Category Archives: agriculture

Trading Intangible Commodities

altruism maslow

The last time I flirted with permaculture (in late 2008), I got very excited about shit.

Having attended Milkwood’s intro to permaculture course, I raved to anyone who would listen, about the idea of recycling the energy which constitutes our own shit, to use it again and again – rather than flushing it away to a non-usable state out in the ocean somewhere.

However – besides an ongoing fascination with my compost heap (a way of recycling the energy in scrap foods and plant residues, but not shit) – my “human shit ambition” has been just sitting there, waiting for something to happen. I haven’t managed to crack how to use it within an urban context (not within the constraints of my rental tenancy situation anyway).
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The Great West Brunswick Goat Walk

goat pennant

Thursday morning, 6:55am – Bob The Goat trots into our goat-deprived lives, thanks to the power of good old fashioned broadcast radio. In all the excitement, I almost forget my commitment to the West Brunswick Sculpture Triennial. I’m supposed to make a pennant to commemorate the festival!

Friday night, 10:30pm – at Kylie and Damien’s place, Lisa and I set up a little fuzzy-felt sheltered pennant-making workshop. With sharp scissors flashing, the corner of my tongue sticking out of the side of my mouth, and the help of some stinky craft glue, I put together the goaty pennant you see hanging proudly alongside its buddies in the photo above. (The reverse side says, simply, BOB).

(I was quite pleased with this craftily constructed artwork, especially given that I only began making it just before midnight, and after consuming a few glasses of a very good wine Damien cracked open. However, I cannot take all the credit – a big shout out to this website, from which I pinched the basic goat-face formula…)

Saturday afternoon, 3:30pm – under the hanging pennants, at 135 Union Street, West Brunswick, a tribe of goat enthusiasts gather expectantly to await Bob’s arrival. We’re about to start the Great West Brunswick Goat Walk!
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Get my goat

[UPDATE: read a brief info about this project, GRUFFLING, here. Read a report from the Great West Brunswick Goat Walk here.]

goat husbandry book

I’ve always wanted to work with a goat. I don’t know why, I just like ’em. 14 years ago, my mate Mick and I bandied about a bunch of ideas about performing with goats (or rather, goats doing the performing for us). These were kinda agricultural demonstrations exploiting the inherent qualities of the goat – eating a perfect circle in the grass, parading about, that kind of thing. (This was not the first time Mickie and I had thought sculpturally about agriculture… We also once proposed growing a crop of wheat at the Gomboc Gallery Sculpture Park in Perth, high enough to totally obscure the view of the rusty sculptures which are so characteristic of that particular locale. Sadly, this idea never got off the ground).

Anyway… I was invited by the lovely Open Spatial Workshop (OSW) folks in Melbourne to participate in the West Brunswick Sculpture Triennial. This is a show which will take place over several weekends from late March 2009, in various backyards and sites around the Melbourne Suburb of West Brunswick.
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IASKA beginnings

Arrived in Kellerberrin late last week to begin a 2 month (April/May) residency with IASKA (International Art Space Kellerberrin Australia)… luckily I caught the launch of Kirsten Bradley (of Cicada)'s wonderful Saltmilk environment. Not sure what will pan out for me here in Keller, but a few things are shaping up in my mind:

-working with the quirky local newsletter "The Pipeline" (a photocopied A4 "zine" in which the contributors do their own design, it makes for a fabulous fluxus-like publication)…
-workshops with media students (13-14 year olds) in neighboring town Cunderdin to make some sort of collaborative project over the next month and a bit…
-new local blogging action including making my own rather than relying on blog-city…
-learning how to play chess (perhaps i will advertise in "The Pipeline" for a chess pardner…
-a big Expanded Cinema show at the end of the residency, including a mini-Aussie tour for the stunning Line Describing a Cone by Anthony McCall – (pictures here) – Perth Sydney and possibly Brisbane and Canberra…
-visits from all my wonderful Perth friends and family
-anything else you might care to suggest…