NEW GRAND NARRATIVE
NEX T WAVE FESTIVAL 2014 MAGAZINE
We acknowledge that our Festival takes place on the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri, Boonerwrung, Taungurong, Djajawurrung and Wathaurung peoples of the Kulin Nation. We offer our respect to the Elders of these traditional lands and, through them, to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
GROW UP About 10 years ago I had a green t-shirt
failure? A reflection on the overlap between
with those words on the front: GROW UP.
suffering and celebration. A letter that will
I wore it so often it fell apart. In 2003 a
never be sent to Canadian conservative
t-shirt promoting a show, wide-legged jeans
Prime Minister Stephen Harper. And if you
and Royal Elastics was very stylish apparel.
still have your 2012 Next Wave Magazine and remember Bryan Gaensler’s romantic
In 2014, I’m the Artistic Director of an
essay on the generosity of the universe,
organisation in its 30
you’ll be happy to know that an artist from
year. Next Wave
was originally conceived as a youth festival.
Tasmania has contemplated our sonic
But in a number of different ways, we have
relationship to the cosmos.
grown up. Our theme for Next Wave Festival 2014 I don’t work with youths, or even yoofs. We
is a rallying call. We seek a New Grand
have comprehensive parental leave policies
Narrative. Or new grand narratives. Many
now, and unlike in 2012 I’m typing this in an
institutions that operated throughout the
office with air conditioning. Our IT and digital
20th Century are cracking, experiencing
infrastructure is joined by clouds, not gaffa
repeated challenges as to their relevance
tape. We receive substantial support from
for modern life. From newspapers to
all levels of government and a generous
marriage, or a two-party political system,
community of individuals. We regularly travel
or our relationship to the planet and animals,
overseas to measure our ideas against the
or even the constitution itself, because
world, and inevitably we come back with
it still does not equally acknowledge our
a straightened, less cringing, spine.
I do work with ferociously intelligent rebels
These institutions have deep, deep flaws,
and dreamers, who were largely born in
and in this time of transition – to what,
the ‘80s or ‘90s.
we don’t know – we offer this Festival and these artists, as a series of potent visions
To meet them, read on. Mostly you won’t
for a new world, and the relationships within
have heard from them before. We create this
it. The people in the margins – the outliers
magazine to introduce them to you, as this
and the eccentrics – will lead us towards
is the Next Wave: people who aren’t very
a better tomorrow.
well-known outside a certain community, but should be known and soon will.
The still-brilliant thing about those brattish words – GROW UP – is that they prompt
In these pages, you will find people that in
a very swift reaction in any sane person:
heartfelt, tragic and funny ways articulate
‘No!’ From 16 April – 11 May, we will
how idealism is rebellion. Against cynicism,
crack open a very temporary, sharp and
exhaustion and despair, artists create.
beautiful kind of togetherness. We will entitle ourselves to solace, imagination and
You’ll find a conversation between
wonder. We will ask more questions than can
a 25-year-old and a 97-year-old artist.
An obituary for a young man who at 26 and under governmental pressure in his
Just like kids.
fight for freedom of information, took his own life. A series of notes from the post-
virtuosic pianist; is unrealised potential
Dust off your high tops, break out your bubble skirts, because this year marks Next Wave’s 30th birthday! Starting out in 1984 as a celebration of youth arts, Next Wave has grown to be a key platform for emerging artists of all ages from across Australia and around the world. It’s also a destination for art lovers with almost a quarter of attendees in 2012 coming from interstate or overseas to experience this one of a kind event. The Victorian Government is proud to have supported Next Wave from the very beginning. Congratulations to the Festival team for the many successes so far and we look forward to what’s in store for the next chapter of Next Wave.
HON HEIDI VICTORIA MP Minister for the Arts
It is my great pleasure to welcome you to Australia’s leading contemporary arts festival for emerging artists. The Next Wave Festival is renowned for taking creative risks, generating exciting ideas and exploring new frontiers of possibility. The Festival has been a platform for experimentation and innovation since 1984, and emerging artists nationally and internationally look to Next Wave to expand their careers.
TONY GRYBOWSKI CEO of the Australia Council for the Arts
As the home of Australia’s most vibrant and diverse arts scene, the City of Melbourne is pleased to support the Next Wave Festival in 2014. The Festival, which brings together some of the country’s most promising artists, has become renowned for challenging artistic norms and unearthing the next generation of Australian talent. The City of Melbourne will invest more than $14 million in the arts this year through grants, venues and facilities, studio spaces and offices, free public events, projects, public art and more. I hope you enjoy the Next Wave Festival and all that our great city has to offer.
HON ROBERT DOYLE Lord Mayor of Melbourne
CARLY SHEPPARD 4
BETH CAIRD 56
Acceptable Damage: Your loss is a copy of a copy
NEW HEROES 7
GEORGIE MAT TINGLEY 57
New Generation Narrative
Ethics of Love and Slaughter
JAMES WELSBY 8
GHENOA GEL A 60
Between Suffering and Celebration
Tok Blo Krieisoen Era (Talk from Creation Era)
LOURIS VAN DE GEER & SAMARA HERSCH 10
NATALIE ABBOT T 62
Me by Me: A Movement (kind of)
TAHJEE MOAR 14
SARAH AIKEN & REBECCA JENSEN 64
DEBORAH PEARSON 16
SEAN JORVN (COLIN KINCHEL A & GAVIN WALTERS) 66
Dear Stephen Harper
SARAH-JANE NORMAN 18 Notes on the Concerto
CREATIVE NONFICTION 22 Wael Zuaiter: Unknown
K ATIE LENANTON 26 Trying to Talk about Scent
PIPPA MILNE 28 Secret Narratives
HENRY JOCK WALKER 29 Driving with Henry: The HMS Experience
TANIA EL KHOURY 32 Oral Histories of the Revolution
MEGAN COPE 34
We Are Starz
M’CK MCKEAGUE, NATHAN STONEHAM & YOUNGHEE PARK 67 Scotch and Cigarettes
GISELLE STANBOROUGH 70 Nice2mech@
AODHAN MADDEN 73 Obituary, Aaron Swartz: 1986 – 2013
STEAPHAN PATON 74 iPhone as Woomera
ESTHER STEWART & OSCAR PERRY 76 Das Boot
Looking for Bluey and Curly
ANDREW MCLELL AN, MICHAEL CANDY, KIAH READING 78
JACKSON STACY 37
RAGHAV HANDA 80
TOO MANY WEAPONS & THE SIPAT L AWIN ENSEMBLE 38
Kids Killing Kids
LIANG LUSCOMBE & BROOKE BABINGTON 82
SOPHIE KITSON 40
Taking out the Laundry
Precious Metals: A Selection
FIERCE FESTIVAL & NEX T WAVE 84
BOMB COLLECTIVE 44
Parallel Thinking: Notes to Cover 16,975km
I’M TRYING TO KISS YOU 86
MAT THIAS SCHACK-ARNOT T 46
In Conversation with Marina Amvbromovich
SHIAN L AW 88
BRIENNA MACNISH 47
IETM ASIAN SATELLITE MEETING 90
ROSEMARY WILLINK 50
Three Way Dialogue
Can We Please Play the Internet?
DYL AN SHERIDAN 92
PHUONG NGO 52
The Seat of the Soul
THIS IS NEX T WAVE 94 – 97
RYAN PRESLEY 54 Lesser Gods
NEXT WAVE FESTIVAL 2014
NEW GRAND NARRATIVE
NEXT WAVE FESTIVAL 2014
ABOVE & PREVIOUS PAGE: CARLY SHEPPARD, Photography: Gregory Lorenzutti
“Being black in a white, white world, being white with a black, black curl.” 'Identity', by Monica Weightman and Teaka Williams White Face, Carly Sheppard 6 — 11 May → Footscray Community Arts Centre
NEW GRAND NARRATIVE
New Generation Narrative New Heroes
“There are no big narratives anymore.” This is what my teachers told me when I was 15 years old. Postmodernism was hot. The decay and deconstruction of religion, science, ideology, truth and father figures was a fact. Ours (that is, Gen Y, born after 1982) is the first generation to have been brought up without a framework of values and truths on how to live. We can choose our own truth, our own values, our own framework. “Do whatever you want, as long as you are happy, boy,” my father said. Freedom! We are free to do, become, say and think what we want. It sounds great and in a way, it is great. Our parents fought for our freedom of speech and mind. We live in a world with many possibilities and we are all connected. We can do and become whatever we want. Yes, but we have to do it on our own. My teachers were wrong: There still are big narratives. But some of them are hidden (think self-development and Neoliberalism), while others we do not consider as our own (think religion for example). Postmodernism is over. We no longer deconstruct; we search – for stories and characters that prove there’s no singular narrative for explaining the world around us anymore; for possibility, rather than truth. We accept that all is not – and cannot – be known, that there can be no one truth, no one religion, no one theory. We know that we can change our opinions of the narratives of every day, without being unfaithful. We know that all is relative, but that also binds us – it is what makes us human. The big narratives are no longer untouchable or dead, they exist as possibilities and are as flexible and debatable as we ourselves are. The danger, though, is that we can’t deal with not knowing; that we can’t deal with the possibilities and the flexible frameworks of today. The danger is that we will reinstate big narratives in their truth status, in their un-questionability. And, if we do that, our worlds may very well fall prey to dictatorship, greed and inequality – more than ever before. But the danger is real. It is difficult to be alone, to figure out the answers yourself, to choose (and choose again) what you believe in, and fight for, and act upon. As artists we have to fight against this danger. We must offer insights and moments of consolidation, or fear, or whatever is necessary for people to embrace the knowledge that all is not knowable, and to celebrate and share this knowledge within themselves, with others and with the world. Art doesn’t give the answers but brings us together (through heightened awareness of ourselves and others), to share the “not knowing”. A sharing that is vital to remaining free.
The Club 3.0, New Heroes 1 — 11 May → Arts House, Meat Market
NEXT WAVE FESTIVAL 2014
Between Suffering and Celebration James Welsby
I’ve known about ACT UP (the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) for a while, but the recent release of a few core-shaking documentaries consisting of archival footage has allowed me to take a much closer look at the movement and get a stronger idea of what it felt like to be involved in AIDS activism. I’m deeply affected by the way in which such a tragedy can unite so many different people and rouse them to act together. ACT UP was formed in 1987, the same year in which I was born. It was also the year the notorious Grim Reaper AIDS prevention campaign ran on Australian television. I feel like there’s symbolism there; my generation has grown up in the midst of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and in the wake of ‘the AIDS crisis’ and the activism that has surrounded it. Gay men were one of the groups hit the hardest at the beginning of the crisis, so I feel that younger gay men have a responsibility to learn about the impact of the epidemic on our community, both historically and today. It’s important for me to understand how things have changed since the start of the epidemic in the two countries where I’ve lived my life, Australia and the United States of America, and beyond. I feel like that understanding can only come from conversations with the generations that preceded me; we owe a lot to them, and I want to respond to that. So I’m working on a piece of performance. I think there’s an important relationship between suffering and celebration. Clubs are a key place where this paradoxical relationship
plays out. They can be sacred spaces where, struggles notwithstanding, people celebrate themselves. I’m interested in how bodies move in clubs. I love seeing what comes out of people when they dance for joy – it reveals so much about who they are. For me, dance is a form of stylised body language, and body language can be an expression of identity. I’m also interested in club settings, as that was where a lot of ‘80s and ‘90s queer awareness-raising activist performance lived and breathed. There are, of course, many well-known performance pieces about HIV/AIDS, but my “take” on it is from the perspective of Gen Y. An important influence for me has been meeting gay men who are 20 or more years older than I am and listening to what they have to say. There’s a huge difference between our generations, and we don’t necessarily always have the chance to interact. Sometimes you have to quite consciously seek out inter-generational conversations, but these are extremely important because they provide personal links to the history that makes the world I live in what it is today. I’ve been interviewing some wonderful queer activists, academics and artists who were in their youth in the ‘80s and ‘90s. It’s been really meaningful for me to meet the people who paved the way for my generation to be more comfortable with ourselves. But there are a lot of people I won’t ever be able to talk to, because of the reality of what happened. I’m responding to that reality.
LEFT: Photography: Diane Stern
HEX, James Welsby 6 — 11 May → fortyfivedownstairs
NEXT WAVE FESTIVAL 2014
Louris van de Geer interviewing Destiny Mitchell
ABOVE: FIESTA BANNER ON MAIN STREET, Photography: Louris van de Geer
Truth or Consequences (T or C) began as a radio program. In 1950, as a stunt for the show’s 10th anniversary, the host Ralph Edwards asked for a town in America to change its name to Truth or Consequences for a year. The residents of Hot Springs, New Mexico voted 1,294 to 295 in favour of the change. On April Fool’s Day in 1950, Hot Springs officially became Truth or Consequences and the town hosted a fiesta to welcome Ralph Edwards. Ralph Edwards returned to the town each year until he died and to this day the town still celebrates every May with a Fiesta. T or C got me thinking about how we manufacture our identity. How do we create histories for ourselves? How do we form meaning in our communities? In May 2013, I travelled to T or C to experience the Fiesta first—hand and meet the residents in the town. I spoke with Destiny Mitchell, Chair of the Fiesta Board, who has lived in T or C since 1986.
of people that called on a weekly basis to see if he had apartments. He would ask, “Why would you want to come here?” And they would say, “Because I like the name of the town.”
What makes T or C unique?
It is the only town in the entire world to bear that name. We have the hot springs. And we are now home to Space Port America, the first commercial spaceport in the United States. DESTINY
If you were around when the decision was being made to change the name for the first time which way would you have voted? LOURIS
What is your role in the town?
When I think of it in terms of today’s television shows, such as changing the name to Survivor, Indiana then no! But, because I grew up here, I am perfectly happy with it. For one instance, I learned how to spell “consequences” in kindergarten. DESTINY
Some have called me the “Unofficial Mayor”. My history in this town and my knowledge of its geography and culture have led me to become sort of an encyclopedia of its existence. I have chaired the Fiesta for the past three years, and now serve in an advisory capacity. I had a customer introduce me the other day as The Woman Who Saved Fiesta. DESTINY
There have been votes to change the name back to Hot Springs, have you voted in this? LOURIS
What does the Fiesta mean to the T or C community? LOURIS
I have voted absolutely not to change the name. There is a Hot Springs in “Any State” USA. There is a Hot Springs anywhere in the world. The thing is, you can have this simple idea, such as, “Lets change the name back to promote tourism of our natural assets.” Yet the money involved in that simple change is substantial. Why can’t we just put a sign on the highway that says, “Truth or Consequences/Hot Springs?” Why does it have to be one or the other? Why do we have to give up our heritage, to embrace our economy? Why can’t we do both? DESTINY
Back in the day Fiesta was an occasion! It was a “brush off your best suit, drag out the horse and family, rub shoulders with the celebrities, everyone pitches in” sort of event. With Ralph Edwards contributing substantial amounts of money, and celebrities popping up for the celebrations, to real life elephants hiding in canyons around the town, it was the gala of galas. Once upon a time, it was the place to be, and now it is just something to do if you have nothing better to do on Cinco de Mayo weekend. DESTINY
How would you imagine a play about
T or C?
Why is it important that the Fiesta continues? LOURIS
I think it should be about daily life. About how small town people interact with small town people, about how the uniqueness of a name can make a difference in your economy. How it could make someone from a country on the other side of the globe take notice. Or the underlying theme could be Truth! Unlike the game show, with random questions that no one knew the answers to, your play could be about the presumption of truth, and its counter effects? Or maybe, just about normal everyday people, being absurdly strange? DESTINY
We are the only place in the world to bear this name. We are the only people who could pay homage to Ralph Edwards. We are the only community that has the privilege of carrying on this tradition. If we stop, it dies with us. On a far smaller scale, it could be likened to the comment, “Hey, do you remember the Olympics? When the world would come together and compete in the ancient Greek tradition?” I have made it my mission to make sure this tradition does not die. That people do not forget where we come from or why we are here. My father managed an apartment complex growing up. He was flabbergasted at the amount DESTINY
Hello There, We’ve Been Waiting For You Louris van de Geer & Samara Hersch 30 April — 11 May → ACMI Studio 1
ABOVE: A&B DRIVE-IN ON BROADWAY, TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES Photography: Louris van de Geer
ABOVE: CHEERLEADERS IN THE FIESTA PARADE ON MAIN STREET Photography: Louris van de Geer
NEXT WAVE FESTIVAL 2014
Blak Wave Tahjee Moar
FRUITBATS 1991, LIN ONUS (Australia, b.1948, d.1996), polychromed fibreglass sculptures, polychromed wooden disks, Hills Hoist clothesline, 250 x 250 x 250 cm, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Purchased 1993, Image: AGNSW, © Lin Onus Estate/Licensed by Viscopy, 2014
Next Wave’s keynote initiative for 2014 is Blak Wave, a program delivering seven new art projects across dance, performance and visual art, a series of lively talks and discussions examining a range of topics currently on the agenda for emerging and established Indigenous artists, and a new publication exploring what’s personally, politically and artistically next for Australia’s First Peoples. As the theme of this year’s Festival explores the notion of a new grand narrative, we are prompted to explore the question: what are the grand narratives of our time? In the context of Blak Wave, questions not dissimilar to this have for many years prompted social, cultural and political dialogues for Indigenous Australians. As suggested in the title’s use of the term “Blak”, which alludes to the reclaiming of identity – a fundamental part of Indigenous peoples’ journey towards self-determination,1 Blak Wave serves as a platform for established and emerging Indigenous practitioners to contribute their voices to these dialogues. Blak Wave covers a range of issues from diverse national perspectives, including feminist and queer experiences,
international perceptions of Indigenous art and culture, rebellion and protest for a new generation, and leadership, mentoring and inter-generational exchange. In an explanation of the cultural and political function of art, Bandjalung curator, writer, artist and activist, Djon Mundine OAM writes: “For Aboriginal people, there was never an explicit word for art. Art is a cultural expression; a history of a people; a statement through a series of life experiences of self-definition; a recounting of an untold story; the bringing to light of a truth of history – a statement possibly unable to be made in any other way.” 2 Embedded in the cultural tradition of storytelling, art has been a powerful tool for Indigenous Australians in challenging Western grand narratives of Australian history and national identity that – since colonisation – have served to erase the presence of Indigenous peoples. Today, it continues to be a fundamental component in the demonstration of the identity, history, survival and resilience of Indigenous Australians. As previous generations of Indigenous artists brought the stories and experiences of Indigenous
weighs in on this dialogue, control is increasingly being reasserted. Blak Wave seeks to explore the perspectives, stories and experiences of Indigenous artists, and facilitate and extend dialogues taking place around cultural practice. My role as cocurator of the Blak Wave publication has largely involved drawing from my experience as a young Indigenous curator who is passionate about broadening an awareness of the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, culture and identity as well as maintaining a dialogue with established and emerging artists in the community, and connecting these voices to the mainstream. Blak Wave has a role in the continuation of the dialogue between the past, the present and the future of Indigenous cultural practice.
