Monday, November 10, 2008

Research - 10th of November, 2008.

"... actually get a band, [a] band's much better than ipods. But then you gotta pay em, and they never want to tour, and you always get one guy in the band that you just wish was never in the band."

- Dan Deacon, on technology.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Michel Gondry (possibly) posts image, excitement ensues.

The business of being an Artist.


This Tuesday at Serial Space in Chippendale I have a new performance / installation opening as part of The business of being an Artist, curated by Katherine Byrne. The exhibition is an investigation by several artists of the effects of one's day-job on their artistic practice. Surprisingly this isn't as doom and gloom as it sounds, but obviously the enjoyment factor of an artist's particular line of paid employment has a lot of bearing on such matters. Having spent much of my time since beginning university as member of the retail sector my work, Productive Time Off (don't tell me it's a means to an end) reflects the inherent joys that go with it. With cardboard.

The opening kicks off around 6 (as these things) go. The performance will start at some point soon after, and conclude after I run out of cardboard. This may take a while, so being punctual may not be neccessary in this instance.


The Business of being an Artist

Featuring Artists: Ben Byrne, Rene Christen, Cameron Foster, Daniel Green,
Emily Morandini, William Noble, Beth Norling, Alex White

Curated by: Katherine Byrne

Opening: Tuesday 11th November, 2008 6-8pm
Exhibition: 12th-22nd November, 2008
Open: Wednesday - Saturday 12-6pm

Serial Space
33 Wellington St Chippendale

The portrait of the Artist, starving, frozen in his garret, suffering for his art is one of the more well known clichés but for all the dramatisations of the artist's plight, the reality is that the vast majority of practicing artists must balance their artistic life with a paid one. This often means electing to either live in relative comfort with full time paid work and struggle to find the time and energy to keep up their artistic practice. Or, to juggle various part time jobs to create the flexibility and time their art life demands leaving instead a struggle at times to make ends meet. The Business of being an Artist explores this dilemma and the different solutions artists adopt to manage these conflicting areas of their lives.

For this exhibition eight artists have been asked to create works which form the beginning of an exploration of the effects, both bad and good, that this daily balancing act has on their artistic practices. Each work is a self-reflexive exploration of the compromises these artists make each day to allow them to make the art they feel driven to create.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Spongebob is dying.


Over the last month a new installation of mine has been residing in the Vitrine space at Platform in Melbourne. The work, Spongebob is dying, explores a hypothetical reality where Spongebob Squarepants lies forgotten, ailing and on life-support in a run-down hospital ward. He is occasionally visitor a lone fan, who spends his time talking with Spongebob about adventures that have long passed in the recesses of time.

If for some reason you happen to be in Melbourne this afternoon between 3pm and 7pm, you can come and observe me visiting Spongebob in the final day of the installation. At a further point I'll go into more about the work, but for the immediate you can read the following description for more information:


Daniel Green
Spongebob is dying.
Performance-based installation

Platform - Vitrine
October 1st - October 30th, 2008

After a long and illustrious career, Spongebob Squarepants lies forgotten and ailing in palliative care. Th e only person willing to hear the tales of his adventures long gone is a fan who keeps vigil by his bedside. Through a television, the pairrevisit various heroics and escapades from Spongebob’s days on Bikini Bottom. His life-support system depends precariously on battery power and as the batteries fade the video begins to glitch. Despite all eff orts to sustain him by his
off sider, once the batteries lose power Spongebob is lost.

Spongebob is dying is a performance-based installation exploring the dialogue between ourselves, the things we use to entertain us, and the unintended plot developments that can result. Spongebob is dying will be performed on the 1st, 10th, 28th, 29th and 30th of October from 3pm.

Daniel Green is a Sydney based artist, performer, curator and terrible musician. He has Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) from the University of Western Sydney.

Wild animals.


It's comforting to know that you can be sitting in an airport departure lounge with hundreds of annoyed strangers, your flight having been delayed for an hour, and somehow - somewhere - there will be a live feed of a handler stroking a domesticated formerly wild feline broadcast across the nation on morning television.

Maybe Neil Postman has a point after all, if for no other reason than for being able to quote Henry David Thoreau: ' "We are eager to tunnel under the Atlanatic and bring the old world some weeks nearer to the new; but perchance the first news that will leak through into the broad flapping American ear will be that Princess Adelaide has the whooping cough." '*

[*Corrections on punctuation will be accepted.]

