30 December 2004


Besides wiping out the equivalent of a small (at least) NZ city, the 'deadly Asian earthquake may have permanently accelerated the Earth's rotation -- shortening days by a fraction of a second -- and caused the planet to wobble on its axis, U.S. scientists said on Tuesday.

'Richard Gross, a geophysicist with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, theorized that a shift of mass toward the Earth's center during the quake on Sunday caused the planet to spin 3 microseconds, or 3 millionths of a second, faster and to tilt about an inch on its axis.

'When one huge tectonic plate beneath the Indian Ocean was forced below the edge of another "it had the effect of making the Earth more compact and spinning faster," Gross said.'

Full story here.

29 December 2004

Another diversion

I found this at Wired Kiwis.

Oh well

Staying at Steve and Anna's was a bit of a dead loss as far as painting was concerned. I was all geared up the weekend before last, but the last week of work really knocked the stuffing out of me, what with us getting radically restructured and all. It was good to just hang out in the sun, read books, and relax.

I'm back home now and will try to get some stuff done over the next week.

28 December 2004

A diversion

Play silly buggers with the Doctor Who theme.

A turn up for the books

I was feeling a bit hungover and unmotivated, but I've received an email that seems to say I'm a finalist in the 2005 Waikato National Summer Award. I entered Painting and smoking, which features on the front page of my website.

27 December 2004

It hasn't worked out quite how I planned it

I haven't done any work today. Basically I've got tomorrow to pull the stops out. Today hasn't been too good at all. Valium and wine and Johnny Cash.


After a reasonably good day on Saturday, I only did a couple of finishing things to the city painting I gave to my mother for her 60th birthday yesterday. So far today all I've been doing is sitting in the sun reading a book. It looks as if it might be clouding over, so maybe I'll get something done this arvo. I'm not sure quite what though - I suppose probably Skeleton Guys. I've also got to decide what to do with the objects one. I kind of like it all line and no colour, but I don't think I can really leave it like that.

Decisions, decisions...

26 December 2004

Last night's efforts

25 December 2004

Here we go

This was playing around on canvasboard while gesso dried:

This is going to have a few more layers of colour added, but it gives you the general idea:

And, yes, that is sunlight coming through the window, difficult though it may be to believe for those who have experienced the Welly summer of late.


I'm house-sitting for my friends Steve and Anna at the moment - just me and their two crazy cats. I've got a stack of canvases and a stack of reference books and a shitload of paint. I'm waiting for the gesso to dry on a couple of non-Skeleton Guy paintings. I want to see how they turn out before deciding whether to do some more of those or some more SGs. Hopefully there'll be some pics later today...

20 December 2004

And yet a-goddamn-nother

18 December 2004


Cuba's put up some big billboards in front of some yank office there - pictures from Abu Ghraib, a swastika, and the word 'fascistas'.

15 December 2004

And another

Studio views

In the interests of making those viewing this on dial-up's download speed as slow as possible, here's some more pics:

10 December 2004


Yesterday was the last day of smoking in pubs.

04 December 2004

French art blog

This is what it's all about. Some French guy scans in his sketchbook and sticks it up for all to see. That sucker's going in the links.

Street art

Rose has started a new blog documenting Wellington street art.

28 November 2004

More One Eye pics

Rose has put up some more pics from Jo, Sandra, Matt, and Stephen's show at One Eye.

27 November 2004


Those crazy cats at Bletchley Park have had a go at cracking a mid-18th century esoteric code.

20 November 2004

Pics, pics, pics...

Russ, Schmidt, Couper, Clover at One Eye in Paekak:

It's not really representative cos I ran out of room on my phone, goddamnit. Rose got some more but.

19 November 2004

Slack bastard

Yeah, so I've been pretty slack. The last month or so has been pretty full on in all sorts of different ways, and is only going to get worse in the immediate future. Goddamn.

I've managed to put a comic together somehow during it all, which I'll have to slap up on the website at some stage, and I've also embarked on some bigger Skeleton Guys:

It's a metre by 80 centimetres - the biggest so far. Yep, that is a ladder with some nails in it propped up against the wall it's on. This state of affairs's days are numbered however. I've arranged to borrow a proper easel from a friend who's quit her job to piss off overseas for an indeterminate amount of time.

04 November 2004


Andrew McLeod won the drawing award. His drawing's a good one all right. I'm looking forward to seeing the catalogue that's part of prize.

03 November 2004

Good one yanks

What's the story?

23 October 2004

Illuminati Guys

I dusted off the Illuminati Guys for my drawing award entry. I noticed that the shows they have for it are opening on 2 November, the same date as the US presidential election (though of course we're most of a day ahead of the yanks), so I couldn't resist. Here's the first draft (I was stupid enough to send off the proper one without keeping a copy):

As you can see on the left, I've also done another page, as well as a similar one of Skeleton Guys. I sat up till about half three this morning playing around with some Te Kooti stuff, but it didn't work out too well. We'll get there.

Hunter S tells it like it is

Fear and loathing 2004 style.

17 October 2004

Some people have too much time on their hands

The Bible in Lego.

Mucking about

I've been playing around with my website. I've added a couple of paintings (old ones though not new ones) and a few more NZ art-related links.

I'm also thinking about what to enter into the new drawing award Artspace and the Physics Room have started up. I was thinking of one of the Skeleton Guys on paper (which I happily define as both painting and drawing), but I think I'll go with a more jokey option.

09 October 2004

Ben's new camera

We went up to Palmy to go to Peter Ireland's opening at Thermostat last night, went out for dinner after, and then drove to Carterton to stay at Ben and Ang's. This morning he showed me his new camera. It's bloody huge.

06 October 2004

Getting sorted

The link to Ben's catalogue seems to work now. I've just got to persuade Rose to do me a new .pdf of the other one and we're in bizzo. The changes were made to the imposed version you see.

Yeah okay

So I completely fucked it up. The link to Ben's's bust, and the other's the wrong version and black and white. That's what you get trying to do something while poisoned.

(I'm pretty pleased with that double pos s. I've never had call for one before.)

05 October 2004

And another one

I've put a .pdf of the catalogue Matt and I did up as well. It's black and white at the moment but will be colour soon.

Predictions, premonitions, and other white lies

I've added a link to a .pdf of one of Ben's catalogues, which includes an essay I wrote, to the paintings page.

03 October 2004

Not that far after all

Oh well, the Airport doesn't reach that far. It seems fine inside the house, but I couldn't connect when sitting in the sun out the back. I haven't tried any of the balconies but.

02 October 2004

Started updating

I've played around with the painting pages as a first step to updating the website. The new arrangement has the great advantage of being seven separate pages instead of about 50 million. I've removed the links to photos but the photo pages still remain, so the links in previous blog posts should still work.

I've also added a new link to the blog links on the right there.

29 September 2004


Rose has got Airport, so I'm no longer tied to my slow as dial-up connection. I might have to do some experiments to see how far it reaches - e.g. whether it gets down to the walkway. Be good to be able to sit down in the sun during summertime if it does.

I took some hideously overdue books back to the library after work today, and gave them their blood money to get my card working again. I've got some idiot's guide to Dreamweaver out and will have a go at revamping the old website.

27 September 2004


Maybe you need to've worked as an editor for the PCO to find this funny:

WELLINGTON (AFP) - New Zealand's lawmakers came up with a definition of the colon that will have dictionary founder Samuel Johnson turning in his grave while delighting the most pedantic.
Parliament is consolidating tax law and heard complaints from experts that they were uncertain what that particular punctuation mark meant in the proposed legislation.

Helpfully parliament's finance and expenditure select committee issued this guide:

"The colon is essentially intended to be interpreted as an indication that the statements in the items are not linked conjunctively or disjunctively, that is, it would not be appropriate to link them with either an 'and' or an 'or'," said the advice.

"In some instances, each statement in a list that is punctuated with colons may apply independently, without relying on the operation of the statements in the other items.

"If the items are statements representing pre-conditions for a statutory result, the effect of linking the items with colons is that the result will follow if one or more of the pre-conditions are satisfied.

"If such items were linked with 'and', the result would follow where all the items were satisfied. If the items were linked with 'or', the result would follow where only one item but no more than one item was satisfied."

Got that?

The Oxford Dictionary defines the colon as punctuation "to mark antithesis, illustration, quotation or listing."