Australians to the foreground of mainstream Australian culture, they were simultaneously deconstructing grand narratives, or mythologised notions, of Indigenous identity, such as those that defined Indigeneity as being the opposite of “modern” Australian society, and a static culture locked in an ancient or bygone era. An early participant in this movement was Yorta Yorta artist Lin Onus, who is recognised today as a pioneer of what has become known as Urban Aboriginal art.3 An artist whose career began in the 1970s, Onus was part of a generation of urban-based Aboriginal artists who de-constructed archetypal notions of identity, both black and white, through an art practice that merged Aboriginal and Western visual languages. In his work, Onus addressed the here and now of Indigenous peoples in Australian society and sought to highlight a number of social and political issues affecting his people. Although his work was deemed “inauthentic” by the art world during his career, Onus and his contemporaries have been instrumental in demonstrating the dynamic quality of Aboriginal culture and changing the ways in which Indigenous Australian identity and contemporary cultural expression is understood. Today, Indigenous art has achieved a national and international profile and flourishes as contemporary art while at the same time embracing its rich traditions. Its core issue is no longer lack of visibility, but rather that the dialogue surrounding it is still largely controlled by non-Indigenous people. Attention was first drawn to this over a decade ago by Kamilaroi/ Kooma/Jiman/Gurang Gurang artist and activist Richard Bell in his 2002 manifesto Bell’s Theorem, where he used his famous slogan “Aboriginal Art – It’s a White Thing” to highlight the appropriation of Indigenous art and identity by white institutions, curators, anthropologists and arts writers. Yet as the community of Indigenous cultural practitioners continues to grow, and a new generation of Indigenous artists, curators, performers and storytellers steadily
→ Tahjee Moar is a descendant of the Meriam/Barkindji/ Malyangapa people. Having recently completed a Bachelor of Art Theory at the College of Fine Arts at the University of New South Wales, Tahjee works in Sydney as a freelance curator and a Gallery Educator at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. 1. The term “Blak” was first used by Destiny Deacon in 1991 in her exhibition, Blak Like Mi, and used to reclaim contemporary Indigenous identity, and has since been adopted and applied by many contemporary Indigenous artists. In Deacon’s exhibition, Walk and Don't Look Blak (Museum of Contemporary Art, 2004), “blak” is defined as: “a term used by some Aboriginal people to reclaim historical, representational, symbolical, stereotypical and romanticised notions of Black or Blackness. Often used as ammunition or inspiration. This type of spelling may be appropriated from American hip-hop or rap music.” (Walk and Don’t Look Blak, Destiny Deacon, MCA Resource Kit, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, p. 24). 2. Djon Mundine on 21 years of Aboriginal art: How has Aboriginal art changed in 21 years, ABC Radio National, 10 August 2013, www.abc.net.au/radionational/ programs/awaye/21st-birthday-lecture-series3a-27picture-this27-deliveredby/4867840#transcript, accessed 23 Deccember 2013. 3. This term is often debated as it is seen as confirming binary classifications of Aboriginal art as either “traditional” or “contemporary”. All Aboriginal art produced today is contemporary, regardless of the region in which it is produced or the medium through which it is expressed. 4. Bell’s Theorem: Aboriginal Art: It’s A White Thing, Richard Bell, Koori Web, November 2002, www.kooriweb.org/foley/great/art/bell.html, accessed 4 January 2014.
This logo designates projects that are part of the Blak Wave keynote initiative. Blak Wave opening event 16 April → The Wheeler Centre Blak Wave talks program 3 — 11 May → Various locations
NEXT WAVE FESTIVAL 2014
Dear Stephen Harper Deborah Pearson
DEBORAH PEARSON, DREAMING OF A BET TER WORLD AND A CANOE Photography: Morgan McBride
In the final week of Next Wave, UK—based Canadian—born live artist Deborah Pearson will be taking Australian conservative voters on canoe rides, and talking to them about why they vote the way they do. The week will culminate in a Breakfast Club, open to the public and with Deborah’s canoe co—pilots present. There they will discuss the recent shift towards conservatism in both Australia and the West at large, and what it means to identify as “right” or “left”. The following are reasons why she did not submit an open letter to Stephen Harper to this publication, told in the form of a conversation with her husband who just read that letter. Voice of reason credit goes to Morgan McBride.
“So what do you think?”
“Yeah, but then after that you end the letter with, ‘Fuck you Stephen Harper.’”
“It’s a bit crazy to be honest.”
“Okay, let’s try a different tactic – who’s a politician for the left that you really respect?”
“It’s sort of like a shopping list of why you’re angry at the Canadian Prime Minister.”
“Um, I respected Jack Layton...He was head of the NDP [New Democratic Party] in Canada, but he died recently…”
“Well there are a lot of reasons to be angry at the Canadian Prime Minister.” “I know, and I think a lot of people would agree with you for these reasons, but it’s like, when I read how angry you are, I just think, ‘How are you going to get 10 conservative voters to get into canoes with you?’ I mean, I just think, ‘This person is so angry at conservatives, why would any conservatives want to talk to her about it?’ ”
“Okay, so imagine somebody wrote this essay and it ended with, ‘Fuck you Jack Layton.’ ”
“I know, but you also equate Canadian conservatives with Australian conservatives, and I don’t know if you can do that.”
“And this person was like, ‘Anyone who likes Jack Layton is an idiot, and I want to talk to these idiots. I’m going to take liberals on motorboat “Well I mean that’s sort of the point of the project.” rides…’ ”
“Or truck rides. I’m going to take Australian leftists on truck rides, and I’m going to tell them about how much I hate this Canadian politician Jack Layton, and during that truck ride I’m going to make them explain to me why they vote left and why they have all of their stupid ideas.”
“I don’t know – I think the Australian conservative government policies aren’t going to be particularly progressive for its Aboriginal population, and it also doesn’t care at all about protecting the environment…”
“Sure, but you had that stuff about Canada being really pro-Israel. Is the Australian Government pro-Israel?”
“I mean that doesn’t seem like a conversation, does it? That seems aggressive.”
“…I’m not sure.”
“Yeah. That’s true.”
“I mean the part that was interesting was where you were saying you were worried you were missing something, because some people do vote conservative…”
“So all I’m saying is it needs an edit.” “So you’re saying I can’t tell the Canadian Prime Minister to fuck off?” “I’m saying you definitely shouldn’t end it that way.”
“Right, exactly. That bit at the end where I say I’m worried I’m in a one-sided conversation. Look, this bit here: ‘I’m talking to a wall. I’m yelling in the dark. I’m writing to a Canadian politician in a publication put out by an experimental art festival in Melbourne. My anger floats away silently in the dark, with me at the stern, drifting right. This conversation feels one-sided. Maybe I’m missing something.’ ”
Drifting Right, Deborah Pearson 7 — 10 May → Fairfield Park Boathouse Breakfast Club, Deborah Pearson 11 May → The Wheeler Centre
NEXT WAVE FESTIVAL 2014
Notes on the Concerto Sarah-Jane Norman
ABOVE: Photography: Dan Marbaix, Odin's Raven Photography
Notes on the Concerto:
and shifted. Grey was the prevailing tone. To the right there was a large ghost gum. Hanging from its branches were two lengths of chain, to which a tree swing might have once been attached. To the left, there was a disused water bore, which hummed with mosquitoes in the summer and in the winter, froze. The windows were framed by heavy drapes, and the piano was set against the wall on the right-hand side. I was the only child of a single parent and spent a lot of time alone in that house, and a lot of time with that piano. When I say “piano” it was actually a Yamaha electric organ. The kind that plays three settings of Salsa beats at the push of a button. But it had a full size keyboard, and heavy keys, and the fact that I could adjust the volume meant I could play it in the middle of the night, on the lowest setting, without waking my mother, (a feature I’m sure Rachmaninoff would have valued on his passage to America). Alternatively, when I was alone in the house, I could turn the volume up to full, put it on the Pipe Organ setting and bang out the first few bars of a Bach fuge into the cavernous reaches of an empty house, feeling like the Phantom of the Opera.
Of all the works in the classical piano repertoire, Rachmaninoff's third piano concerto has perhaps one of the most fearsome reputations. The lilting, almost folky lyricism of the main theme, which opens the first movement and returns throughout, belies the extraordinary technical difficulty of the work. There are few, even among the world’s elite pianists, who are prepared to attempt it. Even Joseph Hofmann, the virtuoso to whom the work is dedicated, eschewed all public performances, claiming that this work was too difficult even for him. It was also this beast of the classical canon that supposedly precipitated the mental breakdown of the young GermanAustralian pianist, David Helfgott – it was Helfgott’s biography, and specifically its better known film adaptation (Shine, 1997) that was responsible for launching the “Rach 3” into the public consciousness, and enshrining its reputation as one of the most difficult, even dangerous, pieces of piano music ever written. Rachmaninoff composed his third piano concerto whilst still in Russia, at his family’s estate. It was composed especially for the composer’s first tour of the United States in 1909 – there was no time for him to rehearse the work before he left Russia, so he practiced for the first recital on a silent keyboard during his Atlantic passage. He was famously unimpressed by his first visit to America, a bitter irony, considering that this would be the country in which, following the revolution and his subsequent exile, the composer would be forced to live out the rest of his days.
Notes on prodigious children:
My parents still recall a moment when I was very young, maybe four or five (young enough not to remember the incident myself). I was heard playing the classical theme to some movie or other which I had apparently replicated after hearing it the night before on television. I wasn’t yet able to read, let alone read music, so whatever I played on the piano was generally my own little compositional mash-ups and aural renditions of tunes I’d heard elsewhere. I was experimenting (as children do), with sound and with things that make noise. But it seemed that I had an affinity for this big, toothy black-and-white noise-making contraption in particular, and was able to elicit noises from it that were kind of sensible and melodious, that might have even been music. This led, of course, to formal piano lessons. Twice a week I found myself in the dusty music room of Ms Ryan, a curly-haired, smiling woman with a large collection of interesting earrings and breath that smelled always of stale coffee. Ms Ryan
Notes on my father:
My father has the hands of a pianist – they’re expressive and intelligent, his fingers are long, slender, tensile. My father is not and has never been a pianist – he was born into a household where middle-class things like piano lessons were never a possibility – though he has a profound passion for the instrument. Notes on music and solitude:
The piano in the house where I grew up was situated, as pianos often are, in the lounge room. The windows of that room looked outwards over acres of empty grazing land. Mists descended
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declared that I was “gifted”. She made the mistake of telling my parents that, with another couple of decades of dedicated practice, I could be a concert pianist. They made the mistake of believing her.
for the lessons and wanted to see me realise some misguided notion of “potential”. But I continued, privately and ecstatically, to play pieces that I liked, acquired as much by ear and intuition as from the notes on the score. I composed pieces and improvised. I retreated into music, to the point where I became neurotically secretive. This got to the point where I could only play if I was absolutely sure I was alone. When the bullying at school was bad (and it did get bad) my refuge was always the practice cells of the music centre. I hung out in those rooms and skipped whole days of classes. I was in there one day, practicing a Beethoven sonata that I had been learning from sheet music illicitly photocopied from the library. It was during lunchtime, and the music centre was empty. The door to the cell burst open without warning: it was the head of the music department, a blind man by the name of Mr Cooper. He stood at the door in a state of some excitation, staring forward demanding to know who was playing. I thought I was in trouble, and gave my name hesitantly. I’ll never forget the look of disbelief on the man’s face when I told him it was me – this was long after the era of Ms Ryan and her declarations of my prodigious natural talent. I was 15 by this stage and was regarded by most of the music department as a punk and a waster without discipline or interest, a notion I did little to dispel. He was silent for a long time, before finally saying, “I’ve taught students at the conservatory who have not played that piece so beautifully, or with so much passion.” If this was a film, a Billy Elliot sort of thing, this would be the point where the underdog girl virtuoso would suddenly be rescued by a brilliant but eccentric maestro; they would find a pathway forward together, find a way to buck the stuffy orthodoxy, and passion, rebellion and sweet, sweet music would prevail. However, what actually happened was: I sat, looked at my hands, looked at the keys, and suddenly felt incredibly frightened and exposed. Mortified is the word, actually, as though I had been caught jerking off
Notes on failure:
What is the potential of failure? How might our failures be more interesting than our triumphs? The completion of a great and difficult piano concerto by an elite pianist who has sacrificed their life to the study of an instrument, and to the interpretation of another’s music, represents a great triumph, a spectacle in fact, of triumph, which is so compelling principally because the stakes are so high. A great pianist is lauded, adored. There are conventions to their performance which are strict and steeped in tradition. There are expectations and there is sacrifice, turmoil, grace. What happens to the thousands of infant prodigies who, dressed for eisteddfods in oversized formal attire, never quite make it to the concert stage? What happens to those who, after years of driven practice suddenly, for whatever reason, stop? What survives in the space after an allencompassing discipline? How is the individual marked by the (failed) pursuit of virtuosity? Relief? Trauma? Both? Anybody who has had the misfortune of being saddled, as a child, with the dubious mantle of “gifted and talented” in any given discipline will likely have as many, if not more, stories of their failures, rather than their achievements. Because with the early recognition of talent comes the corollary recognition of failure – the potential for it, the dreadful ever-presence of it, the utter terror of not succeeding. Notes on not—succeeding:
I never succeeded at piano: I rebelled, eventually. I loved playing the instrument but I hated studying it. I never practiced my scales or my sight-reading. I never learnt any of the pieces that my tutors tried to make me learn. I never turned up to my lessons, I failed my exams and therefore, I failed the piano. I failed my parents, who paid
orchestra, which escalate suddenly into crashing rows, and simmer back down into maudlin introspection. And like most classical musicians his work has been plundered by pop – the opening bars of, for instance, All By Myself (Eric Carmen, 1975), the power ballad to end all power ballads, is a direct quotation from the second concerto.
in a public bathroom. I closed the piano, closed the music and left. That was my last day at that particular school, and the following week we moved to a new house where there was no room for the piano. I didn’t lay my hands on one again for 15 years. Notes on my father:
Notes on music and solitude:
Whenever I see my father he asks me: “So, do you still play the piano?” Every. Single. Time. And the answer is always the same. I shake my head regretfully, and he lowers his eyes, and after a period of silence he says: “Such a pity.” And I know he is speaking as much to his own loss as mine. My father is one of the very few people whom I ever allowed to hear me play. And even then, I preferred it if he didn’t look at me while I did it. Many of the pieces I chose to learn, I chose because I knew he liked them. There was a period, through my late teens and early twenties, when my father and I didn’t speak. Quitting the piano was one of the numerous things that compacted his image of me as a failure, and this was one of the numerous things that compacted my image of him, at the time, as an arsehole. We’ve since mended this fracture, and a mutual enjoyment of classical piano has been one mechanism of our bridge-building.
I am sitting in a soundproofed windowless room, alone, with a piano. It smells like every music room I have ever been in – they smell universally of damp carpet and wood polish. They smell of failure and solitary pleasure. Sordid. The lights are out, because I can’t bear the sight of the thing, with its open jaws, its many teeth. I need to touch it first in the safety of darkness. When I rest my hands gently on the keys, my arms stiffen, my heart thumps, my breath grows shallow, and I feel the bulbous urge to cry rising in my chest. I wanted to find some kind of confluence between my breath, my body and that instrument, my failure at which has haunted me for years. I wanted to invite, into that gentle darkness, a healing spirit. Sitting in my lap I have the sheet music for one of the most maddeningly difficult piano works of all time. I want to see what it sounds like if I play it all wrong: wilfully, beautifully.
Notes on the Great Romantics:
Sergei Rachmaninoff was Late, rather than Great, Romantic. Compared to, say, (lovelorn, syphilitic) Schubert, or (insane, deaf) Beethoven, or indeed his mentor and most immediate stylistic predecessor, (homosexual, suicidal) Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff was a relatively staid character. He was hard working, upper-middle class, happily married, a Russian nationalist, moderately but not stupendously successful in his lifetime, neither maligned nor lauded. His biography is basically unsexy; no one in Hollywood would be likely to make a film about him. Yet the sheer melodrama of his piano works are total Hollywood – the sweeping, wave-like arpeggios, punctuated by soft, loving conversations between piano and
Concerto No. 3, Sarah—Jane Norman 10 May → Melba Hall
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Wael Zuaiter: Unknown Creative Nonfiction
On the evening of 16 October 1972, Wael Zuaiter, a Palestinian intellectual, was shot and killed by two Mossad agents after he left the apartment of his fiancﾃｩ, Janet Venn Brown, in Rome. Years later, her great窶馬ephew, radio producer Jesse Cox, decides to trace the story of Wael and Janet from Italy to the Middle East. Below are extracts from interviews and archives encountered on those research trips.
Alberto Moravia, eulogy at Wael Zuaiter’s memorial service, Rome 1972:
Wael was a living incarnation of certain Arab characters, both loveable and legendary. A knight full of fantasy, artless, courteous and romantic, who with his simple-heartedness and vagabond spirit, made one think of a world without frontiers or nationalism, vast and religious, where men used to call themselves – and often were – brothers. Nalia Zuaiter, Wael’s sister, speaking to Jesse in Nablus, Palestine 2013: JESSE
What kind of person was your brother?
He was a peaceful person, as a brother he never hurt anybody. My three brothers and I, (I was the only girl), we quarrelled with each other but not with Wael, because he was all the time reading – even Nietzsche, Schopenhauer – he read all religious books, and of course Karl Marx. He was a communist. NALIA
Janet venn Brown, Wael’s fiancé speaking in Sydney, Australia 2012:
I lived in a tiny little flat in the centre of Rome and this one time Wael came to have dinner and I was preparing it in this minute kitchen. There was an orange sitting there on the bank and it had Israel stamped on it and after Wael noticed that he said, “I don’t feel hungry and I'm not going to stay.” And so he left. I was a bit bewildered – surprised I should say, and I thought I would never see him again. But a few days later he came back and then he told me that the orange had been stamped Israel and then I realised how that subject was important to him and I think I probably realised I had to learn something about it. Enio Polito writing for an Italian newspaper, October 1973:
One evening some years ago, in the smoky atmosphere of a political meeting in Rome, towards the end of an “open discussion” on
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the Middle East crisis – a discussion that had been a little tense and rather inconclusive – someone new got up to speak from one of the back rows. I remember a dark face, short hair,a shabby coat but, above all, the stunned silence that surrounded him when, in slightly hesitant Italian, he dared to refute the pseudo-historical statements made by a “friend of Israel”. He did so in the unmistakable manner of a true witness. “How do you know such things?” someone ventured to ask. “Because I am Palestinian,” was the simple reply. These words were enough to gain everyone’s attention. It was as if a ghost exorcised by Golda Meir had unexpectedly come to life. Later, at the end of the meeting, I saw many of the dissenters or doubters go out with him to continue the discussion. Aaron J Klein, journalist and expert on Mossad, author of 'Striking Back: The 1972 Munich Massacre and Israel’s deadly response', speaking to Jesse in Israel, 2013:
You've spoken with a lot of agents over the years and the people who have run Mossad. When you talked to them, have they been able to reflect and realise that they might have got it wrong? Have you spoken to anyone who talked about re-looking at Wael’s death to see if it was a mistake? JESSE
The people who were involved at the time, they have no question marks. They were carrying out a holy mission to rescue lives of Israelis, Jews around Europe so they don't have question marks. They did it with full belief that what they are doing is the right thing to do. From their point of view most of them still today will say Wael Zuaiter was a right target. He deserved to die. Some, mainly people who weren't involved directly, who read the files some years later...will say, “We have questions marks...” They will never know. It's not 100 per cent that he was innocent, nobody really knows what his role was, but there were too many question marks.
Waddah Zuaiter, Wael’s brother, speaking to Jesse in Nablus, Palestine 2013:
Wael was a brilliant little boy. In 1947, there was a famine in Nablus, the place where we lived. So Wael thought to do something to help his family financially. He got a brown box and got inside it and put a shawl on his head and on this shawl, there is a drawing of the sea and a fish. He used to call the neighbours together around him and he would start a show and he used to say, “I am a fish coming from the sea, I can’t be on earth for long because it is against the rules of the sea.” They asked him: “Who is your father?” He would say, “The whale.” He would say, “I can speak all languages” – and if someone spoke to him in French, he would answer in French. In this way he collected money to help the family. Then one day, his sister Nalia attended the show and she recognised his voice, and told everyone it was Wael. Silvio Tongani, one of the people who set up the Wael Zuaiter Centre in Massa, speaking to Jesse in Italy 2013:
I understood that there was something more to this character. He was really a complete man. He was a poet, say. That’s it – he was a poet of the struggle for liberation. I remember I asked him once, “What’s Palestine like, the landscape?” And he replied, “It’s a bit like these hills here.” Then he said, in Arabic, “Massa means ‘pearl.’” I saw he almost felt at home here. Something certain is that he had no animosity towards Jews. In him there was nothing of the anti-Jewishness which can exist in parts of the Muslim world. He knew the struggle was not religious. Religion was being used as an instrument in the political struggle. But the causes were elsewhere.
