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.

28 February 2013

The Reproducing Building

A project by SLAVE PIANOS  
intended for the Design Hub at RMIT University.
a moment from the sequence XENAKIS : EVRYALI

The following extracts are from the unsuccessful SLAVE PIANOS application to the City of Melbourne Public Art Commissions 2013
... a project by the art-music collective SLAVE PIANOS in collaboration with the architectural-art studio KRaK.
... to transform RMIT University’s architectural landmark The Design Hub (Sean Godsell and Peddle Thorpe Architects) into a towering keyboard and digitally scrolling piano roll.
... the glass cells of the building’s ‘second-skin’ on the southern and eastern walls will be internally illuminated. Computer controlled LEDs will animate a curated program of transcriptions of 20th century avant-garde art, architecture and experimental music.

... a mechanically operated grand piano inside the building will perform the transcriptions in real time. This ‘music’ will then be transmitted over FM bandwidth for radio access by anyone in proximity to the building.

a moment from the sequence XENAKIS : EVRYALI
bLOGOS/HA HA digs Conlon Nancarrow, Kraftwerk, Primitive Calculators, Ben Frost - Theory Of Machines ...
... Conlon Nancarrow argued that the piano roll is the perfect notation for musical temporal patterning, and is a representation that is not only capable of being immediately apprehended by untrained listeners, but which directly aids in ‘seeing’ musical structures that may otherwise remain ‘unheard’.

... In this sense the RMIT work would continue SLAVE PIANOS’ recent works where elaborate architectural and sculptural forms have provided physical and visual modes for communicating intricate musical and artistic ideas.
a moment from the sequence XENAKIS : EVRYALI
the 'reproducing building'
... the proposed work would, after having drawn attention to itself in an unsubtle manner derivative of advertising procedures, engage audiences at a more considered and indirect level by presenting a carefully curated 'exhibition' using the 'reproducing building' as display mechanism, and the 'reproducing piano' as auditory analogue.

a moment from the sequence XENAKIS : EVRYALI
... would elaborate a concise and coherent visual and musical argument, transferring acknowledged ‘masterworks’ from the rarefied atmospheres of the recital hall and university library (Xenakis' ‘Evryali’ and Tenney's ‘Spectral CANON for CONLON Nancarrow’) and the institutionalised public art gallery (Stella's ‘Black Painting’ and Tyndall's ‘Black Square Regarded by Members of the White Art Cult’) onto the ‘street’ and into a form and language familiar from advertising and computer games.
... the ground floor ‘piano control room’ will provide public access to detailed information about the work, housing scores, recordings, commentaries, working diagrams and archival materials.


Further sequences by James Tenney, Frank Stella and Sol LeWitt can be seen at slavepianos.org
                                                .  .  .  .  

From one Melbourne building  
(Art Projects, 566 Lonsdale Street ) 
to another
(Design Hub, Cnr Victoria and Swanston Streets) 


From a yellowing photograph of Peter Tyndall's exhibition at Art Projects in February 1980
to bLOGOS/HA HA here now

In the centre of the room is an exact model of the interior of the room. Same lino, same four light bulbs shining, same sash windows all at scale. 

Inside the meta-room is a meta-exhibition of Tyndall's dependent projection-space ideogram, shown as if turning through it's four revolutions - one right-angle turn for each of the four walls.

On the floor, in the centre of the meta-room model is a|the black square.
On the outside, the model room is supported some distance above the floor, just as Art Projects the gallery was at that time suspended three floors above the ground. (The building has since been demolished.) The gallery was accessible by a flight of stairs, the model by a fretted ladder. Same diff.

The overall exterior design of the object has the form of the Slave Guitar. This evolved from the Puppet Culture Framing System, as illustrated here.

The extended sub-Title of this Art Projects meta-work makes a mention of these Slave Guitar and Puppet Culture forms :
A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
someone looks at something …


Art Projects (A Gallery) 566 Lonsdale St. Melbourne
An Exhibition. February. 1980. (Painting, Sculpture, Conceptual Works)
The Fourth Room (The Third Room)
The Red Gallery/ The Blue Gallery/ The Yellow Gallery/ The Clear Vision Gallery

(The Red City/ The Blue City/ The Yellow City/ The Clear Vision City)
The Three Dimensional Guitar (Puppet Culture Framing System)
The Head (The Dream)

From the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, here is the  
thingo from 1979.
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

 someone looks at something ...


 (Puppet Culture Framing System)

24 February 2013

You decided this

What we need is a great big melting pot
Big enough to take the world and all it's got
And keep it stirring for a hundred years or more
And turn out coffee colored people by the score

Melting Pot (1969)
Blue Mink
This is what we need, you decided this  
What you say...oooo (x4) 

What We Need (2008)
DJ Wich featuring Glasses Malone and Lil Wayne

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


Title Song (Oh, I needed that!)  
Slave Guitars 

20 February 2013

PARTY TIME looks at the Chinese Communist Party.

Black Inc. Newsletter
February 2013

"This month we’re thrilled to publish Party Time by Rowan Callick, which looks at one of the most powerful institutions in the world: the Chinese Communist Party.

"Party Time is an essential and eye-opening account..." 

 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

 someone looks at something ...




19 February 2013

Groundbreaking art


someone looks at something...
  click image to enlarge 
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

 someone looks at something ...


17 February 2013

Break bread

      Vale Con  
                       nature photographer 
                           frame maker

 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

 someone looks at something ...



