Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Yours truly Mayhem has returned! Yes I still exist within this mortal coil... and believe it or not I have multiplied like some bizarre coral creature to present you two Mels and yes we're both of the Scorpio description, rather similar in not only thought but appearance two ... strange days are these, now I can actually get away with talking in what sounds like third person and be in no fear of being whacked in a straight jacket, haa ha!!

Well, as always there's many a tale to be told, I emerged from the depths of some sort of prolonged derangement of the senses clutching smatterings of poetry, film clips and photographs only to share a few censored pieces of information which may or may not reveal anything about the excesses of life in the fast lane whilst careering down what can only be described at best as the Lost Hwy...or alternatively the Hwy to Hell. Under such circumstances it's very tricky to remember all that you may have possibly forgotten so whilst taking a pitstop to charge up the batteries and refuel (preferably with a neat scotch in hand) so I thought it best to touch base with Out of Range. A wise starting point to jog the mind if I do say so myself. Well, where would one begin? And where the hell will it all end? Someone once said life is about the journey not so much the final destination. I think that person had lost his or her marbles or was blatantly lying; it's like a ship without a rudder and we all know what happened to the Titanic (not that the rudder was the problem, it was the ice berg...and well its quietly cryptic but there's an analogy in that!)

Decisions have been made, wheels are in motion! It's official, it's off to Melbourne we go! Yes, the time has come to cross borders. Dan our camera man fled last week and we (the others) as the collective Mayhem Inc. are defecting from sunny Perth to join the likes of of the colourful and eternally inspiring others from the collective who left before us. This relocation is pending the completion of the Town of Vincent project ... unless of course we just take the money and run! No, that would be bad, obscene and very unprofessional, and A.D and I pride ourselves in our professionalism ... very serious folk we are ... everything to excess and like we concluded tonight fuck the rest! So what's been happening? Well I can't really say too much and certainly there will be no mentioning of names. The word criminy comes to mind but its all been internal, society at large has been left untouched, unharmed and only slightly shaken. Photos, shots, words that fall out, film clips, music, colour and general exploration that generally leaves you exhausted, drunk and on a curbside only to look up and find even though you're seeing double ... guess what? You were right! The only way to truly convey the two week lapse in journalism would be to make all your eyes bleed thought through a visionary spectacular of pictorial evidence and even then you wouldn't hear the soundtrack! I'll be hurtling some some pix into the blog, but not tonight. I have little energy, no broadband and am in dire need of sleep to gear up again for tomorrow's photoshoot antix with James. The weather forecast for the day is spectacular and the view from the edge is awe inspiring. Mayhem Out.

P.S. AD I promise I'll try not to be such a slack bitch and keep the blog morale high, though be warned....I'm heading over to MySpace and Deviant Art.Com in the very near future. Love your work as always, sweet dreams x

Saturday, August 26, 2006


Arthur Russell, Sunshine Bros, Kangaroo with All the Trimmings
Dub'n'ska outfit The Sunshine Brothers are off on tour. Poor Art will have to make his own dinner. No more succulent kangaroo roasts with pumpkin, sweet potato, and all the trimmings for a while. No more homemade apple'n'rhubarb crumble. Art's flatmate Jo19 is arguably an even better musician than he is a roaster of roos, and is, therefore, in high demand, particularly amongst the discerning clientéle of the Reggaetown Festival Cairns. That's Cairns, not Cannes, although here in Australia we pronounce it much the same. "Air yagarn mate oim orf to ken's for the festival." Early 2007 you will find Jo19 and band in the Big Apple recording their new album at the Dap King's studio on Broadway. And I'm sure they are going to require the services of a good photographer. Current Sunshine Brothers soundz Rebel Yellow out soon on Hubba Dubba.

Did you know Skywest have changed the Western Australian airline's name to Air Yagan, to honour of the famed black warrior of this state's occluded indigenous past, Yagan? They will now begin all inflight announcements with "Air Yagan."

Yagan's story is an interesting one. He was a man of great spirit. Escaping from the aboriginal prison colony on the holiday resort (well, it is these days, but i'm sure it was no picnic back then) of Rottnest, he swam 18km back to the mainland. After he was murdered by two white youths, whom he trusted, his skin was flayed from his body and his skull cut off and sent to England. Still under attack in the 21st century, Yagan's head is periodically cut off his statue on Heirrison Island by stupid twats who should know better. Read more about Yagan here.

