Sunday, April 08, 2012

Cultural Engineer's Report



‎"There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning." —Louis L'Amour

This curious e-periodical, born from, nothingness, is intended for creative producers, artists, civic leaders, autodidacts, phlebotomists, taxi drivers, poets, and other makers of contemporary culture.

If you don't fit the bill, or you're finished, the Unsubscribe link at the end of this message will remove you from further contact. If you are a cultural engineer who craves ideas, please consider this a special information source and cyber go button.

Click here to send us a message, an idea, a link, a project, anything.

Click to find the Cultural Engineer's Report on Facebook  or better yet...

Click to like this on your Facebook Page
Like Cultural Engineer's Report Six on Facebook


Thanks for become part of the inner workings of this mysterious new gyroscopic perpetual motion ideas machine, hand-crafted in the shed out back. Submit your news, articles, and links for inclusion in the next edition of the Report. We seek that which might be incredibly useful to the Cultural Engineers reading this with you.

Special thanks to those who came calling in response to our last edition, especially Erica Duthie of TapeArt New Zealand, Dr Stephen Weller of James Cook University in Cairns, Miami curator Katrina Rank, music industry legend Leanne De Souza, and Brisbane-based 
Cultural Engineer, Bilge Ozgun.


Coming in Report 07: mysteries and more... 

And if you missed it, click here to go back in time and peruse the Fifth Edition of this Report.

Click to send this Report
Send Cultural Engineer's Report Six to friends on Facebook
"To speak of beauty—the artistic gesture—as a rationale for arts funding is to risk derision and accusations of elitism." So writes Matthew Westwood in The Australain, as the conversation about a Federally-mandated national arts policy continues. What's a cultural engineer to do? For now, at least, just sit back, relax, peruse this latest issue of your Report, and spend the weekend formulating your own bold and innovative arts policy—in whatever form and gesture you deem appropriate. Why? Because, dear reader, it's what we do—and indeed, because there is beauty in it. Now let us begin...

A digest of things creative and interesting, can be found here.

Rebecca Harkins-Cross updates gets all meta-critical: The state of arts criticism in Australia has been a topic of doleful conversation for a few years now. From all accounts, things are pretty dire. Critics across the disciplines are bemoaning the shrinking space in print media, the “everyone’s a critic” mentality of blogging, the timidity of Australia’s close-knit arts community and the influence of a 24-hour news cycle that favours fast comment over considered analysis. In 2010, for example, Gideon Haigh issued a scathing summation of the problem for Kill Your Darlings. “Some newspapers and magazines in Australia have ceased paying for reviews at all,” he pointed out, while others were “winnowing costs away” ruthlessly. Similar critiques have been made here by Ben Eltham and Mel Campbell. This week, the Wheeler Centre has had a go at redressing such grievances, with the launch of The Long View, a new online review project. Made up of 10 long-form essays, the project has commissioned an impressive run of Australian writers and critics to pen serious articles on Australian literature. The site will be rolling them out every fortnight throughout the coming months. Read more from cultural engineer Harkins-Cross on her blog. 

“Is the Brucennial 2012 a joke?” asks The New York Times, “a madcap exercise in Relational Aesthetics? An Occupy-style protest against the New York art establishment and its carefully groomed exhibitions like the Whitney Biennial and the New Museum Triennial?" The organisers, the anonymous cultural engineers of the Bruce High Quality Foundation and Vito Schnabel, call it “the single most important art exhibition in the history of the world. Ever.” Well, OK then. What you'll find is a salon-style multifloor installation of works by close to 400 artists—a populist, radically inclusive survey of what artists in New York are really creating outside the filtering systems of galleries, museums and curators. Works by the young and unknown are incuded with those by Cindy Sherman, Ron Gorchov, Jean-Michel Basquiat, George Condo, David Salle, and Damien Hirst. Click here to read more about the ever-important, exceedingly-cool Brucennial!

"Ask Americans what they know about Australian art and their thoughts often turn to dot paintings, ochre colours and of course the ubiquitous kangaroo,” writes the Sydney Morning Herald. “But Aboriginal artist Reko Rennie aims to challenge that stereotype when he exhibits his work at a prestigious New York art fair this month – the first Australian to be invited. Rennie, who uses spray paint, stencils, photography, video and sculpture to produce vivid Andy Warhol-influenced works, says he is ”really excited” to have the opportunity to introduce his contemporary work to an international audience at the Scope Art Fair. “It will be interesting to see their responses,” the Melbourne-born artist says. “There’s this popular romantic notion of what an Aboriginal person should look like – that it’s someone living in a remote community doing dot painting and dancing but it’s not the case.” Read more at this link or visit the artists website here
The shoddy state of the profession is disappointing, but hardly surprising for those who have actually worked as arts journalists. Arts journalists — and let’s throw in their even more neglected brothers and sisters, the critics — are a motley crew, to say the least. But what they generally share are precarious, insecure and lowly paid working conditions. Indeed, it’s getting harder and harder to be an arts journalist in this country, in the sense that you can be a political journalist or a business reporter. The troubles faced by newspapers are felt most keenly in sections such as the arts pages, which are routinely cut back in hard times (probably justifiably, as they are not stellar performers when it comes to advertising revenue). Australia’s arts and creative industries are growing, but are still minnows compared to the giants of banking and mining. In any case, who wants to read about the back office when you can read about Cate Blanchett? The cultural sector contains stars and celebrities, and this is about whom audiences want to read. The only true creative industries reporter in the country is the Financial Review’s Katrina Strickland, and the Australian media is scarcely rushing to provide her with competitors. Read more about the lamentable state of cultural and critical reporting at Crikey
When Occupy Wall Street first parked their mattresses in Zuccotti Park, my friends and I felt that something very rare was happening, and that we should help however we could. Noticing a lack of OWS graphics, I drew up a clunky octopus with "Fight the Vampire Squid" written on its belly. It became a protest sign around the country. Since then I've been churning out posters for Occupy — for libraries and general strikes and unions. Doing political work enabled me to take the subtext dancing at the margins of my art, and make it loud and proud. Political posters are fast. I'd draw one, brain on fire, and two hours later a masked protester would be carrying it on the streets. But I wanted to do something bigger- to take the political content of my OWS work, and express it in paintings that were giant and detailed. I wanted to make the kind of art that takes 100 hours of carefully daubing paint onto a giant piece of wood. The sort of work that would traditionally be sold in galleries. While I was in a pop-surrealist group show here and there, no one was going to give me a solo show of my work. Especially of the sort of paintings I wanted to do. And who could blame them? Read more of Molly Crabapple's words at this link to
Kathy Keele is well acquainted with the f-word. As boss of the Australia Council, she's responsible for distributing more than $170 million worth of government funding for the arts every year. It's a job that has its fair share of critics. Partly because publicly-funded art is such a controversial topic; mainly because everyone always wants a bigger slice of the pie. But without it, a whole lot of art in this country simply wouldn't get made or exhibited. And if it did, it would look, sound and feel very different to the way it does today. "In terms of the publicly-funded subsidised arts, they are of essential importance," says Justin O'Connor, a professor at the creative industries faculty at the Queensland University of Technology. "If you're a big arts institution looking for consistent public funding, they're the people you have to deal with." Read more about OzCo's potentate at this link to The Power Index. And click here to read about the top twenty "powerful" people in Australia's arts ecology. 

SITE VISIT: The Selvedge Yard
A historical record of artistry, anarchy, alchemy & authenticity, can be perused here.

Ecatepec, Mexico is a poor industrial city with increasing crime statistics. When residents there look to the hills, they now see the faces of crime victims staring back at them. Enormous photographic portraits cover concrete homes as part of a community art project that captures what has become a Mexican obsession: visualizing victimhood or, more broadly, turning cold, mind-numbing data back into real people. “We speak too often in terms of numbers,” said Marco Hernández Murrieta, president of the Murrieta Foundation, which organized the photo project here in a suburb of Mexico City. “We’re putting a face on the statistics.”
Other groups have recently given voices to victims, in videos with famous actors like Diego Luna playing Mexicans who have lost loved ones to drug violence or human rights abuses. Twitter accounts like @Tienennombre also name the dead, often adding ages and other personal details. These efforts speak to more than just frustration with Mexico’s mounting insecurity. Experts and activists say they are also a shout of outrage against the impunity and lack of transparency that keep Mexicans in the dark, often unable to separate the guilty from the innocent. And yet, while earlier examples of victim-focused advocacy in Latin America have been aimed mainly at governments, many of Mexico’s so-called victim visualizers say they are less interested in politics and marches than in changing their neighbors’ mind-sets. Their campaigns are mostly attempts to create a public conscience, to keep people from committing or accepting violence by making them feel the suffering that ripples out from crime — largely through efforts that can be shared easily by word of mouth or social media. Read more in the New York Times here

Singapore is already home to two new floating luxury nightclubs, a glass-and-steel Louis Vuitton "island" jutting out over the bay, and Marina Bay Sands casino resort, which includes an infinity pool longer than the Eiffel Tower. Now the city is thinking big again: In June, it will open the 380-acre Gardens by the Bay. As part of the $700 million project, 18 "supertrees," artificial treelike structures between nine and 16 stories high, will offer shelter from the blazing Singapore sun. They sport silver-pink "branches," made from twisted steel, and are covered with flowering climber plants. Landscape-architecture consultant Grant Associates, working with Wilkinson Eyre Architects, designed the "trees," which will offer projected media and light shows at night. Read more at this link, and see renderings of the supertrees here.
Bureaucrats, advisers and a secretive reference group are tinkering away at the federal government's National Cultural Policy in the lead-up to the budget session of parliament. The people have had their say, via 450 submissions to the NCP discussion paper released last August, and many more online comments. Now the nuts, bolts and sheet metal are being screwed and hammered into something resembling a policy. To help point the way, federal Arts Minister Simon Crean has assembled a reference group of 22 people from arts and cultural bodies. It is chaired by Julianne Schultz, editor of literary journal Griffith Review. She co-chaired with Cate Blanchett the Creative Australia panel at Kevin Rudd's 2020 summit and was a Rudd appointment to the ABC board.
The group - the names of its members have not been made public until now - includes publisher Louise Adler; company director Sam Mostyn, one of the architects of Paul Keating's Creative Nation; cultural economist David Throsby; Louise Herron, chairwoman of the Australia Council's Major Performing Arts Board; and Helen Nugent, appointed by the Howard government to formalise funding arrangements for major performing arts companies. There are some worrying signs. The panel has only three artists on it: that is, people who make art, rather than show, market or talk about it. Click here to read more by Matthew Westwood in The Australian. 

