Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Mirror Worlds - Contemporary Video from Asia

Exhibition open to the public Friday 27 May - 10 July 2005
Tue - Sun: 11.00am - 6.00pm
Galleries One, Two and Foyer

Artists: Heman Chong and Corinna Kniffki (Singapore/Berlin), Junebum Park (Korea), Wit Pimkanchanapong (Thailand), Rashid Rana (Pakistan), Sharmila Samant (India), Chen Shaoxiong (China) and Kiran Subbaiah (India)

"Counter-terrorism, consumer subversion and visual mischief: Mirror Worlds presents the work of eight artists who reinvent the world and play havoc with reality.

Mirror Worlds offers a different world view. Selected from across Asia, the artists in this exhibition use video as an imaginative tool to engage with the contemporary condition. The exhibition invites its audience to interrogate the constant stream of moving-images we habitually turn to for news, entertainment and information. From the whimsical to the shocking to the complex, each artwork engages with contemporary life in a state of flux.

Provocative and fast-paced, Mirror Worlds introduces the video work of Asian artists rarely seen by Sydney audiences. While Korean artist Nam June Paik is credited alongside Andy Warhol with originating the artistic use of video, the broad emergence of video art in many parts of Asia is a relatively recent phenomenon. And though rigorous debate about contemporary approaches to the medium across Asia is only just beginning, the work itself is currently enjoying international exposure and success. This exhibition presents an opportunity to check-out some of the rising stars of video art from across the region.

Heman Chong and Corinna Kniffki (Singapore/Berlin)
In Divided Tonight, a young woman stands barricaded behind a counter stacked high with cigarettes and other neatly arranged consumer items. A single defiant gesture turns the scene to chaos.

Junebum Park (Korea)
Junebum Park makes witty, formal video vignettes, influenced by mime and Banraku puppet theatre. In 1 Parking, 15 Excavator and The Advertisement, the artist's hands loom larger than life over aerial views of urban cityscapes as he appears to manoeuvre pedestrians, vehicles and billboard signage in a clever exploitation of depth of field.

Wit Pimkanchanapong (Thailand)
In the series Still Animation, Wit Pimkanchanapong presents urban vistas in suspended animation. The buildings in his cityscapes appear to move as if they float on an undulating mass of water, endlessly shifting and repeating the same moments in time.

Rashid Rana (Pakistan)
In Ten Differences, Rashid Rana points a gun at his mirror images with bloody consequences. This mirrored video raises questions about who is ultimately targeted by arms-length practices of modern warfare.

Sharmila Samant (India)
In Dissonant Consumption we hear the sound of cutlery clinking, as if a huge dinner party is in progress. Later we see an extreme close-up of a woman attempting to eat by using the wrong implements. The futility of this exercise suggests the cultural specificity of certain practices.

Chen Shaoxiong (China)
In response to China's growing economic and political clout, Chen Shaoxiong's Anti Terrorism Variety depicts a series of fictitious airborne terrorist attacks - the invading aircraft appearing to be harmlessly deflected, erased or catapulted into space by the tall, versatile and elastic buildings in the artist's version of Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Kiran Subbaiah (India)
In Flight Rehearsals, Subbaiah humorously manipulates scale and gravity while narrating the story of a boy who wants to fly. Subbaiah's manipulation of in-camera special effects provides an insightful perspective on the contemporary human condition."

W: http://www.acp.au.com/exhibitions/current.php

How to make a Community of Practice work effectively - 2nd June

"WHAT: Imagine you are establishing Communities of Practice within a multi - national professional services company. You have meticulously planned the roll out, all the pieces are in place, all the resources you require, and.... It doesn't work!!! Come and learn, the easy way, about how to make a Community of Practice work effectively.

WHO: Jim Brown is the Director of Business Transformation at Hearts and Minds, a Customer Strategy and Research company...

WHEN: 5.30pm for 6pm, Thursday 2nd June 2005

WHERE: Standards Australia, 286 Sussex Street, Sydney NSW 2000. Call James on 0414 191 009 for after hours entry to the building


W: http://www.nsw-km-forum.org.au/wiki.pl?NextMeeting

Cutting Edge: Beating Vegas - 8.30pm tonight on SBS

"This documentary tells how a group of American college students created a way to the beat the casinos - legally. In this ultimate 'revenge of the nerds' tale the students used a mixture of strategy, theatre and sheer nerve as they lived every gamblers' fantasy and made millions of dollars.