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Research - 1st of October, 2008.

[From the instruction manual of an Ikea 'Minnen' bed]


can become trapped between the bed and the wall. To avoid risk of serious injury the distance between the bed and the wall must always be less than 65 mm or more than 230 mm.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Today's new discovery.

It's about money.*

Who would've thought it?

[* yes yes it's about other things too.]

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Notes from a small island (that's being used for a large contemporary arts festival) - 17/08/08

"... pineapple ice cream! There's pineapple ice cream! There's pineapple ice cream! There's pineapple ice cream! There's pineapple ice cream! There's pineapple ice cream! There's pineapple ice cream! There's pineapple ice cream! There's pineapple ice cream! And vanilla ice cream! And vanilla ice cream! And vanilla ice cream! And vanilla ice cream!..."

- Unknown small boy.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

It's all been done before.


Currently exhibiting at Firstdraft in Surry Hills is It's all been done before, an exhibition curated by myself. I asked a group of people - comprised of artists, writers, curators and musicians - to create a cover version of their favourite artwork, the only restriction being that the work that results retains the title of the original piece.

The exhibition reveals insightful and in some cases surprising turns as the artists showcase those who have inspired them in their work. Conversely, in my role as curator, I reveal the work of those who interest me and the people who inspire and shape my own practice. It's all one great big love in, but hopefully a self-aware and self-reflexive love in at that.

The exhibition runs until Saturday the 16th of August, with Firstdraft being open from 12 - 6pm, Wednesday to Saturday. Should you feel that way inclined, there are talks with some of the artists and myself happening on Saturday the 16th at 4:30pm. Come along, it'll be swell.

Alternatively, if you like your artistic discourse to be of the louder variety you should come by the gallery this Friday [the 15th] from 6:30pm. There you will find The day the music died, an evening of reinterpretations of pop songs from some of Sydney's [and one of Melbourne's] greatest sonic misfits. As always quality is not guaranteed, but at least it will be entertaining. Full spiel follows shortly.


It's all been done before.

Ben Byrne
Anastasia Freeman
June Green
Michelle Jamieson
Peter Newman
Sean Rafferty

Curated by Daniel Green.

Opening 6th August, 6 – 8pm

Exhibition runs 6th – 16th August, 2008

Performance: The day the music died.
Friday 15th August, 6:30pm:

Peter Blamey
Samuel Bruce
Ben Byrne
Daniel Green and
The End of Everything
Thomas Knox Arnold
Peter Newman
Kusum Normoyle
Alex White and
Monika Brooks

Artist and Curator Talks: 16th August, 4.30pm

Gallery Hours: Wednesday to Saturday, 12 - 6pm


Curation is an everyday activity that when put on display can be considered one of the greater forms of vanity available to us as both artists and people. Through the act of curation, Daniel Green is displaying a collection of works by people who have influenced and inspired him. These works are in turn, covers of earlier works which have inspired the people who have inspired Green.

In a way, It’s all been done before is a grand scale exercise in honouring our source material. It is about doing more than just playing favourites; rather, asking why they are favourites in the first place and finding ways of re-presenting them to encourage others to consider what inspires them, what their ‘favourites’ are and explore the impact it has had in their lives.

It’s all been done before explores this challenging subject through a wide variety of mediums and artists, both those taking part in creating the covers and those being covered in the hope that you can consider what your sources are.



Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Seventeen... or maybe not.

If you know a man over the age of 80, and have grown tired of listening to them talk about how music was better in their day and that they could teach these young people a thing or two, their ship may be about to come in [for the record I am sorry to fall back on such an ordinary stereotype, but the point will be served I promise].

The Biennale of Sydney, a slightly large international arts festival held, well, every two years, is currently audtioning potential members for a punk band to serve a part of a work by artist
Christoph Büchel. The work, titled No Future, will involve said punk band publicly rehearsing and performing the song God Save The Queen by The Sex Pistols every day for the duration of the biennale [which runs from the 18th of June to the 7th of September]. The rationale I assume involves a connection with the band's rehearsal space on Sydney Harbour to Australia's convict past, whilst maintaining a slight sense of memento mori in a group of elderly gentlemen screaming the line "No future / No future / No future for you", but who knows, its art after all.

Whilst the thin connection to Australiana gives way to a work that potentially may be somewhat expolitative, I'm curious to see where this one goes [being someone who is quite interested in durational exercises in boring acts and all]. Should you know of a distinguished gentleman who may be keen to take part, direct them here. Never mind the lyrics; they're included on the site.

