Thursday, September 27, 2012


I went to a chip music gig last night, something about chip music speaks to me. Also my friend Kikuyu was playing who technically isn't chip music, but certainly electronic. I don't know what it is, certain things get into your head and just pluck the neurons as if they are high tensile strings. I think it's shit from way deep in my childhood memories, like the closing credits of Turricane and stuff, chip music sends me to a safe place.

Doing one of the most popular pieces from the Black Exhibition 'Physics is Great' I listened to Gary Numan's pleasure principle all day, and it was one of those special moments. It's strange but just stringing together a bunch of electronic beeps can just pierce through all your conscious noise and create moments of great peace and stillness.

Case in point: there's a refrain at like 4:19 of celloesque music that is really quite special.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

room for both

The Shawn Kemp piece I did for the black exhibition, I tossed up between several ideas to put for wording on it. But one was about Hip-hop being the only musical genre that really truly embraces sport, as if b-ball were the unofficial 6th pillar of hip hop or something.

Sometime sometime I 'liked' a facebook status to the gist of 'thumbs up to those enjoying live music tonight instead of football.' this is a common sentiment, not universal some kind of 'arts vs. sports' sentiment, I mean it's generally probably a minority opinion, but amongst artists it is (allegedly) common. My former colleague Ollie was a huge footy fan, but as a muso felt he copped shit if he was open about his love of the game.

This took me aback. What are we fucking morons? music vs sport or art vs sport is a bogus dilemma, perhaps more ignorant than a disbelief in bisexuality. perhaps... I guess I come from a meritocratic schooling system where you generally had high achievers and no achievers as the dilemma, overachieving snot faced pukes like me with all kinds of artistic, sporting, academic achievements embroidered on our blazer pockets, and then kids with none. I actually hated the colour system and was furious when my mother made a 'scab' out of me by getting my blazer embroidered when the school posted my achievements to her.

But I digress, my point being that people going to the footy on a friday night are not the enemies of people going to the northcote social club on a friday night. Sure one person can only be at one event at one time, but the real status update that I feel deserves 16 thumbs up is 'thumbs up to those enjoying live music OR sport and not staying at home tonight.'

My artistic friend Bryce wrote a wonderful piece on how much community theatre had to learn from community sporting clubs in their ability to engage a whole community, that unfortunately seems to no longer be available. But really, both exemplify a way to get out there and connect and contribute to people pursuing dreams.

I get as much mental stimulation out of following NBA and AFL as I do from listening to music, they are really different and really the same. I mean sport is where true improvisation occurs, season after season, game after game, you will never see the same basketball match twice, it's what makes a great game so great, where you clasp your hands to head in the glory and despair that you will never again witness Ron Artest sink a championship winning 3 and turn around and thank his psychiatrist.

Music is probably more obvious, particularly live, the venue changes every time, the crowd, you have the vicarious euphoria of an album launch to the intimacy of a quiet residency gig on a tuesday night. Admittedly, the AFL provides a number of people with a perfect excuse to sit at home and watch the game in HD rather than going out. But having booked in two exhibitions, I can say, it isn't the people who don't come because of clashes with other concerts, birthday parties, housewarmings, sporting comps, or other exhibitions, it's the people who don't come because they just can't be bothered that have a bigger impact.

It's not music OR sport, it's something vs. nothing. Those people kicking a ball round a field are just as much the kid of proud parents as the kid behind the bass guitar, drum kit etc.

Look I am a jealous and competitive person and I say there is room for both, I can joke about having nemises and rivals but the fact is, there's plenty of love in this city to go around. So much in fact I could use a whole heap more competition. Most of my friends I suspect have attended 1 art launch in their life - mine.

So it isn't the families clogging up the train lines on weekend decked out in the woolen colours of their favorite team, that are lapping up 'free' posters in the herald sun and making the copies at the McDonalds restaurants well and truly more well thumbed at the back that bother me, it's the people streaming breaking bad, game of thrones (especially since if you bothered to read you could read something truly great) and any infinite number of activities you could do just as easily in Donolly or Yass as you can in Melbourne's inner suburbs that twist my dick.

And at the same time, I don't care at all, they are an anonymous silent mass, not even notable in their absence from the cities culture. We don't think of them, hence how we can be suckered into thinking it's art vs sport.

But the point is there's plenty of room for art and sport and all the people sitting at home to get out and enjoy this city.

room for both

the black exhibition

still haven't grabbed my photos from h-wang. but let's just say, the best thing I ever did with my life. even though I've done a notch for a solo exhibition, this gets one too because this time I financially backed it, upping the risk.

Friday, September 14, 2012


It seems all the bands I love are waking up from their winter hibernation and gigging again, and I for one am super glad. For some reason seeing bands more than anything else just fires up my inspiration, makes me see solutions and just want to rush home and get to work.

I really can't recommend seeing live music enough. There is some great shit going on out there, and you don't need anybody to hold your hand, you are achieving so much more just by being there than streaming HBO shows in a socially accepted solitude.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


To quote the now defunked Mr John Blog's 'if you want a good explanation of game theory read Richard Dawkin's "The Selfish Gene"' which isn't a quote at all but a paraphrase because I couldn't be bothered looking up the post (I think it was about Pascal's wager) on game theory type stuff.

Anyway, the prisoners dilemma, the old chestnut of game theory, let's review for those who don't play games or alternatively think playing Angry birds makes you a gamer.

