fragments of consumer culture. So someone might like shells, so they’ll buy some plasticky blue picture frame to with moulded shells, to stick a photo in. I’m not sure if people actually buy those things, but someone must somewhere. I once saw a woman who made about a hundred bears all of them in these weird elaborate 19th century dresses with parasols and fancy bonnets. And she had some BLACK FURRED BEARS – wearing the same freaky outfits – ONLY THE FABRIC HAD CENTRAL DESERT STYLE DOT PAINTINGS MOTIFS. And she’s spent HOURS on them! And had so much more investment that a $2 blue plastic shell frame at a $2 shop, or some ‘noice’ style scribbled post-post object art drawing at your local ARI. So for me – it was really interesting.

Actually I’ve used examples that are too easy to dismiss or recuperate. I should go back to the bad queer art at that nice dykey cafĂ© in Newtown. 40 x 40cm square canvases. OK. Bright colours, OK. The subjects – are central core-ish ‘motifs’ – could be leaves – or twat bits. OK that’s laughable. And some bad 90’s cartoon style faces. Like keith looby without the texture. This officially and calculatedly conveys gender androgyneity in the same way that some brief for a council funded community art poster might. Take no risks. They look kind of smooth skinned – and they could be anyone – probably young. Probably – white – straight noses – and eyes can’t quite tell – and they look – everything is in bright cartoon colours – so they have no race do they? It’s not funky, it’s not inclusive and its not art. The painting is flat. Meticulously laid down in straight blocks of colour. I imagine the contained, controlled smoothing movements. Someone has thought about every single mark they’ve made. It;s about as queer as Charles Billich – and about as sexy.

Knowing my luck I’ll run into the artist next week, whose probably a lovely woman who’s had a really hard life and I’ll find myself cheering her on as I eat my hat. But I still demand the space to own my impressions and responses to this work and why it makes me depressed. And hopefully something might happen that does challenge my views. I like being proved wrong and I like surprises. My interest in Open Source Art School – is about creating spaces for discourses about art – where people can articulate surprise, delight, confusion – and own them outside of the existing structure of cultural competence or taste making. I’m unsure how this can challenge or overthrow capitalism, but I do know that any good exchange, any new experience can provide a movement away from isolation, boredom and death.

Monday, April 10, 2006

April Fools

I spent last week in the studios of various painters drooling about the dribbly stuff.

I didn't wanna make listerners jeanous about stuff they can'tgo and see so we stuck to discussing LUCZOID's current project in Petersham.

We even managed to get the radio talkback thing happening via the foam lined studio next door - to see what lucazoid is up to.

Bascially Lucazoid is spending all of April and May within the local government boundaries of Petersham. He wanted to see what it would be like to situate himself actively and consciously within and around his residential location, whihc he's described as mainly a place to eihter sleep or drink.

This time last year he was doing a similar thing in Kellerberrin, a small wheatbelt town in WA. (see Kellerberrin is geographically isolated and so more easily identifiable as a distinct commmunity than the commuter contagious transitional zone of an inner city sydney suburb. So far Lucazoid said the main form of cummunity interaction revolves around DOGS. He's borrowed hisniehgbours pooch to get with the street life.

but is it art?

Lucazoid's residencies are part of a broader cultural concern which is a bit of a hottie in the contemproary art scene with space, and social networks. Everyone is wetting themselves nowadays about how art, being err.... being err.... being, a series of activities, thoughts and processes........ can actually be used not only to represent, but to shape and intervene in existing forms of cultural and social activity.

In Kellerberrin, Lucazoid was doing stuff like getting schoolkids into fluxus activities, and working on a s eries of games, or structured activities...... theses were ways of interacting with peoples social habits and formations. Its a kind of cultulra experiment I guess.

anyway - you cna check it out fer yerselves on:

I also offered a listeners challenge: if anyone can drag lucazoid out of petersham before June - and supply evidence. dunno about prize money though......

