New work by Antonio Filipo, Leilani Kake, Sean Kerrigan, Mele Penitani, Genevieve Pini and Siliga David Setoga at Fresh Gallery Otara | November 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

"Meat the local artist" by Sharu Delikan

Meat and Lollies is not the usual "art speak" label you expect to find attached to a display of experimental art. But there's a healthy motive for the message in the title of the Otara exhibition.

"At first, we were asked to comment on obesity and diabetes," says Otara artist Sean Kerrigan, "but we all agreed that it would be better to expand on the idea rather than telling people that they're too fat."

Kerrigan initially considered using the word "meat" as a metaphor for hard work and attachment, and he felt "lollies" could represent frivolity and a reward system.

"I decided to use my artwork to depict the dilemma many Pacific Islanders in South Auckland face," he says.

Curated by Janet Lilo and Ema Tavola, Meat and Lollies, in the inaugural Manukau Festival of Arts, features works by Antonio Filipo, Leilani Kake, Mele Penitani, Genevieve Pini and Siliga Setoga.

In keeping with Kerrigan's belief that you should work with materials that are readily available, he chose plywood which he's managed to acquire at no cost.

"I heard there was a place doing infrastructure works and that they had so much plywood that they didn't know where to put it."

Likewise, he's decided to add sound to his exhibit made up of sampler electronics, which he's recycled from toys thrown out during the local inorganic collection.

"I love picking rubbish off the street to use for my art. I also love the way people look at me as if I'm a vagabond."

Kerrigan believes the large scope the participating artists have to work with will allow them to "dig deep into themselves. I believe it's a great way to raise the stakes to weed out the pretenders".

He is deliberately vague about the meaning of his artworks, he says, because he doesn't like telling the public what to feel or how to respond.

"I want to give them the freedom to make up their own minds."

Kerrigan acknowledges a "love-hate relationship" with the art world.

"I go through phases where I give it up for a few months or years and then end up coming back.

"Art has become too structured. For example, everyone has a masters degree, which seems to come before the art."

Meat & Lollies, Fresh Gallery Otara, Otara Town Centre, Manukau City, Oct 31 to Nov 22. Ph 271 6019.

This article appeared in the sometimes delivered "Aucklander - South Edition" sometime in October or November.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Congratulations Leilani!

Leilani Kake has been offered an opportunity to show this work, Tino Rangatira Tanga at Corban Estate Arts Centre from 6 March - 5 April 2009.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Pretty diverse...

Resting on your laurels by Sean Kerrigan

Tino Rangatira Tanga
by Leilani Kake

Father/Daughter by Mele Penitani

MEAT & LOLLIES opening at Fresh Gallery Otara, Thursday 30 October

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tino Rangatira Tanga

Leilani Kake's new video installation is called Tino Rangatira Tanga.

She says, "My beautiful father, Richard Kake, passed away this April 2008. He is a man that embodies Tino Rangatira Tanga, and surrounded himself with the love of music, whanau and Te Ao Maori."
Tino Rangatira Tanga is a poignant and emotionally loaded three screened video installation that speaks to the power of waiata / Maori song depicting a beautiful homage to an amazing man and the community and cultural landscape he draws from.

Leilani Kake's 2007 work, Ariki is in the group exhibition, Le Folauga organised by Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust, opening at the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts in Taiwan on 13 December 2008. Le Folauga runs until 5 April 2009.

Coming together...

Antonio Filipo's new work, YNOT (200) series

Friday, October 10, 2008

Pigs can fly!!

Hi guys I hope everyone is doing good!!

Well this is my stuff that I've been working on. Just some rough ideas of what I want to do for this show and all I'm doing is responding to the theme 'Meat & Lollies.' For me Meat & Lollies is basically food that Pacific Islanders love to eat so my work has some parody in it and I definitely don't want to be all serious about it and take the arty farty approach. At first I really didn't know what to do and where to start so I just started with the obvious - the theme: Meat & Lollies.

