Monday, July 31, 2006
The multitalented Prof, who makes his own beanies, designs and builds bicycles, and does electrical, plumbing and construction at City Farm explains to me how I could holiday in Estonia, or anywhere else on the planet for that matter, by wwoofing. I am skeptical too at first. But then I find out that wwoofers are workers on organic farms, in all sorts of countries, from Argentina to Zambia (don't you hate that, when people write stuff like "from Aardvark to Zebra", or "from Academic to Zombie" - it's just so ... I don't know, contrived and smarmy) who put in about 7 - 15 hours a week in exchange for food and accommodation. If you don't believe me, look at their website. I guess this weekend's Activate project is a bit like that for me. My money is all gone, until I start in the portrait factory, so the opportunity to eat organic food all weekend in Westonia is simply too good to refuse. And the food, I must say, is glorious: my compliments to Prof on his amazingly amazing selection of freshly-baked bread, and to Amber for her most high-grade vego food. And I simply must get some of that East Timor organic coffee. Oh, did you find the man in that coffeebean picture from Celeste's post below? He's there all right. I wonder if he knows coffee is the second most heavily-sprayed crop in the world, after tobacco? Think about that next time you wake up and smell the coffee. Or have a cigarette and coffee. You may as well get up and do a line of David Gray's Weed Killer and be done with it. But I digress.
I would have liked to have taken the .22 and got a bit of meat to supplement all that lentil and tofu. I saw some mallee fowl darting about in the scrub that looked quite tasty. Not to mention the rabbits. But unfortunately the police have taken my rifle away, saying I needed some kind of licence to operate it. Well, it didn't seem that difficult to me. Next thing they'll be suspending my artistic licence and then what? Without guns, the trip up is fairly uneventful.
We meet Phil from Broken Hill, sitting astride his old Gold Wing 1000, at the servo in Meckering. He's travelling back to Broken Hill via Port Augusta. I wouldn't mind getting into HIS pants. Leather strides are just the ticket, I'm thinking, if and when I crash my motorcycle again.
We get to Westonia and find the house which is ours for the weekend. The Curtin University of Technology Mulga Research Centre has some truly delightful decor. Fine corrugated iron walls and ceiling, which were much in use around the turn of last century, plus a wood-burning Early Kooka stove to stop us freezing our dreads off. The metal ceiling features handmade timber ceiling roses, and the cupboards are the result of somebody's 1970's acid-inspired kitchen renovation. A number of rooms are already decked out with swags and bedding, as Hippibus #1 arrived here yesterday. We ask directions from some locals and head out to find the rest of the gang at the planting site.
It's an interesting gathering. There are two turntables and a microphone. A DJ and a disco ball. And a big freaking paddock, and I mean BIG. There's a girl from Brasil, a Marlene from Germany, even people from as far away as Bayswater. We are planting 25,420 seedlings as part of the Carbon Neutral program. Ollie from Junkadelic teaches me all I need to know about operating a tree-planting machine, and I grab a basketful of natives and trek up the slope to where the others are toiling in the distance. The music is good and loud and helps me get into the rhythm. The paddock has had a 'deep rip' run through it. Bang the pointy beak-like end of the tree-making machine into the ripped ground, push the lever with your foot to open the jaws, and the seedling drops down the tube into the ground. Pull up the machine and voila! there's a little baby tree. Oooh, they're so cute. Push the soil around it down with your Doc Martens, click the lever to reset the machine, pace out three metres and start again, reloading another baby as you go. I'm mechanically pacing away and concentrating on the little trees when I see my Turkish friend Gonja in the distance. She doesn't see me. She's busily planting away. I wander over with the tree-maker slung over my shoulder like a rocket launcher and say, hey baby, you avoiding me or something?
She introduces me to her Nikki, her suicide blond friend. Back at camp, ready to party after a hard day's work, Nikki's friend Michael from the Academy of Natural Therapies (remind me to tell you about Michael and the Academy of Natural Therapies one day) starts a huge bonfire, right in the middle of the carefully tended and reticulated back lawn on the Curtin University Mulga Research Centre. We have a drink, we have a choof, we go to the local hall to feast and dance the night away.
