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'.
visitors since 29 March 2004.