Wael Zuaiter: Unknown, Creative Nonfiction 29 April — 11 May → Theatre Works
PAGES 23 – 26: Illustrations & sketches: Matt Huynh
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Trying to Talk about Scent
Katie Lenanton interviewing Adam Jasper
GRACE & OLIVIA , 2013 Photography: Jessica Eucalyptus Quinnell
What is smell?
of a woman or a man, it is their attractiveness that we refer to. What is odd is that (without any conscious biological knowledge) we like the smell of blooms – a plant’s sex organs – and use them to enhance interest in our primate equivalent.
The sense of smell is a lot like the immune system. The immune system's job is to spot the strange, and guide the flesh to fight and drive it out. If it sees a new stimulus once, it will remember it forever. The immune-system does not have nerves, it can't think, but it can learn. The sense of smell is a lot like the immunesystem. It recognises an enormous library of molecules, and seems to have an elephantine memory. The olfactory-receptors sift through the world, but unlike the thymus, they are wired up to the brain's nerves, so the brain too can “see”, as it were, the chemical trails of the world. ADAM
We used to live with our nose on the ground. What changed? K ATIE
In short: we started walking on our hind legs. Once we walked upright, there was not as much to smell (smells, because they are made of massive molecules, tend to sink). We got more vague about how we smell, how strange people smell. The olfactory bulb moved back and down under the brain, where in other hot-blooded animals it is at the front of the brain. Even now, the sense of smell seems to be in genetic decline. ADAM
Then what is scent?
Scent is smell with a positive slant. Smells can be of any thing, good or bad, but scents tend to be invitations from one living thing to another. That is, many scents are of sex. The scent of a flower is a chemical hint for a bee to come and make it bear fruit. When we talk of the “scent” ADAM
Can we taste smells?
Smell is a big part of what we think is the sense of taste. But the tongue can't smell a thing, it can just taste. It's a dumb piece of flesh. ADAM
Is smell a mute sense?
K ATIE Our nose is in a rose. What does it smell like? Would it smell the same to us both? How can we be sure?
Just mute in that it is very hard to share what we smell with words. This is well-known. There are no words that are just for smells. The words we use to describe smells, like “white” or “woody” or “sharp” are based on the other senses. Smell has few words of its very own. When we come to talk of smell, we get tongue-tied and vague, although we intuitively know much more than we can express. ADAM
The sense of smell is both sensitive and objective. There’s a great story about tiger urine that brings this out. Zoo-keepers in London and villagers in India have long known, quite independently of each other, that the urine of a tiger smells a lot like fragrant basmati rice. It turns out, bizarre as it may seem, that the aromatic molecule is the same. That is, although we may not be able to describe the smell of basmati rice to someone who has never experienced it, we can accurately detect the molecule that produces it, even in the most unexpected and stressful of contexts (like the tiger enclosure in the zoo). That doesn’t mean we would like the smell equally. That depends on our experiences with tigers. ADAM
Could you list all the smells you meet in
a day? I could not list all the things that I smell in thirty seconds. I have a dumb game where I try and name all the smells, and their sources, as I walk in the city. Flowers, trees, garbage, burnt fuel, stale air, cheap perfume, cooking and concrete. After a short time I have a sore head and have to stop. ADAM
How can the mere whiff of a scent push our minds back to the past? K ATIE
I bet. So do all things have a smell?
No. Most of the universe has no perceivable smell. Nitrogen, oxygen, argon, carbon dioxide, water and gold have no smell. Smells tend to be volatile organic compounds with a weight of less than 300 Daltons. No one really knows how different compounds are going to smell until they try them.
Well, you know how a vaccination shot can last a whole life? It is like that. Just as the immune system learns a face once, and holds it for all time, so the olfactory bulb seems to bind smells and moods forever. There’s a hypothesis about all this. Neurologists think that the nerves from the olfactory bulb lead into the areas of the brain that produce memory and emotion (what is called the “limbic system” or paleomammalian brain). That is, smells are already freighted with emotions and attached to memories before they reach the area of the brain that is responsible for language. We know how we feel about it, before we know how to say what it is. This is vice versa with vision, and probably contributes to the sense of smell’s unfair reputation for subjectivity.
What do we mean by a “good” or a “bad” smell? K ATIE
Keep in mind the volatility of organic compounds. They tend to break down. A good smell is often a “fresh” smell, a smell that has transient “top notes” that indicate that something is fresh and alive. A “bad” smell is like a scent that is all a mess of leftovers. The top notes are gone, and it is all bassy and foul. You can cloak a bad smell by adding some volatile top notes that can make something rank seem almost floral. Lemon, mint, all the fragrances of washing-up liquid. ADAM
Smell You Later, Curated by Katie Lenanton 1 — 11 May → Various locations
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Secret Narratives Pippa Milne
Back in mid-July of 2013, a strange series of articles was published in the print version of a Victorian newspaper. They took the form of a haphazard handful of outwardly unrelated stories regarding an assortment of matters: 21st century marketing techniques; the “Global March to Dignity”; a Beyoncé concert in Dallas that caused hearing loss; a local businessman who suffered a blow to the head and fell in love with his dog (to the chagrin of his wife); and a remarkable example of sporting technique at that year’s Wimbledon tournament. The articles alone weren’t particularly noteworthy – the kind of filler you might scan past if you notice it at all. But there was something else at play. What was quietly striking about these stories was their titles, which, if read successively, began to form a sort of secondary narrative with the turn of each page. Each occupied the lower right hand corner of a consecutive page, was uniform in shape and size, and flanked by a thin border that acted as a visual cue, leading the eye from one title to the next. It was at once innocuous and enthralling. With the soapbox and megaphone of today / People shout about themselves into a sinkhole of humanity / Spectacle causes deafness / Memory loss and heartache / While speaking softly, man woos crowd and earns glory. This particular narrative jumped off the page like the titles of chapters in Calvino’s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller, or the emergent patterns in a book where certain words are highlighted – so obvious once revealed but hidden in plain view until that point. It was partly by chance that it sprang to attention, you had to be looking at the right time, breezing through the paper like aflipbook, seeking things to concentrate on. Once this poetic pattern emerged, it posed a stream of questions. For whom was it intended (if anyone) and what could we glean from it?
Hidden narratives, secret languages, codes and encrypted messages have penetrated communication since humans began to share information. Codes tell quiet stories to careful listeners, bypassing the masses and targeting those who manage to wade their way through the dross of mass communications; those open to reading with new logics, systems and rhythms. These kinds of secret narratives exist en masse, yet frequently go unseen – from threads of symbolically encoded Russian prison tattoos, chronicling paths through crime and loss, to the cryptic language of numerology and code-theory within mathematics – these encrypted and unorthodox modes of storytelling bypass the droves that are wooed by spectacle and tempted by smooth, digestible surfaces of mass communication. By speaking in code – or by embedding narratives within the vast warren of prose that emerges, such approaches sift through the masses and offer new possibilities to those paying attention to the nuances and patterns of what they read. Such a process slows the rate of consumption and disposal of information, eschewing the vernacular language of spectacle, and targeting an audience characterised by a more measured and lateral spirit of enquiry that compels them to look to new horizons of accessing and processing information. In the media-saturated world we occupy, our ability to engage with matters of fundamental importance can be thwarted. The quiet narratives told through code penetrate the mind in grand ways, encouraging people to seek the difficult truths suspended in the glossy and banal.
Pippa Milne is part of Text Camp, Next Wave's arts writing mentorship program.
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Driving with Henry: The HMS Experience Jessie Lumb
ABOVE: HENRY JOCK WALKER & MICK NEWPORT HMS & BOARDART, 2014, Photography: Che Chorely
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From one side it looks like a normal Toyota Hiace, a spot of blue paint on the rear tyre the only indication of anything amiss. From the other side it’s a work of art or a crazy mess, depending on how you see things. Half covered with blue and orange paint, HMS elicits both smiles and expressions of disdain from drivers as they pass. There is paint on the van’s inside too, remnants of the adventures that happened long before I arrived. Fat blue brush strokes cover the steering wheel, window and roof, but only as far as Henry’s reach has allowed. The dashboard is a showcase of objects, given or collected en-route. Drawings, sculptures, feathers, brochures, books, cassettes and a stack of paintings left to dry. A woven plastic disc hangs from the mirror and sways back and forth with each change of gear. Sounds
The thunk of the central locking as I unlock Henry’s door. The slam of mine as I pull it shut behind me. The silence and click of a tape changing sides. An unexpected bang as the van backfires. Driving
Me, seated on the left. I am barefoot and have been for days, my feet covered in sand. I alternate between placing them on the floor and folding myself up so they can sit flat against the glove box, feeling the pressure of my knees against my chest. My elbow rests on the door frame, my fingers out the window, the sunlight warm against my skin. Henry, in the driver’s seat to my right. Sitting straighter than I do, one hand on the wheel, the other on his iPhone, checking Google so we don’t get lost. Mornings
I wake when the sun does, its light turned blue from the tarpaulin I’ve been sleeping beneath, un-stretched canvas paintings making a surprisingly comfortable bed. I lie quietly for a moment, looking at the details of the weave glowing above me, before extracting myself and greeting the day. I disturb the peace in the process; the rustle of the tarp is loud in the early morning quiet. Henry is stretched out in relative luxury on his mattress in the back of the van. I slide the door open slowly so as not to disturb but find he is already awake, or good at pretending anyway. We walk to the top of the headland to watch the sunrise over the Pacific and eat our cereal with water because we forgot to buy milk.
NEW GRAND NARRATIVE
The best places to buy coffee have surfboards and resident chickens. Music
Henry’s music collection sits on the bench seat between us. The cassettes have been separated from their plastic cases which sit in a box in the back, awaiting their turn to be painted. The tapes are piled against one another in a couple of containers, The Beatles with Nirvana, The Power of One with the Chipmunks. I lean on them gently to prevent them from falling off the seat, but despite my efforts they occasionally fly forward, spilling into the foot-well and losing the vague sense of order they were in. Making
I stand on the beach with a camera as Henry paddles into the surf, a canvas clenched firmly in his jaw. I wait patiently until he finds the right wave and snap pictures as he paints, explaining the project to an interested stranger. There is a brilliant flash of blue as the canvas disappears beneath the water. Everything Out
First the bike, then my suitcase, then a folded wooden table with colourful stripes. I soak up the sun in the park as the van is emptied, a pile of books forming behind me, paintings to my right. A hat is placed on my head, clothes fly through the air and I finally understand the extent of what’s inside. To the people walking past it looks chaotic but even the smallest of things has its place. A cardboard frame from Albany; scraps of paper collected in Darwin; a tarp found on the side of the road. Every item a moment, an encounter, a collaboration with someone from the past six months and Henry’s the only connection. Friends arrive with beer and we settle into a Sunday afternoon of making. If home is where you lay your head then a studio is...wherever you make your art I guess. Who knows where we’ll be tomorrow but today it’s Kingscliff Beach, at sunset, with the ominous threat of rain.
Henry’s Mobile Studio, Henry Jock Walker 11 April — 11 May → West Space & other locations
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Oral Histories of the Revolution Tania El Khoury
ABOVE: Still from ‘Stories Of Refuge’, an interactive video installation created by Tania El Khoury with Syrian asylum seekers in Munich who secretly filmed their refugee camps and recorded their oral histories.
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In the context of revolutions, telling stories is a political act. In the midst of the media war that the Syrian revolution and other revolutions in the Arab world have been subjected to, recording the observations, recollections and stories of ordinary people has become an activist’s tool. Street, visual, theatre and video artists have been sharing with the world what they have been experiencing around them in the aim of writing the history of the revolution. The faces of the first martyrs of the Egyptian revolution were commemorated in several huge murals painted across buildings in Cairo. Many of these dedications were quickly hidden away and glossed over with paint, made invisible to the world and silenced in their retelling of history. This is often the case with graffiti and this is perhaps why graffiti interests me. It taps into both struggles: the contested space and the contested narrative. Contested histories and narratives have been documented through alternative and social media, blogging, amateur photography and various forms of art. Artists who have told stories have paid the price with their own lives. Citizen journalists have shot their own death while filming the regime’s attack on their neighbourhood. Often people choose to hide their identity when telling stories, they worry about their family and their own security whether inside or outside of Syria. I see these stories as the documents that contest the grand narrative composed by the regime. The documents themselves cannot ameliorate or alter the violence to which they bore witness but they can fight for ground in the writing of history. Gardens Speak is one of a series of projects in which oral histories provide the narrative content and material that I start from. I began recording oral histories as a way of gathering research, but these collected stories have quickly become part of the piece's narrative and in some cases, like Gardens Speak, they become the piece itself. Gardens Speak has been created through contact with activists in Syria. I have worked with these activists to record stories of people who have been buried in their own gardens or public gardens. These domestic burials, performed by friends or family, act to protect the dead from having their lives rewritten into a history that re-enforces the regime. I believe that this is particularly important now whilst the whole world is busy dismissing the Syrian revolution as a simple war between militias and a sectarian conflict. It seems important to me now to remind ourselves that what started as a popular and peaceful uprising was brutally oppressed in ways that we could never imagine. Many oppressive regimes have killed protesters, but in Syria the dead are not spared from their oppression. Their stories are altered, their bodies are kidnapped, their families are threatened. Gardens Speak, Tania El Khoury 1 — 11 May → Arts House, Meat Market
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Looking for Bluey and Curly
Megan Cope interviewed by Djon Mundine OAM
ABOVE: ON SET, FILMING ‘COLOUR THEORY’ Image courtesy of No Coincidence Media
NEW GRAND NARRATIVE
Have your family known and acknowledged being Aboriginal all their lives?
Have you ever felt “invisible” in a negative way?
Yes, Quandamooka people have always been and always will be Aboriginal. My father, who is Aboriginal and has always been Aboriginal, raised me as a child.
Yes, that’s an interesting question. My Aboriginality is invisible to so many people and that frustrates me because it’s something that makes me feel strong and happy, and gives purpose to my work, ideology and family. So when that is invisible, then that sense of purpose too becomes invisible.
Do you know where your Aboriginal roots come from? DJON
Despite the fact I didn’t grow up on North Stradbroke Island, I knew I was from there. My father told me this and often talked about family and shared stories which made me feel connected to that place. MEGAN
What makes you Aboriginal?
First and foremost, my family and my father make me Aboriginal. There are many idiosyncrasies that extend beyond language, art and skin colour. Being Aboriginal frames the way we relate to people, the way we see each other and our epistemologies. It is my relationship with Australia, our history and where we sit within that social paradigm. MEGAN
How does this inform your art?
So you grow up, and you start to realise that you are different and through life experience – travelling around and meeting other Aboriginal people, hearing their stories and learning about where they are from – I realised that the way we see Australia is different to the way my classmates see Australia, and this has continued throughout my adult life. It is this perspective that informs my work and motivates me to create maps that challenge ideas of history, environment and Australian Identity. MEGAN
Given the apparent failure of the London “Australian” exhibition where do you think Aboriginal art fits into “Australian” art history? DJON
That’s a hard question. It doesn’t really fit in. I feel like it exists outside Australian art history, because Aboriginal people have been making art prior to the construct of “Australian Art” and exist on the periphery of Australia. It exists simultaneously, in its own language. It's funny because in many ways Australia has failed as a nation to establish a genuine relationship and history with the first peoples and land itself. MEGAN
Is it important to identify your art as Aboriginal? DJON
Yes and no. It’s important for me to do well and succeed with my practice and feel positive about Aboriginal people being successful. So, in that sense it’s important for my work to be Aboriginal – but this also has negative implications, as non-Aboriginal people are often wary of successful Aboriginal people, especially a fair-skinned Aborigine. People assume that everything I’ve done has been handed out from the government. MEGAN
Tell me about the censorship and identity challenges you faced in the making of your work in My Country, I still Call Australia Home? DJON
I was commissioned to produce asitespecific installation, which I made of the Brisbane region. This work was somewhat censored. A member of the Aboriginal community disagreed with the placement of certain language groups MEGAN
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over certain areas of land. It was disappointing because the purpose of my work is to include Aboriginal people, not exclude, and as a result I cut all the mainland groups out of the work. Sometimes I’m perplexed about my identity in these situations because on the one hand I do need to respect Elders and traditions but at the same time I wish for us as a collective of contemporary Aboriginal people to transgress the frameworks that in the end divide us people. I accept the fact my work raises issues about ownership and native title but they are not native title maps and seek to imagine purely if Aboriginal people were the dominant culture than how would we see the environment.
someone who knows very little about Aboriginal people then I just say Aboriginal and hope I don’t have to explain the whole history of Australia. If the person is Aboriginal or someone with good knowledge and interest in our people then I say Quandamooka as chances are they will already know my mob or country at least. DJON
What is your next project?
The next project is a video work for Next Wave Festival that I’m making with Suzanne Howard. This work is titled The Blaktism and is a satirical comment on authenticity. It is a direct response to obtaining my certificate of Aboriginality at 30 years of age, and questioning if I’ve come this far without it and been Aboriginal then who is this certificate for? Who does it serve? And considered within the context of Australian culture, who made who? MEGAN
Given the title of that exhibition, My Country, I still call Australia Home, do you see yourself as an Australian person first or an Aboriginal person first? DJON
I see myself as an Aboriginal person first, because of my family, where I’m from and Aboriginal colleagues, and what consumes my everyday life. I prefer conversations with Aboriginal people about what we are doing and where we are going. This is more interesting and relative to my existence. I don’t mean to insult any Australians by saying that, it’s just the way it is. MEGAN
Djon Mundine is a member of the Bundjalung people of northern New South Wales. Djon has an extensive career as a curator, activist, writer and occasional artist. In 2012 he curated Bungaree: The First Australian, an exhibition of commissioned artworks by 16 NSW Aboriginal artists for the Mosman Art Gallery, Sydney. Over 2012-13 Djon co-curated with Natalie King, Shadow Life, a digital media exhibition that toured to Bangkok, Taiwan, Singapore and Bendigo. He finished 2013 with the cross media-cross cultural exhibition, Buyuhyn-wana, Transformative Personas.
Do you say you are Aboriginal or Quandamooka? DJON
Well, that changes and depends on who I’m having a conversation with and what their intellectual capacity for our culture is. If it's MEGAN
The Blaktism, Megan Cope 1 — 14 May → Screen Space
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Jackson Stacy is a queer transgender artist re—contextualising concepts of puberty, gender and teenage—hood. Enter the puberty themed video game arcade world of 'The Testosterdome' and slam—dunk, race and shoot your way through a new vision of gender and coming—of—age.
The Testosterdome, Jackson Stacy 30 April — 11 May → Fort Delta
NEXT WAVE FESTIVAL 2014
Kids Killing Kids David Finnigan
This is a story about three groups of classmates; four playwrights, graduates of Radford College, Canberra; the artists of the Sipat Lawin Ensemble, graduates of the Philippines High School for the Arts in Mount Makiling; and the 40 fictional students of Class Hope from Our Lady of Guadalupe High in Manila, the characters of 'Battalia Royale'.
to make site-specific shows around Manila in car parks, lounge-rooms, cafés, bars – wherever they can find a space. Canberra, 2000 — 2008: Sixteen-year-old David Finnigan is in Year 12, and assistant director for Radford College’s Junior Drama Production. He is working with 12-year-old Sam Burns-Warr, who in turn forms a creative partnership with his younger counterpart, Jordan Prosser. When Jordan was in Year 9, he directed Georgie McAuley (then in Year 8), in a high school production. Eight years on, David meets up with Sam and Jordon to discuss the idea of undertaking a theatre project with a Filipino theatre company. As the idea begins to crystallise, Jordan brings Georgie on board, and the four book flights to Manila. Manila, 2011: Four Australian writers arrive in the Philippines to adapt a Japanese pulp novel for a theatre production by the Sipat Lawin Ensemble. Within 12 months, Battalia Royale breaks every attendance record for independent theatre in the Philippines, attracts a dedicated fan following of thousands of people and receives international coverage. At the same time, the play comes under attack from the UN Subcommittee for Victims of Torture, which claims it is “merchandising brutality”. There's a major campaign to censor or ban the show, led by the country’s leading university, and the performers themselves begin to burn out whilst struggling with the intense and violent audience reaction. Melbourne, 2013: The writers produce a piece of documentary theatre entitled Kids Killing Kids, an onstage unpacking of the Battalia experience. After seeing this, Sipat Lawin wanted to present their side of the story. Now in 2014, the two companies meet head-to-head to try to come to an understanding of their work together, on stage.