Tonight we're gonna party like it's 1999, I think. Gonja and I go to the pub to buy some takeaways. There's about eight people there. An old timer asks Gonja for a dance. What's your name, asks Gonja. Hector, says Hector. OK Hector, she says, and takes him by the hand. They sail around the floor of the pub in front of the fire. The Edna May Tavern. One of the locals, Boris, asks me if it is okay for them to come up to the party after the pub closes at midnight. Sure, I say. We're not going to cause any trouble, Boris says. He turns up later with his mates, drunk, and shouts LET'S GET NAKED!
I talk to Boris later, sitting around the fire at 3am. Pretty drunk.
My name's Boris, he says, but everyone calls me Dave.
He looks into his bottle of bourbon.
No, I mean, my name's Dave, but everyone calls me Boris.
Why do they call you Boris? I ask.
Well, my mates think that I look a bit like Boris Yeltsin, and that I drink a lot like Boris Yeltsin.
Gonja is sitting on the opposite side of the fire on a log. She gives Michael from the Academy of Natural Therapies a kiss on the cheek before coming over, sitting next to me on the rolled-up swag, and planting one on me.
You tree-huggers are very open with one another, says Boris.
Yes, says the Gonj. You should hug seven people a day. It gives you energy.
Boris nods slowly. Maybe that's why I'm so tired all the time, he says.
Seriously, says the Gonj. You should try it.
Well, says Boris, there's only me Mum and me Dad and me brother, so after I'm finished hugging them and the dogs I'd have to chase a couple of sheep round the paddock. Can't have that.
Oh come on, I say. You know you want to.
Friday, July 28, 2006
Mayhem...yours truly, I'm here. Was to the left now a little more centre stage. Well, I'm gearing up for a hard core editing session. Mishief a luxury...solitaire is on the cusp. Im soaking up the splendour of human contact as very soon I will be forsaking all to edit my ticket out of this town. Ashes to ashes, there goes another packet of cigarettes...
Mayhem it's Art Director here. Looks like i will be Out of Range this weekend - i'm going on dance party safari. Those glorious greenies at City Farm have teamed up with Men of the Trees (evolutionary regressives?) and are planting thousands and thousands of trees up at Westonia on some remnant bushland. Busloads of volunteers will be housed, fed (organic vegetarian fare no less) and get a dance party thrown in for good measure. All they need to do is work like trolls. Westonia is on the way to Southern Cross, it's even further up the Great Eastern than Doodlakine. Don't you love that name. Doodlakine. Almost as good as Wandering.
There are three hippibuses going - one left today and another leaves tomorrow along with a minibus carrying organisers, a few volunteers, and the media contingent (i.e. me). We leave at 7:30am so I guess you and i will have to fall asleep to Andy Warhol's Flesh for Frankenstein some other time. Good luck with your Discovery Channel editing - it will be time consuming, but as Melanoski would say, GIVE IT YOUR BEST SHOT!
See you Monday. I'll be packing a few cans of deodorant on the bus to mace the ferals with if they come too close. There will be a full report when i get back, so stay tuned to electricnerve - your Dance Party Safari Channel.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Well it's been an eclectic time (please note my lack of usage of exclamation marks...a pet hatred of the Art Director, and, as he's agreed to refrain from speaking of himself in third person, I figure it's the least I can do). Maybe we should just change our blog name to eclectic nerve? No, we could lose our loyal, yet mute following and that would be a great shame. Stick with electric.
Since Sunday, I've done little to edit down the three hour interview which entrenched us in some creative and bizarre other realities and condense it into a three minute piece for Discovery. What a task. I had many realisations on Sunday whilst watching back the footage at Tod's house. One, Dan has a brilliant perspective for film, his height gives us an unbelievable edge. Two, Mistress Calista is truly a superb artist of B&D and has a most beautiful dungeon. Three, I'm probably a little too wild even for the Discovery channel and would probably make a better host on Art Director's new reality eating show. There were other realisations but they've all been wiped clean of my mind.
