Sunday, May 31, 2015


Myself having worn out my-self —having a fit of unconcentration, a separation... separating like a badly beaten mayonnaise, to a talk, post-body body talk (the cyborg) and tried but failed to listen to speak about a consciousness independent of its source. At my source, knowing many incarnations of incapacity predicted by bodily unrelation with mind "internet culture" has never been all that seductive to me —attempts on the host-body countered by attempts on life-sustaining bacteria, resulting only in mutually assured destruction— after the cold war these things were an uncertain choice to invest in, not that that has ever stopped anyone. Dread writing dread. More ready now not to be ready, to be away, from away, without a founding principle, residency, line on a CV, excuses for the lately barely extant OzCo. The mundanity of the postapocalypse as experienced by the Australian, "no place" and "good place" being European impositions resulting only in trauma, trauma to and from the ethnic European, resulting in even greater trauma on the landscape, the more for her inhabitants. Always a decipherability, as though this system might be the last: e/sc(h)atology... somehow lacking the energy of their source, the joyous counterbalance of power, the history of power.
Unconcerned by the dislocation, the charm of the expressiveness of second English in the systems of airports in places like Hong Kong, faintly archaic in their propriety (please alight from the train), these days of customers and not patrons and not passengers and not borrowers, these days post-English (we might be happier about it, really).
Unconcerned by the dislocation- obsessing over the quality of food, sourcing the next drink having become distant memories in the course of a week. Having formerly had nothing to fixate on other than prolonging a wildly unfulfilling existence, counterbalancing with alcohol and violence, as Australian as AMPOL. Certain joy in not scrambling to accrue enough alcohol for the next poisoning before ten pm, in any event...
The mediation of an airport window somehow undermining to reality, another uncatagorisable fault of human nature, design by nature and nature by design. Touring and trying to engage, thinking of nothing worse than the beaten track like some ghoulish advertising slogan. Somehow landing among the real artists, maybe it was luck or maybe it was hard work that never could have an ascribable value. So utterly impressed by the work in this city I almost forgot that I hate art. I don't know what I have been doing resisting the wider world for so long. To make or not make it irrelevant, just to see it, just to live it...
The marked contrast in mind, laughing, affectionately, at Elliot Hughes for writing a a thesis on Australian war art, going towards everything that they hate, when, in my quest for enlightenment having decided finally not to go to exhibitions that didn't interest me... realising my focus has even more myopically than that thesis been for so long on everything that is wrong... Joel Mu having said something that is finally sticking about how fucked everything is and how that doesn't mean that there is any sense in failing to make things better for yourself. The last thing I wrote before I left Sydney:

The short twentieth century:
The last hundred years amounting to a farce of mundane iterations of avant garde as present garde, using up the English language's stores words that mean "current" from the annals of imperialist history, each "movement" basically amounting to "this is what we can see because we can see no further than now, and now is a submission." Each movement of currency (pun intended) has been marked by counterrevolutionary appropriations of works that existed at the end of the long nineteenth century turned into a fashionable orthodoxy reasserting the absolutisms of military-industrial control, money that must be spent to be made. The art school begins with the assumed knowledge that what is known before it, predicting engagement with it is fundamentally wrong in the face of what began as cultivation, as draftsmanship, and ended as ideological structures privileging patriarchal logic aimed at rewiring a group of people (possibly dangerously) much more inclined towards lateral thought. The discursive imposition of consensus art, as manifest in over-polite "generous" discussions around production, and importantly not actual work, where if something can be explained before it is made there is really no sense in making it, proceeds from premises utterly unquestioned by all those complicit, which nonetheless, and probably like most of society, are fundamentally quite wrong when explored, to the extent of the performance of a theatre of the absurd, without the joy, without a subversion of content, rather a thorough absence.