Fowler's Modern English Usage provides a witty and small essay on the colon and defines its special function thus: "That of delivering the goods that have been invoiced in the preceding words."


I came home today to find that Rose had cleared out the garage while I was at work. I've now got a whole lot more room, which is really good. It means I can have a few more things on the go at once, and can even start to think about doing some big stuff.

I've also got to get round to updating my goddamn website. Pity I'm such a lazy sod.

25 September 2004

Something else to look at

23 September 2004


Oh yeah, Matt's got a flash new-look website. I'm resisting the temptation to be drawn into an arms' race. I'd only lose.

Not dead yet

Just a quick post to let you know I'm not dead yet. I've been going out fairly often and haven't had much of a chance to sit down at the old computer. I've got a ridiculous amount of email to troll through as well.

This has meant that you've been spared my highly detailed (not to mention witty, entertaining, and informative) comments on Jenin Jenin at the Date Palms Film Festival, the Rob McLeod opening, the Andrew McLeod opening (no relation), the silly cartoony drawings I've been doing, and sundry other things.

Oh well.

05 September 2004


I've had a fairly successful weekend. I've got my studio sorted out enough to work in, and now have five new Skeleton Guys in various stages of completion.

27 August 2004


I'm a bit pissed, as I have been the last few nights. I've been a bit busy to get around to updating this bollocksing thing, but here goes.

News update: I got a rejection phone call from the old job appo I put in late last week - didn't take them long to decide they didn't even want to shortlist me, the bastards. On top of this I lost track of the days and completely failed to get my Wallace application in. Damnit, I would've been keen to see how one of the Skeleton Guys got on.

Apart from that the last week's memorable perhaps only for work bullshit. It's the first time since I've started this job that I've got really seriously pissed off with it. Up until now the dreadful unprofessionalism of the place has been more funny than anything else. But now the novelty's worn off and it's beginning to get me down.

(Hmm, now that I'm a bit pissed and uninhibited I wonder whether I should spill some of the great PCO gossip I've got? Unfortunately I can't be fucked.)

We've finally got paintings up on the walls. Rose got this guy round to do it, and he did a really good job. They look really good. In previous houses, I haven't put my own stuff up on to the walls, but this time I thought I would - see how they look next to other people's.

15 August 2004

Off into the ether

Well, the old job appo is off into the ether, come what may. It'd be really good if I got it. The old Corro School is lots of fun, but it's only till the end of the year. A permanent part-time gig would suit me much better. There's certain aspects of the job that'd be really interesting as well.

I haven't done my Wallace thing yet. That's next.

12 August 2004


I've been home sick yesterday and today, lying around on various bits of furniture, feeling crappy, and reading The Prehistory of the Mind. I'd been out both Monday and Tuesdsay evenings. There was an opening at Chris Moore's (Ans Westra photos) and Bowen (Paul Rayner) on Monday night. Tuesday was a John Walsh opening at Janne's followed by a Krazy Lounge interlude before Michael's birthday drinks at the Matterhorn. I think I was feeling run down on Tuesday night, and getting to work in the howling wind and rain on Wednesday morning put me over the edge.

It's a bit of a bastard cos I've got a couple of appos to put together: one's for a boring job and the other's Wallace time again. I've put something in the last couple of years, so I might as well again, even though they'll just tell me where to go once more.

08 August 2004

Classic Onion

CIA asks Bush to discontinue blog.

Clayton's weekend

It's been a been a bit of Clayton's weekend, spent recovering from a hangover and doing my tax. I didn't think I'd drunk too much on Friday night - three beers at the pub before going off to dinner and then about three-quarters of a bottle of wine with dinner. I might have to give it a bit of a rest for a while.

I've been buying some Tintin books this week, since seeing the film about it. We used to have them all (and the Asterix books) when I was a kid, but I've no idea what's happened to them. Collecting them again seems like a pretty good project. I might even be able to get some paintings out of it.

I've also got to update my website. I've been thinking of having a bit of a redesign, but am not yet sure quite what that'll involve. I've got some photos from the Shane Cotton opening at Hamish McKay's to slap up (lifeless and inert stuff mostly), but, as one of the main things I want to do with the website redesign is nix the endlessly proliferating amount of pages and the constant stream of phonecam photos are a principal cause of this, I'm not going to do it just yet. Main thing is to get some new fucking paintings up there, which means making some.

04 August 2004

And more films

Well, it's all over for another year. A quick run down before I forget it all:

Thursday: Tintin and I
Friday: The Stroll and Ramones: End of the Century
Saturday: The Battle of Algiers, Hollywood Respliced, Ong Bak
Sunday: Checkpoint.

Checkpoint was a good one to finish on. Pretty much all the political documentaries (and there were a few of them) were sold out. It was a record year for ticket sales, which is particularly good considering there are fewer seats in the Embassy since the renovations. The only kind of empty ones I went to were A Page of Madness, Cowards Bend the Knee, and Hollywood Respliced. I particularly liked the Kurosawa one of the Hollywood Respliced flicks - Papillon d'amour. It had been filmed off a screen with a mirror down the middle showing a guy sitting with his robes making butterfly/Rorschach-type shapes. As the guy moved and bowed and stuff, his head would appear and disappear. It was groovy. The only one I didn't like was the first one - Cowboys and Indians.

The Ramones one was well worth it, if only to see what an asshole Johnny Ramone is. The onstage fight about which song to play next was pretty good too. Tintin and I was pretty interesting. I went out and bought Tintin in Tibet (which deals with the breakdown he had after divorcing his utra-right-wing-Catholic wife) and The Castiafore Emerald (which features a caricature of said wife). He had this weird boy scout ideal thing going on his entire life. The Battle of Algiers is well worth digging out on DVD or something.

Went to a couple of openings last night and caught up with Mr Couper. He had treats from his overseas exploits.

28 July 2004

Films, films, films

Only one's been a dud so far. Friday was Any Way the Wind Blows - which I really enjoyed but only remember snippets of (too many beers beforehand). Bukowski: Born Into This was my only film on Saturday - at 11 am. I've never read any of his stuff, but I might have to check out Post Office.

Sunday was a really nice sunny day so we spent the arvo sitting in a theatre watching The Corporation for two and a half hours, followed by a question and answer session with one of the directors. It's a fairly good indication it's a good film if you get into an impassioned debate with people you don't know afterwards. Check out their website.

We were meant to go to Anatomy of Hell on Sunday night, but I'd had six hours to kill and passed out in the lobby instead. Damnit.

Monday was Coffee and Cigarettes, which was all held together by these vertical shots of tabletops with coffee and cigarettes on them. I think my favourite of the 11 vignettes was Bill Murray with GZA and RZA from Wu-Tang Clan, followed closely by Jack White showing Meg his Tesla coil and the one with Iggy Pop and Tom Waits.

Tuesday was Vibrator - about these two fucked up people on the margins of Japanese society. It was all from the woman's perspective, with not only voiceovers but also intertitles giving us her thoughts.

Tonight we went to Cowards Bend the Knee, another Guy Maddin film. It was preceded by The Dead Father. There were certain themes popping up between all three films, besides the outmoded production methods: amputation, love triangles involving fathers and sons, people coming back from the dead...

Daily rubbish

Kind of what the Internet's all about really, isn't it? A new bit of rubbish every day.

22 July 2004


Monday night was Control Room and Our Music. Control Room was great - all about Al Jazeera during the Iraq war. All the people interviewed and followed were really interesting. Once again, there were some great quotes. 'It's like a Hollywood movie,' says one of Al Jazeera's young, educated female producers. 'You know how it's going to end, with the good guys winning and the bad guys getting killed. But you still want to see how it happens.'

Our Music was dreadful - self-indulgent pretentious bollocks. Someone I talked to afterwards reckons it's all Godard's wife's fault. It's been the only dud so far but.

Tuesday made up for it with A Page of Madness - an obscure avant garde Japanese silent film that was made in 1926 and presumed lost until the director found it in his back shed. The music was played live by In the Nursery. It easily took out the spot for my favourite so far. Last year we went to see Alphaville with a soundtrack by Scanner, which was also superb. I hope next year's even better.

Dias de Santiago was last night. It's a cheery wee tale about a guy back from the Peruvian Army who's finding it a little tough to adapt.