SITE VISIT: My Modern Metropolis
Beautiful photography, incredible art and clever design. That pretty much sums it up—where art enthusiasts and trendspotters connect over creative ideas. Visit this fabled cyber-place here
Intrepid cultural engineer Ben Eltham was in Brisbane the other weekend, where he was able to spend a couple of afternoons at the Gallery of Modern Art’s latest contemporary art exhibition, 21st Century: Art in the First Decade: The gallery was filled with people from across the demographic spectrum: young hipster couples, tourists, senior Australians, and families. So many families. This is an exhibition that seems to to capture the imagination of kids, as well as those who refuse to grow up. And who can blame them? This particular vision of art in the 21st century could be criticised for many things (some have even used that most devastating of artworld barbs: “safe”), but one thing you can’t fault is its sense of sheer, innocent joy. GOMA’s take on the art of the past decade is filled with the interactive, the relational and the funny, from Martin Creed’s room filled full of purple balloons (Work No. 965: Half the air in a given space (purple)) to Carsten Holler’s signature slippery dip Test site, and from Rikrit Tiravanija’s key relational work — a Thai meal for four — to Olafur Eliasson’s giant Lego play pen, The cubic structural evolution project. Read more of Eltham's musings on his blog

Artist Tomás Saraceno (born in Tucumán, Argentina, in 1973) will create a constellation of large, interconnected modules constructed with transparent and reflective materials for New York's Metropolitan Museum's Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden. Visitors may enter and walk through these habitat-like, modular structures grouped in a nonlinear configuration. Over the past decade, Saraceno has established a practice of constructing habitable networks based upon complex geometries and interconnectivity that merge art, architecture, and science. The interdisciplinary project "Cloud Cities/Air Port City" is rooted in the artist's investigation of expanding the ways in which we inhabit and experience our environment. And see images from the artist's 2011 Berlin installation at this link.
Reviewer Caroline Melia had this to say about Java Dance Company's charmingly quixotic Back of the Bus, which played almost every day, rolling thorugh the streets, during the 2012 Adelaide Fringe: This has to be one of the best shows on offer at this year’s fringe. The young dances are lively, engaging and keen to impress, with plenty of surprises that keep the audience on their toes. The confined setting might, at first, seem a little unpromising, but it soon become clear that this is no obstiacale to the performers. As the bus moves of and the music begins, you are thrown into a world that enacts everything you are told never to do on a bus; running in the isles, swinging on the rails, singing and more. The characters become distinct as the evening progresses and every time you are bid to get off the bus and follow the performers a new and exciting piece of the show awaits. It’s part dance show part follow the leader with never a dull moment. One of the most unexpected and comic parts of the show came from watching the other motorists along side the bus, in traffic and pedestrians on the street staring at the bus in wonder and disbelief, as the dancers hang upside-down from the rails. Read another glowing review in Glam Adelaide. And learn a bit more about the strikingly inventive Java Dance Company here or at their website
SITE VISIT: The Green Room
Queensland's Professional Theatre portal. Enter here

The Australia Council's Dance Board has committed $300,000 over three years to develop a Screen Dance Initiative, and proposals are being invited through an open tender process. The Australia Council acknowledges that the dynamism and vibrancy of the small-to medium performing arts sector is essential to the cultural life of Australia. The purpose of this initiative is to ensure that screen dance in Australia is supported in the most effective and innovative way—and to generate fresh thinking in the sector, new delivery models, and to foster new strategic partnerships.
The Screen Dance Initiative is open to Australian arts organisations working with dance and screen projects including hybrid, digital and interdisciplinary art. Proposals that investigate possibilities of artistic practices that intersect with broader cultural activity are encouraged (e.g. digital culture and creative opportunities for the National Broadband Network; Indigenous and intercultural collaborations; augmented reality and cgi staging).  To learn more about how to apply, click here, or contact the program coordinator, Adrian Burnett by clicking here
The latest trending social media video, Kony 2012, is interesting, not just for its popularity, but for questions it raises about crowd sourcing tactics.There’s a lot of terrible things in the world, a lot of terrible individuals doing unspeakable things, and a lot of causes that attract passionate people. So, if you’re into righting wrongs, using something like Facebook or You Tube or Vimeo to further your cause seems like a good idea. It’s not a new concept. There are those who willingly jump on the next ever-so-cool and trendy bandwagon. The number of hits on the video is testimony to this. But can this sort of emotive, simplistic approach to causes make a difference in the longer term? Will those nearly five million people who have viewed (or partially viewed) the video still care next week or next month? Or will they have jumped on the next trendy bandwagon instead? So writes cultural engineer Judy Barrass in the latest blog post at Critical Mass

SITE VISIT: Bizarre Bytes
A blog about the peculiar aspects of pop culture and art, can be glanced here.

It was obvious from my very first day that Sotheby’s would be exactly as I had come to imagine it. As the elevator reached each floor, archetypes spilled forth. Tweedy men got off at Rare Books, preppies at Impressionism, former sorority pledges at HR. The cool girls got off at Contemporary. In their jewel-tone flats and blended eye makeup, they were the ones who most resembled works of art. These girls seemed immune to New York’s damning seasons, which always threaten to expose one’s tax bracket, especially if it is low. The summer sun didn’t melt their makeup, and the winter wind didn’t mar their manes. They were driven in cars and cabs that were kept at a constant 68 degrees. At night and on weekends, they attended galas, museum openings, and brunches in East Hampton. But during business hours, they went on client visits, consulted on prices, and tirelessly secured property. They were friendly on the phone, enthusiastic about the art, and harder working than people who look and talk like that usually need to be. Alice Gregory writes more about her time at the auction house at this link
No 6: If you’re an artist, critic, or curator, someone will inevitably ask you what you’re working on. It’s good to have either two projects that can be mentioned briefly, or one project that can be mentioned in more depth—though still kept within the bounds of appropriate party chatter. In different cities, artists, critics, and curators take different tacks on describing their workload. In Los Angeles, artists must always look like they are rested and fresh. In New York, the more haggard and hardworking you look the better. It’s always appropriate to be on your way to or to have just returned from international travel, e.g., “I just got back from being in this biennial in Prague, but I’ve only a couple of weeks to get on my feet before I have to have some meetings in London.” Read the rest of the rules, posted by Andrew Berardini, in cultural engineering destination, Paper Monmument. Then read James McGirck's chamred account of the source at this link

Architect John Locke is doing to the phone booths of New York what every self-respecting bookworm has silently wished for since cell phones became ubiquitous and books became redundant. Almost! As part of his Department of Urban Betterment project, he has been converting normally grimy, grotty phonebooths in the city into useful resources for the bookish subway trawling population. Says Locke: "Even as they are rendered obsolete by the ubiquity of smartphones, I’m interested in pay phones because they are both anachronistic and quotidian. relics, they’re dead technology perched on the edge of obsolescence, a skeuomorph hearkening back to a lost shared public space we might no longer have any use for—but they can also be a place of opportunity, something to reprogram and somewhere to come together and share a good book with your neighbors." Read all about it in the Lost in E Minor blog, or here in Design Boom, then proceed immediately to the interventionist cultural engineering work and manifesto at the Department of Urban Betterment, at this link

Michael Brand, incoming director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, on his cunning plan to elevate Australian art and artists: In general, you would obviously like to see an international demand for Australian art rather than what might be described as one-sided export promotions. Many have tried to achieve this over the years, but not always with great success. How might the Art Gallery of NSW help? I believe the best place to start is by building partnerships on both the museum-to-museum and curator-to-curator levels. Another important contribution is the publication of serious scholarship on Australian artists that places their work in an international as well as national context. Click here to read more commentary, and the full interview with Dr Brand. And if that's not enough, click here for another interview with the soon-to-be Sydney cultural engineer, from the ABC's The World Today. 

With the Getty Trust's recent announcement that, after a gap of more than two years, a director has finally been hired to lead its museum, a perennial question arises. The Getty's art collection certainly hasn't languished, with important additions periodically made, but few would say it has lived up to hopes for the hugely wealthy institution. What does new leadership portend for it? THis September, Oxford-educated Australian Timothy Potts will become the Getty Museum's fifth director. Read what the Los Angeles Times has to say here

SITE VISIT: Art Threat
Culture, criticism, politics, more, and it's here.

Alexandra Wolfe writes about the latest trend of hotels becoming art havens, in the Wall Street Journal: Arty hotels have long been the domain of bohemian travelers who were looking for value and character in their accommodations. But recently, luxury hot spots across the globe have been adding art to their offerings—in the form of rotating displays, art concierges and even sculpture gardens you can shop in. These highbrow additions might just make you a more cultured guest, not to mention add a little bulk to your luggage. Click here to learn about some of the artful destinations, or click here to learn about New York's low budget, uber-arty Gershwin Hotel, or Hobart's Henry James Art Hotel, or (a favourite of this cultural engineer) the singular properties of Melbourne's Art Series Hotels.   

Combining dry wit with artistic depth, Billy Collins shares a project in which several of his poems were turned into delightful animated films in a collaboration with Sundance Channel. Five of them are included in this wonderfully entertaining and moving talk -- and don't miss the hilarious final poem! A two-term U.S. Poet Laureate, Billy Collins captures readers with his understated wit, profound insight -- and a sense of being "hospitable." Learn more, thanks to TED, at this link

Why did Bob Dylan compose the classic “Like a Rolling Stone” only after he had become so disgusted with his own music that he was planning to quit the business permanently? How did Silicon Valley become a hub of innovation while other genius-packed cities did not? And what does the placement of a company’s bathrooms have to do with the number of innovative products it makes? These questions–-and many more like them—are at the heart of Jonah Lehrer’s new book “Imagine: How Creativity Works.” Click here to read the rest of the review. 