Not far from work is a cool Chinese restaurant where I eat my pork on rice for lunch. They have duck as well but man the pork on rice is the best!! I would go there and they know straight away what my order is - 'pork on rye' (thats what it sounds like to me). Sometimes I have wontons and they always ask if I want to order some. Well anyways that was me everyday pork on rice for lunch. Now I eat subway for lunch and I'm eating the Veggie Delight sub - its pretty good. My workmate is a vegetarian and to be honest I don't know how they do it. We would talk about what kind of food we eat, why we eat it and all that stuff. Haha its funny cos I don't think I can live without meat. I'm a P.I and thats just apart of who we are - we are MEAT EATERS!! But eating healthy once in a while is cool and I told my mate that I won't have my pork on rye everyday now hehe!!

So thats how I came up with 'I will never eat pork again.' I was thinking about pork and saying to myself I will never eat pork again over and over. The more I said it, the more I knew I was lying to myself. So I scribbled the phrase in my book and drew a flying pig as to say: look at me I'm a flying pig!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

More Jamming.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Meeting Cancelled People! Apologies for any inconvenience caused!

This is a graphic logo-jammin-combo of Siliga, Tony & Janet... nicely!

The Manukau Festival of Arts printed programme is due for release by Friday 19 September, the programme will also be available online at - check it out to see other Festival events... you will see that MEAT & LOLLIES is the first event to open during the inaugural Manukau Festival of Arts - on Thursday 30 October!

Vinaka artists - have good weekends :)

Monday, September 8, 2008

On to it?

I'm actually resolving alot of what the submarine is going to be about even though I haven't, and won't for another week or two, actually started the thing. On my travels around the hubris of the great unwashed ( that statement includes all ethnicities, including european, if you sub - consciously took a fence... built a fence!) I also picked up some old car manuals which have some great illustrations in them. I've got other old household and engineering manuals as well so I'm thinking I'll get a bunch blown up and copied and use them as the wall paper in my ship to denote the benefits early travellers to NZ would have encountered. Back in the 50's, 60's and even into the 70's there was an attitude that was about conserving something. What it actually was I'm not sure but it seems to have been about Homeland dreams. I won't go into it here but combined, as a background, with some of Genevieves photo in colour copy and the blaring toys I think it'll all go a long way in saying, or erstwhile completely confusing, the viewers of my ship of conceptualisation.

8.52am tuesday the 9th

Up at five which seems to be normal now and did some work on some more ampy stuff.

So heres some of the toyish stuff I got on my recent organic forays. I find the toys and take them home and take the guts out then when I go back out I return that which I don't want. I disgard.
All of these modern toys run on pulsed DC which is great if you want to hit each individual set of contacts with a carbon button but I want more than that! (who would have guessed)I want to sequence them up and though I haven't tried it yet I have it on good authority that 4066's will do the job. The thing is you want a transistor type switch where the applied DC voltage to the base doesn't affect the CE junction. 4066 are cmos so they have a mosfet in them and fets, field effect transistors are voltage devices and have "a field effect" so the applied voltage on the gate (base)works the drain (collector) source (emitter) junction by its electrical field as opposed to a transistors actual physical contact. Anyways what all that means is that I can set a timer working a counter that then uses the switch blocks to turn the kiddy toys on. And the good thing about the kiddy toy digital samples they hold is that once started they keep going till they finish which means several different samples from different toys can all be going simultaneously. I wonder if I might install such a device in my submarine to denote the clamouring of possibility offered by consumerist society to the native society on the brink, or well past it as the case may be, of jumping into the melee. Interesting aside being that most of the broken toys came from Island neighbourhoods in Wiri.

I also picked up this Elka organ on my travels and have an idea theres nothing a bit of patience won't fix. Usually the power supplies go and not much else. Don't think it'll take me too long to figure it out.

Beautiful bit of kit these things. Most Italian stuff tends to be well thought out and easy to work on... if you have the proper tools. Kinda rough round the edges but such detail where it matters. Good ol' Eyeties eh!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

about 11am now

Just been down to the WINZ and the electro expert was kinda telling me why what I wanna do with the TV screen won't work. The thing is that people who are told how to do things know already what they can't do. An Education often isn't so much about what you can do as what you can't do. I do have no idea what I can't do... and I want to keep it that way.

