Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Ban #2- rejected for the Firstdraft writers' residency 2015

In law as in practise the people are the intellectual property of the state, the physical apparatus of corporations. In Australia, history has been whitewashed into jingoistic institutionalised racism, the bastardised legacy of war for the British Empire, but also of early, often well-meaning, labour strikes (and terrorist operations) several carried out by Irish separatists (The Eureka Stockade, Ned Kelly). Despite the short history of European settlement, very few citizens are aware of the history of the dispossessed, let alone of the thousands of years of Indigenous History. The unofficial national anthem, “Waltzing Mathilda” was actually written about the Shearers’ Strike in 1891, in which the farm owners, known as “wealthy squatters,” attempted to bring in cheaper Chinese labour and further disenfranchise the population of itinerant farm workers, which laid the foundations of the labour movement and Australian Labor Party, as well as the infamous White Australia Policy. The residency would centre around the specific site of Firstdraft as a free space in an increasingly privatised landscape, dedicated to experimentation and community, which has, sadly, almost become an anachronism. In the past two years the State Government has sold off public assets (land and real estate) to the value of $1 billion. The City of Sydney Area has largely been inoculated from this practise thanks to the Clover Moore regime, which is set to soon reach its full term. As a society, it would seem, that we have accepted the growing commercialisation of public assets as though the only means of entitlement can be through means. The ruminations on the subject will eventuate in an extended prose-poetic (and journalistic) work to take the form of an artist’s book (or at least a mockup of such to be exhibited), with accompanying images (paintings in the style of agit prop as well as images of sites of historical interest in the public interest), as it were, (and largely ironically) forming an aesthetic of politics. It would also potentially be performed, through petition to council, in places set aside for public use that are underutilised to the extent that they could conceivably be threatened by a change of government in the city (such as various Town Halls). These interventions would be both filmed and photographed and feature within the book itself. It will essentially amount to a critique of Australian culture through the history of unionism, through place and architecture.

Z.O'- as featured in Art Collector:

Thursday, December 10, 2015

"The Ban"

In law as in practise the people are the intellectual property of the state, the physical apparatus of corporations. In Australia, history has been whitewashed into jingoistic institutionalised racism, the bastardised legacy of war for the British Empire, but also of early, often well-meaning, labour strikes (and terrorist operations) several carried out by Irish separatists (The Eureka Stockade, Ned Kelly). The performance/installation would consist of abstracted campfire stories, accompanied by video scenes of European engagement with country, and contemporary interpretations of Australian folk music. Despite the short history of European settlement, very few citizens are aware of the history of the dispossessed, let alone of the thousands of years of Indigenous History. The unofficial national anthem, "Waltzing Mathilda" was actually written about the Shearers' Strike in 1891, in which the farm owners, known as "wealthy squatters," attempted to bring in cheaper Chinese labour and further disenfranchise the population of itinerant farm workers, which laid the foundations of the labour movement and Australian Labor Party, as well as the infamous White Australia Policy. This and similar stories would be told for the wider implications for contemporary Australian culture, from the treatment of refugees to the continuing oppression of the indigenous population. Australia's history, current policies and repressive techniques would also be examined in the context of its influence on the rest of the world, such as the influence of refugee policy on conservative movements in recent elections in the United Kingdom.

Rejected Proposal: EVA International Irish Biennale

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Some recent Facey posts (for the less-connected)

October 21

Reading back through an old diary to find something I was working on (at least I amuse myself): " Believing in contemporary art is like believing in the tooth fairy, without the return on investment. In earlier ages of humanity, if the oligarchy wanted you to believe in some essentially silly control mechanism that served to affirm the power structure, they would at least offer you some kind of incentive to do so, that you might associate pain with reward. Not so now, because this system is perfect, and as such, already over." 30/4/15

October 25

More old stuff (self-satisfied shit kicker): "A now all-the-more-alienated peasant class deploring the triumph of technologies supposed to free up time (freeing up time from what work remains that doesn't demand of its author's consciousness)- ending in nationhoods of senseless mediation, the bureaucracy of Dead Souls, repurposed humanity. The lack of resistance is a hostile act on the part of a decentralised, deactivated humanity."

October 29

Last night: saw a woman carrying a Kelly Clarkson album under her arm, like, an LP, like, as in vinyl. The CBD is weird, man.

October 30

...Then, Claire, Alex and I were walking through Hyde Park and were stopped by tourists (peering intently into the trees) who asked us where they could find the koalas... to which we of course replied, "the zoo," much to their obvious disappointment... We then attempted to appease them with the possums... Alex pointed out something furry in the bushes... which turned out to be an enormous rat..

