2 Moments in Detroit

A couple of great moments in Detroit. (for the record, I am touring along with Macklemore through the great working cities of the USA: Atlanta, Louiseville, Nashville, Alabama and Detroit where he plays in beautiful old theatres). At the end of each gig, we end late and go get some food.

So, after one of these nights in Detroit

#1 I’m in a bar late last night after eating at 11pm at the hotel. Chatting with a couple who’d gone to see Macklemore play at the outstanding Fox Theatre. Lisa was a fan, Kevin not so much, but to his credit had gone with Lisa and driven 2 hours from Bumfuck Michigan to attend. After a bit of chatting with Kevin (I’m trying to encourage him to take me fishing at 7 in the morning in the Detroit river as I recall) Lisa says, she likes how I’m being nice to Kevin and just letting what he says roll off me. I tell her “it’s nothing”.. mainly because I don’t know what she’s talking about. She then says “anyway, don’t worry about it”. Kevin’s being cool to this point but I take this as a warning and go and play pool.

CUT TO 10 MINUTES LATER

There’s an argument between the barman and Kevin. This rapidly amplifies into an all out screaming match between Lisa, Kevin and the Barman. There’s a bit of pushing but ends in the Barman telling them both to get the fuck out of his bar and go fuck themselves and fuck off and fuck.

There’s only us left in the bar now. The Barman buys us all shots.

#2 I’m walking back from breakfast this morning a guy s trying to sell fake/stolen sunglasses. I tell him I’ve got no cash because I don’t. We start chatting, he’s liking my outfit and how saying i look like i’ve “got one of those people who dress you in the morning”. I thank him for the compliment and inform him that not only did I wake up “so hungover I barely knew where I was” but I’ve bought my clothes from the thrift shop (because I lost all my luggage) and have been wearing them for the last four days.

We laugh and he says “you look like a slick cat, how am I going to be able to see you again” I tell him “probably never bro”.

He pauses on the street, shakes his head and says “that’s so fucked up”…to which I reply “I know”.

We bump fists and walk away, never to see each other again.

It is so fucked up.

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All hail Dog!

As you know, we’ve moved to LA. And have started settling in by getting our stuff shipped over. Including our dog, Frankie.
Frankie arrived, and a day or so after, my orange bike arrived too.
On Friday, I went to combine the 2 to ride the few miles, with the dog, to work.
It was super hot in LA (it has been a heat wave, even though it’s winter)
After a bit, she’s tired, which is normal, but then she stops. Which can happen when she’s tired and hot, so we walk the last few miles
On the way she starts bumping into things.
We get to work and she lies down. Then hops up and is increasingly walking into things. She doesn’t seem to mind, so it doesn’t really seem all that bad.
But then it happens more and more. This is not normal. She’s going blind.
We organise a vet visit, and I have to carry her to the car. She can’t see anything. She goes down steps, each one she suspects is a mile high. You can make noises to help, but she’s just guessing when she steps forward.
I take her to the vet, they confirm she’s completely blind. No ocular response. She can’t see, the eyeball doesn’t respond to light or movement which means nerve damage (aka neural necrosis) or brain damage.

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 This is her. She can’t see a thing. She’s got no iris. It’s a bright day. She can’t tell.
I come home, the dog is remarkably relaxed the family supportive of her, telling the neighbours about her plight. We resolve to have  a blind dog but I remain inspired by Frankie executing my favourite thing about dogs: they approach it like it’s nighttime, it’s cool, it’s just night for ever. Whatever.. Now where’s my food etc. It was lovely and terrible to see her like that.
Anyway, so I wake up to go to the Dog Opthamologist, and it’s still dark and I walk into the room she’s in to wake her up. I’m like “morning dog” and the dog looks at me and is like “right, cool, let’s go” and I’m like “hang on…” and she’s like “what?” and I’m like “You can see” and she’s like “yeah, i know” and I’m like “cool, let’s go to the beach.
Anyway, so we’re all spared more inspiration from a blind dog.
All hail dog.
P.S This is how she looks now in a bright day… all squinty, with nice brown Iris
Frankie-Seeing2

 

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“Out In The Street” wins big

Out of 55 films entered into the inaugural “Robot Film Festival” the music video i was finishing while travelling wins this major accolade.
For me, what makes it particularly AMAZING is that it’s probably pretty unique for a Music Video to win anything for best narrative. Also, it’s very nice to have the thing I contributed most definitely to accoladed (is that a word?)

Thanks RFF. See you next year.

Watch the rest of the movies here

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Rocketcar Day Linz

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We were invited to Linz to put on a Rocketcar Day here as part of a big festival located on a round about between two autobahns called deja-vu. It was pretty amazing. Lots of kids got involved and fun was had by all.

 

Here’s a stereoscopic night shot!

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Rocketboat Day!

