If I were you

September 11, 2012

and I were in Melbourne, I would go and see this:

Faults & Folds exhibition by Dexter Fletcher artist collective

2nd September to 29th September
City Library, Flinders Lane

Faults & Folds is installed in the six ‘niches’ that are scattered around the City Library. The title ‘Faults & Folds’ incorporates the work’s themes of exploration, mapping and topography as well as our interest in the artist book as a medium.

While in Melbourne I would also check out this gig:

which is free and features the zine related Church of Hysteria, who are launching a split 7″.

I’d also visit the Sticky Institute to purchase these posters by the Cross Border Collective. Here’s what one of em looks like:

‘The poster series aims to show that the Australian border is not a natural or inevitable thing. They explore the fact that the border is artificial, confront common assumptions about border-crossers, and consider how the border manages peoples’ movements to benefit industry and the state.’

Also located in Melbourne are t-shirts like this, made by the highly estimable (and impressively high, as in tall not ‘high’) Tom Civil, based on designs by a ye olde Australian anarchist called J A Andrews:

You don’t have to be in Melbourne to order the t-shirts though, just have a look at Tom’s blog for details.

So, by now if I were you I would probably be a bit sick of being in Melbourne and would be wondering what’s happening north of the border in New South Wales. So I’d drive along the Hume Highway, passing through countless country towns all painted the same shade of cack yellow, until I reached Sydney! In Sydney everyone would be busily pretending to not be freezing to death because it allegedly doesn’t get very cold or they’d be complaining about how high their rent is or that Marrickville is suddenly full of hipsters or that nothing ever happens in Sydney and even if it did they’d be too busy to notice. Then you’d notice this exhibition and decide to go along!

Crisis Complex, curated by Laura McLean and Sumugan Sivanesan, opens Friday 15 September, Tin Sheds Gallery (Sydney Uni)

Featuring a lot of good local and international artists, full details on the blog. There’ll be artist talks and a screening of Anathema (2011, The Otolith Group) and a discussion via internet magic with Mark Fisher (unless there’s some other Mark FIsher out there looking at the crisis/crises of neoliberalism and hauntological responses to the present I’m assuming that it really is this Mark Fisher). There’ll also be a forum with the aforementioned Cross Border Collective.

Ok, I’m tired of writing this in the hypothetical tense, final thing I want to tell you is that once again I will be contributing to the gentrification of Newcastle by participating in the This is Not Art festival! I swore last year that I would not do it again for reasons that I could not possibly divulge here, but anyway, I am doing it again, because, as Ivor Cutler said, happiness is realising that you are a hypocrite. So my collage series Risk and Chance will be displayed as part of a program curated by Danella Bennett called Secret Newcastle, which will be on for the duration of the festival.

 

Risk and Chance combines photos I found in an old Children’s Britannica under the entry for ‘Hobbies’ with text from a book about cave diving. The idea being to transfer the heroic tone of the text to the more gentle activities of the hobbyists. My main interest with these, and my main interest in general I suppose, is how we differentiate work and non work, why we value some ‘pointless’ pursuits over others, what we do or would do with our time if we had the time and didn’t have to worry about working for a wage etc. The title of Risk and Chance is appropriated from the title of a book (sometimes translated as Luck and Chance)   written by Asger Jorn in 1952, which I haven’t read but which I’m told contains the sentence ‘in defence of my adventure as an artist’, which is also sort of what the collages are about. I’ll put up more info about the show in Newcastle as it comes to hand.The program has been announced but I’m not exactly sure where my work will be installed yet. As usual, stay tuned.

Finally, Take Care will be tabling at the Sunday fair, which this year is free for zinesters. I’ve written details about it here.

Ok, that’s all, I think.

Do you want some of the zines from my collection?

September 4, 2012

UPDATE: Well, you certainly know how to act on important matters, don’t you? All the zines I had to give away have been claimed. Expect zines soon if you sent money already. If you emailed or facebooked a request to calculate postage I’ll be in touch soon to let you know how much I have left over and what it’ll cost to send. Thanks heaps folks!

