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site update 5th September 2007

I’ve uploaded Ivo Lovric’s photos from the fight fire with knives performance at the Street Theatre on August 25th as part of State of Belonging.

However, what I’m really proud of is a small script update. I’ve uploaded the entirety of Victory March, my collection of short scenes around a break-up written earlier this year. Also several more conversation plays in the Absolute Babble: sitcom in three different time periods (stolen from a conversation with Joel Barcham) and unique punishments (stolen from a conversation with Joel and Ali McGregor). There’s a new long script entitled card game / house party, following (mostly following) a group of teenagers at an underage party. And lastly, uploaded three new short plays: shrine play, love letter walkthrough and last of all, set in the slave-fighting pits of the far future: when I die I will rot and nothing will survive.

As always, give me a yell with any thoughts, ideas, contributions or suggestions. And if anyone knows of a way to make my penis longer and to give me more stamina so that I can have greater confidence with the ladies, I’d appreciate it if you could send me a link to your product’s home-page. Thanks, intertrons!

Turbo poetry slam last night. Front Cafe and Gallery packed full of human beings, most of them poets or spouting some form of lyrical spoken word. Jules Fleetwood and associate Slam Spiders ran the evening with an iron poetry claw. Ali McGregor performed her gorgeous Don’t Panic piece (which I missed and am stroppy about because it’s one of my favourites of hers) and Cathy Petocz won with a short but packed piece called The people you meet, Cathy. I honestly don’t remember much of the night, because for the first half I was stumbling around trying to prepare for the collective performance, and for the second half I was stumbling around trying to recover from the collective performance. Somewhere in the middle the collective performed, which seemed to go down pretty well, and most of all was fun.

Turns out I enjoy performing, though I forget that de temps en temps. Most of all, I enjoy performing ridiculous spoken word, chopped up vocal fragments and food colouring / detergent / animation on an overhead projector (and I’m not opposed to battering a metal bowl with a pair of chopsticks in an attempt at percussion) to add texture to the gorgeous music that Chris (guitar) Nickamc (bass) and Reuben (laptops) have created.

Standing in for Chef Ely we had Muttley aka FUNKY SQUAD preparing crepe suzette and flirting with all the older womens, and Reuben finally came up with a name for the squadron of evil we have assembled: fight fire with knives (in honour of the valiant but doomed struggle of certain governments to battle the destructive element of fire using traditional hand-to-hand weapons). To celebrate our first gig that’s worthy of the name, I’ve temporarily uploaded the entire set list to the collective page on this site. If nothing else, you want to hear the audience’s sympathetic reaction to the news of Dan McJimsey’s death at the beginning of cut up into pieces.

site update 30th August

word. Last forty-eight hours, I’ve tidied up and extended out the blind sounds segment of this website and created separate pages for the collective, the Donut Gringo Avenger Boys, my collaborations with Boysam and Grahame, and my solo radio mangling.

In particular, the collective page has new music uploaded from our recent performance at the State of Belonging event at the Street Theatre on Saturday 25th August. We scattered ourselves across the theatre foyer – Nickamc up against the studio doors, Reuben and Chris on the stairs to the main theatre entrance, Max running crazy errands to and from the supermarket throughout the whole gig, and Ely and myself in the cafe respectively cooking delicious crepes and projecting (mostly invisible) images. There was a six month old girl in the crowd who understood what we were on about – and one six month old per gig is just about enough.

Our next performance is tomorrow night at the Front Cafe / Gallery, as part of the first ever TURBO Poetry Slam. Chef Ely cannot be there, unfortunately, so we’ve brought in Stalin-esque replacement-chef Funky Squad. Visit the Front Cafe in Lyneham this Friday 31st (7:30pm, Lyneham Shops, Canberra in the Australie) and you will witness this performance unfold like a colossal and unbelievably intricate origami structure.

The full program for this year’s five-festival multiplex This Is Not Art (Sep 27 – Oct 1) has just been released, and I am inside it. I will be performing an FM radio / spoken word / vocal mash-up set (with lo-fi overhead projector visuals courtesy of Alethiometer) as part of an experimental poetry performance event entitled The New New 2.

What’s really psyching me up is that I am sharing a bill with Pimmon, one of my favourite abstract electronica artists since I was first switched on to Tigerbeat6 and all the madness therein. This is a sign of favour equivalent to having your mother dip you in the Styx, so I’m feeling fairly stoked.

In all fairness, though, I’m not really sharing a bill with him, since he’s performing at the official TINA gig on Saturday night, and I’m performing Saturday afternoon around 4pm. He’s sharing a bill with Leafcutter John, Tim Hecker and Robin Fox. I’m sharing a bill with Simon Cox and the DKDC Collective. But I’m performing at the same festival as Pimmon, and that’s still pretty exciting.

That said, because This Is Not Art is a conglomeration of five different festivals, I can’t really truthfully say I’m performing at the same festival as Pimmon. I’m performing as part of the National Young Writers’ Festival, and he’s performing as a part of the (slightly more prestigious) electronic arts festival Electrofringe. But I can definitely say I’m going to be in the same city as Pimmon. And that’s something that only the population of all of the cities that Pimmon has ever been in can claim.

The aim is not to be remembered after you’re dead. The aim is to not be remembered after your death.

At the point of your death, there should be no person and no thing that will miss you. Your job is to be forgotten by every living thing at the very moment you die.