Two friends are held prisoner. They are kept isolated from eachother. They are each offered the same deal - if you cooperate and testify that your friend is guilty we will reduce your sentence to a year. If you don't cooperate, you get 10 years, BUT the thing is that they have no hard evidence on you or your friend, if neither of you testify you both walk free.

Here are the various outcomes.

Both cooperate - 1 year sentence each. AKA lose-lose
One cooperates - 1 does 1 year, the other 10 years AKA win-lose, lose-win.
Neither cooperate - both walk free AKA win-win.

Accept presumably justice, these win-lose evaluations are all from the prisoners perspective.

The thing is that because neither prisoner knows how the other will react, game theory predicts that their desire not to be the 'sucker' - the one who naively cooperates while their friend is ratting them out for a 10 year sentence, they will cut their losses and cooperate, so both cooperate and both lose a year of their lives.

But what I like to believe, and law enforcement has discovered with organised crime and such - is that cooperating is rarer than you would think. People are far more trusting, or you will discover have crazy value systems like 'they would rather do 10 years in prison than betray a friend' making processes like waterboarding and 'going to the dentist' popular.

But anyway, the point is that you have all these permutations of outcomes of the various 'games' we play. Dawkins applies it to evolution, many apply it to gambling/investment (it's hard to tell the difference these days, gamblers though tend to be less superstitious) but I had like an epiphany yesterday of no practical value, just descriptive value. You see -


these are the outcomes. Believing people to be good and decent, you could say that everybodies 'golden rule' in life is to create win-win situations. Of course, some people get trained into the naive belief that somebody winning entails somebody losing, but this is not what has built all the good shit in our civilisation.

That's one except, but it occured to me that most people act on the assumption that people want to 'win' and generally in interacting with others we defend against 'win-lose' or 'lose-win' situations and aim for 'win-win'.

My housemate of yesteryear wrote a whole honours thesis on whether somebody could have agency over an act they genuinely believed to be wrong, and now I will do him a slap in the face by just asserting that somebody may actually want to lose. That is what fucks you up, throws you off your game.

Of course, I don't believe, or choose not to believe that people who play to lose, or tank, have agency over it. They simply have no concept of the winning paradoxes.

Salient in my mind, almost always are Mark Horstman's 'Avoiding failure is not the same as seeking success' (failure and success have pretty much identical preparation processes a lot of the time) and Dr Gordon Livingston's paradox 'the ultimate risk is taking no risk at all'

and I think ultimately, those that to me appear to be playing to lose, are most often actually playing 'not to lose' in their own minds, not realising that playing 'not to lose' ensures losing.

And remember those hypothetical people I asserted that say things like 'I would rather do 10 years in prison than betray a friend' they fuck up the game because to them, their friend winning is equivalent to them winning. These people live in a world where almost every game looks 'win-win' to them, and are genuinely the most wonderful people. Economists tear their hair out trying to figure out 'rational incentives' for them to play the game.

But when these people meet somebody who plays to lose - they get caught out by the lack of permutations. When you are playing with somebody who plays to lose you only have:


This causes economists AND real people to tear their hair out. It's a crazy fucking game. Your friend is sitting in prison, and you have to accept that the moment the guard tells them 'you're free to go' they are going to throw themselves down and confess, anything to keep the security of prison around them. So what the fuck do you do?

Monday, September 03, 2012

2.38 pm

It's 2.38 pm, today I still haven't made it through my morning routine. I'll write about the exhibition and stuff later, but for now, I just want to I dunno, something. I'm thinking now that between this and I think the last post where I was trying to watch 'The Sitter' while writing a blog post I have written two sleep deprived posts in a row.

I hope you don't get the impression I am suicidal or some shit, quite the opposite. This is 'good tired' the tired I imagine climbers of everest feel when they make it back into base camp after summiting. Or the tired a soldier feels when she is sent back from the war for a little R&R.

It's the tired that follows great productivity. Last week I was getting up at 6~6.30am and going to bed at 12~1pm and then lying awake stressing for at least 2 of the hours I would refer to as sleep. A sleep where you can't recall losing consciousness, but instead wake up to the alarm clock already stressed out and knowing everything repeats again.

I went to strange place in my mind last week, and it wasn't till about 6.20pm saturday that everything was finally in place and I was able to relax. And that lead to a couple of hours of 'normalcy' then around 11pm when everything was done and the exhibition was packed up, I sat down on a couch and immediately felt my body shutting down for hibernation. it was the first time I could comprehend having nothing to actually achieve the next day in like 8 months.

Despite procrastinating early on in the hairspray process, I really came out of my first exhibition with hairspray weighing on my mind, and that just got heavier and heavier from march thru to July, then as soon as I was done with it I was already onto my second exhibition. It was crazy, and I only really have this month off.

But I had Jordan on the brain or something and was up again at 7am on Sunday, rode to the beach on a beautiful father's day and did a 12km run from St Kilda to Brighton and back.

Riding home the long way round the Merri Creek trail I ran into a primary school friend who was doing a 32k practice run for Melbourne Marathon, which is only two weeks before the New York Marathon, from memory I was always faster than Swanny in primary school. But in highschool he became a real meat-axe, a Ballifornian rower type. I felt incredibly bad about stopping him with 5km to go, and he put me to shame. I have to step up the training. He's running with a hydration pack and looks like he has about 10kg's of muscle on me.

So this morning I did a 25k circuit, it was fucking hot and I lost most of 2kgs in fluid in the process, but I've been wrecked since. Moral of the story, I'm going to bed.

Life is good.