Monday, August 24, 2009

punks do it mushroom style

Last Saturday night, Ron Mann's excellent nature porn documentary KNOW YOUR MUSHROOMS played to a sold-out Red Rattler theatre as part of the Possible Worlds Canadian Film Festival. Big love to the Festivalists for inviting Punk Monk to throw together the installations for the evening. A playground like the Rattler is a treat for us, from its industrial warehouse street to its velvety lounge chairs.

On a day like last Saturday, you can find yourself on the floor of the Corner Shop studio cutting out giant fly agarics out of cardboard and covering them in alfoil while listening to Andy throw together an emergency psychadelic playlist. In the room next door people frantically fold lovingly complex zines, and the other Punks are out on wild mushroom chases and black light adventures.

Then somehow, by the time darkness falls, you have fantastical humans- most of whom you'd only met on the internet until they rocked up- turning an industrial streetscape into a glowstick accented circus fireball while video and liquid projections pulse from the road, past Clare's mushroom village textile explosion through to Michelle's experimental visual soundscape inside.

The images without Susie's watermark are Tanya Hoang's. The rest are courtesy of Susie Stavert. You can see some of Andy Finn's fine photography from Saturday on Victoria's blog awolmonk.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

how I almost forgot the round rainbow mirrors

One of the girls I live with has started a new tradition of buying a new CD for herself every sunday afternoon, and it's made me want to spend more time with my eyes closed.

When I first left home it was all about books and music. I spent whatever money I could pull together on books that I would stack up against my wall because I didn't have a bookcase. Everything else went on gigs and the CDs and tshirts to remember them by. I rarely buy CDs anymore, even though I do see quite a few gigs working at The Gaelic. These days a lot of my play time is spent in cinemas, screenings or in front of a television or computer screen watching the way people make their visions move. But DVDs just aren't all that beautiful (why is that?) and the tactile artifact of the CD, and the precious way she carries them from player to player, reminded me of my parent's record collection and the way they used to talk about the magic of record sleeves and the sensitivity of vinyl grooves. CDs used to be the soulless new development in music, but now that they're mostly compared against a single iTunes line on a flat screen, any touchable musical artifact seems antiquated and a little bit holy.

The upshot is that my flatmate's been sidetracking my cinema-centric mind, and I am totally benefiting from the influx of new tunes that are wafting down the staircase. Today she turned me on to her latest obsession, The Weepies. True to my latest evolution, I couldn't help but notice their adorable video clips.

While I was listening, my grandma popped up on google chat and started telling me about the eight whales her and my papa had just seen at the beach at the end of their street in Cudmirrah. While my papa ran back to their house to get the camera and grandma just hung out on the beach watching the whales, the bus from the old folks home pulled up. Grandma said that all the elderly people were so happy to see the creatures. It might have been the Weepie melodies, but there was something about that quiet, happy meeting of the whales, my not-so-old grandma and the bus full of ancients that has meant I haven't been able to stop smiling all morning.