Issue 01TIME. Co-â€™s founders, Christine McFetridge and Josephine Mead, would like to acknowledge the Boon Wurrung and Woi Wurrung language groups of the Eastern Kulin Nations, on whose unceded Country we are privileged to live and work. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and future. Always was, always will be, Aboriginal land.
Click to support First Peoples by Paying the Rent.
We dedicate Issue 01 of Coto our warm-hearted, talented and generous friend, Betty Bobbitt.
EDITORS Josephine Mead Christine McFetridge ISSUE &WEBSITE DESIGN Josephine Mead INTRODUCTORY POEM Christine McFetridge PROOF READER Sandra Tan CONTRIBUTORS Kat Clarke Sumaya Barud Mig Dann Mohamed Chamas Lily Bennion Manisha Anjali Jean Rhode Katayoun Javan SUBSCRIPTIONS Subscribe on our website for all forthcoming issues of CoEMAIL email@example.com INSTAGRAM @co_publishing ISBN 978-0-6450522-0-6
Co- is an experimental publishing house, founded by Christine McFetridge & Josephine Mead in 2020.
With the ethos of delivering Australian literary and visual arts practices, poetic research, and critical arts writing, Co- aims to publish fresh and dynamic new work. Through online and printed publications, Co- aims to publish work from a variety of creatives, with particular focus on bringing the voices of First Nations, LGBTQIA+, sexually diverse, culturally & linguistically diverse, and practitioners living with a disability, to the fore. With a strong belief that creative practitioners should be remunerated for their output, Co- intends to secure funding for all published commissions. Co- believes in: Co-editing, Co-writing, Collaboration & Cooperation. We believeâ€”as creators and consumersâ€”we are stronger when in open conversation.
. . 10 -Sumaya Barud. 16
-Introduction 8 -Kat Clarke
. 60 -Acknowledgments. 71 -People. 72
-TIME. --:-Time as a continuum
as a dimension as a before and after
as a measure of privilege
as a resource
as a body (seconds minutes hours days weeks months years centuries millennia epochs).
Jade sits staring blindly into space, unsure how long she has been there. Time drifts slowly as each second ticks by. The scrunched up paper in her palm is almost a tiny ball and the printed ink ran from her sweat. Realising this, she stashes it in her jeans pocket and crosses her legs, trying to get comfortable without causing too much attention. Everyone around her seemed a world away, and that suited Jade just fine. It was the sixth time in the last year she had been here. The more times she came back, the more her optimism faded. Next to her sat a woman who appeared exhausted from the child with her and the one almost exploding out of her stomach. While an elderly couple sat nearby talking softly to each other. The old man gets up and smiles at Jade as he passes to the water fountain, returning to give his wife the plastic cup. COVID-19 restrictions were still in place and everyone was wearing a mask. Jade lifts hers down to get some air before placing it back over her nose. Scanning back to the clock on the wall again. 3pm. She was sure she had already been waiting an hour. Not able to sit any longer, Jade approaches the reception desk. ‘I’m just going to the toilet,’ she states to the young lady at the computer. Jade flees through the large automatic doors and finds the nearest toilet available. She feels it all come up from her stomach and into the bowl. It takes the breath out of her. Jade sits curled by the toilet, wiping the spit from her mouth. ‘Breathe, just another deep breath,’ she tells herself. ‘Everything is going to be fine. You can do this. Good or bad,’ she whispers to nobody. Jade manages to stand and walk out of the toilet stall. She washes her hands and splashes cold water over her face to wash away the signs of sickness. After a quick check of her reflection, she heads back out to the waiting area.
‘Jade?’ a voice calls out. Jade stands abruptly. She raises her hand to the small middle-aged woman by the clinic door holding a cream coloured file in her hands. ‘Here,’ she says. The lady smiles, ushering Jade to follow. She was happy to finally be seen. Polka dots and bright child-like animals covered the walls. The floor squeaks under her feet as they walk quietly down the hall. Without a word, the lady invites Jade to enter the room, closing the door behind them. ‘I’m Doctor Miriam. I understand you’re back to see your results and whether we are successful or not this time. Yes?’ Jade nods her head, not sure what to say. Her hands are still sweaty from nerves. Taking a seat at her desk, the doctor turns to the computer screen and reads the reports of Jade’s check-ups. Waiting, Jade looks around the room. White walls and informational posters of babies and parenting stare back at her. ‘The people in the posters seem happy,’ Jade thinks. Mothers cradled their babies and parents held their children, smiling. Each one is different but the message is the same. Jade looks at the clock again. 3:15pm. Time really was moving slow today. ‘Your sixth time back. May I ask, how have things been for you?’ Doctor Miriam quizzes Jade. ‘Well, I’m OK, just a little nervous and somewhat nauseous about the results.’ ‘I understand. I know you’ve been keeping on track with your health,’ Doctor Miriam replies. ‘I’ve been trying to,’ Jade explains. ‘Did you bring the piece of paper I asked for?’ Jade reaches for the scrunched up paper in her jeans pocket and tries to straighten it out for the doctor to read. Written on the paper was a tally of lines and markings in two columns. Doctor Miriam looks over it and then turns to Jade.