I stop and cast my mind back to the weekend, specifically the dungeon. I stop and think how lucky I am sitting here typing freely. It was touch and go there for a while, Mistress Calista became fond of me strapped up and shackled to her dungeon wall...I was wearing my favorite colours red and black, also the Mistress colours ... she said I looked good on her wall. Hanging around like that perfectly colour coordinated could have been my downfall, things could have ended differently. As a result, I feel much more empathetic toward our religious icon Jesus Christ, somewhat closer to him after that day. Its a bloody uncomfortable position even for forty minutes let alone eternity. Poor guy. I'm reminded of my date with a priest. I was actually completely relieved getting off the hook with that interview. I just call these things I do a life style...I don't know how the church looks upon such things. I'd probably still be there now repenting, repenting, parched, still repenting, horrified at the spectacle of Hail Marys dished out to me uponst confessing 15 years of being a sinner. I know my chances aren't looking too great when the Art Director goes to add a note to what he thinks is my list of things to do. The list goes: lust, gluttony, greed, blasphemy, adultery, wrath, ecetera, ecetera... Not my daily schedule at all... well it would be a busy day at least. Ooh what confusion! Is 'fucking hell' a blasphemy? Dan, Art Director & myself ponder, though become confused, to alleviate the thought we make a mess with some vodka whilst driving toward the church to mingle with the parishioners.
I came to a grand realisation today, I decided I don't want to work full time. At present I've been too busy meeting people, conducting interviews and causing general mischief. An old Indian man came into the surgery today. He's known me for years. I've been there for years. He could obviously see the devil in me, he said, You know my girl a little mischief is good, but a lot of mischief is bad for you. Hmmm curious, there's not really much you can say to that sort of comment. I was acting perfectly civilised at the time, it wasn't like I was stripping on a concoction of crack and lsd whilst utilising profane language, just admitting his dog... oh well. Yes, no full time work! I've been knocking back jobs left, right and centre. They're not left enough, just not right and uncentered. I amended my brilliant C.V (thank you to Kris) to include these things as my interests: Skating on thin ice, Mayan codices, Surrealism, Egyptian burial rituals (they involve eating people), space travel, cats, fiction, daily routines, doing ordinary everyday things with great care and attention to detail. Though you never know, maybe its just the angle I need to get the purrfect line of employment.
Monday, July 24, 2006
Odd things. Friday night, i'm driving home in my $100 automobile, a classic 1970 Madaz 1500 wagon. Styled by Bertone of Italy, no less. Managed to get the film submissions in to FTI at the last possible moment. I stop outside the Italian Club in North Perth to reply to a text. The door of my Madaz opens, and some bloke climbs in. Do you know where the Brisbane is, he asks. Take me to the Brisbane. I sense he is pissed.Yeah mate, i know where the Brisbane is, but i'm not a taxi. The bloke is undeterred. He pulls a wallet out of his back pocket and extracts a note. Here's twenty dollars, he says, JUST TO SHOW I'M NOT CRAZY!
I'm thinking, this is a bizarre logic. I don't want your money, i say. Take it, he says. No, i say. Take it, he says. No, i say. Take it. No. Take it. No. Take it. No. Take it. No. Take it. No. Take it. OK i'll take it, i say, and drive him to the Brisbane. It's about a kilometre. Meanwhile he is stretching out, body rigid, pelvis thrust upwards, in the passenger seat. He is thrusting his pelvis up and down in an unusual manner while groping about at his backside. I elect not to comment. I'm not trying anything funny, the man says. It's just really difficult getting this wallet back into my pocket. I nod. You've been at the Italian Club, I suggest. Yeah mate. You've been on the grappa, I further suggest. His eyes roll back in his head. Oooh, the grappa, he exclaims. That's what did my head in. I probably shouldn't be going to the Brisbane, you know. I do know, but elect not to comment. I pull the Madaz up alongside the Brisbane's architecturally savvy exterior. MELANOSKI! he cries suddenly, and grasps my injured hand, and squeezes it as if it were the last lime in the world and he is desperate for a tequila. I'M FROM NORTHAM!
Half your luck, i say. GIVE IT YOUR BEST SHOT! Melanoski yells, elbowing me hard in the bicep. Sure, i say, somewhat confused. He elbows me again. We exchange more small talk. With each reply Melanoski elbows me hard in the arm. GIVE IT YOUR BEST SHOT! he yells finally, elbowing me in the arm and propelling himself out onto the pavement. I pull away quickly, straight to the Hydey drivethru to spend all the money on a bottle of red. I text Mayhem. We drink.