Two huge William Street properties will become a hub for creative Sydneysiders, as part of a Council push to provide affordable space for artists throughout the city. The buildings, 101-115 William Street, have showrooms, warehouse space, offices, shopfronts, as well as six one-bedroom apartments, which could be used as artist live-in work spaces. Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP said a flourishing creative culture was essential to Sydney's social and economic wellbeing. "Sydney's creative culture attracts people to live, visit, work and invest here - but there's no creative culture if artists can't afford to live and work," the Lord Mayor said. "As a council, we're looking at underused properties that we can use to encourage artists and creative start-ups." Click here to read the official announcement
a blog about ideas, inspiration, and how to do it. Click here.

Here's a well-scripted opportunity for Australian playwrights, The Edward Albee Scholarship. The award provides the winning playwright with the professional development opportunity of a lifetime: a summer month in New York to write a new play, introduction to a range of US-based playwrights, literary managers, agents and artistic directors, and an opportunity to “plug in” to the New York theatre “grid.” Accommodation, flights and a stipend are provided to the winner, who is expected to present a full draft of his or her new play two months after returning from the US. The playwright retains all rights to their work and the award is open to any Australian resident. Entries are due by 4 May 2012, the shortlist will be published on the website on May 21, then Edward Albee will choose the winning entry from the shortlist. The winner will be announced in June.
Soundclash is a contemporary music initiative of the Australia Council's Music Board. The initiative seeks to assist the creative development of music which takes risks and demonstrates innovation within the popular music form. Click here to learn more

Candy Chang is an artist who explores making cities more comfortable and contemplative places. This is her website. With help from old and new friends, Candy turned the side of an abandoned house in her neighborhood in New Orleans into a giant chalkboard where residents can write on the wall and remember what is important to them. Before I Die is an interactive public art project that invites people to share their hopes and dreams in public space. Painted with chalkboard paint and stenciled with the sentence “Before I die I want to _______”, the wall becomes an enlightening way to get to know your neighbors and discover what matters most to the people around you. It creates a public space for contemplation and reminds us why we want to be alive in the world today. It’s a question that changed Candy after she lost someone she loved very much, and she believes the design of our public spaces can better reflect what matters to us as a community and as individuals. Learn more about Before I Die at this link. And read about the project's latest host, the cultural engineers at the ever-inspiring Chicago Urban Art Society
SITE VISIT: Stage Diary
News from the Australian theatre front. It's here

When The Art Newspaper be­gan an annual sur­vey of the best at­tended exhibitions in 1996, to make the top ten a show needed to attract around 3,000 visitors a day. In its survey of 2011 shows, to make the top ten required almost 7,000 visitors a day. Among them was “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty”, a posthumous tribute by the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. On average, more than 8,000 people a day went (in total around 660,000). The must-see show helped the Met to a record year, taking its annual total figure to more than six million, up from 5.2 million in 2010. Rather than a US, European or Japanese institution, a Brazilian one, the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil’s (CCBB) Rio de Janeiro space, comes top. The former bank building in the city’s centre hosted no less than three exhibitions that have made the top ten. All were free, with “The Magical World of Escher” being the most popular (9,700 visitors a day). Click here to read more about museum-going patterns around the world.

Following the highly successful Creative Communities Conference in 2009 and 2010, Creative Communities 3 will provide a forum for critical discussion and knowledge exchange when it is unleashed on the Gold Coast in September. The Conference will be held at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Surfers Paradise, hosted by the Griffith Centre for Cultural Research at Griffith University. Dates are 26 to 28 September 2012, and a major focus will be ‘Risks and Possibilities’ of unleashing creativity in communities. The gathering will bring together an interdisciplinary array of national and international art and community development practitioners, creative researchers, and cultual engineers working in sociology, youth and ageing studies, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity studies, and mass media.
Griffith Centre for Cultural Research currently invites proposal submissions from scholars, arts & cultural workers, designers, urban designers, architects and policy makers interested in presenting oral papers, presentations, interactive workshops, panels or roundtable discussions.  Click here for the Call for Proposals or register for the conference at this link.
San Francisco-area landscape artist Andreas Amador turns large beach landscapes inot swirling, complex works of epehemeral design. During full moons, he etches large-scale patterns, often organically designed for the site, using only a rake and several helpers. His works exist for a few hours, before being completely engulfed by the encroaching high tide. Check out his short-lived oceanfront art at this site

From March 22, millions of people strolling at night near the National Mall in Washington, D.C. will be able to see a museum turned inside-out. The Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is giving its trademark circular cement exterior a glowing, 360-degree makeover. Through to May 13, from sundown to midnight, artist Doug Aitken’s "SONG 1" installation will use 11 high-definition video projectors to seamlessly blend moving images around the entire iconic, cylindrical building to the tune of the pop song “I Only Have Eyes for You.” The massive projection will include more than 15 covers of the song from a diverse group of artists including Beck, Devendra Banhard, Lucky Dragons, and The Flamingos. According to Hirshhorn deputy director and chief curator Kerry Brougher, "SONG 1" toys with the concept of "liquid architecture"—a constant shifting that transforms museum architect Gordon Bunshaft's heavy, cement mass into a light, ethereal work of art. The public installation is designed to challenge the boundaries of architecture and redefine the concepts of cinematic and urban space. Check out the HIrschorn's makeover at this link and also here.  

Los Angeles' newest rock star, like so many before her, sleeps by day and rolls on by night, gathering, as they say, no moss. She stops in one town after another — in Ontario, La Palma, Lakewood and Long Beach. In each, she tantalizes and mesmerizes, conjuring a joyful circus, even a few moments of unbridled exuberance that some might regret down the road. Then, just as her star is brightest, she moves on, as if someone had given her the same advice offered by Gypsy Rose Lee's mother: Always leave them wanting more. Organizers knew moving a two-story-tall granite boulder from a Riverside County rock quarry to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art would be a logistical trial. The rock, after all, destined as the centerpiece of a massive art installation, weighs 340 tons. It is being toted 105 miles in a steel sling by a 176-wheel transport truck that is nearly as wide as three freeway lanes, at speeds so slow that some escorts have been on foot. What museum leaders and transportation officials could not have anticipated—so they claim—was the carnival that would surround the rock on its 11-day journey. Click here to read all about it in the Los Angeles Times. 

Yarn bombing, the modification of aspects in public space thorugh the addition of knitted covers and attachments, has turned into a guerrilla beautification movement. “You basically vandalize outdoor things with yarn—be it crocheted or knitted,” said a wolly artists known as the Kitting Guy. “It seems to be tolerated by the authorities because it’s pretty innocuous; it doesn’t really alter the object that gets yarn-bombed.” Click here to read more about this tolerably hobby, and proceed to this link for examples of the world's best yarn bombing. 

SITE VISIT: The Design Files 
Design, design, and more design. Go here.

"The idea of curation and having guest curators was a very visual arts model, but it hadn't been done in music in the same way," says David Sefton, now heading the Adelaide Festival. Read more about him, and his programming ethic, in The Australian

In a small brick building just North of Melbourne, is the axis mundi of Australian theatre-making. The forge of experimental stage works, and genesis of thousands of new plays over the past four decades, La Mama Theatre is a creative institution like no other. We just thought it might be important, dear reader, to point that out—and then warmly invite you to peruse the startling, upcoming productions at La Mama

Last month 200 dealers, collectors and curators gathered in Qatar for the opening of the first showing in the Middle East of work by Takashi Murakami. The hostess of the evening sat laughing with the pony-tailed Japanese artist on her right. On her left was Dakis Joannou, a Greek-Cypriot industrialist and avid collector of the work of Jeff Koons, an American sculptor. Larry Gagosian, whom many regard as the most powerful art dealer in the world, was placed at a table nearby, with the other art dealers. Few people could get away with asking Mr Gagosian to dinner halfway around the globe, only to sit him with the rest of the class. Sheikha Mayassa Al Thani is one. The emir of Qatar’s daughter has become one of the most talked-about figures of the international art world: collector, patron, cultural advocate. Mr Gagosian is not the only one who would like to catch her eye. Read more here in The Economist

Vintage Advertisements are usually humorous to us nowadays, what with the racism, sexism and other isms you can find in the ads from yesteryear. But the ads also have something comforting: maybe they deliver a feeling that in our past things used to better and can be again, a certain nostalgia hits us – maybe even for those who weren’t alive at that time. Who knows for sure, but the Bizarre Bytes website takes a look at "vintage" ads for some familiar new products and online services. Click here to look.

Each month, the Awesome Foundation chooses an applicant who has proposed an awesome project, and we fund them. Our first grantee was an oral history project. More recently we helped fund the Onn/Of Light Festival. Since we operate on a monthly basis, we move quickly. Just a couple of weeks after we make a decision, the $1,000 cash is in the pocket of the grantee. Literally cash. The Awesome Foundation was founded in 2009 in Boston by a guy named Tim Hwang. He came up with the simple formula of 10 people giving $100 each that is handed out as grants on a monthly basis. It went from the one chapter in Boston to four chapters to 12 chapters. Two years later, it’s at 30 chapters. Read more about small-change funding for big ideas at this link, and check out the Awesome Foundation website here

At the Australia Council, we know what our artistic leaders, our cultural leaders, look like. They are the ‘go to’ people, the first names that pop into your head when you need to get communities informed, wrestling with issues, or engaging in serious debate. They bring cool ideas to the big table, and have the strategies to make those ideas play out. Other artists are drawn to them for advice or help, because they know that even if this person can’t solve their problem, they’ll know someone who can. They hang in there when the going gets tough and know how to take their colleagues with them. Yes, their actions encapsulate all the buzz words. They have incredible vision, they motivate others and demonstrate fortitude in the face of adversity. Most importantly, they possess that intangible gift: the ability to inspire change. Read the entire opinion piece by Lyn Wallis, Director of the Theatre Board, at the Australia Council for the Arts website.
SITE VISIT: Obsessed Artist 2.0
The virtual world for the artists is here.

