To unravel the meaning of 'Punk Monk Propaganda' we go back to their physical roots, a site of gutter beers, plump cats and permaculture. The Corner Shop. It's part studio, part home and it's most likely to find the Punk Monks on any given day of the week.
An article about our family which doesn't only include Vic, Kate Alex and I.
Family holiday to Peats Ridge Sustainable Music and Arts Festival this New Years Eve as we work on a few projects including our liquid light projections in the dome for some reason entitled Land of Hopeless Utopians (I for one am quite hopeful...!), a curated showcase of Punk Monk, Kino friends and other artists films entitled Psychedelic States and a crowd sourced film (15MB of Fame) which will be entirely shot, edited and screened during the festival by attendees to encapsulate their unique perceptions of the collective and individual experience. Phew! We're going to be busy! But it will also be fun!
There's a lot of hysteria based around apocalypse. Climate change is destructing our earth to the point where the term should be re-named Climate Crisis. Our food supply is threatened by mass pesticide use, companies like Monsanto, the bee crisis and a range of other factors most attributed to human (mis)use of land and resources. Could weeds be the answer?
Recently (well in October) we attended a "Weed Tour" as part of In The Balance; Art for A Changing World, an exhibition hosted by the MCA with Diego Bonetto,(Weedy Connection) friendly man and weed expert. We toured Sydney Park where Diego's advises us not to sample weeds from. It's history tells us it used to be an industrial dumping ground and may still have remains of this in its soil. He advises us that knowing your area's history and current use is an important step in foraging as well as knowing your weeds. What we were there to do was to engage in a discussion about weed and foraging ethics in general and gain identification skills to go on our own forage adventures. We find plantain (the miracle band-aid), hawksbeard, mallow, wild mustard, thistle, farmer's friend... and a host of other wild herbs and vegetables.
We don't look at any dandelions but they'd be there- they're everywhere and my favourite source of..everything! They have more beta-carotene than carrots, more potassium than bananas, more lecithin than soy, more iron than spinach and probably most things. Dandy is full of Vit. A, C, E, thiamine, ribofalvin, calcium, phsophorus and magnesium- hello magic healing plant?!
Diego's weedbook initiative lets you be friends with these weeds- elevate their probably low self esteem and reputation by befriending them. Here is dandelion- Taraxacum Officianlis on FB.
It is amazing to open your eyes to the free, vitamin rich health foods growing by their own accord in bountiful numbers almost anywhere you could think. Weeds are pioneers- they grow between cracks in the concrete, in roof gutters (see above), along train tracks, in nature strips- they get trampled, removed, poisoned but they do not die. They re-seed, they spread and re-grow flourishing and offering nourishment if people would only SEE. We are ignoring our natural public resources- the biological beings that offer symbiosis but are thwarted, killed off by fear and ignorance.
Food does not need to incorporate poisonous fuel or oil to transport itself from source, to table to our insides. We need not support corrupt corporations that dominate and control our food supply and threaten nature's gift of biodiversity. Weeds cannot be owned but they should be utilised and given respect for the important role they play in ecosystems.
Patrick Jones of Permapoesis and Artist as Family turns the issue of weeds back onto us: As feral or non-indigenous Australians, we can well ask ourselves, are we beneficial organisms within our local environment? Do we retain resources equal to what we take out? Noxious weeds appear to just colonise and rob from the land. Are we such weeds?
This year, in our garden, we have hawk's beard, dandelion, farmer's friend, nettles, chickweed and warrigal greens growing- some pioneered on their own and some we have seeded ourselves for our own health and for the happiness of our bunny; our furry forager.
Stop complaining about the price of supermarket food, grown your own, join a community garden and have a forage!
Wormwood December 2; The Final Wormwood?, At least for the year. I've spoken of Wormwood before and how important I think its ethic is.
I was trying to give Kimb (aka Octopus Pi, aka Wormwood pioneer) a quote to help her case to keep Wormwood at the Loft next year which is undergoing new management. I came up with a pretty long quote/rambling:
wormwood is basically the only free gig with experimental, garage and psych music that offers a total sensory arts experience in syd. its gaining momentum and if ticketed would be sold out. it aims to pioneer the way media, music and experimental arts collide. It is about responsiveness and interactivity but also indulgence and being treated to some magic all care of sydney's most pioneering creators.
something that makes it special is the space: the loft. the way its physicality allows for a free flowing journey, offering different yet correlating atmospheres in its different nooks, surprises around each corner, up each stair, above star gazers heads, hidden in the faerie tree, balancing over the balcony, within each fire set green drink... It is the Wormwood home, the welcoming space that so comfortably houses all these creative forces and whilst Wormwood could, of course, adapt, there would be a sorely missed sparkle.