Saturday I catch up with Rob. He has a musical outfit together called Teenage Abortion. Rob and band member Phil write lyrics by exchanging lurid text messages. Rob and i go visit Catherine. We hook up with Felix from Bobby Blackburne and the BlueJays and head down to the Hydey to see what's on. The Kuillotines thrash away at their brand of theatrical punkrock. Rob is eyeing off a couple of girls, one of whom is ugly. Have a pint and let the beer monocle do its work, i suggest.
Sunday i am abducted and taken back to the dungeon. This time it is by Mayhem and Dan. They have been out filming Mayhem for her job as a host with the Discovery Channel's T5. Well, potential job. She needs to do a three minute piece to camera about herself, and for some eclectic reason or other has elected to do it whilst chained to the wall in a B&D dungeon. We get a very interesting interview with Karen the Dominatrix, and are introduced to Big Bertha and Junior and instructed in their use. I look after the lighting whilst Dan shoots from his elevated perspective. Very Tall is Dan.
After the dungeon, i suggest we take Mayhem to confession at St Mary's in Victoria Square, and film her laying bare her soul in the confessional (using night vision, of course) . We buy vodka and head off. Mayhem practices her interviewing technique for the Discovery Channel by introducing herself to all and sundry along Adelaide Terrace. It goes something like this: Hi, can I meet you? Hi, I'm Melinda. Where are you from. Oh really. Well, thank you. Goodbye. At Church, we discover Confession is not taken on Sundays, so we crucify Mayhem and get it on digital. I get busted for urinating on the church and a black woman who has been sniffing toluene asks us to photograph her. We oblige. Hi, I'm Melinda, says Mayhem. Back at Tod's we look at the vision on the big plasma screen. The morning's work by Dan at the Karrinyup market and King's Park is unsurpassed in its beauty. The dungeon stuff is just plain weird. We get ridiculously stoned and Mayhem passes out on the couch.
I spend a paranoid fifteen minutes wondering how to get home, and wondering which is more ethical, to abandon Mayhem on the couch or carry her out using the Fireman's Lift. She solves my dilemma by suddenly sitting bolt upright, asking me if we have all the equipment, and leaving, dragging me with her.
Did you know that the Italian for dugong is dugongo? i ask Mayhem.
Oh, no, i didn't, Mayhem says. I wonder what it tastes like. I have an idea for a TV show, i say. It's like an extreme sports slash cooking show, where you kill and eat your way around the world. To test whether an otherwise normal person would end up with an eating disorder like, say, vegetarianism, if they had to kill every piece of meat or fish they ate.
I'll see you tomorrow for coffee, she says. We'll talk about it then.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Friday, July 21, 2006
Automatic writing was something of a hit when William S Burroughs was around. You know it still happens..for better or for worse. He shot his wife in the head 'accidentally' or was it 'automatically' whilst playing William Tell...These things still happen. Damned accidents. Anyhow here's an example of some personal automatic poetry written, recorded, then played back in reverse and recorded!
Playin in Reverse;
watch those animals fading away/their scent disappears/decay envelopes day/the night so still shall scare me/the man whose real eyes does see/rising higher from shackles here im higher.
see watch us rip/nice boy, good flip/now the song plays in reverse/a verse/or a muted note stuck in the girls throat
she struggles hard to release it/but it won't be dislodged./it can't be forgotten at what cost.../she says....
are you a servant/are you a sorcerer/she wants you to sing it/before all's forgot/hear watch your step, you could slip/call a sheriff try him out/say sheriff we're all lost and our hair is falling out/he knows air is now ceramic
it's our hair thats falling out/we snip at and spit out/man your a house spirit/and we know there's a sheriff in the room/hear its all you've heard/in space there is no room nothing left but a harmonic tune
effervescent child now/scalped what you didn't hock/snip snip fills our ears/hear the door was never locked/serendipity steals our care/there's a beat up girls face in the air/higher and higher she floats without a trace/her hair now ceramic not part of the race/she's scared while it shifts/not scarred as flesh rips
the sheriff won't help her now/he's tied down to sentiments of the knot now
are we just here from the not now/memory pains and all those remains/...is that you/scarred flesh within life's well spun mesh/sheriff says i serve this hell/i look beyond the rotting flesh he smells so well/the sheriffs nearer/the snip snip sound clearer/the skys all beat up ~ this guys all beat up/he's in a sad place lost and redundant a robot face/he's a spare servant/he's higher without it/i smile he's broken through it/...that snow cold box inner hell
so he's freer now without his face/the ceramic girl knows nothing exists in space/stay out retro singer your a colourfly passing by/walk to a beat now soldier/man what in the hell was that/hair of a spirit left knee deep graces a doormat
now play in reverse/watch the line, hear the verse/coming to an end is the beginning/dying living/a corpse still breathing air/and there's nothing left to say now/no words left to be said/a corpse creating hair/her bleeding eyes see with poetic stare/and its still her face while she fits there
stay down your gonna fall up/into the night and far beyond /a memory's reflection and echoes/see us float higher into space/like nitrous like notes/like death like we float/alice thats me sortid out/spun out no need to shout/as i drink from the higher appetite/through saliva sealed lips/mind turns blue into the night soul eclipse.
