Saturday, 5 October 2013

Randomner, Rally Cat, Opening Drinks... self-reflexion.

In the spirit of Art and About let me tell you a story. It begins the day after... 

The Randomner

Chloe booked for the randomner but had to withdraw at the last minute which left me free time to complete the install, there were still sketches to hang from the Rolling Sketch Tours. Thanks to those who participated the Accelerator Gallery is now filled with large and small sketches of Pyrmont. There will be more information forthcoming, on the works on display, the rationale for the research project, and preliminary results, during the Art Ride Seminar/Workshop next Saturday 12 October, 10 am - 12 noon. Please book online if interested in attending. We will be in the Accelerator Gallery, 6-8 Scott St, Pyrmont, adjacent the Light Rail cutting under Harris St, towards Elizabeth Macarthur Bay.

I created a map to illustrate how people could create their own rides and be Audacious!


View Rutty Snail Trail in a larger map

The Rally Cat

There were 9 of us in all for the Rally Cat which was a scavenger hunt in sheep's clothing. Where do all the animal references come from I wonder? Actually a really fun event. We even convinced Sherryl to come for a short while on her glorious bicycle, used a few years ago in one of the Pyrmont Festival cycling events it has sat idle in the entrance to the workshop space until Bob decided to put some air into the tyres. I got footage of Sherryl's first attempts on the flat area at the front of the gallery. A seasoned pro returning to form.

The Rally Cat was morphed into the Rutty Snail Trail as all the clues refered to events, locations, or objects on the route. I attempted to use my smart phone to track the GPS of our route but the battery died half way through, another reason that I prefer human wetware to external hardware. Chris Virtue did have his GPS running and captured the route, minus the belly where the road was blocked for the anticipated crowds visiting the foreshore for some fireworks or something. 
A bit daggy I know, but an excuse to get people on their bikes and thinking about their spatial limits, about data, place, social and environmental ecology.

We debriefed over a few ales in the local hotel and pondered the fate of the Terminus among other buildings that had been "land-banked" by Citilink. 

The upshot is that we saw much contemporary and/or recent public art, the mystery of artist/title/year could not be resolved as most were not attributed. Conversely historical and engineering information was, by way of brass plaques, wayfinding and interpretive signage, in abundance. The skewed reasoning is largely a result of inverse snobbery? A hard one to fathom as the Arts And Culture industry is recognised as the fifth largest economic sector in the Australian economy,

Chloe Beevers, from the Local Government Association, in a recent SAMAG seminar stated that the creative industries are now recognised as one of five industries driving the Australian economy, employing more Australians that Agriculture and Mining combined. 


Snapshot of Australia’s arts and cultural industries in the 21st century
  • Our creative industries are worth more than $30 billion in terms of industry gross product.
  • More than 80 per cent of Australian adults attended at least one cultural event or performance in 2009-10.
  • Approximately 285,000 people are employed in cultural occupations such as writing, performing arts and design.
  • Over 200 000 people provide more than 30 million hours of volunteer work for arts and heritage organisations each year.
  • Total production activity in Australia for feature films and television drama is valued at $731 million each year.
  • Australia’s interactive games and entertainment industry sales are forecast to surge to $2.5 billion by 2014.
retrieved Sunday 06 October 2013 

Opening Drinks

We decamped from the pub to Accelerator Gallery for Opening Drinks and were joined by a few artist and cycling friends who came to help celebrate the show. It was during this that a good friend made a remarkable comment. He and his partner had come to the conclusion that I was the only person they could think of capable of violence. The remark was in relation to another context, replying to another's request for a bouncer for an event.

This took me aback and struck me as quite odd considering the accounts of violence witnessed and spoken of amongst our extended circle of friends and acquaintances. It got me thinking about the James Gilligan YouTube video where Gilligan is discussing his book, Why Some Politicians are More Dangerous Than Others. An illuminating read I am sure, the video below concisely presents the arguments.

Gilligan and others provided the rationale for this research project by accurately problematizing our pocket of contemporary Western culture which is reflected in the car-centric, technologically-dependent, anti-intellectual, anti-artistic, anti-democratic, and anti-elitist cultures of Sydney.




Apropos of the fireworks that were about to begin, was my friend implying I was capable of participating state sponsored murder? Would I look good in fatigues? Or, was my friend implying that my education was and is a sham? That my education provided me a false sense of self-esteem and and denied a route to non-violent means of regaining or retaining my self-esteem when faced with the incessant, competitive attempts to out-psyche me through dialectical means? 

There is no answer. It is the Freud vs Jung dilemma writ large - ego up or ego down? The oppressed siding with their oppressors preferring their comfortable chains to uncomfortable freedom. 

Paraphrasing Humphrey McQueen in Suburbs of the Sacred, it is a fact of life that an artist must cope with, deal with, and cross the paths of many such "demons" throughout their working life.      


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