Entered the studio after reading Pierre Bourdieu ideas on theory and empirical research. He said, ‘theory without empirical research is empty and empirical research without theory is blind’.
Read half of John Birmingham’s blog post on short attention spans. Sympathised with Craig Sherborne’s claim that John Safran is a great thinker before becoming mildly bewildered with my inability to read something, mentally copy it, and then paste it in my iPhone. Now conscious of such limitations, I am certain that David Chalmer’s Extended Mind thesis is nonsense.
The rain kept me cowering in the cafe before I entered the studio. Read ‘How the ‘ecosystem’ myth has been used for sinister means’ by Adam Curtis. He writes about the two opposing ‘ecological’ philosophies of Tansley and Smuts and how ants ate their way out of Biosphere 2. Also read about how to grow a brain in a petri dish.
Revised notes on Timothy Morton‘s presentation The Time of Hyperobjects: New Directions for Ecological Philosophy at the NIEA workshop Materials: Objects: Environments. Still attempting to understand object-oriented ontology, but discovered a brilliant resource to get started on Morton’s blog: Object-oriented ontology for beginners.
Entered the attic and made the decision to call it a studio. Walked the streets in a suit, tie and overcoat. Followed someone briefly after I finished my coffee.
Entered the studio after spending a day at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Decided I would like to spend more of my days in museums, libraries and parks.
Started writing a monologue for a new video work. Stopped writing a monologue for a video work. Returned to writing my paper. Losing sight of I and the other and you. Lay on my floor.
Arrive at 3pm and on the way to the studio I see a very weary witch walking home with a broomstick. On the lawns outside Sydney College of the Arts a wedding party is having photos taken. Bright white lace up against old sandstone. Purity of white, the stability of stone and the reality of a mental asylum. Listening to Chad VanGaalens’ ‘Flower Gardens’ on repeat. I like the staccato of the stutter.
Had a meeting with my supervisor Ryszard Dabek. Only one week until I submit my Masters paper ‘Love as the Mediation of Intimacy’ in for examination. Ryszard shared some links to net art projects that he thought might interest me. The Sheep Market was a particularly interesting work that used Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to commission 10 000 illustrations of sheep facing the left. Each illustrator was paid 0.02 ($US). Also Monument (If it bleeds, it leads) and News Knitter were some other interesting net/works that combined news feeders with unique methods of data visualisation. It was hot today so I didn’t wear any shoes.
Listened to BBC Arts and Ideas podcast while walking through Jubilee park in Glebe. Philip Dodd spoke with Tudo Historian David Starkey who made an interesting observation about how identity will be invented for you unless you take up the reins yourself. Also listened to ceramic artist Grayson Perry discuss how contemporary artists will step over craftmanship and beauty in a rush to produce something new. I felt a little ashamed about my own art practice and its lack of craft, but then I realised that my practice of producing nothing is quite an acquired and perfected craft that I have been practising for decades.
Spent the evening editing words written and pictures taken. Considered Jean-Paul Sartre and the twenty published pages he wrote each day of his working life. Also considered James Joyce who would consider two well crafted sentences a successful day of writing. Considered how much writing I would get done if I continued to read trivia about the two of them. Wrote a brief post on The Jackette about geotagging your self at locations
Arrived at Sydney College of the Arts at dusk. Spent most of the day sitting in the park attempting to put words to paper. On the way here I passed an old man on the footpath. He was sternly shaking his fist at the other side of the road. There was nobody there. Maybe he tripped on that side of the road once.
Analysed a graph depicting the death of Marxism, postmodernism, and ‘other stupid academic fads’. Collected my own data and created a graph that depicts articles that mention postmodernism in academic journals versus the Sydney Morning Herald. It shows that while the Herald publishes more articles that mention postmodernism, the academic journals begin to publish less. Did the overexposure of postmodernism in the mainstream media cause it to lose its cool?
Slightly unsettled by daylight saving. Played an old piano outside the sculpture studios before coming in. The keys kept on sticking. Played guitar in the morning. Added a new combination of four chords to my four chord combination repertoire.
Left a Becks in the freezer for too long. Archived some artworks and sent some emails.
