Unabomber suspect Theodore Kaczynski's cabin arrives at the former Mather Air Force Base in Rancho Cordova, Calif. The 10-by 12-foot cabin was trucked from Montana by defense attorneys to show jurors how Kaczynski had lived.
If I were to completely cease using electricity and subsist on food grown in my own garden, would it help the earth any more than if I simply ceased to be? Perhaps there is more hope in memes; example through observation. Alongside the altruistic; and then there are acts like skip-dipping.
I have just devised a very simple and effective way to re-shape scrubby paintbrushes, so I thought I would share it, for all you painter-types. If, like me, you find it necessary to sometimes scrub paint into the surface of a painting, you probably experience the same problem whereby favoured brushes develop a crown of hairs which turn outward at the tip, making it impossible to use them for straight edges or details. So you can fix this by wetting the brush, and then passing fast but careful strokes over the unwanted hair-ends with a very sharp disposable razor, moving in line with the desired brush-shape. Hopefully this will prolong the lives of a few brushes.
I have observed two instances of highly advanced consumerism this week, both noteworthy for their sinister extremity, and for the things they both represent and herald. The first thing was at BigW where, seduced by convenience, I was buying things, stocking up on cheap plastic containers and paint rollers. Approaching the checkout I found that I was faced with a scanning surface and a robotic female voice, which told me what to do and announced the price of each item I scanned. For a moment I thought, this isn’t so bad, at least I don’t have to interact with a sullen bored person who is hating their job. But then I thought, where is that person going to work now? Even if this becomes widespread, the rise in unemployment will no doubt be swept under the rug, since the Howard government includes people doing ‘work for the dole’ in their employment figures. I started thinking about the evolution of the exchange of objects, from a barter-based, social act, ostensibly for the benefit of both parties, to a currency-based transaction, but still with a sense of community, between individuals and small businesses, to an exchange between individual and corporation which is based on a purified economy of scale, implicit to which is the elimination of error, hence the elimination of human beings within their side of the system. How are we meant to be living like this? Perhaps this is part of a positive realisation that relying on the systems of nature for sustenance is far more viable than relying on high capitalism. BigW needs to grow some veggies in its backyard, remember what it means to be alive. The other head is its own embodiment of horror, and so requires no further explanation than this: Disney have purchased the rights to the concept and music of Devo, have tinkered with the lyrics to remove any counter-cultural implications, and decoupaged the lot of it onto a white bread kiddie band: Devo 2.0.
"Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns - the ones we don't know we don't know". - Donald Rumsfeld
Thanks to Maatth's soldering expertise and some judiciously chosen heatshrink, I today found a use for those fat-budded ipod earphones which I thought would remain in the bottom of a drawer until my relatives came to clear my house and administrate my deceased estate. My five year old, much loved audio-technica headphones stopped working yesterday, and when soldering a new headphone jack onto them didn't help and the jack felt unpleasantly scrapey to plug in I resolved to hybridize them, to good effect, I think.
Just got back from a brief interlude in the Borough o' Carnies for Great Dividing Range at CCAS, an interesting show I thought, greater than the sum of its parts; which is to say, a bunch of artists dealing with Australian cultural identity in various ways, brought together and unified by shared space, the show as a whole seemed to embody the distinctly miffed feeling ...apologies for this disjuncture but I am undergoing an intense episode of deja vous which I want to thwart and mentioning it is of course the most effective way as long as it hasn't gone meta... the distinctly miffed feeling which rightly surrounds many discussions of what is 'Australian' in these times - and it is a sense which in a single work addressing the state of things might seem clumsy or obvious, but through the collective manifests as an indistinct pall closer to what it actually is. I think it is good to have a geographically enforced break when in the midst of a big project. Sometimes it's the only way to gain objectivity from something, to physically travel at least a few hundred kilometers away from it. Canberra feels so temporary, the political version of a mining town, reinforced by the absence of a natural architectural evolution, and by the fact that every second person you meet has concrete plans to move to Sydney or Melbourne, 'they say she's gonna be closing up soon, can't get no more good out of her', ha, wouldn't it be nice to hear this said of Parliament House, 'they're opening up a new one other side of the Mallee, see if we can't get better luck there'. Sigh. There was a piece of public art in Canberra that I quite liked, a typical-looking blocky, tan-brown seventies building a few stories high, blocks of varying sizes, at night had its field of horizontals and verticals delineated with bright green lines of light, which as each evening wore on began slowly to dip and sway, the movement becoming more pronounced by degrees and giving your eyes the impression that the building was in the process of becoming gelid, invertebrate.