‘I can see why you would be feeling nervous, you haven’t been able to get a clear answer so far. But that’s why you’re here today.’ Turning back to her computer, Doctor Miriam brings up Jade’s latest results. A glum look crosses her face and like a strike to the heart she knows the response she is about to receive. ‘Well… my dear it appears tha…’ Jade cuts in, ‘It’s OK, I think I know already. Infertile.’ Doctor Miriam sighs deeply, nodding at Jade. ‘Infertility is something that affects many women, even at your age. But that doesn’t mean you’re out of options,’ Doctor Miriam explains. Jade can’t stop staring at the clock. 3:30pm. As if temporarily deaf, all she hears is white noise ringing in her ears. ‘Negative, again…’ thinks Jade. She had already failed six times, trying a seventh time sounded like a nightmare. The toll it was taking on her wellbeing, mentally and physically, left Jade feeling numb. She hears the doctor’s faint voice and snaps back to reality. ‘If you need time to think it over, let me know what you decide. I’m happy to reschedule another appointment, just a check in, that’s all.’ Jade nods and slowly stands, a slight imbalance makes her fall back and Doctor Miriam rushes to help her sit back down. ‘I’ll fetch you some water before you leave, take your time and just sit here for a moment. I’ll be back,’ Doctor Miriam says as she leaves the room, returning with a cup of water. Jade takes the water and sculls it down her throat. She almost chokes on the liquid; it’s harshness a cold burn. ‘I think I’m OK to leave now, I just need to get some air and let it all sink in.’ Jade hands the cup to the doctor and walks out of the room in a daze, confused by her emotions.
Wanting to cry but not being able to muster any tears, Jade screams in the clinic car park. Her voice is shrill and the pain is unbearable in her chest. Gathering her composure, she fetches her keys and gets in the car. She sits for the next hour in the car park, unable to move or drive. Time standing still and the day slowly ticking by.
End of a Chapter Square / 1
. . -Sumaya Barud.
In between stillness and the tectonic shift that change brings, time ticks. Like the Birrarung (Yarra) River, peacefully gliding just before she slips off the rocky slopes, crashing into a turbulent pool of white froth. This is where I am. *** What does life become if we’re not challenged? I’ve heard people say, ‘Human experience is suffering.’ But I find that is such a hopeless way to look at it. Suffering exists. But it’s not the full story. To me, it’s the stillness I find after an earth-ripping storm, the slow expansion of the heart that gains perspective, the silent sound of the pieces in the puzzle finding their place. That promise of movement is what kept me going in the face of my trials. I couldn’t tell you that I found the secret to thriving during life in isolation. No amount of online retail therapy or throwing myself into learning the guitar or watercolouring could make the weight of it all fade away. I circled the circumference of my 5km radius. I studied the river. I jogged. I spent quality time with family and I counted my blessings. I did all the good stuff. Like Solange sings in Cranes in the Sky, I tried. But no matter what I did, those metal clouds weren’t going away. Instead, in the slow tick of time and extended lockdowns, my frustration grew like fungi. In between the struggle and the ease is time.
Lockdown was a trialling experience — all that
was guaranteed was that we would come out of it different to how we went in. On October 26 2020, the time came for the Premier to announce we could reclaim our freedom without the looming threat of consequences. Cars honked in celebration; this was the call to a new beginning. Itâ€™s too soon to tell what happens next. That is a secret only time can tell. But the Birrarung taught me how one body can phase through many states. The river is resilient. Even after the turbulent crash of a small waterfall, she still finds her momentum. Jumpy at first, the muddy waters skid off rocks, spitting bubbles into the ethers. But â€˜round the bend, I found the promise was kept even to her, stillness was awaiting again.
Alhamdullilah (Thank God)
I am here. Someplace far from where I used to be.
Who I used to be.
Time changes you.
The Past Becomes the Present
Nurse entertaining babies in Air Raid Practice, Presbyterian Babies Home, Camberwell, 1942, â€˜The Heraldâ€™, photographer unknown (Australian War Memorial Archives, public domain)
In the late 1970s I worked as a photo researcher spending countless hours in the Bibliotheque Nationale and the MusĂŠe Carnavalet in Paris, locating images of the artists living and working in Montparnasse in the 1930s for a subsequently published book.1 Many long hours of trying to identify people in blurry black and white images prepared me well for identifying myself, second from left, in the above photograph which I found through a Google search in the 1990s. The past becomes the present. After my mother died, I discovered that I had been in an orphanage in Camberwell for the first year of my life. This extraordinary revelation dropped on me like a boulder, and since then has roiled around my mind and body. It was not with blinding clarity, but a creeping realisation, and many quiet aha moments, that I started to understand the outsider, unbelonging, rebellious child that I had been. The adoption scholar Nancy Verrier2 discusses how adopted children have to fit in, in order to belong, and examines the issues of abandonment, loss, trust, intimacy, control, guilt, shame and identity with which all adoptees have to come to terms.
One of the first things that took my attention in this photograph was the nurse. Those deep-set, dark eyes, and the genuine sense of compassion that was directed toward those tiny charges. I was drawn by the startling likeness to B, my partner, who had inspired me to stop running and who gave me a sense of belonging and safety. The past becomes the present. I left home at seventeen. It was a nice, middle-class home with a mother whose lies, secrets and silence had warped her sense of self, and a father whose world was always outside the home — at work, playing golf, fishing and drinking with his mates. I fiercely re-made myself, and before long landed in the place that was as geographically and culturally far from the place I grew up as I could get. Finally, this was home. I embraced New York City and it returned the favour. It almost made up for the torments of my young life; it allowed me to forget. The 17th century philosopher John Locke, in ‘An Essay Concerning Human Understanding’,3 emphasised the continuity of consciousness through time (i.e., memory) as the essence of personal identity. I don’t remember that first year of my life, but consciousness does not only come with language; a sensory memory lingers in an embodied, somatic response. I am currently investigating memory as a sensory encounter, trauma as an element of a fractured and re-forming identity, and memory as a temporal phenomenon. This exploration of memory as embodied or sensory remembering through time is explored through my creative practice. Traumatic events are suppressed when they occur, the memories becoming implicit, and time is the ground between aetiology and healing.
While contemporary studies of memory are connected to psychology and the cognitive sciences, the metaphysical perspective of memory, such as that of Henri Bergson,4 views perception and memory as closely connected. For Bergson, consciousness is a flow of time and that is what makes memory so important. Research on consciousness shows that our concepts of self, time and body are interrelated. ‘To be self-conscious is to recognize oneself as something that persists through time and is embodied’.5 My healing started when I met B; those sensory memories, buried deep in the past, overwhelmed me and allowed me to let go of the trauma, not by forgetting but by remembering in a deeply embodied way. The past becomes the present.