There are too many zines in my flat. They are under the coffee table, on my bedroom floor, in bags in my spare room, in a wooden cabinet beside my bed, in my post office box. If things keep going on like this… well, I don’t want to think about it. I got into zines in the mid/late 90s and have been accumulating them ever since. The bulk of the zines in my possession I acquired more recently, an inevitable result of running a distro. The zines vary in quality, style, theme etc etc across the whole spectrum of zine making. The point is, I want to cull them to make room for other stuff in my flat, like clothes and food. I’m keeping a lot of zines, but mainly just ones that have been particularly important to me or that were made by close friends. I’ve thought about donating the others to a library but I don’t know how folks feel about having their stuff in public and state libraries or even zine libraries for that matter, and I figure they are more likely to be read/looked at/appreciated if I give them away to people who really just want zines. So, do you want some, or do you know someone who wants some? If anyone knows of any zine libraries who would be super-keen to have some/all of them I guess I am willing to consider that. I have a very over-stuffed re-usable shopping bag full of them at the moment that I’d like to get out of my flat, with more to come, probably. Anyone can have as many as they want, just so long as they’re located in Australia and will pay for the postage. I’ll put postage options below, send money via paypal to eternalproject[at]gmail[dot]com.

$3 = as many zines as I can fit in a A4 envelope up to 2cm thick and 500g

$7.20 = as many zines as I can fit into a 500g Parcel Post Plus flat rate satchel

$11.40 = in the unlikely event that someone wants up to 3kg worth of zines, I’ll fit as many as I can into a 3kg Parcel Post Plus satchel

I don’t know how many people are gonna be interested in this. Maybe none, maybe lots. In case it’s lots, these are the rules:

If you’re not in Australia, please contact me first to sort out postage options

Please don’t ask me about specific zines in my collection, I will fill envelopes randomly

First come first served, if I run outta zines and you’ve already sent $$$ I’ll refund it

If you’re in Sydney and you want to save postage let me know and I’ll see about meeting you somewhere
ALRIGHT. I will love you forever if you help to get rid of some of this stuff, by the way. I am extremely adverse to clutter and the current state of things is doing my head in, I have no room to work. Help me. Thanks.

Careers in Retail

June 30, 2012

Sheesh, it’s almost like this blog has just become a place for some people who think they’re artists to tell you about their stupid exhibitions and stuff…

It’s at 55 Sydenham Rd gallery, which is also, handily, the address. Gallery website here. Ranty, quote laden blurb here:

No we weren’t supposed to be. We learnt too much at school… at school while making other plans. Extra-curricular study. Lunch hours spent hiding in the library. Thinking of sex during Maths. Reading the wrong things for History, for Art. Spanish Civil War. Kronstadt. Dada. Anarchy. Punk. Brothers, sisters, can’t you see? The future’s owned by you and me.

Headphones on. Headphones always on. Popular music as self-education. The punk rock alphabet. One liner note leads to one library book which leads to another which leads to another which leads to one’s little suburban universe being blown right open. Portals to another world. Now we can’t help but see that the future that you’ve got mapped out is nothing much to shout about.

So many lost hours dreaming of the revolution. Why think about what you’re going to be when you grow up, when you’re going to change the world? NEVER WORK, they said. And at thirty you find yourself still stuck behind a cash register. Is it worse though, in the end, than believing that your job is who you are? Do you wanna be, do you really wanna be a cop?

Next time you’re at the counter, try to see the shopgirl. She might just be an artist in disguise. Your bus driver is probably an anarchist. And we know more than you ever suspected that we did. We want the things you won’t allow us. We won’t use guns, we won’t use bombs, we’ll use the one thing we’ve got more of – that’s our minds.

 

 

 

Concrete Poetry at Slot Gallery

February 18, 2012

Greetings again folks, Anwyn and me have been at the photocopying again, and have made this exhibition at Slot Gallery in Alexandria (closer to Redfern station). If you are in Sydney, or able to magic yourself here, please go have a look at it. This is the flyer Slot made for us:

All Circles Vanish in Melbourne

December 14, 2011

Just a quick heads up that the video Anwyn and me made at the beginning of the year called All Circles Vanish is screening in the foyer of the City Library, Melbourne, until the 22nd of December. More details on their website. If you are in Melbourne, you can go and look at it. Won’t that be fun!

