30 September 2005

Do it.

Discovered on the E-Flux site this morning - Manual - a guide to recreating art from a whole bunch of international performance, conceptual, and situational artists. It's good. Do it now (from artist Franz West):

  1. Take a broomstick and tightly bandage both the handle and the bristles with cotton gauze so that the bristles stand on end.
  2. Take 35 decagrams of plaster and mix with the appropriate amount of water.
  3. Distribute the plaster over the entire bandaged surface.
  4. Take another strip of gauze and bandage the plastered work again.
  5. Apply another layer of plaster to totally cover the work.
  6. Repeat this procedure once again and let the "Passstueck" dry completely.
  7. The result of this procedure is that the object can be used as a "Passstueck," either alone, in front of a mirror, or in front of guests. Deal with it however you feel suitable. Encourage your guests to act out their intuitive thoughts for possible uses of the object.

[Maybe Spam] Johnny Depp prefers ROLEX

How do they know these things?

28 September 2005

Maybe Spam

Work has one of those email filters that cleverly decides what is Spam, and drops a little (Maybe Spam) in the subject line. For a while there I was getting quite a few of these, courtesy of a couple of websites I was working on.

I was initially outraged, but then grew to love receiving these random, raunchy, ramblingly titled messages every morning. I took to writing them down, with a view to one day turning them into some sort of digital art work that comments on the nature of technology, sales, greed and seduction. Or hacking into those ticker boards that the stock exchange has, and enriching the lives of those that pay attention to such things by dropping in random one liners.

Then they tightened up the security settings, and my spam supply dried up. Now all I get is stupid financial stocks and cheap Rolex watches. It's not as fun.

I'll post up some of them one day soon.


I got to visit some very cool empty 50s office spaces this morning, that are about to be redeveloped. It made me want my own office space,from which to hatch all manner of cunning plans. But this isn't the first time I've had these thoughts.

In 2002 Chris and I were going to set up a working office with a street frontage, and staff it in cheap polyester suits between 5pm to 8am, toiling away writing a novel on Post It notes, as part of the Taranaki Festival's non-existant Fringe fest. We ended up not doing this, but I got to know the local arts reporter really well as a result.

In 2003 I was poised to convert a very cool wood panelled office space in central New Plymouth into a minimalist apartment after my car blew up, making central city accommodation somewhat necessary. I ended up borrowing my sister's car, so the communte into the city remained manageable.

In 2004 I was eager to start my own agency in the upstairs office space of a turn of the century office building, conveniently located above my favourite bar. Contracts were tentatively lined up, brands were designed, prices sought (researching dreams...) , but then I got a job offer in Wellington and followed this. It was safer and easier. I suspect this might still happen some day.

23 September 2005

Eat Cereal

It's been one of those really sifty days where I should be doing a lot of little things. Instead I sat in the sun and watched the Wearable arts parade go past (not sure it captured the polished spectacle of the actual event, but great to see so many colourful happy people getting involved). Sun is good.

Since then I've been sifting through friend's blogs, and clicking random links. And found this via Chris's blog. Cereal bar [and cafe].

I think she may have discovered the coolest place in the world.

22 September 2005

Et Al et al

I went to a really interesting lecture/forum tonight, on a bit of a whim really. It was at Te Papa, and was one of those last minute, bump into someone while heading home, and find out about it kind of things, that usually reward through sheer unexpectedness.

I'm not exactly sure what the forum's main brief was, but the outcome was a detailed analysis of New Zealand's presence at the Venice Biennial.

First up was CNZ chair Peter Biggs, delivering a good performance on the importance of supporting art, and the need, as a creatively focused economy, to place cutting edge New Zealand art in the global arena. And a bit about the technical aspect of the exhibition's associated marketing and promotional campaign. So far so good.

Then to John McCormack, Et Al's Auckland dealer and StarkWhite lynchpin. I was kind of hoping for an insight into being the dealer of the innovative collective, and a reflection on the commercial benefits of promoting NZ art to a global audience. Instead we got a commercial viability report, worthy of a Select Committee grilling, and in a strange but nice twist, something of a diatribe on the exodus of NZ's older curating talent - namely Greg Burke and Robert Leonard. This was great - recognition of a strategic issue about to hit the institutional art world here. So so far still good.

Then on to Fundamental Practice and te Papa curator, the thoroughly lovely and well dressed Natasha Conland. Natasha again looked into the technical delivery, the importance of geography, and the vitality of our entry against the global opposition. Sadly she missed a key topic that I had hoped she would nail - the actual art itself. But as I said, this may have been precluded by the event brief.

Then on to arts journo Josie McNaught, who to many presented the initial public aspect of the whole campaign. Josie raised some interesting points, but seemed a bit confused as to whether or not she a)supported the biennale focusing on contemporary art, and b)approved of taking a media managed, marketing savvy approach to the whole campaign.

A brief bunfight almost broke out at the end, mostly between Natasha and Josie, but this was cut short and the event wound up.

But the coolest thing of the night was getting embroiled in a potentially huge debate upon leaving about whether Et Al was the right or wrong example of NZ art to thrust upon the world, and the role CNZ and taxpayer funding played. I got all excited, and in a strange way all nostalgic for New Plymouth. Then went home and had pizza.


18 September 2005

Darlings to Demons

I'd like to propose a new amendment to this current plethora of reality TV shows that focus on making nasty little children nice. My proposal is to take nice kids and make them evil. Darlings to demons, if you will.

We take little Frankie (6), of sound upper middle class stock. We then pump him full of sugar, and sow dastardly ideas in his malliable little mind, through repetitive exposure to some less than savoury mass-market messages.