Something new this Wormwood was a collaboration with Mersey Sound Collective- a spoken word micro-event hosted in the secret room up the top of the Loft. Though the musical disruption from outside proved hazardous, this was a beautiful experience especially for us Punk Monks who had the chance to work our liquid light with a different medium. Playing with our artworks for poetry was incredibly carthatic- we are used to moving to a rhythm and beat provided by songs that start and finish sometimes rendering it more of a decoration than a contribution. Moving to the rhythm and beat of poetry is more fluid, you can evoke emotion and imagery and move slowly and more calculated- it's extremely evocative and meditative and is something I'd like to explore more.
*The footage from this Wormwood says more than the quick snaps I hastily took whilst running from one projector to the next through masses of absinthe toting wormees. We'll try get it up in due time, times have been busy but it should be a treat.
Some Punk Monk's (Alex and I) recently (10/12/10) created video projections (Entitled Wunian, Part 1) to accompany Ki Mono (then Kim ono, teehee) during her sound experience show @Sound Series #10 New Weird Australia. Ki Mono's (aka.the ever talented Kimberley Galceran) humbly presented 5 songs which I (without being very good at describing music that I like) could describe as a mix between fantasy video game adventure music and epic cinematic soundscape meditations whilst teleported into various magical forest scenes of brilliant colour and flowing movement of reverie inducement. http://soundcloud.com/kim-ono
Sound Series is a one of a kind monthly show @ Hardware Gallery- the home to a comfortable mix of commercial and underground arts. Sound Series is all about sound- experimenting and ear/mind opening. I can't seem to find much else (except maybe what the Serial Space peeps are doing) dedicated to the specific sense of sound but celebrating the mind-blowing diversity inherent in the field. The gallery owner himself admits it has been a perception shattering adventure that he has been so grateful to have experienced and it will definitely return in the new year.
I'm a little behind on blogging. Here's an event we provided a light show for to fundraise independent arts online mag Kluster. Held at the awesome little warehouse space- Hellen Rose Schauersberger Laboratorium and packed to the brim.
The multifaceted event featured live, interactive art created by Punk Monk Propaganda (Alex, Clare, Kate, Vic), Thomas Jackson, Mia Taninaka, Helen Mycroft and Brent Smith, tunes provided by Sydney DJ’s, Cara Stricker and Urby and a live performance by Border Thieves. State of the Art was all about the creative and the current. The emerging and the established. The future.
Sister Jane and Punk Monk Propaganda, endeavouring to make music gigs that caress more than just the ears. When asked by Alternative Media Group, who Sister Jane are, drummer Joe Driver's thorough response was:
We veer wildly between sultry smoking-room soundtrack blues… and something more closely resembling a tripping social science teacher on a freewheeling fun ride at one of those accident-waiting-to-happen fun parks that only opens during school holidays. Ton of Fun in Forster/Tuncurry springs to mind.
They're our favourite band to jam with because their psychedelic vibe is a perfect marriage with the re-invention of the 60's and 70's liquid light show; their music simply deserves it.
This is from A Shrill Chuckle Of Irrepressible Delight, for Sydney Fringe Festival in September, at The Annandale Hotel. This is Sister Jane's hit Outer Suburbs of the Soul. Man, I get this in my head A LOT! Sorry the sounds not great; wasn't shooting using fancy video equipment.
Alex and I spent most of our childhood holidays at a beach called Killcare, on the Central Coast. I grew up a short trip from about 5 different beaches, surrounded by Bouddi National Park but it was Killcare that I always called 'my beach.'
Soon after I started seeing Alex, I discovered that this place held special significance for him also. Before our wooing process ever begun. In fact the very first time I met him, we sat in Hyde Park, under his favourite tree and exclaimed in excitement about sharing this special thing in common. These were the days when MySpace was still a big part of our adolescent socialising and I uploaded a bunch of photos of the Killcare rockpool for Alex to look at. He used to holiday there with his family at a house they owned there and I probably built sandcastles or explored the rockpool parallel to him unawares of what the future may hold for us.
I didn't see Alex for about a year after that but I still consider it the beginning of our love. Since, we have visited Killcare beach together and taken yet more photos of the playground of our childhood summer's and the paradise we yearn for as we live inconveniently far from the sparkle and sentimentality of 'our beach.'
Killcare has been many things for me over the years. Picnics with the horse riding club as a child, or with family friends, or just family. A certain Meg Peg (who since moving a suburb from me in High School quickly became my best buddy) knows that many an afternoon during high school was spent at Killcare instead of studying, especially during the HSC. It was a place for therapy. I've been there at midnight kissing a boy, I've taken psychedelic drugs there, I've been abused by North Shore dickheads there, I've walked kilometres through the bush to get there, I've seen the developments pop up and change, I've collected sea shells and cut my foot open on oysters, I've walked many different dogs there and I've relaxed there with the one that I truly love- Alex.
