Friday, December 24, 2010

[y]our fifteen megabytes of fame...

been a bit busy to wrap out the end of year dogged by a myriad of deadlines with films to deliver, some for kicks, for art's sake, others for money, which still ended up being fun despite the challenges & sleep deprivation involved. 

still hoping to make it out of town & head to the hills tonight for a couple of days with my fellow waghorn chick fam, raen miro & gina to slowly inhale oxygen before jumping back into the incense-filled fiery fray... one lunch is not enough, like shrinking hours in the day.

today while chasing music files [we lovingly fucked up the xanadu soundtrack - thanks to liam O then added a hijacked new york broadway composer (alexander)to feed back live into it on his amped up violin], bind content for our psychedelic state peats ridge curated DVD loops [we squeezed in some sydney KINO films] this xmas eve instead of gift wrapping & chase time with eager vengeance, i want to pimp our punk monk propaganda film festival: 15MB of FAME.
copyright: the brag

15MB of FAME is our new baby. in addition to our star alchemists: kate, alex & clare painting the dome in liquid light we're collaborating with the dome team at rejenr8 this NYE in glenworth valley for this exciting project while we dwell in the land of hopeless utopians. 360 degrees of visual love created by the people for the people. it all seems rather che doesn't it?

if you are one of the thousands of people coming to peats ridge sustainable arts & music festival this year, you can not only see our finished film on NYE, you can be part of it. it's crowd-sourcing baybee! because our universal perspective is unique & everyone's festival experience isn't the same. let's share your 15MB worth & celebrate the differences to bring the new year in with a feel good bang.

Friday, December 17, 2010

fast track to a slow life

so i bought this book yesterday. actually i didn't. i chose the book & my sometime sycophant gifted it to me. we were hanging out because i'd canceled the rest of my day as my mind sharks circled, i realised i was spinning stuck in an uncontrollable vortex amongst them not swimming, not treading water, just spinning & plummeting deep into the cancerous ocean which stress drags one down into. i had to pull the pin because it was already stuck half out.

me = a frozen rabbit on a spinning grenade top. yes, there are deadlines but ultimately i blame poverty which is a ridiculous thing for an arguably smart person to be frazzled about [especially cliche at this time of year], which begs the question if one is so smart why so poor?

i fell into a deep healing sleep early last night whilst reading the book in bed. i deigned not to work on any level & spurned any associated guilt. the wedding, the festival, the feature, the bank, the house: they would all wait. it worked, i woke up able to work once more. christmas may come early this year but deadlines will always crunch at the last moment like frozen grass blades underfoot. the sensation is delicious, almost erotic. january will soothe their memory into sweet oblivion.

slow life/slow food movement very much encapsulates most of my core philosophies so this book screamed out to me in a soothing way amongst my mind's chaotic clatter in the new look berkelouw books [my would-be twenty second home] in newtown last night.

but it raises a really big issue which is core to the fantasies of rat race excapism to which many of us aspire. this book is produced via the luxury resort chain "six senses" a place undoubtedly many of us could spend our lives at. they are doing some very cool things & actually practicing what they preach, operating in an often bio-dynamic sustainable way. they typify the future of planetary aware slow luxury eco resorts placed in some of the most desired spots in the world. for jetsetters. and jets go fast...

i don't want to go to six senses for a week or three & then go back to the city. can't our whole lives be a resort... why should people slave all year to look forward to their token holiday break to then come back & serve the machinations of industry once more? what kind of life is that? perhaps these islands exist purely as carrots to subjugate us into the continued enslavement for the benefit of the few. pyramids have not lost their relevance.

in order to go slow do you have to speed first? this seems so terribly back to front. we whore and slave our lives away at amphetamine like pace utilising as many tools & devices as we can muster to go faster, faster, faster to achieve the holy grail of financial sustainability to then go slow and live a simple life. i love what i do but barely survive doing it, and essentially scrub the toilet bowl of urbanity in order to supplement some kind of acceptable lifestyle. wouldn't it be better just to live rather than survive all along? and fuck cancer off along with it.