19 July 2004

Another day, another film

We went to see The Yes Men tonight. It was incredibly funny, but I'm a bit ambivalent. It all started because they did a spoof website during George Bush's campaign in 1999, and then set up a spoof WTO site - and started getting invitations to conferences. At the end they said they hoped this film would inspire other people to do similar things, and then put up their own web address. It made me wonder whether a similar URL to theirs is available - to do the treatment on them. Of course, though, there's much more suitable targets.

18 July 2004

Et al.

This week there's been some amusement to be had with the media's reporting of et al. being our representative at the next Venice Bienalle. The Dom Post used the term 'dunny artist' on more than one occasion (cos of the portaloo that brays like a donkey), ACT MP Deborah Coddington was quoted as saying 'It's crap - and most New Zealanders know it', and the conservative critic Hamish Keith suggested Ralph Hotere or Max Gimlett instead.

I have to say I really don't like et al.'s work - it's all this poststructuralist language and meaning bullshit. A lot of the palaver is about the amount of taxpayer money being spent on it - with the express purpose of promoting NZ art at the premier international art event - when the artist pretends to be an anonymous collective of artists and refuses to give interviews or comment on the work. Oh yeah, there's the usual my three-year-old daughter could do this kind of comments as well.

This is bollocks of course. Anonymity is a perfectly valid and reasonably common artistic strategy. The curators and Creative NZ staff can do all the publicity bullshit. The problem is that this is the third (out of three) installation we've sent (not to mention the fact that language-based conceptual art is not exactly exciting and new). I reckon Tony De Lautour would make a much better choice.

Two more down

Yesterday was Aaltra and The Saddest Music in the World - two very different films that were both in black and white (mostly) and featured people with problems with their legs. They were also bloody funny.

The Saddest Music in the World had these crazy sets (very Cabinet of Doctor Caligari) and the craziest film effects you're likely to see in one place at one time for a while - not to mention some bloody good lines ('Siam - famous for its dignity, cats, and twins') and Isabella Rosselini's beer-filled glass legs.

Aaltra is possibly my favourite so far (though it's early days yet of course). It's a Belgian wheelchair road movie. It had some great lines in it as well, and a brilliant karaoke scene in a Finnish biker bar. The best bit was possibly when the two guys were trying to get some dosh - on one side of the street one of them braked his wheelchair in front of someone's bike and wouldn't move until the guy gave him 50 euros, while on the other the other guy asked people for some information and, when they came within reach, grabbed them, wrestled them to the ground out of his wheelchair, and demanded money while hectoring them.

New house

We're the sandy-coloured one in the centre.

17 July 2004

Miscellaneous bollocks

If you've been reading Rose's blog, this'll not be unfamiliar. Just over two weeks ago we found out we were getting kicked out of our house. We've moved the last three Novembers, and joked that no doubt wwe'd end up having to move again come the next November. But no, we didn't get that far. Normally it's a real hassle finding somewhere. We've got quite stringent requirements. There's five of us. Both Rose and I work from home (usually). We have three cats and a dog.

The weekend after getting the nice letter giving us six weeks' notice we were being booted out we went to have a look at a couple of places. We quite liked the one in Khandallah, so we put in an appo. Rose had seen this other place out in Camborne advertised and went to see it the following Monday (or perhaps Tuesday, I forget). She and the kids were blown away, and so after much humming and hawing she put in an appo for that as well. We reckoned both of them would say fuck off the dog, but instead both accepted us. Even though I hadn't seen it, Rose decided on Camborne. We moved on Tuesday.

The first thing I thought when I saw it was that it was very ostentatious and crass. It is the Alatini's house after all (the kids knew who they were, but I had to google them, and so will you). It's just the primo location though. Every room has amazing views over the Pauatahunui Inlet, and the dining area and all the bedrooms have balconies off them. There's a path that feeds into the Camborne Walkway right next to us, which I walk along to catch the train each morning and take the dog down to in the evening. Rose has one picture up, but I think there'll be more coming.

One reason for the inordinate haste in shifting (which was nightmarish) was the old Film Fest, which opened last night with Hero - a lavish Hong Kong epic set in China over 2000 years ago. My favourite bit was probably the fight scene in the middle of the lake with them all flying about and bouncing off the water. It'd probably help knowing a bit more about Chinese colour symbolism as well - though it wasn't exactly subtle.

Tonight we went to Super Size Me, which no doubt - being a well-informed imaginary reader - you've already heard of. It was pretty bloody good. After we had the New Right revolution of the mid-80s, you'd get all these people arguing that the free market was the best way of organising every aspect of society because it was taken as given that that which made the most profit doing something was doing that thing in the most efficient way. I thought at the time that the food industry was the perfect example of why this was a load of shit. The way to make the most profit is not to provide good cheap nutritious food, but to make cheap (and preferably addictive) crap and hook as many people, and especially kids, into it. This film makes the case pretty bloody well. I might not eat meat, but I do eat a lot of crap - both convenience and fast food.

We had enough time to self-consciously grab some nice vegan food before The Motorcycle Diaries - Che's road trip around South America with his mate. It was this that deflected him from becoming a doctor specialising in leprosy. There was a scene where his mate asks him what he's going to do with his life and I half expected him to answer that he's planning on becoming a world famous revolutionary and twentieth century icon. The best bit was the photos from the actual 1952 trip in the end credits, though the film itself was bloody good as well.

And finally, the last word goes to a picture Matt sent back from LA:

11 July 2004

I don't know about this

These are my results from the better personality test:

Wackiness: 38/100
Rationality: 46/100
Constructiveness: 40/100
Leadership: 76/100

You are an SEDL--Sober Emotional Destructive Leader. This makes you a dictator. You prefer to control situations, and lack of control makes you physically sick. You feel [you] have responsibility for everyone's welfare, and that you will be blamed when things go wrong. Things do go wrong, and you take it harder than you should.

You rely on the validation and support of others, but you have a secret distrust for people and distaste for their habits and weaknesses that make you keep your distance from them. This makes you very difficult to be with romantically. Still, a level-headed peacemaker can keep you balanced.

Despite your fierce temper and general hot-bloodedness, you have a soft spot for animals and a surprising passion for the arts. Sometimes you would almost rather live by your wits in the wilderness somewhere, if you could bring your books and your sketchbook.

You also have a strange, undeniable sexiness to you. You may go insane.

(Nicked from One Before.)

08 July 2004

04 July 2004

Yet more photos

I've slapped yet more phonepics up on the old website.

There's end of the month drinks at work from a while back, my friend Steve, my friend Kate, the Wellington Workingmen's Club, Matt at the Peter Adsett opening, other people at the opening, my friend Maciek's Young Pioneers badge celebrating 60 years of the Bolshevik Revolution, my friend Maciek, my dog Laika's eye, and a view of the sunset from my balcony a few days ago.

Don't ask me why.

Bit of a laugh

The knee-jerk contrarian game is worth a look. The idea is to check out reviews for classic books etc and rank them from worst to best.

My favourite is about 1984:

'Though society and government are not perfect, they are not as evil and as oppressive as Orwell made them out to be. He creates a negative Utopia in hopes to make people hate their leaders and to disagree with any form of government. It is because of people like Orwell that our nation, as well as other nations, are so dramatically torn by the opinions of citizens towards their leaders, and their leader's decisions. Also, at the end of this novel, Orwell leaves readers with a sense of hopelessness, by allowing his main character to be manipulated, tortured, and brainwashed into following what Orwell inderectly refers to as government. Let's try to be a little more optomistic, and work on a happier ending, shall we?'

03 July 2004

Fat, dumb and ugly

When Peter Strupp, a Boston office worker, decided to collate statistics
relating to his fellow Americans, he gathered them under three headings - fat,
dumb and ugly. He says he could have created a similar volume entitled Thin,
Smart and Beautiful, but that that title "hasn't been my experience". Below are some of the figures he uncovered.