Manila, 2012: The students of Class Hope from
Our Lady of Guadalupe High School, Manila, get on a bus, and head off on their class excursion to Mount Pinatubo. Later that day, they wake up in a pile on the floor, having been drugged on the bus, and transported to a secret location. Their teacher, Mr Fraser Salamon, informs the 40 Year 9 students that if they wish to live out the day, they will have to kill each other. They are the newest participants in a covert government program dubbed Battalia Royale. If one student remains alive at the end of an eight-hour period of gameplay, then that student is the winner, and they will be handsomely rewarded and re-integrated into society. If, however, more than one student has survived by the end of the allocated time, the booby-trapped collars locked around the students’ necks will be remotely activated, instantly killing every last one of them. The students are each randomly given a weapon and sent away to fight. Some form alliances with other classmates – both friends and enemies – while others go off alone, and begin to hunt their prey. Some students take the opportunity to heal old wounds, confess hidden feelings for one another – others use it as a chance to settle old scores. After seven hours, 39 of the students of Class Hope from Our Lady of Guadalupe High have been killed – shot, stabbed, bashed, strangled, electrocuted, decapitated, poisoned, blown up and dismembered. One student lives. Manila, 2008: A group of scholarship students graduate from the Philippines High School for the Arts and form a theatre company called the Sipat Lawin Ensemble. Their goal is
A Wake: Kids Killing Kids, Too Many Weapons & the Sipat Lawin Ensemble 1 — 11 May → Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall
NEW GRAND NARRATIVE
THIS PAGE: SCENE FROM SIPAT L AWIN ENSEMBLE'S BAT TALIA ROYALE AT PUGAD L AWIN, MARCH 2012, Image courtesy of the Sipat Lawin Ensemble
Precious Metals: A Selection
Photography by Jack Mannix, curated by Sophie Kitson
TOP TO BOT TOM: CAITLIN IN THE BEDROOM, SURRY HILLS, 2011 CHARLOT TE THE DOLL , SURRY HILLS, 2012 DYANA IN THE MOTEL ROOM, CHINATOWN, 2013
TOP TO BOT TOM: JONNINE IN THE BATHROOM, LIPSTICK APPLICATION, REDFERN, 2013 DOMINIQUE IN THE MOSS BATHTUB, NORTHCOTE, 2012 NEX T PAGE: GLORIA ON THE RED CARPET, KINGS CROSS, 2013
Precious Metals, Curated by Sophie Kitson 28 March — 25 May → Centre for Contemporary Photography
NEXT WAVE FESTIVAL 2014
NEW GRAND NARRATIVE
NEXT WAVE FESTIVAL 2014
Ellen Buttrose, Jessica Miley & John Pagnozzi
ABOVE: SHIF T, WORK IN PROGRESS, Image courtesy of bomb collective
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Reconsidering lived relationships with architecture could begin by re-looking at that which makes up architecture. We could look at its ideological significance and try to form a clearer picture of what the role of architecture is today. Or instead we could peer to the other side of the fence and become familiar with what is insignificant about architecture. To acquaint ourselves with those ambiguous materials and by-products of the constructive process that are discarded, forgotten, or left behind, we begin to realign ourselves with the cultural rather than the technical outcomes of architecture. Luce Irigaray suggests that reconsidering the nature of space today is fundamentally a question of perception. Transitions forward require changes in our collective “perception and conception of spacetime, inhabitations of places and of containers, or envelopes of identity.” 1 In redirecting the processes that uphold our established ways of conceiving and making space, the systems of reference that characterise and define architecture dissolve and offer new possibilities for spatial thinking. In the act of creating space with intent, barriers are inevitably erected. These lines define that which is a place and that which is not. In the processes underlying our urbanity these thresholds influence our mental and physical encounters with sites: parks, museums, footpaths, bodies and systems of knowledge. Behaviour is modulated by boundary conditions. Are the edges established by the practice of architecture as fixed as we believe them to be? We argue that these edges which treat space as an already established container to be filled, as an envelope which attempts to represent a continually evolving and complex identity, is a definition that is reaching exhaustion. The established hierarchies and narratives embedded within our urbanity only tell half the story. Cracks are beginning to show. Through them we are able to see other conceptions of space and time. Our perception that the built environment is created by a privileged, powerful few, engaged in a very specific system based on an established body of knowledge, changes, when we think about how wider populations contribute to space. Consciously or not we construct and deconstruct our environments in ways that constantly shape the boundaries between the built environment and ourselves. Spatial appropriations occur on
a moment-to-moment basis and form part of an ongoing negotiation between external structures and our lived experience. By looking to the by-products of the built environment such as time, subjectivity, detritus and marginalisation – which escape what we consider to be a passive relationship with space – we can encourage the exploration of space in lived terms. While the interiors of architecture serve a purpose for the enactment of our lives, surely the same rights must be awarded to the spaces of the exterior? Public must be for the public; for our continually shifting and unfolding experience of public life. Let us for a moment consider dust as a means to re-imagine the intent, purposes, behaviours and potentials within space. Dust has no perimeter, it has no inside or outside. It cannot be controlled, it moves freely with unbiased direction. It expands, contracts, plagues and cloaks. It has neither form nor boundary, it takes on the boundaries and borders of the surface in which it lands, coating and becoming the form of another. It seems passive. Yet dust measures and accentuates forms and surfaces. It relieves in the sense that it sets free, opening forms and redefining them. Dust ages yet is ageless, shows time and duration yet no style. This type of spatial equivalent does not exist in architecture, a discipline of which is built upon a regime of order, permanence and control. To bring it back, to decide to see it, to look at it, and use it as a means to expose uncomfortable issues in architecture and in the urban that remain, we challenge our assumptions about our lived relationships to space. It is edited from our past, and is rarely documented, or represented in imagery throughout history.2 It is ignored, removed in a hurry, or literally swept under the carpet. An inevitable element of architecture, dust is often ignored and therefore made invisible. Dust is a type of other spatial index that revises and disrupts our common reading of space. It is everywhere and nowhere, alive but dead, present and simultaneously absent. 1. An ethics of sexual difference, L. Irigaray, 1993, Continuum, London 2. Dust Revolutions. Dust, informe, architecture (notes for a reading of Dust in Bataille), Teresa Stoppani, The Journal of Architecture 12:4, 2007, pp 437-447
Shift, bomb collective 1 — 11 May → The State Library Forecourt
fluvial bare alluvial wake mashed light rippling grey solid waste rite erosive liquid metal misty granite raw alchemical residue black motion tidal flow quiver slow trembling still liquid ecstatic struck absurd fixed fluid glass light white haze mass flickering blur wind chimes hover dip float harmony bottles crystal molten run cloudy ruin drift metal river suspended dippy Nepomuk air junk air detritus vibrating Ahti white simmering Nausicaa shimmer drop wave rolling pass grey seethe massing Sobek fluid pins braid fixed hydro texture distorted glacial twisting abrasion spinning dip twist friction light unblack pacing delta transmuted line islet fold layered aqua flight flaky air path dark vapour waning rift canal thin heavy greenish soluble missed substance muting slit heavier cuts sewn invisible over uncover planes plunging sinked glass ecstatic hands dew hover timely swamp veiling yam cloaking poured layers din in needle shining ever over cloven Boann flaky chime granite time liquid metal scraped glassy struck motion dip fixed struck
Fluvial, Matthias Schack—Arnott 1 — 11 May → Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall
THIS PAGE: FLUVIAL , Photography: Lachlan Woods
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Brienna Macnish interviewing Inge King & Alisa Tanaka King
ABOVE & PAGE 50: THE HOUSE AT WARRANDY TE Illustrations: Alisa Tanaka King
Abstract steel sculptor Inge King was born in Berlin in 1915. Since moving to Australia with her husband and painter, Grahame King, in 1950, she has been at the forefront of non—figurative sculpture in Australia. Alisa Tanaka King is Inge’s granddaughter. The three of us spoke together at Inge’s heritage—listed home designed by Robyn Boyd in Warrandyte, Victoria.
NEXT WAVE FESTIVAL 2014
Are we ready?
I knew it would look clumsy – that’s a gut feeling. It’s the same when I enlarge [other sculptures]. When I gave the size for Forward Surge I knew if those shapes were bigger they wouldn’t be right and if they were smaller they wouldn’t express what I wanted. It’s instinct, a lot of instinct is involved in art but to follow your instinct is not always easy. Often it is overtaken by what you know and how you know. When I was a very young artist, I didn’t have the confidence just [to follow my instinct], I needed crutches. Some people need crutches less than others, they are far more sure of themselves. I wasn’t. But I just stuck to it and I found out eventually.
Shall we start?
Mm-hmm...Do you think an artist ever retires? BRIENNA
My husband used to say: “Artists never retire, they work until they drop.” That was my intention – three to four times a week I would work for two to three hours. I actually kept on working until a few weeks ago. I don’t know if I will work again, I have a few things in the pipeline but…I am not sure if I will ever start work again. I am probably one of the oldest of the old – I am 97 and I don’t think I’ll go much longer, you feel it in your bones. Even if I don’t work, I have certain things in my vision, in my mind. That is fairly rare, there are not many older people who are involved with something that is important to them. INGE
How would you describe your career trajectory? BRIENNA
Some people develop very early and go like a bomb, other people fiddle around for a lifetime and it takes them a long time to find their way. Some people are slower in developing and don’t forget I am a woman too – there is a difference. We (my husband and I) wanted children, we were both artists. I had a very cooperative husband, a wonderful husband, but children are not an incentive for art, I tell you that. I started when I was 19 so you work it out: 78 years it’s a long time, with many interruptions. As somebody said in an article on me: “Inge King owes some of her…reputation, if you like, to her longevity. If she had died at 23 years in the First World War, as did one French sculptor who became quite important for modern sculpture, nobody would have known about her. If she had died at 39 like George Baldessin, nobody would have known about her.” I think it’s a matter of INGE
What was the last project you were working on? BRIENNA
Actually I was involved in one big project for…for a company of people…wealthy people, business people. Since it’s not official yet I don’t want to mention their names, but they are very well known, they want to establish a sculpture park; they are, up to a point, interested in art. They bought or commissioned a number of pieces of sculpture and they commissioned me with quite a large work, about six metres in diameter, it’s like a gateway. You can go through it. The people who commissioned me, they thought they would like it eight metres – they have no concept of size. I said it wouldn’t take it, INGE
NEX T WAVE .ORG.AU
tenacity. If you are determined to do something then, you know, the sky is your oyster. BRIENNA
What does your practice mean to you?
It’s an obsession: art. You may know that yourself, once you get bitten by that bee…I think it’s not easy but you are also lucky because right throughout your life you have something that drives you all the time, that gives you something to push on…to live for. I don’t do sculptures anymore I do these collages, it’s sort of…it suits me better, I can cope with it physically, but it gives me something to think about. Artists are lucky people, they work until they drop, that is exactly what I intend to do, I may have said that already. INGE
That’s all I have to ask…Thanks Inge.
What have you got planned for this afternoon? ALISA
(Louder) Are you doing anything this afternoon? ALISA
Having a quiet one?
When one is as old as I am I need an afternoon sleep, that takes between one or two hours and before you know it, it’s tea time. INGE
Home, Brienna Macnish 1 — 11 May → A Kensington Residence
NEXT WAVE FESTIVAL 2014
Can We Please Play the Internet? Rosemary Willink
Digital Dualism/ Nathan Jurgenson
Stacktivism/ Benjamin Bratton
New Aesthetic/ James Bridle
NEW GRAND NARRATIVE?
So Open It Hurts/ Evgeny Morozov
What is my level of pollution?
Listen to Wikipedia: http://listen.hatnote.com
What is Goldfarming? Or a Bit Historian?
Curious Games/ Pippin Barr
Dream taxonomy, a human search engine?
How is story telling shaped by new platforms?
Magic Cookie. Fortune Cookie.
What is technologybased conceptualism?
Eleonora Sovrani/ Andrea Buran
What is valuable/ relevant information?
If you are looking for information about historical events or other things that happened in the real world, you are on the wrong page!
Paul Zaba/ Janine DeFeo
http://grr. aaaaarg. org/txt
http://thedreadexhibition.com/ Juha van’t Zelfde
How are new and networked forms of collectivity perceived?
00101011110010001010101010101000 01010000000010010111101000101000 010001000011100100 – Or whatever combination of zeros and ones you prefer.
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In defense of the Poor Image / Hito Steyeri
Whose voices create meaning?
“I’m not an artist but if I were, this would be the work.” Ben Vickers
Is cultural preservation only possible through adaptation?
Is there potential for bending new technologies?
How do you avoid forming monocultures?
Or strike a balance between streams that are partly curated, partly random?
What are the new forms of activism and protest?
http://nicolawatson.bandcamp. com/track/japanese-love-song -for-an-English-speaker
Marx after Duchamp, or the Artist’s Two Bodies/ Boris Groys
Do You Think That’s Funny?/ Carroll Fletcher
What is the information to action ratio?
Nathan Liow / Angus Tarnawsky
Can We Please Play the Internet? Curated by Rosemary Willink 11 April – 11 May → West Space
What is the relationship between the individual (spokesperson?) and the group in the age of “horizontal” practice?
NEXT WAVE FESTIVAL 2014
Escaping Saigon Phuong Ngo
ABOVE: AUNT, BROTHER, MUM & DAD AT PUL AUâ€…BIDONG,â€…1981, Image courtesy of Phuong Ngo
In 2012 I visited Pulau Bidong, the former refugee camp that housed my parents and brother in 1981. Though a fruitful trip, it became apparent to me that the goal of gaining an understanding of my parents' experience was close to impossible. That any attempt to get close to this experience would be an inevitable failure. Despite this I refused to give up and as a result 'Article 14.1' (as part of Next Wave Festival 2014) was developed to come closer to understanding these experiences that connect the wider Vietnamese community. The following translated text comes from a series of interviews conducted with my father between 2012 and 2013. What began as a simple request for him to tell me about his refugee experience quickly snowballed into an account of his short career assisting people to escape Vietnam.
NEX T WAVE .ORG.AU
When and how did you start in organising escapes?
Passengers would come from as far as Central Vietnam, Nha Trang and Saigon. We often timed these movements of people to coincide with large festivals to avoid detection. Once they arrived we had guides take two or three passengers at a time to safe houses where they would be billeted for up to a week. Small boats would then ferry the passengers to the rendezvous point where they would hide amongst the mangroves and wait for the main boat. On our escape, the main boat was stopped and checked by the police. This delayed us by a day. It was only after our backer paid a few bribes we were allowed to leave. They had no idea of our intent to escape – they just wanted money. We left the country on the 25 or 26 September 1981. After 72 hours we arrived at Kuala Terengganu in Malaysia, it was the 28 September 1981. We were very lucky to have only spent 72 hours at sea before we ran aground in Malaysia. When we landed the Malaysian authorities came down to the beach and demanded that we push the boat back out to sea. I instead punctured the engine and sank the boat to avoid being forced back out. Eventually two buses came to collect us. We were then taken to Merang for two or three days, and then transferred to Pulau Bidong. A few days later a delegation of Australians came to interview people who did not have relatives in other countries. I had a sister who had escaped to the States, but I wanted to go to Australia. Three months after this the Australian delegation came back and advised me that they had located my sister in the United States. I told them I still desired to go to Australia. I did not hear anything for a while so I went to follow up with them and a few weeks after this we were listed to go to Australia. We transferred to a processing centre near Kuala Lumpur for a month, for health checks. We arrived in Australia on 28 June 1982. Your mother, brother, aunt, cousin and myself; your sister was in your mother’s belly. Australia is our home now. Three of you kids were born here and we must honour this country. Australia is our home village; we are indebted to Australia for the compassion that was shown to us in our time of need.
I started this line of work in 1977, but I was in prison [for organising escapes] in 1978. DAD
Can you tell me what happened?
I had friends who wanted to escape Vietnam and because I had experience working on ships and navigating waterways, they asked me to help orchestrate their escapes. In 1977 my family was very poor, so I decided to help them. We acquired a boat, installed an engine, organised maps and compasses for the journey. On this escape there were lots of people, many of them were rich business people. The night of our escape was very dark. It was the 30th of the lunar calendar month so there was no moon. The darkness provided enough cover for people to get to the boat safely, but by the time we got to the mouth of the river it was storming. We couldn’t see anything and were forced back to land. It was 2am or 3am, we had lost our bearings and I had to guide people into hiding. We wandered around until sunrise when the police were conducting searches. I guided us into a re-education camp for the South Vietnamese army where North Vietnamese soldiers captured us. I was in prison with the South Vietnamese Special Forces doing hard labour. I had to dig trenches and canals. This labour wasn’t actually done for the new Communist Government; I was working on the private properties of prison officers and guards. I was there for six months. DAD
Tell me about your escape in 1981.
