14 April 2012

A waking dream

When the fluidity, the flexibility of thought – fluid flexible thought – calcifies into belief, it dies. That shimmering white figure flitting between the trees falls to the ground and turns solid and leaden grey, to be dragged away to the city and placed in yet another edifice looming over the benighted hordes scurrying on their pointless pursuits below.

That abstract edifice made of elusive illusions, that blank featureless face relieved only by the odd grimacing gargoyle, spattered with the blood of the bodies hurled from the roof, who fall into the crowds of hunched brown and black figures thronging the narrow streets with a faint wet splat.

In a forgotten and neglected district of that city there sits, crammed between a uniform outfitters and a propaganda outlet, a small cafe. It only ever has a couple of people sitting at its cracked formica tables with their wonky legs, never less, never more, no matter the time of day or night you push through the door to take your place at the counter and nurse your drink for hours, your overcoat on the stool beside you, forlorn.

Your phone rings, earning you a sharp recriminatory glare from the man in a scarf in the corner.

'Where are you?'


'Are you coming home soon?'


The Cafe Nowhere, in a forgotten and neglected district of the city, crammed between a uniform outfitters and a propaganda outlet. The Cafe Nowhere. Where the music sounds like the grinding of gears.

Where the music sounds like the grinding of gears.

02 April 2012

Albert Gleizes did not like dada

The impossibility of constructing, of organising anything whatsoever, not even having the foggiest notion of it, led [the dada] to decree that nothing existed and that he could do anything under the guise of instinct...

What they call instinct is anything which passes through their heads [and] from time to time something very good passes through them...

But very soon we become aware of ... the 'leitmotives' which recur in their paintings and literary work. And the pathological case becomes brutally evident. Their minds are forever haunted by a sexual delirium and a scatalogical frenzy ... Their frolics abandon themselves freely around the genital apparatuses of either sex ... Moreover, by lingering in these realms, they have found ... another source of instinctive inspiration. They have discovered the anus and the intestinal by-products ... They confuse excrement with products of the mind. They use the same word to designate two different things.
Well, there's my next artist statement, should I need one. I might have to apply for something just so I can use it.

'Intestinal by-products'! 'Genital apparatuses'!

I think the former'd make the better title.

30 March 2012

Certified maniac

I mentioned to a friend the other day that I plan to come off my mad pills in a couple of months. I was a bit peeved by how worried he looked. Rose has been quite resistant to this plan too. The standard thing to do once you've been certified a maniac is to stick you on pills for the rest of your life.

I'm not into that.

The worst thing about this diagnosis is its retrospective nature. I think of myself as a normal human being. But no! They charmingly tell me I've been diseased, disordered my entire life. No, David, you are not an acceptable human being. You need to be treated to make you so. Dull, grey, sluggish.


I'm going to the shrinks this arvo to work out a plan for going off the pills. It's quite scary how much power they have, the enforcers of the reality consensus. The default options are to get drugged or to get locked up: Eradicate all disallowed thought patterns! Enforce circumscribed normalcy!

Once I go off the pills, they'll be hovering around waiting for the first excuse to put me back on them. So we're working out a plan.

One of the first questions is 'what gives meaning to your life?' Ha ha ha ha ha.

Fuck the medical profession is dodgy. Not that long ago they used to cut people's brains in half to make them 'normal'. And then experiment on them to find out how the brain works. How insanely inhuman is that?

Fucking norms. Any group of people is an incipient lynch mob, ready to deindividuate at the drop of a hat and act in unison against the perceived 'other'. If that's ordered, give me disordered any day.

19 March 2012


Yeah, so you might have noticed I've been a bit quiet on the blog for a while. I've even had an email pleading for an update. Bizarre.

The truth is that, after the last few months, I simply can't face stringing words after another. (I've just had a wee rest after typing that previous sentence.) And there's not a lot to say. I haven't been going out much. I've just been enjoying the resumption of (somewhat) normal life.

I've started back at the day job. I've been doing some painting. Nice leisurely painting. I've been hanging out with the dog. Both Rose and I have been sick. Same old, same old. Nothing to see here.