Number of Americans who are considered obese: 60 million

Amount spent by Americans every year trying to lose weight: $30bn (£16.5bn)

Average lifetime ice cream consumption by Americans: 1 tonne

Average number of Americans killed annually by vending machines falling on
them: 13

Amount of food suitable for human consumption wasted annually in the United
States: 48,000,000 tonnes

Percentage of Americans who believe that the theory of human evolution
is "probably" or "definitely" not true: 47

Average number of words in the written vocabulary of a six- to 14-year-old
American child in 1945: 25,000

Average number of words in the written vocabulary of a six- to 14-year-old
American child today: 10,000

Percentage of American adults who understand that the earth orbits the sun
yearly: 48

Percentage of Americans in favour of censoring news reports about antiwar
protests: 40

Percentage of Americans who think they will be famous for at least a short
period of time: 30

Amount Americans spend annually on Christmas presents: $194bn

Average number of pink lawn flamingoes sold annually in America: 250,000

Percentage of Americans who describe "barbecue" as the aroma that best defines
America: 39

Percentage of the world's rubbish produced by the United States: 19

Percentage of who believe we didn't actually go to the moon: 20

Amount of water used in daily showering by an average American family of three:
140-180 gallons

Percentage of American households with one or more cars: 89

Time spent by an average American watching television commercials during his
lifetime: one year

Number of bald men in the United States: 40 million

Annual expenditure on wigs and toupees in the United States: $400m

Percentage of American adults who say they have undergone cosmetic surgery: 70

Percentage increase in cosmetic surgeries since 1990: 200

(Nicked from the Guardian.)

30 June 2004


Why Bush doesn't read the news. Need I say more?

28 June 2004

Spiderman detourned

This actually quite old from BoingBoing: detourned Spiderman comic strips. Just keeping hitting the refresh button to see a new one. There's about 20 in all - some of them are really stupid, but others are pretty funny.

GPS drawings

This just in from RandomURL: GPS drawings. Neat idea anyway.

25 June 2004


I haven't been up to much after the excesses of Rose's 40th last weekend. It was a bit of a doozy, and I think it's safe to say a good time was had by all. I don't know how I'm going to top it when my turn comes around, but at least I've got more than five years to suss it out.

I missed the Seraphine Pick and Jason Greig opening at Hamish's on Tuesday night, but I did go to a particularly crap Peter Adsett opening at McLeavey's on Wednesday. There were four abstract paintings made with acrylic, urine, hair from a hairbrush, and water. It was funny how the crowd was quite different from the usual one. I think it was mostly people looking for an investment and family.

Matt and I headed off to the pub instead, where we bumped into Rob McLeod and some guy called Victor, and proceeded to get thrashed at pool by them.

15 June 2004


I've been sending some phonecam pics off to Sent, some that're on the website and some that aren't. If you see one of a whole lot of people with Maori sovereignty flags standing in front of the Beehive and Parliament Buildings, for example, you're pretty safe in saying that's one of mine.

There's some good ones, but I find the random pic thing a bit of a pain in the ass. Certain pics keep on showing up over and over again. They need a page of thumbnails or something, so you can check them all out without seeing some of them 50 million times.

13 June 2004


Rose and I went along to listen to Rosy Parlane, Richard Francis and Campbell Kneale at the Adam tonight. They separately produced their own brand of noise for about 10 to 15 minutes each first and then melded them together for about half an hour or so. It was bloody cold but that kind of went with it, especially for the wind howling one. I picked up a couple of Birchville Cat Motel records (including this one) and a Rosy Parlane CD on the way out.

I had a quick squizz round that part of the Prospect show during the break. Most of it was pretty boring, though I did quite like the Francis Upritchard stuff. It was the old school desk that did it for me.

11 June 2004

Shiny and new

I'm typing this on my shiny new iBook. I went and picked it up today. Now comes the onerous task of installing software and transferring files, though that might have to wait till tomorrow.

It's been a pretty boring week otherwise. At least I've got over being crook. It's Rose's 40th birthday next weekend, and I've no idea what to get her. Sussing that out will have to be a mission for next week. I wonder if I'll be able to find a copy of that song Life begins at forty?

06 June 2004

Bilderberger frenzy

To offset the overly diaryish nature of the previous posts (since I started working full-time the old posts have got more infrequent, longer, and much more diaryish), here's the Guardian on the Bilderberg group's net presence.

Dear diary

I've been sick as a dog the last few days. It's meant I had two and a half days off work, had to flag going up to Palmy, and haven't made a start on this freelance job yet (I should of course be doing so now but am instead sitting here typing this).

I started to feel a bit more human yesterday. As I had just been paid a huge wodge of dosh from a previous freelance job, Rose and I headed into town so I could buy a swish new iBook (I am so hanging out to ditch the horrible old PC). Unfortunately, though, bastard MagnumMac were closed for Liz's birthday. I'm going to have to take a long lunch next week and do it.

We decided to go check out the City Gallery part of the Prospect show (and naturally I took some sneaky photos). You'll have noticed I flagged going to the openings last week. I can't take City Gallery openings any more - the large crowd of nobs, the dreadful speeches (it's hard to decide which is worse: the corporate sponsor ones or Paula Savage's - that woman seriously needs to do some public speaking professional development).

I took photos of the ones that grabbed me the most first off. The top two are from the ground floor gallery - Ian Scott's pin up girls in front of hard-edged geometric abstractions (kind of funny), Liz Maw's paintings (stupendous), and a Peter Robinson sculpture. The bottom two are from the main first floor gallery - works by Sean Kerr and Ronnie van Hout. There was some other good stuff there, and some incredibly dull stuff as well (I hated the et al. installation and the Dick Frizzell painting the most I think).

I find the way these kind of curated survey shows group things together thematically pretty annoying on the whole. There's a good contrast with Te Manawa's current show - over 600 works from their collection that are ordered alphabetically (and that jam up on the walls from floor to ceiling) - works from wildly different periods and strands of NZ art history (such as it is) sit next to each other, leading to all sorts of surprising juxtapositions. The self-consciously curated shows try to force particular readings of, and associations between, the works on you. Bloody curators.

One thing in particular pissed me off about the way the City Gallery was arranged. Sean Kerr's Mountain was directly facing a DVD projection of Sarah Jane Parton singing karaoke. This meant that her singing along to Cyndi Lauper drowned out the droning coming from the Mountain. It even drowned the audio components of Ronnie van Hout's thing, which was down the other end of the room.

There was also Tracey Emin's Fear, War and The Scream downstairs. This featured drawings, paintings, photos, a neon sculpture, and a video work (and apparently they were thinking of bringing her tent over but decided against it - oops). It was all anguished, heartfelt, and confessional, just as you'd expect, but I was a bit surprised. I thought the colours and drawing would be stronger, bolder.

Having been stymied in my iBook purchase and revved up by contemporary NZ art, we then went on a record buying frenzy. I got It's bigger than both of us on CD (a great compilation of NZ singles from 1979-81). I also got a pile of vinyl: Another year by Nocturnal Projections - a truly fantastic 45 from 1982 - and The last great challenge in a dull world by Peter Jefferies (number 130 out of 1000), Caul of the outlaw by King Loser, a re-pressing on nice thick 180gm vinyl of The Stooges' debut album, a Jad Fair 45, Bongwater's Too much sleep, and David Bowie's Space oddity.

01 June 2004

Here we go again

This freelance job arrives tomorrow, just in time for Queen's Birthday (cheers Liz). It's a collection of academic essays on a particular piece of legislation. I can't wait. I'm planning to head up to Palmy on Friday for Simon's birthday (and to pick up my work), so expect I won't be making a good start on it till Sunday. It'll be a rerun of the last few weekends I imagine.

Last weekend was pretty much a dead loss for painting (except for Sunday arvo/evening). We had end of the month drinks at work, starting at half four, where I downed a few wines in quick succession (it'd been a reasonably long week). I then met the Matts and co at Thistle Hall, where Cortina were playing at a private function for some short film (which I hated, though they did have a seemingly endless keg and piles of Hell pizza to make up for it). Cortina rocked, then we headed down to Happy to see New Zealand, again featuring the inimitable Bek Coogan. After that, it gets hazy. I can vaguely recollect Motel, Matt Hunt, Tequila Sunrises, and White Russians, all jumbled up, and then staggering home at about five in the morning.

That was it for the rest of the weekend - wiped out. I've got all these bits of wood I scavenged, so I might try and gesso them up before the weekend, get them underway anyway.


No Right Turn pointed me to this salutary tale of freedom of expression in the USA - what happens when a gallery in San Francisco's North Beach, the home of the Beats, and where Lawrence Ferlinghetti of City Lights fame still hangs out, puts up a painting of US soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners.

If it's like that there, what the hell's it like in the rest of the country?