why should the idyllic life harmonious with nature be only the stuff of dreams or heinously rich people? creation of desire which is the ultimate marketer's mantra when directed back to the source makes it seem almost impossible. 

technology more often than not serves us poorly in this endeavor enslaving us further. there is no release, nowhere to hide. the earth has shrunk as has our lifestyles & our ability to genuinely sustain ourselves. which makes me wonder as i consider my monthly outgoings & the ridiculousness of all this money paid out to barely survive in this metropolis, can one truly live a slow and fulfilling life, have freedom, independence & be sustainable without the nest egg/inheritance/celebrity sex tape first? or will i just be a dirty outcast scavenging through people's rubbish to build makeshift solar panels with no freedoms when i grow up & be forced to attempt to opt back in and fail later. even bag ladies are often rich with rumored stashes & houses hiding far from the trollied fray. can we truly live without the system?  how much sense do we really have.

fear and greed. that is what binds us all to this fabricated existence. if only we could dispense with them both. both our own lives, other species and our planet as a whole would be indisputably healthier & happier. you don't need six senses to tell you that, but it can help.

please don't buy presents this christmas. give time. these days, it is the most precious gift of all.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

mitsu: the dark witch and the dream wilderness

meet mitsu: the dark witch and the dream wilderness. mitsu is pictured above being caressed by the witch as she guides mitsu through the dark spaces of her imagination far beyond the endless deviations of the sandman in search of her kidnapped mother.

mitsu is the self-funded brainchild of my favourite sydney songstress rosie catalano who i'm proud to call friend & sometime collaborator. this amazing book with hauntingly beautiful illustrations by her equally talented sister nikki catalano launched at the end of winter this year. i was lucky enough to be there & be part of the celebratory fray.

cafe yuga kept the wine and delicious food coming.  the artwork [excerpts of the illustrated pages] captivated the crowd, young and old, with their mesmerising beauty & many sold. the talented catalano sisters were delightfully humble as their hard work shone in their stead.

and i was lucky enough to received a signed copy...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

i don't even like christmas...

...and have fallen victim to the associated hysteria.

even as a non-worshipper of false deities and mass consumerism my life has been additionally plagued by the panic to finish everything prior. somehow it seems much worse this year than previously. perhaps it's just perception.

but the cars which fill the roads with only one person in them have multiplied since december fell like an overweight kamikaze moon and now oprah is in sydney. i don't even watch oprah. but the tourism board has whored out australia like a penal colony rent-boy to lick at the glorious cunt of american daytime television. and oh how we lick so greedily, stuffing our replicant digitized faces deep into the folds of that which we hope to emulate.

what is that line in chuck palahniuk's fight club? "we've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd be millionaires, and movie gods and rock stars. but we won't. and we're slowly learning that fact. and we're very, very pissed off."

oprah is the ultimate sales woman, another napolean hill if you like but with more feelgood factor. if fame and fortune are on your agenda like we're all apparently supposed to aspire towards, then the best way to get there is to talk about it. write a book, run a seminar, have a talk show. think and you will grow.

i just choose not to in that particular direction. it's not that i don't like pussy julia gillard, but there's already three at the corner shop and we're happy sucking on our stocking'd coal this xmas eve.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

vagrant kinoites

sydney KINO has lost our fave stomping ground which was fraser studios off broadway. sadly as the urban gentrification hits the dirged street corners which we love & the old adjacent brewery converts to expensive high rise inner city loft apartments, the noise complaints come.

as we desperate filmmakers deign to find a new underground home to accommodate us, a spot of nostalgia led me to a fairly recent soiree which is my last photographic memory of that which was, and the habitat it provided us gutter snipes where dumpsters were worthy of a second investigation when a long drunken walk home seemed unfeasible after one too many free jamesons. in fact it serves as the only memory. such is often the posthumous KINO way.