playin in reverse/watch the line/hear the verse/these are the secrets of the universe
lifes sentence/death born curse.
PS When bohemians put their crazy heads together strange things emerge. The pictures, if you're wondering, that accompany this piece are automatic ... A guy is released from a psych ward, purchases a pig's head and calls me. I then call a doctor, a photographer, a teacher and a chemist. We invade the location where some animators are working diligently ... we get a little intoxicated and proceed to work in the once fine, now rubble-delapidated Civic Theatre. We shoot to thrill ... if you're offended by these photos please remember what you digested last nite ... we just play with society's left overs! Mayhem OUT!
Whilst the Art Director is being scraped off our tranquil Perth streets by dominatrixes with penchants for blood, gauze and traction, life is ambling along quite low key for Mayhem - apart from a random hold up at the veterinary centre where I work it's been quite smooth sailing... Then you stop and think and think again. Yesterday I was shopping with my straight, cross-dressing friend, fighting off stares of uncomfortable lady shoppers who seem to believe womens' clothing is made for women...how novel, well mens' fashion shouldn't be so damn lame then. Not much else to report except perhaps the world is truly going to hell with all sorts of wars breaking out...doesn't curb the jet setting lifestyles of my best friends, Juliet who's living it up in Milan and Kris who's just landed in Mumbai. God bless them! The world may be falling apart, ants maybe falling into the cracks of the pavement but we're all still trucking! Heard an amazing interview on my journey to work yesterday with an artist from Lebanon, Mazen Kerbaj. He draws and plays the trumpet (with bombs in the background-ohhh the ambience) He says; "I have no problem with anyone, but generally disagree with everyone!" What a marvellous attitude, I share the same stream of consciousness. His blog deserves a link! Tomorrow there will be an adventure for adventures' sake...tonight we lay low, away from the dungeons and the wars. I raise my glass and salute... red wine. Mayhem Out.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Hi Mayhem it's Art Director. I was working hard on my spiritual development last Saturday, when all of a sudden I crashed my motorcycle hard into the armco barrier on the William Street horseshoe bridge. In rather spectacular fashion. I think it is a message from above. Someone up there is trying to tell me something. I think the message was delivered to me fairly clearly by Dave Rayner of the 650 Club. If you're going to see how fast you can go around a hairpin bend, said Dave, don't do it on a Yamaha XS 650.
I was abducted from the scene by a certain dominatrix named Mistress Callista, and taken back to her den in Mount Lawley. She charges $300 per hour for her services, double the going rate, to weed out the riffraff, she says. Her clients are accountants, lawyers, supreme court judges, you know, the straight dudes. Nothing sexual, she says, as she explains what she does to them. Sounds rather perverse to me. I met her biker boyfriend. They gave me a cup of sweet tea and chocolate, put colloidal silver on my wounds, and helped me get the mangled Yamaha twin home and round the back of my Harley Street address.
Inside the house, Mistress Callista was shouting at Jo19's big dog, Hunter S. Dogface. SIT DOWN YOU MONGREL!! she shouted repeatedly. After they left, Jo19 asked me what the shouting was all about. Oh, she's been spending too much time with supreme court judges, I explained.
Later I dropped my pants to show Jo19 and Maya the damage i had done to myself. They were horrified. They had never seen anything so swollen and engorged with blood. Thankfully, my thigh is getting better now.
I manage to hobble into court today for the first of my cameo appeareances. The judge is very lenient, understanding no doubt that I am a sensitive artistic type, (i.e. broke) and he fines me only $600 on ten counts. That's $60 each. Not bad. Speaking of counts, we must finish watching Andy Warhol's 'Blood for Dracula' as I think our Town of Vincent film should follow its stylistic lead.