Also, on the 10th and 12th of January I will be hosting zine workshops in Blacktown City libraries, the first at Stanhope Gardens and the second at Mt Druitt. Here’s their website with more details. Vanessa Berry will also be hosting a final workshop on the 18th of January at Max Webber library, Blacktown. (Thanks again Vanessa!)

While I’m at it, someone has written a post on the National Library’s ephemera collection blog about the project Anwyn and me coordinated way back in the mid 00s, Post No Bills. It is good and has good pictures of the PNB Fun Pack, which is very good, because I am ungood at documenting my own work. I’m shit at it, in fact.

So, I know you’re all dying to know why I haven’t posted here in a while, right. Well actually, I spend my whole day posting. Posting other peoples’ mail. That’s right, I got a job at the post office. I’M IN CHARGE OF THE POST. It’s feels as though I have fulfilled some sort of destiny, the culmination of years spent in retail finally merges with years of sending people crap in the mail. Today I was inducted into the Code of Ethics guidelines for the use of social media which states the importance of never saying a bad word against your employer on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, blogs. Would I ever complain about my job? When have I ever done that…

STAY TUNED.

Horror in the museum…

August 16, 2011

Well, zines in the museum, really. Take Care have been invited to host a zine workshop at the Australian Museum’s Jurassic Lounge. Basically, the Jurassic Lounge is a marketing ploy to get young, hip folk to go to the museum at night-time while various events catered to young, hip folk go on around them. The kind of thing, in other words, that would normally have me run screaming into the night. I’m a youngish, unhip person who enjoys going to museums anyway and doesn’t need to be lured to them with the promise of drinks included in the ticket price and an opportunity to hang out under laser lights with people my own age. Normally when I go to the Australian museum I’m the oldest person there who is not accompanying a child. My favourite displays are the crystals, then the dinosaurs. Anyway, as I say, every instinct in me said that doing a zine workshop at the Jurassic Lounge would not be cool. It was obviously part of an increasing wave of events put on by big public (and sometimes corporate) institutions that see zines as a way to get more people of a certain age through their doors. I’m not of the opinion that this does much for the zine community, or the quality of zines that get made. But a few things made me decide that it was a good thing to do: 1) if big institutions are going to put on zine events anyway, it’s probably good if people who have some investment in the zine community are involved so that an alternative image of zines is presented, i.e., people don’t necessarily have to come away with a Frankie magazine idea of what a zine is. 2)  the workshops are being coordinated by Clare, who, aside from being a nice person, works for the Bower Re-use and Repair centre at the Addison Road Community Centre, which is a worthy initiative.  Clare has recently started a project of collecting and cataloguing DIY and eco themed zines to include in the Bower’s (relatively new) library, which is a pretty awesome space, and I highly recommend that you check it out next time you’re in Marrickville. 3) we thought it was a good opportunity to wrangle people into making tiny zines for the Snapdragon Zine Pinata, and 4) we went to one of the workshops to say hi to Clare and it was set up in a reconstruction of a cave. A CAVE. That won us over. We like caves.

So, tedious justifications aside, there you go. We’ll be at the Jurassic Lounge on the 23rd of August from 5:30, so if you’ve been thinking about heading to the museum, that would be a good time to go. More details here.

I still think a critique of zine events happening in big state and corporate institutions would be worth writing. But could I be bothered? I think, rather than that, I would rather do things like organise the Snapdragon Fair, and  hopefully, given time, the number of events organised from within the dark depths of the zine community will out-weigh those organised by people who see zines as a way of fulfilling their youth services quota or something… (am I too cynical?)