If you’ve lived any sort of interesting or engaged life, it’s a lot harder to be completely forgotten than it is to be remembered even a little, but it’s completely necessary. No-one reading this will be remembered 50 years after they’re dead. No-one. If you are remembered, it will be in such a trivial, dismissable way that you should be embarrassed. It is far harder, and far more valuable, to have conducted your life in such a way that no trace of you remains in the world’s memory by the moment of your final exhalation.

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First Collective gig this Saturday 25th

For the last few weeks, I’ve been working with an unnamed collective of musicians, performers, visual artists and chefs on a new performance which incorporates music, theatre, lo-fi animation and cooking. This collective doesn’ hab a name, but it’s housed online on Nickamc’s static.sound.silence MySpace page. You need to go there and listen to one lonesome hiccup, because it’s making me totally happy.

alethiometer (chris finnigan) – guitars, echoes and catharsis

Our first performance is this Saturday (25th Aug) at the Street Theatre as part of State of Belonging, a ‘real-time Iron Chef-esque art making competition’. There’s a crazy sculpture contest between two teams of artists on Childers Street, the ANU Art School’s having an open day, and in the Street Theatre foyer we’ll be playing/performing/serving from midday until 1pm.

HOWEVER the gig I’m excited about is next Friday evening (31st Aug) at the Front Cafe/Gallery in Lyneham – we’re performing as part of the first TURBO Poetry Slam which is being put together by an association of word-psychopaths and poet-devils. That will be wicked.

Q. Dear Dolly, I am a fifteen year old. I have lots of guy friends but I have never had a boyfriend or been kissed. Do the pubes ever stop growing?

A. Dear Fifteen, no the pubes never stop growing. When the incorruptible body of St Augustine was found, more than a thousand years after his death, his pubic hairs had grown through the lid of his coffin, up through the earth and out into the sunshine. Peter of Brussels, in his 1605 Treatise, describes the discovery:

“The villagers of Antwerp were sore distressed by a gruesome Thicket, which some such had naught but tangled black vines and a grim prospect. Most perplexing was the ravishing of some young Maidens,, who had stumbled into the tangled vines and been put to a regrettable Disadvantage, also to their Fathers and Brothers who bemoaned their loss of Purity. When the villagers took unto the woods with an Axe, they were shocked to hear a Moaning, as if of a living beast. Upon the advice of that most wise Priest, [Peter’s mentor Cuthbert of Toulouse] the villagers uprooted the vines and located the source of the Thicket, which to their amazement took root in the Genitalia of a corpse. That Incomparable Father of Knowledge [Cuthbert again] swift identified him as Saint Augustine, whom we thought rather to have been dwelling in the City of God these last thirteen centuries.”

Because my employers are enlightened 21st century animals, I am occasionally given the leeway to run interviews with artists whom I think are interesting. This week, I was bitter that Liquid Architecture (major Australian sound-art festival) is skipping Canberra this year, something to do with hugely expensive, no funding, etc etc. So in retaliation I contacted two Canberra sound artists to talk on the air.

The first was Reuben, aka Sevenen, local sound-maker and performer. As well as Sevenen, Reuben performs as Dead Baby Joke, with noise outfit Batfuck, as part of demented metal trio Inflatable Ingrid, with Nickamc, and is one of the unnamed collective of musicians / performers / visual artists / chefs I am currently collaborating with.

The second was Alistair Riddell, lecturer at the ACT Centre for New Media Art and a member of the now defunct sound art trio Hypersense, who blew my tiny mind a few years ago when I saw them creating music using VR-gloves. Anyway, it was two visuals to restore my faith in science-fiction.

Imagism was a short-lived assemblage of British and American poets in the early 20th century who tried to strip poetry back to what they thought was its essence: the image. ‘Objective – no slither; direct – no excessive use of adjectives; no metaphors that won’t permit examination.’ –Ezra Pound.

The movement kicked off in the early 1910s with the publication of some collections of work by the members of the movement. They were never really a particularly tight-knit group, and the effort faded after a few years, but some of the most beautiful writing I know comes out of that period. Two examples:

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H.D.Oread (1915)

Whirl up, sea-

Whirl your pointed pines.

Splash your great pines

On our rocks.

Hurl your green over us-

Cover us with your pools of fir.

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Ezra PoundIn a Station of the Metro (1919)

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;

Petals on a wet, black bough.

site update, 21 July 2007

I’ve uploaded a grand swag of new material, all of it in tiny bite-sized chunks so as not to scare anyone away with inhuman expectations that you’ll read all of it. Or much of it. But you could burn my tiny little world down if you did me the honour of reading any of it.

I’ve added several new segments to vnampqir, the twisting and stumbling online incarnation of my 2004 script Vampire Play. The story now encompasses the Vampire Gang’s awesome ambush and Manson and Karen’s game of go.

Also I’ve planted a dose of short scripts and quick pieces on the scripts page, including one of my latest pieces – bodies in the waves, intended as a sort of sequel / companion piece for Weasel and Brown on the beach.

And lastly, I have uploaded a coat made of eyes and some short poems from 2003 to the writings page. I found them a little while ago and I don’t know why, but I really like them. Something about a solar system held together by old threads of wire… I’m not sure. But dig!

As always, any thoughts or comments or additions or offers to enlarge my already considerable package, write to blind_dragonfly at uymail dot com.