My escape was over 30 years ago...To escape we needed a financial backer to purchase a boat. Our family was poor, so we couldn’t do it alone. Once this was achieved we devised methods to evade the authorities, as fleeing the country was considered treason. For our escape, I found someone to back us through connections made on previous jobs. Then I had to find an unregistered boat to buy. After that all we had to do was install an engine and wait for the right time to leave. Sometimes it would take up to a year to organise an escape, but I got ours together in four months. DAD
Article 14.1, Phuong Ngo 1 — 11 May → No Vacancy Gallery
NEXT WAVE FESTIVAL 2014
Lesser Gods Ryan Presley
ABOVE: AMUTJIRR (REPOSSESSION), 2013, WOODCUT Documentor: Carl Warner
NEW GRAND NARRATIVE
Lesser Gods seeks to be an extravagant amalgamation of sound, moving image and interactivity. It will feature surreal imagery that evokes spiritual visual traditions and refuels them with recent history and contemporary scenarios. It will question ideas of rightful authority and hierarchy and the reverberation of these events in the Australian paradigm. Lesser Gods will explore the various facets of colonialism through a united blend of media. For where violence may be used to physically assault and pursue people, spiritual violence has also proved useful in colonial history to maintain subordination of such peoples. The visual themes will reveal different heads of the colonial monster and how they are connected and directing the same foul body. It will explore histories of dispossession of Aboriginal peoples, deification of brutal behaviours through to exclusion of desperate peoples in need of safety. It will seek to use Christian iconography as a means and style of communication, for its familiarity, beauty and political functions. This project will be a multifaceted exhibit. It will utilise the space to create an emotive, dark feel. This will be staged through a carnivalesque “hell-mouth” entrance – a Saltwater crocodile head, jaws agape, swallowing Festival goers as they willingly enter its leviathan belly. As you enter the jaws, the sound of turbulent running water will echo out, the atmosphere thickened by smoke. The entrants will then enter into the main space. Pulsating, groove-based music will fill the space adding to the lush and visceral feel. The walls will be decorated with carved blocks that will have imagery referencing Christian iconographic paintings. These images will conjure scenes of control, persecution, violence and resistance. The carved blocks will be gilded and lit with yellow-orange lighting to add to the sombre, spiritual feel. They will be re-imagined
to explore issues of dispossession and exclusion that continue to embattle contemporary society. The central point of this space will be occupied by a large-scale video projection. The video will comprise of imagery contained in the still woodblocks, but animated and further explored and emoted. At the feet of this projection there will be a tiled platform. This platform will be formed by approximately 12 tiles. Each of these tiles will have coded patterns that will relate to different musical pitches. These patterns will be interspersed and shown within the animated projection to signal to a corresponding tile. This will be the interactive basis of the exhibit. On the prompting of the film it will be the audiences’ duty to step on the corresponding tile. This will trigger the tile to illuminate and also sound a pitch that will align with the musical composition playing in the space. If all the pitches are triggered correctly at the correct prompted moment a melody will be created that locks in with the backing arrangement and allows the viewer the definitive key or message expressed in the entirety of the installation. With all these elements combined the work with have a spectacle feel, appropriate for its festival environment. Despite this I hope to still convey a message of substance and with some nuance, with the bigger, flashy attention-seeking elements of the work leading the audience on to see the more detailed aspects of the space and finer points of the meaning. This work aims to be a contribution to the understanding of (for lack of a better term), “contemporary Australia”. The critique and comprehension of colonial, religious and political discourses may help to enlighten certain social and political situations and polarisations existent in our own time as many Australians grapple with key questions of identity, entitlement and control. Lesser Gods, Ryan Presley 1 — 17 May → No Vacancy Project Space, Federation Square
NEXT WAVE FESTIVAL 2014
Acceptable Damage: Your loss is a copy of a copy Beth Caird
I speak to Thomas from a landline. The line is bad. He is working for the Egypt Independent, the sister newspaper of AlMasry Al-Youm Daily from Cairo. We chat about the press release from the United Nations (UN) declaring the onemillionth Syrian refugee under the age of 18 to be registered. We talk about an entire generation of Syrian children without education, and we are really speaking of loss. These sentiments of loss are the new grand narratives of our time. The profound and idiosyncratic tragedy of displaced Syrian minors is new, but this larger sentiment that each consecutive generation experiences a feeling of loss is an old, subversive trope. Why has each generation that has come before us felt an overwhelming and often intangible sense of loss? Why do we feel as if our quality of rock music, airline service, public education, or even safety has been compromised? Decade after decade the sound of homogenised despair can be heard; the good old days are behind us and the youth of today are morally bankrupt. What is this loss and where did it come from? I realise the problematic nature of discussing a subjective feeling. There is a need to talk about such a consistent and pedestrian human experience. It is the everydayness, the corrosive banality of a feeling that makes it an important narrative. In his philosophical writing on community, Jean Luc-Nancy suggests that this loss is in direct reaction to a yearning we all possess to live amongst a small scale supportive community. He argues we ache for the restoration of a transparent and cooperative living structure. This living arrangement, he proposes, is in direct opposition to the alienation and intimidation of the modern society we formed since the industrial revolution. A time when we lived in small tribes of 150 people, were
self-sufficient and cared for one another. “We live now in an anonymous society full of selfish individuals and the close communal ties are no more than memories,” writes Luc-Nancy.1 Our longing for an “original community” is a yearning for an immediate “being together”, based on the idea that we once lived in a harmonious and intimate community, but this harmony has frayed as historical circumstances have changed. Luc-Nancy refers primarily to the period of the German Romantics and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who left us a kind of “mythical” natural community as a counterpoint to modern society. It is, of course, remarkable that every generation seems to go back to the same criticism. Luc-Nancy says: “The longing for an original community is not a reference to a real period in our history. It is rather a mythical thought, an imaginary picture of our past.” 2 As such, this nostalgic imagination is innocent, but when it becomes the starting point for a politics of community, the innocence disappears. We should become suspicious of the retrospective consciousness of the lost community and its identity. Perhaps all we want is to be consulted and included in an original, all-inclusive community. Like the good old days. LucNancy’s urging to be suspicious, to be scrupulous of this apparently involuntary feeling of cultural and societal loss is valuable. Thomas tells me he thinks things will get better for the next generation in Syria. It is a silent wish we hold onto down the phone. The feeling does not discriminate between press releases or the concerning specifics they contain, rather it sustains itself for as long as we can remember. 1., 2. La Communauté désœuvrée (The Inoperative Community), Jean Luc-Nancy, 1991, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis
Beth Caird is part of Text Camp, Next Wave's arts writing mentorship program.
NEW GRAND NARRATIVE
Ethics of Love and Slaughter Georgie Mattingley
ABOVE: ABATTOIR KISS Artwork: Georgie Mattingley
NEXT WAVE FESTIVAL 2014
I am a vegetarian, but I love to work at the abattoir. I was initially drawn to abattoirs by a curiosity for the unknown. Then I found myself humbled by the gruesome yet honest nature of the work. Now, after 18 months of weighing back-fat, packing boxes, cutting tongues and cleaning shit from arseholes, I have developed an endearing admiration for my fellow workers. The positive friendships I have formed on the kill floor 1 allow me to switch off my moral sensors and enjoy the work. When I walk past the sticking pen2 where animals thrash about and bleed to death, I smile and wave to the gentle fella with his knife in hand, getting showered in blood. Expressing affection despite such atrocities seems to contradict a basic moral decency. Even more so for a vegetarian who would presumably be against the industrial slaughter and processing of animals. However, the more I unpick the values behind my everyday decisions, the less convinced by my moral standards I become. I don’t eat meat but will readily purchase products made in a Bangladeshi sweat shop. I offset my carbon footprint while flying, but I drive to work. I walk past beggars on the street yet will pay $5.95 for flakes to feed the tropical fish tank that decorates my living room. In defence of these contradictions, I don’t think it’s necessary to strive for ultimate moral consistency. But we can at least start by seeking a greater understanding of what defines the context for how we consume and what we deem right and wrong. A need for cheap meat renders it acceptable to slaughter thousands of animals a day behind closed doors. Yet it is still unacceptable to slaughter an animal in public space, as the artist Ivan Durrant showed us in 1975 with Slaughtered Cow Happening. We delight only in the pictures before and after the fact: a precious white lamb in grassy meadows, or a softly lit steak adorned with fresh herbs. Images of animals and meat are entitled to (and probably required to for the well-being of our economy) appear aesthetically pleasing, yet, there are no delightful pictures of the process in-between. Slaughter has become distant and separate, making it easy for “outsiders” to judge the industry with contempt. Alternatively, we become complacent and close our eyes to it altogether. After all, Australia needs to like meat. We slaughter more than 547 million animals for national consumption every year.3 Given our affection for this product, we would need to take only a small step further to embrace every business, process and hand that makes it all possible. Besides, our demand for slaughter is giving jobs to around 66,329 workers4 that would be affected by a decrease in our consumption of meat. I joined this body of abattoir workers to acquaint myself with the industry that makes a fundamental contribution to our diet, culture and
NEW GRAND NARRATIVE
economy. And in doing so, I learned that it does not take any particular kind of person to work in an abattoir, just the right frame of mind or the right set of circumstances. Meat workers Elizabeth and Boyson (depicted in embrace on page 58) moved to Melbourne from their home in New Zealand about five years ago. Boyson found work at an abattoir a few days later and quickly secured a job for Elizabeth too. Boyson’s job is to pluck the hearts from carcasses and throw them down a chute to Elizabeth, who rinses out the blood clots and packs them. Elizabeth enjoys theatre, ballet, listening to jazz and shopping. Boyson likes rugby and relaxing on the weekend. This story is now less about the abattoir than it is about people inside it, and their resilient capacity for love, empathy and friendship in the face of hard work. It’s about the integrity and uniqueness of each abattoir worker that shines brighter than the terror or mundanity of the task at hand. Therefore, the grand narrative I present is not really a new one, but our current one. I am not attempting to paint a new or “better” world – just offering a deeper insight into a hidden aspect of the world we live in. Nor am I asking that we eat less, or more, meat. I am simply expressing the jarring position that I find myself in: wedged within the moral complexity of a much greater beast. Moral predicaments aside, it’s time our abattoir workers receive some public recognition. Meat eaters can appreciate the provision of their next meal and vegetarians can find someone (or something) else to blame, because abattoirs are simply completing a task which the market demands. I can only hope that my work, WE ♥ ABATTOIR, will help peel away the plastic wrapping that separates us from slaughter and, in doing so, reveal some of the most amazing people who work behind closed doors to provide us with a product that our nation loves to eat. 1. Kill Floor is a section of the abattoir where the killing, decapitating, gutting and skinning takes place. 2. Sticking Pen is usually a separate room where the animals’ throats are cut. 3. Animals Australia: Unleashed, 18 October 2013, www.unleashed.org.au/animals 4. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census, (Total sum of employees added together from Butchers and Small Goods Processors; Livestock Farmworkers; Boners and Slicers and Slaughters; and Meat Poultry and Seafood Workers).
WE ♥ ABATTOIR, Georgie Mattingley 1 May — 8 June → The Substation & other locations
NEXT WAVE FESTIVAL 2014
TOK BLO KRIEISOEN ERA (Talk from Creation Era) Ghenoa Gela
KUKI, SAGER, NAIGAI & ZIGH, Photo: © MB Zobardi, 2013
As a kid, I grew up with stories. A lot of stories. Stories about my Akas (grandmothers), Athes (grandfathers), Amas (aunties) and Awas (uncles), and how they grew up. I even heard stories about my Au Balas (big brothers) and Au Sissy (big sister), which always seem to have me and my Smol Bala (little brother) rolling on the floor holding our bellies and wiping our eyes from the laughter our tiny bodies almost couldn’t handle. The stories I loved the most were the ones about my parents’ home and my ancestors. They certainly weren’t the usual “happily ever afters” like in the Disney classics, but they were the ones that were filled with morals and life skills (something I didn’t realise then). I am still amazed at how our pumle (family) never seemed to get sick of telling us stories. I put it down to the fact that my ancestors had absolutely no written language. All our history was and is recorded in the words of our stories, in the words and tunes of our songs, and in our ginar (dance movement). Yarns of the Creation Era were my favourite stories by far: they told of how the Torres Strait Islands were created and how the myths and legends of the Torres Straits came to be. Every time I heard a Creation Era story, it evoked so much inspiration and imagination I could barely contain what I was feeling. Some stories would have me run straight downstairs and start playing around in the backyard with two sticks pretending I was a great warrior with a bow and arrow, other stories would have me make sure I was home before dark.
NEX T WAVE .ORG.AU
These extraordinary stories were based on the time before the Western way of thinking entered our way of life: before the telling of “numbered” time. Our stories would never start with “Once upon a time”, our stories would start with “Long, long time ago, before time.” A particular story my mother told me inspired my work Winds of Woerr. Although I can’t reveal it all, it begins like this: Long, long time ago, before time...There where that ples (place)... On myriads of floating islands, on a vast ocean that changed its colours as the day went on, in amongst the large yellow sand bars, surrounded by very beautiful and yet very dangerous coloured coral reefs, our ancestors lived. It was a time when people began to notice that goega (sun) and kisai (moon) were not the only spirit elements that they relied upon. They realised that there were spirits in the air, in the sea, and on the land that they lived on. This was the start of the Creation Era, when our myths and legends began... I am very grateful and fortunate that my parents Anson (Jack) and Annie Gela, brought us kids up amongst our culture. I am also fortunate that mum and dad, as well as my elders (all my Akas, Athes, Amas and Awas), are also mentoring and guiding me in keeping true to my cultural protocols so that I can put my family’s stories on stage and share our knowledge with the rest of the world without disrespecting our protocols or my family. I will leave you with a short story that is the source of my drive and aspirations. It is a story about my dad and myself. A good couple of years ago when I was about 14 or 15 years old, I was in the kitchen at home in Rockhampton, cooking. Well, trying to. My dad was sitting at the kitchen table watching my frustration grow bigger and bigger as I struggled with rolling damper. I know, you can see my frustration, it’s just damper. Anyway, I gave in – as most teenagers do when they don’t succeed straight away – and with a frown, I turned to my dad and said, “Dad, why can’t I cook! Lucy (my Au Sissy) can! And even all the other girls in the pumle can. Why can’t I?” My dad laughed and said “My gell (girl), everyone has a job in the village! Some people hunt, some people plant, some people sing, some people cook. You my gell, are not a cook!” He laughed again; at this point I frowned a little deeper. As he calmed his laughter he said, “You, my gell, are the dancer and story teller!” We both smiled so hard that that moment has been forever embedded in my mind and on my heart. I never knew I would come this far, as a “little Island girl” from Rockhampton, but I am more than happy to say that I very much intend to live up to my role in my village. Winds of Woerr, Ghenoa Gela 6 — 11 May → Northcote Town Hall
NEXT WAVE FESTIVAL 2014
Me by Me: A Movement (kind of)
Natalie Abbott interviewing Natalie Abbott
Growing up, Natalie admits she never imagined herself involved in dance. She wanted to be a lawyer – or something. “You know, someone with a ‘real job’ making MONEY,” she says. Yet looking back, she feels fortunate to be engaged with her creativity. Here I investigate Natalie’s practice and her tendencies to dissociate herself from “dance”. This is not a dismissal, but rather, a re—imagining.
Natalie, how are you?
Hi Natalie, good, good…I think. I have always been perplexed by that question. I AM GOOD though. NATALIE
Great! I know what you mean, it’s kind of generic. It stimulates a thought that potentially we just go on autopilot when we are asked these kind of things. Quite an interesting starting point as I know you probably get asked this a lot, but here goes…So, you’re a dancer? NATALIE
ABOVE: MA XIMUM PROTEIN PEOPLE Image courtesy of Natalie Abbott
(Laughs) Well, yes and no. Not strictly. I am trained as a dancer, and I perform in my own work at this point in time, but I’m more a performer and performance maker. NATALIE
something quite “dancey” and spectacular, which is GREAT, I love that too, but that’s not really what I am interested in exploring in my own work. I am actually interested in the less “dancey” things – like lights, sound and spatial design – in relation to the movement, the “dance”, and how, together, these things can make spectacle or be spectacular! (Laughs) In my work, I am trying to explore creating situations or experiences for my audience to engage with, I feel like the word “dance” just crowds the outcome.
Oh WOW! So not even a dance maker or choreographer? NATALIE
Yes, I suppose you could also say choreographer, because I organise “things” (like movement, people, lights, sound) in space and I trained as a choreographer and dancer at the Victorian College of the Arts, but I think I prefer performance maker because it’s less limiting. NATALIE
So, yes, my practice is seeded in performance-making rather than strictly dance. NATALIE
I think the word dance puts expectations on a work and people come to experience something in particular. You know, NATALIE
Ah! PRACTICE! This word seems to be popping up a lot. What does practice mean to you? NATALIE
NEW GRAND NARRATIVE
Well, that’s a tough one. I am trying to decide what practice means for me, and how this relates to what I make and how I perceive myself as an artist. So, I’m trying to define it as something, when actually I really think it is everything. I think it’s a lot less complicated than people make it out to be…this word, practice. For me, it is so many things, not limited to form or artistry, but including these things. It is the process of receiving and gathering information, using my body and exercising my creativity, transforming ideas/concepts into a more physical, tangible experience and finding out more about these ideas through exercising them creatively, developing and presenting work, talking, sharing – being IN ACTION.
researching and finding out about our training histories and why we got interested in training in both dance and bodybuilding in the first place. What emerged from this was the really exciting stuff. This is where we are working from now and really digging deep to investigate and unravel our practices and find parallels that are engaging to work with in this performance context. The process is about finding ways to shift our perception of what we already know, discover what working together means for us and our audience and being engaged with the evolution of the work conceptually.
How are you IN ACTION? What does this look like to you and how does it translate into your work?
What is most interesting and inspiring to you right now? NATALIE
I draw my inspiration from my view and perception of the world, the way I exist within and traverse through it. More specifically, I am influenced by bodies, their shapes and sizes, film and editing, making banal things spectacular, fruit and vegetables, lying in the park watching the clouds shift and change, the sun as a source of all life AND the source of all life – whatever that is.
At the moment, I am engaged with endurance-based movement research and how this can be explored with sound, lights and staging. My new work MAXIMUM looks at how a bodybuilder and dancer can perform together to achieve a shared goal, revealing the significance of personal decisions to shape and train our bodies and the cultural perceptions of these vastly different physical forms. It’s a really fun project, but also offers challenges, because I don’t want it to become a parody, the big and the small, or anything about a gender play, you know; it’s really not about gender. NATALIE
It sounds like an interesting process, how has the collaboration been for you? NATALIE
So far it has been super! The initial idea was actually to get Donny (the bodybuilder/ my collaborator) to hold me off the ground for 45 minutes whilst I performed actions floating in space. So, once I found Donny, we tried this, and, it really didn’t work. Also, it wasn’t that interesting (laughs). So, we got to talking and NATALIE
MAXIMUM, Natalie Abbott 1 — 11 May → Arts House, Meat Market
Sarah Aiken & Rebecca Jensen
ABOVE: LEF T, SARAH AIKEN (Sun: Aquarius. Ascendant: Gemini. Moon: Sagittarius) RIGHT, REBECCA JENSEN (Sun: Cancer. Ascendant: Capricorn. Moon: Libra)
ABOVE: LEF T, AVAN’A (Power: Mind reading) RIGHT, EVANGELINE (Power: Illusions), All photography: Eliza Dyball
OVERWORLD, Rebecca Jensen & Sarah Aiken 30 April — 11 May → The Substation
NEXT WAVE FESTIVAL 2014
We Are Starz
Sean Jorvn (Colin Kinchela & Gavin Walters)
The stars are dead, dead in time. We see only their reflections, and tread their well worn path: where they were is where we now “be”. Echoes of a hot gaseous burning, explosions expanding in light, down to that point in time. It was as if they were set for tonight. Whether you believe in kismet or fated destiny or not, here we are. This moment is now ours, to take as we choose. How to proceed? What once was, is our now, and together we decide what will be. Set the course and send it into overdrive. Catapult us... And one day, when our light is long faded, there will lie the glimmering reflections of our own paths, lighting the way for new-borne travellers en-route through life. Gemini, quick-witted mercurial, the speediest of messengers, encountered old soul Aquarius, taking his time to travel the same path around that star. Opposite approaches in a mutual gamble, and the result is a beautiful trajectory: a wobbly uncertain path that hits its mark and is catapulted into a sudden transcendence... (Our) arrival:
Sean Jorvn. The lights light up, an immersion of sounds, the stage ready. Our family to you, our family to you. The sensory overload of being submission, cutting a swathe beneath the water. A part of, yet not a part of. Apart. Hovering above the weeds, and seeing them become trails in the passage of time, through movement. Coaxing from the shadows, from the corner of the eye. Fluid motion. In this watery realm, all leaks. This leakage sings in the blood begging for release, aquiver to the potential, yet unsure of this new leap into the open. Will the blade coax it into the light? And therein lies the tension...the tension...a heartbeat. A heartbeat, a quiver. It travels, see the ripples. Flicks of light in the darkness, submerged to the shadows, almost intangible within this realm. The shadows speak as much as what is seen. And flows. Blood racing... Locked Memory:
As a child sitting in the barber’s chair. The awakening of the male senses, sitting in that chair, experiencing for the first time that unspoken connection between barber and boy. The event of leaving home with Father and driving to The Barber. Knowing the barber and the chair is awaiting my arrival. The smock draped limply over the old chair, picked up and brought to life in the hands of a clean-cut man. My words trapped in my throat, my head “speaking” his language. Who did HIS haircut? The exchange of being in the barber’s chair, in his hands, under his care.
