Monday, 30 July 2018

poem collage 1995

poem collage 1995

I’ve been scanning some of the collages which I’ve made over the decades, some dating back to the late 1980s. Most of these are primarily visual constructions, usually collaging together images from magazines, sometimes with added washes of water colour and PVA. They are things that I made haphazardly and occasionally, they don’t follow any particular considered process or plan, they are casual, intuitive, opportunist, although occasionally relate to other work, mostly film or video, that I might have been making at the time. I seem to have stopped making them when I started using digital media; some of my earlier digital-based works took collage form, so it’s probably reasonable to assume that digital media more or less took over from physical material in my work generally. As a result I’ve found it interesting to return to these works, digitising simply as a way to preserve and archive them, also as a way to ‘exhibit’ them online, although in the case of this particular collection, in doing so can introduce new problems.

These particular collages were made in an A5 size cartridge paper sketch book in 1995. I had already started using digital media at that point so these represent a different impulse. They were made while I was back in London for six months, after having lived in, and before returning to Melbourne. As such I didn’t have access to computers. The collages were made from lines cut out of Wordsworth’s 'Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, On Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour. July 13, 1798', and the use of that text was certainly a reaction to being back in England; thinking about Romanticism, and the internalisation of landscape, perhaps as a response to coming from the Australian context, perhaps as a way of turning around the way that the Australian landscape was, in the earliest days of European settlement, often depicted as a colonial extension of the English pastoral. ‘Turning around’ literally as I cut out and placed the text in such a way as it was unclear as to how it should be read, in the sense of which way up to turn the page, whether to read across, or down, or both, and how... and in some cases using the very physical materiality of the sketch book to construct text that would be obscured, so obscure, vignetted by masks cut in the page so that the next page’s text would be revealed on turning the page. These are very much works of physical media that can never fully appreciated in digital form, for here, in scanning them, their orientation becomes fatally fixed.

The Storm Bugs play Contrapop, Ramsgate Beach, Sunday 5 August, 2018


Saturday, 21 July 2018

Alights on a Cloud

I was invited to make a soundtrack piece for the Super 8 film Alights on a Cloud by Lee Smith, a friend and well-respected filmmaker who died in Melbourne in 2008. This is the instrumental sound bed, consisting of three layered guitar improvisations recorded while watching the film. The final sound piece will also have a voice narration which consists of texts relating to the location of the film, its history, and Lee's interest in it. A number of other people have been invited to contribute sound and music to accompany Lee's films, the project has been instigated by Marcus Bergner.
When I moved to St. Leonards Ave., St.Kilda, I was fascinated by the timeless, placeless quality of the building next door - it could be anywhere in the world, and I wanted to capture the meditative quality of this realisation. So for three days and three nights I filmed through rain, sunshine and nightfall the ominous quality of a building that was home for a number of different people. 
The title comes from my interest in Native American spirituality which was very influential on me at the time. 'Alights on a cloud' is the name of a peaceful and tranquil person completely at one with his relationship to himself, the world around him, and the universe. 
- Lee Smith, Cantrills Filmnotes #87/88 December 1997

Friday, 6 July 2018

Pattern Accumulation Dub

A 'dub' version of a song recording work in progress, with shortwave interference, drum and bass.

Monday, 2 July 2018

Linear Obsessional Live 1 July 2018

There's a rare glimpse of The Storm Bugs in action towards the end of this video.