28 January 2016

David Bowie 24/7

From the Archive
David Bowie
No atmospheric film, no lush coffee-table book, no poignant memorial concert nor complete vinyl record set will re-embody David Bowie quite like the churning, 24/7 world of the Internet in the hours, days and immediate weeks following the announcement of his death.
The shock of the news drove people to their screens and triggered a relay of declarations, speculations and remembrances. These mass actions and reactions were not only expressed through thoughtfully composed words, but also, of course, in sound and vision.
No-one, but no-one could strike a more compelling pose than David Bowie. This had been evidenced just days before, when social media was saturated with stunning Bowie images for his 69th birthday, and haunting scenes from videos for his new album were etching themselves into consciousness. No doubt the speed and intensity of image circulation escalated 8440% at the realisation that he really had died  —  just like the percentage increase in his album sales in the US.
Through his family, Bowie asked that he be remembered by his music. We were already there — at first zoning in on our immediate favourites, then recalling others stored deeper in time and memory, and, over the following days, beginning to excavate into his back  
catalogue to discover gorgeous, previously unheard anthems and laments. Playlists with 20, 30, 40 astounding songs came together effortlessly.


From the Archive
Wild is the Wind, Station to Station,1976

In that moment of his death, the Internet confirmed its potential as world Archive. Not only as a place to find and download, but also as a site to conserve and upload, order and annotate, rework and reanimate, share and transmit. Archivists — amateur and professional, private, public and corporate — rummaged through  everything they held about David Bowie and threw it into the rolling electronic mix.
Like others, I was live editing  —  extruding elements from the digital ether. At a certain point, I was no longer watching and listening, but inhabiting an unfolding narrative space of surround-sound and vision.
We don’t actually need a film, coffee-table book, memorial concert or vinyl record set to memorialise David Bowie, because they are finite with an absolute beginning and end. Instead we have this mammoth, collective archive project, where each day another tremor of new material ushers forth for us to sift through — refusing his death and keeping him alive indefinitely.
And just like Bowie himself, we not only honour his various pasts, but project him into a future (or futures). No-one I have heard or read has considered using the term 'Closure' when it comes to Bowie. We’ve become used to not seeing him around in real time, so we can accept this ever-changing digital archive as a true record of his actual infinite presence.



From the Archive
Afternoon Plus, 1979








18 January 2014

SOUNDTRACK for an acupuncture treatment

Musical soundtrack for acupuncture on a hot summer day in a chinoiserie room above the streets of Kings Cross  thankyou Margaret Bruce and her resident DJ John Archer

Track 1. Theme music by Michael Galasso from In the Mood for Love by Wong Kar-wai
A little bit of Hong Kong in the heart of Kings Cross

Track 2. Bahia by Anouar Brahem
John introduces Anouar Brahem to me and I introduce Shazam to John

Track 3. Anche Melelo Ney Betolo by Alemayehu Eshete and Dadimos Band
A little post-acupuncture delerium


SOUNDTRACKS inspired by the Sudanese boy travelling on the Western Line 
whose gold Soul brand headphones leaked so much sound I could hear what he was listening to 
and Shazam for identifying exactly what those sounds were 
[Who's Gon Stop Me by JayZ & Kanye West]

06 January 2014

SOUNDTRACK Soulful city sounds

Soulful sounds calling attention to themselves around the city to create a soundtrack for looking, touching, trying, tasting

Track 1. And the Beat Goes On by The Whispers / heard Westfield Sydney



Track 2. In the Rain  by The Dramatics / heard Fratelli Fresh, Potts Point




Track 3. Black Byrd by Donald Byrd / heard Devon Cafe, Surry Hills



SOUNDTRACKS inspired by the Sudanese boy travelling on the Western Line 
whose gold Soul brand headphones leaked so much sound I could hear what he was listening to 
and Shazam for identifying exactly what those sounds were 
[Who's Gon Stop Me by JayZ & Kanye West]

02 January 2014

SOUNDTRACK New Year's Day 2014

Music that floated into consciousness to create the soundtrack for a roadtrip on the first day of a new year

Track 1. Making plans for a roadtrip / Chinese Dream by Caitlin Reilly 
Conjuring up image memories from the streets of Shanghai and intimate conversation cutting through the sensory overload. Here's more from Caitlin Reilly's Slow Songs for a Fast World CD

Track 2. Driving down the coast / Happy by Pharrell Williams
That's the official 4:08 min clip, but there's also a 24-hour version, presumably inspired by Christian Marclay's The Clock. If you'd like to see more of that clip at 12:05 of Richard Gere getting dressed to a soundtrack of Smokey Robinson and the Miracles here he is

Track 3. Driving back to the city through the Adelaide Hills / Perfect Form by Cyril Hahn and Shy Girls
At last, rain broke the spell of the heavy heat and humidity


SOUNDTRACKS inspired by the Sudanese boy travelling on the Western Line 
whose gold Soul brand headphones leaked so much sound I could hear what he was listening to 
and Shazam for identifying exactly what those sounds were 
[Who's Gon Stop Me by JayZ & Kanye West]

Stay tuned ...


24 May 2013

The Beauty of Dismantling

Sometimes the dismantling of an exhibition is as compelling as the live work. 

We missed the Shanghai Biennale at the Power Station of Art. But dismantling of the monumental work Bodhisattva with a Thousand Hands by Huang Yong Ping created it's own spectacle of scale, improvisation, delicacy and risk.

Which is perfectly in keeping with the Biennale's theme of Reactivation  echoing the venue's former life as a working power station.

video









25 February 2012

On My Way to/from Work: Commodification of Public Space #3


 Moove flavoured milk 
sound sculpture (in shape of headphones) & inflatable event stage
First Fleet Park, Circular Quay, 24 February 2012

10 November 2009

ARCHIVE BOY 3+3 image+text

A young boy sits on the edge of the archives conference

Distracted temporarily by archivists letting their hair down on the dancefloor
But ultimately content with his Nintendo screen

3+3 is a brandsusan curatorial project

photos by Angela McGing & her son Owen Roberts
taken at Australian Society of Archivists conference, Brisbane, 2009
reproduced with permission