Its been inorganic time again, and blow me over, I got some absolutely fine stuff this time around. I was so lucky and am so lucky these days. Complete junk to most I suppose but I got a whole bunch of pearler stuff. The PC startup this time around has voided USB connections not already made so the photos will have to come later. Anyways, here goes my boring article about "the insiders guide to happiness"

Howdy Folks out there in C bender land.This here new online mag asked for contribs and the editor kinda steered me towards doing this even though I had other ideas. Editors and Curators huh? what are we going to do with them?

So I got back into music a few weeks ago and what that means I dug out all my old unfinished projects from a few years ago, when I last got completely fed up with electronics, and started browsing the old forums for new stuff to do. As well as that, and maybe the pre - cursor, was meeting a coupla modern dance chickies a few months back who occasionally do their thing at an experimental improvisational thing called Vitamin S, which is a weekly gig where the boys and girls turn up with assorted noise and music makers at an inner city bar and have jams. So going to a few of these and enjoying the atmosphere I thought it might be high time I dug out all the old boxes and ideas half finished for instruments and get it all going again.

Another reason for this is that Mum is out of the country and I can move into the house, from my self sufficient sheds full of stuff out in the backyard, and spread out a bit. You know, chemicals around the sink and soldering irons on the coffee table. Not to mention drilling enclosures in front of the fireplace.

So I'm a few weeks in and just getting into my stride, made and finished a heap of boxes (thats what I call my electronic FX stuff) and a few ground up instruments that work and have gigged them all successfully. Choice Bro, as the natives here in the ghetto used to say, what shall I do next when outta the blue the Tone God, an admin at DIY stompboxes, announces that this months competition is all out noise makers.

This fits with me real good 'cause one of my boxes was Tim Escobedo's synth stick, with mods, and I'd got interested in making drum machines, well I made one and was doing the sequencer for it when the comp was announced.

Why are those two relevant? Number one is they are both oscillation devices. Tim's synth stick is a ribbon controller device for a simple oscillator made from C-mos chips while the drum machines rely on something called a ringing oscillator which relies on a pulse voltage to get it going then dies down quite smartly. And oscillators are the requirement numero uno for making noises.

Now don't get me wrong. I don't know crap about all this stuff and all the insider appelations I've used above are what I picked up while I made the devices above. I'm good at building stuff, I mean straight forward nuts and bolts kinda stuff, and though most of it is for my own evil purposes( I'm an artist by day and nefarious noise making genius by night) I can follow a plan and a schematic is basically a plan. So what I do, with my limited but growing knowledge of the arcane and esoteric discipline that is electronics, is I hang out at various forums and look for schematics I can just about understand. This is how I learn. I love being able to make things I have hardly any idea about before I start but at the end I kinda understand whats been happening.

To me this is what circuit bending is all about, not following a diagram and following the rules so you can do a bunch of weird shit at parties and impress your friends (dinner party art?), nope, it's about leaping off ledges without prior knowledge and learning about hitting the ground on the way down! It's like Alannis says "you learn"

So the step by step guide to "the insiders guide to happiness" is all that is above and what comes below, which is how the thing was actually made, nuts and bolts as it were, will, if followed to the letter, give you your own version of " the insiders guide to how to copy something"

Nah, don't listen to me, I'm just tryin' to get a point accross and now that I have I'll drop the emotional baggage and get on with the real show.
Step one:

This is the schematic to the thing I built. I got the two main noise maker circuits from the archive pages at Experimentalists Anonymous. They were in the noise maker section and I chose them because they are a little bit beyond what I understand or they continue a line of enquiry that I'm following.