16 February 2013

The Debt Collection

We recently published an image reputedly from The Debt Collection.

You've asked for more information.

Not a lot is known. Twenty years ago, through a string of connections, we sought an interview with someone (anyone) from The Debt Collection. 

All that came back to us on that occasion was this 'blank' page with letterhead.

We tried again after your inquiries. This time a little more came back, albeit enigmatic.
                        click image to enlarge
One of our staff is interested in rebus messages. She suggested this might be one such. It is code...
     Those who are ignorant
             of Art|History 
      are DOOM to repeat it
Those who are knowledgeable
              of Art|History
       are FREE to repeat it
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

 someone looks at something ...



14 February 2013

100 Portraits For A Free Tibet

Today, 14 February is widely celebrated as Valentine's Day.
"St. Valentine's Day began as a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. The most popular martyrology associated with Saint Valentine was that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire..."

- from Wikipedia
Today, 14 February 2013, it feels like the story has turned another terrible full circle : news arrives of the 100th self-immolation by a Tibetan seeking freedom for Tibet :
This morning we received the sad news that the 100th self-immolation by a Tibetan living under Chinese rule has taken place. Lobsang Namgyal, a 37-year old Tibetan monk from Kirti Monastery, was known as a serious and exceptional scholar. He set light to himself and died in Dzoge on 3 February.

Due to the security clampdown in Tibet, this news only reached us, via the exiled Kirti monks, on 13 February, the same day that a young monk set light to himself in Nepal. The monk, who has not been named and whose status is unknown, staged his protest near Kathmandu's Boudhanath stupa on the third day of Losar (Tibetan New Year).
- Australia Tibet Council email 

CLICK HERE to view a (non-violent) 3 minute video of the 100. 

Here, from the video, a few of these portraits...

First, below, TenzinWangpo. We wrote about her on International Women's Day last year :
"Twenty-year-old Tenzin Wangmo, a nun at Dechen Chokorling near Ngaba town, called for religious freedom in Tibet and the return on the Dalai Lama as she set herself on fire outside of the nunnery. She died at the scene after less than 10 minutes. Sources have reported militarization intensified at Dechen Chokorling nunnery and the surrounding areas. She is the first woman to self-immolate in the history of Tibet."




 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

 someone looks at something ...



In further such news today, this report from SBS :
China blocks Aussie official's Tibet visit

14 FEB 2013, 2:03 PM - SOURCE: AAP

Foreign Minister Bob Carr says Australia's ambassador to China has had no luck getting Beijing's permission to visit Tibet.
Australia's top diplomat in China has been unable to win Beijing's permission to visit Tibet after almost a year of trying.
Foreign Minister Bob Carr announced in March 2012 that Ambassador Frances Adamson would seek to travel to Tibet to talk to locals and look into why a growing number of Tibetan pro-independence protesters were setting themselves on fire.
"Unfortunately I'm not able to share encouraging news," Senator Carr told a Senate estimates hearing in Canberra on Thursday.
Ms Adamson had made several requests but so far to no avail.
"I regret that I can't report progress," he said.


13 February 2013

O is for O


 ensO sOus rature
 reproduction courtesy : The Debt Collection

 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

 someone looks at something ...



12 February 2013

O is for ensO


Large Enso (Zen Circle)
Steven Addis translates the calligraphy above as
The image presents itself, 
nothing more. 
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

 someone looks at something ...



10 February 2013

Chinese New Year and Tibetan New Year 2013


                               One mOO


                China and Tibet

         fOr bOth Of whO

  The Year Of the Snake begins tOday

 SOZAN Genkyo
 Kanzan and Jittoku Pointing t0 the M00n
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

 someone looks at something ...

And ...

fOr thOse Of a meta-mind

fOr thOse with a view Of inter-dependence

fOr thOse whO incline alsO tO the causes
nOw is the mOment Of Our OurObOrOs
click image to enlarge
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

 someone looks at something ...

 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

 someone looks at something ...



07 February 2013


Ash suggests
We reply
Aye to that!  

Story Of An Eye (1998) by mOmus

   "But, sitting here in my eye-patch, I personally hope that the Prosthetic Age will be a lot more than Arnold Schwarzenegger and Pamela Anderson duetting, in the soundtrack to some Post Human blockbuster, 'Thanks for the mammaries... and the memories!' We need to get beyond this paradox of the super-normal, this normal-only-more-so thing of bigger muscles and bigger boobs.

When I get that replacement eye, it's going to look a lot more interesting, and do a lot more things, than the one I lost.

Maybe I'll get them to put it on the back of my head so I can watch the twentieth century slipping away."
    - click HERE to read Story Of An Eye

 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

 someone looks at something ...

Here is a scene from the controversial 1988 Melbourne production of stOry Of an eye as performed by the Operating Theatre of the Actors of Regard : in which...

 a crOss Of
 One cut + One lOOp Of knOtted thread 
 hOlds tOgether
 One eye 
 Of the wOrld
click cOsmOs tO enlarge image
And I'm in love with everyone who knows it's hard
To build a way of seeing
Who knows that nevertheless that's the only way
To flame into being

Yeah, I'm in love with everyone who knows it's hard

To build a way of seeing
Who knows that nevertheless that's the only way
To flame into being

- from Flame Into Being, mOmus (1987)

 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

 someone looks at something ...