The above photos are from one such expedition with Alex, back to our beach. I think the ones chosen here are all taken by Alex though. They were meant to be made into a pretty zine but the cost of good quality colour printing to do the photos justice was too much for us. I dug them out whilst exploring the external hard drive last week and have been getting nostalgic and impatient to get back to Killcare again.
Wombats are proud animals. They don't just leave their waste anywhere like it were meaningless or dirty. They do their business on podiums- on rocks, bits of bark, sticks and whatever they can find to elevate their neat little doodies. I always imagine in my head them backing up, beep beep beep, like a truck onto those tiny rocks.
Unfortunately most of the wild wombats I have ever seen have been roadkill or about to become roadkill (standing in the middle of the road looking into car lights). When we go bushwalking I look into every hole in the ground I see and it is my dream to see a wombat asleep in a hollow log.
A few weeks ago, whilst out bush, Vic and I sat in the dark atop the hill that backs the cabin and listened to the sounds of the night- rustles and soft thuds. Vic mused that she wished that when I turned the torch back on there'd be a wombat standing right there, looking at us, cute and furry like Womby the wombat toy. I'm not sure I share her wishes- wombats can be quite aggressive and as proven by their poo podiums, territorial. But I do love wombats!
The October Wormwood has just passed and with it comes the sad news that there will probably only be 2 more. I guess Sydneysiders are accustomed to their favourite gigs and art events being shut down just as they're getting attached or further down the track when it has become an integrated part of their lives. Wormwood has given consistently rad psychedelic and garage music on a monthly basis since early this year and for free. Thrown in with live DJing (how nice it is to continue rocking out in between sets to craftily selected tunes), live doodling and portrait drawing, hair art (yeah you coulda gotten a cool X or something shaved in your hair last time- I got a triangle..) and we have tried our best to offer some delectable delights for the eyes with our liquid light projections.
Anyyywayyy, this was my second go at liquid light and I feel I have earned my scouts badge. After some home tutorials from the wizard Alex, I am starting to really understand how it all works. My favourite technique is the galaxy technique with swishing blue-greens and bright bubbles. Alex and I projected form the sky onto the faerie tree whilst Kate wowed inside. We also brought with us a magical film with clips from the secret creek when we took a retreat a few weeks ago. Swaying tyre swings, gargling waterfalls and meditative reflections- next time we might treat you to the amazing frog sounds emitted from the film.
'If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have four years of life left. No more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.'- Einstein
I love bees. I want to feel them crawling on me- not like those videos you see of people with every inch of their bodies covered in swarms of the critters but I like to feel them dance on and off my skin tip tapping and bouncing here and there. Sadly bees only exist tentatively threatened by virus' caused by destructive agricultural practises such as the use of pesticides. We must give bees thanks for 1/3 of the food we eat. Their pollination ensures we have delicious foods- can you imagine a world without avacado? pumpkin? oranges?
There is a mobile bee hut set up outside MCA at the moment, for the In The Balance; Art for A Changing World. Apparently on Saturday (when I'll be away..boo) you can go and have a picnic and a chat about the native stingless bees and eat some pikelets with their honey. Sydney collective Makeshift (navigate around their website- it's very cool) are the food activists/artists behind it all. Read about the project here.
Usually i couldn't give a hoot about these hunks of metal in our city- but thanks to the Sydney Statues Project as part of Art and About Sydney 2010 artists they stand out brilliantly against the amass of dull colours and monotonous traffic. I like to stay clear of the city if I can help it, but I thoroughly enjoyed my walk from MCA to Surry Hills the other day and it's thanks to these guys. Maybe now there will be more public drive to beautify our city beyond these redundant, bland symbols of the dead.
Statues that received a much needed makeover include: Porcellino the boar outside Sydney Hospital, Macquarie St Captain Cook in Hyde Park South The Shakespeare Memorial in Shakespeare Place Prince Albert in Macquarie St Queen Victoria in Queens Sq, outside QVB
I'm quite aware of my own self esteem issues. I have worn makeup almost every day since I was about 15. I don't cake it on, or enjoy an overly made up look- I like to give the illusion of natural (perhaps I kid myself) but it's part of my daily routine. I have very pale skin still repairing itself from years of acne problems so I give it some help with the most natural makeup I can find. I am now discovering, thanks to SKIN DEEP that there are still some very very nasty chemicals in my "natural" supposedly "organic" products.
I decided this year to wean my body off as many chemical based products as possible. I only use natural soap for my face and body, the most organic shampoo and conditioner I can find (still searching for the best one) and often forgo conditioner for apple cider vinegar (ohhhh soooo shinnyyy!). I have weaned my skin off moisturiser and found I mustn't have ever needed it in the first place. I would never consider using a medicinal skin cleanser for my blemishes ever again after a traumatic discovery that years of using pHisohex as an adolescent was actually causing not healing many of my skin problems. I am still recovering.
I believe I am addicted to covering up my natural skin and I want to do something about it. I want to love my real face that I understand most of my friends might not have ever seen.