Michelle Fidow, Sam Sharpe (cover art, thank you - check out “Sam Sharpe” on Facebook), Pepa Belton,Mark Baxter Daffodils (those hayfever inducing litlle bastards), & The Folding Crew.
Editor Lisa Scott (03) 477-6974
“You won’t even know I’m here!” they shout, ripping the cupboard door off its hinges. They walk like someone testing the house’s foundations. Coughing in thunderclaps, they do the dishes as if drowning out an air raid siren. Crash, smash, thump. My ears are bleeding. Now, I’m not exactly the world’s quietest woman (in fact I am best known for braying absolute nonsense for hours on end), but why is it that whenever I want to do something that requires a contemplative lull: reading, writing, lying on the floor sobbing because I still can’t fit my jeans even though I only had that one pie, along comes some chatty asshole, happy as the day is long and just dying to tell you all about it? Bastards. I need my peace and quiet. If I don’t get some silence, how can I think? And a Lisa who isn’t thinking clearly makes us all look bad. I’ve made a sign. It says SHUT UP and I’ve hung it at the front door. At least it will stump the Mormons. Lisa Scott Something pishing you off? Be our guest Ranter firstname.lastname@example.org
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Published by www.opsa.org.nz All material © OPSA 2011 unless otherwise stated. Views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of OPSA, the editor, or staff.
Review Otago Polytechnic School of Design Exhibition I don’t know much about Art… Well, actually, I do. I studied Art at high school and Art History at University, and I buy shed loads of work by local artists (gallery owners grin like maniacs when they see me) so I guess I could say…”but I know what I like,” however I’ve never really known anything about Design. Until now. Surface Structure Play is presented on three different floors of H Block. Showcasing work from students across the design disciplines: Communication, Interiors, Fashion and Product, this exhibition represents a bold and engaging lesson in Good Design. Surface, an exploration of the human experience. I love, love, loved Recipes for Life by Victoria Griffin: kitchenalia clad in the colour palette of the 1960s homeware. Typewriters, eggbeater, vase, colander, watering can – a handmaiden’s tale. Josephine Leong’s A Touch of Floral Fantasy depicts an ethereal, bold femininity, clearly away with the fairies. Structure, holding together form and function, stopping me dead in my tracks at Playful Yellow, shoes by Alina Maria Cioaga so delicious, I had to be restrained from eating them. Play, somewhere between childhood and an adult’s sense of living in the moment. The Papercraft Family – demonstrated a total tactile silliness, just begging to be slipped over your fingers and danced around the room. I’m also touched by the “Dislxic” jewellery, sparse, sad, beautiful and so wearable. Gimme. My own favourites notwithstanding, Surface Structure Play demonstrates a maturity and sophistication far belying the years of the participants. Art without Angst, Design all grown up. Congratulations are in Order.
Looking at the world through the visored eyes of the Stig of Design, Marcel Raven-Bonqueres.
Sign ‘o’ the Times It was a simple enough message on the face of it. Harmless really, but unsettlingly and disproportionately formative for an adolescent. An early sporting talent, a brain not fully formed, a room full of steam, 22 raucous naked men and a desperate need to be one of them — it is easy to get the wrong end of the stick. A natural on the pitch — the new George Best they said — but at a loss in the shower room. A large beach towel covered a multitude of uncertainties but it was the engraved sign on the wall that totally destroyed an oscillating self confidence. Please Dry Yourself in the Tiled Area it read with a gravitas that only Times New Roman capitals can bring to a tiled surface. The new George Best stopped dead in his tracks — paralysed by one appalling thought. He did not to his knowledge have a tiled area nor show any early developments of one. No amount of discrete glancing through camphorated steam at the soapy anatomies gave any cues or reassurance. Unable to move and swaddled from head to toe in sodden holiday toweling he remained moored by wild and conflicting thoughts. Why he eventually ran he would never really understand but it was the long, shuffling run of a novice priest weighed down by robes and big questions. From that day he never played again, always showered alone and,perhaps noteworthy for the Designasaurus, had a deep and abiding mistrust of public signage. The newly retired George Best continues to have particular and awkward responses to the design of New Zealand road signs. His raw sensibilities born of the childhood trauma outlined above, predispose him to second readings- mad and improbable deconstructions of the obvious. The road works sign is to him either somebody of African origin having problems with an umbrella or a caring DOC worker picking the teeth of a killer whale . The flag man is either a roadside magician touting for work or a polite slam-dunk by a Laker on a hitchhiking trip of the Antipodes. Children crossing is either a warning about folk dancing or an indication of a large woman towing a tiny man.