Last week saw the opening of Arthur Russell's exhibition "Two Shades of Man" at Soto Café in Beaufort Street, Highgate. Arthur has been a respected figure on the Perth art scene for quite a few decades. I believe he is over eighty, but thought it impolite to enquire.

Soto Café owner David Barber brought some of Arthur's illustrations in when I was working at Code Red Art's imaging enterprise, Code Ice, in Brisbane Street. The drawings were small, A5 to A4 in size, but quite stunning. Some were black and white pen and ink sketches; nude figures amongst the rocks, others were in colour and more abstract in design. The drawings were recent, but reminiscent of the clean '60s aesthetic; the composition and design was clearly modernist, in spite of their being merely sketches rather than works of great scale and hubris. David and I set to work to fix that. "We can rebuild them, make them bigger than before. We have the technology." The original drawings were scanned extremely high res on a virtual drum scanner and output using archival inks and canvas on an Epson 9600 7 ink printer. I removed the texture of the original media from the scans, as canvas has its own texture, but kept the definition of the fine pen lines. Matching colour is tricky when using a different set of inks and media to the original but hey, that's the day job. The resulting canvasses were stretched onto thick stretcher bars and look quite stunning. Love your work, Arthur.

Speaking of Code Red Art, David Spencer's exhibition Finding Emily is on there until September 1. Spencer's colourful, grid-like works are pretty darn collectible. Described in Insite Magazine as an artist to collect under $5000. (Mind you, if i had that kind of money in a sock under the bed, i'd be the first plane out of here. Fuck art! Let's travel!)

Mr Russell's drawings are reproduced in editions of one only. While most sold on opening night, the show is on for a month. Have a squizz - i'm quite proud of my printing. Saturdays from 10-12 cinematographer Sebastian Craig and Art Director have an informal chess tournament at Soto. Come down for the best coffee in town and pit your wits. You feeling lucky, punk?

After the Russell opening, David Barber dragged Mayhem and i to Luxe Bar for some downright dangerous cocktails. It seems he has found us the perfect vehicle for our upcoming documentary on Rino, the 85 year old Sicilian mechanic, who will soon be hanging up his ring spanners for the last time. A '60s Ford Mustang, red leather interior; black duco. Did i mention Mayhem and i got the gig (and the five grand) to make a film for the Town of Vincent? No? More on that later...

We'll be back at Luxe on Wednesday, to cover the Cocktail Making Competition, which will be running concurrently with our own private Cocktail Drinking Competition.

As always, binge drink responsibly. AD out.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


"Pain is just weakness leaving the body." Thanks Jules, for that nugget.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


: suicide, 2:37, and the banal maelstrom of existence

"Suicide is a waste of time." - Art Director

Nonetheless, it's an option. Wherein lies its appeal? We asked Romanian writer and philosopher, Emile Cioran, for his thoughts. "A vernal annihilation, culmination rather than chasm, death dizzies us only to raise us all the more readily above our customary selves, with the same privilege as love's, to which it is related in more than one respect: both love and death, applying an explosive pressure upon the framework of our lives, disintegrate us, fortify us, ruin us by the distraction of plenitude." [E.M. Cioran, The Temptation to Exist] Thanks, Emile, that's clarified things a little.

Suicides are the lucky ones. This claim is made by Melody in Murali K Thalluri's film 2:37. Melody is stricken by all kinds of problems. But are problems directly proportional to suffering? The relativism of suffering is one of the themes of 2:37. Others include the usual teenage problems of incest, rape, drugs, homosexuality, wetting your pants in public, suicide, pressures of school, and the piano duet.

For someone who recently attempted suicide, director Murali K Thalluri has more zest than bag full of lemons. In question time after the preview screening of 2:37, i try to ask which antidepressants he recommends, as i need a new script. But they won't let me near the mike, the incestuous flickophiles.

Go see 2:37. Believe me, there's worse things you can do with your time.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Today's meeting with the Western Australian Premier went quite smoothly. The Hon Alan and i spoke in the boardroom for about two and a half hours on a wide range of subjects including Tornado Mayhem which hit Australind on the weekend, whether History is being properly taught in WA schools, native plant seed-collecting, the archaic WA liquor licensing laws, and the completely art-deco city of Napier. The Hon Alan introduced me to the State Treasurer as 'The Groovemeister'. I'm not sure where that one came from. Perhaps it was the combination of funky vintage shirt and rediculous italian glasses.


Following a recent comment i have decided to pursue some political stories for electricnerve. Like all good political journalists i start my research in the first available bar, the Hula Bula bar in the Perth CBD.