I didn't wanna plug art shows this week BECAUSE IT TIME TO GET SERIOUS. Phillipe played a story about Howards decision not to allow asylum sekers form Easter Papua to obtain refuge in Australia, and this Easter weekend will feature a national convergence of refugee activists on the detention centre at villawood. It promises to be colourful cultural, meaningful and probably fun and ahell of a lot cheaper than the great escape music festival..... If you are going to the latter - then Nobody form squatspace is gonna organize a live video hookup between the protesters and the partiers - so bascialy epople cna have their cake and eat it too.

Check out:

for more info and updates.

I'm heading off into regional australia tomorrow to do a tour of small country galleries and explore my cultural roots in bad landscape painting, and even work on the thesis, so I'll be back on the 24th April to blab more.

In the meantime I won't be able to attend the show at G&A studios, above the olde knot that opens thursday night. Official Address is 203/242 Elizabeth Street, surry Hills. It could be anything. I got a text from a graffiti artists and a joint email from jessie cahcillo/ I'd recoomend taking a packed lunch coz the takeaway food in that area is frightening.

While doing a studio tour last week - I also came across some bloody amazing stringy charcoally humanoid tree-like works on paper. They belong to Raelene Marr -who has a show oepning at the Dept Galery at Danks - this week as well. Nortmally I'd steeer clear of Danks for fear of Pru&Tru contamination from the cafe - but these drawings looked great, and if she can stick em on a wall without some scary mounty framey boxy shit - they'll be tops.

Lucazoid metnioned the new stuff at Loose. Loose apparel is a group show of the funky young things that have shunted on into the Scott donovan space - whihc is upstairs from the moricave. (find some stairs at 168 Day street, in the city across form Darling harboar). Apparently loose are everything that first draft promises to be but ain't. Artist with street cred, doing good curating of , as dale from cyclic defrost puts it 'proper culture'.


Monday, April 03, 2006

Ides are Out: monday april 3rd.

Well, Rohan has gone into the radio vaults at Auntie and his tonsils are never to brave the ariwaves of any community radio at least not unitl howard kills off the ABC completely or they somehow get resuccitated with some decent management. Alas. Fortunately, phillippe has stepped into the void with some damn fine music and dulcet tones to match. We've just got him until easter and then someone called DAZ take over the monday overdrive slot. I hope she likes me.

Today we had Ruark Lewis on the show discussing ARTLANGUAGE show at Cross Arts which opened on Saturday (among other things)

At The Cross Art Projects
33 Roslyn Street, Kings Cross, Sydney (opposite St Lukes Hospital gates)
Exhibition continues to: Saturday 29 April 2006.

I've got more details later.

We also discussed the SNO show which opened on Friday and that Ruark attended but that I missed. NSO stands for SYDNEY NON OBJECTIVE and its at First Floor, 175 Marrickville Rd, Marrickville. the current show goes until April 29th, and ruark said it featured walls painted with lots of pretty lines which made him want to hum. It sounds like the first year painting project at SCA. (they had to paint their studios with all these coloured squares) but the line up is goo with Helen Smith, Matt Hinkley, Tony Triff, Jan Van de Ploeg.Ph: - 0431 434 904

The reason I missed SNO, was that I toddled over to the tin sheds to see Amanda Robins's exhibition "What Lies Beneath". She's the queen of exquisitely invaginated fabric and the big graphite drawings took my breath away as I felt myself dissolve into the surfaces. Diaphanous membranes are go. If you wanna see sublime (I do apologise for that word) pencil workd - get donw to the tin sheds and try not to let the architects scare you off. the tin shes is on the right hand side of the courtyard to the sydney Uni architecture building on City Road. the Exhibition closes 22 April 2006. Gallery hours: Tues-Sat 11am-5pm

For people who missed hobnobbbing with the biennale Set on saturday, The Power Institute Reception has Talk with Charles Merwether, Curator of the 2006 Biennalle of Sydney about the BIENNALE: ZONES Of CONTACT. Drinks happen from 6pm tomorrow night (Tuesday 4th April). the talkfest happens at 6.30. Its in Mill Lecture theatre, room 309 of the mills building on sydney uni and they are charging $10/$20.