I have been putting on Rocketcar Day for the last 10 years. It a day where people race little cars they’ve made on the streets and see who can get the farthest. It’s great fun but I was really excited to see how it could expand into an event like this.

People gathered at FoAM (where my family and i were artists in residence) and made boats to race on the canal. We had a barbecue and set the boats off in between the passing of large industrial barges. It was great fun and we learnt a lot (really the same as what we’ve been learning from rocketcar day for the last 10 years with a few small additions)

  1. gotta get your boat straight
  2. the rocket has to be straight too
  3. too short, tumbles
  4. the longer the better, because it doesn’t turn as easily
  5. too heavy is too slow, but that is often not your problem
  6. a keel keeps you straight.
  7. rockets are excellent fun

This is seriously the best video on the matter:

SadMan, at the helm of a folded cardboard number with a drogue,  had his own problems

Which were overcome in “The Relationship”. This was a longer version of SadMan’s boat, with it’s engine attatched properly

Check the rest out here.

 

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Teufelsberg alternate view

Here’s an idea for something: track in alternate windows into a view of the space. You could cut action up into slices, roto movement around the place and track it into that place… use 2 cameras and get some odd time.space effect.

p.s. Teufelsberg was quite amazing. Especially nice were the 8 armed police who sent us “out of the hole we came in through”.

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Dead Bikes of New York

About 10 years ago, I was in Manhattan and was struck by the number of bikes chained up and slowly dissolving by the side of the road. It was moving, the sheer amount of them, the lost function of these creatures dying in slow-motion. Now that I’m back in the hood, I’m not sure there’s as many, but there’s still heaps. It’s not always clear who’s been left to die. I’ve seen people pumping up tires and recovering bikes too. Sometime’s they’re 10 deep. Sometimes discarded, sometimes someones precious possession. I’m revisiting the Dead Bikes, thinking of a project to put them in. A book perhaps. It’s a subject that isn’t totally innovative. So the question is, how to make it lovely and amazing. Perhaps stories and diagrams that explain how things came to be. It’s too difficult to capture them dissolving in time-lapse… some sort of animation?

Here’s the flickr collection. Ideas Welcomed.

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Some Will Dream

Been spreadin’ the word

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Dear Allan’s Trash Bin

Dear Allan’s Trash Bin

While travelling with the family on my sabbatical to Mexico I met  a guy on La Saladita beach. It’s a really lovely beach. A forgiving, rolling left coming off the point that lets you surf all the way to the local bar. The wave is so long in fact, that you’ve developed the appropriate thirst for that compliment of nature to be handy.

I discovered that the guy, Allan Weisbecker, is an author of many books, great story teller, an ex-drug smuggler, surfing legend,  subject of a movie, writer for miami vice and 2 of his books had been optioned by Sean Penn and John Cusack too. Seemed like a pretty interesting chap.

I heard from the beach chat,  that he was writing a screen play by the beach (in the bungalow that Lea an I stayed in years ago when we stayed here) and I started to chat with him interested in how he worked in such a beautiful place. I learnt he was in the middle of making a film (a sort of auto-bio-surf-pic) and agreed to help him with it editorially / from a director’s point of view / as a new viewer . We also took some photos and had a good time. I quickly became embroiled  in the subject matter of his movie though.

He is an interesting dude, making a movie about how surfing brings a peace to his turmoil brought on by a his theories on 9-11 and Kennedy. It also asks the question: Am I crazy? If not, then what are you going to do about the world? You can see 7 minutes of the movie online so you can check it out for yourself. People love it. I really like bits of it too. I had some notes he liked, but talk about the movie quickly expanded into theories about everything (not everything, he has clear divisions between shit that is clearly not true and shit that is true). However, because of  a potential direct-interest I had, our conversation orbited the link between vaccinations and autism and how aspartame causes cancer. He brought up the vaccinations because he saw that I have children and I brought aspartame up because I drink a heap of it and I thought he’d have an opinion. Sort of as a test.

The test proved positive. But I plunged in regardless because something in my brain like this type of thing.

After 2 nights of terrible (in the sense of poor quality, one sided, un-enjoyable, inelegant) conversation with him in which he’d show me footage of a WTC building coming down and demand i explain how that could happen if not by a government conspiracy to destroy documents, start a war etc etc. Of course I could not. I learnt too slowly that a hastily composed theoretical answer would be crushed by a weight of data and research and facts (many of them interlinking).

Continue reading

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Lower East Side


We’re in the Manhattan in the last bit of Sesame Street around. It’s very beautiful and alive. I’m taking photos of all the dead bikes around too. Bikes get chained up to posts then damaged and left behind. They slowly dissolve until they are just a slim skeleton. You can see it happening in slow motion, like watching a frame from a nature documentary about a carcass decomposing. See them all here.

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