November 25 9:24 pm

Don't know what I am supposed to say about SCA, the latest casualty in this utterly corrupt city, as vulgar as it plainly is to lament the demise of an art school in these times. I never experienced the same connection to the former COFA (though I did to its student body), but even those first steps into an education without discipline, a non- or pseudo- education, gave me my life back after I had been so ill, hope for the self-determination that had seemed so impossible. And the prevailing culture (especially at COFA) took so much away throughout that process of assimilation and indoctrination, networking and art prizes, in place of the impulse that had driven us all there that I still believe is the unifying force, however naive or superstitious that may seem against the spectacle. I am unconsidered in my exegesis, attempting a Masters for some reason, without any pretensions to adding to "discourse" as they call this particular debasement of philosophy (which was normally ludicrously patriarchal to begin with), and unable to understand why I should create so much less, be less prolific in the name of some one-liner, in order to present myself accordingly. Frankly, I am bored with all the hostility directed at those expressing real criticality, and feel that those with anything more to say for themselves than that which they have learned by rote to manage the world in terms of their hopelessly redundant milieu, would tend to prove more generous in their approach to debate than those that I continuously am chastised by. Fuck what has become of art and all its schools. SCA was a good place for a time, a safe place, and I am more grateful for the generosity and support of the faculty and technical staff at SCA than I think they will ever know, but this is Sydney, where nothing like that even matters. Back to preying to the gods of accelorationism like nothing better ever happened to me. But it did. I do not want to live only to leave here, but I am struggling.

November 30 8:11am

Ninth day straight of work, it is my soul that's collapsing. My body is scaffolding with a CGI projection of my refurbished self printed on synthetic gauze, but the crumbling edifice is still just barely visible. I walk up to the cross to get something for breakfast and some workman tells me to "smile, it's Monday," like there's nothing like a bit of casual misogyny to remind you that you're a pretty girl, and pretty girls belong to the world. There is a Christmas tree next to the El Alamein (Dandelion) fountain, and I absentmindedly go for a closer inspection expecting needles and condoms, maybe even woven into the branches, but then I remember what year it is, and wonder why a Christmas tree seems so much more offensive than all of that that was there in the past... perhaps because I would seriously doubt the Christianity of those new residents that some public installation like that would be for, but then, that doesn't mean their children should go without santa. I've lost what joy there was to be had in fighting, it doesn't seem so funny anymore. I have failed and I have been failed, my worst projections: my refurbishment, any facade that I have to keep up for such a meagre share of the wealth. I have been told I can write, and that there must be something I can do with that, that maybe I could lecture, but I can see no way forward, I am as hopelessly bad at asking for help as I am at asking for companionship. Being good at communicating never brought anyone closer together.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Rejected Application: Artspace (Sydney) Studio Residency

The Artspace residency would be used to further develop the current series of mock Mediaeval Banner Paintings, transmitting poetic political messages that frustrate easy reading and subsequent repackaging. The paintings themselves, as well as being stand-alone works, are meant to be a physical exploration of the changing (anglocentric) definition of art, where the etymological root (in French also) suggests “man-made” and thus somehow outside-of or above nature, which would contemporaneously seem wrongheaded, especially given the now obvious impact of exactly that kind of thought on the environment. At the same time, in earlier times in European development, art was pracised in a way that was much more mundane, with artist often charged with creating things like advertising, and planning weddings (as Leonardo De Vinci was purported to have done for the Medicis); which would now seem something of a failure for those rarified as “Artist.”The banner paintings utilise discarded bed sheets (again, common practice before industrialisation) and are very large in scale, necessitating a substantial studio space. The works are currently painted using mis-tints bought from Porter’s Organic Paint range (usually lime washes), which serve several material ends: in that they are inexpensive; they constitute environmentally sound practice (as they would likely otherwise go to waste and they are non-toxic and created from natural and sustainable materials to begin with); and that they are made from the same materials that would have been used in mediaeval times by artists to create primitive advertisements for things like fairs (lime washes being a lot cheaper and less precious than the kind of pigments and materials that go into oil paint). Further than this, the work will progress into the creation of the paints from rendered fats, (lime washes being ordinarily created out of rabbit skin, they would potentially be derived from kangaroo skin), and utilise certain Australian Indigenous technologies in terms of the pigments, whilst being very much couched in their indigenous European roots. The processes associated with this development will be documented and most likely be turned both into a larger poetic work which may take the form of a book, or video, or both.

Summary of Artistic Practise
The work produced to date has employed poetics as a method of critique of the supreme
rationalisation of societies under late capital. Historiography is rather utilised to open up and defy rationalisation, than to inform and affirm existing power structures. It has taken the form of zeroimpact sculpture and painting (works derived from waste product) as well as video and prose poetry readings. A video work was included in the “Gap Year” exhibition in Artspace in 2012 (by the invitation of Susan Gibb). Over the last three years many different works have been shown throughout Artist Run Initiatives and the performances have also been staged as interventions in various nightclubs and on radio.