 

Photocopier art

July 25, 2011

I moved house recently so everything’s been a big shambles, but I’ve finally had a chance to make some pictures to send out to zine subscribers (look here, scroll down). Below are some scans of the pictures. They were all composed in-photocopier from black and white originals, relying as much on chance as deliberate compositional decisions. Each colour is a different layer. I’ll be using these as masters to make some (photocopied) prints on acid free, light-weight card stock. If you’d like one you must subscribe! If you have already subscribed, thank you! You’ll get one of these in the post soon…

This one’s about A4 size, eight separate photocopies on one piece of paper, only jammed the copier once…

This one’s four layers, about A5 size. First I did a yellow background, then copied the crystal twice, first in cyan then magenta, which made green and red. Because I was lining everything up by eye it’s slighty off register, so I actually unintentionally made a 3D image. But then I did a negative copy in blue over the top and ruined it. Oh well.

I think this is my favourite, it reminds me of the cover of ‘The Future Crayon’ by Broadcast. It’s also approx A4, but slightly smaller than the first one. Again, it’s four layers: black, cyan, magenta, yellow.

The images of crysals all come from various encyclopedias and look and learn books I’ve collected over the years. The bigger project I’m working on at the moment (and which the harmonograph that I mentioned in an earlier post is part of) is based on a book Anwyn gave me that was at her mum’s place about exploring caves – ‘The Marvellous World Beneath Our Feet’, I think it was called. So I started sifting through my books for images of crystals and and geological formations, and have been working on some paintings and collages, hopefully to be exhibited somewhere this year, if anyone will have me, sob.

Anwyn also alerted me to this rather amazing place in New York, the Reanimation Library! A home for unwanted books. It was rather uncanny to hear about it, because Tim and I are doing a work at this year’s National Young Writer’s Festival with books that have been ‘weeded’ (that’s the technical term) from public and university libraries, or  that otherwise fall out of circulation, or are deemed unuseful, unproductive. Of course, the Reanimation Library is much better than our project is ging to be, but if you’re planning on heading to the NYWF this year, you should keep your eyes peeled for paste ups and walls that have been papered with the pages of books.

Speaking of libararies, Vanessa’s excellent new project, Biblioburbia, is to visit Sydney libraries, check it out.

Snapdragon Zine Fair

June 27, 2011

Yep, Vanessa, Tim (of Take Care) and I are organising a zine fair. It will be at the Red Rattler on the 4th of September and it’s going to be brilliant.  We’re doing a call out for stall-holders. In fact, the official deadline for booking stalls has nearly expired, so let us know quickly if you want in: everything you need to know should be here, or email snapdragonzinefair@gmail.com. I’m sure there will be a few days grace for booking stalls. In fact, since I’m one of the organisers, I’m positive there will be, but hurry up anyway, because we need to confirm how many tables to hire. Why is it called Snapdragon? Because it needed a name, and every other zine pun has been used already. But it does mean that we can incorporate DRAGONS into all our advertising! Here’s a flyer that Simon and Vanessa made, featuring a rather excellent dragon made entirely from stationery:

And a not so cool one made by yours truly, featuring such boring details as the address and everything:

For the day we’ll be constructing what we believe will be (I’d be pretty stunned if someone’s already done it, actually) the world’s first ever zine pinata (or zinata). And it needs filling. ZINE filling! Zines for the pinata can be about anything, but have to be A8 size. For inhabitants of countries that do not employ the incredibly useful, international standard, ISO 216  ‘A’ series paper size which maintains the same aspect ratio no matter how many times it is divided, A8 is approximatly equivelent to 1/16 US letter size. I think. How much easier your folding would be if your countries adopted the incredibly useful etc ISO 216 ‘A’ series paper size. I’m sure you are envious. So, anyway, get in touch if you’re interested in contributing a tiny zine to the zine pinata. We haven’t figured out the logistics of this yet (or what shape the pinata will be. Dragon? Stapler? Staplerdragon?), but we will start making a list of interested persons and let you know the details in due course. Vanessa, who is much better at coming up with puns than me, has been assuring people that it will be smashing. Indeed.

We’re also hoping to have a table for Absent Zinesters at the fair. If you’re unable to make it but want us to sell zines on your behalf, again, get in touch so that we can gauge interest and figure out logistics.

