David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

30 October 2011


Today has been nominated as the birth day of our 7 billionth present human companion.

A few days ago, on the Science Show (ABC.Radio National), Paul Erlich, who in 1968 published the book The Population Bomb, claimed he was the 2 billionth human on Earth at the time of his birth in 1932. ( transcript here )

These statistics are necessarily approximate, but Erlich's own example, living from 2 billion to 7 billion in just 80 years, certainly illustrates.

A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

someone looks at something ...



In our two previous posts ( here and here ) canny regardists handled their apparitions of the void with white gloved care.

Today, we follow those same white gloves to a third beholding:
MM and the Golden Guillotine

A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

someone looks at something ...


29 October 2011

Head Bait used in Golden Guillotine


Regardism Trap Goes Snap!

A few head-line-hooks, and now the pic, from today's newspaper.
article here

Hmmm. Those gloves...

A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

someone looks at something ...


28 October 2011

By Royal Regard

In Perth yesterday, this winning performance by the Royal Australian Patron of Theatre of the Actors of Regard.

2011.10.27_QE2 regards signed footy
photo from here
A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

someone looks at something ...


25 October 2011

Sire, the peasants are revolting.

On the evening of Sept 12, 2000 your correspondent was standing with many others outside the fence around the World Economic Forum (Melbourne) when the police suddenly baton charged us.

Beating Up :
A Report on Police Batons and the News Media at the World Economic Forum, Melbourne, September 2000
( read article here )
by Dr. Bernard Barrett, Historian. Forwarded to the Office of the Ombudsman, Victoria, 15 November 2000

Investigation of police action at the World Economic Forum : Ombudsman's Report ( read Report here )

See videos here

Watching these videos and revisiting the media from that time shows how much there is in common between the attitudes and actions around the 2000 WEF/S11 protests and the OCCUPY protests now. For all the players, little has changed.

Melbourne's mayor, Robert Doyle, has described the Occupy Melbourne protesters as "self-righteous, narcissist, self-indulgent rabble''. It was he who sent the police against them. He who watched from the Town Hall (see photo below, from today's AGE article Doyle faces council row on eviction). As with the S11 protests, when then Labor State Premier Steve Bracks supported the actions of the police and denigrated the protesters, this time Liberal State Premier Ted Baillieu did the same, praising the police from the same set script. (And today the Baillieu Government has announced the police will receive the large pay increase they've been lobbying for.)

In response to our OCCUPY/OCCUPATION (Get a job!) blog (here), we were delighted this morning to receive from a reader the spot-on image of 'diverse stakeholders' shown below. On the weekend we were discussing with a young Melbourne artist the ongoing influence of the 1968 National Gallery of Victoria exhibition The Field. ('Groundbreaking' is how one website describes it.)

Theatre of the Actors of Regard

A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

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(Triumph of the Figure over The Field
after Tomasso Siciliano's
The Triumph of Christianity over Paganism

23 October 2011

OCCUPY MELBOURNE : Position Vacant _ DIRECTOR : National Gallery of Victoria

If you have what it takes to 'effectively connect with a diverse stakeholder base', this could be the right occupation for you.

Telephone : +61 3 9678 9600
or email : mel.search@ezi.net

Advertisement from today's weekend papers ( here )
click here to enlarge

Whereas, the wrong occupation...
Melbourne City Square, Friday
Media preoccupations overlooking real nature of protests
John Elder / The Sunday Age
October 23, 2011

A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

someone looks at something ...


18 October 2011

Crisis in Ngaba: A young Tibetan nun dies - Please act now

We are old enough here to recall seeing with profound shock, in the press and on TV during the VietNam/America war, South Vietnamese Buddhist monks self-immolating in political protest.

. . . .

In recent months we have received urgent reports from Tibet about Buddhist monks, and now a nun, self-immolating in protest against ongoing Chinese repression.
1. Ngaba Crisis Update :
Kirti Rinpoche speaks of self-immolations ;
death of two former Tibetan monks

The exiled head of Kirti monastery, Ngaba, where six monks have set fire to themselves since March, has spoken to the International Campaign for Tibet about their actions and his views on why Tibetan monks are choosing this new form of protest and sacrifice. Two monks who were taken to hospital after they set fire to themselves on October 7 have died.

Read the article here

2. Received from Australia Tibet Council :

I am writing from Dharamsala in India where I have come to attend a regional meeting of the International Tibet Network. Saddened and shocked, Tibetans and Tibet supporters here held a candle light vigil last Saturday as 19 year-old Norbu Damdul became the sixth monk from Kirti Monastery in Ngaba to set himself on fire in less than a fortnight.

Many of you have emailed Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, calling for an urgent Australian government statement on the monks of Kirti Monastery in Ngaba. Even as the crisis continues to escalate at the cost of more young lives in eastern Tibet, Australia has not taken a stand.

