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.

29 March 2013


Today is Good Friday. 

Jesus of Nazareth aka Jesus The Christ aka 
The Word of God aka The Logos :

19 And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was Jesus Of Nazareth The King Of The Jews.
20 This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin.
21 Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews.
22 Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.

    -  King James Bible : Gospel of John 19, 19-22

 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

 someone looks at something ...



27 March 2013

Darkness into Beauty

Closing today, Darkness into Beauty by Tibetan artist Tenzing Rigdol at Rossi & Rossi, London.

Below are two images from the exhibition. To see the others click here.

 Premise #1, 2012
 75 x 50 cm (29 ½ x 19 ¾ in)

 detail : click image to see full image

  Alone, Exhausted and Waiting, 2012
  Collage-Silk brocade/scripture
  122 x 396 cm (48 x 156 in)

 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

 someone looks at something ...



23 March 2013

The Laverty Collection : Contemporary Australian Art

Selected works from The Laverty Collection go to auction tomorrow at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.

Among these, the final working drawing for this work now in the collection of the Art Gallery of Western Australia.

click image to enlarge 
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

 someone looks at something ...


It was first exhibited at Art Projects in 1983 - see exhibition invitation below - then in Vox Pop at the National Gallery of Victoria.

click image to enlarge 
 Here, for auction, is the final study.
  Peter Tyndall :  -1980-1983-  
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

 someone looks at something ...



22 March 2013

Archibald Prize Proves Popular with Public

Once again, the nation waits with baited breath

as the Trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW
prepare to announce

to bLOGOS/HA HA and other mass media
the winner of this year's Archibald Prize.

May I have the envelope, please.

 click image to enlarge
The winner of this year's Archibald Prize for portraiture is a vast and inclusive self-portrait by Theatre of the Actors of Regard, namely
A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
someone looks at something ...

19 March 2013


A PT ideogram _ FIAPCE
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something ...



18 March 2013

Only When I Larf


Blind man : "I love to paint."

Sighted man : "Oh, really."

Blind man : "I love to paint."

Sighted man :  "Oh, wow! Are you any good?"

Blind man : "I don't know."

Sighted man :  "Of course not."

exchange from Dinner For Shmucks (2010)
 click image to enlarge

 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

 someone looks at something ...



16 March 2013

Oh my God keep me from goin' lunatic!

Regarding the Will of the Ghost in the Machine
to FraMe & NaMe 
] and ShaMe (
At The Researchers research the research (VCA), 
after the opening white projection-space cometh the apparition of expectation, the opening default of every PowerPoint presentation :

Twas that very ghost wot added these 'ere improptu nominations. True dinks! 


Even a specific unnomination point, in the vicinity of...

Jacob's ladder...

click image to enlarge
... as sung by Peter Dawson.

Seven-six-eleven-five-nine-an'-twenty mile to-day
Four-eleven-seventeen-thirty-two the day before
(Boots-boots-boots-boots-movin' up an' down again!)
There's no discharge in the war!

Don't-don't-don't-don't-look at what's in front of you.
(Boots-boots-boots-boots-movin' up an' down again);
Men-men-men-men-men go mad with watchin' em,
An' there's no discharge in the war!

Try-try-try-try-to think o' something different
Oh-my-God-keep-me from goin' lunatic!
(Boots-boots-boots-boots-movin' up an' down again!)
There's no discharge in the war!

 from 'Boots : Infantry Columns" by Rudyard Kipling

Peter Dawson and Susie The Dog
on the occasion of the recording 

click the image to enlarge it
click here to sing along with the You Tube video

A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/  
someone looks at something ...




15 March 2013

Pay peanuts, make a monkey of yourself.

Did anyone else watch the inspirational address by Simon Crean, Federal Minister for the Arts, at the Canberra Press Club a few days ago? 

We asked this of a gathering of artists and arts researchers yesterday: puzzlement, no one. So often described as "long awaited", this launch over lunch of the first national cultural policy in twenty year, sparklingly entitled Creative Australia.

If you missed it too, our bLOGOS/HA HA arts reporter summarises the Minister's statement thus: Artists are at the centre of this nation, and creativity at its heart. Cheers all round! Many a beret flung into the air!

Back to earth, if you are a visual artist... 

This from yesterday's The Age :

Visual arts

Visual artists have been largely ignored in the federal government's national cultural policy, according to a peak lobby group.