This little scemo is suspiciously similar to the old fuzzbox as well as the drum machine from an ol' Indian book that I recently did.Oh, and it's really easy to put together and modify. Some of the transistors are old school and hard to find but a look in the books and I found modern substitutes easy. So the schemo is basically stock except I've added the inductors accross the two last collector resistors 'cause in my ringing oscillators for the drum machines these were there to build up a white noise injection and then have it fade. I don't know the theory in proper terminology but they kinda store the Ac signal then let is go so whatever is signal starts out soft, builds then fades. It was used with a click and some white noise from an avalanched transistor, white noise maker, to give a cymbal type sound and so I stuck them in here to see what would happen. The other thing I did was see the feedback path, from the collector of Q4 back to the collector of Q2, with the 100k resitor, and apply a bunch of stuff, the diode chains, which is often done in the venerable fuzzbox circuits. I have no idea what thats going to do either but I have an inkling it won't blow up. Actually I have no idea whats going to happen and thats a good thing... isn't it?

I also found this at EA and it looks like any garden variety opamp oscillator, well the opamps at the bottom do ( the top ones are buffers), except theres that fet sitting between the buffers and those diodes sitting between the oscillator opamps and I have no idea what they are going to do and I've always wondered what sample and hold means so now I get a chance.

Now below that is Tim's oscillators using the schmidt triggers and you know, without thinking about it, that anything with such evocative words like schmidts trigger has gotten do neat stuff but I've been writing for an hour already and I gotta go do other stuff so this ends part one and part two will be soon. In that one I'll go into Tim's place of treasure on the net and explain the summing of all the various things and, therein, how signal goes in, through and out. I might add, quickly, that though it's all built it didn't actually work when finally finished. Thats not unusual though but it looks good enough to eat so I'll get around to it soon.

Next part will also feature a picture of the finished article. The reason you've been reading through all this guff. Be Good! Sean K.

This and that: Mon the 9th in the mornin'.

I suppose I should start out by saying that this post may be an excuse as to why I can't be at the next meeting this coming saturday. The first meeting when we actually have to come up with goods and I won't be there. Why?, why not!

No really, theres a bunch of stuff going on and I don't think I'll be able to spare the time. No 1 is that the day after is the last day for the Objective sculpture cum Manukau's answer to sophistication competition. But who am I to question the value of a comp that every year has a different name and a wider scope. So everybody knows about my unending gripe that Manukau should spend more effort on its own artists than trying to look, to the rest of the country, like they are. Beside the point - which is? Oh, so I'm going to be busting my tail to get stuff finished for it and won't be at the meeting.

I don't really have to bust my ass because I have enough stuff in reserve to enter a few bits and hardly raise a sweat, but I can't do it that way, thats too easy and wouldn't have me treading that infernal line between ultimate disaster and world resounding success!

I've got a chair out at Monterey I'll put in it. I think I've got a photo of it on facebook.
You'll have to go to the page to see it.
And I've got a table that I'll put a new top on. A wooden top with engineering bits carved in and backfilled with resin.

Okay, just spent time cutting and pasting the html 'cause these sites always stuff it up, anyways, you'd think these two would be enough but no I've got something else in mind that needs to be built from the ground up and involves a coffee machine and a old black and white TV. You see, I found this thing on the net, in an electronics forum, where you can circuit bend an old TV where the vertical and horizontal hold voltages are on the cathode ray tube. It makes it into something like an oscilloscope and the plan is to have the coffee machine set up with an extra temperature switch on the body that turns on, closes, at 70 degrees celsius, which is the switch to turn on a bunch of 555 timer IC's wired to do the star trek alarm signal. This signal is played as audio but it's also hooked up to the TV so the signal starts playing on the screen. But the TV itself has been on, idling away at the wall voltage through a transformer and a coupla resistors to drop the voltage right down.

Why bother? The thing you gotta understand, or just stand around with your mouth hanging open and a vacant look in your eyes, is that this thing will be DANGEROUS! High voltage, the flyback transformers ( which is actually more like a choke coil) feeding the anode in the TV is at about 1000V or 1kV and running at about 50 - 100mA which is 50 - 100 Watts (and given the High voltage it'll easily get into the heart region and the current will stop it) and a boiler... all of it together in an open frame with only cursory attempts at making it safe. Why again? Because I want to be the first to put real dangerous stuff in a Manukau art exhibition.

Actually it won't be dangerous at all. Possibly dangerous, it'll certainly look dangerous, but really just dangerous if somebody whos really stupid does something really stupid like throw water at it when its turned on.