There they were, that class of people, the absurdity of the postgraduate, of the post anything. Like a fox in the henhouse, never agreeing with the premises on which the machine was running. (In truth, the same story throughout my schooling, from when I started to get into fights with teachers when I was around 12.) But there they were, packaging their "art" their "work," no one challenging "criticism" such as it is, so much aggression directed towards artists it hardly seems fair to unload, and so so much goes unsaid, in a discipline in which we are disproportionately urged to be ethical, for some utterly incomprehensible reason. Always being chastised for talking about art by others who talk only of their own work because of something considered fundamentally wrong about this life. Having responded so negatively, having each stated authority trapped in a loop of my repressed disdain in which she can only respond awkwardly... Back to my roots, dislocation.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Images from 'Human Resources'

Human Resources exhibition, June 2014. Photos Andrew Haining.

"Transubstantiated," 2009-2014. Chewed bread sculpture. Bread, hairdressers' mirror, red wine, bird bath.

"Record of the Present: An Object," 2014. Original typewritten document, lectern.

Photo of painting undertaken as part of a performance by Yiorgos Zafirou.

"Suspension of Judgement," 2009-2014. Video Essay.

View of lectern and images.

"Record of the Present: An Object," 2014. Hand-stitched "zines."

Installation view.

Installation view.

Friday, May 15, 2015


Qualifying experts by way of quantitative judgements like the art establishment or university system, holes in the hierarchical order just gagging for the assertion of capitalism, no recourse to physicalisation, to sincerity.

I had it, I had to stop midway cleaning with Rabelais, the purity of stark puerility... I had a sudden thought that had not yet sufficiently manifested itself to be trapped in language, perfect in its insufficiency. It was something about thinking about those times before I had realised anything. It would feel better, it might feel better if I did, that was perhaps what was passing for hope these days, equal to the task, all things being equal, quite perfect with nothing new yet to happen or be, no way out, quite perfect, and insufficient.
That will suffice, enough for now on nowness, on the presence of the author, on authority. I have not quite come to understand the way I feel, I have no knowledge of this, carnal or otherwise. Last night I dreamt about dusting, which holds a special place in our family's history, as it is the dispersal, and indeed attempted annihilation of our family's dead skin, gradual stages graduated from, the last of the obvious instances of bodily function within the living areas of the home. Unthinking that any kind of attempt on the dead could be anything other than an act of reverence... Science warranting not a sceptical eye, but granted that we others, that at best, in the pursuit of our ideals might donate our skulls to the impersonation of a fallen clown, or else through vocation, to be fashioned into drinking vessels for the high artists.1 No value for socio-cultural innovation. Clowns for reflection and proselytes for digestion.

My health returned, today I ran down a grassy embankment like a little kid. I had actually forgotten what it was like, this youth... strange power... nothing more than potential... something so terrifying when it is not accessible... Those dragging days, the body at the bottom of the lake, concocting reasons out of senselessness, like the deservedly poor, voting aspirationally with my prostrate feet, like the capitalist church. Coming to convince myself that I somehow bring on the illness, anything to not sit pressed against the loud manifestation of lived mortality. I know when health hits that no one would ever have chosen to live like that.

The hyper-sexuality of sudden health, coming over like men can smell it, so much attention... almost reassuringly animal... Roughly divided in half as to where it makes me feel good and makes me feel awful... Instances of nice men introducing themselves, and then those others seemingly sparked by the intersection of sex and privilege, the rage inspired apparently by my particular intelligence, for having said something out of keeping... like I exist somehow in the wrong package... and everyone seems very outraged by false advertising in the current market. Last night I was subjected to a violent outburst from an Englishman with the simple suggestion that the "British" penal system serves the interests of the wealthy first and foremost, and that the caste system was enforced by the British Empire ("You need a history lesson, darlin'"). He yelled at my friend over why we were sitting on "his table" in the crowded bar. I had tried to forget that anyone still believes in the British Empire, it just seems so absurd.
I am still trying to figure out why these exchanges between the sexes are accepted as an exchange anyway... the expectation of passivity supposed to govern my chosen words... perhaps it is the poverty of the English language, the language of bureaucracy, that the word "exchange" is all we have and it is interchangeable, relation with resource. So many ways for a human being not to be, to be stripped of being in the mind and the attitude of others that are maddened by silly cartesian incarnations of patriarchy, so convinced of their own selfness that it apparently excludes the possibility of anyone else. Quite passively, calmly, resolutely going around setting things on fire, apparently, and apparently simply for not apologising for myself. Sometimes feels like when they are not trying it on they are throwing me back in the lake to see if I will float. Clowns for reflection and proselytes for digestion.