1 Klüver, Billy and Martin, Julie, Kiki’s Paris: Artists and Lovers 1900-1930, 1989 (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1989). 2 Verrier, Nancy, The Primal Wound: Understanding the adopted child (Baltimore: Gateway Press, 1993), 30. 3. Nidditch, P. (ed.) John Locke: An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1975). 4. Bergson, Henri, Matter and Memory, trans. Paul, N. & Palmer, W. (New York: Dover Philosophical Classics, 2004). 5. Wittmann, Marc, Felt Time: The Psychology of How We Perceive Time, trans. Butler, E. (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2016), 104.
Dearest; Vacancies in Deep Time
. -Mohamed Chamas.
At the end of this piece there are six empty hearts. Their pulsations flow into the fabric of the world.
Dearest, I entrust you to find a pulse. The pulse you will find by the end of this piece may linger after we have said goodbye. Its haunting rhythm is a future song, though you are welcome to return to seek another. What you are about to experience involves two roles: Scribe and Seeker. You may like to experience this piece in pairs, or you may like to embody both roles and continue singularly. To Scribe: you will need a recording device. A pen and pad or smart device will do, though keep in mind you need to access this document at vital points of the exercise. To Seek: you will need a time-telling device, to be looking out, and to assess this document at some points as well. Pairs, you may find a rhythm in which you dance across each otherâ€™s roles. Whatever feels most natural for you will do. Scribes can seek. Seekers can scribe. Or you can do it all, yourself.
You will perform an orbit.
At your own pace, or an agreed pace for pairs. Both Seeker and Scribe perform this together. Choose an area outside that is large, public and open. Ideally this area is round, or roughly so, though circling any shape will do. You should be able to imagine a middle-point which you will gravitate around. Avoid areas which have you moving in a straight line for too long, for the element that we seek favours writhing paths.
This image is your phantom map.
(An example of your orbit area could be: a park, a field, an oval, a public area.) Continue reading once you have reached the area of orbit.
Imagine, you peel it off the screen. You enlarge it to a size that could be overlaid onto your area like a bedsheet. Preparing for dreams. The beginning of your orbit starts at a point on the phantom map. You may like to mark zero in physical space with a rock, stick or by identifying a landmark. You will commence counter-clockwise. The arrow at the top indicates north, though can indicate any suitable and noticeable marker in your space. Agree on this before commencing orbit. The overlay should be imagined as fixed atop the area in the way you best understand so the phantom map can correspond to your physical orbit. You will need to refer to the phantom map later too, so ensure you keep it accessible.
What you seek will be determined by parameters, and when what is sought is found, you will have met the conditions of your parameter.
The parameters will be revealed to you soon, after we contextualise a bit more. Once you have your parameter, you may begin orbit. When the conditions of your parameter are met, Scribe will observe how far along you are in orbit to the corresponding point in the phantom map. Your estimated point should be within proximity of either a letter or number as indicated on the phantom map. Scribe records the closest character (letter or number) to your location the moment you meet the condition of your parameter.
(Example: We have found something which meets the conditions of our parameter. This happened just before halfway in our orbit which started at 0. We can conclude we are approximately in the corresponding point C on the phantom map. We record C.)
Both continue with your orbit while seeking the parameter conditions and recording the points where they are met until: six letters have been recorded (repetitions are okay); you should then stop recording letters. six numbers have been recorded (repetitions are okay).; you should then stop recording numbers. (An example of what the scribe records: Letters:B, B, F, E, C, Dâ€Ś.Numbers: 1, 5, 0, 2, 2, 4) Seekers, your parameters are momentous. If you are in public; in a moving space, do not use the same stimuli to meet the conditions more than once. (Example: Our orbit is in a public park in the early afternoon. We see a white cat - a condition which meets our parameter. We cannot consider that same white cat as part of meeting our parameterâ€™s conditions again). Dearest, What is the time? At this very moment, hold the last number of the current time in your mind. This number will set your parameters for the orbit. (Example: The current time is 12:34PM. The last number is 4. And so, our number for this part of the exercise is 4. The conditions of parameter 3-4 involves the colour white. When I find white, I have met the conditions.) PARAMETERS: (depending on last number at time of reading) Parameter 0 Begin orbit. Scribe your location when you see or hear laughter. You may also look out for yawn, sneeze or gasp. Momentarily stop your orbit and try to remember the last time you laughed or cried, you may like to ponder the futility in escaping either pleasure or pain.
What other expressive functions of humans are as infectious and strange as laughter? Parameter 1-2 Begin orbit. Scribe your location when you see or hear an animal, or nonhuman creature. Momentarily stop your orbit and jump or spin on the spot, you may also like to wave or smile at the animal (if you cannot spin or jump you may like to do the latter instead). How are you and the creature alike? Parameter 3-4 Begin orbit. Scribe your location when you see white. Momentarily stop your orbit and take a deep breath or sigh deeply, you may like to stretch or otherwise loosen your limbs. What do you notice about your body; where do you feel tension? Where do you feel release? Parameter 5-6 Begin orbit. Scribe your location when you see a hand-sized dark rectangle. Momentarily stop your orbit and continue only when you see another, you may like to contemplate how many rectangles there are on earth in relation to people. What does this make you feel? Parameter 7-8 Begin orbit. Scribe your location when you see bright red. Momentarily stop your orbit and look behind you for any amount of time, you may like to resume your orbit by (carefully) taking a few steps backwards. Which way is the right way; if it were not for solids, how might we move or understand motion? Parameter 9 Begin orbit. Scribe your location when you feel a moderate or strong breeze, or there is a shift in weather. Momentarily stop your orbit and look upwards, you may also like to open your arms to the sky. If you were to travel directly upwards at the speed of light, how long do you think it would take to make collision with a celestial body?