30 May 2004

Real painting

Here's an article in praise of cubism.


Gary Indiana on conspiracy theories.


Those freaked out cats at DARPA (who've previously brought us the Total Information Awareness project (complete with eye in the pyramid watching the world logo) and a market for trading in terrorism futures (as a way of predicting future events)) have got together with NASA to develop Robonaut.

26 May 2004

Mondrian machine

Piet Mondrian's been ripped off by a huge amount of advertisers. Now he's been automated.

(Nicked from RandomURL.)

Up in smoke

It seems Tracey Emin's tent and the Chapman brothers' Hell could've gone up in smoke.


You know the outlook is bleak when a respected environmentalist is saying the only way to avoid environmental catastrophe is through nuclear power.

(Cheers to No Right Turn for the link.)

On the tiles again

I went to the Liz Maw opening at Peter McLeavey's last night (the requisite photos are here and include as a special bonus a pic of a McLeavey conceptual art work - an envelope pinned to the wall with 'leave pinned to wall' written on it - as well as a couple of bits of graffiti I spotted on my travels). It was a good opening. Lots of people came along, and a good time was had by all. Matt's got a description of the works in question.

We went to a horrible chain Irish pub afterwards, where I drank Murphy's and ate a stuffed potato - all part of that fake Irish experience. I got home at about half eleven and had to lie on the floor for a while.

The problem of course is getting up heinously early to go to work the next morning, though I haven't been as hideously affected as usual recently. I must be slowly pickling myself or something.

23 May 2004


Rose has been playing round with the old Blogger thing, changing her template and adding a profile. When she found you can click on the interests and things in your profile and find other people who've listed the same things, I thought I should get in on the act. It's just a preliminary stab at it at the moment. I need to get a picture sorted as well.


It's amazing how amateur hour the US can be. I well remember seeing one of Jay Garner's (remember him?) televised addresses to Iraq, shortly before he got hurriedly replaced, and just being truly blown away.

It seems Iran has also realised how Mickey Mouse they can be, and set up neocon darling Ahmed Chalabi to string them along.

22 May 2004

Little red dots

I got an email yesterday to say a couple more paintings at Thermostat had sold. That's three out of twelve. Bloody brilliant. Yay, those little red dots!

Pissing around some more

As is pretty bloody obvious, I've changed the template. I'm not sure whether I like it, but I'll leave it for a while to see whether it grows on me. I'm not sure how readable it is. I suspect though that that's just down to me being used to the old look.

I've lost all the previous comments, and it seems as though only some of the posts will let you comment on them.

Pissing around

I've just been pissing around with the old website and have moved the phone camera photos from the bio to the paintings page.

I need to sort that bio page out. It's extremely boring.

A Scanner Darkly

BoingBoing has some goss.

Gregor's exquisite corpse

On a lighter note, Gregor's trying an exquisite corpse experiment.

Hersh on prisoner abuse

If you haven't already, read this.

Slacko bastard

I've been a bit crap at blogging recently. Must try harder.

19 May 2004

Here we go

Matt's started a blog.


I've put some more photos up. I kind of had to include the one of me sleeping in the gallery.

17 May 2004

The Palmy experience

I've put some Palmy photos up (from up until the battery on my phone ran out). I'm having technical difficulties with the installation photos for the exhibitions page, but hope to have them up some time.

The top left one is where I slept on Friday night - in the gallery under my work. The one in the middle of the third row is some of Matt's stuff ready to go up on the wall. The one on the bottom left is my stuff ready to go up on the wall. The one on the bottom right is both of our's stuff ready to go up on the wall. The bottles are Foxton Fizz.

13 May 2004

It never rains but it pours

I had a suspicion this would happen. I start a full-time job, and then get offered freelance work from a new client I want to do work for in the future. This Correspondence School thing only goes till December, after all. I want to have some things lined up for afterwards. However, doing any kind of decent sized freelance work as well as working full time would be heinous. Besides, I'm really hanging out to get stuck into some painting. Dilemmas, dilemmas.


I'm wagging today and tomorrow. Today, I'm packing my shit up, doing a price list, and other sundry related things. Tomorrow, we take stuff up to Palmy and hang the sucker.

Sarah's back

For those of you who enjoyed Leto, Sarah's back.

10 May 2004

Very swish

I fired up Blogger this evening and found that it's all changed. They've added some swish new features. I might start using their comments feature instead of my current one, which'll probably mean the current ones will disappear. They've got some new templates, so I might try one of those out for size as well, though none of them really grabbed me straight off.

I'm not about to do anything radical tonight though. Too buggered. This having to show up to work in the morning thing's to blame. It's a shock to the system, let me tell you.

Still, the people I work with are good, and the Correspondence School's got a good art stash. The boss of the area I work in has prints by Pat Hanly, John Drawbridge, and Gordon Walters on his walls. From where I sit, I can see prints by Robin White, Jeffrey Harris, and Richard Killeen. Apparently there's a large Fomison painting in one of the other buildings, along with various other things.

I've started thinking about what I'm going to do after these shows are over. I don't want to leave it too long before I have another. Got to keep up the momentum and all. Of course, most places are booked up well in advance, so it will necessarily be a while. The obvious thing is to try to find a dealer in Wellington willing to take me on. This is problematic. I'm really not sure who to approach. I need to think about it some more, and probably chatting with various people on the subject would be a good idea.

The other thing, of course, is doing some more bloody painting. What with one thing and another, I haven't done any for ages. I can't really focus at the moment - it'll have to be after the Thermostat opening. It'll be more Skeleton Guys for the meanwhile.

09 May 2004


I've signed up for one of these test Gmail accounts. My address is everything[at]gmail[dot]com. Now, obviously, in order to test the thing, I'll have to use it. I might try using that in preference to my normal one for a while, so if you're going to send me an email, send it there rather than to yog. We'll see how we go.

Website updated

I've added a couple of pages to the paintings section under an 'Exhibitions' heading - one for the Mahara show and one for the Thermostat show.

08 May 2004

Opening photos

I didn't take my phone to the opening. I'd foolishly neglected to recharge the battery. Rose did, however, take her phone, so I've slapped a couple of photos from it up (they're at the bottom of the page). The first is the bag Rose bought. It's by (if I remember correctly) Maiangi Waetai.

Rose also took her digital camera, and I'll try to put some of those up tomorrow.

One down

The Mahara Gallery opening was tonight. It was a lot of fun, despite my being horribly hungover (which made talking to people awfully hard). The show looked really good - a nice diverse range of things that still hung together well. I particulary liked the way my stuff was hung. Rose took some photos, and I might try to put them up on the website tomorrow.

It wasn't quite as bizarre an experience as I thought it'd be. Maybe feeling like complete and utter crap contributed to that.

Catherine (who runs Thermostat) and her partner came down for it. It was good to see them and have a chat (though see above).

One of the artists showing (who shall remain nameless) came up to Rose when she was talking to someone and said (in a peremptory tone of voice), 'Who are you? Why are you here? Do you know someone in the show?' She answered, 'Well, my partner Dave, his brother, and a friend.' To which he responded, 'So you go out with that guy with the glasses over there.' After she said yes to that, he simply walked off. He didn't introduce himself or anything, or try to have an actual conversation. Plonker.

A small group of us went out for dinner at the Paekakariki Cafe afterwards. All in all, it was a good time.

05 May 2004

Last day of freedom

I start at the Correspondence School tomorrow morning, which'll mean catching the ancient and decrepit Johnsonville line train at some ungodly hour of the morning.

I thought I might as well start as soon as, though I did point out that I'm off to Palmy at the end of next week to set up the Thermostat show.

Speaking of which, the catalogue's come together nicely and is pretty much ready to go off to print. All I've got to do now is type out a price list and get everything up there.

Explanation of experiment disproving Many Worlds Interpretation

If you had trouble following the gist of this post, there's a good explanation here.

I can't explain things clearly at the best of times, let alone at twenty past four in the morning!

04 May 2004


Ben and I took our stuff up to Mahara today. It was a fun trip, and they turned on coffee and panini for us. Any imaginary readers running galleries take note.

We passed by the foreshore and seabed hikoi on the way up, which was busily clogging up traffic going the other way. Thankfully it'd cleared by the time we made our way back.

Arriving home, I discovered I might have a job at the Correspondence School - a fixed term contract till December.