I'll probably be at either: some brush art exhibition opening at KUDOS gallery near COFa in Paddington, or at some show at UTS gallery featuring new british designers.

Gallery 44 at 44 little Oxford Street Darlingithurts has a show called "Reapplying Past Practices" whihc opens this thursday April 6pm. They say they've got pop up books, cross stitch, crotchet, pin hole photography and other stuff and the artists are Megan Yeo, Benja Harney, willima Walkinston, Mary Flaskas, Kelly Robson and Jessica Lewis.

We didn't mention the above on the show, but Lucazoid just emailed me the invite whihc has an attractive image of a cross stitch dude in army fatigues. I'll actually be in Bathrust that night - coz i'm gonna check out their great little ARI cafe: the Warpstanza - before it closes down.

I'll also miss this bloody amazing thng at Casual Powerhouse (Damn! 0 they got some good stuff lately) which i called SNACK ART: Low Calorie high Intellect. I've chucked in the press release coz its so damn witty!

Snack Art manifests as vending machines that become art galleries that dispense inexpensive yet refreshing, curious and original artworks by a select group of artists. Satisfy both your aesthetic hunger with the tempting range of Snack Art or your physical hunger with the tasty Snack Food as both products cohabitate within the Pataphysical Pending Machine.

Artist Jane Naylor has assembled a group of artists to exhibit in a new form of art gallery and persuaded business man Paul Long of Victory Vending, to become a gallery owner. Jane said about the process “I talked to many vending operators about this project, but Paul was the only one ready to give it a go. From my first pitch he took me seriously, I admire his respect of the absurd. I knew Paul was the right sponsor for this project right after he told me his main competition was Coca Cola.”

The project also manifests in other ways as well. There is a mobile machine which turns up randomly in public places, The Periodic Pending Machine. Appearances are advertised on the web site and this machine has work unsuited for the Flagship machine for a variety of reasons - more flexible delivery allowing a wider variety of sizes and shapes of artwork to be dispensed , smaller editions of work, inclusion of a wider range of artists for shorter time. This machine will also engage in conversation with you explaining the artists work, telling you about the artists practice and their other work, discussing art matters or just engaging in persiflage. The appearances of this machine may be obtained from the web site

List of Artists involved at this time in both machines - Jane Naylor, Terry Culver, Jayne Dyer, David Evans, Shane Forrest, Richard Larter, Motel Sisters, Sylvia Ross, Mona Ryder, Gina Sinozich, Jen Waterhouse, Claretduskymoonpie and Friends-(Haline Ly, Vinh Lam, Lang Leav, Nha-Ca Margaret Nguyen)

Anyway - back to ruark. He played a small sound piece from Banalities - that he'd edited and prepared a few years ago at 2SER. My voice recording of Ruark's SOUND INTERPRETATION OF A PRINT BY JAQUELINE ROSE sounded a bit too rough for broadcast, so I'll try to edit it, now that MArk so nicely trained me in Adobe Audition.

We chinwagged about charles Merwether and the forthcoming biennale of sydney which is meant to be about social activism and art and where Ruark is the only Sydney artist. the biennale is in June. We just like jumping on juggernauts.

So the ARTLANGUAGE show was kinda cool, and I guess my liver is happy that they didn't have any red wine on sale coz I drank heaps later that night. Lucazoid had a wooden sculpture saying SHELVE or was it SHELVES?. Its on a shelf in the bookstore section of cross arts, and lucazoid wore a very bright green tracksuit top at the opening which set off the teal painted wooodwork of his peice somewhat masterfully.

there were some black painted banners, and black painted square paper things, all with white words on them, and some green mesh cut outs. I and many others loved Patrick Jones's plaquards - (on light corrugated plastic) - which were large print outs of photographs of melbourne stencil sites. During the commonwealth Games, melbournes' prolific and interesting and like, vintage stencil art scene has been beige washed beyond belief - and any form of art not inside a gallery or the commonwealth games opening cermoney has been banned - and so a bunch of artists staged a protest by wandering around with these big plaquards wiht photographs of the graph art. and who said simulacras aren't powerful?