The executive director of the National Association for the Visual Arts, Tamara Winikoff, said the bulk of new funding announced in the Creative Australia policy had gone to the performing arts.
''I think the disappointing thing is there's no comparable support to the substantial new money being allocated for the performing arts,'' she said.
Ms Winikoff said the policy had not taken up a decade-old finding in the Myer report on contemporary visual arts and craft that artists be paid when they lend work to a gallery or are commissioned to create a new work for an exhibition. NAVA estimates it would cost $3 million to pay artists the minimum standards in the industry code.
''We're disappointed that the modest request of $3 million a year has not been addressed,'' she said.
''It's chicken feed, one-tenth of what's given to the performing arts. Also it's a matter of respect. 
There's an understanding that everyone else will get paid. Why are artists expected to do it for love?''
Ms Winikoff said she would have liked to have seen reforms to tax, superannuation and social security to assist artists in setting up and running viable businesses.
She applauded the policy's support for arts in education, but said this was undermined by budget cuts to state-funded TAFE colleges in Victoria and NSW that had led to the cancellation of arts courses.

Andrew Taylor
click here to read full article

 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

 someone looks at something ...



14 March 2013

The researchers research the research.

click image to enlarge        
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

 someone looks at something ...



10 March 2013

China blames the Dalai Lama and the western media for a spate of horrific self immolations

As the Chinese Government bullies and buys (with iron ore in Australia, and by its influence on the overall world economy) silence and international compliance, their repression of the Tibetan people and culture continues apace.

As does the horror of the Tibetan protest response. Since 2009 there have been 107 Tibetan self- immolations in protest against the Chinese occupation.

Today, March 10 is observed as Tibetan Uprising Day, to commemorate the 1959 Tibetan uprising and to focus upon the continuing repressive presence of the People's Republic of China in Tibet.

Several days ago, ABC (Australia) journalist Stephen McDonell asked a question about the situation in Tibet at a public forum of the Chinese Parliament. This is the response, as recorded at the ABC Lateline website:

 click here to seen Lateline broadcast

Chinese Government officials have launched a blistering attack on the Dalai Lama and his allies, accusing them of orchestrating the wave of self-immolation suicides in the west of the country.


TONY JONES, PRESENTER: The Chinese Government's officials have launched a blistering attack on the Dalai Lama and his allies, accusing them of orchestrating the wave of self-immolation suicides in the west of the country.

Speaking at the National People's Congress, a leader from Sichuan Province also blamed the foreign media for drawing attention to the pro-Tibet protests.

Earlier this week, China sentenced three Tibetan monks to between 10 and 15 years in jail for supposedly inciting self-immolation protests.

China correspondent Stephen McDonell was at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing today, and a warning: this story contains disturbing images.

STEPHEN MCDONELL, REPORTER: The vast ethnic Tibetan regions in Western China are thousands of kilometres from Beijing.

Many Tibetans there want independence and over the past two years more than 100 have set themselves on fire to try and achieve it. They're mostly monks and the largest group come from Sichuan Province. So when the Sichuan delegation to the National People's Congress met, the ABC asked them why it is that in recent months the self-immolations have continued.

ZHANG DONGSHENG, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, SICHUAN PEOPLE'S CONGRESS (voiceover translation): You ask why these things keep happening, well it's linked to our long and fierce battle with the Dalai Lama clique.

These powerful Communist Party officials were impressed by the rousing attack on the Dalai Lama from their colleague.

ZHANG DONGSHENG (voiceover translation): Self-immolation is neither advocated nor permitted by Tibetan Buddhist teaching. Self-immolation is a sin. So I wonder how they learnt to do it. The Dalai clique taught them, for sure.


STEPHEN MCDONELL: With Tibetans still killing themselves in protest at Chinese government rule, this issue remains a constant source of embarrassment for the administration here. But the line it's worked out is that this is all the fault of outsiders - the Dalai Lama, his government in exile and now also foreign journalists.

ZHANG DONGSHENG (voiceover translation): When these things have happened, they've been hyped up by the foreign media and are used by enemy forces overseas to attack our party and our government.

STEPHEN MCDONELL: There's clearly no sign that Beijing is open to dialogue on this issue. Instead, the government has responded with a massive security crackdown in western regions.

- Stephen McDonell, Lateline.

 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something ...