I suppose the main thing of note is that I, quite amazingly, got my phone back from Auckland. It took a while. The morons who took it even left photos of themselves on it.

Look, a moron:
I suppose I should be grateful they returned it. Though I'd much rather they hadn't took it in the first place. Nor required so much encouragement to return it.

And I won't mention what else the disgusting little creeps left on it either.

29 February 2012

Examiners' reports

So I got back the examiners' reports last night, with names and marks removed. At first, reading Examiner A, I had a moment of horror: 'Oh no, don't tell me they're just going to accept it!?'

But then I got to Examiner B and went 'Phew!':
This is an unusual MFA exegesis and one is required to read between the lines negotiating meandering historical and personal narratives. The texts variously provide short narratives of the candidate's life, champion the marginalised artist (Picabia), the autodidact (pg.25); and makes claims to reject culture (pg.11), and the art academy (pgs.7, 12).

From this it is apparent that the exegesis preferences the attitude of the candidate positioned as avant-garde and antagonistic. This overriding attitude is given greater weight than how the work is contextualized and what it is attempting to do. The work is located in a limited range of existing practices and at times the candidate critically examines aspects of the topic, notably via the above discussion of della Francesea's Baptism of Christ and in the discussion and research into the avant-garde. The aims and purposes in the research are inferred in the exegesis, the overall structure makes this information not readily available. There is a comprehensive bibliography but there is no direct referencing of source material in the exegesis. This fails to meet minimum academic standards. Further to this critical thinking, analysis and argument do not contextualize the liberal use of profane language. Without this it is inappropriate for the topic and context.

No physical work has been presented for the assessment, making a thorough engagement with the art practice difficult. The subtleties of the work cannot be gleaned from the printed documentation provided. No dimensions are provided for the works. The documentation of the work Cauchi contra mundum does not include details of all components of the installation.

 (Emphasis added.)

24 February 2012

The Nobble Savage

So I've just been at the new City Gallery opening, their sculpture show, their as my friend put it Bizzaro-Prospect show.

We arrived during the speeches. Oh dear gods, I wish we'd missed them. Paula Savage, the Destroyer, whose cold dead hand has ruined that building, is a bad public speaker at the best of times. These were not the best of times. She gushed. Oh, did she gush. It was hilarious: 'This building ... I love it ... I love it ... I love it ... I just love it ... And I love you too ... Everyone of you ... And let me tell you about my sons ... And my new job ...' Seriously, she spent some time talking about her sons and her new job and, of course, how much she loves everything.

And look how she's left that place.

Ye gods, I wish I'd missed that speech. The start a sentence and then mumble into incoherence. The rambling. The inanity. The gushing.

And then the goddamn Registrar came up to me trying to talk about the argument we'd had over the Fomison library in the previous show, when she'd been summoned as soon as I started looking at the books. When she'd bossily and officiously not let me use the books, no no they're not for reference, told me they're just there for admiring, and other such bullshit. I don't know what the fuck she was going on about tonight, but it made no fucking sense to me.

But then I am insane. Every time I go to see my shrink, she brings up her power to institutionalise me under the Mental Health Act. What's up with that?

When I think back to the time I spent in that building as a child, the many hours, when it was a library, it's a bit rank, what's happened to it.

The least they could do is put on some good shows.

What a load of shit.

(As you may have gathered, I've been a cunt tonight. I do enjoy it so. Up yours.)

20 February 2012


Are the secret police sneaking into my studio when I'm not here to move things about just to mess with my head? Is it maybe alien robots from the future using amplified telekinetic ray projectors? Maybe I'm slipping into yet another alternate world every time I leave the house, each separate world distinguished by subtle changes in the arrangements of objects? Or is it hostile telepathic interference from a higher power falsifying my memory of the supposed previous arrangement of those objects?

Did those objects even exist before I walked into the studio today? Did I exist before I woke up this morning? Is my alleged memory of a continuous identity before today merely a psychogenetic implant? Am I I? If I say I and you say I, to what does 'I' refer? Am I you? Are you I? Which I? What is I?

Might be time to do another self-portrait. Just to check.

