Domestic demigod

Anyone else notice that 'domestic god' doesn't seem to ring in the same way 'domestic goddess' does?

Maybe it's the ess sounds because the alliteration 'domestic demigod' seems to work better.

Then again, maybe it's sexism because when I googled "domestic god" the top result was a definition for 'domestic goddess' with a few stories about males who clean underneath.

Google also offered 'domestic deity' which is good for being both genderless and an alliteration.

Anyway, a man's home is his Mount Olympus and I've totally Zeus-ed my place today.

Pioneering projections

This week I acquitted the Pioneering Projections workshops that had been funded by the NSW State Government through the Community Art Support Program run by Regional Arts NSW.

In the video above you can see that Abre Ojos and I used the granite sculptures developed for the centenary of Griffith as canvasses for painting with light. It's a different result than what I'd originally planned.

Last year when I applied I'd imagined we'd settle on a few stories to tell with video projected onto buildings at Pioneer Park Museum. Then I attended a projection workshop with Yandell and realised that projection requires contrast, saturated colours and stronger designs than most video footage.

Another influence was my manager, who asked if I'd consider incorporating the sculptures into the project. At first I was reluctant to change direction but Abre Ojos was keen and reckoned he hadn't seen projection mapped in this way.

Thanks but no thanks!

Being a Ranger

It was at Modifyre in 2015 that I first donated my time to the Burner community as a Ranger.

I'd been approached by one of the organisers and asked how I was contributing to the event, which led to being allocated a shift on the Friday night.

When the time came my son was pacing around our campsite and clearly not ready to sleep, so I took him with me. It turned out to be a great decision as after our shift 'ranger-ing' he had completely changed his attitude toward Modifyre from "When are we going home?" to "Can we be Rangers again on Saturday night?"

The Lead Ranger on our first shift was Wonka, who had experience in the role from Burning Seed. He welcomed us and explained the role was primarily one that focused on duty-of-care. We walked around the event and kept an eye on ensuring that people behaved safely, while keeping in contact via two-way radio to report our observations and answer calls.

At Modifyre in 2016 I returned to ranger-ing and went through the training program that Koi and Girlface developed, as well as hearing more about the role from Platypus and Decker. It was surprisingly pleasing to hear my son introduce himself at the training session for first-time rangers as "the inaugural Modfiyre Junior Ranger" and receive applause.

I think it's great that Modifyre have roles for Junior Rangers because it's engaged my sons in the event by giving them a rewarding sense of purpose. While it means that I am required to accompany them on long walks around the campsite, it's also provided many memorable experiences.

Getting out and about on the paddock means we get to meet lots of people, who are generally appreciative that we're giving time to ensure their safety. I got called "fun police" when one person didn't like being reminded to stay behind a safety barrier at a burn but otherwise it was all positive.

The other thing I like is having a radio. It becomes part of the soundtrack to the event. It's one that's like accessing a director's commentary on a DVD as you hear about the behind-the-scenes activity. The insights provided are largely positive and, if there is something of concern, it's good to feel in-the-know and assist.

While I understand why some burn events may decide that Junior Rangers are not suited to the role, I think there is scope to develop a program for them. My eldest son is not yet a teen but has shown himself to be very effective at maintaining the safety perimeter for burns, as well as in the educational roles of informing campsites about their obligation to 'leave no trace'.

I'd like to see Burning Seed develop a Junior Ranger program that provides a highly visible hat to kids who, while accompanied by a responsible adult, undertake roles in promoting Burner principles and in maintaining the outer perimeter of burns.

Holidays in the sun

Last year I found it good to spend the winter school holidays in Queensland.

The alternative can be a kind of cabin fever from being stuck indoors. And Modifyre was on, which was ace.

This year I returned to Modifyre and also Brisbane, where I visited GOMA and stayed in Woolloongabba again.

I had an idea to make music with the noisy taps, though they were less interesting than other sounds in the kitchen once I brought them into Ableton Live.

While at Modifyre I made videos, including one of the photogenic Reynolds Creek.

Then when at Valla Beach I made more, such as the waves one morning.

I've been visiting the beach house for more than a decade now. It's undergone changes and the central stairwell was first added with an extension after a neighbouring house blocked the view. The result was a series of changes up the street, as houses all rose to reclaim their views.

The wires in the portals in the walls of the stairwell were added with a more recent extension. I can't help but pluck on them and the wall cavity is uneven in their resonance. There are a few nice notes among the varying tensions across the wires.

Plying a Trump card

There are corners of the internet where websites are published that have carefully analysed The Simpsons to observe soothsaying qualities.