Mistress Callista wants some photographs taken for her website. Professional work. What do you say, Mayhem? Is this a job we should take on? We do have our standards and reputation to consider.
Art Director out.
Monday, July 17, 2006
Mayhem is everywhere, thinks Art Director, reading her post. Tiger Temple - those Buddhists have got it going on. An exercise in co-existence with tigers. Tigers and Buddhists. I'm a Tiger, recalls Art Director. Chinese horrorscope. Art Director reflects on tigers, and on bees. Why don't the tigers eat the Buddhists? Cats aren't generally socially responsible creatures, they are too selfish, thinks Art Director. Whereas bees have a biologically inbuilt sense of social responsibility. If they use their sting, they die. Art Director wonders if people who sting other people would do so if they knew they would die. He thinks some of them probably would.
Earlier, Art Director gets down to the heartwood with Bushranger, sitting with him at the first camp on the Ngaanyatjarra to Walu walk in the Great Victoria Desert. Bushranger is initiated into the Yarnangu, and has been living on the lands for the past twenty years, married to a black woman. He is carving out "the mother of all nulla-nullas" from a thick bough of desert oak. The axes he carries are razor-sharp. Bushranger has placed himself in charge of camp security, following an incident earlier in the day.
That looks like the Samoan war club from 'The Curse of the Lono' by Hunter S. Thompson, says Art Director. Bushranger nods. Push that log further into the fire, he says. The conversation turns from fire to women. Women always look after their sons, says Bushranger. They can't always rely on their husbands, but they can always rely on their sons. You see it all the time. You think it's conscious behaviour, asks Art Director. Oh, it's conscious, all right, says Bushranger.
The incident earlier in the day brings up the subject of l'amour fou - crazy love. Have you ever seen spinifex burn, asks Bushranger. Yep, says Art Director. Yep, agrees Bushranger. They sit and brood awhile. A long silence. Intense heat, then - nothing, says Bushranger. Yep, says Art Director. People say, Art Director, they say, you can't have a relationship based on sex and drugs, it won't work. But it worked all right - like a firecracker. Yep, says Bushranger, his leather hat nodding back and forth. He shaves a few more slivers of wood off the nulla-nulla, getting down to the heartwood. Problem is I stayed in that show for another four years, says Art Director. You poor bastard, says Bushranger. Another long silence.
You know, the only people you can influence are your kids, says Bushranger. Friends, partners - forget it. Only your kids. Art Director looks at the fire. He pushes the logs further in. Yep, says Art Director. Only your kids.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Within a previous post you've seen yours truly Mz Mayhem being shot by the A.D with that pretty little stuffed kitty "Princess." Quite clearly you can see we've both been shot before...one of us came out of the shoot with a much less life changing experience...of course not implying that the Art Director is a poacher that would be obscene! He is of course a grand photographer and she was shot long before we came into the picture! Now you can quite clearly see the humbling difference between our darling "Princess" (a taxidermists delight) and this much more alive tiger kitty I decided to take my chances with and befriend out at Tiger Canyon in Thailand. Hmmm, thank god she's a Buddhist tiger or I would have been up for a bit of post photo shoot taxidermying myself. Well alls well that ends well. In fact, if truth be known I almost didn't leave there. A magnificent place, serene and beautiful, harmonically in tune and guided by the all inspiring Buddhist people who keep things flowing peacefully.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Art Director's two travelling companions drive him through arid, empty landscapes, morning into sunset. Past languid desert oaks. The only other vehicle they see is an old International Harvester ute, long abandoned and bleached to a powder blue. Its side is riddled with bulletholes. Photography seems the only option. Shoot, then back on the road.
Meanwhile, on TV, a young girl is being cut in half by a chainsaw.
Later in the day they stop briefly and the girls get out. Art Director photographs more spinifex. He is documenting the spinifex paper-making process for the WA Museum. Erin teaches spinifex paper making at Papulankutja, or Blackstone. Meanwhile, on TV, a naked woman screams and a giant bear-shaped monster smacks her head off. Her head flies out the window. (I am writing this biographic journal of Art Director as I catch up on watching TV. I haven't seen TV for two weeks. I am once again horrified.)