This evening we headed into Hamish McKay's to check out the Tony de Lautour opening. It looked pretty good, and I strongly recommend that any imaginary readers dwelling in Wellington go check it out. I put an option down on one of his books. Ben put an option on one of the revisionist paintings.

On our way in, we spotted a clear zip-loc bag with a couple of pills in it lying on the pavement directly outside the door. It wasn't there when we left.

I've put a new page of photos up out of today's efforts. (The open door was in the dining room of the rest home where we went to visit our grandmother this arvo.)

02 May 2004


According to the SiteMeter statistics, ever since I put up this post a whole lot of people have been coming here after searching for a few specific phrases on Google. What are you doing people!?!

(Hmm, note to self: work on your titles to posts.)

More silly photos

I've put some more phone photos up.


The invite to the Mahara show came in the post over the weekend. There at the end of a long list of people (17 in all, including Matt, Ben, and me) are the words 'David Cauchi' in black and white. Very, very strange.

You can see an image of the invite (featuring Matt's Miffy and bottle) here.

30 April 2004


Okay, I've put some phone photos up on the old website here.

Speaking of sleep deprivation

Aaron, who foolishly agreed to write some text for this catalogue, was given a ridiculously tight deadline and low wordcount but has come up with the goods. My favourite line is 'The skeleton-guy's time in the studio is not always productive, wiled away smoking and taking breaks.'

Well, you know, paint it like it is.

Peter Robinson opening

I went to a Peter Robinson opening at Peter McLeavey's last night. The show's recent sculpture - two large polyurethane shapes (one in each room), each with an eyeball and a smoke. The larger one is shaped like a turd (or hotdog) going through a doughnut, the smaller like a cross between a Guston bean-head and some bollocks. I took some sneaky photos with my phone, and I might stick them up on the old website if I get a chance. (I've been thinking of adding a photo gallery type thing to the rather boring as it stands Bio page anyway.)

All the wankers were out in force, which was kind of funny to watch. It got pretty full at one stage. This made fighting your way through the crowd to get another beer a pain in the ass. I nearly took out one of the smokes with my arm as I brushed past. Luckily it seemed okay. Breaking the $27,000 sculpture would've been a bit of a bummer.

27 April 2004

Punctuation game

Now, it's time for the RandomURL steal - the Eats, Shoots and Leaves punctuation game.

Many Worlds Interpretation bollocks

The Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics seems to've been disproved.

(Nicked from ... you guessed it ... BoingBoing.)

In the immortal words of Edmund Hilary...

I've knocked the bastard off. Oh happy day.

26 April 2004

Oh yeah

It looks as if I might be in another group show - a show called Fresh Brew at the Mahara Gallery in Waikanae, opening on 8 May. It'll be Te Kooti/colonisation stuff, which'd mean I'd have both my earliest and my latest stuff on show at the same time.

Almost done

I've almost got this index nailed - just got a few loose ends to tie up tomorrow morning before sending it on its merry way.

Staying up late guzzling coffee on Saturday night was a really bad idea. I had weird indexing dreams that night and felt like crap all the next day. It didn't use to be that way. When I was young and stupid I'd stay up most of the night on a fairly regular basis.

I also did all sorts of sleep deprivation experiments. One time I managed about five days without sleep (and went pretty nuts into the bargain). I tried sleeping for one hour after every four once. After about a week of that, things got seriously weird once again.

25 April 2004


I've had the same email address for about seven or eight years now and have been indiscrete enough to leave it on various websites round the place. This means I get bucketloads of spam. Just now I got this:

'Sir or Madam:

'Thank you for your mor tg age application, which we received yesterday.
We are glad to confirm that your application is accepted and you can
get as low as 3% fixed rate.

'Could we ask you to please fill out final details we need to complete
you here [a link I didn't go to so can't provide].

'We look forward to hearing from you.

'Yours sincerely,
Ronald Mims
Mor tg age Broker Association.'

(Yes, those spaces are in the original.) A pathetic effort. You'll have do do a whole lot better than that Mr Mims.

Okay, now I'm freaking out

I've got to have this index done by Monday or Tuesday, and I've probably still got a decent 20 hours or so of work to go on it (so what am I doing messing around on my blog?). Yep, it's half twelve at night, and I'm drinking another cup of coffee and plugging away.

23 April 2004

Possum fur nipple warmers

Very funny, BoingBoing has discovered our very own possum fur nipple warmers.

It's all the fault of those bloody early settlers, bringing in possums, rabbits, deer, gorse, etc. The only mammal native to New Zealand is a bat (New Zealand used to be a bird paradise - home to not only the moa but also the world's largest eagle). The Maori brought kiore (rats) and kuri (dogs). They burnt large amounts of bush, and hunted the moa (and possibly Harpagornis - seeing as it preyed on large flightless bipeds, it could've been a threat) to extinction. But by far the most damage was done by Europeans, who burnt shitloads more bush and introduced shitloads more pests - probably the worst of which was the possum.

So buy your possum fur nipple warmers with a clear conscience. Trapping them's heaps better than poisoning them.


Yet another BoingBoing steal: paper automata doing naughty things. Very funny. No prizes for guessing which my favourite is.

If you want your own time machine (and let's face it, who doesn't?), check out this link at RandomURL.

In other news, CNN reports that a study has found that poets die younger than other writers.

22 April 2004

A load of bollocks

We went out to have some drinks to celebrate Sarah's 33rd birthday this evening. A couple of her multitude of siblings and various publishing people were there. It was fun to have a bitch about particular jobs and people (well, one in particular - both job and person) with a couple of them. It was also good to catch up with Sarah and Leigh, both of whom are awfully nice people. It was also good to have a few drinks after last night's efforts (one result of which was Rose spending shitloads of dosh over the Internet - another was me not making as much progress on the old index today as I'd like).

I cheerfully told Sarah about all the people who'd died when they were 33. Jesus Christ, Alexander the Great, Jimi Hendrix...

I actually met them through my father, of all people, and then it turned out they knew a friend of mine (yep, Wellington's pretty small that way). Bloody Dad is the reason I ended up in this publishing lark in the first place. I'm not sure I'm temperamentally suited for it. After I quit my job in a fit of pique last year and started working from home again, Rose's daughter Chloe remarked that 'You seem to swear at your computer a lot.' That would be long streams of swear words interspersed with such words as 'stupid' and 'illiterate' etc. She then asked if I'd done that at work. After a little thought, I had to answer yes.

Another BoingBoing steal

This article on blogging is quite interesting. As Prentiss Riddle puts it: 'In general I'm for any trend which turns people into active producers of culture rather than passive consumers.' (Damn straight.)

The article goes on about barriers to participation in blogging. The most interesting are time and language skill. It's worth a look.

21 April 2004


Atrios points out that someone at the CPA in Iraq has a sense of humour. To accompany the story on John Negroponte becoming US ambassador to Iraq, they put up a picture of him standing with a Fox News microphone in front of the UN's copy of Picasso's Guernica on their website.

If you don't know who he is, try putting "John Negroponte" Iran-Contra into a search engine...

For all you Clash fans

Check out London Booted.

'In February 2004 I posted a challenge on the Get Your Bootleg On forum to all-comers to take a track each from the seminal Clash LP London Calling and bootleg it. That is, remix it, add to it, subtract from it - put your own tributary spin on it. Within hours all 19 tracks had new masters (and mistresses), each charged with the task of making that track their own.'

20 April 2004


I think my preparations for this Thermostat show are pretty sussed. I've sorted out what I'm going to put in (12 Skeleton Guys, basically all of these ones except for Self-portrait leaning on chair), how I'm going to arrange them, and what price I'm going to put on them.

Matt came round today, and we also sussed out the layout of the catalogue we're doing. There'll be seven pages of images and some text at the start. Rose is getting quotes on how much it'll cost to get printed. She suggested getting the cover screenprinted with white text on black stock, but that will probably be too expensive. With any luck we'll be able to wrap that sucker up pretty soon as well.

That only leaves the index to get sussed. I'm making steady progress, but it's slow going. The Word file of the old index (which I'm updating for the new edition of the book) is 71 pages long. That's bloody large. I've managed to grovel some extra time, but it'll still be a mission to get it done.

Art-related blog

Well, there you go. After whinging about not finding any art-related blogs, I go and find one. Gregor Wright has a blog.