(If you never reach the conditions to record or expect your parameters to be especially difficult to the circumstances of your chosen area, you may like to move to the next or previous parameter.) (If you must repeat a condition previously used as it seems unlikely another will appear, you may count any recurring stimuli. However, you may only count these stimuli on the next lap of orbit; after you’ve hit your start point again.) Continue only once you have twelve characters (six letters and six numbers) recorded. You will link these twelve characters together to create six coordinates. You will do this by juxtaposing the first letter you recorded with the first number you recorded, the second letter with the second number and so on. (Example: Letters: B, B, F, E, C, D…. Numbers: 1, 5, 0, 2, 2, 4…. Coordinates: B1, B5, F0, E2, C2, D4)
Dearest, It is almost time for you to fill your heart. Scribe and Seeker may dance freely now; you will need both finding and recording to continue. Your pulse is assembling, waiting for union with your heart. Can you hear it? It is a familiar scent, on a foreign horizon, waiting to meet you. At this moment you may like to move to the centre of your orbit or sit where you found your last character.
Your heart will contain six holes which look like either of the following: ‘(X)’, ‘(Y)’, ‘(Z)’. These each correspond to their own appropriately named Pulse Chart. These charts are filled with words, which are beats in the rhythm of your pulse. When a hole appears in your heart, assess its corresponding chart, and use your first coordinate to find the first beat of your pulse, your second coordinate to find the second beat (in its corresponding chart) and so on. Fill holes with pulse, and your heart will bloom. (Example: Coordinates: B1, B5, F0, E2, C2, D4. The first hole we see in our empty Heart is (X). Our first coordinate is B1. The first beat of the pulse is in the B1 cell of Pulse Chart X. The word replaces the (X) in the poem.)
Dearest, What is the time? At this very moment, hold the last number of the current time in your mind. This number will determine which empty heart is yours. Pairs may like to read out the poem together before and after filling. You may like to scribe each beat to keep track of your progress in developing the pulse.
The following pages will contain Empty Hearts and Pulse Charts.
EMPTY HEARTS: (If your coordinates lead you to a word starting with a vowel, and ‘a’ precedes the corresponding hole, replace it with ‘an’. ) Heart 0: a multiplicity it pervades all like (X) we have nothing for it other than our (Y) relics it’s not (Y) (X) but rather a (X) (Z) a quiet, in the place of memory
Heart 5-6: Awake (X) and sleep the (Y) (X) what’s left is (Y) (Z) the ruins of self so familiar so distant and , in a (Y) dance resurrect the hope of retuning to soil
Heart 7-8: It is a (X) Heart 1-2: from a distant place (X) and within it a fibre it’s like a (X) of our (Y) (X) finding new life in (Y) (Z) a new (Y) home. (Z) deliver us, in deep time it’s (X) deliver us from (X) transfigures itself into (X) Heart 9: no eyes turn from it (X) (Z) though it’s beauty it opens another way remains unknown a desperate call in the (Y) (X) Heart 3-4: for lacerating our (Y) I want to see you wings (Z) (X) no heroes will I want to see the (Z) take up the task which is displaced by maybe tomorrow your motions maybe tomorrow flinging directionless in absence of our (X) and exponential the (Y) (X) (Z)
PULSE CHARTS: Pulse Chart X (noun)
Pulse Chart Y (adjective)
Pulse Chart Z (verb â€“ adjust as applicable)
seeing or sees
reducing or reduces
rising or rises (to)
unravelling or unravels
sinking or sinks (with)
blessing or blesses
locating or locates
concealing or conceals
seeking or seeks
fortifying or fortifies
coalescing or coalesces (with)
tasting or tastes
revealing or reveals
surfacing or surfaces
conducting or conducts
converting or converts (to)
breaking or breaks (into)
orbiting or orbits
hiding or hides
impinging or impinges
knowing or knows
dancing or dances (with)
unveiling or unveils
blinding or blinds (with)
evolving or evolves (into)
cursing or curses
witnessing or witnesses
orchestrating or orchestrates
exhuming or exhumes
carrying or carries
falling or falls (from)
singing or sings
evaporating or evaporates (from)
transforming or transforms (into)
coating or coats
levitating or levitates
You have shown perseverance. And your heart is full Now is the time to recite your pulse.
Thank you for dancing with me. As we farewell, know that pulses are found wherever you go. And perhaps pulses differ, even when the same orbit is revisited. Maybe you have not found what it is you are seeking though, a new way may just be emerging from the open air; a channel for all.
Preservation and the Present
. -Lily Bennion.
I am a wedjela or white woman who was born and raised in the south west of Western Australia, in the boodja or land of the Noongar First Peoples. I live on the unceded sovereign land of the Whadjuk Noongar, because my ancestors decided to emigrate from England to Australia. My paternal side was shipwrecked off the coast of Derbarl Yerrigan, which was called the Swan River Colony by early settlers, in the 1830s. My maternal side also arrived by boat in Wagyl Kaip, or Albany but not till the 1960s. I have just returned to my home-town after living in Fitzroy and studying cultural materials conservation at the University of Melbourne. The first project I completed since moving back to Western Australia involved packing and moving a collection held in a heritage listed homestead. Reflecting on this project, I experienced time in a multitude of conflicting ways on personal and professional levels. I intend this piece to be a reflection on this uncomfortable position, to understand the collision of timelines within a heritage property and to consider the processes and motives of preventive conservation. â€” Entering the property I consider the age of the foundations, reading the ceremonial stone laid within the building and reflecting on the intergenerational illusion of heritage. My presence here is dictated by this notion of historical valueâ€” my work is justified by this oldness. Yet, my work cannot take a long time. I must be efficient and decisive. I must be professional. Entering the homestead, sneaking through the rooms, it appears as if the occupants have just left. The dining table is set for dinner. Beautifully crafted sets of crockery lie atop intricate lacework, with cloth carefully rolled up in embellished napkin holders to the left of the minuscule sets of corroded cutlery. I speculate about the mass of everyday objects which are collected and held in place, seemingly representing the lives of the owners.