Hey, does that reasoning thereby make me an impressionist!?

Ha ha.

17 February 2012

Camp A Low Hum

Rose, our friend Dan, and I have spent the week recovering from the rigours of last weekend. And what rigours they were! It was awesome. We had an excellent time.

So on Friday morning Rose and I drove over the hill to Wainui. It's such a strange closed-in place, Wainui, especially with low-lying cloud. I was a bit worried about putting up the tent, what with it raining and me being hungover and all. Richard Bryant's show at Robert's opened the night before (go and check it out!).

As it turned out though, putting up the tent was fine. The rain cleared up at that stage. However, inflating the air bed was a different matter. The pump for it is powered by a car cigarette lighter, and we discovered that ours didn't work. That's fine, we told each other. We'll just wait for Dan to show up after work and use his.

So, we started in on the rum and wandered around the site and checked out a few bands. The rain started in earnest when we were watching Quarks. It was a great demonstration of spontaneous self-organisation. The rain started and the umbrellas over the stage weren't cutting it, so people from the audience stood around him on the stage holding a sheet of plastic over him and his equipment as he played his set. Kropotkin would be proud. (Actually, I doubt that.)

After that, things started to get messy. Dan showed up and we inflated our mattress, and managed to get it completely soaked. I slid down a muddy bank, and Rose and Dan stood around and laughed at me. Bands got shifted around cos of the rain, so we just wandered around at random, sticking around for stuff that appealed and wandering off if it didn't. I much preferred that to running around according to a schedule. Got lost, got found, got lost again.

I would've thought things would be grim with bad weather, but they weren't at all.

Then we crashed. Ye gods, sleeping on the ground. At about 3 or 4 in the morning it gets really cold. Really really cold. Haven't done that since my 20s.

Then, the next day, the weather cleared up, and everything was glorious. Sitting on the grass smoking and drinking and watching someone play against a backdrop of bush-covered hills. Extremely very pleasant.

And that night was even messier than the first. That's the night I ended up in the first aid tent after being picked up out of the bushes near the lagoon. Being unable to give my name, I went down on the (very long) sick list as 'Lagoon Boy'. That's when I lost my phone. It's all Rose's fault, but let's not go into that.

Of all the various acts we saw, I really liked the single person ones the most. I found the bands a bit boring. But the single people! Sexy Merlin with his drums and Cartoon with his drums were an interesting comparison. However, easily my favourite act wasn't on any of the main stages but in the Renegade Room: Bow Arrow. We chatted to him afterwards. He's an amazing guy. I won't tell you his story. Go check it out for yourself. Download the album, and go see him play if you ever get the chance.

Anyway, here are some photos:
That was me, well on the way to becoming Lagoon Boy.

Here's a couple of another highlight, Kirin J Callinan:
Somewhere under the blue here is Quarks playing in the rain:
And here's Jon Lemmon with our lantern on a dark and muddy path:
I am very much looking forward to next year. Of the music festivals I've been to, this one's easily the best.

Oh, it's somewhat unrelated but speaking of downloading albums, check out the very excellent Andy Hummel's album.

31 January 2012

Spontaneous Memorial

I checked my email on Saturday morning and discovered one from someone I don't know with a friend's name in the subject line. 'Uh oh,' I thought. It was his niece, who'd found my address from this blog and who was writing to tell me my friend was dead, dead far too young. He was 46. If I'd checked my email the night before, I could've made the funeral, which was on Saturday morning.

I've already written about how Spontaneous Search Party changed his name. Rose, telling her kids about him, described how she found talking to him. She reckoned he only made sense if you were half drunk. They'd have some great yarns, those two. The first time they met they discovered they'd both been at the same Cure concert in the 80s. That was before Spont crashed out in a speaker stack at a Motorhead concert and went deaf in one ear.

When we were living in Waitati in 95, he wrote a long, very strange letter, a literally colourful letter to this German electronic outfit called (I think) Sun Electric. The return address was the servo down on the main road, where we got our mail: 'c/- Waitati Post Office, Waitati'. The German electronic outfit's next record, when it came out, included the track 'Waitati Post', as I recall a fairly trippy fucked-up little number. So Spont got the band's logo tattooed down his arm in large letters.