The girls get back in. Erin holds up a bag of sand. I got the sand from a camel's footprint, she beams. The whole footprint!
Was that the turnoff, she says further down the track. She turns the Scoobydoo around. Another track runs off in a more northerly direction; otherwise it looks identical to the one they are on. No signposts, of course. I thought there should be a particular tree stump here, says Erin. But I'm pretty sure this is it. They turn off. Their dust follows them into the Northern Territory.
They camp overnight near the Aboriginal settlement of Docker River. There are taps with fresh drinking water courtesy of the Great Artesian Basin underneath their feet. The fire is lit, and swags are used as pouffes until ready to roll out for the night. They create haikus, taking it in turns to come up with a line each.
Dingo pads softly
Moonlight on desert oak
And so on into the night. Art Director's thoughts turn to the film project. The submission is due by 25 July. It's a collaborative project with Mayhem for the Town of Vincent. Who Vincent is is anyone's guess. Unfortunately the deadline falls between his court appearances, so he needs to get onto it soon. He thinks perhaps a documentary on the 85 year old Italian mechanic in North Perth who is finally chucking in his ring spanners. He specialised in pre 1980 Fords.
Or a horror movie, The Curse of the Leopard Woman, about the transmigration of souls. Mayhem trapped in the body of a leopard. He knows Princess the Leopard can be hired from the Museum for only $10 a fortnight. What a bargain, he thinks. An echo effect on Mayhem's voice, over a close-up of the leopard's permanently stunned expression. Something like, O no, I am trapped in the body of a leopard. It's gold, thinks Art Director.
Art Director was introduced to Princess during a shoot for the Blue Room Theatre, and she has become a favourite of his. He wants to make Princess a star. Art Director thinks if he mounts Princess on a trolley with eccentric wheels at the front, she will look more like she is running when dragged across the set on a rope. She would trundle along in a see-saw motion, like a slow motion leopard in a David Attenborough nature documentary.
The body of Mayhem is, of course, taken over by the soul of the leopard, and wreaks havoc on butcher shops around the Town of Vincent.
Morning he sits in meditation. This is becoming a habit. He gets an inkling into what it must be like to belong to this country, for the country to be a part of him, a benign, benificient world. To walk around, live with it; live off it. Art Director thinks he may be going native.
Goodbyes are always hard. Art Director says goodbye to Dimity, see you later to Erin, and so long to the road. For now.
Art Director sits in a plane, high above the world. Planet Earth is blue, and there's nothing I can do, he thinks.
Sunday, July 09, 2006
Singing Rock rings like a bell. It is a big pile of musical rocks. You tap them; they chime. It's a wondrous thing. As Art Director comes up the beaten path, Erin and Dimity are sitting atop the red and black musical rock instrument. Dimity is smiling under her blue beanie. Erin is chiming the rocks. Apart from the sounds of smiling and chiming, the place is deafening in its quietude.
Art Director taps out a paradiddle. To the astonishment of the universe at large, he then sits atop the rocks, centres himself, sits quietly and begins to meditate. (I know what you are thinking. Art director? Meditate? Quiet? It just doesn't add up. But there are things about art director that you don't know, and he is yet to discover.)
In the middle distance, the road into Papulankutja is marked by a long line of orange dust. A vehicle at it's feathered tip speeds slowly across the vast yellowing lanscape. Locals are returning from the funeral at Warburton.
The deafening quietude fills his ears for some time. The girls then take turns to read prayers from the Baha'i. The sun sets behind the redblack rocks. The three sit very still for some time.
It's good, says Art Director finally. I feel spiritually refreshed. Beyond Singing Rock is a rock painting featuring a goanna. The story of Papulankutja involves magic men who, to play a trick on one other, turn themselves, coincidentally, and both at the same time, into goannas. When they see each other next, they don't recognise each other. Who is this goanna, they think. I don't recognise this goanna. Yet there is something strangely familiar. Papulankutja means just that. Something uncertain, but strangely familiar. Art Director surveys this landscape, these paintings with an eerie sense of papulankutja. The landscape feels like a homecoming.
The magic men are eventually killed, when through their hubris, they ignore the warnings of the women and interfere in Law.
He wonders if he too might have made a similar mistake.