SEETHrough, Sean Jorvn 2 — 3, 6 — 11 May → Malthouse Theatre
NEW GRAND NARRATIVE
Scotch and Cigarettes
Mâ€™ck McKeague, Nathan Stoneham & Younghee Park
ABOVE: Illustration: Kit Tran
NEXT WAVE FESTIVAL 2014
I pass a lot of potential lovers, future boyfriends, best-friends-to-be, lost soul mates and new big spoons everyday. My life’s a string of Craigslist “missed connections”. Ten years ago, when the internet was young and my queer teen angst was growing old, I logged on to one of my favourite band's website and made a membership account for their forum. There, in the early morning hours under the glow of Windows 98, my life suddenly intersected with an eclectic collection of strangers. At the time it was what I was desperately seeking – a haven for outsiders connected by something stronger than shitty dial-up internet. These days, desperate to connect, I sample dating apps, chat with topless torsos and seek others up for a NSA LTR (no-strings-attached long-term-relationship). But everyone else seems to want one or the other, so it rarely eventuates to anything IRL (in real life). I’m so busy staying connected that sometimes I forget to sign in to my real life account. I ignore almost everyone I see and keep a lot of friend requests pending. Urges to really notice others are suppressed so I can go about my day, moving from A to B and occasionally wondering if that babe with the shimmer dust who poured a heart in my latte was meant to be (another) love of my life. I’m seeing a lot through view-finders, and enjoying the moment after it’s uploaded. Then, unexpectedly, I stumble across a special place where the social norms seem a tad tipsy. Someone pokes a little hole through the wall that was meant to help make ignoring each other easier. A strange and beautiful moment. Eyes find each other. People keep saying that theatre’s dying. As performance makers, what can we offer that’s better than air-brushed-star-studded-CGIfancy-pants-Hollywood-realness? I’m interested
in creating social containers where people who are quite different come together, and leave with something new to care about. To me, theatre and performance-making is less about putting on a show as it is making a space where my wide-eyed Central-Queensland 15-year-old closeted-queer-forum-geek self might feel like anything's possible again. A flirtatious flicker of eye contact, hands brushed against each other over a shared cigarette, a synchronised breath of excitement at the satisfaction of breaking a language barrier. Performance-making has been a powerful tool for me to acknowledge our communities’ heartaches and struggles. It breaks the boundaries built up between myself and others and the boundaries between communities. Sometimes when I step into a street-side snack stall in Seoul, there’s a sense that new friends are waiting inside. I order a battered egg. The stall owner speaks to me as if she’s known me my whole life. Someone pours me a soju. Attempts at a conversation are made – but nothing speaks as loudly as the gentle hand on the back, the shy laughs, the sharing of food and the prolonged hug goodbye. I want to make and experience the kind of performance that I can taste; the kind that I will remember the way I remember scotch and cigarettes on my first love’s lips; the kind that I will relish like the moment I open my suitcase and its contents whisper the smell of Seoul. I want to know if it’s possible to make something that invites me into a memory for a conversation that I never had a chance to have, like the time I found a picture of myself as a child in my father’s wallet after his funeral. Pull up a shitty plastic stool at The 떡볶이 Box. Hear the good person sing her story as you share a snack with the stranger next to you. Who knew we all had so much in common?
NEX T WAVE .ORG.AU
글 믹 멕키이그, 네이슨 스톤햄, 박영희 번역 박영희
나는 매일 잠재적 애인, 미래의 남자친구, 절친, 잃어버린 영혼의
다움을 간직한 듯한 헐리웃 스타들에 익숙한 오늘날의 관객들에
단짝 그리고 인생의 귀인 일지도 모르는 수많은 사람들을 지나친
게 과연 우리는 공연 창작자로서 관객들로 하여금 그 이상의 경
다. 어쩌면 내 삶은 저 유명한 온라인 벼룩시장 그레이 그리스트
험을 가능하게 하는 ‘무엇’을 제공할 수 있을까?
의 사람 찾기 섹션 “놓친 인연”의 무한 반복일지 모른다.
나는 서로 다른 사람들이 모였다가 새로운 생각의 ‘꺼리’를 가
10년 전, 아직은 인터넷이 낯선, 격동의 사춘기를 겪고 있는 게이
지고 자리를 뜰 수 있는 사회적 공간, 즉 소셜 컨테이너를 창조
소년의 불만이 점차 커져가고 있을 무렵, 좋아하는 음악 밴드 웹
하는 것이 주된 관심사다. 내게 있어, 연극과 공연 창작은 작품
사이트 의 토론 방에 들어 가려고 회원 가입을 했다. 이른 아침,
을 올리는 행위 보다 온라인 토론 방에 자기 스스로를 가두었던
컴퓨터 모니터의 윈도우 98 화면이 햇살에 반사되어 눈부시게 빛
퀸즐랜드 중부의 왕눈이 15살 괴짜 게이 소년이 다시 ‘뭐든 가
나고, 삶은 갑자기 수많은 낯선 이들과 연결되었다. 당시, 그건
능하다’고 믿을 수 있는 그런 공간을 만드는데 더 큰 의미가 있
내가 간절하게 찾아 헤매던 것이었다- 온라인상에서의 시답잖은
다. 작고 단단한 껍질을 깨고 나온 내가 ‘너’와 ‘우리’ 그리
관계가 아닌‘어떤 강렬함’으로 세상의 아웃 사이더들을 연결해
고 ‘공동체’의 고민과 아픔을 더 이상 모른 체 않고, 우리 사이
주는 그런 공간 말이다.
에 존재하는 벽을 허무는데, 공연은 내게 더없이 효과적이고 훌륭
그땐, 간절하게 누군가와 이어지길 바랬기에 온라인 데이트 어플
을 시험 삼아 해보기도 하고, 맨 살의 상반신을 드러낸 이들과 채
때때로 서울 도심 길가에 늘어선 포장마차에 들어설 때면, 그 안
팅을 하거나 단 며칠짜리 가벼운 연애와 장기간의 진지한 연인을
에서 새로운 친구가 나를 기다리고 있는듯한 느낌이 든다. 나는
동시에 찾아 헤맸다. 그러나 대다수의 사람들은 그 둘 가운데 하
계란 말이를 주문한다. 포장마차 아주머니는 마치 누구보다 나
나만 원하는 듯 보이고, 결국 실재 삶에선 아무 일도 일어나지 않
를 잘 알고 있는 듯 스스럼 없이 말을 건넨다. 누군가 내 소주잔
을 채워준다. 대화를 나눠 보려는 시도는 떠들썩한 수다 대신 조
나는 온라인 세상과의 연결에 지나치게 열중한 나머지 정작 현실
심스레 서로의 등에 손을 얹고, 수줍은 웃음을 지어 보이고, 음식
의 삶에 로그인하는 것을 종종 잊는다. 내가 만나는 거의 모든 이
을 함께 나누고 좀처럼 끝날 줄 모르는 길고 긴 작별인사를 하는
들을 무시하고 많은 친구들의 ‘친구요청을’ 답하지 않은 채로
놔둬 버린다. 누군가를 찾고자 하는 간절한 욕망이 통제되면 난
난 내가 직접 맛볼 수 있는 그런 공연을 만들고 경험하고 싶다;
여느 때와 다름없는 일상에서 이곳 저곳으로 돌아 다니다 가끔
내 첫 사랑의 입술에서 나던 위스키와 담배 향의 기억을 지금도
은 내가 주문한 카페 라떼에 마음을 가득 담아 커피를 부어주던
생생히 느끼게 해줄 수 있는; 오랜 여정 끝에 집에 돌아와 여행
눈부신 아우라의 카페 점원이 바로 내가 찾아 헤매던 내 생애 또
가방을 열었을 때 가방 속 옷가지와 물건들이 간직한 서울의 냄
다른 유일한 사랑이지는 않을까 상상하기도 한다. 주로 카메라의
새가 내게 나지막이 속삭이는 그런. 아빠의 유품을 정리하다 낡
작은 뷰 파인터를 통해 세상을 보고, 사진 파일들이 업로드 되고
은 그의 지갑 속에 유일하게 남아 있는 나의 유치원 졸업 사진을
나서야 비로소 난 그 순간을 즐긴다.
보며 아빠 생전엔 결코 할 수 없었을 대화를 몇 시간이고 나누던
그 때, 뜻하지 않게, 사회 규범과 규칙들이 조금은 느슨한 특별한
그런 기억, 경험을 관객에게 열어줄 수 있는 공연을 만들 수 있을
공간과 마주친다. 그리고 누군가 사람들 사이에 가로 놓인 무관심
지, 나는 알고 싶다.
과 무심함이라는 이름의 벽에 작은 구멍을 낸다. 낯설지만 아름
떡볶이 포장마차에 싸구려 플라스틱 의자를 놓아요. 비좁은 포장
다운 순간. 작은 구멍 사이로 눈동자들이 서로를 찾는다.
마차 안, 낯선 이들과 어깨를 맞대고 앉아 착한 사람의 노래와 이
사람들은 연극이 죽어가고 있다고 말한다. 상상을 초월하는 대형
야기를 들어보세요. 누가 알아요? 우리가 꽤 많은 공통점을 가지
상업 영화의 첨단 컴퓨터 그래픽 기술과 영원불멸의 완벽한 아름
The 떡볶이 Box (The Dokboki Box) M'ck McKeague, Nathan Stoneham & Younghee Park 30 April — 11 May → Federation Square, River Walk
NEXT WAVE FESTIVAL 2014
'Nice2MEch@' aims to explore the role of the interpersonal, both screen based and physically co—proximate, looking at how we engage with and create contemporary art. It also facilitates my active involvement in some of my favourite things – namely meeting new people and talking about art. To explain succinctly, 'Nice2MEch@' involves a communicative exchange where I get to know people online and people can get to know me online. For those readers who might find this use of “know” and “online” oxymoronically absurd, I apologise. Once connected, we meet up one—on—one and go to a Next Wave Festival event together. While this project was originally intended for people using pre—existing geosocial networking sites like Blendr, Grindr, OKCupid and countless others from the same genre, I have also built my own site: nice2mecha.com.
lmage courtesy of Giselle Stanborough
I have a lot of experience in attending art events and public programs. I love to hear artists talk about their work, and experts share their knowledge. But sometimes I feel as if I can sniff a bit of a cultural taxonomy where people are divided into two subspecies: There are the nebulous natives of the porous planet we sometimes call “the art world”, and then everyone else. We sometimes call these people “the public”. Both species are territorial, which doesn’t actually end up being a problem since the ideal habitats for each are so remarkably different. Nice2MEch@ came about as a viable way to plug a hole in my life. I was getting frustrated by going to art scene events where the only people around to discuss an artwork, or the role of art in general, were those with a vested interest in the outcome of such discussions. I understand of course that the creative contemporary arts, like any specialist field, has a specialist knowledge. But I also think, unlike many specialist fields,
On this site I am the only person profiled, so you can visit it to message or chat with me. Hopefully we can meet up at Next Wave and you can participate in 'Nice2MEch@' without having to create a revealing online dating profile for yourself and potentially, say, giving your current partner the wrong impression. There were many reasons I was motivated to do something like 'Nice2MEch@', and the following opinion piece details only one of them. If your interest is piqued and you want to spark up a conversation with me, feel free to message me at nice2mecha.com and it would be very nice to meet you IRL (in real life) at the Next Wave Festival.
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Nice2MEch@ is for people that probably would not ever think, “Today is a beautiful day to see some contemporary dance.” But it is not a conversion mechanism. If you go on an art date with me through Nice2MEch@, it’s not about me advocating the cause of contemporary art. I’m not a sales person. But I do genuinely think it is important. I think creative young Australians have something to say and most of the time the people who listen are the ones that are going to listen in anyway. Which is cool but, like, not what Nice2MEch@ is aiming for. All of the most meaningful experiences in my life have been interpersonal. I think successful environments for the transmission of knowledge rely on interpersonal values like trust and respect. Cast your mind back to your school days and I’m sure you will find a strong correlation between your favourite subjects and your favourite teachers. But I am not a teacher. I am not evaluative. Sometimes I am not even sure if I am an artist – whatever that means. But I do know for sure that I am a person. And I know I like company. And I do have some abstract faith in the importance of contemporary art. And I think arts workers can sometimes blame “the public” for “not getting it”, or having a disagreeable aesthetic, and “the public” will blame the arts workers for making work that no one will get. It is not really getting us anywhere. I think it’s ok to not get it. And it’s ok to make work that is hard to get. But it is not ok for everyone to leave disappointed and alone and isolated and feeling like their understanding of what art is, and who people are, and how these two things might be connected, has been contracted rather than expanded. Lofty goals for a project seemingly about internet dating.
there are many experts that want to give this knowledge away for free. I wouldn’t say I am an expert, but through a particular trajectory of scholarship and employment, I have indeed spoken about contemporary art at some length, and through practice, I believe I have acquired some skill in this area. My motivations may be misinterpreted as evangelical, a golden guide to take the uninitiated through the perilous terrain of contemporary art. And, without the shimmering glow of my knowledge to illuminate your feeble mind, all is lost. But actually it’s not like that at all. I’m a companion. And if needs be, I can also do my best to be somewhat of a translation service. All subcultures develop their funny little mimetic ways, all professions develop their jargon. I’m a nebulous native art world type is all. I can’t speak universally but for me, (and potentially other shy and screen accustomed Gen Y kiddies) all alien environments are intimidating; social mores and dress codes can be incomprehensible. I can think of a thousand events I am curious to go to, that are of interest to me given that they can expand my knowledge of what being a human today might be like, but I am too scared to go alone because I wouldn’t understand what is going on in any meaningful way. Perhaps I am a particularly anxious person, but I believe there must be some kernel of experience here that most social beings can relate to, being aware, as we are, of the gaze of others and at some point or another, feeling like an outsider. Perhaps the people reading this have attended the Next Wave Festival before. Perhaps it’s the highlight of your calendar, and good on you! I’d love to see a contemporary dance show with you. Probably you can teach me a thing or two! But Nice2MEch@ really wasn’t made with you guys in mind. It’s the people that feel like art is not for them; they’re not necessarily anti-art, but just, well, it hasn’t really been a massive part of their lives. Art just doesn’t come up.
Nice2MEch@, Giselle Stanborough 23 April — 11 May → nice2mecha.com
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Beach, Travel, Smoking & Drinking, Relax Images courtesy of Giselle Stanborough
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Obituary, Aaron Swartz: 1986 - 2013 Aodhan Madden
On Reddit, deusScientarium posted: “How deep can a mine be before the heat is too great?” In the thread the Kola Superdeep Borehole was mentioned, a hole drilled into the surface of the earth over 12,000 metres deep, the target of 15,000 metres evaded due to incredibly high temperatures of 180°C. If you were to fall into the super-deep borehole, it would take just under a minute for your disintegrated body to hit the hard, attendant rock. To fall for a minute is a long time – a state of pure rapid stasis, waiting, thinking. To write an obituary is to immediately write away from the dead. This death assumes no longer listening, or reading, no longer you, no longer I. But if Aaron is, if I see that each thread and each flow of Reddit, RSS, Semantic Web, or hacktivism flows to you – then “you” are no longer dead. You, now, furnish an opening. A looking back but not a looking across. Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, partner of @aaronsw, talks about her singular grief, phone calls, weekends with “progressive” friends, as “Aaron can’t tell you about anything you don’t already know”. Voices sing the words of the “Internet boy”, “genius”, “prodigy”, “pioneer”, “force”, and your father’s faltering voice: “Why are you destroying my son?” They sing of you. They – Swartz’s family, friends, lovers, associates – make their claims, banking time, spending time, and it builds up, it pools together. Adumbrations and not animations of something they are all searching for. This opening, “your” opening, was forged on 11 January and as they flow into it – as time is indexed, consumed and recycled – no sooner will it be filled. A coupling: the liquidity of the internet and Hannah Arendt’s theory of revolution. Withholding yet collaborating with the fact that we can’t believe, or know, that the internet consists of metal, plastic, fibres, lasers – water, liquid rushes in. We through
the internet splash, flow, cycle, leak and disperse, perhaps dive, or surf. And now to link, Aaron Swartz had a desire to course those waters, to chart their flows. In 1963, Arendt wrote of revolution’s irresistibility, that the movements and counter-movements mysteriously form “one stream of ‘progressing violence’ flowing in the same direction with ever-increasing rapidity.” 1 Desiring the torrent révolutionnaire, Aaron Swartz vanished before the undertow of the rushing waves truly sucked him in, without the capacity to realise, or knowing all too well, that he was, in part, the cause of their force. And now, Aaron – “you” – have been de-authored and re-appropriated. TarenSK quotes on her blog: “The Revolution Will Be A/B Tested”, which were your words. But probably more alarmingly is the fact that your virtuous departure – your declining being Silicon Valley’s finest in favour of together, forever, changing the world has been recovered and corrected. Collectively we have shifted the problems you identified with this vexed volatility – of a society that privatises knowledge, whilst mongering fear – onto the shoulders of an individual: You, whose loss we require and refuse, allows us to extricate ourselves from those same problems. In confronting the finality of the obituary and in reconciling your choice, Aaron, “to jump”, I turn to you. It seems in declining to drown, you chose to fall – further than we could ever know. And in this everlasting minute, we, “you”, are still waiting for something to happen. And this waiting, not yours but for you – is composed of questions: were you pushed, will you burn up, will you melt, at what stage will you become unconscious, or finally, will you really, did you really, ever, hit the ground? 1. On Revolution, Hannah Arendt, 1963, Penguin, Middlesex, p 49
Aodhan Madden is part of Text Camp, Next Wave's arts writing mentorship program.
NEXT WAVE FESTIVAL 2014
iPhone as Woomera Steaphan Paton
ABOVE: COMPUTER GENERATED IMAGE OF 'MY BULLOCK MODIFIED' Image courtesy of Steaphan Paton
Few people are aware of the true history of "Australia". It is often glazed over, or met with rolling eyes. Many people teaching it are often still learning the true story for themselves. The true story is that Aboriginal land was stolen using deadly force and premeditated British military offensives. This is well documented. The language and imagery around "Australia's" settlement (invasion) history is carefully constructed to be nation building and to construct national identity and culture.
