Culture Jammers, Graffiti artists, Typophiles, street artists and wannabes/ dabblers/ appreciators of all of the above: let's get together and enjoy each others company (this coming Monday 30/11). Punk Monk's newest member Felix Pflieger is curating this months ALGAE RHYTHM. With the help of Mr. Pretzel (our other Bavarian colleague) and the rest of the Punk Monk crew, he will be executing a live art event in the spirit of interactivity and open canvas collaborating.
With restrictions tightening on how we are allowed to use public space and new policy coming into place to make it harder to reclaim that "communal" space as our own (rather than at the corporate advertisers grubby disposal) we'd like to come together and spray, tag and beautify some removable wallspace and engage in some giant infra red temporary tattoo scribbling on our infamous stolen wall over the shed.
Our trusty overhead projectors (plus our new shiny addition) will be available for texta projection as well as all the supplies you'll need to make tag textas and spray yourself giddy. It's all for fun- no competition and no ego required. There will also be artworks and video to peer at for inspiration and contemplation of what you can do with the written word, the designed text and whatever canvas you can find.
Come along- it's to be held at The Cornershop (Punk Monk headquarters in Alexandria) and costs a teeny $5 donation for supplies. In return, besides all the WOWs already mentioned, Ginger Rhythm (alcoholic ginger beer) will be poured out by the cup full (courtesy of Civilised Pig) and the event specific zine will be supplied for you to add to your collection. Details here.
This will be the last algae hoe down of the year, so if you haven't been to one yet because you always think, "well there'll be another next month", you better make this that one!
These little mushrooms make us very proud. (Faversham St, Marrickville)
If you've ever been to Callan Park in Rozelle, there is a very distinctive aura to the place. It must be different for each person- but it is there. There is a stillness, a quietness that is unsettling and thought provoking. Without the knowledge of its history- it is puzzling, with this knowledge, that feeling becomes even more unsettling.
These gorgeous, open grounds housed a "lunatic asylum"/"hospital for the insane"/mental hospital, for 123 years before being left abandoned, as though emergency evacuated and never to be tended to again. Plenty was left. There are the usual ghost stories that become of such places, easy to fob off to the everyday sceptic (of which I am not one) but there is an undeniable presence- the building is an entity holding secrets, stories, bits and pieces of people's lives being communicated through the walls with great strength; much lays beneath the stillness, deterioration and seeming emptiness here.
Punk Monk Propaganda have been given a very special opportunity to use this space as part of the Multiple Personalities exhibition during early December. Never did I think but I have often dreamed they'd open up this space for this purpose. Ever since I was first introduced to the disused Ward 18 in 2008 during a film shoot on the outer grounds, I suspected sadly it'd be sold off and refurbished. Of course, people have been breaking into the space for years, many of the artefacts left behind, many of the fragments of the life that used to operate within, have been tampered with and stolen; the space is a squatters dream if not for the heavy traumatising air within. Alas, it is a heritaged space and now, artists and lovers of the many historic deserted buildings in Sydney have the chance to make something beautiful one of them. This space may never be the same again.
We will be experimenting with projection, film, shadow play, interactive machinery and live performance and art creating. This is right up Punk Monks ally, each of us projecting our own multiple personalities onto the space as we utilise what it generously, albeit forcedly thrusts upon us.
Alex and I will be directing the live performance aspect of the night and are putting out a call out for more performers. We already have some and we want more more more. You all have a talent, so let it be known. We want:
*people who know alot of quotes
*genius puzzle put togetherers
ANYONE who would like to be a part of a live artwork which will work as a progression throughout opening night (Dec 4) from isolated performances to one live performance jam. We will be directing, so we just need your talent/skill/willingness/ambition....
Show us your Multiple Personalities and we'll show you ours...
Go here and join the group. Vote for Punk Monk Digital's video so we can make some worthwhile projects in the future!! Felix and Davey have been slaving away at this all week with wonderful results! Pick out your Punk Monk friends voices?