Meanwhile the deadline for an exhibition at Uxbridge about cars is two weeks after that so as soon as the bits are dropped off at Nathan it'll be home to start painting. As usual, last minute and all that, I'll be just adapting a new style that suits my own, and taking a very big leaf outta this guys book.

So your thinking that thats enough to keep any man busy but theres also the fact that Mum's back from Canada next tuesday, which means I have to build some cabinets at home before she gets back and tidy up the house, and write an article for an online magazine about circuit bending. They want me to write about something I made last week for my weekly music things at the Vitamin S at the Wine Cellar.

So I actually started this post because I was going to use it to write the article so the guy in Canada, from Toronto (theres a reason for that too)could preview it but I haven't even started yet and I have to go right now to the WINZ office and report so I'll get into it when I get back. All in all, that time of the year, so I may not be there on saturday folks, oh, maybe I'll drop in with Gene's sculpture which she came over and did yesterday. Who knows?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Friday, August 29, 2008

Pie Time

I read that last blog whilst eating an Irvine's Pie Time Steak & Cheese pie ($1)

23.5 grams of Fat
1.7 grams of Sugar
841.5 miligrams of Sodium


Food Glorious Food

mEAT, grEAT and EAT.

LOLLY SCRAMBLE: Mix half a kg of assorted sweets (random) to a glass and a half of full cream New Zealand milk in a saucepan , bring to a boil let the flavours infuse, influence, interwine, interplay with each other before allowing it to settle. Serve warm with your favourite hot beverage and a good conversation.

Meat: Beef to be precise, by-product- MILK
Lollies: Sweet confectionery made from sugar, flavouring and colouring, healthier alternative to sugar-HONEY.
Milk and Honey isn't this what we came for?

Thoughts on artpiece: Homage to Salt and Tomato Sauce. What's an Island Table without Skellerup Table Salt and Watties Tomato Sauce moreso fish (taken from the Pacific Seas by Asian fishing trallers return in cans smothered in Tomato Sauce). Fish and chips a Kiwi institution salted and drenched in tomato sauce. Oregano, mixed herbs, chives, parsley, garlic nah bro Island seasoning consists of one ingredient SALT 'see how it runs' through everything we make. Can't cook without it, so small yet has the power to influence any dish, also becomes something which we cannot do without. First sign of heart disease first on the casualty list SALT (though its' snuck in at every chance without the boss looking). Salt has become a pillar of our dining and cooking community so much so that without it our Island meals would become bland and un-islandised. A metaphor for our culture where the ruling class small yet holds the balance of power to influence. Our Samoaness is the salt which flavours all that we do and defines us as a Samoan dish or not. We have become dependant on the definition that it does influence all that we do. Afraid of being outcast, ostricised and being labelled not-Samoan we fall in line.

I am sufferring from cultural heart disease and I know exactly what I have to cut down, it doesn't mean I will be cutting off completely that which adds flavour to my dish but rather be selective to what dish I do add it to. It wont be the only seasoning in my cupboard but rather one of many. After all our parents brought us here to taste life the problem was that they put salt on everything.


We dwell in the under current, why and for how much longer.

I was brought up on a diet of humble pie. Always lower yourself son, take the low road, respect authority never under any circumstance shall you question or challenge the higher power, listen to your teacher and do as your told. You have no power relinquish it to your parents, to your minister, to your teacher, to your elders, to your Matai, to your culture. You are who they say you are, defined externally by our cultural 'stop and go' men.

In this new world where we've learned the rules of engagement we've given our power to old world leaders who don't even know how to play the game. Is our culture keeping us down, is it the sub-marine thats keeping us sub-median. I agree with Sean that the death of culture lies in its definition. We have practised the art of defining what is fa'aSamoa yet the principles of what it means to be Samoan so far removed that we're now out of touch. Samoan culture to me has become a facade for the old world leaders (matais/ruling class) to inflate their egos off the backs of the new world financiers (me), all in the name of culture and what it means to be Samoan. Culturally keeping up with the Jones' yet originally it was all about sharing and survival.