Instead of contribute in a physical way to the 2012 Whiteney Biennial, artist Andrea Fraser submitted an essay. "It has gotten to the point that most forms of engagement with the art world have become so fraught with conflict for me that they are almost unbearable, even as I struggle to find ways to continue to participate." Click here to read about her "work," or download a copy of the essaye "There's No Place Like Home." Or click here to read more in the Huffington Post. 

The Future Generation Art Prize established by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation is a worldwide contemporary art prize to discover, recognize and give long-term support to a future generation of artists. The Prize hopes to become a major contribution to the open participation of younger artists in the dynamic cultural development of societies in global transition. The Prize is an innovative new international award for artists up to 35 years of age, investing in the artistic development and new production of works. Awarded through a competition, judged by a distinguished jury, the Prize is founded on the idea of generosity, a network of outstanding patron artists and institutional partners, and a highly democratic application procedure. Founder and Ukrainian businessman Victor Pinchuk says: “Art, freedom and creativity will change society faster than politics." Read more about his Future Generation Prize at this link.

The Birmingham Opera Company is producing the first complete production of Karlheinz Stockhausen's opera "Mittwoch aus Licht" as part of the London festival this year. The five-hour opera is split into six parts, and the first hour of the performance features electronic music, and is followed by a choir singing acapella in a fake language. But the most bizarre aspect of the work is sure to be the 20 minutes of the performance where four helicopters, each prepared with a pilot, sound and audio technicians, as well as string quartet players, will transmit audio and video to the audience down below. The sound of the helicopters is a featured aspect of the performance, which was first performed in 1955.
"Stockhausen's vision is utterly beguiling, seductive, irresistible and fabulous," Birmingham Opera Company's artistic director Graham Vick told the Guardian. "He is one of the great originals of all time: a dreamer, a visionary, a man who dared to believe that things were possible which I have no idea how to achieve." Vick also described the difficulties in getting the opera to audiences, which, aside from the helicopter stunt, also requires two performance halls and choirs. Not to mention that the two performance halls have to be large enough for the helicopters to safely land in. Read more about this modernist Olympic mission in the Telegraph, or here in the Guardian.  

On 20 March the Australia Council and the City of Sydney hosted a presentation and discussion session 'Culture Count: Measuring Cultural Value' at Customs House, Circular Quay in partnership with the Centre for Creative Industries Innovation at Queensland University of Technology. The event featured a presentation from Hasan Bakhshi, director for creative industries in NESTA's policy research unit, as well as insight from local policy and planning experts. If you couldn't make it, the Australia Council is still interested in your views about Culture, and your ideas for future events. Cultural Engineers can share their thoughts with this short questionnaire or read more about the Culture Count discussion at this link

The feature documentary This Space Available began as a discussion between a corporate branding guru, Marc Gobé, and his daughter, Gwenaëlle Gobé, a filmmaker who is passionately against advertising in public space. The debate blossomed into three-year investigation of outdoor advertising and its effect on communities, from São Paulo to Toronto, and what activists, street artists, and cities are doing to stop it. Gwenaëlle Gobé, who directed the film, discusses the evolution of the project at this link to The Atlantic.

The younger Gobé has this to say: "I feel brands infiltrate our space, our privacy and our health without asking permission. Everywhere we go we are treated as potential consumers. There needs to be a place for everything, and we, as a culture, as individuals, are many other things besides consumers. It’s important to create and maintain public and private spaces that respect the citizen. Things are a bit out of control in Los Angeles; when I go for a walk sometimes I think, there is a virtual pick-pocketing going on. When we read in the newspaper that the city of São Paulo had passed a law to take down all billboardswe decided to make a film on the subject."  

Sydney's famous harbour has undergone several character changes. Once a rich source of food for Australia’s indigenous aborigines, it later evolved into the country’s biggest trading port and a point of arrival for ship-borne immigrants. On March 24th Sydney Harbour was transformed once again, this time into an opera venue. Opera Australia, the country’s main opera company, staged a triumphant premiere performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s “La Traviata” on a water-borne stage before an audience of 3,000 people on shore. Nothing like this had ever been done before. The dimly-lit roof sails of the Sydney Opera House, the company’s usual home, provided a stunning backdrop across the water. For once, Australia’s most iconic structure took second place, set against the daring new stage.  Read more in The Economist.  

All it takes is a rope swing—and a few curious passersby—to turn a patch of shade under a giant tree into a playground. In Tampa Bay, Florida, there are more than 100 handmade swings scattered across the city and its surrounding communities thanks to Reuben Pressman and Hunter Payne of Swings Tampa Bay, an organization known locally for its experiments in urban recreation and “spontaneous community building.” Click here to read how they started with one swing, and about what is happening now in Tampa. And click here to visit the Swings Tampa Bay website and get the full overview.

Plenty of startups are trying to figure out how to make music's digital revolution pay off  for recording artists by stripping out middlemen and turning musicians into entrepreneurs. But perhaps none has a mission as altruistic as CASH Music, a nonprofit working on a suite of tools to let artists and labels promote and sell music directly to their fans, free of charge, on an open-source platform with minimal technological barriers to entry. CASH Music's current features include tools for musicians to collect email addresses, integrate their social streams and manage tour dates on their own websites. Artists already on board include Zola Jesus, Calexico, and Iron & Wine. Click here to go to the CASH Music site, and find out what Sam Beam already knows. 

Postmodern eye shadow, anyone? Tomato-soup blush? A new line of cosmetics is being launched that will bear the name of Andy Warhol, the Pop artist who immortalized Campbell's Tomato Soup cans and made silkscreen portraits of seemingly everyone from Marilyn Monroe to Mao Tse-Tung. The new collection of makeup will be developed by Nars Cosmetics, under license from the Andy Warhol Foundation. It is scheduled to be launched in the U.S. in October and will be a limited edition collection, according to a report in Women's Wear Daily. Read more in the Los Angeles Times

A little over two years ago a website started up to help users collate and share images on the web. Within a year its users were growing from the thousands to the millions and its popularity was spreading from the US to Europe. Suddenly people were sitting up and taking notice of the Silicon Valley startup. Now, according to comScore, in February 2012 Pinterest hit 17.8 million monthly users in the US, up over 6 million users from the January figure of 11.7 million, making its rise amongst the fastest of any site to ever hit the web. Yet a lot of people still only have a vague idea what it’s about. Click here to find out, thanks to Fiona Mackrell's overivew in ArtsHub.

Ever wanted to discover a vending machine that dispenses hand-made works of original art? Ever wanted one that does it for $5, and includes works by 20 artists from around the world? Then visit the KickArts GIft Shop now, in the lobby of the Cairns Centre of Contemporary Arts, and make friends with the first Art-o-mat machine in the Southern Hemisphere. It was commissioned by Cairns Festival in 2010, and is one of about 100 repurposed machine in existence. Sure, you could spend $500 on a nice print or painting. But why not get 100 new works, and an instant art collection, instead? Click here to see the Far North machine, or here to learn more about the Art-o-mat network.  

In May, artist Tom Sachs will take over the Park Avenue Armory’s fifty-five thousand square foot drill hall to simulate a month-long expedition to Mars. Presented by perhaps the most amazing cultural engineering organisation on earth, Creative Time, Astronaut’s Training Manual: Space Program 2.0: Mars features a Martian landscape, mission control, spacecraft, exploratory vehicles, and a launch pad, all constructed from a variety of common materials. Sachs and his thirteen assistants will perform procedures, rituals, and mission-related tasks throughout the month. Previously, Sachs constructed his own 1:1 scale lunar module and Tyvek space suits to stage a mission to the moon at Gagosian LA. Click here to read more about Sachs, who has been called "one of the brightest, most entertaining, and most voraciously inquisitive artists on the contemporary scene.”
SITE VISIT: No Plain Jane
Jane Howard takes a critical, well-worded look at the art world around her, here

Do you have information or opportunities that other Cultural Engineers should know about? Almost 2000 of them, from all over the world, are reading this with you. Do you post critical comments on your home-grown blog? Have you invented something funky? Are you producing a cabaret in a decrepit jail, um, gaol? Maybe you run a cool museum? Or are you dreaming of a new civic vision? Perhaps you want to give a special cultural welcome, a package of creative content, to every newborn baby in your region? Or maybe you've submerged 400 life-sized figures off the coast of Mexico? Let us know, as what you are doing might just be fodder for the next Cultural Engineer's Report. Click here to tell us.

To remove your email address from this list, and receive no further editions, simply click on the Unsubscribe link below. Click here to send an email to the Cultural Engineer, impresario, and chief compiler behind this message, Eric Vaughn Holowacz.

Sent to — why did I get this?
unsubscribe from this list | update subscription preferences
Cultural Engineering Report · Far North Queensland · Machans Beach, Queensland 4878
Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp

Friday, March 11, 2011

Artful-e: Issue 16.00

EDITION SIXTEEN: An Incomplete Manifest

Electronic Alert for a Growing List of Creative People in and around Cairns
(717 readers, and a handful more tomorrow)

"What we need is more people who specialise in the impossible."  
— Theodore Roethke



The 2011 Cairns Festival: 50 Years Under a Tropical Sun,  will be held from 19 August to 4 September (and there may even be some cool events outside of those dates). We won't announce the full season until June, but there are some exciting developments on the horizon. The 2011 Festival is seeking expressions of interest and event/project proposals from artists, organisations, and producers everywhere. The submission process will be posted to the Cairns Festival website on Monday, and proposals accepted until 15 April. The guidelines will also include new participation areas and program venues designed to support individual artists, workshop leaders, and community arts engagement. Visit the Festival website from next week, and begin thinking about your involvement in our August/September celebration of 50 years under a tropical sun.   