He was always doing shit like that. One time, he was just sitting smoking cigarettes and staring at his Camel cigarette packet. I asked him what the fuck he was staring at, and he pointed to a small line of camels. Then he disappeared for a couple of days and came back with them on his arm.

He had the best tattoos I've ever seen. Built up at random, on whims, like that. Both arms.

So on Saturday night, a group of us were invading Blandings South once more anyway, so it turned into a bit of a Spontaneous Memorial. All but one of the people there knew him. My favourite anecdote was my friend Ben's, describing playing chess with Spont. There was a group of us who played chess regularly, and when Spont came to visit he would destroy us one by one.

Ben described sitting there, carefully constructing a cunning plan over a considerable period of time. Meanwhile, Spont would be chatting away with someone else, not even looking at the board. When it was his turn, he'd glance at it and then show you the major flaw in your cunning plan that you hadn't spotted, leading inexorably to a complete rout. The big grin, the 'Are you sure you want to do that?', the sleight-of-hand flourishes while moving and taking pieces.

Spont got up to all sorts of tricks. He taught me a lot, and not just how to drive.

Spontaneous Search Party lived his life his own way, and there will never be his like again on the face of this Earth.

24 January 2012

The end is nigh

I've just handed in my MFA screed. This gave me no sense of satisfaction, nor do I consider it something to celebrate.

Unfortunately, the nightmare is not over yet. After a period of time that isn't quite clear, I'll get back two examiners' reports: one internal and one external. I get the impression the staff are a bit worried about what the external examiner will make of it. It seems that experimentation with the form is not encouraged (in the so-called 'experimental laboratory of ideas'! Ha!). They seem to want something standardised and familiar, something conventional. That's conservative academia for you, I suppose.

Last week, a staff-member contacted me for some last-minute feedback. There were several useful suggestions, and others that were less so. The marked-up copy of the draft I got back was pretty depressing reading. It was also my first indication of how the examiners will approach it. What was the line I was told? Something like 'the danger is they'll write you off as stream-of-conciousness' something or other. Raving lunatic probably.


I expect there to be a tick in the box labelled 'Major revisions required'. Fuck knows what I'll do then. Maybe they'll decide it's beyond redemption and just fail me outright. That'd be funny.

I've done it for myself, not for anonymous examiners. I wanted to make the kind of book that, if I were to come across it, I would want to devour. The same approach as I take with my paintings – do it for yourself first and foremost. I reckon trying to do what you think someone else wants is a really bad idea.

Here are a couple of pics of the softbound version I've just handed in:

18 January 2012

Post removed

[This post has been removed under r 23 of the Temporal (Prevention of Paradox) Regulations 2051. Regulation 23 prohibits the construction of closed time-like curves in any form, including virtual. Construction of such a curve is an offence punishable by retroactive removal and temporal sequestration.]

12 January 2012

Sign of the Black Square

Reports just in from intertemporal avant-garde field agents indicate the Cult of the Black Square is spreading through a beleaguered populace.

Here is a manifestation reported by workers suffering under harsh nineteenth century factory conditions somewhere in Outer Wellington:
This black square manifestation provides a Zone of Contemplation, using supraharmonic colour wave vibrations to render cigarette smokers invisible to their Control Machine bosses (i.e. those bosses whose minds are controlled by inhuman computing processes).

In this example, some discolouration has occurred due to psychic blowback.

06 January 2012

Bollocks to this

I've spent the morning reading over my MFA screed. I'm really over it.

I've taken out a small section on the cybernetic fungus intelligence from Proxima Centauri and its nefarious mind control methods. I've also decided against most of the comic book elements I was going to include.

I reckon it's done. Or, shall we put it this way, I'm not doing anything more.

I've got painting to do.

05 January 2012

Blah blah

I do enjoy this time of year. Most people have gone away, things have shut down for the moment, and things are quiet. And the garden looks fucking great.