Here i find Jude of Bankwest wearing the late Mobutu Sese Soko's leopard-skin toque. It seems all Jude wants for her birthday is complete dominion over the Republic of Congo. I will vote for you, i say. You don't vote for dictators, she explains. I discover more about politics every day. I go to the bar to get a Shrunken Head.

After one Shrunken Head i feel ready to dance on the tables. After two, I elect myself Head of PR for Jude's campaign to become Dictator of the Democratic Republic of Zaire. Congo sounds too percussive, i point out. We drink and plot and drink some more. I devise a plan to meet and interview Alan, the Honourable Premier of Western Australia. I get on the mobile to his people and arrange an appointment for Tuesday at his headquarters in Governor Stirling Tower. I need to think of a few questions now. What are the real issues? Secession, i'm thinking. Western Australia has a long history of plotting to secede from the rest of the country. Just look at Prince Leonard and the Hutt River Province. Does Alan have any plans to become the first President of the Democratic Republic of Western Australia? The other question: what about the water issue? Is President Alan going to take any measures against Asian cafés that try to make Italian-style coffee? This is quite obviously a waste of perfectly good water. I take out my well-worn notebook and write. I shall not be afraid to ask the tough questions.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


The question on everybody's lips this week?
Will Mayhem be the next Dicovery of the Discovery Channel?

The multitalented electricnerve journalist has applied to be a Discovery Channel vlogger. I sat through the three minutes of video mayhem that she sent in (see previous post) and not only was it professional, but also very informative. For example, i never knew mandarins were quite so funny. In the hands of video presenter Mayhem, a simple mandarin has all the attributes of a rubber chicken.

Meanwhile, our loyal but mute following has been finding its voice. A few individuals have clicked on the 'comments' button, done a Jimi Hendrix, and provided us with some feedback. Others have expressed themselves more directly. I looked at your blog, said one reader in a recent phone conversation, and I found it to be a bit self-indulgent. Well, heaven forbid anyone should publish A SELF-INDULGENT BLOG! My giddy aunt.

Nevertheless, when all is said and done, the staff here at electricnerve do take criticism on board, and at the end of the day, may invoke changes in policy. (Don't you hate those clichéd phrases? I think anybody who uses the phrase "when all is said and done" should remain utterly mute thereafter. I mean, has it all been said and done or not? And "at the end of the day". Groan. The shirt-waving Socceroos hero John Aloisi summed it up perfectly, i think, when he said "If you're not motivated, it's just not worth getting out of bed at the end of the day." I suspect the same would be true even if you were motivated.)

So, the new electricnerve policy: No longer be content with mere self-indulgence. Seek to indulge EVERYONE!

Click 'comments'. Let us know your indulgences. What you would like the electricnerve journalists to do? We want to indulge our audience. Give us an assignment.

This week i visited my old stomping ground the pcp, where i lived for a time in a 4WD mitsubishi van parked in the studio. There was a shower, a kitchen, and a disabled toilet which I soon got functioning. (Why is it that about one in every three toilets you see around the place is disabled? What's wrong with plumbers these days?) Living at the Perth Centre for Photography there was always plenty of work to do. Electrical wiring, darkroom installation, painting, plumbing. Anyway, last Wednesday night was a bit of a bazgasht for me. Bazgasht is Iranian for 'return'. I haven't been at the pcp for quite some time. Not since the last time there were free drinks. And, quite serendipitously, the Iranian photographer Reza Jahan Panah had an exhibition on that night entitled "BAZGASHT - Return". Well imagine my surprise.

Curated by Shirin Jahan Panah, "Bazgasht" does not seek to reinvent the wheel in its photographic approach. Which is, ironically, a fresh approach. While experimental photography experiments on its audience, Reza's photography is old-school. It tells a story about the history and culture of Iran through detail and meditation. There are moving back-and-white portraits. Blue and yellow complementary colours permeate his colour work. There are architectural studies; landscapes. And always the detail.

Bazgasht is one of the few recent shows at pcp where i haven't had the urge to drink myself into a stupor to numb the pain. Some pcp exhibitions i just want to do an Oedipus and put out both my eyes. But not this show. Reza's work is mature and has depth. The exhibition is not just an excuse to play dress-ups, fool around with half-baked pseudo-academic notions, and have some dumb-ass party. Not to mention any recent shows in particular. Well, ok, if you insist. It's not a CRIME SCENE. It's not a NEMESIS. It's about the photography. For a change.

Until next time, i leave you with the words of the SBS soccer commentator guru Ralé Rasic: "Attitude is just a state of mind."