Repressive heat today. I felt like I was walking through a chocolate milkshake that had been left in the oven. I saw Mount Eerie and Lucky Dragons last night at Paddington Uniting Church. Incredible music. Odd venue. Lucky Dragons had stangers tickling and tapping each others hands as they were wired up to something, generating tones. The whole evening was sublime.
Stared at a wall for a while. Thought of a quote from The Floating Opera by John Barth “I have in my office, opposite the desk, a fine staring-wall, a wall that I keep scrupulously clear for staring purposes”
There was a man wearing an orange helmet hanging outside my window this morning. Window cleaning. I remembered abseiling as a child. Walking down a cliff face. Facing the ground beneath me. It was as if the world had turned sideways.
Posted ‘Art, Journalism and Economics in the Age of Reproduction’ on the Jackette. Read
‘Of theses and of theatricality’ by Richard Nile. Listened to Mingus Ah Um and slowly went blind in one eye. Silent migraine.
Read an essay over coffee by Judith Brett in the recent Monthly that said that the transition from Howard to Rudd is not about ideologies or new national narratives but is instead about the mechanics of managing a nation and finding solutions of complex policy problems. Maybe Brett is heralding a cultural change in Australia involving less talking about shit that needs to be done and more doing the shit that needs to be done. Although Rudd’s FuelWatch and GroceryWatch both provide a lot of talk and little tangible action. Perhaps in this informationalist economy (Castells 1996) the simple provision of information is the greatest action. Conceptual art has entered the market economy.
Arrived after a few days away due to a cursed fever. The grounds are empty. Mid-semester break. Have decided to do things differently today.
Read a bit more about oil painting. Considered enrolling in a weekend class. Read Flusser’s Writings. Paid my bills.
Brought charcoals into the studio today. After undressing I spent most of my time chasing my tail in an attempt to draw a nude.
Spent the morning sitting in the cafe. Two cappucionos. Last week the waitress asked my name, curious after a year of my daily sittings. I introduced myself but forgot to ask her name. Now I sit in the cafe and wonder when it is appropriate to ask for her name.
A bird flew straight into my windscreen on the way over. He was flying with a friend. The friend flew off. He was swept up under my car. He was grey. A pigeon maybe. Never encountered death face on or in transit before. Usually I am standing.
Spent the day categorising, reformatting and filing away old artworks. Tried to draw up a system that would be compatible with my scrapheap of documentation. Drew a dog on the back of a notebook afterwards.
It was Sunday and bright blue so I spent the day in the park reading Middlemarch by George Eliot followed by Digital Performance by Steve Dixon. Middlemarch has not captured me yet although I am trying. Digital Performance is an excellent look at the field I find myself in. Was it the impressionists that led artists to practice in fields?
It gets late and I only leave because I am craving to cook chorizo. I was reading about the projects being produced by the ABC Innovation Department – an excellent sounding government department. Their iView is probably the best online video on-demand site I have come across. Quite bandwidth intensive but if the government can convince some private company to lay down those magical optical cables all across this large land then everybody will be able to watch the ABC in their home. Also of interest is The Pool, a “social media project”. There is an interview with John Jacobs about it on Sky Noise.
Watched a 1958 movie of The Old Man and the Sea last night. There was some nice shark camera work in it. Read that Amanda Vanstone overturned the deportation of suspected Mafia 14 months after the Liberal Party received a donation from the man’s brother. She is the ambassador to Italy now. As John Howard said ‘We will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come’. We live on an island with lots of sharks.
Ate a buritto care of Sach Catts. Read a bit about oil painting. I really need to learn how to oil paint. All the painters are making video art.
Came from a lecture by John Conomos that was part of the Sydney Underground Film Festival Symposium. Conomos said “Theory is good. Poetry is more important”. My camera has photographed some stranger entering and exiting my studio in my absence. She looked confused. Don’t know how she unlocked the door.
Had a meeting with Ryszard Dabek and discussed the progress with my MVA paper. Told him about the work I want to make after I finish the work I am currently making. He asked how the current work was going. I told him I hadn’t been working on it and was instead working on the work I wanted to start making after I finished the current work.
Found it too dark to use coloured pencils. Sketched with a black biro instead. Read some of Wagner’s Religion and Art. Need to read something else about religious symbolism. Read the news. Damien Hirst sold $160m worth of art. Hirst said that the sale was evidence that he was not alone in loving art. Having not sold any art myself, I must be alone in loving art.