the worst part of losing fraser studios as a venue is arguably after KINO drinks at the clare. many moons back we lushed after films at the strawberry hotel but like quacking ducks we took to the clare like water & in no time at all there was no place like home. aaah, the bliss of the couches & shabby chic surrounds. the shelves of jagermeister lined up like eager soldiers ready to gun down a surrendering throat & jugs on endless tap... no snapping of red heels required dorothy.

of course at times the alcoholic storm was too much to be weathered & required emergency trips to the bathroom... 

where we would re-meet old unfocusable cherished friends.

 which is really awesome until...

the weight of the universe & excessive evening consumption combined with good times & often films would weigh heavily down upon us. how can life be so sweet?

the next chapter of sydney KINO awaits with the settling in of a new home. follow us there for great film, live performance, food, alcohol... it's a religion for some.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

auraltered state #6

it seems fitting that the night i went to auraltered state #6 at carriageworks, not only was i wowed by the dreamy eclectic assault delivered up by defektro...

which sadly i only caught the last of immensely talented hirofumi uchino & his noise army outfit's set [but will stalk into the deepest darkest depth of next year in pursuit of a possible collaborative project]. here's a slice of absolute noise love from another gig:

...BUT he was followed up by free alcohol & then an experimental tribal set by half a dozen peeps [6majik9], smoking, sitting, at times standing awkwardly, hunched & playing an array of instruments ranging from the indescribable to a wireless receiver and a harpsicord [i think] to produce an avant garde psychedelic noise in theoretic repsonse to video stimulus although perhaps that was primarily destined as eye candy for the select masses which dotted the performance space clubhouse in morsel grabs.

i didn't have time to stay for garbage & the flowers sadly but here's a bite sized sample of what went down at the end before i fled the free bar back to my slave chamber [sad but true]. for a noise blog there just needs to be, well, some noise. even if it's just a hint.

thanks to liam for introducing me to this night and re-establishing my carriageworks fervour. and to the incredible featured bands. auraltered state events are FREE. there is so much happening in this city - there's no excuse not to be sampling it.

btw. here's something else by 6majik9 live which i thought was quite fun.

Friday, November 26, 2010

an almost before...after

i took this photo in july 2010 after finishing phase one of the no-dig mandala beds. clare and alex had come down on a few weekends and lent their combined energy as we happily toiled together in the dirt. this was the weekend that clare & i integrated wool from our lovely organic neighbours into the mix. as seen the pond at this stage is a hand-carved hole in the clay [for future ponds a machine will probably be employed].

these three beds which sit in a semi-circle around the pond are closely based on linda woodrow's permaculture system. they still need to go a lot higher and are built like a terrine with newspaper, sheep's wool, water, pea straw, lucerne, mushroom compost, compost and NASAA certified organic soil mix. 

soon the chook tractor will be activated, but first the hens need to be built a secure straw bale/mud brick home in what will be an adjacent anti-aviary filled with berries & currants suitable for growing in this rugged technically cool temperate climate [it freezes in winter & dry boils in winter].  i'm so excited about hens. and bees which will come late summer after my refresher bee-keeping course].
all material was brought in from outside, except for rocks. expensive and tediously slow process weekend by weekend weighing down my little suzuki vitara. although long term purchase will be a mulcher to utilise all the wonderful surrounding eucalypts.

before then however, the next project is a grey water reed bed which will be built up closer to the cabin where it will work in sync with a mechanical filtration system where all grey water including kitchen will be twice processed & filtered before being used to irrigate the garden. although it's been really hard to find a system which integrates solar. we are completely off the grid so rely on unpowered alternatives. 

a lot of systems divert kitchen waste in with black water [stuff from your toilet] but because this is a vegetarian and sometimes seafood cabin with mostly organic waste i figure the oil breakdown shouldn't be as heavy as most kitchens. 

