Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Making a Mark - Austin Kleon

Blogger Austin Kleon, native of some big city in USA made a great post on graffiti with a progressive attitude towards.  There is nothing like alternative perspectives to give us ever broader pictures on the world. See his post here  Austin Kleon

to quote his final quote
"leave things better than you found them"

and something a polish chef told me once that cunningly seems to apply to a lot of things.
"there is always room for improvement"

image not mine, don't bother suing me I'm broke.

Is Shepard Fairey in Melbourne ?

I have often wondered whether Shepard Fairey puts up all his work or if he also has some minions to do some of the pasting also.  Can't confirm anything on that front but I do know that there is some new pastes going up in Fitzroy. 

It's good to see some pastes in general.  It would be good to see some of the Melbourne pasters to do some pasting around again.  Rone had some good ones and DOMMAD had good ones also, vandal spruce used to get up and there were plenty others that I can't even bring to the hazy old brain. 

Fuck the graff vs paste war, good to appreciate something fresh whatever the style it's in.

Anything that's fresh and getting up is what the city needs.  The buff squad need to earn their keep and the councils need to realize that street based art and graff isn't lying down while the city slathers on murals puts on it's cool mask and pretends it's hip. 

The underground is what made Melbourne and it will be the force that continues to push the city to new heights.  Anyone involved in the Melbourne Arts is responsible for a continuation of a culturally evolving environment or one that pats itself on the back and stagnates. 

What the fuck is this hatred of tags anyway - isn't all this land stolen ?  Or coerced from the traditional owners unfamiliar with the guise of a fair trade.   What if there was a law proposing the hypothesis that walls in the public space remain the property of the public?  That they can be altered by anyone who has something to add to the space, creatively, contexually, politically or for the betterment of society.  Is a bit of paint really such a big deal ?  Everyone has their own ideas of beauty, or nescessity ( which is a type of beauty perhaps ).  If a land "owner" wishes to paint their wall white let them, after a while they are generally left alone.  The idea would be not to open the floodgates to a city wide vandal fest as would be probably feared most, but more likely a community moderated arena.

When trains run TAB and sports bet advertisements and run hate campaigns against train writers it's time to ask ourselves what kind of place we are keeping for the future ?  It is better to come to a compromise between two extreme because the alternative is generally not good for either those for, or those against.  Sometimes this is the perfect solution.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

The Melbourne Rift and Resolutions

Sometimes, I just pass the time, hours of time browsing as many blogs as I can from Australia, Melbourne mostly, and some overseas.  I concentrating on contemporary street based art forms but I am not limited to this, anyone pushing the boundaries of art, writing and its plethora of forms is fair game.  Lately I noticed a large amount of blogs that just died.  Died around the year 2011.  Almost like a swansong before the Armageddon of 2012. A cultural Armageddon perhaps?  An exodus.

Weblogging is a relatively new phenomenon however and perhaps it was just a first/second wave dying out.  Voices lost in the waves, waves of vimeo, twitter, instagram etc.  Out of the multitude of blogs I sorted through on the hunt for more reading there were very few bloggers actually still posting, lack of followers ?  Lack of views, disinterest? 
With the wealth of information out there informing us that if a blog isn't getting a couple of hundred hits a day it's failing, if it doesn't get some sponsors it's finished.  No wonder people drop out, but the dedicated stay on and it is great to be along for the ride, the tirades of life compressed into type, little lines of worlds within words.  I considered leaving my blog at times, other lives, but I'm happy to have stood the test of time, so far, and now writing feels a lot less forced. 
I've always thought that if we can't influence a lot of lives generally we should try to share our own brief enlightenment to a few profoundly.  With subtle care it is our duty if we are given for some unknown reason a gift that may benefit others. 
Dedicated to Arvo Pärt

Friday, 25 July 2014

Progressions - Futures For Melbourne's Architecture - The Commons

I'm guessing that I am not the only one that laments the amount of ugly buildings across Melbourne, badly designed, incorect placement, huge cement heat radiators that serve only to make our other more appropriately designed structures shine all the more.

I believe that architecture is fundemental in influencing how people move, and intereact and that architechture and building design must be more carefully construced taking into account our climates and geography.  With the wealth of knowledge now available on correct positioning for passive heating and cooling and the mistakes of our 70's builds we should be pushing ahead.

 I heard about the Commons Building in Brunswick from a fellow poster who was lauding it for its integration into the gritty environ in which it was placed, the former graffiti nexus of the upfield line. 

 What I didn't realize was that this building was also awarded the Victorian Architeture Award for both apartment living and sustainability. 

   This building has forgone das auto( residents get carshare and yearly myki with bodycorp fees), saved $750 grand from having a basement carpark and instead spend this on solar panels, bike parks, double glazing, and a wealth of passive energy saving features.  Moreover the search for cheaper options has not been to buy more Chinese stuff - it has been to cut the crap off, get rid of the tiles, thick mass, glue, grout, clay etc, and use thin steel instead, recycled materials, etc.  External deciduous creepers have been utilized to provide summer shade and winter light.  To me this is everything great in Melbourne, the hunter gather aspect salvaging from what we have and creating something progressive, something to take a stand against the run of the mill buildings skyrocketing up across the skyline, full of heavy materials, highly reflective heat gatherers and archaic designs.

  The future for Melbourne deserves community oriented design and architechture.  No more sprawls, shopping centres for suburbs should be three story, you live above your shop, and more pests live above you, no more drive to work. Small centres all accessible to the other centres, areas where individual cultural spots can develop and nourish each other, limit the cars divisive powers by relegating it, learn from our mistakes.  So much can be done.  I'll save some for more posts later.

Since I got back in Melbourne a few years ago I was always thinking how great it would be if some of the well designed apartment towers and complexes that were going up along Smith St and around the more affluent areas ( where the architure and design was subject to progressive ideals and had to confirm to strict principles in line with the exisiting structures) - {and overlooked by a strong community}, if these buildings were put into somewhere like hursbridge, creating a microcosm, everything within walking, riding or public transport access.

This is our future after all, the decline of das auto is enivitable, our horizons must shrink again and the village will once more rear its much needed head.

Below is the interview on The Commons

Some more stats here.