Of course, I've found others, but they've tended to be crap. This one looks as if it might be okay.

Whatever you do, don't hit the 'Deconstruction' button on the main page. I stopped looking around after that, but no doubt I'll go back.

At home with Rose

Bloody hell, Rose has started her own blog.

19 April 2004

For all you office workers out there

It's time for the daily steal from RandomURL: the choose your own office adventure.


Here's a site to help you make your own right wing conspiracy. My one on the secret conspiracy controlling the art world didn't work too well though.

Speaking of...

This No Right Turn post has a graph showing the results of a survey on what aspects of New Zealand are important to people personally.

I find it pretty depressing that 'Quality of artistic and cultural heritage' has the highest percentage of 'not important' responses (10% of people ranking it ranked it as not important) and the second lowest percentage of 'very important' responses (9% of people ranking it ranked it as very important).

That's about the only depressing aspect of the survey but.

On weblog tedium

No Right Turn makes a good point in response to my post: blogs aren't really that different from many other things(including sitting round a table having a few beers and saying 'The world's fucked' in half a dozen different ways). You know what people's opinions will be, but you take part anyway.

It's the same with mailing lists. I started taking part in them in the early 90s, and they quickly formed a pattern. Misunderstandings due to the lack of tone of voice and facial expressions and consequent clarifications quickly drown out meaningful debate, and things have a tendency to go round and round in circles. People with entrenched opinions and certain bugbears tend to dominate the conversation, saying the same thing over and over again. It's over a decade later, but I still take part in them (hmm, which probably says something about me).

There, I've just contributed to exactly the thing I was whinging about in the first place. Good, eh?

16 April 2004

Telling it like it is

I've been finding the likes of Russell Brown, NZPundit, No Right Turn, etc, etc a tad tedious of late, and this is why. On a related note, some guy has put a screed up on why he hates weblogs.

That's not to say there's not good stuff out there, nor that there's anything inherently wrong with the medium. I've been checking out BoingBoing and RandomURL reasonably often recently (as the links I've nicked from them probably show). That's the way to do it.

Of course, I'm just an insignificant microbe in the scheme of things, so what would I know?

I haven't really found any good art-related blogs. If anyone knows of any, let me know.

Guardian article on Brash and the foreshore

It doesn't really go into detail at all, but it's worth a read.

15 April 2004

Silly meme thing

Nabbed this one from RandomURL:

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 23.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.

'While living in cramped, uncomfortable conditions, the gods were startled by a gleam of light which was seen between the bodies of their parents.'

Readers of the Illuminatus! Trilogy will no doubt recognise the significance of the numbers 23 and five.

14 April 2004


This indexing job was couriered to me and had a Saturday delivery, but I didn't get it till yesterday evening. There's a bunch of houses up our drive, and the courier just dumped it outside one of the ones above us. This just blows me away - you're not sure which house it is (even though we've put large numbers on our front door that are clearly visible from the drive if you actually look), so you just pick a house at random to dump it on!?! Why not put it in the letterbox? Bizarre.

If I knew which house it was, I'd go and remonstrate with the occupants as well. Two large courier parcels with large stickers saying 'Saturday delivery' on them, not to mention my name, address, and phone number, arrive outside their door and they do nothing about it. Bastards.

So I ended up losing four days I could've been working on it. Those are four days I can't really do without. I'm going pretty slowly and don't see a good way of speeding up. The book's over 500 pages long, and I need to have it back to them by Friday next week. I see some late nights in the immediate future.

Oh well, at least the book's pretty interesting (might even be able to get some ideas for paintings from it, you never know), and it's for a new client. There's also the by no means irrelevant observation that a big whack of hours does have something to be said for it when you're on an hourly rate.

13 April 2004

Prehistoric pet cat

Archaeologists have found the 9500-year-old grave of a cat in Cyprus. Previously cats were thought to have been domesticated by the Egyptians 4000 years ago.

Yes well

As Riverbend puts it, 'Baghdad is calm and relatively quiet if you don't count the frequent explosions.'

12 April 2004

This looks pretty cool

The aim of Distributed Proofreaders is to
help Project Gutenberg publish public domain
books as free ebooks by getting volunteers to proofread one page each.

(Nicked from BoingBoing.)

11 April 2004

Link for Dave

Here's the link to Philip Guston's Poor Richard I was talking about the other night (other people can check it out too).

Website updated

I've finally got my website updated. A couple of the Illuminati Guy paintings have broken links, and I can't quite work out why. I'm not going to worry about it right now, but will try to get it sorted soon. I also plan to add the dimensions at some stage. Some are quite large and some are quite small, but you wouldn't know it from the pics.

I've included some crappy ones (but by no means all the crappy ones!) and some studies, and set them out in a rough chronological order.

Any comments or suggestions are welcome.

09 April 2004

Time to freak out

I thought I had a bit of time up my sleeve for the old website update, but it's all suddenly run out. I've got a somewhat massive indexing job arriving tomorrow and want to get the update done and dusted before I start on that. The job's updating the index for a new edition of a book first published in 1963. The book's about 520 pages, and the index is 20 pages with three columns per page. There's a tight deadline (of course), so it's going to be a bit of a mission.

Doing more painting (including finishing off the ones on the go at the moment) will probably have to wait until after it's done. We've also got to get the catalogue done in there somewhere (that should be pretty sweet though). This weekend's also when most of the films I want to see at the World Cinema Showcase are on.

The main thing lacking for catalogue, website, and show are titles for the Skeleton Guys. I'm a bit stumped. I've rejected 'Untitled (Skeleton Guy) No 1' etc as too boring, but don't really have any other ideas.

08 April 2004

Another Banksy stunt

This time, according to this Guardian story, Banksy smuggled his work into the Natural History Museum.

07 April 2004

More links

Another link from RandomURL: the WebCollage.

The explanation reads in part:

'This is what the Internet looks like.

'WebCollage is a program that creates collages out of random images found on the Web. More images are being added to the collage about once a minute, so this page will reload itself periodically. Clicking on one of the images in the collage will take you to the page on which it was found.

'It finds the images by feeding random words into various search engines, and pulling images (or sections of images) out of the pages returned.'

It's strangely addictive.

RandomURL and BoingBoing both provide links to Seinfeld and Superman's American Express ad, which I've also had emailed to me. For some reason it doesn't seem to work for me though. I'm probably neglecting something blindingly obvious (I tend to do that).

A couple of links

Jo Russ's website has been updated. I do like those pet rocks.

I haven't checked it out in any detail, but this site looks like it might have some good links.

06 April 2004

Philip Guston

If you happen to be in London and haven't already seen the Philip Guston show at the Royal Academy of Arts, make sure you see it before it closes on 12 April. Here's a short article on it.

I'm a really big fan of his work, particularly the late paintings. This painting is my desktop wallpaper.


Paul sent me a link to what has to be about the craziest stereo system ever. Pity the guy uses it to listen to jazz and classical records though. The Dead C would sound pretty bloody good through those suckers.

05 April 2004

Museum of Bad Art

I found the Museum of Bad Art at RandomURL. At last, something to aspire to! I think my favourite is Pauline Resting.

Fun and games

I've been ringing people up in a somewhat soul-destroying attempt to scare up some work. I had a couple of major ongoing jobs that've recently dried up and foolishly didn't jack up anything to replace them. I've been a bit distracted by this show.

I don't think I've mentioned the details before. It's a group show at Thermostat Gallery in Palmerston North - Matt Couper, me, and some sculptor guy I haven't met. It runs from 15 May till 3 June. The opening's on 14 May. It's my first exhibition, so my mind's been focused pretty much on that to the detriment of all else.

There's all sorts of things to worry about - selecting which works to put in, how to hang them so they go together well, what to call them, what price to put on them, what to write for an artist's statement (and whether to have one), etc, etc. Matt and I are doing a catalogue thing to go along with it, and that needs text to go in it as well. We thought we'd put some quotes in - so now I've got to decide which quotes. Any suggestions would be gratefully received.

I want to get my website updated in time for it as well, and that has a similar set of decisions to go with it. Do I order the pictures chronologically or thematically? (I'm thinking chronologically.) Do I include text with them? (I'm thinking not.) You get the idea.