In the early 1960s a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor devised a mathematical probability program for the game of blackjack. His calculations led to card counting - where players use a mathematical formula enabling them to predict the value of cards and place winning bets. In the 1990s, the competitive and mathematically brilliant students at MIT formed blackjack teams. Card counting is not illegal but casinos have the right to eject or ban anyone who may be a threat to their bankroll.

So through intensive practice sessions lasting months the students perfected the art of undetectable card counting and secret signalling to coordinate their playing and betting. The students also had to create credible identities as high rolling gamblers as once again they had to fool the casinos - in this case to convince them that the students were authentic clients with the money and personalities of big-betting clients.

One student pretended to be a Russian arms dealer and another used wigs and outfits to transform her identity. Meanwhile the casinos analysed their losses and realised, even though it represented a miniscule percentage of their profits, that someone was doing the inadmissible and 'beating the house'. From the US, in English)"

I have read or heard of this story before. Sounds like an interesting doco.

Source: http://www.ebroadcast.com.au

Monday, May 30, 2005

Crowded, polluted and a mess – the fix list for Sydney

This SMH article titled: 'Crowded, polluted and a mess – the fix list for Sydney' discusses numerous issues that need to be addressed in Sydney including the train system, water shortage, air pollution and more. The unreliability of the train system and the desperate need for improvements to the infrastructure is leading more and more commuters to use their cars, therefore leading to more problems.

W: http://www.smh.com.au/news/National/The-citys-fix-list/2005/05/29/1117305504228.html

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Seatguru - find the best seat on your next flight

The Seatguru website provides the seating plans for a number of airlines. You select the airline, then the plane type, then you can view a map of the good seats, and the not so good seats and why.

Useful resource - especially if you're in the air for a long time.

W: http://www.seatguru.com

Lucas Ihlein's Bilateral Kellerberrin blog

"bilateral kellerberrin is the blog of Lucas Ihlein’s residency in Kellerberrin.

Kellerberrin (population approx. 1200) is a small wheatbelt town located a few hours drive inland from Perth, Western Australia, during April and May 2005...

Each day during my residency, I sit down and write, from memory, about the events of the previous day: who I met, what they said, and what I saw or did. You can trace the developing relationships between myself and the people of Kellerberrin by visiting the keller dailies category..."

W: http://www.squatspace.com/bilateral

Saturday, May 28, 2005

52nd Sydney Film Festival 10 - 25 June

Themes include: Contemporary World Cinema, Indie Screen, Hong Kong Express, Visionary Film-makers, and New Argentine Cinema.

W: http://www.sydneyfilmfestival.org

Saturday Indesign - 23 July

This is a commercial event for architects and interior designers to visit suppliers' showrooms including furniture, lighting, fabrics, bathroomware etc.

W: http://www.saturdayindesign.com.au

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The Wellbeing Manifesto

Liked the ideas contained in this website.

W: http://www.wellbeingmanifesto.net

Freelancers sharing office space

This article titled: 'When the walls come down' talks about how some freelancers share office space so they can still have company and have a bit of an office environment, as people are generally social beings.

W: http://www.smh.com.au/news/Employment-News/When-the-walls-come-down/2005/05/20/1116533520389.html

Monday, May 23, 2005

David Suzuki and Peter Garrett at the Sydney Writers' Festival

So you want to change the world
Saturday, May 28 2005, 15:30 - 17:00
Sydney Theatre

Susan George, David Suzuki, Mark Kurlansky, Sonia Shah

Join David Suzuki, Susan George, Sonia Shah and Mark Kurlansky for an inspiring discussion about how grass roots campaigns (some with very humble beginnings), and determined individuals have changed the world.