obviously any cleaning products or agents have to be seriously vetted before being used within the system and anything containing sulfates is being phased out. white vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda can actually take car eof most cleaning needs. lots of cleaning products are loaded with phosphates which can be positively converted to fertiliser for the soil. health soil is a healthy garden.

when i manage to collate my disparate photo collection i will post some very before images from when i first bought the property.  they provide an excellent illustration of how very far we have come.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

fired-up story telling

it's august in condo. sydney is a distant eastern imprint on now dust sullied tyres.

the locals here hate the slight suggestion of cold. people panic attack if the needle slides down below 30. indoors air con is pumped to almost 40 degrees celcius, outside fires burn. sometimes on street corners which attract a huddled few. it's practically spring but i'm sweating like a pig in a bikini with the abattoir in sight. condobolin does not do winter.

bank, my student/town guide has taken me to the local pub [the impy] after our first day of filmmaking class. she insists that this is the rough one and looks a little dubious i'm not up for the task. her protective instinct is adorable but her concern is misplaced. despite being the outsider, i'm worried for them. i take off the bikini & straighten my swine mask.

most people don't know, but i was spawned from the asshole of the universe in a tiny town [invercargill] at the bottom of new zealand. at least that's where i grew up. way back then in the era of right wing conservative rednecks & skinheads it wasn't particularly smooth. especially for misfits. the flavours might be slightly different but our infant feet have been dipped in the same unfiltered bath water.

i told her previously of my obsession for stories & the ongoing search of perfect characters. she gets it and this is her hood. we're documentary whores. the magical textured fabric of the truth always stranger & much more compelling than fiction. we find who we're looking for outside. introductions are made & within a few rounds boundaries are blurred and i'm practically one of them. i channel harmony kormine meets douglas coupland. this is the shit.

no OH&S here... a fire fueled on petrochemicals blazes in the back courtyard of the pub as a handful of peeps who appear to have been drinking what goes on the fire engage in typical bush swaggering drunken tall tale telling. occasionally in the breaks more rocket fuel is thrown into the re-purposed tractor shovel which serves as the incendiary base. noone bats an eyelid, even those with third degree burn scars. the flames burn hard and high as the stories rise in a simultaneous and unbelievable crescendo as everyone around me sips back on midis.  

i realise my mistake as i gaze down at my oversized schooner, when questioned what my next drink will be in a disapproving manner. they drinks midis out here? the logic is simple really. urban legend has it that the beer is dosed with extra preservatives to get to the bush which increases the alcohol percentage. so they drink smaller glasses.... my witty observations are received like a lead balloon and i gracefully err to the status quo, and start drinking midis. wow that exercise to the bar twice as frequently really burns the alcohol off...

the moral temporarily escapes me. but flawed logic does not. face glowing, i settle in next to the searing flames, footloose & fancy free to uncover the essence, the soul of this town. 

the best stories are always shared around a fire.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

a pond in 24 hours [the ongoing technical saga]

why won't you let me put the rest of the pictures up blogger you piece of shit?
[fine -- i like the above in that crappy font. don't let me change it. see if i care. fuck you google]

[please hold on while our technicians deal with some technical difficulties]





found this awesome trouble shooting tip by "cooking in mexico" via google in spite of google. how confusing. i suffeered serial server rejection issues eventually after much successful uploading of images. i have often found blogger... temperamental.

this is a shit fix & requires going old school but it works. albeit temporarily.

1. Go to "Dashboard"
2. Click "Settings"
3. Under "Basic", scroll all the way the page to "Select Post Editor"
4. Select "Old Editor"
5. Click "Save Settings"
6. Click "View Blog"
7. Select "New Post"
8. This allows me to upload a photo using the window ("Choose file", etc.)

and that's how i got part ii up. end of storytime.

a pond in 24 hours - the serialization

and then...