"An elegant weapon for a more civilized age..."

If you were to believe the myth, apparently when Nintendo unveiled their motion-sensing, remote-shaped controller for their Wii console in 2005, the world's collected fanboys all simultaneously muttered the word "lightsaber". Since the console's release in 2006, the nerds have been left wanting for a game to deliver on such a promise. Rest assured my friends, the end is sight.

Lucasarts, the game production house owned by George Lucas himself, is preparing for the release of The Force Unleashed, a Star Wars videogame coming out some time this year on any format that possibly stands to make money. The game apparently takes place during episodes III and IV, attempting to fill in part of the 20 year gap between Anakin Skywalker's emergence as a walking iron lung, and Luke Skywalker's teen angst somewhere on Tatooine.

But who cares? If you want to get your Mace Windu on, the Wii version has got you covered. The "duel mode" promises as much lightning-wielding, force-choking action as you can waggle out of your wiimote. There's video of it here, and be damned if it doesn't make the ten year old inside you burst with glee.

Of course if you can't wait til September and you have a macbook with an intel chip, there is always this. But keep in mind I take no responsibility for what happens to your $3000 laptop if you use it.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The inveitable post about 50 Cent in relation to what's wrong with the world today.

In the strange world that is entertainment, it’s not unusual for successful properties to be given unnecessary sequels or spin-offs of possibly dubious merit. Sometimes the original doesn’t even need to be any good for this to happen, it only need be bankable. This in itself could spawn quite the rant, but we'll save that for another day.

Thus we arrive at the newest videogame to feature to feature one Curtis James Jackson III, known to his friends as 50 Cent. For those unaware, 50’s last attempt at capturing the minds of Mario fans [and yes, I’m aware it never reached a Nintendo system, before you say it], 50 Cent: Bulletproof, was notorious for a lot of things, notably being banned in Australia [and later released in an edited form] and not being very good to begin with. This didn’t seem to matter, as the game has somehow enjoyed enough sales to justify a sequel, 50 Cent: Blood in the Sand.

Sounds epic doesn’t it? Like the eternal struggle between the east and west coast will finally be resolved… on a beach. Perhaps playing volleyball in a number of different outfits? Perhaps not, for you see intrepid reader the titular sand is Middle Eastern sand, of course. Aaron Blean, producer of Blood on the Sand, explains:

50 and G-Unit are putting on a sold-out performance somewhere in a fictional Middle Eastern setting. This is where the 'blood on the sand' comes in. They put on the performance; the people are pleased, but the concert promoter stiffs them and doesn't give 50 and G-Unit their payment… So, of course, 50 isn't going to leave until he gets paid, so he hassles the concert promoter, [saying] if he doesn't come up with the money now, there will be consequences. And instead, the promoter offers him a very valuable gift – something that's valuable to this particular country – a diamond encrusted skull...

So 50 gets the skull, and as he's about to leave this war-torn country, when they're ambushed and the skull is taken. They escape the ambush, but they're without the skull. So 50's motivated to get what belongs to him. So basically, throughout the game, he's trying to track these people down and find out who they are and why he was ambushed.

Of course he is. Now, I could proceed to describe how this particular entrant into cultural history is not going to do anyone any good, let alone the people who actually bother to play the game itself, but that much seems to be evident without needing anyone to point it out. But before anyone out there decides to jump to any conclusions accusing this potentially fine product of capitalising on sensitive political themes, rest assured, as the writer of the game “from Hollywood” is “one of the few Muslim writers in Hollywood”. I don’t know what mentioning that has to do with anything, but hey, now I can sleep at night.

It really annoys me that there are developers who are really trying to push the medium in interesting ways, and really try and make statements for right of decent [and heck, inoffensive] storytelling; putting forward that perhaps games aren’t just for kids mindless idiots, and this sort of thing slips through. Yet above else, the fictional setting, the crystal skull isn’t what annoys me most. I just want to see Fiddy actually put on a show in the middle east, fictitious nation or not. Going gun crazy afterwards, that’d just be a bonus.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

It's all very simple.

In one of those "it's my birthday but you get the presents" kind of moments, I would like to engage in you, the members of my blog republic, in an experiment. I would like you to send your postal address to the following email account:

In return, I will send you something in the mail. That's it. Call it a gift really.