Refrain from itself, refrain of itself, refrain to refrain. Central motif of repetition that exists only for itself. A grip on the future somehow looser, ready to drop. Low impact art.
I am going to be a human sacrifice to myself.

1Lord Byron drank out of a cup made out of the skull of a monk that his gardener found in the backyard of his then home, formerly an abbey.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Depravity and Deprivation

Writing to write that writing has lost its succour. Long hours of toil without putting anything in the world except for something to hang my hat by, that the next time someone appropriates my ideas at least they will have provenance. I don't know when I began to aspire to a humility of purpose (if, plainly, not of outlook), but I don't want to make art for and of and among the 1%, I don't want to make food for and of and among the 1%, and I don't want to make money that represents only itself, and so I fail to see a way forward that isn't riddled with pain and misrepresentation. These hackneyed tropes of the artist.

In pedantry and verbosity, as much as sustainability and grudging Epicureanism, encouraging the urban agrarian revolution, like a ludicrous Romantic. Scores of turgid and weighty tomes laying dormant like the larger part of any human mind, easy to chance upon being thrown out of libraries to the end of the deliverance from the macspeak (the code of the internet artists) and other $5 clothing cycles (complicity in slavery) of contemporary existence.

No more Movember, men in dresses for men's health. Finally proof that there is nothing demeaning or degrading about being feminised. (Early treatment, talking about feelings, resisting self-harm, resisting harming others.)
Talking about domestic violence as a women's issue is indicative of the pervasive culture of victim-blaming. Just as the only race issues are with the Anglo-Saxon, whose lasting cultural legacy will be the global export of the caste system.

Singularity through fault of my own. Devising stratagems, ways of talking to men, constantly being given advice as how to speak and how to act in relation, failures in relation necessarily ascribed to woman.

Byron, Don Juan, Canto 1, 194 (Donna Julia's letter)
'Man's love is of his life a thing a part,
'Tis woman's whole existence; man may range
The court, camp, church, the vessel, and the mart,
Sword, gown gain, glory, offer in exchange
Pride, fame, ambition, to fill up his heart,
And few there are whom these can not estrange;
Man has all these resources, we but one,
To love again, and be again undone.

Byron, and his progressive voting in feudal parliament, with or without awareness of the irony of his paternalistic capacity to argue on behalf of the dehumanised. Were we to believe that anything had changed... About as many resources for a woman now as ever there were. Boys keep swinging (

Byron and the invention of the rockstar mythologeme and its synonymity with the invention of the suit, Beau Brummell and the simultaneous democratisation of dress and hierarchy of style. I suppose it is not worth arguing with, aside from its necessary masculinity. Even the agency of style only attributable to the small minority that seem to shoulder all the world's problems, as much as we are the author of them.

In the event of Contemporary art, worth is more often determined by institutions, creating an underclass of speculators making work in the appropriately quasi-theoretical aesthetic of the museum, unsaleable to the bourgeoisie, as a forced reference to earlier counter-cultural statements.

An identity at what purchase (to seek to bring about, therein having ownership), obscured by the arcane, outmoded usages, undemocratic in their release from the tyranny of the majority, at what purchase: all paid for without ultimate ownership, or ownership only ultimately, property deferred to mortality, in death finally earned... but this is freedom, and even privilege. The founding principle of civilisation: sexual violence. Still, the major cause of death for those under fifty in this country, by his own hand, where they are both his own, suicide in men, domestic violence for women. To see the threat of suicide as anything other than another in a catalogue of sexual violences... the worst thing... the worst thing, they would have you know from the first, to be deprived, to go without them. He let me know from the first.