As Tibet support groups around the world ramp up their campaigns for their leaders to speak up, we need to increase our efforts to reach the Foreign Minister.

Yesterday as senior members of the Tibetan government-in-exile prepared to leave for New Delhi to organise a series of hunger strikes and rallies in a solidarity movement, yet another Tibetan took the most desperate measure of self-immolation. Tenzin Wangmo, from Mame Dechen Chokorling nunnery in Ngaba, called for freedom in Tibet and the return of the Dalai Lama after which she set herself alight. She was only 20 years old.

For the first time in the Tibetan resistance movement, a nun has burnt herself to death in her resolve to draw attention to the situation in Tibet and bring an end to the Chinese repression.

The loss of these young lives saddens and shocks Tibetans in exile and the Tibet supporters alike. However it is also the spirit of resistance of these Tibetans in Tibet that continues to inspire us all.

The Tibet movement's determination in finding a resolution for the Tibetans was palpable at the meeting here in Dharamsala, where I spent the last few days strategising campaigns with around 40 activists from Asia and Australia.

I urge you to join us today in putting direct pressure on the Australian government to play its part in delivering justice and freedom in Tibet.

In solidarity

Tsering Kyinzom
Australia Tibet Council
3. Please email Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd today and ask him to speak up for these young Tibetans (CLICK HERE)

A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

someone looks at something ...


15 October 2011

Society Notes

Last night's concert by The Regardists, part of the NGV season of Looking at looking, was well attended.

Below, from Label Music (after Mussorgsky)

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12 October 2011

eyes BLOCKED out

Over the past week there's been ongoing news about a 14 year old Australian boy in Bali charged with possession of a small amount of marijuana.

bLOGOS/HA HA is particularly interested in the first published photo of the boy in remand : the composition of the image and the strange etiquette of hiding the eyes with black rectangular blocks.

We first saw this image in The Australian print edition. It included another boy, not named, holding up, and presumably looking at, an iphone with illuminated screen. The screen appears too bright and out of focus for us to see what's pictured there. We surmise he is photographing the photographer photographing the Australian boy (and himself).

Bali boys_eyes blacked out_sRGB_400 copy

In this detail below, we note the mysterious balance of obscure rectangles : the unseen black blocked eyes and the over-bright rectangular screen.

Forensic enhancement of the screen reveals interference from our Label mind blocks. (see previous post here)

Bali boys_eyes blacked out_iPhone with label blocks_sRGB.400

Perhaps The Australian realised this, too. In their online edition they removed the revealing meta screen. (We appreciate the appropriateness of the accompanying ads for DRAWING LIFE : MATISSE @ GOMA.)

But again, image enhancement reveals the mind of the present viewer.

A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

someone looks at something ...


09 October 2011

emptyful labeLABELabel practice - A Praise to the Two Truths : Ethel Spowers / BLACK BATS / Melbourne

We've been researching the ground and lineage of local
umbrellatecture/umbratecture. In particular, that of Melbourne's BLACK BATS.

Ethel Spowers
born : 11 July 1890, South Yarra, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
- biography here -
died : 5 May 1947, East Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Thoughts of John Brack's similar scenes. From the stylized dark silhouette (a taxi driver, perhaps, somewhat like Brack's artist-observer figure) holding the car door open for the departing mother and child momentarily glimpsed amid the anonymous umbrella-ed mass; to the clockwork exit of Melbourne's impassive, faceless city slaves in Collins St, 5p.m. (1955); later recast in the comings and goings, the mass movement of cards and pencils.

One of this edition of prints is slated for auction later this year, in Melbourne of course.

bLOGOS/HA HA is always interested in matters of LABEL
rhymes with Babel

The particularities of the Label composed for a recent auction advertisement that illustrates this print are as follows :
(1890 -1947)


colour linocut

24.0 x 20.0 cm

edition 8/50

EST: $20,000 - 30,000

Compare this with the Label for this same (sic) image at
PRINTS AND PRINTMAKING : Australia Asia Pacific :
(for technical reasons it's given here without the two-column format of the original)
Primary Artist Ethel SPOWERS (1890 - 1947)
Title Wet afternoon.
Reference Coppel (1995), ES14
Date made 1929-30
Placemade1 Melbourne, Victoria, Australia,

Category Print
Technique linocut, printed in colour, from four blocks (grey, cobalt blue, reddish brown, emerald green)
Matrix size 24.3 x 20.4 cm (printed image)
Support buff oriental laid tissue paper
Support size 31.5 x 23.0 cm (sheet)
State published state
Impression 17/50
Edition edition of 50
Inscriptions 1 Signed and dated lower right below image in pencil, 'E.L. Spowers - 1930'. Titled lower left below image in pencil, 'Wet Afternoon' Inscribed lower left below image in pencil, '17/50'.
Described Street scene of crowd sheltering from rain under umbrellas, London.

