Archive for August, 2009

Nick Cave: The Exhibition

August 15th, 2009  |  Published in inspirations  |  Leave a comment

At the National Library this month. Highly recommended, inspirational plateaus of intensity. I’ve been a couple of times and find the note books of lyrics consume me in a memory vortex. Multiple messages, meaning generators in darkened and private chambers.

Biodiversity summit and Artworlds symposium

August 15th, 2009  |  Published in field research  |  Leave a comment

A day of talks about biodiversity for climate protection: nature as climate solution, not casualty.
carbon and the terrestrial biosphere, our earth is a closed carbon system. The increase in the carbon circulating between air and ocean so ocean is degassing more than it is storing as sediment. After 100 years, 60% of a pulse of co2 is taken into sediment and after 700 years the last 20% is still very slowly being removed. The carbon debt due to land clearing is enormous. Clearing in developing worlds for soybean and palm oil production is currently rapid, and logging persists in developed nations like Australia who still have some virgin forest left. For a stable carbon sink, trees need to be permanent – old growth, a plantation is not a stable carbon sink (monoculture feast/famine), and what about biodiversity, habitat, ecosystems!!
50% of the world’s forests are gone, 25% are in primary condition, less than 20% are old growth, the rest are degraded due to human impact, such as selective logging.
For the temperature to be capped at approx 2degrees increase due to global warming, the co2 emissions must peak now, and be reduced as quickly as possible to shorten the very long recovery as temperatures come down very slowly. If nothing is done our temperature will be approx 6 degrees warmer by 2100.
Current carbon accounting systems used for Kyoto flawed, only deals with landuse change and so allows virgin forest to be replaced by plantation without accounting for carbon loss, yet the new planting is counted as a carbon credit, so logging industry lobbying has corrupted the carbon accounting system. The carbon credit system used to deal with fossil fuel emissions, allows developed nations to continue polluting by paying developing nations toward reducing forest clearing for industry development. Logging needs to be included as a carbon debt.
The rich get richer, the poor get the picture, and meanwhile, the 6th mass extinction of species on the planet rapidly continues, and it has been caused by humanity. Certainly cancels out the idea that human animals have achieved anything good since deciding to ‘transcend’ the hunter/gatherer nomadic and seasonal lifestyle.

I had the opportunity to present a paper at the Artworlds symposium at ANU called ‘Sharing Culture in a Global Market Economy: a case study from Western Arnhem Land’ which responded to Luke Taylor’s text Seeing the Inside: Bark Paintings in Western Arnhem Land 1996 an my experience in Gunbalanya for the Rock Art Field School.

A Thousand Plateaus – Becoming Animal

August 1st, 2009  |  Published in theory  |  2 Comments

Reflections on the rhizome “the line of ‘nomad’ thought”, the abolishing of hierarchical structures in the process of writing (or making). In psychoanalytical terms, Massumi explains, “The central perspective is…to promote human relations that do not automatically fall into roles or stereotypes but open into fundamental relations of a metaphysical kind that bring out the most radical and basic alienations of madness or neurosis.” A dissipation of constructed dualism in the cauldron of multiplicity. For the conscious embodiment of becoming we must be the sorcerer, the magician who, for Crowley, “brings all set ideas and judgments into question, which often makes him appear in a questionable light himself. As a creative creature, he knows no conscience.” Paths open are taken without judgment and what was hidden is revealed. Hierarchical laws imposing order are broken when convenient anyway, and are therefore grounded in hypocrisy. A clearer analysis of this feature of human law is proposed by Bataille, “When a negative emotion has the upper hand we must obey the taboo. When a positive emotion is in the ascendent we violate it.” Therefore the taboo is irrelevant when we follow our instinct. Becoming being our true state of instinctual negotiation, to always freely form alliances where borders to the known are sensed without the restriction of an external law. “A Thousand Plateaus is an effort to construct a smooth space of thought…an open system.” The human who is becoming unfolds the magic of life, and just like fellow animals negotiating nature, is free. Creative practice is, in essence, the space of becoming allowed to a select few. The continual work to reach a plateau which, as Massumi explains, is “when circumstances combine to bring an activity to a pitch of intensity that is not automatically dissipated in a climax…A Thousand Plateaus tries to combine conceptual bricks in such a way as to construct this kind of intensive state in thought…The way the combination is made is an example of what Deleuze and Guattari call consistency…a dynamic holding together or mode of composition.” The relevance of this text to painting is invited, “lift a dynamism out of the book entirely, and incarnate it in a foreign medium, whether it be painting or politics…pry open the vacant spaces that would enable you to build your life and those of the people around you into a plateau of intensity.” That’s my kind of bible.