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When you look at some of the early historical “Australian” paintings, they depict herds of sheep on dry dusty plains dotted with scribbly and gnarly gum trees, or European cattlemen and drovers enduring the harsh Australian environment to feed their cattle. Pastoralists “building a nation”. In some cases the landscape is depicted as European as if to act as advertisements for free settlers back home in the motherland. The imagery of Aboriginal People was often in a romanticised idyllic setting as the noble savage or as the poor wretched or doomed character. The “White European Squatter” (WES) is shown to be hard-working in the landscape and portrayed as a well-dressed source of pride for “the nation”. Behind the scenes of this “agricultural paradise” was a much darker and absent story. The landscape is embellished as terra nullius, Aboriginal Peoples were invisible when the landscape was viewed by WES. The struggle to change the landscape to become more European is documented through early paintings by Eugene von Gerard, John Glover, Louis Buvelot and Nicolas Chevalier to name a few. Settlement was often a euphemism for the frontier and thinking about some of these early nationalist paintings makes many Aboriginal People uneasy, as they know what injustices lie behind the scenes. Whilst thinking about these depictions of the early cattle industry, one of the things that stood out to me was, why had nobody ever depicted (or documented) a speared cow? It was very common at the time and a great source of fear and anxiety for WES and positioned the Aboriginal character as a lurking menace during this period of history. The spearing of cattle was later used as a justification for the WES to murder and massacre Aboriginal People and prompted the Government of New South Wales to permit arrests and detain Aboriginal People. Why was it not depicted? And why does a major chapter of our history remain invisible? There exists imagery of mass arrests, detainment and men in chains but the cause for arrest is unknown to the viewer. As a young Aboriginal man I wonder why it is that these “causes” or “justifications” remain invisible? This history is well documented in many journals of settlers and also British military personnel. But the extent to which cattle were being speared
is not quantifiable, for the profit-driven WES it seems bizarre that they wouldn’t count how many stock they lost and to what? It is also possible the amount of stock speared by Aboriginal People was exaggerated to justify the actions of WES and, therefore, rather than recorded it was exaggerated. I believe it was not depicted because it didn't align with the Nationalist agenda. The imagery is too powerful and showed that actually WES (and their animals) did not own and control the landscape. Aboriginal Peoples were in control. So as not to damage the WES egos and their collective Nation building effort these sorts of events were not depicted. Also, the people who were commissioning and purchasing these paintings would not like to see this sort of imagery, for it was “their land” and they wanted to see it that way. My Bullock Modified is a new media work that employs 3D augmented reality technology to be accessed through an app. Audiences are invited to interact with virtual, roaming sculptures (bullocks), and asked to spear the cattle as they graze in the grounds of Carlton Gardens and the Melbourne Museum foyer. This interaction invites and simultaneously repositions the audience as an Aboriginal warrior protecting their land. It asks them to consider invading an estate-like arena to spear virtual bullock. With the iPhone or smart device becoming the woomera, the new spear (or wal) is a virtual wal that repetitively pierces the bullock. The ultimate aim is for people to consider this action and historical events and engage in a dialogue. Confronting frontier violence and colonial conflict through a familiar platform and context. My Bullock Modified challenges notions of settlement and ownership through a narrative that discusses invasion of country and the impact of the cattle industry on Aboriginal land from an Aboriginal perspective. Aboriginal people were continuously dehumanised for defending themselves and their country. My Bullock Modified ascribes European settlers as squatters and Aboriginal Peoples as landowners, aware of land tenure and agricultural practices. It acknowledges Aboriginal resistance through this image of a speared cow or bullock. My Bullock Modified, Steaphan Paton 30 April — 11 May → Carlton Gardens & Melbourne Museum
Das Boot, Esther Stewart & Oscar Perry 10 — 11 May → Arts House, Meat Market
NEXT WAVE FESTIVAL 2014
Andrew McLellan, Michael Candy & Kiah Reading
In late 2012 several versions of a single document were discovered across buildings deserted by al-Qaida in Timbuktu, Mali. During the Timbuktu crisis, apt coverage was given to the disdain for historical sites and architecture displayed by radicals – the most prominent piece of destruction being upon the Ahmed Baba Institute and its priceless trove of books, scripts and other cultural artefacts. Though diverse across its various factions, al-Qaida’s erasure of historical and cultural objects recalls the book burning of other historical antagonists, serving to lump them in the same extremist stock as all awful iconoclasts, a call to rewrite history from scratch. In a way, the recovery of al-Qaida’s part manifesto, part instruction manual occupied the space of intellectual and spiritual treasures now lost to fire. The document that was made widely available covered techniques and tactics to combat the old imperial enemy, but an enemy now disembodied, inhuman, and reportedly cheaper – more expendable. Beginning “In support of Ibyan province (Yemen) Military Research Workshop,” the contained pages advised on grassroots, rather unsophisticated and improvised means to evade drone aircrafts’ (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) identification and avoid devastating attack. The methods put forward included rudimentary shrouds of straw matting upon 4WDs, to distributing broken glass to confuse the sensors of a UAV. Though quite homespun methodologically, the pages do hint at a level of technical understanding and appreciation for the tools of a UAV and the interface linking its operator to the remote hostile environment. From where this information may have come is not difficult to imagine. It relies upon a ubiquity of accessible information around the constitutive parts that make the drone’s operation whole. The understanding of drone aircraft sensors is an axis between the military-industrial and the outside population – a node at which tools may depart from their original applications,
and leak through covert or commercial enterprise into public hands. To put into action what the al-Qaida memo termed a “golden solution” (to frustrate drone warfare and in turn resurrect a human frontline), an understanding was needed of the way drones transmit information to then be decoded and interpreted by the human controllers on the tail end of a technical and legal system. It pays respect to the drone controller’s interface, observing the nodes in a complex technical and social network extending across the globe that is most vulnerable to miscommunication. A systems control that, like all other emerging technologies, affords and requires equal parts operational control and social control, with both technical and human variables part of the same algorithm. Writing for the Boston Review in 2013, Nasser Hussian attempted a phenomenological interrogation upon the human elements at both ends of the drone aircraft, and surmised a tension between the omnipresent buzz of a UAV that plagues northern Pakistani villages to the complete silence accompanying the infrared camera’s vision – a vision that is watched by the drone’s operator while surrounded by a suite of lawyers and superior military officials. Hussian understands, particularly on the operator’s end, that the eyes and instruments of the drone mediate all data in a way that is imperative and leads it to carry out its task. He writes: “Like the overhead shot in film, which excludes face-to-face dialogue, policing action both begins and ends with the criminalisation of the enemy...In the end, we should be less concerned with how the mediation of the drone’s camera increases or decreases the pilot’s willingness to fire – since that decision is dispersed along a complex chain of command, referred to in military circles as the ‘kill chain’ – than with how the purely visual quality reinforces certain conditions of control…” The first point here is that the mediating lenses of any technical system serves to reconfigure the world beamed into its input into
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something always narrower, reduced, with less peripheral information, shunning the breadth of worldly chaos into an object of easy analysis. Moreover, drone attacks are based on pretence, a perspective that incubates pre-conviction. The second point from Hussian’s thinking is understanding the “kill chain” as a system, a system affording control by extending a technical network with nodes, inputs and outputs to encompass the human components of a chain where decision or “choice” appears constantly displaced, passed down the line. Tangent – Golden Solution at First Draft Depot, June 2013: As part of ISEA 2013
Golden Solution (GS) consolidated research and experimentation being made into hyper-directional speakers (beam-like acoustic transmitters) best known for their riot control applications as acoustic weapons. While the system developed by GS did not have the deafening amplitude of an LRAD system, it was decided that the human voice from these transmitters was given more authority, and with hyper-directionality more focused selection. By removing GS from the performance space and viewing the audience from an overhead camera, and hearing through a narrow-field microphone, a hyper-mediated audio panopticon could deliver directions to audience members, and exclude any protests outside of the microphone’s reach. The periphery fell away putting focus upon an individual being given directions.
FIG. 1: AGNES DENES. If someone is to propose their knowledge is limited and seeks to expand that knowledge, they set themselves between two points: ignorance and wisdom. Their method is triangulation. FIG. 2: The Shower Party. The beauty of a network will always be its elegance, and the simpler the lines joining each node the more elegant even the most catastrophic mess becomes. Beauty lies in a process of reduction, so chaos becomes admirable. Even the beauty of the natural wild had to become the ecosystem before we collectivised our care.
Altertruism, Golden Solution 2 — 10 May → Goodtime Studios & Bus Projects
NEXT WAVE FESTIVAL 2014
Tukre` (Pieces) Raghav Handa
ABOVE & RIGHT: RAGHAV HANDA , Photography: Lucy Parakhina
How can one's lineage, and the rites of passage attached to this, come to transcend borders? My artisan grandfather and the contents of my luggage on arrival to Sydney inspire this work. While seemingly obscure, those precious few objects, contained within my luggage represent a series of shifting connections with my past, present and the future. ' Tukre` ' is the Hindi word for pieces, it is also a performative experience that peels back the layers of my personality and reveals the intimacies of my family traditions – in ways that spoken word can never properly communicate. The objects represented within 'Tukre` ' may seem unremarkable and commonplace, but they possess a sense of place and history, opening a dialogue between object and viewer. They also open the possibility for interaction with the past, allowing for a mapping of memories, and an uncovering of history through bloodlines, frying pans and faceting techniques. Tukre`, Raghav Handa 1 — 11 May → Dancehouse
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NEXT WAVE FESTIVAL 2014
Taking out the Laundry
Liang Luscombe & Brooke Babington interviewed by Pip Wallis
ABOVE: MARVIN GAYE CHET W YND: A WALK TO DOVER, 2006 Image courtesy of the artists & Sadie Coles
As a part of Next Wave's Emerging Curator's Program, Liang Luscombe and Brooke Babington present 'Why Not Walk Backward?' at Gertrude Contemporary. Focusing on an aspect of appropriation loosely termed as "performative restaging", the exhibition will bring together practices that take existing, historically significant artworks as their starting place and utilise performance or performative strategies to reanimate their historical sources. Pip Wallis, Assistant Curator at Gertrude Contemporary interviews Brooke Babington and Liang Luscombe.
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Why have you used performance as the means by which to explore contemporary appropriation?
as striking a “bargain” with the past with unpredictable results – an aspect that Marvin Gaye Chetwynd (previously Spartacus Chetwynd) effectively deals with in her performances; Chetwynd’s work features improvised amateur performances. The performances often comprise puppet re-enactments and re-interpretations in a carnivalesque style that throw together references from historical painting to Hieronymus Bosch to Star Wars, forming spectacles that teeter on the threshold of anarchy.
The beginning of our discussions centred on appropriation in Australia through the lens of landmark exhibition, Popism, curated by Paul Taylor in 1982 and publications such as Rex Butler’s seminal anthology of essays What is Appropriation? While discussions around appropriation of the 1980s have been integral to the way we first thought about our exhibition, we wished to articulate a shift in the way appropriation is used today. One of the most apparent differences is in the dominant medium used. In the ‘80s and ‘90s photography figured heavily as the medium best suited to communicate the appropriative impulse. However today, artists’ use of appropriation adopts multiple guises, with performance figuring as a very engaging approach, no longer just to reproduce but to re-enact. This has led us to question, why this medium? And why now? Our feeling is that a certain potential lies at the intersection of appropriation and performance to address issues of historiography and temporality significant for our present. LIANG & BROOKE
Does appropriation as a generative force change the political implications of appropriation as we’ve understood it in the past? PIP
I think that it does. Contemporary artists using appropriation today seem less interested in the technique as a critical strategy and use it more like an “opening gambit” – an approach that presents opportunities to explore new ground. All of the works in the exhibition re-conceive the initial act of appropriation as a source of creative genesis rather than its traditional use as an endpoint in itself. This shifts the function of appropriation from a tool for critique to one of investigation. I feel the meaning generated through this kind of approach is realistic in its complexity and ambivalence. This is certainly the case for Cuban artist Tania Bruguera’s ongoing project, Tribute to Ana Mendieta (1986-1996). Mendieta, Bruguera’s Cuban-born compatriot, fled Fidel Castro’s regime as a teenager and developed an extensive body of performance work whilst living in the United States. Bruguera’s exhaustive re-performance of Mendietta’s entire corpus of performance work pays homage to the artist but is also an attempt to return Mendietta to Cuban history; to effect a reclamation of Mendietta’s life work within Cuban cultural identity. The spatial and temporal gaps between reenactment works and their proceeding events give these works a critical force to translate difference. They give access to collective memory events that may have been told only from the limited perspective of dominant historical narratives. BROOKE
You have mentioned Jan Verwoert’s reference to appropriation as a way of dealing with the “ghosts” or “dirty laundry” of Modernism. Do you think performative appropriation constitutes a kind of catharsis and does Modernism loom as a ghost for the artists in your exhibition? PIP
Appropriation is an increasingly elastic concept that seems to generate meaning in a number of ways – it can be seen as a means to reclaim forgotten histories (and in this sense often works as a kind of catharsis) or like humour, can be used to destabilise; to complicate the relationship between original and copy and to bridge spatial and temporal divides. Verwoert’s ideas relate to the potential for performative re-staging to invoke the art of the past – to summon and reanimate but no longer with an intent to exorcise it. Rather, he suggests we learn to live with these ghosts – to get down to the work of dealing with the legacies left over from Modernism instead of disregarding them. In this way appropriation can best be understood LIANG & BROOKE
Why Not Walk Backward? Curated by Liang Luscombe & Brooke Babington 3 — 31 May → Gertrude Contemporary
NEXT WAVE FESTIVAL 2014
Parallel Thinking: Notes to Cover 16,975km Emily Sexton, Harun Morrison & Laura McDermott
Next Wave (Melbourne, Australia) and Fierce Festival (Birmingham, United Kingdom) have worked in partnership for the last three years, overlapping curatorial interests, artists and questions of the future. Artists presented by Next Wave and Fierce include Bennett Miller, Atlanta Eke, Sarah-Jane Norman, Tania El Khoury, Lucky PDF and more to come. Below is a conversation between Artistic Director and co-CEO of Next Wave, Emily Sexton, and Joint Artistic Directors of Fierce Festival, Harun Morrison and Laura McDermott.
been doing it for many thousands of years. The model by which Festivals operate is changing, and must change. I’d exchange one Big Day Out for 10 Meredith Music Festivals in a second. What do you do every day?
I make connections, find patterns, create contexts and hope beyond hope that an assortment of ingredients do result in that perfect and surprising alchemy. I read and watch; I talk to artists, producers, curators and managers. I look at something and try for another way to see it, to solve a problem or unplug a blockage. I write and rewrite and write again, sometimes the same concept over and over, trying to unlock the way different people will understand and get excited about an idea. EMILY
Festivals have a beautiful, dynamic capacity to gather, generate and redistribute energy. That energy can be social, libidinal, political, sexual, financial, intellectual, emotional. At their best, festivals unlock and release these energies simultaneously among their audience. We the audience are now pumped, charged, frothing and bubbling. The gathering of people creates this in a way that a solitary experience does not. In this state we have an incredible sense of expectation and agency. With this agency we are more aware of ourselves and of each other. This can be politicising. HARUN & L AURA
The variation takes most adjustment. Travelling locally, nationally, internationally to see new work and understand other cities and contexts. Obsessively trawling for fresh voices at festivals, performances, gigs, chats in bars, late night internet surfing, walking down the street – we are always on the lookout. Keeping our antennae out, sensing and responding to urgent shifts in politics, society and contemporary culture. Sharing new passions and experiences, shaping ideas, debating, keeping each other critical. Working on budgets and fundraising forms to make sure the numbers add up. Pushing an artist that little bit further. Allowing yourself to be pushed that little be further. Convincing a potential production partner to invest that little bit more. Charming weary schoolteachers that their pupils should take part. Taking artists to quirky, hidden or forgotten spaces in the city. Going back and forth with various authorities. Emailing, quietly setting things in motion. HARUN & L AURA
In a mediated existence, sharing something live with strangers has become critical in knowing who we are, and what we strive to be. Festivals can provide a very good rationale for the shared live experience. I loathe the phrase “festival fatigue”. People are not tired of festivals. They are, perhaps, money poor, and maybe tired of unimaginative, generic, large festivals that aren’t curious and passionately attuned to their community. That doesn't feel special. But humans cannot be tired of sharing exciting new experiences together – we’ve EMILY
NEX T WAVE .ORG.AU
Re-considering actions made the day before. Driving forward without the certainty of a destination.
Too much compromise in the act of making something happen unintentionally destroying what you are trying to achieve. HARUN
What do you believe in?
Losing hope, losing perspective, losing tenacity, forgetting to dream and play, spending time and energy on the wrong things. L AURA
I believe we are better together than we are on our own. I believe it’s important to know who you are creating for; that this is an extension of your rationale for doing it. I kind of agree with JM Barrie: “You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it.” I believe in context, and some of the time, I believe in compromise. EMILY
What do you dream of?
Art that edges into a black space where I lose my previous frames of understanding; where I need to find new languages or shapes in order to understand what it’s trying to do. I don’t dream of confusing art; I dream of art that has its own magical logic, which the artist understands intimately and with great passion, and has chosen to share with me. I don’t see work like this all the time, but I see a lot that gets close. And if I have maybe 10 experiences like this in a year, that’s quite cool. EMILY
We believe that marginal perspectives can be liberatory; in eccentrics and outsiders and tribes of the underground. We believe people are naturally curious, intelligent, adventurous and trusting. We especially believe in art and its potential to rupture the everyday, flooding you with new perspectives. We believe that art can open a door to greater self-awareness. Greater selfawareness offers you the potential to be more conscious of your decisions and your actions. HARUN & L AURA
Curiosity spreading like the plague. Dominant culture less certain of itself. More day-dreaming for everyone. HARUN
What do you worry about?
I hope that some time in my lifetime I am witness to (and part of) a shift in systems so transformative that it is beyond what I can currently imagine. We’ll smash the shackles of our current thinking and unpick everything at the seams. We’ll be living in an exhilarating topsy-turvy world inventing, hacking and making sense of a new order of power, decision-making, value, trade, interdependency and community. L AURA
Usually if I have a worry in my mind it’s people-based, rather than a particular outcome or thing. Money comes and goes, you find the right venue in the end (or close to it), programs do eventually get to print and then get distributed and then people read them, websites launch. Shows open, people like them or they don’t, and then they go home. But what is terrifying and worrisome is whether you’re blindly yelling in a city park or actually doing something that speaks to people’s hearts. Whether your work has a lasting impact on artistic practice, on good ideas, on cultural policy, on how people are to each other and whether you live in a place that’s inspired/inspiring. All of that stuff requires relationships and conversation, and so if any one of the partnerships that drive our work is even a little bit off kilter, I worry. EMILY
Breakfast Club, Fierce Festival 3 May → The Wheeler Centre
NEXT WAVE FESTIVAL 2014
In Conversation with Marina Amvbromovich I’m Trying To Kiss You
Feminist theatre collective I'm Trying To Kiss You (Allison Wiltshire, Anna McCarthy and Zoey Dawson) met up with world famous and totally hot performance artist Marina Amvbromovich (sic) to chat about their new work 'Madonna Arms', a performance exploring women’s relationships to their bodies.
Hey gals, what’s up?
Not much Marina, what’s up with you? LEF T–RIGHT: ANNA MCCARTHY, ELL A HARVEY, ZOEY DAWSON, Image: Theresa Harrison
Oh you know, keeping it pretty real, just making art and stuff. MARINA
Cool. Thanks for meeting with us.
If you want to achieve great things, you have to push. ALLISON
I love your shirt. Yeah. Feel the burn. Push yourself to the limit. ANNA
Thanks babe. I love your maxi-dress.
LOL! I know a thing or two about that! Making this show, what has been your most significant discovery in terms of your practice? MARINA
So gorgeous. So. Tell me. You've had a long development for Madonna Arms, can you talk briefly about your process? MARINA
Well. One really amazing discovery was when we really started to break down the calories in vegetables. ALLISON
Yeah, I mean it's been totally great actually.
We have learnt sooooo much making this show. ANNA
Oh my god, the statistics are shocking.
I’ve heard that.
Totally. People have no idea what they are putting into their fucking mouths. ZOEY
Awesome. Also – what do you think we need to do as feminist artists to overcome the oppression of women? MARINA
Um, well. Number one, I guess, is set goals…and stick to them.
Oh yeah, it's horrifying. There are absolutely no good fats.
Absolutely. It's about giving 110 per cent, 110 per cent of the time.
If you eat an avocado, you're gonna look like an avocado, ok? If you eat
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a carrot – guess what? You'll look like a carrot! It's not brain science. MARINA
Yeah...Sitting in a chair all day is like – I wasn’t going to say anything, but you can actually see your arse getting fatter. ALLISON
Also – can I just say one thing about dairy?
Wow. That’s amazing. I wish I’d thought of that for some of my durational work… MARINA
Oh my god.
Like, if you work on the third level of an office building, find a reason to go up to the tenth floor several times a day. ANNA
It’s no wonder cows are so fat.
And yoghurt – what a fucking gateway drug.
Maybe there’s like, a cute guy up there or something!
You have to keep active Marina.
You may as well just drink lard.
Yeah cool. Wow. Um, also, I guess women making art about their body is territory that has been covered by many famous female artists – myself included! LOL! Has I'm Trying To Kiss You discovered anything new on the subject?
Oooooooh, good one!
If you live in Brunswick, take the tram to St Kilda and walk home.
It's so fucking easy once you actually fucking look for opportunities to incorporate exercise into your daily life. ZOEY
Oh, absolutely. For example, one really great idea we had was to order children's portions in restaurants. It literally cuts your calories in half. ANNA
Like – I dunno, get up three hours early! Duh, it’s not that hard. ANNA
(Marina nods and makes a note)
Yeah. It’s all about thinking outside the square Marina.
Interesting. Of course…it makes sense. Hey also, I was just thinking, like, women are drastically under-represented as leaders in many industries, theatre included. What do you think we can do as a society to ensure women are taking on stronger roles within the arts?
Or run at night when no one can see you.
Even better – exercise while you're sleeping.
Oh god – I wish!