These objects act as spatio-temporal indicators, setting up a context in which activities or stories take place, and their value is staged within such context. As time passes, the temporality of these materials is reified as significant, salvageable and collectable. From utilitarian items they become authentic material culture. The artifactsâ€™ value is not fixed, nor has it reached its final form, rather it will continue to change.1 My actions contribute to the value of the artefact. My professional obligations feed into the process of heritage creation. I think about what has been taken and what has been donated over the years. Midway through the 21st century the family members who had inherited the homestead could no longer maintain it; and it was handed on to an opportunistic nephew who eventually sold the property, leaving much of the contents of the house behind. During this handover the buildings were stripped of furniture and over 200 artefacts from the First Nations people of the area, and further afar, were sold onto the state museum. I wonder whether these objects were documented and whether any other objects left the property. The term dissociation comes to mind, one of the â€˜agents of deteriorationâ€™.2 This results from the human tendency to let ordered systems fall apart over time.3 These systems are created to establish a sense of continuity and consistency, professionalising the cultural heritage sector, creating a discourse and an expert hierarchy. These processes rely on taxonomies of types; metals, papers, paintings, photographs, textiles, organics; and comparative criteria of rarity, representativeness, interpretative capacity, provenance and condition are used to evaluate objects as heritage and to establish their value within a collection or cultural record.4 These labels afirm the associations between people, events and objects and contribute to a way of understanding, informing narratives, framing phenomena and explaining progression. The information that constructs the context of an artefact can disperse just as easily
as it accumulates. It may be an act of apathy, ignorance, naivety or disinterest. Information is lost as systems change, people don’t communicate, doubt permeates, and technology infiltrates. A key can be separated from its lock. A signature can be covered by a frame. A label can lose its adhesion and fall of. Maintaining processes of documentation perpetuates the prioritisation of expert perspectives; but the sublimation of this point of view obfuscates other ways of seeing and being. It is a human-centric agent, an inherent failure in intergenerational stewardship, revealing disinterest and decontextualising communities from culture. From dissociation I consider cultural dissonance; the two words have the same Latin root: dis, which translates to ‘apart’. One letter fips the meaning of the word. The verb endings: socius and sonare, refer to companionship and audibility. Togetherness, listening, sharing. Comparing the verb forms, being with and being heard, I contemplate Smith’s definition of the inherently dissonant nature of heritage,5 and Azoulay’s concept of ‘potential history’.6 In Smith: heritage is dissonant — it is a constitutive social process that on the one hand is about regulating and legitimizing, and on the other hand is about working out, contesting and challenging a range of cultural and social identities, sense of place, collective memories, values and meanings that prevail in the present and can be passed to the future.7 Heritage is actively ruminated on, continually becoming something else. But that is not how it is managed. Expert discourse naturalises dominant heritage narratives. It also governs the interpretation of heritage through specialised knowledge of materials and values that create boundaries of time and space.8 This authorised heritage discourse makes its experts stewards,9
who become sentries restricting access and framing perspectives, thus perpetuating and sustaining the expert cycle.10 As Azoulay suggests: Potential history hypothesizes that those who were involved in the destruction of others culture unwittingly destroyed their ownâ€ŚI am speaking about the self-destruction of a culture when its members are made into perpetrators, a culture for whom nothing is left outside of the new template of perpetrator and victim.11 The dissonance of the cultural heritage process forces experts, such as myself, to make decisions that can be justified and normalised through risk management or significance assessment. But this expert process is itself a type of cultural heritage that illuminates and legitimises narratives, inevitably casting shadows and doubts on dissonant cultural heritages. It neutralises its discourse through terms like dissociation to obscure what does not fit with the collection; that which can not represent, is not considered rare, has no provenance, is in a degraded condition, and so is deaccessioned. These internalised discourses masquerade as common sense and reproduce the authority of expertise,12 but are inherently linked to our own way of seeing, living and understanding. Visual communities, those dependent on literacy technologies, are accustomed to dissecting and assimilating others within a â€˜secondary modelling of the worldâ€™.13 My own position is clear by my use of visual analogues. Dissonance, however, refers to sound. Sound is incorporative; it is simultaneous and situational. To quote Ong: Sound has a special relationship to time unlike that of the other fields that register in human sensation, sound exists only when it is going out of existence. It is not simply perishable but essentially evanescent.14 Compared to objects, which can exist as many types of physiological phenomena; visible,
tactile and audible sound is a unifying sense.15 Sound positions humans at the centre and forms a community of listeners.16 We can drown out other sounds, we can increase the volume, but sound can bleed through. The record of Australian cultural heritage may be deaf to the cacophonous sounds that can not be represented in documents, objects and buildings, but the oral history echoes through. As an agent of deterioration, dissociation enables who has the right representation without becoming an act of iconoclasm or propaganda. Restricted access, tokenistic representation and lost provenance are some of the symptoms of dissociation. This can infiltrate our institutions, permeating our national narratives of settlement and progress, creating a false binary of perpetrators and victims that is reinforced in authorised heritage discourse.17 The historical significance of the property draws on the death of the landowner and the massacres against the Wardandi Noongar people in retaliation. I found a book whilst onsite, representing a Noongar interpretation of the homestead detailing their occupation of the region, their social and cultural structures, songs, seasons and languages along with the history of coastal contacts and the clash of Noongar and wedjela law.18 There are references to a burial site within the grounds, but it has yet to be found.19 First Nations peoplesâ€™ culture is furtively present in the homestead. Within a room containing jarrah furniture carved by the granddaughter of the landowner, wooden artefacts are hung from copper wire and nails. I remove the corroded fastenings and cushion the chipped wooden edges. I wrap the artefacts separately and annotate the accession and location codes on the outside of the packaging. I think about the purpose of my position, the aims of the project. Preventive conservation, moving and temporary storage, but for what cause?