The Lurkers got together with Punk Monk Propaganda in October for a hoedown like no other. We're sending away the leafs hung on our tree sculpture to Copenhagen, zine- style. The leaves were wishes from the well of Lurkers fans for our world, dedicated to politicians in positions of power and also to humanity in general. Watch out for our leaves around the place in the lead up to the UN Climate Conference. We better get a move on- the count down is on tcktcktck....
"Graffiti" art is about claiming back public space- it is about environmental and social change, however many different levels that exists on. Punk Monk trialled throwie making at Born in the Doorway after being inspired at TINA, by the Graffiti Research Lab (very cool, check this) dudes based around the world.
We are gearing up to take this project into public space for a communal/community cause- not going to reveal much in these early stages- but do you like gardens?
Santa is a nice fellow, he gives us gifts which make us happy (?) Unfortunately all those little elves don't actually make all those pressies from scratch, they are fuelled by capitalism (which is destroying our planet!) . Sometimes we need to set our inner santa (consumerhappy) self free and have some time to reconsider our "gift" buying.
If you're not willing to boycott Coles/Woolworths for a whole month in December (and why the hell not?) then at least take the 28th November (BUY NOTHING DAY) off from spending. Buy Nothing. It'll feel nice (plus it's FREE).
Cnr King St and Erskineville Rd, Newtown- flowers hang from the power lines. Thank you to those beautiful people who think of ways to pretty up our public space- I feel comforted that you exist and I am graced with your works each day.
A couple of times a week for the past year, on my way to Punk Monk headquarters in Alexandria, I pass this vacant block of land on Erskineville Rd. For the most part (and apparently for the last 40 years) it has been wasted space fenced off with a gate sporting a big lock.
For a while a hand drawn sign read "Another development?" with a box ticked NO and underneath "Community Garden?" with a box ticked YES. When this was torn down I panicked assuming that the council land was to be re-zoned, sold and would become another ugly block of flats like the ones that loom behind it.
A few weeks ago I almost wet my pants as I set my eyes upon what appeared to be the beginnings of a community garden. A compost bin, a no dig garden (with tomatoes), a small passion fruit plant to climb up the fence and beautiful colour artworks- it seems that "Erko kidz heart gardens" and "want change". This couldn't make me happier. All the times I have walked past, yearning for a community garden and getting worked up about it ,I've not done a thing about it. The Erskineville youth are now making their mark, with another working body behind them (The Watershed or Redwatch are my guesses).
With the possibility of unused space, right near the proposed garden being turned into a supermarket, its exciting to think that some kids these days actually care about the fact that real food comes from the ground, not Coles. Redwatch have had this in mind as they have struggled for some time now trying to allow the council land to be opened up for community use. Council will not budge- WHY?
Last night, Alexand I agreed to make a vignette/mini- film entitled AUTISTIC BOY GRANTS WISHES. We considered making FOOD STARTS EATING PEOPLE or ANCIENT ALIEN PYRAMID SCHEME but those were already taken. GOVERNMENT IS AUTISTIC BOY, HOUSE ACTUALLY ALIEN ZOO and DARK LORD REASONABLE all looked intrigueing plots also. But the endless possibilities for a snippet entitled AUTISTIC BOY GRANTS WISHES makes us feel giddy.
Punk Monk, Dermot is experimenting with the idea of "communal" filmmaking via 42 vignettes which work alone but also splice together to form a larger puzzle. These "42 Essential 3rd Act Twists" (Dresden Codak) play on tradition western narrative structures (with bizarre newspaper story- like headlines) w ith twisted, silly, bleak, confusing, hilarious, wistful and perhaps disturbing undertones. Dermot wants everyone and anyoneto have a go at bringing one alive.