Collection National Gallery of Australia
IRN 89799
Acc. No. 83.39
Method Director's allowance
Meeting title Meeting 8, 1982/83
Meeting date 7 March 1983
Provenance Purchased by the Australian National Gallery, from Garry Anderson Gallery, Sydney, 1983.
Credit line Purchased 1983
Context Australia

Creators SPOWERS, Ethel (1890 - 1947) Australian Female | artist

Here, by further comparison, is the standard bLOGOS/HA HA Black Label layout. BLACK BLOCKS for BLACK BATS.

When re-presented as words, the Title (including meta-Title) component of the above will be familiar to our regular regardists :
A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

someone looks at something ...


07 October 2011

Regardism is go!

Yesterday, Power to the People : Contemporary Conceptualism and the Object in Art opened at ACCA.
" ...the exhibition celebrates the role of the audience within this expanded field of art making... "

- from the ACCA website
Today, The Monthly arrives in the mail. From it falls a postcard advertisement for a new exhibition at the NGV.

LOOKING AT LOOKING : The Photographic Gaze
The act of photographing people involves a process of observation, scrutiny and looking. At times photographers remain detached and anonymous. Other times they are complicit, directing their subjects and encouraging specific actions and poses. Sometimes the gaze is returned, and sometimes it is denied. The power of the gaze can create complex relationships between the subject, the photographer and the audience.

From people observed in a crowd, to surveillance photographs from war zones, and images that ‘split’ our gaze, the exhibition will present the work of a range of photographers who have explored ideas of looking. It includes international and Australian photographs drawn from the NGV Collection, and features works by Brook Andrew, Chi Peng, Anne Ferran, Ashley Gilbertson, Charles Green and Lyndell Brown, Bill Henson, John Immig, Thomas Struth, and David Thomas.

- from the NGV website
The advert features the NGV 2008 purchase (with the assistance of the Bowness Family Fund for Contemporary Photography) of Thomas Struth's Pergamon Museum 1V, Berlin, 2001.

Here's the local version, not in the exhibition (reproduced without assistance) : Theatre of the Actors of Regard, National Gallery of Victoria, 1974.

A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

someone looks at something ...

(National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 1974)

LOOKING AT LOOKING : The Photographic Gaze begins while the NGV is already staging the similarly-named exhibition
10 ways to look at the past
. (See our post here.)

There was a time, not so long ago, when Art was all about the thing-in-itself and art for art's sake; when I don't know much about art but I know what I like was the default mockery of the Standard Ignorant Viewer; when illustrations of the thing-in-itself (usually a painthing) were cropped at the inner or outer edge of the frame, usually cropping the frame, and invariably excising the hanging wires, the wall, the floor, the source of illumination and always the observer.

Now, slowly slowly slowly...

Regardism is go!

Here's looking at you, kids...

A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

someone looks at something ...


06 October 2011

Power to the People

'Curated by Hannah Mathews, the exhibition celebrates the role of the audience within this expanded field of art making. In reconsidering the potentials for art outside the autonomous object, the exhibiting artists open up the conventional object/subject relationship to make room for the viewer to play a more performative role in the exhibition. This political shift, from precious object to engagement, implicates the audience more strongly in the work itself: art that continues to be fuelled by the power of the people.'
(from the ACCA website)

Power to the People
Contemporary Conceptualism and the Object in Art

ACCA : Australian Centre for Contemporary Art
6 October – 20 November 2011

Viewers become a work in progress

Dan Rule/The Age,
5 October 2011

Theatre of the Actors of Regard_Tableau &<span class=
A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

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01 October 2011


Earlier this week we received an envelope from France with a pair of black and white 1971 Dead Bird Regard stamps - L'Oiseau Mort, after Greuze. With red obliteration.

In a world where everything's a sign, and a sign for something else as well, it seemed surely a pointer to Saturday (Cats vs Magpies : AFL Grand Final, MCG Melbourne).

2011.10.01_Grand Final_Cats def, Magpies_stamp_L'Oiseau Mort_Greuze_B&W_sRGB_400

Geelong cheer squad banner raised as Cats goal in the first minute

Cats celebrate at Kardinia Park. (Catman centre)
photo: Joe Armao/The Age
Final score :
Geelong 18.11 (119) def. Collingwood 12.9 (81)

La jeune fille qui pleure son oiseau mort
painthing by Greuze
engraving by Gandon
stamp by France
The tears of a young Magpie barracker
translation by bLOGOS/HA HA
present regard by
A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

someone looks at something ...