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.