Polytechnic Teachers are the Shiz They may not have had a pay rise for a while, but teachers at the Otago Polytechnic are a class above when it comes to teaching excellence awards. Dunedin School of Art head professor Leoni Schmidt and Peter Bilous, Wanaka based outdoor educator, are the latest to win sustained teaching excellence awards, meaning Otago Polytechnic staff members across a range of disciplines have now won teaching awards five years in a row. You Rule.
beyond the rainbow Same-sex adoption has been once again placed on the political table in New Zealand, first by Adoption Action and now with the launch of LegaliseLove. (www.legaliselove.org.nz) This is a good thing, as our adoption laws are both anachronistic and discriminatory. Already we have seen some wailing from the fundies, and I expect more. The common charge is that children need one mother (who is a woman) and one father (who is a man) in order to develop correctly – that women and men have different and complimentary attributes that are important for a child’s development, and they are incapable of fulfilling each other’s roles. This, of course, is nonsense. Yes, children do better with two (as opposed to one, or none) parents, but the gender, sex, identity or orientation of those parents has almost nothing to do with it. Study after study finds that same-sex couples raise children at least as well as heterosexual couples – in fact, many studies find that lesbian couples raise kids better than their hetero-peers, one study found 0% of their kids reported physical or sexual abuse (contrast that with 26% for American hetero-households). Same-sex couples are also more likely to adopt disabled kids and children of colour, kids that are often neglected and just float from orphanage to foster home. There is nothing inherent about what kind of equipment you keep in your pants that makes you suitable for certain parenting roles and not others; all that’s required is a stable, loving, committed environment. Richard Girvan
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We Don’t Know How Lucky We Are.. I recently attended the funeral of an elderly relative, Bessie, who lived to the amazing age of 96 years (and still as sharp as a tack). Even though she had a long life it was with much sadness that family said our goodbyes. Afterwards, we discussed the changes this inspirational family matriarch would have seen in her time.. To live through two world wars is a miracle in itself, imagine being witness to the evolution of the motorcar, the airplane and the I phone. At the time of Bessie’s birth in 1915 women here had only been voting for 22 years, and it wouldn’t be until she was 4 years old that females would be eligible to work in parliament. Exotic foods were simply nonexistent (unless you actually went somewhere exotic). It was spuds and 3 veg all the way, and forget about gluten free. To have chicken for the Sunday roast was a luxury (and that was only after you had caught it, killed it and plucked the thing yourself). No popping down to Kentucky Fried for a family pack back then. Imagine walking 5 kms to school every day at 6 years old (and genuinely enjoying it). In those days, when Santa climbed down the chimney, he would leave an orange and some sweets in your xmas stocking, and you would be stoked (I think my nieces would be on the phone to CYFS if that happened to them). Later, there was raising 7 kids in a cottage without access to disposable nappies, electric washing machines or The Warehouse. If you wanted to iron something you couldn’t just whip out the iron and plug it in - oh no. Instead you chopped kindling and fired up the coal range so you could heat up several irons (that were made from just that) and use them alternately. After these laborious laundry days, the irons were then wrapped in a towel and that was your hot water bottle for the night. While we may complain if we run out of our salon shampoo or Clinique cleanser, spare a thought for the generations of Kiwi women who instead of 30 containers of lotions and potions, made do with a cake of sunlight soap. There was no Prozac either. So the next time you begrudgingly drag yourself off the couch to find the remote, spare a thought for how inspirational women like Bessie happily made do with what they had. We don’t know how lucky we are. Hey Everyone. Last week we had a soup day, I would like to thank everyone that came along and signed the ‘say no to VSM’ Postcards. I have posted them all to John Key, so thank you for your support. I was looking through the “Demand a Better Future” page on Facebook and I found a comment that I think needs to be in every students mind when it comes to VSM. “How can students have a better future if they can’t get the help they need for some of the problems we face from time to time? Students are at risk of dropping out without the safety net, welfare and advocacy that associations provide for students every day. Let’s make sure this isn’t taken away from us – say no to VSM!”
The Prez Sez
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OPSA would like to congratulate Amelia Boland a Otago Polytechnic graduate who is taking a collection, some of which was shown at iD Dunedin Fashion Week, to New York for Nolcha Fashion Week next month. Congratulations on all your accomplishments so far, I am sure there are still many more to come. Michelle Fidow OPSA president 2011, firstname.lastname@example.org
Go Go Gadget Review
Top Ten signs Aliens Exist 10. Crop circles, the agricultural equivalent of Banksy. 9. Colin Mathura-Jeffree.