05 March 2013


Long before the mighty Grinderman of Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Martyn Casey and Jim Sclavunos thrilled team bLOGOS at The Forum in Melbourne, the nineteenth and early twentieth century grindermen of Europe daily crankd and buskd their music machine theatrics (see below) to the street.
image courtesy : Theatre of the Actors of Regard  

Below is a drawing by Pierrot c.1900 from the recently re-organised archives of our Paris Bureau. The red pencil detail we reckon is an explanatory overlay, perhaps by one of the Slave Pianolas, perhaps by a sub-ed.

The scene records an official meeting between two former adversaries from the time of the Paris Commune (1871). One is now the mayor of Paris. The other was a friend of the late citizen Courbet, and involved with him in the push to re-locate the Vendome Column. Today he is the representative of the automaton artist collective Slave Pianolas.
Courbet as Samson. 
And is that the future mayor feeling threatened?          

Grinding his SklaveKlavier (in the Commune split, he sided with the Marxists over the Anarchists) the ancient communard demonstrates and advocates for the visionary proposal of the Slave Pianolas : 
for a grand architectural project for Paris, a 
Palace of the Peoples' Projections  

collection : FIAPCE
A project in the spirit of Eiffel and the Exposition Universelle of 1889

Central Dome of the Gallery des Machines
Exposition Universelle de Paris 1889 by Louis Beroud

... and of the more recent Exposition Universelle of 1900.

Exposition Universelle, 1900  

Palais de l`Électrique : The Palace of Electricity 

A project to realise to the limit, in one architecture, all of the extraordinary recent inventions of communication and display : electricity, telephone, wireless, recorded sound and cinema.

      collection : FIAPCE
On the drawing is written :

The mayor listens to the submission.
    "One more tale spinning mendicant," he thinks

And barely restrains his contempt.
    "Perhaps you should approach some more 
          deserving place,"  he suggests.

Ignorance will always out.  
     As he walks away, the old mayor calls back
          "...in a hundred years!".

collection : FIAPCE
"...in a hundred years!".
Time passes
In Melbourne and beyond, 
Percy Grainger comes and goes...

photo by Burnett Cross (1914-1996), New York 
Cross-Grainger Free Music experiment: 
“Sea Song” Sketch, three solovoxes, played by pianola roll, 
1950 Silver gelatin print.
Grainger Museum collection, University of Melbourne.
photo by Burnett Cross (1914-1996), New York Cross-Grainger Free Music experiment: 
Gliding tomes on whistle, notes on recorders, 
produced by holes and slits cut in paper rolls, 
February 1950 Silver gelatin print 
Grainger Museum collection, University of Melbourne.

The photos and captions above are from here
The final machine, uncompleted at the time of Grainger's death in 1961, was perhaps the most sophisticated. It too worked on the principle of a moving roll, but this time made of clear plastic. Here, a row of spotlights projected light beams through the plastic roll and onto an array of photocells, which in turn controlled the pitch of the oscillators. The familiar undulating shapes, so carefully cut into the paper rolls of the Kangaroo Pouch machine, could simply be painted onto the plastic roll with black ink. Moreover the circuitry for this machine was transistorised, lending a stability which could not be achieved with the use of valves.

Unfortunately, the machine was lost in transit between Grainger's home in White Plains and the Grainger Museum in Melbourne during the 1970s. Nor did Grainger have the chance to compose with this machine, so we can only speculate about the music he would have created on it.

This leaves us with something of an enigma. Although we can form a reasonably clear conception of Grainger's intentions, Free Music remains essentially an abstract, unrealised idea. Yet the implications of this idea point to nothing less than a total renovation of Western music; to far more radical concepts than Schoenberg's 12-tone method, for example.

Grainger's search for a means to realise Free Music was frustrated by a lack of substantial resources and by the limitations of available technology. Despite the recent advances in electronic instrument design, the question posed by Burnett Cross still bears some careful consideration: are the means of realising Free Music available today?
- extract from The Free Music Machines of Percy Grainger  
  by Rainer Linz
  NMA Publications (New Music Articles)
  full article here

1952 : The Kangaroo Pouch Free Music machine

     "...in a hundred years!".
Time passes
In Melbourne, a group of mendicant artist-musician SLAVE PIANOS approach the City of Melbourne with a renewal of this century project rightly dubbed The Reproducing Building : from Bauhas to GrinderHaus, a project for an ongoing son et lumière exposition at the Design Hub,  
RMIT University, Melbourne.
a moment from the sequence XENAKIS : EVRYALI
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

 someone looks at something ...