I have always classed myself as Samoan first, being kiwi was in the under-current. I was a Samoan incidently from New Zealand (though born and bred here), but in questioning and analysing my identity learning the rules of fa'aSamoa and to my disgust what we practise is galaxies away from the fa'aSamoa manifesto 1.0 that I have realised that the simple act of questioning and challenging is my kiwiness and that my fa'aSamoa is the under current. Although my Samoan roots strong and prevelant runs through me like a hydrodam it is filtered through and gives power to my kiwiness. No longer will I do as my parents did as they inturn have done as their parents did, its a whole new world, the times they are a change'd (no dis-respect and with all honour due). We are destined to rise we just have to let go of what is holding us down. We're not in a Sub-marine we're in a blimp (small nonrigid airship) that's under water.

In relation to Meat and Lollies? Food glorious food (next blob)

Monday, August 25, 2008


Here is a digital/ drawing/ design from Tony... I like it - EAT LIES!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Submarine Part 3: under water

Sub marine simply means under water, well, under and below, beneath etc. The idea of a submarine, and making one in regards to this exhibition is about the dialogue between the culture of Polynesians who still reside in the Islands and the Polynesians who are, for all intents and purposes, New Zealanders who have racial lineage back to those Islands. But before I go into that I'll speak a little about my own racial lineage. My Surname is Irish, as is my given name, and they both have meanings in Gaelic. Sean by itself means old and wise but is usually given specific meaning by the words used with it. Seanicol is the word for story teller so when the word Sean is used it is in association with other words that describe a way of defining the group, as it were, by its learned knowledge being brought into the present. Wisedom.
As regards surnames the Irish pre christians grouped themselves into tribal units and named themselves after Heroes and so the earliest groupings shared some blood, as it were, but this wasn't as important as community and a connection to a specific place. That place is a mountain, next to a river, in County Mayo in the free state of Ireland. The word itself, Kerrigan, has various meanings, again in context with it's use, but the basic meaning is dark and black because the -igan is the defining part and is directly linked to the Norse word meaning the same thing. The Kerr- simply means people of the marshes. A literal translation is the people of the black marshes but Gaelic is not a literal language but suffice to say that the surname defines a tribe with a place.
Okay, with that said I could define myself as Irish, and I used to when I was younger, but given I was born in Canada to parents born in Glasgow, Scotland and Torquay in the South West of England and my links to one male descendant, a great grandfather, born in Ireland means my Irishness is tenuous at best. One 1/16th.
But some things have happened in my life and I've found out a little bit about the Irish and these things have culminated in me knowing, with a certainty felt in my bones, that I am indeed Irish.

These things that happened are personel. They form part of my inner mythology. They may show in the outer world, or the myth that is me reacting and making my life, but they are for me alone because they can only ever mean something to me and I found them and felt the truth of them in that place where we are only ourselves.

So this story kind of illustrates one form of the sub- marine, a beneficial one for me, and it means that the information that came to me "overland", rational and reasoned, didn't have any real relevance until I understood the communications that came to me "underwater". So the underwater could be the sub- conscious directions in our lives. Where an intrinsic genetic memory plays itself out in our actions.

This is a personel interplay between the overland and the underwater, with me in the middle, but what happens in the micro (personel) sense also works in a macro sense. And this is what submarine (finally!) is about in relation to the meat and lollies thing I'm a part of.

So the short answer is that the Islands that spawned a particluar culture still have inhabitants who live that culture and because of the connection unbroken by travel away from those Islands I would think that their personel connections to the reality of that culture would be unthinking and felt subconciously without regard for any conscious appraisal. But the people who are, by migration, disconnected to this living culture may be less subconscious in their outlook and need to find validity in themselves, in feeling they belong, by conscious appraisal of their cultural roots; but from within another and wider cultural setting. Here we get the interplay between a subconscious enactment of culture and a conscious enactment of culture. So the submarine is all about the feedback of people looking for culture and finding it in its prescribed setting and the subconscious interplay from the dispossesed, searching for meaning, back to the possesed, who may already have meaning but because it is subconscious, may even be looking for a new meaning.