Despite recent recent weather woes in Far North Queensland the 2011 Feast of the Senses will go ahead as scheduled. Take a drive SOuth to celebrate with them, and feast on events such as the Ultra-Tropics Gala Dinner on 25 March, Australian Bananas Market Day on 27 March, Dragon Kite Competition, and so much more from 18 March on. Find out what's coming up and plan your trip to Innisfail for Feast of the Senses, by clicking here.



There's a quartet of exhibition openings after work tonight, so plan your night around many a vernissage...

THE UNDERSCORECarly Whouley's latest photographs will be on view at Cell Art Space from 5 March to 2 April, with an opening reception on March 11 from 5:30pm. Whouley was born and bred in Cairns, and obtained a Bachelor of Film and Television Production from Griffith University’s Queensland College of Art in 2002.
“Our landscape is grand and beautiful and saturated with enough textbook aesthetics to make any fanny pack-wearing tourist wee their cargo pants. Alas, so much goes unnoticed - the diminutive, modest, concealed quarters that form the underscore to this magnificently large-scale production. This is the Cairns that my grandparents, parents, siblings, friends and I know so well.”

The Underscore is celebrating the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day, the major day of global recognition for the economic, political and social achievements of women.
WOMEN IN THE ARTSThe 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day is being celebrated with a dynamic display of new work by local women artists. The ‘Women in the Arts’ exhibition is on view at c1907 Contemporary Artspace, with an opening reception on Friday 11 March from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. Val Schier, Mayor of Cairns Regional Council will welcome the crowd.

Women in countries across the globe are participating in similar events celebrating women’s achievements and contribution within their communities. Local artists contributing to this exhibition include Jennifer Arthur, Robyn Baker, Raewyn Biggs, Kylie Burke, Sam Creyton, Rebecca Claire Edwards, Louisa Ennis-Thomas, Margaret Genever, Ruth McKim, Rosie Miller, Caroline Mudge, Julie Poulsen, Rose Rigley, Adrienne Shaw, Vide Smith, Kristin Tennyson, Jenny Valmadre and Sam Vatovey

This exhibition highlights the diversity of talent amongst women in the local region. The show features both established and emerging women artists in the Cairns contemporary art scene. ‘Women who have been involved in the arts for a life-time will be shown alongside up-coming local talent. The arts community in Cairns is strong and this event is a chance to see artists at all stages of their career, who have come together to participate in this celebratory show,’ explains curator, Louisa Ennis-Thomas.

Artists have been invited to produce a work which highlights their individual approach to creating art. It is an opportunity to showcase their skills and to explore their medium of choice’. Traditional techniques such as painting, drawing and sculpture will be shown with more contemporary mediums such as digital media, sculptural assemblage and works with innovative materials.
TRANSFAUNALondon Artist, Tom Van Herrewege, is the latest arrival to Cairns as Artist-in-Residence at Tanks Arts Centre. His work explores fascinations and fears we have towards the animal world, and while in North Queesland, the artist will explore local snake life, as well as the other creatures in our midst. Van Herrewege will create a new series of drawings through March 10, and the public is invited to meet him at a launch of the exhibituion, Transfauna on March 11 from 6pm, at the Tanks.
Rosie Miller, John Eaton, and Sally Donald will show new works, clearly exploring ambiguous heritage, or ambiguously exploring clear heritage. Most are based in, on, or with paper. It all begins at 7pm at Billy's Coffee, 
aka Crate59 in Sheridan Street (Number 59). There will be food, drinks, and an unambiguous record player.

RETURN TO PARADISEParadise Concerts International Classical Chamber Music Series opens its 2011 concert season with an exciting Gala launch on 26 March at Kewarra Resort, featuring the exciting new Trio, Luminosity. The group comprising guest international musicians Amy Stevens (viola) and Anne Stevens (piano), as well as violinist Kirtley Leigh Paine will make their debut at the opening concert at the stunning rainforest venue (newly refurbished and enlarged) of Kewarra Beach Resort. Mayor Val Schier will officially open the event and this year's concert series. Musical works include the witty Kegelstad Trio of Mozart, the electrically charged Khachaturian Trio, full of folk idioms and wild rhythmical abandon, and the Latin influences of Piazzolla in his Grand Tango, culminating in fiery Spanish technique with Sarasate's famous Navarra.
Learn more about Paradise Concerts by 
clicking here to visit their website...
and get your tickets by clicking here!

16.04OF MEN AND FASCINATORSQuietly, well ahead of the Festival season, and with the help of a crafty local image-maker, the Man vs Fascinator socio-photographic project begins...
Click here to read about the Man vs Fascinator project
Click here to see the first test portraits from Man vs Fascinator!

16.05CAIRNS FESTIVAL PROPSThe 2011 Cairns Festival: 50 Years Under a Tropical Sun, wants your creative ideas, arts events, and cultural collaborations. We're calling for proposlas from artists, producers, and organisations who want to bring a new program elements to the upcoming August 19 to September 4 season. To request the Expressions of Interest guidelines, or schedule a discussion with Fesitval staff, contact the Headquarters in City Place on 4044 3086 or  click here to send an email. 

Applications to perform at the 2011 Tablelands Folk Festival, the longest-running event of its type in Queensland, are now open. Simply proceed to the event’s colourful new website, located at to learn more. Deadline for submissions is May 31 for the October 20-23 event, but the sooner teh better. The award-winning festival, held annually throughout the picturesque Tablelands town of Yungaburra, takes great pride in the program it presents and the area it represents. Up to 75% of the program is filled by performers based between Torres Strait and Townsville. Preference is given to artists who present original material, not covers. However, musicians who play traditional music are welcome. Click here to read more.

The 20th Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival will take place up the road a piece, from 17 to 19 June, so begin making plans for a road trip. Beginning over 30 years ago, this event has become one of the largest gatherings of Indigenous people resulting in one of the most varied displays of Aboriginal Culture in the World. Traditional segments of the festival include dance, song, and other aspects of culture such as displays of hunting implements, weaving, and art. Non traditional components will include lifestyle choice programs, employment and recreational workshops, short film festival and night-time contemporary Aboriginal performers. Click here to learn more about the upcoming gathering and celebrations in Laura...

SING YOUR SONGAnyone who has ever wanted to sing but has not wanted to join a choir is invited to the next Soul Song rehearsal. The local group is a non-choral, non-religious choir singing a selection of pop, motown, gospel and soul songs from throughout the eras: music that is good of for your soul. Both men and women are welcome regardless of experience or talent. There are no auditions, and Soul Song teaches by ear (so you don't have to be able to read music). Joining Soul Song is easy: just come along to a rehearsal on a Tuesday night and check it out. The first rehearsal is free with no obligation to return (if it’s not for you). Soul Song rehearses on Tuesday evenings at St Margaret’s Anglican Church, 232 Aumuller Street from 7.15pm. Term dates for 2011 are: Tuesday 18 January through to Tuesday 12 April; and Tuesday 3 May through to Tuesday 21 June. If you want to learn more before coming along, please call Jacqueline on 0412 255587 or 4054 7598 or send an email enquiries


Who will be this year’s Port Douglas Carnivale ambassador? All will be revealed at the Carnivale Program Launch on 2 April – including the winner of the Song of Carnivale competition – at this showcase event. Book your tickets now online and get a primo seat to be front and centre for the launch of the 2011 program at the magical Sugar Wharf.
 Find out more about what's in store in Port by clicking here...

They wowed the crowd at the 2010 Cairns Festival Parade, and that was just their first public performance (when they knew two songs). Now, after months of practice and six weeks of intensive learning, the Cairns Pan Stars are ready for a full on party: Saturday March 19 at the Tanks Arts Centre! Tickets are only $10, and the supporting acts include DJs Culture Harry, Marcus Fari, Kanaka and Ultraviolet: all delivering full servings off a Caribbean menu of calypso, soca, zouk and reggae.

Lennox ‘Madman’ Jordan is the genuine article: a Trinidadian, second generation steel pan maker, musical arranger and teacher. Back home, Lennox led 60-piece orchestra The Fascinators to the finals of Panorama, Trinidad and Tobago’s annual steel pan competition. Recently migrated to Australia, Lennox plays with calypso/jazz fusion quintet, The Badjohns, and is director of Panschool, a Sunshine Coast based outfit that has helped form steel bands in Melbourne, Darwin and our very own Cairns Pan Stars. From 7 February to 19 March, Lennox Jordan will be conducting steel pan workshops, open to interested Cairns musicians and community members. To learn more, 
click here to contact Violet Stannard: or call her on 0409 092 101

WALLWORKSOn Thursday, 1st April, another exciting new arts-space will be unveiled, when Cairns based, artist Daniel (Wally) Wallwork throws open the doors to his latest project, Wallwork Studios at 6 Hobler Street in Westcourt, Cairns. Fresh from creating 5 new large scale sculptures for the Cairns Domestic Airport, (due to be installed), the studio is a new and exciting phase in Wallworks career, creating a hub for him to bring his various, energetic arts identities under one roof, and grow his dynamic arts practice. Known in several guises, contemporary artist, graffiti artist, arts educator and Director of the Upholstery Contemporary Arts ARI (Artist Run Initative),  Wallwork has worked hard to carve a unique and dynamic path in the Australian arts landscape. The exhibition accompanying the opening, will feature a stunning selection of Wallworks trademark, slick, high-gloss, auto-industrial works, that have been shown throughout Australia in the last few years, with many never before seen in Cairns. The doors open at 5:30pm, followed by the Director of the Cairns Regional Gallery, Paul Brinkman officially opening Wallwork Studios at 6:30pm. Local hipsters, raconteurs will be getting the crowd moving, followed by one of Cairns’ smoothest DJs, Fred. There will be a bar-by-donation and finger food. Click here for the complete skinny!

Dance North in Townsville premieres two new short works by artistic director and choreographic force, Raewyn Hill, and guest international choreographers Ross McCormack and Elie Tass. 
Read about this weekend's double-bill program here.