I have no comprehension of what will happen once I have left; how my work will impact the future presentation of the collection; what objects will be kept. I canâ€™t help but wonder who might have vested interest in these objects. I hear rumours that furniture and utensils have been taken from the rooms over the years. As the homestead is no longer lived in, security is lacking and marsupials, birds, insects and arachnids take up residence. The site is located at the edge of an estuary, next to a Tuart forest, near abundant herbaceous plants and alluvial fats. The estuary is listed under the Ramsar Convention as an area of local, regional and international significance for waterbirds, with some 90 species of birds visiting the area each year. The forest provides nesting hollows for these waterbirds. It also provided the raw materials for settlers to establish their homes and economic livelihoods. There is a fringing forest of Melaleuca between the homestead and estuary, but this is in a degenerative state, and Arum lilies have started to invade. The cleared farmland adjacent to the homestead is dominated by grassy surfaces with individual Tuart and Peppermint trees amidst the fence line mimicking a Heidelberg school aesthetic. Shadows of kangaroos are visible in the distance. Looking out at the landscape from within the property, these environmental precincts are framed by the windows and the fence posts. Natural landscapes demarcated by human structures are infiltrated by a variety of species. The structures remain in fair condition, but as humans are no longer allowed to visit the environment and the ecology of the region reclaims its rights to the area. Across the road from the homestead, amidst the Tuart forest and estuary, stands a single room school building and teacherâ€™s house. With superficial repairs, the timber structures, internal walls, fireplaces and chimneys have lasted almost 150 years, even though the school functioned for little over 35 years. The school
was run by a single teacher, often a position held by women from the area. A small frame hung inside the doorway lists their names. The students certificates line the walls. The ink is faded and the cursive penmanship is almost illegible. Maps bearing unrecognisable names and antiquated political boundaries hang either side of the chimney. An ornately framed reproduction of an oil painting of Queen Elizabeth II is mounted in the middle. The final day at the property I am tasked with packing up the collection in the teacherâ€™s house. It is a two-roomed building; one room contains a bed, a hat box and a sideboard with a jug and basin, the other room contains a fireplace, a sewing machine, a table with a tea set and a bookcase with manuals written for the single woman of the 19th century. Atop the bookcase sits a clock. The face of the clock is mottled. The hands point to 3 and 12 but are unmoving behind their glass frame. The wooden pediment is split like wings. I open the clock door and unhook the pendulum â€” an elaborate piece of metal work with floral ornamentation. I wrap the pendulum and clock key separately and place them aside as I tailor pieces of tissue paper to cushion the edges of the clock. Once the clock is sufficiently encased, I reattach the internal components to the outer layer of the tissue. As I prepare to wrap the clock in its final layer, it began to chime. The alarm ringing through the teachers house asserting the continuing impact of the past. It was alarming. The signal stayed with me once the chime ceased, its presence affecting those who were near, as it had done in the past. Ears ringing with the sound. I am not a horologist, so I can not claim to understand the workings of timekeeping technology. Instead of analysing or dissecting, I listened. It seemed like a moment of object agency. The time had come for the clock to be packed away and moved into storage,
and yet it continued its purpose. Standing within the teacherâ€™s house, looking at the back of the school building, I contemplated the quotidian actions represented by the objects we leave behind. The process of fitting the key into the mechanism, winding the clock and setting the alarm. The technology of clocks and calendars falsifies time,20 dissecting it from lived experience, making it objective. The division of the day into moments and events, education and discipline. The clock resounds with the resilience of schedules and their persistence in variable and isolated environments. The trace of the schedule indicates the vestiges of organisational prowess and control, but also the boundaries we create to break up tasks, to make them manageable. I think of those whose lives were cut up into bite-sized pieces. Who else has heard this alarm? I think of the teacher, and consider her agency and independence working in a single-room schoolhouse. As an educator, teachers are invested in the future. There is a similarity between our work. We must consider the ethics of intergenerational justice. Being in the present, it can be overwhelming to think about the impact our decisions may have for the future. I packed the clock with care into a box, knowing it was bound to be moved into temporary storage. I hoped others would hear if it chimed again.
1. Clifford, J., 1988, The Predicament of Art and Culture: Twentieth-Century Ethnography, Literature and Art, Harvard University Press, p.226. 2. Canadian Conservation Institute, Agents of deterioration, 2017, (accessed 11 Nov 2020) 3. Waller, R., & Cato, P., 2019, Agent of Deterioration: Dissociation, Canadian Conservation Institute. 4. Russell R., and Winkworth K., 2009 Significance 2.0: a guide to assessing the significance of collections, Heritage Collections Council Adelaide, p.19. 5. Smith, L., 2006, Uses of Heritage, Routledge: Taylor and Francis Group, New York and London. 6. Azoulay, A. A., 2019, Potential History: Unlearning Imperialism, Verso, London and New York. 7. Smith 2006, p.92. 8. Smith 2006, pp.11-13. 9. Smith 2006, pp.29-35. 10. Azoulay 2019, pp.488-500. 11. Azoulay 2019 p.290. 12. Smith 2006, p. 89. 13. Ong, W. 2002 Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word, Routledge: Taylor and Francis Group, New York and London pp.73-4. 14. Ong, W. 2002, p.3. 15. Ong 2002, pp.70-72. 16. Ong 2002, pp.70-72. 17. Smith 2006, pp.16-18. 18. Collard, L., 1994, A Nyungar Interpretation of Ellensbrook and Wonnerup Homesteads, National Trust (W.A.). 19. Collard, 1994, p.61. 20. Ong 2002, p.74.