And yes, it is my birthday so I can make all the bad puns I like.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Useful advice from Alexander Stainthorpe of South Australia.

"Am I surprised? Yeah, I'm surprised that... I get to go to the next level, because there is a real bias against fictional people. Especially with reality tv, because they want it to be really real, but I can connect, you know. There's some real moments here, even if I'm fictional, you gotta get over that."

(Belated) Australia Day resolution, 2008.



Build less barbeques.

Current adventures in pop music: "he scratches his beard"... then wonders what the hell is going on?

It's difficult to say whether or not the world needed a cover of The Sugarcubes' song Birthday by The Mars Volta, but we have one nonetheless. Stranger still [that says a lot considering pretty much everything to do with this song is somehow odd], it's somehow popped up as an "exclusive" on [admittedly I first stumbled across it via Pitchfork's forckast section but we won't split hairs]. Some digging around has discovered that the track is a bonus on the Japanese edition of their new album The Bedlam in Goliath. Score!

As far as it goes, despite The Mars Volta's leaning toward apocalyptic melodrama with guitars, their version of Birthday is painfully faithful. Cedric Bixler-Zavala isn't Bjork, but he knows this, choosing a series of electronic mumbles for the chorus as opposed to the original's proverbial primal scream. The overall result is strangely alluring, but I'm not really sure if it's any good. A friend of mine described it as "like an underwater elevator nightmare". Even with it's slightly negative slant, that's still the best description of the song I can offer.

The morbidly curious amongst you should proceed here. One thing's for sure; no matter how horrible you think it might be, it beats 30 Seconds To Mars' version of Bjork's Hunter by a long shot.

I know that reads like a cliffhanger, and you're going to want to know more, but trust me, just leave it alone.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Research - 7th of January, 2008.

" 'We go to highschool. We dig rock 'n' roll. We date and go to parties and yes, we sometimes neck but no, we never pet. We also fall in love and that really burns us up. Then we pass notes in class and don't eat and even cry at night. We also think coke and hamburgers are really neat. We wear sneakers, short shorts, highschool sweaters. The girls have ponytails and the boys are crew cut. Our parents can be kinda draggy at times but, gee whiz, they were young themselves once and they're only trying to do their best for us. Finally, we dig America. We think it's really peachy-keen.' "

- Nik Cohn, Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom: Pop From The Beginning.

Friday, January 04, 2008

(The things of 2007) Current adventures in pop music: (Grudgingly) Sharing the love.

Some may note that my first attempt to backtrack though the back log of my brains blog-related sector didn't end so well. In fact, it never really started enough for it to end badly. Nevertheless, in the interests of persistence and flogging the proverbial dead equine I am going to try this again. So over the next little period of time I'm going to through up the occasional tidbit left over from last years' notes. This won't make any chronological sense, but I feel that that we'll all be able to cope. That, and I like the name I've come up with for it, so that settles it then.

That's it. I'm not going to introduce the blog post you're about to read, that would be pointless. Really.


Discovering that someone else likes a band or artist you otherwise believedly were relatively obscure can be a bizarre and disarming experience. You initially feel excited and safe in the knowledge that there are other people as clever and enlightened as you are, but this can sometimes give way to pure unadulterated jealously. How dare someone else be in tune with your intimate knowledge of the underground's underground! Surely only I could possibly be aware of this sub-genre of electronic post-grime break step??? Ultimately though, this feeling and it's true implication is no different to walking down the street and seeing someone wearing a t shirt you also own; you initially feel that someone's been through your wardrobe, then you realise that Target probably sells clothes to people other than you.

My most recent reencounter with such a feeling occurred whilst reading the music section of the Sydney Morning Herald supplement Spectrum on the weekend of October the 15th, and discovering reviews for Jens Lekman's new album Night Falls Over Kortedala and The Pipettes' album We Are The Pipettes, which rated as album of the week.

