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good and great

today i caught up on some reading, 'cos i'm procrastinating and i couldn't help it. but i wanted to post about some of the ace things i've seen, which mostly happen to be from GOOD.

clapping your hands when you like a band - music and social media.

brilliant posters for the kent state folk festival. they sparked a few little thoughts looking forward to the time when social media and social interaction get really close. i think they're getting closer, but it's gonna be awesome when we really smush them up and really value both.

i also had a utopian idea the other day that the death of television should be welcomed and that it was only ever going to be a small invention on the way to the much bigger awesomeness of the interwebs anyway.

in fact, if i was in charge of cultural radness in australia, i'd get rid of all funding to TV content production, turn it into good production for DVD/online video/live experience and radio; chuck money back into films, gaming, online stories and books. i guess like the media equivalent of thanking a lover for a good time, but committing to a long-term relationship for the future.

but i digress.

tourism is the march of stupidity

i'm a bit of a traveller/tourist at the moment, so of course i couldn't help but LOVE LOVE LOVE this post about tourism and literature by miles allinson. miles is a super-fucking talented writer and thinker and artist-type. readings is a melbourne institution that really supports literature, reading, thinking and artist-types.

BOMF wisdom to know the difference

and then there's the fantastic and worthwhile and 'oh i wish i thought of that' Back on My Feet running program coming out of the East Coast in the US - brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

it's programs like this that remind me that humans are not stupid. we're not heartless. and although life circumstances can freeze over our hearts and minds - at either end of the poverty scale - it is the simple, meaningful, heartfelt actions that really help us keep our shit together.

oh, and just one more thing from good - a great article about the history of the word OK.
i personally love the spelling 'okeh' and am going to use it from now on.
meh, teh and okeh.

image credits:
44th kent state folk festival posters by marcus agency from the GOOD blog
miles allinson/reading st. kilda from his confrontation with falling blog
eric fair image from the GOOD blog/lauren e. friedman [best name ever, BTW]

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this week at the galleries

er, ok. you got me. it's not a week since i last posted about art i've seen in berlin. in fact, it's been ages. i kinda went into lock-down for this exhibition and pretty much didn't leave my little studio apartment for a week.

but since the opening, i've been seeing a few things here and there:

silberkuppeliving well is the best revenge
Tobias Kaspar
 the cutest, smallest gallery space on skalitzer straße, near chert/motto for you local berlin kids, this show was ace. an investigation into the line between public/private, through the action of jogging and everything that goes with it - including all the fashion/marketing/rah-rah-rah. in fact, a lot of similar ideas to the ones i work on with sound. the beautiful block-mounted photo letters that 'ran' through the little space were total gems.

skalitzer 140_temporary - R.E.B.E.A.T I.T

this is another great space on skalitzer straße, this time they have just a one-night only exhibition each tuesday. it's well set-up, simple and clear. last week they had two projections in the back Hof, which was brilliant and I encouraged them to do that again.

i'm looking forward to seeing what else is in the space. i might even break my own 'no more shows this year' promise and exhibit something myself..

alte national galerie - permanent collection//tino sehgal

Pan and Bacchus

i hadn't managed to get to any of the big olde worldy galleries in berlin until now. but, i've since bought a yearly ticket and am going to squeeze them all in before i leave. thankfully, having a friend here as a tourist kicked me in the right direction.

This is Propaganda 2002

the presence of the ongoing tino sehgal work at the national galerie was a clear starting point. i bloody love tino sehgal's work and have now been fortunate enough to experience and engage with two of them thus far [last year at the marian goodman galerie in paris]. the work at the alte is a reproduction/replication/reintroduction of the 2002 work 'this is propaganda' - a song-based work in which the situation of a place is changed through the singing of a note by a performer.

Friedrich Abbey

obviously i saw some other amazing work in the gallery - my personal highlight being the caspar david friendrich paintings of the monk staring out at sea and the abbey in the oak forest. they're pretty damned exquisite and really difficult to see as paintings. i got told off for going too close, but i just had to get in an see the surface. layers and layers of varnish (and time) means that these works are photograph-esque. actually i couldn't help but think about todd mcmillan's performance version of the monk, especially as the paintings seemed more like videos than something made with goopy stuff.

the romantic paintings were also pretty amazing and i made an interesting link between romanticism and hipsterdom that i'm in the process of unpacking.

Raumlabour Jumping cubes

oh, and there's a nan goldin exhibition on at the berlinische galerie. we went to see her talk, but it was sold out, so instead of sorting out how to really deal with that, they locked the doors to the place. we snuck in and made it to the shop, but no further - they weren't letting anyone else in until an unspecified moment. weird, weird, weird experience i tell you.

but that raumlabour jumping castle geometry outside the place was fun!


boom box

i saw this picture on the satorialist and although i go weak at the knees in bookshops, my first thought was 'i want those boombox pics'.

they're not clever, but they're big and awesome.

that is all.


berlin: 10 shades of grey

Berlin_Grey_Mauerpark Steps

a few days ago, dell posted 10 types of blue - a gorgeous snapshot of oz at the moment and one which shot a pang of homesickness right through me.

rather than get on a plane, i decided to find the beauty in berlin's grey. and you know what, it worked! within all the grey, there are actually some pretty stunning bursts of colour and i've decided to start actively look for the colours of berlin. not only that, but in enjoying the grey, i got a whiff of understanding about the gothic/romantic/expressionist view of germany, one which i couldn't really connect to before.