Art Director its Mayhem! So relieved to learn of your survival in the outback desert of Australia, a fine place it sounds to be sure! The blog is looking great! The greatest blog in the history of the universe once we get it up and stylistically functionable with a few pretty pictures.
The nights plans are unconfirmed back in sunny Perth. Perhaps off to freo to have a little look-see-hear at some bands playing in The Next Big Thing. If not off to get merry at a gay engagement, followed by an ex-boyfriends girlfriends banana party (I hope others have been invited...I don't exactly know what a banana party entails... I'd better drug myself before just to ensure I'm ready for everything)
Well good luck with the dreams & hopefully I'll have a little road trip of my own to write about for the next installment. Yes, it's that time of the year and a convoy has been rounded up to pilgrimage down to picturesque Balingup. I will be there primarily to cover the scarecrow festival and secondarily to soak up the scenery. Within the article I will be exploring the magnificent life-like nature of the scarecrows when on hallucinogenic mushrooms...another feature of the town. I'll also be pursuing whether or not there is a taxidermist amongst the population of this quaint little south western town...perhaps the inspiration of the entire festival, who knows??They're not particularly fond of city folk as I have discovered in the past so I'll be sure to prize off my stilletto's & whack in the billy bob teeth for this one. My cohorts will be Skotling (who's been having recurring nightmares about being abducted by alians of late) and Ewan his friend (who has recently been told he is not of the human realm by a psychic). Should make for an interesting trip!!!
Friday, July 07, 2006
Mayhem, vet nurse and journalist, cares for the animals and plots the next excursion from the wilds of North Perth/Highgate. Meanwhile Art Director is in Blackstone, between Warburton and the SA border. In the deserts of Central Australia, yua, yua (yes). Learning some Ngaanyatjarra. He can, at least, spell it now without checking.
Art Director is driven down a back track with Linda of Kent, Erin of Papulankutja and her friend Dimity of Sydney. Plus two dogs and supplies. He is stashed in a cubbyhole behind the seats atop a swag. Art director is driven around 400km from the unmarked red dust track turnoff near Kata Tjuta (The Olgas - most likely named after two Swedish backpackers). Art Director falls asleep under a blanket of dogs for the last half of the trip. He has a signed permit to travel these aboriginal lands, populated also by camel, dingo and spinifex.
He makes paper from spinifex and prints digital images onto it. Plays football with the Yarnangu kids. Very funny. He falls down too much.
Chase me, they say. Why can't you run? they ask, as he runs as hard as he can.
Me old man, he says. Yua, yua, they laugh.
Art Director's Vision Quest is commenced. He has extremely vivid dreams on arrival in Blackstone, or Papulankutja.
Oh, didn't I warn you about dreams in Papulankutja? says Erin in the morning. Very violent, vivid and realistic.
No shit. Overnight, someone has tried to kill art director with half a brick.
Can you interpret dreams? he asks.
He gives her a brief precis of the dream, minus the naked bits.
Were you running away.
Of course. (He thinks perhaps it means he needs to learn more self-defence.)
It means you are running away from part of yourself, says Erin.
He shares a small building, the old clinic, with Erin and Dimity. He has the Art room there, and is free to play and write his journal. He is cheffing it up for them, and for his one meal a day. It's bizarre how Art Director can go somewhere (like the 2006 Alice Springs Beanie Festival for Yarn magazine) with an idea in mind (like a VISION QUEST) and then the idea just comes to fruition of it's own accord. He's out in the desert, paring down to fast (not completely yet, but this is the desert). The wide red steel-meshed door opens to a broad landscape, sunshine, and the odd dingo foraging for food. Erin, Dimity and Art Director drink coffee at the Morning University of Blackstone, the front verandah of the old clinic. Discuss ideas, throw about some etymological histories.
Art Director is off on a walk with the Papulankutja artists tomorrow. They're walking 70 odd km to somewhere or other to celebrate the 25th anniversary of something or other. That's why the 50 roo tails and 800kg of supplies day were brought in with Art Director the day before yesterday. He's been asked to photographically document the event. Art Director has a Standard Freelance Journalist Contract on the flash card of his Nikon, which travels with him wherever he goes, ready to print. What a genius.
And today there are these two amazing, intelligent and capable females, Dimity and Erin, who are taking him out at sunset to Singing Rock to help him in his Vision Quest. They're going to perform some kind of ceremony...(?) Art Director does not know what to expect.