(They all laugh) Actually...you know, I think they have those belts now with little electrodes that buzz your fat off while you sleep. MARINA
Well, a really great way to improve your strength within the arts is to sit on an exercise ball to strengthen your core, and keep dumbbells or exercise tubing at your desk. ZOEY
Yeah. Just squeeze in some exercises like dumbbell curls, overhead presses and ab crunches during your average work day.
Oh really?...Tell us more.
Madonna Arms, I’m Trying To Kiss You 1 — 11 May → Arts House, Meat Market
NEXT WAVE FESTIVAL 2014
Personal Mythologies Joe Scott
ABOVE: UNTITLED (SL) FROM THE SERIES ANDROGYNE 2013, Photography: Drew Pettifer
In one way or another we all make myths of ourselves. I find myself on a mid-winter train ride to an outer suburbs warehouse. I’ve accepted an invitation to attend a development showing of Shian Law’s upcoming Next Wave performance, Personal Mythologies. My own particular narrative of self has never adequately prepared me for performance art spaces. I often find myself anxious and ill-at-ease, simultaneously drawn into another’s story whilst remaining peripheral and on the fringes. How does the spectacle, participation and identities of art, performance and dance effect our notions of self? How are we to exist within these spaces? How can they help us better know ourselves? During the journey I reassess the little I have been told about the project. “The performance begins with what seems to be a human installation with abstract visual objects, and then turns into an ultimate performance challenge charged with high voltage of physicality, taking three non-dance performers to the extremes of their physicality,” this is what Shian has enigmatically advised.
My breath fogs the glass, obscuring my reflection, scenery racing in a rain-drenched Rousseau blur. Upon arrival I chain smoke cigarettes in the laneway adjacent to the entrance, rapidly shifting from foot to foot in my own personal choreography of restless unease. Then a quietly beaming usher welcomes me inside. The space is cavernous, warm, softly lit, filled with a similarly friendly and anticipatory crowd of onlookers. I seat myself and drink red wine, slowly becoming aware that the performance is already shifting into motion. One of the many ushers approaches a member of the crowd, speaking to them softly and reassuringly before leading them into an adjoining room. As I enter the space I begin to realise that the familiar distinctions between performer and audience are becoming blurred and confused. I consider Shian’s advice: “Be patient, open and critical at the same time. And don't judge too quickly.” As I leave my “impediments” (bag and coat) behind, I am greeted by a scene – part futuristic furniture showroom, part science laboratory,
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part cult compound. Familiar objects take on a decidedly unfamiliar identity in the hands of the participants. One woman stands in the centre, rhythmically raising and lowering a metallic fabric, its frictious crackling filling the space with humming waves of static, almost like a synthesised soundtrack. Another performer carries out a series of gestures before a fulllength mirror, somehow unfamiliarly othered by their reflection. My escort draws me across this scene, inviting me to be seated upon an impossibly tall, narrow stool. Adjusting to my perch, I am given a series of instructions, both physical and mental: I am to close my eyes and sit upright, slowly swinging my arms back and forth while imagining myself lifting and hovering above the ground. Breathe deeply, concentrate, relax. I resist the pull to remain open-eyed, as a flood of people enter into the space and begin to enact similar ritualistic movements. “The performance isn't about everyday actions. It is about the intrinsically felt sensations which do not render a cultural or behavioural meaning but inform about our physical presence in an abstracted performance environment,” Shian has explained. I begin my task and, in the moments that follow, my queasy unease and the awareness of the other participants begins to dissolve, leaving me solely to explore the physical and mental nuances of my behaviour. The longer I sit, the more I feel removed and abstracted from myself. With an almost meditative sensation, my arms distance themselves from my body, my upper torso foreign and hovering elsewhere. Eventually opening my eyes, I am met with the smiling face of a stranger standing directly in front of me, performing identical gestures, unbeknownst to us both. Making our way to the edges of the space the placidity of moments passed breaks apart. Shian makes his way to the centre with three of his performance troop who, once positioned, begin a series of frenetic exercises, games and challenges. The tasks can be
called neither dance nor performance, but rather something more closely akin to school yard play. Shian explains: “For this project the performers are not trained dancers. I call them ‘naive bodies’, bodies which are not exposed to institutional training or a particular kind of movement aesthetics. I am interested in their reaction to choreographic ideas but I don't condition their physicality to my aesthetic preferences. They are not necessarily dancing. They are committed to articulate a physical and mental affect.” The trio race through staged routines under Shian's watchful eye. He barks criticisms and demands, until a “winner” is plucked from the red-faced and panting participants. The moment concludes, the music dims and the performers catch their breath. We collectively file out of the space to be greeted with food and wine. The audience clusters and the excited cacophony of questions and laughter brings the term “Semantic Satiation” to mind, (in which a word, repeated continuously, over and over, loses all normative meaning). Here, repetition of the familiar results in a burgeoning sense of foreignness and intangibility, impossible to entirely place within its original context. This perception captures something of the radically foreign and fertile space that is Personal Mythologies. Shian's mythologising refuses the common fables of the art world. Normative narratives are obscured and erased, a palimpsest authored and re-authored by the constantly oscillating identities of spectator, artist, performer. Is it truly possible to untangle the intricacies of self and other, personal and social, fallacy and truth? Personal Mythologies offers the rarest of chances to explore our own stories and the art that shapes them.
Personal Mythologies, Shian Law 1 — 11 May → Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall
NEXT WAVE FESTIVAL 2014
Three Way Dialogue
Kristi Monfries, Dave Sleswick & Joon Lynn Goh
ABOVE: 지하 UNDERGROUND, written by Jeremy Neideck & Nathan Stoneham, Produced by Dave Sleswick (Motherboard Productions), featuring 2014 Next Wave artists Nathan Stoneham (Australian) & Park Younghee (Korean), Photo: Gerwyn Davies
Three participants in the upcoming IETM Asian Satellite Meeting, Rully Shabara and Wukir Suryadi of Senyawa with Kristi Monfries, Dave Sleswick and Joon Lynn Goh consider the potential of a "three way dialogue".
but also on their openness to adventure and experimentation. The most exciting artists in Indonesia today are those that are innovating and contemporary while not compromising on their traditional heritage. To work between the intersections of these different cultural histories requires multi-layered conversations, a deep understanding of the context in which they live, by facilitating many different kinds of dialogues, not just in theory but in practice. Collaborative projects in Indonesia, which may involve a diversity of cultures and unshared histories, requires a clear creative framework that reflects an ‘Asian’ working model whereby the focus is placed on the collective effort rather than the individual cause. Allowing artists the freedom to work within clear parameters can significantly increase the potential for successful outcomes, which in turn
Based in Yogyakarta, Senyawa combine rigorous research into traditional music, experimental approaches and a disciplined theatricality. Kristi Monfries is an Australian/Indonesian curator and arts manager with a specific interest in experimental music and its relationship to visual arts practice:
Working in cross-cultural environments requires flexibility, resourcefulness and resilience. In many ways our job as the curators and arts producers of collaborative projects across the Asian region is to not only recognise artists on their artistic merit
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can contribute to an international artistic dialogue, the potential for legacy and to be, above all else, relevant.
Joon Lynn Goh, Producer of Artistic Programs for In Between Time, Bristol, United Kingdom:
Dave Sleswick, Associate Producer for Next Wave, and an independent producer in Australia and Korea:
I work with a small and robust team to deliver an international festival of performance across Bristol. Bristol is a regional city, not considered a global cultural capital, yet during festival days, the city is overtaken by artists and audiences from across the world. Internationality forms the backbone of In Between Time. It represents a stubborn refusal to let go of the world, and a compulsion to find the fictitious as a beginning point to making connections. If a conversation between two ends in bilateral agreement or opposition, a three way dialogue is a renegade form where something unexpected can happen. In the company of three or more parties, the inconvenience of disruption, derailment and time can transform into our best ideas, strongest allies and most surprising networks. This kind of inconvenience becomes beautifully productive. So how do we sustain this inconvenient creativity? I would like to ask in our different contexts the same questions: Who is on our stages and in our meeting rooms? How do we intercept old structures with new bloods, and make common marginalised voices? Who are our greatest fans? How can our audiences become our closest collaborators and patrons? And what is the legacy of our work? What do we wish to change, and in what state will we entrust this work to the next pair of hands?
As a producer who has engaged only in monogamous two way transcultural relationships so far, primarily between Australia and Asia, I find the process of welcoming other parties into the action both tantalising and terrifying. Beginning a threesome is bound to be tricky business. But as I continue working in the area of international exchange, it’s becoming clear that all good relationships start with a spark. A connection that draws people together, a magnetic force that compels people to intertwine. When we contemplate three way transcultural, artistic dialogues, we need to ensure our intentions are clear. Is the agenda behind such dialogue a product, a process or is it a politically driven undertaking? Should we not be focused more on creating an undeniable synergy between artists? As an Australian I am constantly looking to other cultures for inspiration; I am fascinated by artistic history and tradition. I am also now excited to explore what we can contribute to these contexts. Perhaps the answer lays somewhere in adaptability or spontaneity? Whether you are a producer, funding body, venue, or festival, I feel ultimately your role is trivial. Setting friends up on a blind date is often a recipe for disaster, so what chance do we have to create a healthy, polygamous ‘three way’ from the top down? My real question is this: how do we create the opportunity for artists – two, or three or more – to fall in love on the street and go home together?
From 12 — 14 May, over 150 contemporary performance delegates from Asia, Europe and Australia will come to Melbourne for an IETM Asian Satellite Meeting, exploring what’s possible in a “three way dialogue”.
NEXT WAVE FESTIVAL 2014
The Seat of the Soul Dylan Sheridan
ABOVE: BRAIN TO BARNARD 33 (HORSE HEAD NEBUL A) MRI by Xray South, Image courtesy of Dylan Sheridan
We have long had the idea that by attempting to understand the universe we can understand something about ourselves; that there is a reciprocal relationship between the macrocosm (the order of the universe), and the microcosm (the order of the individual). What we seek to learn by observing celestial patterns of the stars varies from metaphysical through to spiritual and allegorical truths, understanding something about our nature physically and mathematically. But whichever category of truth we are looking for, we have the sense that we ourselves are a tool for discovering the universe; a sense that because “I” am part of the universe, I have a vague yet inherent knowledge of truth. Sound becomes an ideal tool through which to explore this relationship. It was Pythagoras who first proposed the concept of musica universalis, that as the planets move about they emit a unique frequency. Although this was not thought to be audible, it was hypothesised by many that these cosmic vibrations were what connected man to the universe, and through which the relationship between outer space and the inner space of man could be understood. Sound is the language of the mind, Robert Fludd suggested in microcosmi historia, and as vibration is the secret of creation, through it all secrets may be revealed. Occasionally when I hear a new sound, or a particular combination of sounds, I feel a strange sense of recognition. It resonates with something at my core (physically, psychologically – or both) and on some level I recognise it. (It “struck a chord,” people sometimes say). The sound becomes inexplicably important. Apparently we are made largely of the same stuff as stars – could it be that there remains an echo of the universe’s ancient song in our mind? Is this the Platonic
Form of music for which we continually strive? Investigating these sounds becomes something like an aural Rorschach test, and might be able to tell us something about ourselves. This is, in a sense, an exercise in mysticism; the lines between outside and inside are blurred, and we see that the outer world and inner world are two aspects of the same reality. Our eyes and ears separate them, but “inside” becomes a matter of perspective, and the further we journey or investigate inwards the more clearly we appreciate the relationship of the part to the whole and see that, like a fractal, even the smallest of sounds resonate in harmony with the revolving firmament. This, as Novalis wrote, is the seat of the soul, the space where outer and inner worlds meet. Finding such a “space” might inform a response to the questions raised by the theme of the Festival: New Grand Narrative. How we define our own relationship to the cosmos has, through history, informed various views of a “grand narrative”, and the individual’s relationship and obligation to society. Dramatically contrasting conclusions have been drawn, ranging from Tolstoy’s belief that “we are all part of the infinite and therefore do to others what you would have them do to you,” to the more nihilistic conclusions found in Cosmicism: human life is insignificant and our actions inconsequential. We will continue to form new theories and hypotheses as to our purpose and we will, no doubt, continue to find faults and errors in past modes of thought. But these micro-mistakes become, on a macro level, our truth and our narrative, and while we continue to guess, the planets will keep revolving, regardless of whether we are right or wrong.
Terminal, Dylan Sheridan 1 — 11 May → Northcote Town Hall
30 Years of Tomorrow
Statement of Intent
For three decades, Next Wave has shaped the Australian arts landscape through imagination, bold ideas and a passion for the new.
Next Wave creates art for an unknown future.
Established in 1984 to foster creativity and experimentation, Next Wave’s focus has always been on the next generation of artists in a changing world. Career development, presentation opportunity and multi-disciplinary representation have been integral since our inception. Initially, Next Wave responded to a global emphasis on youth with an extensive secondary and tertiary schools program that was focused on large-scale participation. In following years the program acknowledged the growing use of technology in art, coinciding with the Australia Council for the Arts’ New Media policy. Next Wave offered early career opportunities to many influential contemporary visual artists and curators, and our flagship art development program Kickstart introduced a new model to develop artistic practice and sustain careers, advocating the importance of time, networks and money in the artistic process. In our most recent decade, a succession of influential Artistic Directors has seen Next Wave confirm its place as critical to Australian contemporary art. Our dedication to artistic development has expanded to include Text Camp, the Emerging Curator's Program and JUMP Mentoring with the Australia Council. Over the last eight years our international conversation has grown. We’ve pushed art under freeways, into nightclubs, in the Mission to Seafarers, private homes, sports clubs, on wheat silos and through city streets. We continue to challenge what art can be, where it takes place, and who will be watching.
We strive to cultivate enthusiasm for art, artists and a changed world. We believe in the energising force of a new context, environment or idea as key to transformation. We seek change within the professional practice of individuals, as a pathway to the development of society. We see collaboration as necessary resistance, a mirror and the primary source of the critical rigour we strive to instil in all emerging artists and arts workers. We believe in risk as the crucial ingredient in every artistic endeavour, and with clarity of intent we think anything is possible. We support what is attempted over what is achieved. Multiple, radical perspectives are celebrated; complexity is embraced. We maintain a focus on the edges of society as the place from which the new must emerge. Curiosity is our guiding force, and it leads us in a relentless pursuit to ask the question, “Who’s not here?” Our biennial contemporary art festival is the final stop on a life-changing artistic development process. Uniquely for Australia this process works within a two-year cycle. Our curation places specific ideas, people and contexts in dialogue with each other, to create an intervention within broader debates. Next Wave explores why humans come together, and is a festival that introduces a community of brave people who are tackling their most complex thoughts, sharing those ideas for the very first time. Our city of Melbourne, on the country of the Kulin Nation, is the place from which we look out to national and international artists and ideas.
The Legends That Made This Happen
Artistic Director (CEO):
Executive Director (CEO):
Artistic Program Manager:
Risk Management Consultant:
Next Wave Board:
Janenne Willis (Chair); Kath Papas (Deputy Chair); Chetan Arjun (Treasurer); Justin Hooper, Martyn Coutts, Matt Williams, Bo J. Svoronos, Eugenia Lim, Andrew Mackinnon.
Marketing & Development Coordinator:
Curatorial Advisory Committee:
Marketing & Development Manager:
Tony Albert, Robert Walton, Kelly Fliedner, Jess Devereaux, Anthony Hamilton. With thanks to Serena Bentley, former Artistic Program Manager, for her involvement in the curation and conception of the 2014 Festival.
Blak Wave publication contributors:
Tony Albert, Troy-Anthony Baylis, Richard Bell, Clotilde Bullen, Bindi Cole, Megan Cope, Dale Harding, Roy Kennedy, Colin Kinchela, Celeste Liddle, Emily McDaniel, Tahjee Moar, Kyle Morrison, Kimberley Moulton, Djon Mundine, Laurie Nilson, Liz Nowell, Steaphan Paton, Ryan Presley , Reko Rennie, Carly Sheppard, Lucy Simpson, Tiddas Take Back, Jason Wing, Chantelle Woods.
Text Camp 2014:
Kyle Walmsley mentored by Robbie Coleman (The Thousands); Matilda Dixon-Smith mentored by Katia Pase (Going Down Swinging); Aodhan Madden mentored by Max Olijnyk (Broadsheet); Amelia Wallin mentored by Maggie Gray (this is tomorrow, UK); Eleanor Zeichner mentored by Diana Damian (Exeunt, UK); Pippa Milne mentored by Dan Rule (Vault); Shankar Kasynathan mentored by Alison Croggon (ABC Arts); Beth Caird mentored by Dylan Rainforth (Art Guide Australia).
And the following people, who we adore.
Program Coordinator: Daniel Santangeli
Associate Producer: Erica McCalman
Assistant Producer: Kyle Kremerskothen
Admin & Ticketing Coordinator:
JUMP Program Assistant: Laura Couttie
Digital Media Intern: Jean Kemshal-Bell
Media & Communications Intern: India Farrar
Carmel McKie, Anita Spooner, Frances Wilkinson
Publicist: Tim Jones
Editor & Publications Coordinator: Alice Blackwood
Design: Andrew Murray (Gatsby), Thomas Green, David Pesavento
Thank You: The bold and brave Next Wave Festival 2014 artists, our incredible volunteers, Kate Sulan (who retired from the Next Wave Board in 2013 after 10 years!), past interns Michelle Gordon, Tom Gittings and Sophie FosdickMcGrath, Jacqueline Doughty, Pip Wallis, Karra Rees, Danny Lacy, Kelly Fliedner, Simon Maidment, Debbie Pryor, Jenny Niven, Stephen Armstrong, John Wilson, the crew at Captains of Industry, our family, partners, housemates, neglected pets and plants who put up with this – and know it’s worth it!
NEXT WAVE COLLECTIVE Support for Next Wave doesnâ€™t always come from deep pockets. More often, deep hearts. In 2013 our overlapping community of artists, art lovers, volunteers, collectors, philanthropists and local businesses have pledged what they can: money, time, art or space. In just 12 months the Next Wave Collective has staffed parties, housed artists, financed flights, furnished exhibitions and added some zazz to a range of projects in the 2014 Festival program, including our Festival Club. THANK YOU to our 66 inaugural Lovers, Makers, Movers, Shakers and Future Shapers... The best is yet to come. For more information on the Next Wave Collective and how you can get involved visit: http://nextwave.org.au/next-wave-collective/
HOW TO NEXT WAVE In the beginning, we write our own story. Wednesday 16 April – Tuesday 29 April We kick off with conversations that frame the Festival program and the launch of our keynote initiative 'Blak Wave'; a publication and talks series exploring what’s personally, politically and artistically Next for Australia’s First Peoples. We’ll also get our bodies warmed with a special Next Wave Festival edition of Deep Soulful Sweats PEAK PHANTASM at Northcote Town Hall.
In the middle, you’ll hear voices. Wednesday 30 April – Sunday 11 May All over the city, our artists present contemporary art with edge. Chill out or warm up in our Festival Club at Shebeen with a beverage and banh mi til late. No Shows Monday.
When we climax, we go all day and all night. Saturday & Sunday: 3, 4, 10 & 11 May From breakfast to dance floor, we’ve curated roaming art tours through Melbourne and our Festival. Pick your route and put yourself in the capable hands of our Primo Pass leaders for a first class experience of Next Wave with artist talks, meals and special perks along the way. Or map your own ‘Free Ride’ via our nifty Festival App.
To finish, we look each other in the eye and ask what it all means for the world. Monday 12 May – Wednesday 14 May In partnership with the Australia Council for the Arts and Arts Centre Melbourne’s Asian Performing Arts Program, we’re hosting the IETM Asian Satellite Meeting, an international theatre-makers conference.
→ For details, tickets and more, check out our Festival Pocket Guide, download our App, follow #nwf14 or head to:
$5.00 路 ISBN 978-0-9808331-2-6 FESTIVAL 2014
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