Berlin Grey Frankfurter Tor

Berlin Grey Austerity

Berlin Black and Pink

Berlin Grey Lines

Berlin Neo-Classicism Detail


Berlin Grey_Socialist Sculpture

Berlin Greys_0016


BerlinGrey_Cotton Skies


music in berlin

i love you but i've chosen disco

for most of my time in berlin, i've been doing a whole lot of listening. mostly to the ambient sounds of the public realm. usually 'outside'.

but, i've also made sure that i'm taking in as much music-based experience as i can whilst i'm here. the relationship that germans and berliners have to music is particularly interesting to me. especially as it's like a super-extended-remix version of the relationship melbournians have to music.

there is such a wide variety of stuff going on, so it's been a great chance to just dip in and out of all kinds of styles, venues and times. i could, if i wanted to, spend every night of the week going to see electro-acoustic performances. or dance to techno. or see a classical performance. or go see a rock gig. thankfully i have neither the time nor the money to do so, otherwise i'd never sleep, eat, or do what i came here to do.

but, it's been great to sample in small doses.


last week i went to a choir/orchestral performance of giuseppe verdi's requiem - part of it, the dies irae, is surely in every tim burton movie ever made. well, it was the 90-minute whole piece. all fire and brimstone and judgment day. counter reformation-styles, in a protestant church. awesome.

a few weeks ago i went to peaches' 'operantomime' peaches does herself - celebrating 10 years of her career and all the love sex gender-bending fuck-you rock-out that comes with it. it was pretty goddamm spectactular, that's for sure.


last night peter newman and i stood at schieslischer's tor u-bahn and listened to two members of  krautrock/90s slacker band, camera, absolutely kill it in the entrance to the station on a practice amp and a hollow wooden stool, with marakas on the 'kick'. it was fucking amazing, genuine and reminded me of the brilliant BBC documentary on krautrock (thanks stan!)

this week i'm off to a couple of experimental performances in my local 'hood, one of which i think will feature chris abrahams, home-town pride, and some raw composition work at ausland - a venue i haven't been to yet, but hosts some brilliant gigs.

every weekend i go dancing until at least 4am. it's pretty rad. and the relationship berliners have to dancing in a club is awesome - there's not commandeering of the dancefloor here, kids. everyone faces the front and you dance. if you're with friends, you dance beside each other, and if you're there alone, that's cool - we'll all dance with you. it's such a great public action.

and, boys here dance. pretty well, and even when it's as ugly as sin, they're doing it with committment - it's awesome. there's no sense that a guy is just approximating dancing so that he can get in a girl's pants - there's hardly any direct sleeze on the dancefloor, but it's all hot as. it's fantastic.

and there's this weird music/dance style that i've called the Berlin Skip. there's probably a proper name for it, but that's what i call it. the music is a little bit soca/a little salsa - i think it's called 'gypsy sound' and everyone dances essentially the same to it. i liked it when i first heard it and danced for a couple of hours, but now it's just too repetitive and i can't do it anymore. i need a little more variety in my dancefloor action, thanks :)

it could have been honolulu

speaking of which, i've been to berghain a few times (it's massive, they dance all night, it's all about the freaks in there). although last weekend i got rejected! weird! but in a way, completely fun and part of the crazy/random/i-do-what-i-want ethos of the place that i actually really value.

interestingly, i haven't been to see a band play a straight-up rock/punk gig since i've been here. which is kind of hilarious, given my previous intensity towards the genre. to be honest, all the flyers i've seen are for pretty big american bands i have no interest in seeing, and i haven't quite plugged into the kind of venue that hosts great bands from germany. i'm sure it's out there, but i've been so enamoured with the electronic music goodness, that i figure that i'll just head to the tote when i get home to make up for it :)

before i leave, i need to go to the opera, a couple of baroque/romantic performances, and if i can, get to a stockhausen performance too.


i don't have a whole lot of music in my own collection that screams BERLIN, but the couple that do at the moment are on high rotation - black cab from melbourne, who obviously recorded their album call signs in or after time in berlin - there are multiple references to the city in their songs and the church bells they sample ring outside my apartment at 12 and 6 daily. listening to this album really adds to both the city and the album - it's like i'm really IN both of them.

the debut album from beak> does something similar - with the dark, electro-romantic-atmos feel about it, it's a perfect soundtrack to the elemental darkness, cold and wind that is enveloping berlin at the moment.