So the idea revolves around an Art industry in a consumer society making and defining experts in a field that is artificially created away from its original context and how this new definition of culture finds its way back to its origins and affects those origins. Personelly I don't see that such interplay is a problem at all. It is the growth of culture. The problem, as I see it, is when, as above, the balance between conscious and subconscious is no longer in balance, and too much conscious effort, ie; affirmative action, makes the idea of a thing of more importance than the thing itself.

But really, I'm just going to make a submarine... and cover it with stuff so it looks as if I know what I'm talking about. Do I, who knows? I'm just making it up as I go along.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Submarines: Part 2

I will digress yet again, before I get to the core of the matter and discuss the idea of myself as a white man in Otara, and therefore in the minority within the micro sense, within a minority in the macro sense. I have grown up in Mangere and Otara, and I still am growing up, and watched as others who shared no differences except skin colour and some cultural differences make headway in the Art world simply because they had those differences. To me, from my vantage, our similarities, given we came from the same socio- economic background, went to the same schools and worked at the same jobs, far outweighed the supposed differences referenced from outside to address disparity of potentials.
And I can except that people come straight from a different cultural zone should be awarded the time and effort to acclimatise but as the generations become acclimatised the differences become a mere adjunct to socialisation. A person born in New Zealand whos parents have been in New Zealand for more than 20 years is by all intents a New Zealander and cultural lineage is of choice rather than circumstance.
But don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that culture isn't important, it may very well be the most important thing we have as humans, but for it to survive and flourish then, I think, we have to regard it as as self evident truth that needs no support except that which we give it simply by doing what we would do by choice. I can round that out somewhat by offering that it is the way that we percieve our culture and enact its life by our choices that keep a culture alive. Culture is not something defined after the fact but something created by the enactment of the fact.

I think there is an absolute danger in supporting something after the fact because it, the culture, then becomes liable to too much interference in the act of definition. By defining something we somehow strip it of mystery and the potential for growth and by definition we create a small death. This act of labelling the thing opens it up to opinion and, in no small way, its ability to be profited from in a wider context. This, in turn, makes the subject one of liabilities and so its security becomes more important than its role. All the little deaths start to add up and what was once a free growing exciting and mysterious thing that nourished those who came into contact with it now is an industry subject to market forces like any other commodity. This is the big death and though it may look like a culture it is merely the wrapping.

But what exactly is culture? I would surmise that culture is us, as humans, living and breathing and growing, within the context of our enviroment. It may be the gestalt between inviroment and enviroment. The dialectic between our inner selves as we live our lives as our outer selves and all of this in a specific time and place.

All of the above, though, is only a small fraction of what I think defines the idea of culture simply because the reasoning involved only follows the accepted christian - judaic worldview. This gives us physical and intellectual viewpoints, and rather limited ones at that, and we haven't even brought in the myriad of spiritual levels.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

MEAT & LOLLIES events...

Opening: 6-8pm, Thursday 30 October 2008 - Fresh Gallery Otara, Manukau City

Public Programme:
Meat & Lollies artists will be making work live in the Otara Community Courtyard, outside Fresh Gallery Otara to coincide with the Otara Art Market from 9am - 12pm:

Saturday 1 November
Live video making
Artists: Leilani Kake, Mele Penitani, Janet Lilo

Saturday 8 November
Soft Stone carving
Artist: Sean Kerrigan

Saturday 15 November
Stencil & Print making
Artists: Antonio Filipo, Siliga Setoga

Exhibitions Dates: 31 October - 22 November 2008.

American Time

All the dates and times are wrong on this blog because like most things in the world... it's on America Time!
If I could be bothered I'd check the time things are published, in Auckland time against what the blog publishes and give you a time zone... This is published at 8.56am on Wednesday August 20.

Performance Art?

Oh, Monday night I did my first performance at the Vitamin S thing at the Wine Cellar in St Kevins arcade in K Road. Vitamin S is an experimental music thing where unrehearsed groups are put together to improvise music, on the spot, and though I've been on the list for years, I finally got around to making some stuff I could use in the context of the ideal. The photo is of a bunch of analog synthesizers and an effect "pedal" or two which, when knobs are twiddled, make all sorts of unruly and barely controllable sounds. On the night I played with a drummer and a pianist and after our set we we're asked, to much applause, to do some more!

