Category Archives: Photography

I am still in yesterday’s clothes – Issue 7

In space no one reads your zine

Tristan Fidler is one cool dude. His whole vibe is perfectly depicted in his zine I am still in yesterday’s clothes. He’s infused it with his awesomeness. Reaching the seventh issue yo(!), theming it SPACE(!) no less, is one heck of an achievement.

Tristan describes the zine as “somewhere between professionalism and unprofessionalism.” This is spot on.

This issue’s concept came together while a DJ dropped ‘You’re the Best (Around)’ by Joe “The Bean” Esposito at a party Tristan was at. That’s the tournament song from The Karate Kid by the way. This is how many good ideas have been known to conceptualise.

This zine is cool ’cause anything goes. There’s stuff about Astral Travel’s ‘The place with space’ (I really really really like Astral Travel). There’s stuff about the Karaoke Satan Museum, there are Jim China rants, my fave being Apollo conspiracy theories or… the flights to the moon, did they happen? (Yes! Realise that now, fool!), there’s a look into the darker aspects of Perth’s suburb Floreat, there’s Neel Lang’s funny Myspace or yours, and a highlight: the 5 things I remember about Sun Ra: Space is the place (1974) (#1 being that Thurston Moore wrote the liner notes, which is a fact I feel like only Tristan would know [and drop on you out of the blue at a party]). And it wouldn’t be a Tristan production without movie reviews, this time it’s Jason X, or The space curse of shitty horror franchises.

Golly, there’s so much more – 70 pages of goodness to be exact.

Oh, and Tristan’s story We are not the douchebags makes an appearance as well. When he performed this story at Cottonmouth XVIII, he brought the house down. It was awesome. You can experience it at the Cottonmouth website.

This issue comes with a soundtrack too, called Sounds from space. Holy crap, the first half of the CD features Leonie Brialey and her aural space opera of field recordings ‘Yesterday’s space’ with track titles that include ‘Watching cops and talking about Pump Up the Volume’ and ‘Sunday afternoon, making a snack, talking to my dad’. The second half of the CD are songs by lots of people and I’m super jazzed about the Gilbert Fawn and Amber Fresh ones.

I’m starry-eyed that Tristan published my steampunk space opera short story The Methusaleh Diaries. My li’l polemical coil of intertextual allusions and fleeting imagery is physically practically motionless while the movement is entirely in the psychological decay of the fragmenting mind.

That’s the nerd way of saying: thanks Tristan for taking a chance on this one.

Get dialled in with I am still in yesterday’s clothes on Facebook.

I think Ruck Rover in Perth might have a few copies, otherwise order it from Etsy. It’s only ten smackers.

The Methusaleh Diaries – an excerpt

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Filed under Fiction, Music, Perth, Photography, Published

Loose Leaf zine and a lesson in sweetheart DIY

Remember when you used to get hand-addressed mail?

My buddy K.Felton remembers.  And she’s such a sweetheart that she’s reminding us… by hand-addressing Loose Leaf zine and mailing it to us.

Grab a pencil and take some notes, ’cause this is how you do sweetheart DIY.

Loose Leaf zine is filled with K.-ness and all the international lovelies she attracts – poets, authors, artists, Gran’s recipes and an illness of the month.

K. used to publish a zine called The Ponies and it was amazing.

Get a taste of the first edition and subscribe to K.’s goodness.

Just quietly – wanna know what K. looks like?  That’s her in the logo…

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Filed under Australia, Fiction, Perth, Photography, Poetry, Published

Allison Browning curates Culturehall with a ferocious love

Fog, 2003, Donna Bailey, Out Back - Culturehall

My dear friend Allison Browning was recently nominated as having written one of the best poems of Australia in 2010, as indicated by her inclusion in the aptly titled 2010 Best Australian Poetry Anthology.  Like a boss.

Meanwhile down the street and around the corner, Alli curated an edition titled Out Back as part of Culturehall, a curated online resource for contemporary art.

In her introductory essay, Alli writes:

The red earth of Australia’s outback has the ability to sear the heart – branding it, creating ownership. The land there, out back, contains some kind of potent magic—beautiful and painful at the same time. Tourists know mostly of its raw beauty, the things contained in travel magazines – pictures of fresh water gorges, burnt orange earth, and open terrain. Australians who live in the outback know that the land is God. With its intense fluctuations, the land is the dictator of outcomes and lives, not those who toil it.

Now go soak up some Out Back at Culturehall.

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Filed under Australia, Photography

Three haiku; Or, How I learned to review my trail maps

Photo by Ryan Michael Swearingen

I’ve been reviewing my trail maps.

I usually trek a number of paths at the same time.  Walking down some paths helps me walk other paths better.

On these maps, every path is part of the same journey.

Editor Ashley Capes just published some micro poems of mine on his ‘one poem at a time’ online journal Kipple.

Read my Three Haiku.

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Filed under Australia, Photography, Poetry, Published

Kickin’ it with Julian Shaw

Julian Shaw as John Kirwan in 'All Blacks Don't Cry'

Award-winning director and author Julian Shaw is a cat who is cooler than Kool & the Gang.

At a publishers’ panel session at Melbourne’s Emerging Writer Festival, a session many later called ‘The Last Supper’, Scott-Patrick and I more or less said ‘write to us, we wanna get to know ya’.  And sweetheart people did write us.  One of whom was Julian Shaw.  And thank goodness he did.

Julian had been at EWF talking about his ‘movie in book form’ Modern Odysseus.  Right now he’s over in New Zealand with his camera on the sidelines filming the All Blacks.  He’s documenting their journey to the rugby World Cup 2011.  The film’ll be called Cup of Dreams.

