Reuben and I launching the album in Melbourne. pic by Max Barker.
In the midst of doing some thinking and wrapping my head around the Kill Climate Deniers project, and one of the big challenges is: How do I measure the success of this work? More on this soon, but in order to even begin answering this question, I wanted to pull together a bit of the public commentary around the project in one place.
Kill New Play Deniers (HowlRound, March) – Playwriting brother/comrade Ira Gamerman wrote this piece for the US playwriting journal about the difference between Australian and US theatre and how the Kill Climate Deniers controversy could never have happened in America.
‘In American playwright terms: imagine a scenario where Bill O’Reilly writes an op-ed in the Washington Post condemning an unproduced play (which somehow received twenty grand in taxpayer dough from the NEA?). O’Reilly’s op-ed raises enough of a stink that a playwright with no agency representation gets called out by Eric Cantor, and starts receiving e-threats from a cabal of international conservative white dudes.’
Biting the Hand That Funds You (ArtsHub, April) – Richard Watts interviewed me for ArtsHub, and we chatted about whether or not political art should be government funded.
‘If someone uses the title “kill” in an art work I think we should question that. If someone uses an inflammatory title, which Kill Climate Deniers certainly is, then they should be taken to task … Because as an artist, as much as I have a right to provoke this conversation and use the language that I’ve used in the title, I think it’s important that that doesn’t come without cost.’
Die Hard Meets Charlie’s Angels (Daily Review, April) – I chatted to Daily Review editor Raymond Gill about being a ‘stealth denier’.
“I consider myself a climate denier in that I accept the scientific evidence of climate change around the world but like most people I haven’t taken any direct action or plans in my own life to do anything about it.”
Rebels invade Parliament House, no-one notices (The Age, September) – Karl Quinn writes about the KCD listening party in Parliament House; has a lot of fun doing so. (^_^)
‘It’s a philosophical puzzler for the Age of Terror, the cyber-equivalent of a tree falling in the woods. If a group of ecowarriors lays siege to Parliament House but no one notices, did it really happen?’
Controversial Canberra play Kill Climate Deniers gets an album (Canberra Times, September) – the Crimes’ Jil Hogan writes about the Canberra angle.
Canberra’s Answer to HG Wells (Canberra CityNews, September) – Helen Musa positions KCD as a spiritual successor to Orson Welles’ radio production of War of the Worlds. Which, sure, I’ll take it.
The provocative play that sneakily infiltrated Parliament House (The Guardian, September) – A beautiful and thoughtful piece by Kate Hennessy reflecting on the experience of the Parliament House listening party.
‘Even before the volley of gunfire during the song Music to Shoot Climate Activists To, Ingall’s “bangers” were an unsettling score for a Parliament House stroll. His classic house and techno tracks expressed an abandon and depravity that was utterly incongruent with the civic fustiness of the meeting place of our nation. When two AFP officers eyed me, then cruised slowly by, I felt vaguely treasonous and very paranoid.’
Break the silence, damn the dark, damn the light (Only the Sangfroid, April) – conservative commentator Mark Fletcher reviews the script and applies one of the sharpest critiques of this whole project. (The real pleasure is, always, to be taken apart by the smartest critics.)
‘If you accept the overall (progressive) narrative about counter-terrorism, environmentalism, and political activism, then the political message of the play and the action narrative of the play mesh seamlessly. If you don’t, you’re stuck never quite being able to slip entirely into the action narrative. But is this a glitch or a feature?’
Blurring reality with Kill Climate Deniers (My About Town, June) – Melbourne critic Myron My teases out some of the layers of meta-theatre in the KCD script.
‘Finnigan has used his “bolting” to his advantage and created a second story within Kill Climate Deniers. This story is in a universe where the events in Kill Climate Deniers have eventuated because of the play, and the ramifications of having promoted terrorism through his story.’
Dancing in Desperation (Canberra Jazz, September) – Eric Pozza riffs on the decision to match the story of Kill Climate Deniers with a dance party.
‘Sting once said “when the world is going down, you make the best of what’s still around”. I’ve pondered that very line as I write on jazz and the arts while climate threatens.’
Unstoppable objections meet immovable opinions (The Age, September) – Anne-Marie Peard’s response to the album launch at Melbourne Fringe.
‘Its satire is bitingly sharp and its truth could easily be satire. Both hurt with their absurdity.’
I mean, look, for a wildly unproduced play, KCD has received a decent amount of thoughtful discussion. Now how do I weight this against my own personal goals with this project?
More thinking, more thinking, more thinking, always more thinking.
Reuben and I at the Canberra launch. Pic by Tom Finnigan.