But back to the job ringing round. I haven't been having much success getting hold of the people I need to speak to. Most of them seem to be on annual leave. Easter's coming up, so it makes sense to take a few days annual leave to make a decent break of it. Modern technology makes it a whole lot easier though by being able to email off a pdf of my CV.

On another note, I'm thinking of going to Nelson College's 150th Jubilee. I was a boarder at Rutherford House from 1983 to 1987. We didn't get on overly well the school and me, so I'd just be going for laughs.

04 April 2004

Website update update

I've got the photos taken, now comes the long and arduous task of cropping and resizing them. I've got to suss out how to use Dreamweaver as well.

03 April 2004

Kidnapped Drinker

The kidnapped Banksy sculpture smells like a publicity stunt to me. This is the guy who tried smuggling one of his works into the Tate after all. They, rather amusingly, put it in the lost and found.

02 April 2004

Not pointless and absurd enough

It's true (see the comments under this post). I have to admit it. The 'nothing in particular' line in the description is beginning to look like a goddamn lie as well. I haven't been doing nearly enough ranting either.

World Cinema Showcase

Rose and I went to the opening of the World Cinema Showcase last night. It was the premiere of Fracture, which is based on Crime Story by Maurice Gee (hmm, this has just made me realise I've neglected to put the titles of things in italics previously - do I sneakily go back and change them or do I be intellectually honest and leave them be?). Fracture was okay, but nothing amazing. I had the feeling it would work much better as a book than as a film - I felt all the relationships needed more context. The soundtrack pissed me off too.

There's some good things coming up. I'm particularly looking forward to The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, which has an extra 20 minutes added. There's a doco on Fellini that looks pretty good, and both The Fog of War and Capturing the Friedmans could well be worth a look. I'm also quite keen on a spot of New York noir. Rose and her son Jules are going to The Grudge tonight (Jules does Japanese at school you see, so it's educational).

The next couple of weeks look to be fun film time. Somehow I've got to fit in doing more painting, updating my website, and digging up shitloads of more freelance work in there as well.

01 April 2004

Out and about

Rose and I went into town this morning to have coffee with Sarah, who shared the office with Rose, before she heads off to Paris for three months (she's an illustrator and has agents in France and the US).

Rose headed home afterwards, but I stayed in town. I went to Peter McLeavey's to check out the Toss Woollaston show on there - works ranging from 1937 to 1994. It's a bit scary how similar they all were over that period of time. My favourite was an ink and pencil self-portrait from 1937 (I think).

After an unsuccessful trip to the library, I went to Quilter's and ended up buying a Raymond Pettibon catalogue. Like many people (I suppose), the first thing I saw of his was the cover for Sonic Youth's 'Goo'.

31 March 2004

Makara at midnight

If you live in the Wellington area, I strongly recommend a late-night trip to Makara Beach sometime. The car's headlights on the ocean look amazing. Throwing sticks for the dog can be a bit tricky, as can stumbling around. It's all well worth it though. The sound of the ocean, the blackness, the stars.

We weren't the only ones with this idea either. A car drove up to the start of the walking track and then someone came walking out of the darkness and got in. The car then drove away. Maybe there's an innocent explanation, but it looked pretty dodgy to me. (They were probably thinking the same thing about us.)

30 March 2004

Skeleton Guy rides again

Rose's daughter Chloe asked her, 'How long is he going to keep on painting skeletons for?' The quick answer is a bit longer yet. I'm not bored with them yet.

As well as doing new ones, I've been quite successful in rescuing ones I thought I'd completely fucked up. There's only one that might be a total dead loss. That one I might have to redo from scratch (it's just the execution that I screwed up - the idea and composition are fine).

It's a funny thing. I've probably said this before, but several of the ones I initially thought were pretty crap have grown on me. Sometimes you just have to give it a bit of time and come back with a fresh eye. Getting other people's opinions can help too (though at other times other people's opinions can be something of a hindrance).

I'm having fun with the family crest in one of the new ones, replacing Neptune with (surprise, surprise) a Skeleton Guy.

I'm not sure what to call them. I am tempted by 'Untitled (Skeleton Guy) No 1' etc, but don't know. Titles can be a big influence on the viewer's interpretation of a work, so maybe something to give the viewer a prod in a certain direction might be the go. I've no idea what though.

The old website update hasn't made much progress. I've got to take photos and tidy them up, which I get the feeling might be a somewhat time-consuming process (me being so technically inept). The weekend was a bit of a washout on that score. I had hoped to get started then. Rose had drinks to farewell her old office on Saturday night (yet another excuse for a day off the non-drinking thing - the excuses have been coming pretty thick and fast), and that was pretty much that.

Naughty Jorg

The German artist Jorg Immendorf has been accused of cocaine possession (27 cocaine and sex parties over a three-year period apparently).

Naughty US Army

The strange case of Chaplain Yee.

Naughty Saatchi

Charles Saatchi has been accused of monopolising the British art market. The guy making the complaint is not only Stella Vine's ex-husband but also a Stuckist.

Hundertwasser's loo...

...is causing a bit of a stink. I particularly like 'When the sun of culture is low, then dwarves create long shadows'!

29 March 2004

Life on Mars?

Well, the presence of methane might be a clue.

Kind of funny

'The Model Vs. Photographer series was created during a period of modest desperation. I had nobody available who was willing to model, but I wanted to keep moving ahead with cranking out images. While sitting around pondering this, I was struck by the idea that it would be hilarious if I would mimic the poses of models I had shot previously.'

Check them out here.

Fascist bastards

No Right Turn has a link to this story. NZPols responded, and then No Right Turn responded right back. Those bloggers, eh?

There's something pretty Kafkaesque about this whole SIS thing - a shadowy bureaucracy that doesn't tell you what you're charged with or what their evidence is, but just takes your passport away. It's worth bearing in mind that this is just the latest in a string of legislation curtailing civil liberties in the wake of September 11.

What would have happened in the Aziz Choudry case if it had been now rather than the late 90s?

I did consider applying to the SIS when they were recruiting intelligence agents (as a bit of a joke), but decided against it. One of the problems with the SIS is its lack of a sense of humour. Well, apart from the evidence against Ahmed Zaoui being a joke that is.

Oh well, if you believe the alleged time traveller John Titor, the US will have a civil war this year and then it'll be all on.

27 March 2004

Appropriation and copyright

New York painter Joy Garnett is faced with an interesting copyright issue over this painting. She's been getting a bit of solidarity.

Appropriation has a long and honourable history. Some people think it's a recent thing, but Renaissance artists quoted each other pretty liberally (though of course they didn't have copyright absurdities to deal with). Nowadays people sometimes make art specifically to break copyright.

Some more stuff to check out

Rob McLeod's website and Jo Russ's website.

I believe there's still a bit more building to be done for both of these, so check them out again in the next few days or so.

26 March 2004

Well, there you go...

Noam Chomsky's got a blog.

Changes at home

Rose is moving her office home today. It's the end of an era and the start of a new one. We'll both be here all day every day. I wonder whether we'll drive each other nuts. She's just bought a swanky new laptop and loaded it up with all her rinky-dink designer software. I hope to use it to finally update my website (it'll be a lot easier using that than my computer). With any luck I'll be able to do that next week.

New buttons

Observant readers will have noticed the addition of new buttons at the bottom of the page. Well, they would've had they scrolled down to the bottom of the page anyway (and how likely is that?). This blog is now listed on Blogarama and in a whopping great queue to be listed on Blogwise. I'm not sure why really.

I suppose it's not that surprising that Blogarama's most popular blogs tend to be sex blogs.

24 March 2004


Ben's opening was good. Lots of people showed up. He sold six, with options on three others. Got to love those little red dots. Rose bought a couple of Stuart Forsyth paintings (he's showing at the Bowen Gallery - they share the space).

The group show at Janne's was a much more low key affair. It's new work in stock, so I suppose people think the opening isn't such a big deal. Matt's work looked great. I also liked the Helm Ruifrok, which reminded me a lot of Leonardo's studies of Leda's head (the painting doesn't actually look anything like that - it's the elaborate hairstyle that reminded me of it I think). Another stand-out was Peter Ireland's 'Landscape Sampler', which was a circular oil on paper copy of a Fox painting with 'TANZA' written across it - a note next to it said that TANZA was the first NZ record company. It stands for 'To Assist New Zealand Artists'. I was very tempted by it.
visitors since 29 March 2004.