I'm taking a break from my screed so I can come back to it with fresh eyes. As well as reading Francis Bacon, I've been reading science fiction novels. I've borrowed Francis Bacon, so I can't really throw him across the room when he annoys me. Instead, I carefully place him down and pick something else up.

One such something else I very much enjoyed was a hard sf novel about a near-future starship voyage, one of those ones based on current theories of starship design. I've got a bit out of touch with them. As is usual though, the characters weren't much chop, and the attempt to create a shipboard art and culture was laughable.

I like Philip K Dickian characters and plots more. The ordinary bloke who drinks too much, his wife is on his case and about to leave him, he's just been fired from his dead-end job, and then he finds out the cat is an advance agent for the Alien Thought-Forms from the End of Time, projecting the illusion of the world into his head. Actually, he's a sub-routine in a universal holographic computer, and he has to receive and decipher the messages sent to him from outside the computer in order to live. Before the grey-suited control routines delete him.

That kind of thing.

I think I am going to have to put the entire written output of Philip K Dick into my bibliography. And quite a few punk rock records. And Doctor Who. And...

This is one of many reasons why Fine Arts is the best subject, much better than such dull as ditchwater ones as Art History and Philosophy. Or (shudder) English Literature. Ew.

Fuck rigour. Fuck references!

Art is a cathedral of shit!

03 January 2012

Fragmented fragments

Sitting here. Everyone gone away.

Obsessed with numbers. The numbers that rule the world. Our technocratic capitalist civilisation of shit.

What a waste of time that is.

Rose and the kids are away. It's me and the dog. And the Monster cat.

I've been reading Francis Bacon. Not the drunk painter Bacon. The Elizabethan cunt Bacon. While listening to Big Black.

Beat the whites with the black square!

Speaking of drunken fool painters. Numbers. Seeing the world as numbers. Dodgy as fuck. History-less numbers. No story with numbers. No story at all.

That's what we're for. The painters and the poets.

You think this is drunken raving? Numbers have fucked us all. It's all Pythagoras's fault (via Plato). Bertrand Russell dismissed Pythagoras cos he wouldn't eat beans, but Russell has no room to talk. He was a silly fool himself.

I say Pythagoras's fault, but I don't mean it. He was on to it. It was the motherfuckers who came after who spoiled it. Just like with Jesus. And Gautama. And all the rest.

St Francis.

I have seen arguments that reckon capitalism is not just the best system for organising society yet invented but the best possible system. Ridiculous arguments. But people buy it. And there are even worse ones, even more common, related stupid arguments, that say science is not just the best system for understanding the universe invented but the best possible system.

To deal with the disenchantment of the world, there are two main alternatives: a vague, ill-defined spiritualism and a deification of science.

Bollocks to both I reckon.

How's that grand unified theory going for you, guys? And where are our fusion reactors, eh? Wasn't that meant to be when I was 10!?! Overconfident bullshit-artist deluded cunts. Just like doctors.

Nothing! Nothing is all there is!

Fucking technocrats. Sub-Pythagorean number-worshipping world-destroying arseholes. You can all fuck off. You don't know a thing. Cos all your assumptions are wrong.


Take the Fermi Paradox! Don't make me laugh with how stupid that is. Uh, it's not actually a paradox at all.

Get this: Science assumes that the universe is pristine and natural, i.e. that everything we observe is the result of natural forces. Then along comes Fermi who says 'But, hey, there should be aliens! So many stars should produce heaps of intelligent species. But there's no observable evidence for them. No artificial structures for us to observe.'

Because the scientists have already assumed everything we obseve is natural. Scholastic idiots playing in their own heads, thinking it's real.


I cannot get over how wrong the world is.

I'll tell you what's real – Nothing is real. Actuality, that which forms ourselves and world we observe around us, is an illusion produced by the logical necessity of probability: there appears to be something because it is possible for there to appear something rather than nothing.

Ha ha.

Time to play more loud fuck off music, dance the Shiva dance, and shout abuse at the neighbours. Cos that's the kind of cunt I am. Aren't you glad you don't live next to me?

(It's good for them. It builds character.)

The world ended 2000 years ago, but no-one's noticed yet.
visitors since 29 March 2004.