As wee Frankie goes postal in the renovated suburban villa, the cameras focus on the parents, who by now are approaching hysteria. Do they reach for the self help books, replay taped episodes of Demons to Darlings in order to find out where hey went wrong, book him straight into state care, or become convinced he's posessed y the devil and attempt a DIY exorcism (oooh - there's another idea for a show...).

All the while a panel of experts pass comment and judgement.

Anyone got Julie Christie's email?

The fat lady's warming up now.

What a nail biter that one was then, complete with our own quaintly scaled airplane and tall building drama.

39 : 41.7. Some star performances, some less-than so, and some outright shockers.

Still a wee way to go, but thankfully that bit's well out of my hands (he said hungoverly from work on a Sunday afternoon)...

Fingers crossed.

16 September 2005

I went to lunch at one today, drank lots, and wandered back at 4 ish, only yo move into another 2 rounds of drinking before dinner.

Yeah, I could so work in advertising.

Radio version

I'm going to write a song that comes pre-packaged in a commercial radio firendly lyrics format. It'll contain no 4 letter words whatsoever. It'll be a triumph of musical story telling - maybe a love story (I haven't decided yet) - using only really big and really small words. It'll be so radio friendly that radio will have to love it, and I'll become a star.

I'll try not to resort to musical charades (is this dance?), but can make no promises.

Presence and absence. It's everywhere.

Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah

Fly My Pretties last night. Frankly, it ROCKED. Proper rocked, in a not-so-much rock and roll but still extremely cool kind of way. Good mix of Album 1 material and heaps of new stuff, some new faces (and stunning voices) and great stand-up interaction with what was (at times) a fairly tentative audience. And someone must explain how my sister was in all the credits. Remarkable girl.
All this preceded by Katsudon and Pinot Gris.

And as a nice touch, in the first 2 minutes Sam invited anyone voting National to leave.
I love NZ music. To quote the femmes: Good feelings, won't you stay with me just a little longer.

Preferably another 3 years or so.

15 September 2005

I think I Can

I may or may not have indulged in a few wee projects over the last few months, squeezed into the brief happy space between work and sleep. Some of these have gone on to great things, particularly one I may or may not know anything about which might have fallen into the hands of someone far more mischieveous than I.

On a perhaps unrelated note, it was very cool to see tins of Don Brash brand Baloney and Corned Beef appear on supermarket shelves in the greater Auckland region this week, grace the pages of the Herald, get discussed on TV and radio. Check out the action shots, including the guerilla installation mission here.

13 September 2005

A sign

Work stood still for 3 minutes this afternoon, which made for a nice change.
Sunlight from yet another stunning day outside was casting long shadows across the state of emergency that is my desk. I drew a picture of this in illustrator.
I hope it's not a sign...

12 September 2005

It's all about the people

As I delve deeper into blog-life, I discover a whole bundh of firends have super-cool blogs, including Wanda Harland and the Bambino Espresso team. One day I'll suss out how to include links on the right hand side, and link to them all and sundry, but sadly we're not quite there yet.

10 September 2005

Work. Life.

I've been at work for a couple of hours, and done so little it's not funny.
I blame the fact that it's a rather stunning day out, and I'm just so excited about the sun being available. Time to go roll about on the lawn in front of work I think.
We'll try again tomorrow.

Rediscovering books

On a roundabout sort of amble in the sun on the way to work (on a saturday, arse) I popped into capital books, and managed to spend waay too much money. This used to happen with a degree of regularity in record stores, magazine stores, clothes stores, and more recently bike stores, but i've been pretty good lately.

I spent an hour or so immersed in the design and architecture series, variably speccing the interior of some house or other dreamt up in the dopey still hours of the morning between waking and going to work, or appropriating graphic design ideas for some inevitably successful business empire I might get round to building one day.

Then detroured through the car section, trying to find out what the insanely cool old-school looking super car parked outside was (a Morgan Aero. Hot), then hit the travel section.

A quick stab of excitement about impending visit to europoe later, and I have a learn Italian kit, a very kitsch popup map of London (with heaps of galleries listed) and finally a decent street map of Wellington with which to find a house to buy.

I love credit cards.

08 September 2005

Diversity. Maharvellous.

At the top right of your screen is a little button that says Next Blog. I've taken to clicking it occasionally of late, from any one of the handful of blogs I monitor healfheartedly. It's a great way to kill a few minutes, and a brief insight to the massive diversity of the information superhighway.
Go there now...

06 September 2005

Invest in artists.

I'm going to develop a tiered art work pricing structure, so it can be traded on the commodity market as a non-emotional investment.

Works will be graded on 3 criteria: size ($ per square/cubic meter), execution (reflection of material costs) and artist stature (a national grading system will be established to grade artsts at early/mid/late career).

This will ensure that all artists are able to be paid fairly, that the value of art can be truly appreciated and fairly measured, and that the purchase of art can be better taxed, providing money for tax cuts for other sectors of the market.

This concept aligns perfectly with the Arts Policies of 3 of our smaller political parties, as outlined on FrontSeat last weekend. And I'm not even going to get started on the National Party's 5-point plan for the arts.

03 September 2005

Fly my pretties, fly

Yeah - got tickets to the second round of Fly My Pretties from Pet. Mildly excited - the last concert I went to at the Paramount was Kristen Hersch, and that still ranks as one of my all time favourites. Top 5 concert list of the moment as follows:
  1. Kristen Hirsch, Paramount, Wellington, c. 1994
  2. Blur, Auckland, c. 1998
  3. Beastie Boys & Helmet, Wellington Town Hall,
  4. WOMAD, Taranaki, 2003
  5. Tie between: Billy Bragg, wellington, 1992/Dana Eclair and Virgil, Bodega, c. 1998/Polly, Palmerston, c. 1996/Pavement, Vic Uni, c. 1995/ Irish Rovers, Palmerston North, c. 1988 (yes, really).