29 March 2006

Openings next week

On Monday there's the opening of Matt Couper's Luck Creed at the Janne Land Gallery.

On Tuesday there's the opening of Victor Berezovsky's show at the Mary Newton Gallery.

28 March 2006

Rough as guts

Read Christopher Isherwood's Goodbye to Berlin the other day. It chronicles the demise of the Weimar Republic and the rise of Nazism, and is wonderfully sly and understated despite being unspeakably tragic.

Went with Rose to see Belle de Jour at the Film Society on Monday. Can't go past a damning indictment of the bourgeoisie. I especially liked Marcel, the swaggering gold-toothed gangster with the sword cane.

Went to see the Cezanne to Picasso show at Te Papa this arvo. It finishes tomorrow, and was packed full of punters worshipping the aura of the original. Being stuck in the ass end of the world we tend to only know paintings through reproductions, which I actually quite like (I knew photography had to be good for something), but it does help to see the real deal scale, colour, and texture of things occassionally.

Most of the punters seemed to spend more time reading the crappy handout than looking at the actual pictures in front of them. I plonked myself in front of Leger's unbelievably brilliant Pistons, cranked up The Fall on the old ipod (the technology of alienation comes in handy every now and then), and stayed there lost in it for about an hour. I particularly like how it's rough as guts. Bollocks to your masking taped geometric abstraction. I'll have to go back tomorrow to have another look.

I also need to do some bloody work.

19 March 2006

More drawings

I've been shuffling things around on the old website, and have included a couple more drawings.

18 March 2006

16 March 2006



is a Giant Dragon that breathes Fire, has a Toughened Steel Skeleton, and can Leap Great Distances.

Strength: 7 Agility: 9 Intelligence: 9

To see if your Giant Battle Monster can
defeat David, enter your name and choose an attack:

fights David using

From the Surrealist. (Cheers Rose.)

15 March 2006

Shuffling deckchairs

I've updated the old website, though more by moving stuff around than adding exciting new stuff. I've added a couple of new links, a common-sense nihilism manifesto to the bio page, a drawings page, and a Vent page.


Check out Liz Maw's new website. It's bloody good.

13 March 2006

Common-sense nihilism (a first stab at a manifesto)

All we know that we know is that we know nothing. Everything we think we know is mediated through our senses and constructed in our brain. The evidence of our senses could be an illusion. We have no way of knowing whether the construct in our brain has any relation with what actually exists.

In this situation all we can do is make certain assumptions. No matter the underlying reality, if we climb out of a high-storey window, we will appear to fall and appear to be in pain. Therefore we should behave as if what appears to be a material universe actually is a materialist universe.

We appear to occupy a tiny four-dimensional segment of the spacetime that we occupy. This appears to have begun in the big bang and appears as if it will end with eventual heat death – where all matter and energy is evenly distributed and unchanging. However, it also appears as if the big bang could have been caused by a white hole – the other end of a black hole in another completely separate spacetime, one that started with different initial conditions and so different universal constants than ours.

Everything-that-is appears as if it could comprise the set of all possible universal constants, expressed as separate spacetimes connected by black holes in a closed causal loop. What we call the universe appears to be the spacetime where the arrangement of universal constants allows matter conducive to life like ours to form.

However, as Neitzsche reminds us, science only describes what appears to be there but does not explain it. We do not even pretend to know why anything exists. Not only that but the visible universe – galaxies, stars, planets, and life – only accounts for 5% of the measurable mass. We only perceive four dimensions but there appears to be at least nine physical and two temporal dimensions. Not only is the observable universe, assuming it exists, unknown but it could also be unknowable.

This observable, material universe that we appear to inhabit is hostile and contigent – the blind working out of physical processes. All life on Earth could be destroyed by a physical event, such as our being hit by a comet or a nearby star going supernova, at any time. Life has evolved on this planet completely by chance. By its very nature, life requires suffering. Matter and energy that has organised itself into a living thing needs to consume other living things in order to maintain itself. As a side-effect of the way we evolved, we appear to be self-aware consciousnesses capable of abstract thought and of using what we think we know to manipulate the physical universe we appear to observe.

Therefore, even assuming the material world we observe does exist, life has no meaning or purpose other than existing – and the only purpose existing serves is to increase the amount of suffering in the world. We were arbitrarily born in a particular place at a particular time and we will die at a particular place at a particular time. Our life consists of all the spacetime events between these two points. If we assume this to be the case, then it is exclusively up to us as individuals to make that sequence of events worthwhile.

We evolved as social beings - the entirety of human history and prehistory has involved the struggle to control human societies, the struggle to organise a society to suit the interests of the most powerful few. Before history began, we had killed off all our nearest relatives – all the relevant competitors – and had spread to every major habitable part of the planet. Civilisation appeared spontaneously several times. In each case, it was because the rulers of the relevant society realised it would serve their interests better to adopt agriculture and settle in cities and were able to impose their will, even though most people lived shorter and harder lives as a consequence. History began with the first writing, which, along with mathematics, was developed by priest-kings to keep accurate tax records.

Throughout humanity’s existence, this struggle has used both physical and mental means. Historically, the physical means involve such things as war and laws enforced by police to control access to resources and ensure the production of that which the powerful few need and value. The mental means involve such things as religion, nationalism, and consumerism – belief systems that provide a meaning and purpose to life that ensures the individuals believing those systems serve power’s ends. We can assume the societies we have no record of took the same basic form as those that we do.

This struggle is, however, not solely between the powerful few and the many. It is between control itself and humanity. Even the powerful few who control a society’s resources are slaves to control – their actions are constrained by the need to retain power and maintain control. Likewise, so are rebels from, or outcasts of, a society a necessary part of that society. The free, authentic life – the human life – is that lived on its own terms and for its own ends.

03 March 2006


(Cheers Steve for the photos.)

01 March 2006


A discontented person; one who is always railing at the times, or ministry.
visitors since 29 March 2004.