MORE NEW MUSEUMSThe world's richest man, telecom tycoon Carlos Slim, gave a sneak peak Tuesday at the new museum where he plans to show his vast collection of art and collectibles, including priceless pieces by Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, French sculptor Auguste Rodin and Italian master Leonardo da Vinci. The Soumaya museum — named after the tycoon's late wife — opens to the public on March 29 and admission will be free. Read about it by clicking here.

CRACKING UPCrack Theatre Festival and This Is Not Art will be unleashed on September the 29th, when all of Australia (read: some of Australia) come together in Newcastle to celebrate ART. Crack is now sending out the call for interesting and interested theatre artists, who may want to partake in Crack, and thus This is Not Art (TINA) 2011. Crack is a national festival and forum for (of and by) alternative theatre makers and performing artists. It's 4 days of performances, panels, forums, workshops and beautiful artistic collisions. Crack Theatre Festival is a place to experiment, explore and entice.  Learn more, and crack yourself up, by clicking here.


Don’t miss a spectacular weekend of music and mates in the unique setting that is Undara, with Outback Country Rock and Blues  from April 15 to 17. Performers include Luke O’Shea and Medicine Wheel, Bo Jenkins, Belinda Butler and the Good Things, Korey Livy, Daniel Champagne and Jordan Brodie. Accommodation is selling fast, and phone reservations can be made on 1800 990 992. 
Click here to plan your musical outback experience...

RAW DANCERaw Dance Company will bring it's latest show, Project X, to Cairns Civic Theatre on March 18 and 19. It promises to high-energy dance, steamy bodies and thumping live music. Project X is a combination of funk tap, hip-hop, acrobatics, live music, percussion and beat-boxing all rolled into one.  Click here to get into the Project X groove.

CRUMP, BRUKUP, YOUTUBEFriday night in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, and 30 young men were crammed inside a tiny storefront on Marcus Garvey Boulevard. The wiry ringleader, Albert Esquilin, a 27-year-old graphic designer, cleared out a small oval and started to flail like a zombie. This was a warm-up for the Bed Stuy Veterans, one of dozens of dance groups in Brooklyn that are reviving an Afro-Caribbean freestyle dance called brukup. Click here to read the rest of the New York Times story on the YouTube revival of an Afro-Caribbean pop dance idiom.

MUSICAL GIFTINGThe 2011 edition of Opening Notes, a culturally rich and creatively made pakcage of music and images, will be coming together over the next few months. Opening Notes is a Cairns Festival initiaitves, representing our unique sense of place, and the CD, booklet, and package are given to every baby born in the far North: on teh day of birth and at the place of birth. The generous project is made possible by Cairns Regional Council and Cairns Penny Savings Bank, and hundreds of contributing creative people. If you'd like to become part of the 2011 edition, or have a local sogn to contribute, please contact the Cairns Festival office (or reply to this email). Learn more about the Opening Notes project here.

DOWN UNDERArtist Helen Collins will have new works on view at Cell Art Space from 2 April to 7 May 2011, with an opening reception during the April 8 Cairns Creative Crawl. Collins endeavours to create an emotional connection rather than a contemporary clear image, as no person’s journey is without twists, emotions and upset.  The works capture inner feelings and emotions via the use of heightened colour and deliberate play with content.  The work is conceptual.  The viewer is required to analyse the image rather than the image instantly reveal itself. The artist completed a Diploma of Visual Arts through Tropical North Queensland Institute of TAFE in 2007 and subsequently completed a Bachelor of Creative Industries at James Cook University. This is her first solo exhibition, having previously participated in several group exhibitions. Read more on the Cell Art website.

YEAR OF R & JIn Australia, it seems that 2011 is the year of Romeo and Juliet. Click here to see what The Australian has to say about the star-crossed lovers, and the play's 21st century popularity.  

CLOSER TO A CULTURAL PRECINCTInternational and national architectural expertise combined with local experience and knowledge constitutes the short list of architectural teams invited to tender concept designs for the Cairns Cultural Precinct. Cairns Regional Council endorsed four teams of architectural firms at yesterday’s Cairns Cultural Precinct Committee following a comprehensive selection process involving multidisciplinary experts from both the government and private sector. Etc, etc...

REMEMBERING STOMPLooking back at the past goodness, high energy, and creative expressions of Stomp the Nard: click here for a YouTube peek! and here too.

LEARNING TO GOVERNTo paraphrase Mark Twain, there are two things you shouldn't look too closely at: your local legislative process and sausage-making. Did you know that there is an Integrity Act 2009? Or that there are a whole bunch of laws concerning Bathing Reserves? Or that, according to the official Local Government Guide for Mayors and Councillors: "Council acts as the executive of the local government and has no part in the administration. Councillors other than the mayor must not direct or attempt to direct the CEO. Neither the mayor nor any councillor can direct local government employees. To do so would be considered misconduct." Form your own opinion on public policy and sausage-making with this link...

The good buzz at Adelaide Fringe Festival, some of it at least, is all about Tuxedo Cat and its pop-up transformation of a derelict office building opposite Town Hall. Many consider this temporary palace of creativity, with its cheap ticket prices and experimental artists, to be the rekindled soul of the true Fringe. It all started with two hard working creative people, a curious pony, a handful of helpers, lots of licensing issues, and hard work. It ends with the latest incarnation of Tuxedo Cat, now home to 4 performance venues, two bars, a box office, and over a dozen Fringe shows every night. Could this model, click here to read about it, and all its Fringee goodness go over in the Far North? Why not...

Read more about Tuxedo Cat transformation across from Adelaide Town Hall, at this link...

NEXT BIG THINGSThe Theatre Board has awarded two producers and four theatre makers Cultural Leadership Skills Development grants to pursue  secondments, residencies, mentorships, training, community consultation, research or other development opportunities over two years. It has also given Cultural Leadership Program grants to organisations with clear ideas and programs to develop and distribute leadership skills. Click here for the whole story

GET YOURSELF A COMMUNITY HALLDid you know that Cairns Regional Council has a portfolio of two dozen community halls, and all of them are just waiting for your idea or event. Hold a graf art workshop, turn one into a weekend indie cinema, rehearse your avant garde play, present a jazz trio, do a poetry slam. From Daintree Hall to Gordonvale Community Hall, all you need to do is click on this link, contact the Council (or number indicated) and set yourself up as the next community user of one of these fine community halls...

GOREY'S WORLDThe New York Times explores our debt to macabre mastermind and illustrator, Edward Gorey. Read about his legacy here. 

REMEMBERING STOMP AGAINLooking back at the moves, the creative energy, the fun of Stomp the Nard: click here for a another YouTube peek!

WHAT'S THE FREQUENCYThe Guardian catches up with Michael Stipe, who isn't really at a loss for words. And the talk turns from REM to the new CD to the foibles of fame, and the massive insecurity of not being articulate. Peter Buck's non insane automatism with a cup of yoghurt even gets a mention. Read the story here

A CASE OF BLUESMake your plans now for the May 7th Cairns Blues Festival. An exciting line-up of artists is being announced as you read this. Click here to find out everything there is to know about the upcoming Cairns Blues Festival

EXPRESSIONS OF HEREThe International Contemporary Art Festival SESC_Videobrasil has become established as a reference for expressions of contemporary art from the South. Starting with this edition, Southern Panoramas competitive show will accept video, installation, performance, printed objects, and other artistic experiments produced from May 2009 onwards by visual artists born in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Oceania. The selected works will compete for a money prize of US$ 24,000 and eight artist residency prizes, granted in partnership with institutions in Latin America, Europe, and Asia. Further details on schedules, requirements, and criteria for the competition, along with the entry form, can be found here.

FAIR AFFAIRFrom Art Basel Miami to New York's Armory to Cairns Indigenous Art Fair: the New York Times inspects the Armory Show and explores the modern-day art fair phenomenon. Click here to explore for yourself

GO FOR RADF GRANTS NOWArtists in the Cairns region are encouraged to bring their talent forward and think big by seeking funding for their projects through the first round of the 2011 Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF). Cairns Regional Council invites artists and art workers to apply for funding for their projects. The first of two funding rounds for this year opened this week. Read more about RADF here.

LAST CALL: ADVENTUROUS NATUREA reminder from Rebecca Scott, Cairns Adventure Film Festival: I am just reminding you Artful-e readers that the 2nd annual Cairns Adventure Film Fest is still open for entries but is closing soon! Regular entry due date is March 18th, then late entry is April 1st, then absolutestest latest is April 8th... so save the dough and get in before March 18th!!! (You can enter via the CAFF website until April 1st.. otherwise it is only via Without a Box).The great news is:  1.) We have several copyright-free music options and 2.) we have gathered an awesome array of prizes including an HD Go Pro (care of our sponsors at Competition Friction - and a $200 voucher to spend on Sonic Flywear (thanks to Dave Guiliani at Sonic Flywear Australia)- see the page for more prizes in the weeks to come.
All details with how to enter CAFF 2011 are available here
Get into it and have your film included in Bec's CAFF Euro Tour in July this year!!! 

Arts Queensland has supported ten million dollars in new public art efforts over the past five years. That's a lot of cool structures, plop art, and intriguing sculptural works in public spaces. Click here to read about the latest opportunity to secure Art + Place grant funding.

Drum Up Big is one of the most dynamic and hard-working creative forces in the Cairns region. Click here to view the website and learn how you can get involved in the percussion revolution. And put your mouse here to read about Drum Up Big's monthly Foreshore Fridays, a free way to bang your own chosen percussion instrument.  

The frontiers of art-making are changing. The Australia Council for the Arts takes note, launches genart_sys : a window on digital culture. Click on this link to read more, and then click here to see the dedicated website.

The Metropolitan Opera pioneered it. Sydney Opera House recently followed. Many other major performing arts concerns are following suit and distributing their productions in high definition for select cinema screening. Yet another sign that the performing arts are moving towards an HD movie house distribution model, The New York Times talks with leading ballerina Natalia Osipova, who says she wants to dance all her repertoire for the screen. Click here to read what she has to say. 