So, look forward to September, zine-heads…

You can read all about ISO 216 here, incidentally. Fascinating stuff…

Buy my zines, make me rich

May 17, 2011

I’ve just finished updating the ‘zines’ page on the home page so that you can now buy my old zines in bulk for a discounted price and subscibe to any zines I make in the future. I calculated that if just 25 people take up a $12 $10, 1 year subscription I will not only be able to photocopy many more zines and make them available in more places but I can also buy materials to commence work on a giant harmonograph, my latest fantasy project of the hair-brained and complicated variety. You know you wouldn’t want to deprive the world of that… I have also created a ‘projects’ page, as proof that when I say I’m going to undertake a hair-brained and complicated project, like build a life size model space capsule out of cardboard and plywood, or do paste-ups on the windiest day of the year, or make a stop motion animation with no prior experience in stop motion animation, I mean it.

Non-work

May 12, 2011

The idea of non-spaces or in-between spaces is one that seems to crop up a lot. I seem to come across it regularly without looking for it. Most recently I found it in a book called ‘Non-Stop Inertia’ by Ivor Southwood, which I started reading yesterday and finished today. It’s about post-Fordist work and ‘non-work’ conditions: the casualisation of labour, the transformation of unemployment into its own kind of work category, where you can even be fired from the dole (which, of course, isn’t called the dole anymore), and the general precariousness – or precarity – of contemporary work/life. It’s an interesting book, especially because its author is in the position of having to work – live – in the type of poisonous conditions he describes, which gives the writing an open, sort of zine like quality, a grounding in the everyday. Southwood mentions this in the introduction – you don’t read with the bitter knowledge that the author is just participating in some experiment in being broke for the purpose of researching a book or article, later to return to ‘normal’ life: this is normal life. I appreciated it, because I am on the dole at the moment, trapped in exactly the same bipolar frenzy of job-seeking and thumb-twiddling that the book describes. Feeling guilty whenever I am not ‘being productive’ – working, whether in paid employment or on my own projects, or looking for a job or writing exhibition proposals – feeling wound tight and unable to let myself enjoy any sense of leisure because there is nothing to demarcate leisure from work anymore. Feeling like I must always be accruing worth, simultaneously feeling worthless. Feeling depressed, despondent.

On the train home from the MCA where I paid for our booking for the zine fair next week I got stuck in a carriage of school boys whose caps read ‘CBHS’ – Canterbury Boys? Croyden Boys? Wherever they were from, one boy had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the Canterbury Bulldogs, and recited all of the grand finals they have ever won to the back of his bored teacher’s head. ‘That’s very interesting’, the teacher said, sarcastically, but the boy didn’t gauge the sarcasm, or didn’t care. He was simply too pleased with his Canterbury fandom to give a damn whether anyone else thought it was important. When he’d finished reciting the list of Canterbury’s grand finals, he started on the names of the teams that they had beaten in those grand finals. I tried to admire his propensity for retaining this highly useless information, and hoped to myself that memorising football results was pushing the neo-liberal school curricula out of his brain, and tried to will the kid to pursue a life of specialised interests and pointless facts that cannot be quantified or serve any purpose in a job interview, and not to let himself feel like he’s being screwed into the dirt by the heel of shitty social consensus, but I couldn’t. Actually, the sound of his voice got on my nerves, and I had to try very hard not to turn around and tell him to shut up.

The teacher was about the same age as me, give or take a couple of years, and had that vague 30ish look – confidence, sadness and resignation. ‘At least you have a job’, I thought, dissecting this for its wrong-headedness even as it formed in my mind. ‘Look at you,’ he might just as easily have been thinking, ‘on a train in the middle of the day, no obligations, no responsibilities – all you have to do is successfully defraud Centrelink, which is, frankly, quite easy, then you’ve got all the time in the world on your hands. You don’t know how to use freedom.’

If only it were as easy as that. And I’m not even the kind of person to think you need heaps of money to get by – I’m DIY, man, anarcho-punk and all the rest of it. But even with these handy critiques of work, productivity, capitalism and the rest of it, I’m not immune.

But anyway, back to my original point –non-places. I partially grew up in a non-place, and I’m going to write a zine about it, because Tim just took a lot of really great photos of the area in question, and I want to do a split zine with him. So, I figure if I write this here it might motivate me to get it done by the MCA zine fair on the 22nd of  May.


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