My other fav bit was the mapping of the squatspace tour of beauty of the Redfern Waterloo Authority area. They are having another TOUR Of BEAUTY on SUNDAY APRIL 9th - so meet at Xarts at 1pm. I'm intrigued how my favourite bits in the show - were artefacty things - where language was a remnant of soething else - and became more meaningful than just a formal play. Mind you Jacqueline rose's print and Ruarks perfromances of Banalities and KAFKA - were great...... but then I also really liked how Ruark had these postcards wiht the text of the Banalities piece - so the text became an artefact o a perfomrance.

Anyway - I've tacked on the press release and you can get down to Xarts beofre the 29th April and check it out and se if I'm totally full of shit, or insanely obsequious to Ruark.

The Cross Art Projects opening announcement


33 Roslyn Street, Kings Cross, Sydney (opposite St Lukes Hospital gates)
Exhibition continues to: Saturday 29 April 2006
Cross Conversation: see below
Information: Jo Holder 9357 2058 or 0406 537933

Pam Aitken, Sophie Coombs, Franz Ehmann, Lisa Kelly, Lucas Ihlein, Patrick Jones, Ruark Lewis, Jacqueline Rose, Alex Selenitsch, SquatSpace, Ania Walwicz

ArtLanguage: Every Publishable Place puts current artistic concerns about social poetics, activism and the function of the public/private voice within a tradition of artists working with the placement of language and image in the ordinary world.

Curator Ruark Lewis places work by eminent language artists Alex Selenitsch, Franz Ehmann and Ania Walwicz alongside that of an emerging generation. The exhibition unites aesthetic sensibility and avant-garde traditions with a critical approach to the dissemination and display of art. The artists embed social concerns within larger ethical and aesthetic fields, building forms of local practice that are not overtly oppositional but which access and involve global public opinion. In this way their art functions as an alternative form of publication.

Why is this type of practice so relevant today? Because the working model it proposes, wherein ideas, experience and opinion are modeled in an art gallery or other public context, runs counter to the neo-liberal status quo of technocrats and closed doors, manipulated concerns and sedated villagers.

Most artists in the exhibition see language as a traditional avant-garde or experimental tool and relish its capacity for subversion. Sophie Coombs's work 'Piece' and Lisa Kelly's sculpture 'Powerless Circuit' use epigrammatic humour. Other artists, more sombrely, refer to classic modernist writers in a type of homage, paid, for example, by Pam Aitken to Samuel Beckett and Jacqueline Rose to Franz Kafka.

Others use performance modes as social commentary. Patrick Jones's roaming graffiti wall, 'A Temporary Autonomous Zone', slyly critiques the absurd zero tolerance laws forbidding graffiti during the Commonwealth Games. The artist group SquatSpace urges us to get a feel for the complex issues of state re-development in the Redfern and Waterloo area by getting on-board a 'Tour of Beauty' and talking to locals. Other artists show ongoing series of works externally, like Franz Ehmann's hand-painted roadside signage and Ruark Lewis's 'Banalities', protest banners which place obfuscating letters and jargon within their disputed public context.

These artists are asking vital questions and looking for answers in discussions outside powerful institutions and hegemonies, in all forms of publishable places.

Curator Ruark Lewis
Ruark Lewis has had a successful two-decade career as an artist, performance artist, curator and writer who operates across a range of disciplines. His work is featured in the 2006 Biennale of Sydney entitled 'Zones of Transition'. He founded Haiku Review web-art journal.
Co-ordination: Jaime Wheatley

SquatSpace: Redfern Waterloo Tour of Beauty
When: Sunday 9 April 2006, 2PM
Meet: Lawson St, Redfern under the (ex)TNT Towers.
Tour lasts 4 hours
Enquiries: 0422771092 or

Ruark Lewis: Banalities for William Street
(after Kenneth Slessor).
When: Saturday 22 April, 2pm

SquatSpace Tour Of Beauty
Haiku Review