[dan took this photo -- i was too busy having a mini orgasm after planting the reeds with clare]

and yes, the water is murky because the clay doesn't ever properly separate from the water molecules but the tadpoles like it. this is a frog habitat designed to operate as part of a permaculture system -- we're in zone 1. watch out crickets and bugs, hello micro-climate. the dam looks like this too. i'm not sure it will ever settle. and that's ok. orange is my favourite colour.

then everyone [well almost everyone] magically disappeared into the falling sunday night while clare, jay and i stayed on to wrestle with siphoning water [#FAIL], we just don't have dan's lungs, then to brave another morning of heavy rock lifting in the desperate hope to complete the vision... i am obsessive that way. some would say a slave driver.

besides we had lots of left over food and beer to consume. well, food anyway.

the morning after.

see the rocks? what broken back... this is what clare & i did on monday. her back is screwed too. and yes, it was hot. the stones became white stars of light. physical meets heat exhaustion is... exhausting. but look at the results!

another feather in the cap for KINO filmmakers. films & ponds in 24 hours. NB. film is definitely easier.

after trawling rocks from just after sunrise, we then waited till jay woke up & we *cough* gave him the opportunity to express his manliness and allowed him to roll the last couple of rocks into place. diagnosis: exceptional masculinity evidenced -- there's more than meets the eye with these arty muso types.

if anyone's interested there's some rocks that clare & i managed to get to the car but not into it waiting down at the creek for next time... it's all about sharing the love.

and the tadpoles survived. talk about happy endings even if i did have to revert to old editor format on blogger to share the pix. thanks for fixing the unbroken system google. lucky we're on such a pond high, i'm virtually untouchable. next comes solar pump & filtration. and water chestnuts... and some more bamboo.

TEAM POND [in alphabetical order]:

alex pappasavvas
andrew berman
clare devlin-mahoney
dan rossi
dan simmonds
francois chemillier
jay dalgleish
vanessa findley
yours truly

a pond in 24 hours [give or take 5 years]

this is the story of sustainable love meets long-term vision. a 24 hour photo essay of my mountain pond which has become a group collaboration over what seems, and is, aeons. the results of the working bee this wknd past are in. neither the first nor last of hopefully many.

originally all of this space was one big barren clay hill with all the top soil shaved off from prior excavation from trigger happy men expressing their testosterone through beer, machines and masturbation. the transformation has been a massive labour of love.  and still a work in progress. human lives are so short, the magpies said.

i started digging into the rock in 2005. i was handier with a mattock then than i am now but my efforts barely put a dent in what is primarily rock & compressed clay. it is extremely hard work. which warrants copious beer drinking. still there was a sizeable hole. and there it sat for a long time. waiting.
reiteration: it is hot work. see how dan pants like a little dog?

previously he'd bucketed out by hand over 300 litres of water [aided and abetted by ruby's innovative oxygenation programme] which the rain had inadvertently provided & the natural clay seal partially managed to retain in the pond. the frogs had moved in [YAY] a little prematurely. cue massive tadpole rescue mission. saint dan. we saved some mosquito larvae as well. we're so buddhist.
after digging a trench to bury the pond liner edges flush with the earth, we put recycled carpet underlay sourced from surry hills back streets, on top of the dug out clay to provide protection for the pond liner from the jutting internal rocks and hard edges. pond developers recommend sand but perhaps i'm retarded -- i just couldn't visualise side stickability. how does it adher to the walls? carpet is OK too. but a little stiff. we have both just in case.

did i mention that it's hot? hello pond liner posing as a three headed bondage ghost.

clare models the very latest in pondwear. available from any good pond accessory store.

pond liner is adjusted, decreased & edges buried into the trench. well, as decreased as you can get with a square sheet and a round[ish] hole...

ruby & i survey the scene as the others drink another well-deserved beer under the hot sun which strangely enough was only officially 23 degrees celcius but felt like 38. we're so buggered we can barely stand/speak.

that's right mofos... WATER! ruby does the honours. she is a water goddess after all. 

TBC... [only because blogger won't let me load any more images]. how very annoying for all of us.