This cat is the Young Australian Filmmaker of the Year 2010 according to the Sydney International Film School, has won a British Film Insitute Award, a Panorama Audience Award at the Berlin International Film Festival, and an Australian Film Insititute Award, among a slew of other awards.  Plus he throws down speeches at places like Harvard University.

Here’s me kickin’ it with Julian.

You wrote a contemporary story based on an ancient narrative and made it visually visceral.  How do you think we as readers engage with this?

Well, I think it’s been really exciting and invigorating for readers who are up for a new experience. It is part novel and part visual art, as you say, and the frisson and excitement is about where those two art-forms intersect. We call it a ‘movie in book form’ – Colin Friels brings the character of this Modern Odysseus to life with his performance. The images anchor it and take us on an emotional journey. I think the photos are never about telling you what to think – the images really create different sensations and emotions for different people. I’m trying to bring to life my story in a  very visceral, emotional way. It’s about showing how in the 21st century, in the era of GOOGLE maps and GPS, the physical world has been mapped out but the inner world is more treacherous than ever. That is the case with the title character Thomas, who is facing a corporate burnout of the worst kind.

What’s a challenge you faced with creating that and how’d you get through?

Colin Friels as the modern Odysseus

It was tough to find like-minded people – I think Colin Friels was the first person who really understood what I wanted to achieve, and he backed my vision 110%. I think people couldn’t visualize the book until they actually held it in their hands, and that was a big challenge in getting potential collaborators or distributors excited about what I was trying to achieve. So when I was initially pitching the book to publishers there was just a blank look. If you are ever trying to break ground you only need one person on your side though – you. No one else. So I had to learn to persevere through all those blank looks and back myself. A great lesson as an artist. You just have to believe in the finished product and always hold that in your mind and heart. In the end you get there. The same people who thought it would never work are the ones who have bought copies and been sheepishly saying – ‘now we know what you were trying to do!’ This is actually a really simple book in some ways – it’s a bit like a picture book for adults. I think people didn’t anticipate what an enjoyable experience  it would be. This book is fun and full of feelings – it is not just a head trip. I think it has a big heart. It’s about a guy trying to find himself after all.

Change of pace: who’ve you found inspiring?  The twist is that you can’t say anyone who does film, literature or photography.

This might shock you, but Shawn Michaels the WWE Wrestler. I live and breathe movies. I am a filmmaker and film commentator and sometimes it doesn’t help me unwind to watch movies. It can sometimes feel like work, no matter how much I love it. Since I was five years old I’ve watched WWE Wrestling to unwind. It just lets me escape. And I think I love everything about it – the spectacle, the raw emotion, the operatic storylines. I think they are artists. So I’d say the Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels has been a lifelong inspiration! You’re shocked aren’t you!?

And how’re you going with Cup of Dreams?

I am getting on a plane to New Zealand in a few hours to do my last round of filming in New Zealand, with my characters and with the All Blacks. It’s been a long process – I started filming this flick in 2007. I love how it’s developed. It’s become something I didn’t anticipate. I’ve got to say, it’s not a sports movie. It’s a character study that happens to be set in New Zealand and revolve around rugby and the World Cup. My producer Jonathon Green put it so well when he said ‘the All Blacks are the object of the story, not the subject.’ This is a story about home, it’s about what we all find in sport, it’s about all the ineffable, wonderful and irrational things that can hold a community together. It’s exploring nationalism and obsession. It’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever done but every few weeks a new dream comes true. I’ll be sideline filming the All Blacks play the Springboks in a matter of days, and that is a dream come true – I can’t wait to be out there and be so close to the haka. It’s a childhood dream come true.

What’s the story behind Seven Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started?

I think it is so important to share what you’ve learnt as an artist. I believe as an artist you receive when you give. In this new stage of my career I’ll be using my website www.julianshaw.com.au a lot more to release short films and new content.  Seven Things I Wish I Knew When I Started is a mini eBook that is me really being super honest and telling you all the mistakes I’ve made since I started my career as a 15-year-old would-be filmmaker and how I was able to achieve some of my proudest moments. I guess it is there so hopefully you don’t make some of the mistakes I did. I hope it is inspiring and candid, and I think whatever type of artist you are – a filmmaker, a musician or an actor – there will be something in there you’ll get out of it. The book is free if you sign up for the mailing list on the home page of my site.

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Filed under Australia, Fiction, Film, Kickin' it with, Photography

Droogs, daguerreotypes and the legend of Harvey Zucker

I’ve spent today conswirbled in thought after my friend Ryan Michael Swearingen documented the first day of a new friendship with New Yorkian photographer, typographer, daguerreotypist, photo historian, collector and entrepeneur behind A Photographer’s Place Harvey Zucker.

Conswirbled in préludes such that I pass this haunted tune along to you here.

Portrait of Harvey Zucker by Ryan Michael Swearingen (www.myeyemachine.com)

Four préludes in a photographer’s place

For Harvey Zucker & Ryan Michael Swearingen

look
upon another & have understanding
beyond words  .mercury & silver on mind
, exhaling
vapours      memories      heady air heavy

***

visages
invariably reveal  .invariably betray  .there
is disarmament  .gone was all hue of gum
bichromate
in     a photographer’s    place

***

he went
out to be among his people   .didn’t bring
back what he saw  .brought back what we
^ needed
see    . never ashamed   .evenofshame

***

tales are
of anunjust world  .narrative assembly line
for one hundred years running   genealogy of
^ us   but
no          fog horn      whistle blows

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Filed under New York, Photography, Poetry

Gather round, choir, and bewail our desperation

Photo by Ryan Michael Swearingen (www.myeyemachine.com)

Last instructions

If,
when they
come for me,

I panic,

turn me
toward them

and shove.

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Filed under Photography, Poetry