CHICAGO'S NEW ARTS BOSS  In a wide-ranging interview about cultural matters with the Tribune last week, Rahm Emanuel, Chicago's mayor-elect, signaled his intent to “raise up” the arts in Chicago, especially in the neighborhoods, and previewed a major generational and cultural shift at a City Hall about to be run by a confident leader who listens to the alternative rock band Wilco, likes the darker plays at Steppenwolf Theatre and American Theater Company and is not about to stop hanging out at rock venues like Schubas or the Riviera Theatre. Click here to see what Rahm is thinking when he says: “We are going to embrace the arts and culture, in a way that is true to who we are.”

OFF THE CANVASIt is so humbling when royals take the time to meet and greet with lowly civilians. Especially when it is a fake royal signing unauthorized autographs in front of their own 400-year-old painting in a museum. Click here to watch the video of King Philip IV of Spain, the prankster version, and his newfound fame. 

FACEBOOKERSPages, groups, fans, updates, uploads, links, and other tools of the Facebook marketer's trade. Things every arts organisation and audience-based event might want to study.Study the techniques here. What's that: you're already on the Facebook? Then read up on a few more tips and tricks to squeeze every bit of goodness out of your fruitful page...

MID-APRIL CREATIVE CRAWLCairns Creative Crawl, A self-guided exploration of creative addresses and cultural offerings in Cairns, will return as your after-work destination on Friday April 15. You'll find interesting and free things happening all over town, and new creative nooks and crannies to explore. A growing collection of arts organisations, studios spaces, restaurants and businesses will open up, and offer food, live music, new art, and free creative experiences for everybody. The Creative Crawl is self-guided and self-paced, so there is no exact start place, and no guided tour leader. Simply say goodbye to your busy work week, go for a walk about the city, pick the places you want to stop from the below offerings, explore some new ones, and connect yourself with our local creative vibe. Look for details in an upcoming edition of Artful-e...

NEW MOVE NETWORKAn exciting new dance initiative recently launched at the Centre of Contemporary Arts, and has set itself up as the place to experience new dance works. Move – Dance TNQ has established the New Move Network with an inaugural program of five, two-week choreographic residencies that began in February.

Combining key practitioners and partnerships the 
New Move Network will support independent artists in their practice through a Studio Season with Raymond Blanco (14 – 27 February), Bonemap / Rebecca Youdell and Russell Milledge (11 - 24 April), Monica Stevens (27 June – 10 July), Sarah Collins (5 – 18 September) and Jess Jones (7-20 November).

Creatively the chorographers will have the ability to share their experiences and explore themes of Indigenous, non-Indigenous and shared identity, personal histories and collective knowledge with peers and public through engagement in forums, artist talks, masterclasses, workshops and choreographic showings. The work the artists create will be made through a series of kinaesthetic, text, sound and media processes, that will generate innovative and challenging new dance in tropical far north Queensland.

MOVE - dance tnq is a motivated network of dance practitioners who represent diverse interests and experiences within the Dance sector, expert industry members, and key stakeholders. For more information contact New Move Network project coordinator, Rebecca Youdell on 0407 794 385 or 
click here to email her, and visit the website to learn more...

OUR ATLASIs Queensland different? Are there aspects of its culture and landscape that are unmistakeably Queensland? What is distinctive about Queensland? These questions are answered in a variety of ways in the opening contributions to the Queensland Historical Atlas, online here... 

PILCHUCK GLASS SCHOOLForty years ago a visionary artist, with the help of a few arts patrons, set up a glass-making studio and school about an hour North of Seattle. Ever since the woods have been buzzing with activity, and the Pilchuck hot shop has been at the centre of the contemporary glass art revival. What would it take to begin a creative exchange between Cairns and Pilchuck? What would happen if the Babinda Mill was transformed into Australia's answer to Pilchuck Glass School? Or what if we added a glass-making hot shop and ongoing workshop instruction to the plans for the Cairns Cultural, and our city became Australia's destination for contemporary fine art glass production? Click here to ponder something remarkable

TAKE A LEAPCalling all of the region's emerging visual artists: Cairns Regional Gallery wants to exhibit your work in its Loft Emerging Artists' Program. Check this out...

ARTISTS' RESOURCEThe Art in Tropical Australia website is a great source of information, and a resource for links about creative opportunities, contests, and more. Click here to see what they've got posted today...

EVENTS AND INFO WANTEDCairns Artful-e is an information conduit compiled by Eric Holowacz, producer of the Cairns Festival. He seeks out upcoming events, obscure quotes, interesting links, inspiring stories, and content that might support Far North artists, audiences, cultural producers, and creative thinkers. If you have news or ideas that might feed this cyber-conduit, please click here to send and email and help us expand the Artful-e effect. And the first person who sends an email with "tee-shirt" in the subject line, will get (you guessed it) an official Cairns Festival tee shirt (after confirmation of your win, collect at the Cairns Festival HQ in City Place).


The KickArts Hatch Program has a new name and will now be known as PROFILE. All of the other details including the application forms will stay the same. PROFILE is a KickArts Industry Development Initiative to support the presentation and promotion of more artists in the KickArts Contemporary Arts 2011 Exhibition Program. PROFILE is open to all individual artists, collectives and groups from Cardwell in the South to Mount Isa in the West, across Cape York and to the Torres Strait. Download the 
PROFILE application pack at this link!


Expressions of interest are invited for the part-time positions of Festival Manager, Artistic Director and Events Coordinator, Go Troppo Arts Festival 2011. Highly organised and motivated applicants should be prepared to source funding for their on-going position(s) and for other aspects of events, volunteers and partnerships development as well as for effective marketing to southern and overseas markets.

Successful applicants will have had prior experience in similar roles. They will report to the executive management committee on a regular basis and will receive direction from them. Assistance will be given re suggested funding sources and past records will be made available to the successful applicant(s). Please send your current CV and a covering letter detailing why you are interested in some or all of these positions to Jill Booth, President Go Troppo Arts Festival PO Box 925 Port Douglas 4877 or 
email by clicking here
Enquiries please phone 4099 3448 or 0439 886 480.

16.51LOFTY WORKSLocal artist Sam Creyton has a new exhibition, 100 Pieces, on view at the Cairns Regional Gallery's Emerging Artist Loft. Check out her carefully-constructed mark-making and mixed-media collage (and striking investigation of fragments) and buy what strikes you. There's more information at the Gallery's website...

PIPE ME A TUNECairns RSL Pipes and Drums are looking for 3 to 4 new drummers to play bass drum and side drums with their group. Drummers need no experience, just a keen interest in making some noise! Cairns RSL Pipes and Drums have 10 pipers and meet every Wednesday for practice from 7pm to 9pm at Cairns High School. To get into the beat, contact: Allan McKay on 4055 4735 or 0412 630 651

ENTER THE BARONS OF TANGLookout Cairns, for the Barons are coming, and they are bringing an onslaught of gypsy, folk funk, tango mayhem. Here's a look at what they might unleash! And another, on a quieter note...


The chief role of cities is to magnify human strengths. This is true in commerce, science, technology, and the arts; indeed, it is easy to argue, as Jane Jacobs did, that civilization and cities are synonymous. Harvard professor Edward Glaeser's new book Triumph of the City might explain why growing higher learning and the tertiary education base of the Far North is the key to making our city great. Glaeser defines the city as a "mass of connected humanity." His emphasis on human capital is important (
says's genius architecture critic Witold Rybczynski) because politicians and planners tend to overvalue the physical environment. They encourage cities to look for the Next New Thing, whether it's pedestrian malls, downtown stadiums, iconic museums, or light rail. Find out what else he is saying about the human element, and maybe how to make the conditions thrive for North Queensland...


Go online and ask for money? Just ask? Explain what you're making, offer some incentive to people for donating to your project, but, openly beg? There is a new way of funding new projects. It's called crowd funding, and scores of playwrights, musicians, filmmakers, chefs, designers and writers have tapped the on-line masses for support. Some consider it nothing less than a fundamental change in the way creative projects receive funding. 
Read more at this link...

Cairns Regional Council offers grant funding for community festivals and events. The next round opens in April, and all you ned to do is follow this link to find out how to make your case.

MAJOR FESTIVALS FUNDINGConsider your event a larger more complex affair, and need major funding? Cairns Regional Council offers grant funding for major events that want to happen. The next round opens in April, and all you need to do is follow this link to find out how to ask for the dose.

MAYORAL FUNDINGIf that doesn't work, why not ask the Mayor's Community Fund for help? Cairns Regional Council offers special funding for good things that want to happen. Find out how to make your request by reading over the simple application form here.

DIVERSIFY MEWhile you are at it, peruse the guidelines of the Economic Diversification Fund Grant Program Guidelines, a lucrative Cairns Regional Council award of up to $20,000. You have until March 21 to click here, then figure out where business meets paradise, and achieve successful lodgment.

IT HAPPENED TODAYAn almanac of interesting and curious literary history, a diary of notable happenings, can be found here...

ART-O-MATICALLY GOODThanks to Cairns Festival, Far North Queensland is home to the only Art-o-mat machine in the Southern Hemisphere. The unique original art vending machine will make its debut in the public lobby of KickArts, in the Cairns Centre of Contemporary Arts. Workshops and starter packs for local artists will follow. Check the upcoming edition of Artful-e for news about a launch, opportunities for Australian artists to get involved, and how you can stop by and purchase your very own Art-o-mat works from around the world...


Sydney has lost its cultural vibrancy through a lack of strategic planning and investment, apathy towards artists and a failure to engage diverse communities. Ouch. Contrary to the boast by Events NSW that Sydney is Australia's creative capital, arts company chiefs are critical about the state government's neglect of cultural infrastructure and the lack of a cohesive creative vision. Double ouch. Read about the decline of a giant, and why sunny Queensland is the new place to be, 
at this link to Sydney Morning Herald...