Snake & Flower Performance
. -Manisha Anjali.
Snake eating its own tail.
Snake eating another snake’s tail.
A photograph of my mother holding a snake is aging backwards. They become babies writhing together in the disembowelled South Pacific Ocean. My father took this photograph on a plastic disposable camera. This is how I became un-born.
Before birth. I braid my hairs to the froggy lacerations in the water. I am not writing a manuscript. It writes itself. Snake eats itself. Time eats itself. Then it writes its crimes on my oesophagus.
I change into a circle to symbolise the nature of life and death and give form to those unknown spaces we call ‘nazar’ and ‘aphrodisia’ and
‘déjà vu’. In the circle, wild horses drink blue visions from my palms. Then I dip my fingers in green bitter melon juice and suck on the memory of Time before it was recorded, back when we had gills, fins and tails.
Re-birth. I change into a circle. I eat myself.
Exile is a state of being defined by being thrown out of circles. I formed my worlds in coagulated waters. I found a foamy part of the ocean and took off my mask. I cut out a circle in watery mythology. This is how I cut Time in half. I do not feel out of place in this part of the ocean. The Colonial Sugar Refining Company juiced the bloods and milks of our mothers and fathers and planted them. This is how sugar became sweet. There is a name for us — ‘coolie’.
I am waiting for a yellow taxi in the green rain. My translucent umbrella opened itself up, showed me its feathery insides, and flew backwards into a cotton cloud. It is true that inanimate objects have lives of their own. As do the symbols we draw to represent the immaterial. The repetitive omniscient shape of the Sun, the Earth, the Clock and God. We are moving backwards into death (dream) so when we get anxious about being late to a meeting or missing a flight, we are actually expressing anxiety over our mortality. It is in our nature to always be running late. We are out of sync with our date of conception, time of conception; date of birth, time of birth; date of death, time of death. 17.13 p.m Crying Sun. 17.14 p.m Crying Snake. 17.17 p.m Crying Flower.
Laughter is never lost. It is hiding in the tamarind tree with the chickens.
Chicken is never lost. Chicken is nailing a poster to the trunk of the tamarind tree. It says, THIS IS A TRUE DOOR.
Wish fulfilment. I write the letters M O N E Y into the ocean. The waves wash it away. If we all did this, our husbands and wives would stop murdering each other. Our flags would burn and change into floral curtains. We would detach our tongues from our mouths and plant them in between our eyebrows. We want to look and feel different now. We want the circles to be triangles now. We want the chickens to be Bhagwans now.
When the snake has finished eating itself, the people will draw a new circle, redrawn, re-populated, injected, cooked, eaten.
Time cuts itself in half. It wants to say, â€˜I too am tangibleâ€™.
SNAKE AND FLOWER PERFORMANCE: Dig a circle shape into the ground. Plant flower seeds. Water daily. Your snake of flowers is a tribute to your innocence. Sit in the middle of the circle with a stranger, a lover or a friend. Record every conversation that takes place in the snake space. Document the flowers as they age.
Upload your documentation here for publication.
I was born 1927 in Caulfield to a milliner and a cabinet maker/shop fitter. I attended Ormond State School with my younger brother of three years, Donald. My father went on to play football for South Melbourne FC (late 1930s) and my brother for Collingwood FC (early 1940s) whilst becoming a butcher and owning his own business. Secondary school was a short three years at J.H. Boyd Domestic College for Girls, where I studied an extended curriculum in domestic service and bookkeeping until the age of 15 when WWII hit. Many things changed for our family in the next couple of years. With my pocket money, I purchased a typewriter and successfully acquired a job at Suttons Music Warehouse in Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, where I worked until the marriage of my first husband, Jim. The marriage only lasted two and a half years. In 1957, though friends, I was introduced to a talent company and started getting small jobs in the modelling industry. Joining the Mannequin and Models Guild, I was asked to join full-time employment as a teacher of deportment, etiquette and social graces within the company. This role came with co-ordinating â€˜Gown Of The Yearâ€™, an annual competition that was held in Melbourne showcasing stunning and fashionable couture gowns. Although I loved this social, fast-paced life, secretarial work was calling me . While I continued to work part-time teaching at the Guild, I started a full-time office job at the radio station 3AW. After many years going from office girl to PA and behind the scenes, I met the love of my life, Gordon, through mutual friends. Gordon was an Adelaide man with entrepreneurial businesses in Melbourne, Darwin and Far North Queensland. He persuaded me to follow him to Darwin for a job,
which I did without hesitation. A few months later we were married in a small quaint church with the few friends we had met in such a short time. We purchased a house which included a shop front below the establishment…I decided this would make a good restaurant! A couple of months later ‘Jeannie’s Snack Bar’ and ‘The Tropicana Restaurant’ were born. It was important to me that the businesses fostered inclusion and social enterprise so we employed people from many different backgrounds. After seven years, my husband and I decided to help a friend establish a resort style holiday destination called Mandurah, just across the bay from Darwin. War-torn land was now returned to an island paradise. I manned the kitchen; Gordon ran the bar and entertainment. After nine years in the NT, ill health had taken its toll on me and we decided to return to Melbourne and a quieter life. Gordon continued to commute for business ventures. In 1969, still struggling with health, I was referred to a specialist. The specialist had news I was told would never be possible. I was pregnant. Even though the medical team suggested it would not be a good idea to go ahead due to my age (I was 43 at the time, which was considered old then) and my health struggles with hormones. I decided to go against their advice and my daughter, Andrea was born. We were renting in Sandringham at the time but decided to purchase land in Mooroolbark to develop a housing estate, keeping a house and security. In 1970, our daughter was christened by First Peoples. It was an incredibly special occasion. In the next few years, while raising a child, I prepared the bookwork for Gordon’s companies, took part in cooking schools, managed the odd catering job and did volunteer work. Gordon
and I were both active members of the local Lions Club whilst building our dream home in Donvale. Socialising was a big part of our life in Melbourne. We spent a significant amount of time attending and hosting various gatherings and prestigious parties. Travelling overseas with my girlfriends also brings back fun memories. These are memories I still enjoy sharing with them. Then I had a stroke of bad luck with my health once again: the incomprehensible news that was bowel cancer. After major surgery and treatment, I am happy to say I am a survivor! We sold the bakery and headed into retirement. We enjoyed many trips travelling overseas and continued in the Lions Club and Probus events. The past 23 years have been solitary since my husband passed away but always full of wonderful life-long friends and family. My love of craft, gardening, knitting and embroidery work has kept me busy in my later years, in addition to volunteering at Save The Children and at The Royal Childrenâ€™s Hospital auxiliary. My 93-year-old self has had a wonderful life with no regrets. I still enjoy a nice cold glass of wine, with ice, and always look on the bright side. My short time here at TLC Clifton Views has been pleasant although tough at times during COVID-19 restrictions. It has taken me a bit of getting used to, but I love my room with the most amazing views of the city and the staff are very attentive and caring. I must say, I do love being fussed over. Bring on the new adventures!