Interesting thing was that just before we were to start I had my reasonably sharp pocket knife out and was talking to the organiser while using the knife to pry the back off a piezo microphone. While talking the knife slipped and dug about 5-7mm into my left index finger tip. The guy then proceeded to introduce the performance while I walked off to the kitchen to get some band aids (pun not intentional), though I could tell a stitch or two were most probably required. I got my band aids then returned as the introduction was fading and got into making music. While I was playing I noticed a coupla drops of blood on the instruments and thought to myself, as I picked them up with my good index finger, on the other hand, and licked them, that this particular artistic enterprise is going to go well for me because I have, without thought, blooded my first performance. Oh, I've actually blooded "meat and lollies" as well. I cut myself on the packing crate plywood I'm going to use to build my submarine!

Vitamin S is every Monday night at the Wine Cellar at 8.30pm and is a gold coin entry. The proceeds are distriuted equally amongst the performers.This week I'm building a drum machine and a couple of amplified stringed instruments which will hopefully be up and running by next Monday.

H.M.S. Affirmative Action

Yesterday I went and visited Ema down at Fresh and explained what the submarine thing is all about for me. Two things are valid about using the submarine and the first and most important, for me as an artist, is that I've been on this binge making models, you know, the type that 14 year old boys make and hang off the ceiling.
I have, in the past, painted them up in cultural designs, so that in the context of themselves we're taking about the justaposition between supposedly defined cultural "islands" and the idea of mass culture.

So the most recent model buying I've done was a humongous (in model terms) submarine simply because I like the shape of these things... and it offers quite a good canvas to paint on.

So the move into "meat and lollies" needed to be aligned with what I was already up to and it was no jump at all to take the idea of submarines and develop a content suitable to the new context.

Life imitates Art? or is it Art imitates Life? I don't know or care but I find it interesting how I'm able to find meaning in my direction before meaning is even applied to my direction. So the submarine idea appeared simply because it was already there and all I had to do was give it a relationship within the context of "meat and lollies" and that was the easy part because all I did was dredge up stuff I've always been aware of.

H.M.S. Affirmative Action

I've grown up with this particular idea at work around me and I must say that it really isn't a good one. One may think, being a recipient of positive discrimination, that such things are merry and good but to be brought forward and given chances simply because of something, in the grand scheme of things, so arbitrary as skin colour, and not because of ability or passion, or at least not as the defining characteristic, is , simply put, a way to destroy talent as opposed to creating it.

The meat of creative enterprise is resistance and work. Having to work against odds and realise your work is your own truth. A truth you have to stand beside and possibly accept ridicule about. You must hunt the quarry, look deep into yourself and set your trap or sharpen the spear of your intellect. And when you have killed your truth you must haul it home on your back and rend it into truth that will sustain you. Blood flows and the gore of unguarded life is all around you. How can one but help to find the truth of their existence within such circumstances.

Lollies are sweets. Oh, haven't you done well and here is your reward. You make us happy so we praise you with the sweetness of our approval. But lollies are also incentive. Please do more pleasing work! In this regard lollies are also a truth, of course they are truth, all is truth but the question is... to what truth do we align ourselves? To the meat that ensures survival or to the lollies that say we are already surviving and its time to celebrate.

But what has this got to do with submarines?

I'll talk about that tomorrow.

Walk in Beauty!

random photos I found

Sunday, August 17, 2008


The latin prefix 'sub' can mean 'under', 'beneath', or 'below' (such as in the word 'subconscious'), 'inferior to', or part of (such as in the word 'subhuman'), 'less than normal' (such as in 'substitute'), or 'almost/nearly' (such as in the word 'subcentral')

Food is...

"Food is culture; food is shorthand for who you are."

Vanessa Hua
'The Art of Chinese Cooking', Newsweek (June 30, 2008)

Friday, August 15, 2008