How can you write a novel without killing it?
On this land that has, for many millennia, seen the flourishing of language upon language, and now finds itself home to a population of which almost 30 per cent were born overseas, translation is part of our national identity.
‘Do food bloggers realize how awful their recipe pages are?’ a Reddit user innocently enquires in a thread I stumble across while googling food blogs bad. ‘Do they take reader satisfaction into account?’ According to more than 600 replies, the answer is largely no.
Beware the funky murals
Yet increasingly murals are rolled out by local government with the aim of rapid redevelopment and gentrification of traditionally working-class areas... The broader function of officially sanctioned public art like this is to make a place more attractive to developers...and middle-class home buyers.
Cloak and swagger
There is a tension that I am trying to provoke – a back-and-forth between invitation and denial, visibility and invisibility, surface and depth – that arises in various ways throughout the work. It is in the presentation of the figure and its ‘lingering traces’, the cloak of costumes with their vibrant materiality, the seductively polished yet impenetrable terrain of the images.
From cream buns and vanilla slices to cheese-filled sausages and salad sandwiches, working-class culinary culture would not be the same without the lunch bar. Typically tucked away in a corner of the city’s suburban, industrial and commercial districts, lunch bars have sustained the work force with an array of no-frills fast food since the 1950s.
Cosy, all too cosy
I had such fun doing the project, which was sort of like organised yarn bombing... It was a project for a specific area, a swimming hole in a small town outside of Warrnambool, and I created floating waterlilies that went in the pond as well as birds and nests and things that went in the trees – about half-a-dozen pieces.
The pieces in this edition mine the social, cultural and emotional ramifications of our shifting relationship with reality: the power of deepfakes, the possibilities of AI-generated art, the changing face of cosmetic surgery, the performance of pornographic pleasure, the dangers of corporate greenwashing, the allure of conspiracy...
The future is hackable
Deepfakes point to a future that is simultaneously euphoric and apocalyptic: philosophers have positioned them as ‘an epistemic threat to democracy’, journalists have called them ‘the place where truth goes to die’, futurists have portrayed them as the digital harbinger of a mass ‘reality apathy’ in which even video will be a lie.
From Russia with love
The 'socialisation of women' narrative arose from journalistic innovations associated with the First World War. In response to an unprecedented demand for up-to-date news, the Australian press had embarked on rapid technological change. Editors installed steam- and rotary-powered printing machines, established distribution fleets of automobiles and trucks, and hooked up their newsrooms to telephone lines.
In the age of technological optimisation, we are equally as preoccupied with entertainment as we are with devoting leisure time to projects of self-actualisation. The contemporary success of art museums rests on their ability to compound the entertainment value of an amusement park with the promise of an educational experience.
Three years into my transition during the 2021 lockdowns, my online shopping habit became a full-blown addiction. One of the weirder things that I purchased was a petite crocheted penis and testicles, hand-stitched by a crafty ‘bear’ called Devon. Each package was made-to-order, so I could choose everything from the shaft length to colour and testicle size. I could’ve even added ball hair.
The trick that tells the truth
As subjects of late capitalism, we’ve become inured to the amoral cynicism inherent in relentless corporate marketing; yet both the good faith of our human nature and the susceptibility of our lizard brains ensure that we also remain receptive... In 2020, the disjunction between AGL’s public relations and the truth of the company’s business practices was highlighted and ridiculed in the public realm, ending in a court case of profound significance on Australia’s twisted road to belated action on climate change.