Jean and Gordon (husband) with best friends (Beverley and Peter) at the opening of The Hofbrauhaus German Restaurant, Melbourne CBD, circa 1968.
Marriage to Gordon at the only church in Darwin. Marrara Presbyterian Church, circa 1961.
So Close Yet So Far
. -Katayoun Javan.
This is a small story of friendship through images, time and distance between my cousin in Iran and me as an immigrant in Australia. Since Iâ€™ve spent the past ten years located in another continent, I am looking at two different times and the changes of seasons and temperatures; August being cold and October being Spring in the Southern Hemisphere.
I am yet to become accustomed to it.
Over the past four years we have tried to see each other many times but life has got in the way.
We were both born around 1979 in Iran, which marks a great event in our lives because of the Iranian revolution at the time. This somehow has made us closer. Growing up we have been a support to each other through the social and political ups and downs in Iran, even from far away.
To me, our relationship is a reminder of the ideal friendship between two female friends and the protagonists of Agnes Varda’s ‘One Sings, the Other Doesn’t’.
This is the fourth decade of our lives. We are getting old together far from each other.
I miss the scenic snowy mountains of Tehran during winter and imagine my cousinâ€™s company at the great beaches of Australia during December and January.
-Acknowledgments. Issue 01 of Co- Journal has been supported by Yarra City Arts & Collingwood Yards. Christine and Josephine would like to thank our wonderful contributors for their generous and important work: Mig Dann, Lily Bennion, Sumaya Barud, Mohamed Chamas, Jean Rhode, Manisha Anjali, Kat Clarke and Katayoun Javan. Thank you to TLC Aged Care - Clifton Views, Olivia Allen, and Lydia Dobbin (on behalf of Belgium Ave and Collingwood Neighbourhood Houses) for their positive support. They would also like to thank their partners, Mike and Klyde, for their love, encouragement and optimism. It is a privilege to be able to experience, engage with and share local creative practice within this space.
KAT CLARKE is a proud Wotjobaluk writer, consultant, artist and curator from the Wimmera. She is an active advocate within her own community and Land Council and holds strong relationships with multiple Melbourne and Victorian communities. SUMAYA BARUD is a black sheep. She writes to continue the unfinished conversations she isn’t able to have with some of the people in her life. MIG DANN is a Melbourne-based artist and researcher. Her practice is multi-disciplinary and autobiographical, exploring and expressing issues of childhood trauma. MOHAMED CHAMAS is an artist, game developer and poet based in Naarm (Melbourne) who channels the ‘dijital djinni’; a rewired/ rewiring agent for practice-based research. LILY BENNION is an Emerging Professional Conservator. Since 2018, she has been working in wall paintings conservation, and is an advocate for the conservation and continuation of in-situ heritage. MANISHA ANJALI is a Naarm-based writer and artist. She is the producer of Neptune, an archive of dreams and hallucinations by the People of the World. JEAN RHODE is a current City of Yarra resident, born in Caulfield in 1927. She has lived a full and colourful life.
KATAYOUN JAVAN is an Iranian Australian photographer and video artist. She draws on personal and public stories in order to explore notions of family, home, memory, displacement, and the Iranian Diaspora. CHRISTINE MCFETRIDGE is a settler New Zealander based on unceded Wurundjeri Country. She is a photographer, researcher and writer represented by M.33, and co-founder of Co- and Women in Photography NZ & AU. JOSEPHINE MEAD is an artist, writer and curator based on the unceded land of the Boon Wurrung language group. She has exhibited widely and has undertaken residency programs in Victoria, Mexico, Portugal, Turkey and Germany. She is an Artistic Director for BLINDSIDE Gallery and co-founder of Co-. SANDRA TAN is a freelance writer, content strategist and curious conversational curator. She is the proud media manager for The Entree. Pinays, a Filipino food and cultural advocacy group in Melbourne. COLLINGWOOD YARDS is a new, permanent and affordable home for scores of artists and independent arts organisations, working across music, visual arts, performance, digital media, creative industries and beyond. BELGIUM AVENUE NEIGHBOURHOOD HOUSE is a community organisation operating Neighbourhood Houses on the Collingwood and North Richmond Public Housing Estates.
9 7 21
0 1 6
Co- Journal Issue 01: TIME. http://www.co-publishing.com.au Co- is a collaborative publishing house, founded on the Country of the Boon Wu...
Published on Dec 17, 2020
Co- Journal Issue 01: TIME. http://www.co-publishing.com.au Co- is a collaborative publishing house, founded on the Country of the Boon Wu...