While The Simpsons may have form in predicting Donald Trump would run for the role of US President back in 2000, I think it should also be noted that the phenomenon known as Michael Moore made this prediction in a 1999 film clip for Rage Against The Machine.

See this screenshot from 1.04 of their clip for the song 'Sleep Now In The Fire'. I've previously noted the band are responsible for modern classics and this song is no exception.

One of my favourite live music experiences was seeing them perform it in a Flemington car park at a Melbourne Big Day Out.

Reynolds Creek

One of the highlights of Modifyre this year was Reynolds Creek.

A while ago I recorded a Koorawatha creek with a view to ambient wallpaper, so I was inspired to try this approach again.


Modifyre is the regional ‘burn’ event for Queensland. This year was the second it’s run and organisers were forced to find a new location at the last minute.

The result was a smaller-scale Australian Burning Man event with the extra novelty of flushing toilets and hot showers as the location was a campground near Lake Moogerah.

It was a beautiful venue with many local birds and a flowing creek under a spectacular rock-faced peak.

It must’ve been a blow to the organisers that their effigy for the burn was unable to be transported in time for the event.

The show went on but it was with some sacrifices, such as shortening to a three-day event.

One outcome of the adjusted schedule was holding a scaled-down effigy burn on Friday night and the Temple burn on Saturday night.

It was interesting to see Police visit the site on Saturday night and find the crowd hushed for a quiet burn. They seemed to take a quick look around and drove out again.

I had a great time at Modifyre and appreciate many aspects of their approach to burning. I’ve heard that the missing effigy was again a bug, this time a bee. The Temple was designed as a hive and the insect theme follows the butterfly from last year.

Both burns featured fire-twirling and again it looked amazing.

Seeing the effigy lit with a flamethrower also looked spectacular.

The Dirty Birds theme camp also had a flamethrower on the paddock, which was shaped to resemble a flamingo.

As for theme camps, Detox’s Third Aid signs were parked in the middle of quiet camping. The whiskey bar with ducks in the name was popular at the quiet end and The Wonky Queenslander were blasting in the top paddock with a bigger sound system and another great line-up of DJs.

My contribution to the event was a few shifts as a ranger and another thing I like about Modifyre is that they have roles for junior rangers, as my sons enjoy the opportunity to get involved.

I was also impressed with the ‘green card’ system for showing which campers were leaving without a trace. It was also a parting gift with the homemade paper of the card holding seeds for a native plant. I had a similar idea a while ago, so it seems brilliant to me.

Modifyre might have stumbled thanks to a local authority tripping up organisers but the result was still a successful burn.

Bumprint at GOMA

This impression on the gallery seating made an impression on me.

Visit to GOMA

Sian Mewburn Untitled 2015
“The [...] forms symbolise the reality that worship and ideas of religion are created and valued by humankind alone in an attempt to make the finite nature of existence infinite.”
Jonathan Jones Lumination fall wall weave 2006
“The electrical cords of lumination fall wall weave are woven through a wall in repeated loops modelled on the shape of the canoes used by the Cadigal people of Sydney Harbour and surrounds.
The domestic light bulbs that hover just above the gallery floor refer to the campfires reflected on the water as described by the first Europeans to arrive there.” 
Jade Luscombe Finally there 2015
“communicates my personal growth through my travels to Japan, as the energy and vibrancy of Tokyo allowed me to gain self-confidence.” 
Madelyn Rabnott Perceptions 2015
“I wanted to portray the same experience of looking through the window and taking in the diversity of the surrounding suburb.”

Zombie music

Had a chuckle imagining these musicians were back from the dead.

I'd like to see a zombie Roy Orbison gig.

Pioneer Park Museum now and then

An exhibition of photographs of Griffith’s Pioneer Park Museum in their current location will be shown at the Griffith Regional Theatre Art Space from 18 July to 19 August.

“2016 is a big year for birthdays in this city,” said Museum curator Jason Richardson. “I don't think it's a coincidence the centenary coincides with the 45th birthday of Pioneer Park Museum, an institution that was first recorded in Wade Shire Council's minutes soon after the 50th of Griffith.”

Viewers will see a collection of photographs from the Museum’s archives. The earliest comes from 1971 with construction of an entrance building by the Soroptimist group. In others are many faces of those who have grown and shaped the organisation.

“I’ve heard many local people share their memories of times at the Park,” said Mr Richardson. "Many recount their visits and know people who have volunteered their time to contribute to it’s development.”

“This exhibition shows in a way the hands-on relationship people have with history at Pioneer Park Museum. It’s a place where people have a physical experience of history like walking into the home of a pioneer.”