About Me

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Sydney, NSW, Australia
I'm an arts management worker/ artist/ designer. I work at Accessible Arts in administration and bookkeeping, but also work on various freelance activities from photography to graphic design. I'm Associate Partner at the ARI, the Big Fag Press, board member of Runway Australian Experimental Art and occasionally work at Bailey and Yang Consultants. My creative work has often been driven by social issues and commentary. This blog started as a way of documenting research for my honours year at uni, which I have continued, in order to gather inspiration for future artistic practice.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Semi- Permanent Sydney 2012

I went to the Semi-Permanent, Sydney 2012 conference a few days ago, which was well worth the money in the ideas and inspiration that it gave me. I always take a lot away from hearing about projects other people are doing.

Here are the talks which stood out most to me:

Kelli Anderson is an American graphic designer who had a number of extremely interesting works to show us including moving images called kinographics, and paper that can play music. Two of her works stood out to me as being relevant to my project. The first was her collaboration with the Yes Men, and their 2008 hoax New York Times newspaper.

 *Image: the Yes Men

This fabulously copied counterfeit newspaper presented a blueprint for a Utopian future, from Maximum Wage Laws and the end of the Iraq war to ads for where to trade in your car for a bicycle. Here are some of the reactions from people on the street:

Unfortunately the hoax NY times website doesn't seem to be working anymore. This fantastic piece of satire and verisimilitude reminds me of the Onion, except the latter is usually about getting a horrified reaction to terrifying fake news such as "New Law Requires Women to Name Baby, Paint Nursery before getting Abortion", while the Yes Men wanted people to wish that their Utopian newspaper was real.

Kelli also does a lot of Infographics, including this Relational Model of Inequity which is a rather clever way to illustrate the inequity of wage differences in the US. In this map she mathematically works out the relativity of income brackets to a walking tour of New York city. In relative terms, to walk the distance of the top 0.01% of income earners, you would have to walk all the way through to the top of Canada or something ridiculous.

Image: Kelli Anderson

Since I've had lots of practise drawing maps for the Big Fag Press, I thought I could create a walking tour of Sydney looking at Sustainability figures.
Kelli has a lot of TED talks which are fairly inspirational also.

David Alan Harvey is a photographer and editor of Burn magazine, an online magazine which showcases the work of emerging photographers. I'm planning on submitting my work to Burn, and maybe next year applying for his Emerging Photographer Fund. David is currently working on a book collating his photography in Brazil, the layout of the book is extremely interesting - it is unbinded and allows for images to be moved around, and viewed juxtaposed next to each other in various ways. I loved his approach to portrait photograph - no fear, just the ability to be friendly, natural and get people to trust you.

Derek Henderson is also a portrait photographer, and has worked for many fashion magazines. What I loved about his work was the fact that he is an amazing professional photographer, and yet, like me, he doesn't do much studio lighting. He prefers ambient light, or if it has to be a studio, then just a single light to imitate daylight. He also minimises the retouching on his photographs and tries to portray true emotion. I was inspired by the lighting in these photographs:

*2 images: Derek Henderson

The Monkeys intrigued me because I'm really interested in the changing nature of advertising in the last few years, which I think has been driven by the rise of social media platforms. This is stuff like names on coke bottles - promotional material that is passed from screen to screen of users through generating individual interest in the product. This is kind of what The Monkeys do - it's kind of like guerilla advertising. They wanted to advertise Ice Break (the drink), and decided fulfill every guy's fantasy - attach a motor to random objects like a couch, break some world records and end up on the news around the country.

The Semi-Permanent publication was also interesting and I may have found some potential contributors such as:

Alyson Pearson (possible commissioned work: graphics over photography), James McLaughlin (possible digital photography manipulation help), and Daniel Caballero and Rebecca Murphy (both have artworks looking at the theme of fashion and death).

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