I had been introduced to The Pipettes and their poptastic stylings by Katherine earlier in the year, and had become quite a fan since acquiring the album over the internets long before any sign of an Australian release. Essentially, the music is no different to the product of anything a hundred Phil Spectoresque girl groups have ever released. There's the harmonising over love gone wrong, love that's unrequited, and love that's in process. And of course, there's the Be-My-Baby drums. Can't forget those. There's also harmonising over one night stands, boys who won't leave girls alone, boys who don't get the point, and boys trying moves on girls to place them in uncompromising situations. The production is so on the mark, and the vocals so sweet and lulling that you initially don't notice, and you almost do a double take when you do. It's this complementing bitterness to the saccarine sweet melodies that makes The Pipettes really interesting. That, and it's great to dance to. I talked about this with Kate at the time, and how these contradictions in the music pretty much alienates them from an Australian audience. Who do you possibly market them to? It's too pop for alternative radio, and no where near family friendly enough for the pop charts. But there was the review, glowing at that, so someone obviously thought it was a good idea [this would be later reinforced by the fact the group toured at the end of last year, but we'll get to that another day].

As for Jens Lekman, this was the second occasion I'd been reminded that someone other than myself had heard of him. The first occurred in 2005, when he toured on the back of his first album When I Said I Wanted To Be Your Dog. Playing the Hopetoun Hotel on a Tuesday night, I expected a fairly quiet evening with the odd punter strolling through. By the time Lekman hit the stage, the gig had sold out, and the room was filled with adoring fans. That the gig was great needs no mention; there was audience participation [via egg shakers thrown to the crowd], and backup tracks provided by Lekman's laptop which he dubbed "The Party Machine". Gold stars all around. I managed to speak to Jens after the gig, telling him that I'd first discovered him by accident via the video for his song You Are The Light buried on a rage new year's special I'd taped earlier. I thought this would make a nice anecdote, instead he replied [very nicely] that a few people had told him the same thing. Despite all of this, a return trip [which saw him playing on a Sydney harbour cruise no less] and and year and a half of building a fan base, I still was amazed to see the write up for his second album. The album, whilst a little tougher to crack than the first, is wonderful. Bursting with bombastic samples, witty lyrics and melancholic romanticism [yes it's possible, and I'm standing by it], Lekman's meticulous construction of pop songs has improved greatly in the passing years.

Zuel, as the narrative structure of this post would have you believe, agrees with me. Pitchfork agrees with me too. Lots of people probably share similar opinions. And yet, there's something mildly heartbreaking about this. Moments quietly spend taking in the music in the realms of your private universe seem to have a lesser value when you consider when it's occupying other peoples' universes too. The fact that it's easy to torrent only reinforces this [insert moral stance about paying for music you like here]. But of course this is a ridiculous stance to maintain, as painful yet obvious a point as that is. Not only for the fact that if there's a greater fan base, this may lead to more great music, but for the equally wonderful moments to be had in sharing your great little discoveries with other unsuspecting pop tragics. The furthering of enlightenment, if you will.

And thus we arrive at a point where the interests of sharing for the sake of global musical consciousness and harmony throughout all human beings is reached. We all learn a valuable lesson, and continue with our lives in the exact same way nevertheless. At least, this post now makes some sort of contextual sense, so I'm happy with that.

Oh, and if someone actually comes up with "electronic post-grime breakstep", I totally want full wikipedia credits for the term.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Victory and multiplicity.



There was running, hiding, occasional terse phone calls and many misunderstandings. But I found you, thai chilli jam, yes indeed. Many people [alright maybe a couple but many sounds better] had shared with me my concern over the lack of easily locatable thai chilli jam, but I had yet to find any leads as to where such a thing could be located [and before you say it, prospective commentor, I tried Chinatown, I really did. I know I probably didn't try the little obscure shop you can rattle off from the top of your head, but try in a superficial manner I did]. Fortune struck upon a visit to stupidly fancy restaurant Longrain in Surry Hills. So stupidly fancy are these people that they produce their own condiments. And what a joyous thing it is people. I mean sure, it does cost twelve dollars for a jar of this stuff but you really can't put a price on such a thing. You see the paper bag in the first image? That comes with it. Score!

You might think this is a slightly odd item to kick off the year with, and perhaps it is. But I think it's important to start the year off with a win. You can apply this to your own lives boys and girls. The chilli jam you seek is out there somewhere. You only need to have lunch to find it. A word to the wise though, when informing the masses about your new found spiritual experience, stick to the delivery methods you're aware of. An attempt to post something about this late last year via a feature on my new mobile phone lead to an entirely new blog being created, and the phone wouldn't tell me where that is. Or what it's called. Or how to delete it. If someone out there somehow comes across it, please let me know.

And in case you're wondering, I'm having doubts about the chilli-jam-as-metaphor-for-what-your-life-lacking thing too. Perhaps it would be best if you provide your own motivational metaphors from here on in.