Game Red Faction - Armageddon Platform PS3/360 Peace is always an unstable mistress. Red Faction - Armageddon is set forward 50 years from the previous title. A long dormant destructive force is awoken on the red planet and mankind are forced underground to survive. Dwelling within the sub surface mines, Darius straps on his Nano Forge technology to butt heads with wall crawling, weapon totting aliens. With hellish surroundings ranging from ice to lava, you will quickly learn to use your surroundings, coupled with some rather gutsy weaponry to your explosive advantage. The gameplay tends to be a bit disjointed at times, with some semi bland environments. But the carnage you will enact on the environment makes up for the drab. Weapons can be upgraded and are a destructive assortment. The most memorable and most talked about is the Magnet Gun. This allows to link objects in order to destroy them, in style. How this works is you attach a magnet to one object, then by attaching a second to another object, the secondary will come flying over to the where the first magnet lies. Try and get some enemies inbetween and pat yourself on the back for an achievement or two. Darius also has the ability to repair items as required. I felt that this could have been explored more widely, and it’s also not a new innovation in either third or first person action titles. You will, from time to time, need to repair a bridge or three to get from one point to another. Repairing is all environmental, as is the most part of the explosive action. Infact, bleak main story aside, Red Faction - Armageddon is simply blowing stuff up. And when there is nothing to blow up, you’ll be tempted to turn it off if you do not have any perseverance. A disappointing follow on from the previous one. Recommend to those of you who maliciously destroyed their younger siblings toys or school projects. Red Faction - Armageddon is pure destruction. But that’s all it is. Rating 3/5
Chills First Home Show in 2011 The Chills write mostly love songs. They love women, rain, the Otago Peninsula and their leather jackets. In news sure to excite fans young and old, the Dunedin legends announce their first home show in 2011 at the Urban Factory on Saturday 10 September. The Chills will be joined by none other than Flying Nun veteran Robert Scott, also extending a helping hand to rising stars Two Cartoons. On the back of a packed-out show in July at Auckland’s Kings Arms, Martin Phillips and co will pulling out gems from the back catalogue, a treasure chest spanning 31 years. Not to be missed! Doors open 9pm, Show begins 10.15 Special tertiary student tickets only $15 with student ID
Hoarding like that Old Man Next Door who Collects Washing Machines. A million tucked in each cheek; the Otago Polytechnic is one of many tertiary institutions squirreling away cash, rather than investing it in their staff and students, says TEU national president Sandra Grey. A Tertiary Education Commission report released last week shows that publicly funded polytechnics are generating surpluses significantly greater than that instructed. “Hoarding this money gives the government a false justification for its relentless on-going budget cuts to tertiary funding,” said Grey. Otago Polytechnic’s surplus was $-0.3M in 2008, $0.7M in 2009, in 2010 posting a surplus of $2.3M. And yet we still can’t afford a full-sized magazine.
8. Alien abduction. I know they always look like 400 pound religious nuts from the American mid-west, but studies show few who claim to have been abducted are actually crazy. 7. Probability. 100 billion stars per galaxy and there’s no one there? Hardly. 6. The Bible. Angels - literally translates as ‘messengers,’ maybe Lucifer was a spaceman. Explains the horns. 5. Pyramids. There’s a reason why you can see them from space. 4. Maori cave drawings. That’s not a kina, that’s a spaceship. 3. Ex-government people. Why do they keep dying? Maybe they know too much. 2. It’s extremely logical. We have animals of lower consciousness than us, but nothing higher? 1. Even the Pope is hedging his bets. “Aliens are still God’s creatures” said a Vatican spokesperson recently.
Road to Destruction
Genre: Alternative-country / Folk-rock Road to Destruction is Elliot Brown’s second album. He is billed as “an underground songwriter from Northland described as alt-country” — But don’t panic about the alt-country label. I hate most country music, and luckily the “countryness” on this CD is limited enough that it doesn’t detract from its enjoyability at all; even Banjer Picking Man is an entertaining listen, you won’t hit ‘next track’. Elliot’s work is often hauntingly performed, and a lyrical work of art. Opening track Cruel Mother, a duet, is one of several tracks recorded “live” in studio. It’s a traditional British folk song and Elliot’s version is an excellent and haunting version. Gospel Plow is another from this session, a traditional gospel number, is probably one of the most fun tracks on the CD – and thankfully doesn’t sound at all gospel. Many of the rest are Elliot’s own songs, where themes don’t shy away from poverty, alcoholism, and general wretchedness. Some Promises Have Been Made to Me, a general malaise about the effects of new-right economics, is probably my favourite. Elliot’s songs have some memorable lyrics such as “Please Mr. Paramedic, give me some morphine – and I promise not to scull it like a sailor again”. Elliot encourages free copying of his music and asks that the purchaser only pays what they can afford. Check out www.elliotbrownmusic.com. 3/5 – a review CD I’ll certainly be keeping. Mark Baxter
Noisy people, Road signs, Top 10 signs aliens exist, Same-sex adoption, Red Faction - Armageddon, Road to Destruction, Structure Surface Pla...