LA MAMA WORKSOver 40 years ago, Off Off Broadway jumped hemispheres and inspired a new Australian theatre scene in a small Melbourne building in Carlton. 1,800 new stage works later, La Mama has helped forge the careers of David Williamson, Barry Dickins, Cate Blanchett, Lloyd Jones, and Julia Zemiro. Beginning with Jack Hibberd's play Three Old Friends in 1967, La Mama has provided a low financial risk model that supports innovation and enables artists to explore new ways of expression. There is no other stage quite like it. Learn more about Melbourne's La Mama here.

THE PLAY'S THE THINGAnd the $20,000 prize is yours, if your play is the thing. Click here to learn how to submit your stage script to the Richard Burton Award for New Plays, Australia's richest playwright booty.

TALKIN' CREATIVELYWhat if Cairns Festival asked a bunch of creative people a bunch of questions, and they all told us more about what they do. We did, and they did, and the links are here. And we're about to ask a whole crop of other cultural leaders for their thoughts by indulging us in a brief e-interview. If you would like to submit to the five-minute enquiry, click here to request your tailor-made questions.

HELPING A CULTURAL FACILITY HAPPENHave ideas for a possible new Cultural Precinct? Maybe you think it should have 100 studio spaces for local artists? or soundproof music rehearsal rooms? or workshop spaces for crafts-people? a glas-blowing studio and hot shop? or a world class concert hall and museum facility? Perhaps you want to suggest that it include a creative industries campus for university students? or an aquarium where the tanks also house sculptures by Australia's greatest artists? Maybe you think this creative place should have a kids playground (creatively inspired by artists, designed by local children, and built by parents and civic leaders)? Maybe you crave a giant outdoor cinema and free movies there every weekend? Perhaps there is a recording studio, or an ABC radio production and broadcast suite? Floating art studios? Tropical kitchen for cooking classes and the culinary arts? How would you make its plaza a vibrant gathering place? What would you want a $200 million creative place to have? Take a look at the comprehensive feasibility study here

STARTING WITH ARTArtStart grants for graduate and final year artists open for applications in January. Click here to go to the Australia Council website to learn how you could be $10,000 richer as you launch your creative career...

VIBRANT CITYLook at all the live music and stuff coming up at the Esplanade and City Place. Drumming workshops, market days, Snake Gully live, The McMennamins, Suave Swing...not to mention the busking and teh DJs. Who said the CBD lacked a vibrant core? Click here to dispell that myth.

YOUR NEWS OR EVENT HEREReply to this message if you have information or opportunities to list in the next edition of Cairns Artful-e...

CAIRNS ARTFUL-E ARCHIVESIf you missed last week's edition, or want to delve into the archives for a special tidbit of information, find past versions stored here (and there are some good links on the left as well)

CONTACT CAIRNS ARTFUL-ETo be removed from this email list...To be added...To submit contents, events, opportunities, or comments to contribute to...To simply make contact...

This issue of Cairns Artful-e is a delicious dog's breakfast of creative opportunities, links, happenings, ideas, and flights of fancy. This newfangled cyber-telegraph transmission began in late 2010 as a no-cost information conduit, powered by the community-minded folks at Cairns Regional Council's Cultural Services and Facilities branch, and one fastidious Interweb traveller at its Cairns Festival office. The readership is building, and much more information wants to be free and out there. Some of these items will fire up the engine of imagination. Other bits might lack the oomph you require. Even greater things will be revealed Please let us know if you don't want to get this regular email transmission. Pester us if you are receiving it more than once at a time. Send us events and opportunities that should be mentioned. Forward some or all of this to a friend. Cairns Artful-e is our earnest attempt to be helpful, and spread the news. As we bask in another wet season in the Far North, join us in giving thanks for so many of the creative and fruitful things around us...

According to 
Bruce Mau's website, the designer's Incomplete Manifesto is an articulation of statements exemplifying beliefs, strategies and motivations. Originally drafted in 1998, the Incomplete Manifesto for Growth is a good flight plan for design strategies, new thinking, and motivations for unleashing creativity. At Cairns Artful-e, every now and then, we go back to these 43 items and take closer note. As with today..

Allow events to change you.
You have to be willing to grow. Growth is different from something that happens to you. You produce it. You live it. The prerequisites for growth: the openness to experience events and the willingness to be changed by them.

Forget about good.
Good is a known quantity. Good is what we all agree on. Growth is not necessarily good. Growth is an exploration of unlit recesses that may or may not yield to our research. As long as you stick to good you'll never have real growth.

Process is more important than outcome.
When the outcome drives the process we will only ever go to where we've already been. If process drives outcome we may not know where we’re going, but we will know we want to
be there.

Love your experiments (as you would an ugly child).
Joy is the engine of growth. Exploit the liberty in casting your work as beautiful experiments, iterations, attempts, trials, and errors. Take the long view and allow yourself the fun of failure every day.

Go deep.
The deeper you go the more likely you will discover something of value.

Capture accidents.
The wrong answer is the right answer in search of a different question. Collect wrong answers as part of the process. Ask different questions.

A studio is a place of study. Use the necessity of production as an excuse to study. Everyone will benefit.

Allow yourself to wander aimlessly. Explore adjacencies. Lack judgment. Postpone criticism.

Begin anywhere.
John Cage tells us that not knowing where to begin is a common form of paralysis. His advice: begin anywhere.

Everyone is a leader.
Growth happens. Whenever it does, allow it to emerge. Learn to follow when it makes sense. Let anyone lead.

Harvest ideas.
Edit applications. Ideas need a dynamic, fluid, generous environment to sustain life. Applications, on the other hand, benefit from critical rigor. Produce a high ratio of ideas to applications.

Keep moving.
The market and its operations have a tendency to reinforce success. Resist it. Allow failure and migration to be part of your practice.

Slow down.
Desynchronize from standard time frames and surprising opportunities may present themselves.

Don’t be cool.
Cool is conservative fear dressed in black. Free yourself from limits of this sort.

Ask stupid questions.
Growth is fueled by desire and innocence. Assess the answer, not the question. Imagine learning throughout your life at the rate of an infant.

The space between people working together is filled with conflict, friction, strife, exhilaration, delight, and vast creative potential.

Intentionally left blank. Allow space for the ideas you haven’t had yet, and for the ideas of others.

Stay up late.
Strange things happen when you’ve gone too far, been up too long, worked too hard, and you're separated from the rest of the world.

Work the metaphor.
Every object has the capacity to stand for something other than what is apparent. Work on what it stands for.

Be careful to take risks.
Time is genetic. Today is the child of yesterday and the parent of tomorrow. The work you produce today will create your future.

Repeat yourself.
If you like it, do it again. If you don’t like it, do it again.

Make your own tools.
Hybridize your tools in order to build unique things. Even simple tools that are your own can yield entirely new avenues of exploration. Remember, tools amplify our capacities, so even a small tool can make a big difference.

Stand on someone’s shoulders.
You can travel farther carried on the accomplishments of those who came before you. And the view is so much better.

Avoid software.
The problem with software is that everyone has it.

Don’t clean your desk.
You might find something in the morning that you can’t see tonight.

Don’t enter awards competitions.
Just don’t. It’s not good for you.

Read only left-hand pages.
Marshall McLuhan did this. By decreasing the amount of information, we leave room for what he called our "noodle."

Make new words.
Expand the lexicon. The new conditions demand a new way of thinking. The thinking demands new forms of expression. The expression generates new conditions.

Think with your mind.
Forget technology. Creativity is not device-dependent.

Organization = Liberty.
Real innovation in design, or any other field, happens in context. That context is usually some form of cooperatively managed enterprise. Frank Gehry, for instance, is only able to realize Bilbao because his studio can deliver it on budget. The myth of a split between "creatives" and "suits" is what Leonard Cohen calls a 'charming artifact of the past.'

Don’t borrow money.
Once again, Frank Gehry’s advice. By maintaining financial control, we maintain creative control. It’s not exactly rocket science, but it’s surprising how hard it is to maintain this discipline, and how many have failed.

Listen carefully.
Every collaborator who enters our orbit brings with him or her a world more strange and complex than any we could ever hope to imagine. By listening to the details and the subtlety of their needs, desires, or ambitions, we fold their world onto our own. Neither party will ever be the same.

Take field trips.
The bandwidth of the world is greater than that of your TV set, or the Internet, or even a totally immersive, interactive, dynamically rendered, object-oriented, real-time, computer graphic–simulated environment.

Make mistakes faster.
This isn’t my idea – I borrowed it. I think it belongs to Andy Grove.

Don’t be shy about it. Try to get as close as you can. You'll never get all the way, and the separation might be truly remarkable. We have only to look to Richard Hamilton and his version of Marcel Duchamp’s large glass to see how rich, discredited, and underused imitation is as a technique.

When you forget the words, do what Ella did: make up something else ... but not words.

Break it, stretch it, bend it, crush it, crack it, fold it.

Explore the other edge.
Great liberty exists when we avoid trying to run with the technological pack. We can’t find the leading edge because it’s trampled underfoot. Try using old-tech equipment made obsolete by an economic cycle but still rich with potential.

Coffee breaks, cab rides, green rooms.
Real growth often happens outside of where we intend it to, in the interstitial spaces – what Dr. Seuss calls "the waiting place." Hans Ulrich Obrist once organized a science and art conference with all of the infrastructure of a conference – the parties, chats, lunches, airport arrivals – but with no actual conference. Apparently it was hugely successful and spawned many ongoing collaborations.

Avoid fields.
Jump fences. Disciplinary boundaries and regulatory regimes are attempts to control the wilding of creative life. They are often understandable efforts to order what are manifold, complex, evolutionary processes. Our job is to jump the fences and cross the fields.

People visiting the studio often comment on how much we laugh. Since I've become aware of this, I use it as a barometer of how comfortably we are expressing ourselves.

Growth is only possible as a product of history. Without memory, innovation is merely novelty. History gives growth a direction. But a memory is never perfect. Every memory is a degraded or composite image of a previous moment or event. That’s what makes us aware of its quality as a past and not a present. It means that every memory is new, a partial construct different from its source, and, as such, a potential for growth itself.

Power to the people.
Play can only happen when people feel they have control over their lives. We can't be free agents if we’re not free.