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blatant self-promotion #242

ok, so this is simultaneously exciting and embarassing.

you know those blogs that just on about about the stuff they're doing? without saying anything really interesting? this is quickly turning into one of them, isn't it. i'm so sorry, dear regular reader. i promise that, after this, i will spend the rest of the year sitting in cafes reading interesting articles on the state of the world, and watching it all go by so that i can impart interesting, quirky or ridiculous ideas about me and the rest of humanity.

and in the mean time, come to this show!

actually, it's been quite an exciting process being involved in this exhibition. as you may recall, i popped into the gallery not so long ago - really intrigued by what they were up to, and have since been in pretty regular contact with matthew and sonja, the crazy-intelligent directors.

after quite a bit of intense discussion about the history, language and misdirection of site-specificity*, they have been gracious or foolish enough to invite me to make a work to include in their latest show. 

the work i'm making has been a bit of a dissection of a dissection of ideas about site-specific artists. it's also probably the least visual/aesthetic of all the work i've made to date - sitting deeper in concept and imagination. location in all its complexities.

it has felt like the equivalent of making an audio work that has been implanted in your memory, without you ever having heard it, and then forcing you to unhear it.

a lot of the ideas and the unravelling happens on paper: the role of artists in relation to site/space/history, the role of the critic in it all, how important language is, placing art within the fabric of society/public/political realm (as opposed to the decoration of it) and the nature of perception - visual/audio and imagination.

the other artists in the show really are making some fantastic works, so if you're in berlin, it'd be great to see you there.


what: site-specificity
when: 13. november 2010 from 7pm 
where: essays and observations 
maxstraße 1 - 13347 berlin

opening times until 18. december: 
saturdays from 2-7pm and by appointment


* some references for those not able to come along:

richard serra
miwon kwon
bruce smith/hark!

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up to my eyeballs


i've got another group show coming up. which means i'm back in studio bubble land - i haven't done a listening project for days, have only seen one exhibition in the last 5 days and am hardly seeing daylight.

so, to celebrate such insanity, i think it's high time i posted some random pics of how i'm going to remember this week in berlin:

some weird electronic toy/art thing in a cafe on oderberger str.

weird electrothing in a cafe

my bike in a seat belt, on a tram. berlin takes care of its bikes.


extra awesome mural at the kunsthaus bethanien. which reminds me, you should all dance to scattermish's mix of push it, from soundcloud.

Salt'n'Pepa's here

beaded gallery. from choi jeong hwa's show a while back

choi jeong hwa02

limpets or flying saucers on the roof at the messe


we killed my parents and hit the road

we killed my parents and hit the road



berlin breakfasts

i don't think i've really posted about thoughts about berlin since i've been here. perhaps that's because it's taken a while to gather them. and still they are a bit wacky.

but one thing i do love about this place is the breakfasts.

and not just to actual food, but the nationwide committment to the partaking of frühstuck. in every cafe, even if the coffee tastes like suspension of sand, cork, dishwater and the faint whiff of coffee essence; the breakfast will be great.

i spent the first two months having breakfast from this viewpoint, at rooftop studios.



i finished up my residency there last week and kind of miss my little morning ritual looking over berlin, but thankfully the breakfasts in the new place have been just as amazing.

here at home

Alicia and Breakfast

that's alicia - she came and stayed for a few days - living through a house move, an exhibition install, the ensuing come-down and a shit-hot peaches concert. as well as the typical grandma-style life i lead.

Saturday Breakfast

or at the cafe downstairs, sloerm. that's pronounced 'slurm', for all you futurama fans.


they don't have a set vegetarian breakfast, but i've been making one up and it's pretty special. although they put sliced carrots in the müsli and i can't quite work out what the deal is that. maybe it's 'cos they're good for me.

regardless, berlin is still all about the awesome breakfast.

guten appetit!



blatant self-promotion #241


tomorrow night (wed. 3 november), i'm in a group show in berlin, within the studio i've been at for the last 2 months.

if you're in berlin (or you can send a proxy), come along, it will be ace to see you.

i only have a couple of works in the show, but i realised during the selection process that i've made a STACK of work about sound and specifically listening in public, even in the last 6 weeks. maybe i should find a space for a more comprehensive show.

anyways, here are the deets:

Wednesday 3 November
19:00 - 23:00
one night only

Rooftop Studios

5th Floor
Chodowieckistraße 35
10405 Berlin

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hey, like, wow.


so, in the last 10 days, i've had some boring tech fail nightmares, including my iphone disappearing down a toilet and my au>eu power adaptor disappearing from a train. both of which have left me kind of in techno-limbo land.

i don't have much time to post today (we're installing for a group exhibition tomorrow night), but i just wanted to post a few baby pics from rotterdam and amsterdam. i went there for a great symposium, which, on the whole covered some nice meaty subjects about public space and responsibility/care. peeps from art, architecture, politics and the health professions all spoke with various points of view. i'll write up a bit more about it specifically later, but i did have the opportunity to meet and hang out with niko one crazy smart business/marketing guy, and rory - one crazy smart architecture/design/research guy. both of whom are massively tall and found me delightfully easy teasing fodder. of course, i was happy to oblige. i deserved it :)


rotterdam is pretty cool, for a small town, but amsterdam is one awesome city - well, that i surmised from a whole 48 hours there, but i wanna go back. 

the stedelijk shows were awesome, trams were coolness, the layout and architecture of the place was so easy, squat parties and book launches were fun and the people were superfriendly. even when they shouldn't have been. oh, and everyone speaks english - it was such a relief.

here's some snapshots. more later in the week.