In the spirit of Kino, where many have already taken up the collective challenge, the idea is to create and share, rather than select based on a rigid set of standards such as skill set. This creates a space where a whole range of thematically and aesthetically different films from a wide range of professional, even award winning filmmakers to first timers, dabblers and "amateur" filmmakers who all share some level of passion for the visual form.
I give kudos to Dermot, who doesn't know where the project will end up but is all embracing and prepared for anything to come out of it.
Check out the rest of the details and get involved- seriously, you actually can.
It's been all about moss for a while now, however now a new lush green flora has unexpectedly come into my life. It's about to become all about Wheatgrass.
One week ago, one Alex and I wondered past At The Vanishing Point gallery (ATVP) and I recalled a facebook invite I'd gotten triggering the words interactive, ecological, tangible, DIY (words which are usually enough to attract us Punk Monks anyway) but also Wheatgrass!
Of course we were then intrigued. We wandered in to what we discovered to be the opening + artist talks. We were ushered out the back and asked if we'd like a vodka and Wheatgrass, Brendan (Director of ATVP and artist of The Phenomenology Machine 1.0) was somewhat surprised by our enthusiastic acceptance. We weren't sure what was going to happen, but boy was that a full on shot of green alcohol.
video art of natural phenomena and moving poetry text in two juxtaposed but interacting panels. Set up on the floor, like peering into a pond, moving visual haikus of light and shadow in moving leaves, cherry blossoms and water droplets accompanied by KenjiMiyazawa's poetry text which created both separation between the two.
Disturbance and interaction were the main points of discussion. The ways in which the artwork draws us in (accompanied by a zen soundscape lulling you into meditation with the artwork) and then how both elements of the work and the space creates disturbance for the viewer- this particular space encompassing light and shadow movement and noise disturbance brought in from the street. Within the work shifts in the text which move around the panel, merge with one another and turn upon themselves causing a similar disturbance in the minds eye as we attempt to follow them and draw connections with the visuals alongside it. The artist talk itself exhibited the point well, as I stared into the work and became immersed, attempting to interact with it, I was brought from my trance by snippets of spoken words of interest before the repeated gong at the beginning of the soundtrack drew me back into the work.
In the spirit of the phrase "And now for something completely different", we followed Brendan Penzer into the tiny room above the stairs towards the curious Phenomenology Machine 1.0. Barefooted, standing upon the smooth blanket of Wheatgrass bordering the room, he explained his prototype for a bigger, exciting project to be launched next year. With the mossy, fresh smell of Wheatgrass in the air, I felt a little high cramped into this room as bursts of mist were left floating in the air and golden light streamed from the phone booth like, reflective platform. It is here where you are beckoned into the dark space towards solar energised light and button activated mist. Here you are enveloped in mist and then banished into darkness once more. The ecological installation reminds us that we are in positions of action in relation to our surrounding environment.
Different interpretations and relations to the space became evident in the talks as Brendan simultaneously critiqued his own work. Some related to the space with confusion and fear from the darkness and the "unknown" used as a luring force- I personally believe confusion is a very important aspect of discovering a work. This work in particular was about relating to an environment- confusion is necessary because to overcome it you must take an action, thus activating the artwork. In relation to our natural living environment, more people should be lured by the sometimes frightening and confusing aspects of what is happening around us, and prompted to do something about it.
Penzer is now developing a mobile ecological art gallery which will begin in ATVP's courtyard and then begin its movement into other spaces. In the spirit of DIY renewable energy and viewer interactivity, this could be one of the most intriguing innovations to come out of Sydney in 2010.
Finally, to top of a beautiful spontaneous Saturday afternoon, we were given a feed- a vegetable BBQ, something well craved during our recently enforced slum conditions (we lost gas to our house last week) and however much we felt like outsiders at a family BBQ, the faces here were both friendly and embracing.
Now to start growing my own Wheatgrass!(tasty healthy, fresh wheatgrass..mmm)
Photos generously donated by ATVP co-director Alex Wisser.[except the first image which I pawned from Wikipedia for its lusciousness]