Cost: $7/$5
Bookings 9250 1988

David Suzuki and Peter Garrett
Friday, May 27 2005, 18:30 - 20:00
Sydney Town Hall

David Suzuki, Peter Garrett

David Suzuki has been at the forefront of the environmental movement for decades - long before global warming made its way into our daily consciousness. David Suzuki, perhaps more than anyone else, has been responsible for bringing environmental issues to a broad global audience. He’s dedicated, hugely knowledgeable and totally inspiring. Tonight we find out what makes him tick and keeps him motivated. We also discover that it’s not all gloom and doom and that we can each make a difference to the health of our planet. David Suzuki will be in conversation with Peter Garrett, MP for Kingsford Smith.

Cost: $20/$15
Bookings: 9250 1988
Presented by NRMA Insurance

Peter was elected as the Labor Member for Kingsford Smith at the 2004 federal election. He is a member of the House of Representative Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and the Standing Committee on Communications, Information Technology and the Arts. Peter is widely known as a passionate advocate and campaigner on a range of contemporary Australian and global issues. He was the former president Australian Conservation Foundation , an activist, and former member Australian band Midnight Oil.

David Suzuki is an internationally renowned scientist and broadcaster, and has written over 40 books, including the bestselling Earth Time and The Sacred Balance. Suzuki is recognised as a world leader in sustainable ecology. His latest book, Tree: A Biography, tells the life story of a single Doughlas-fir tree. Suzuki lives in Vancouver.

W: http://www.swf.org.au

Nancy Pearl speaks at the Sydney Writers' Festival

Nancy Pearl: Calling All Librarians
Thursday, May 26 2005, 18:00 - 19:00
Sydney Theatre Richard Wherret

Seattle librarian Nancy Pearl talks about her love of books, the importance of libraries and why librarians are her favourite people in the world. A special event for librarians hosted by the City of Sydney.

The Librarian and the Action Doll
Thursday, May 26 2005, 11:30 - 12:30
SDC 2/3

Nancy Pearl, Angela Catterns (Chair)

She’s perhaps the only person in the world with her own action doll who’s not a flying superhero or a Barbie. Nancy Pearl has harnessed her passion for reading to inspire hundreds of thousands of Americans to delve into books. She’ll talk to Angela Catterns of 702 ABC Sydney about reading, her favourite books, riding bikes, Seattle and, of course, that action doll!

Nancy Pearl was the executive director of the Washington Centre for the Book for eleven years before retiring in 2004. Her bestseller, Book Lust, is the definitive collection of book reviews. Pearl is a cult figure among librarians and the US reading public for her 'bone deep' knowledge of books and contagious enthusiasm for reading.

W: http://www.swf.org.au

Interview with Caro Llewellyn on SMH site

SMH interviews Caro Llewellyn, Sydney Writers' Festival director in an article titled: 'Questions for Caro Llewellyn'.

W: http://www.smh.com.au/news/Books/Questions-for-Caro-Llewellyn/2005/05/15/1116095841136.html

Tusculum talks - Jones Bay Wharf and Designing for Density

"Tusculum talks
An exciting series of Monday night talks with members of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects (NSW).

Philip Vivian, Siobhan McInerney, Otto Cserhalmi and Alan Croker, the brains behind the Jones Bay Wharf project, winner of the RAIA 2004 Greenway Award for conservation, provide an insider’s view into one of Sydney's boldest redevelopments.

Bob Perry, as a director of Scott Carver – Architects & Planners, and of SCAPE – Landscape Architects – is currently designing many large mixed-use developments in Sydney that are a direct consequence of increased density. Bob believes that the citizens of Sydney, by virtue of our suburban lifestyles, are poorly equipped to deal with these issues and that we need a major reappraisal of our cultural prejudices towards it. He will advocate that dense cities are in fact better cities using examples of urban design concepts from Paris, Tokyo and Beijing from which Sydney can learn."

Museum of Sydney on the site of first Government House | 6pm – 8pm | General $20 RAIA & HHT Members $15 Conc $9 RAIA students free | Bookings essential T 02 8239 2211

W: http://www.hht.net.au/whats_on/events/lectures_and_talks

2005 Melbourne International Film Festival

It's on from 20 July till 7th August 2005. The program this year consists of the following sections/themes:

Animation Gallery
Australian Showcase
Backbeat: Music on Film
Brain Monkey Sushi
Cinema Argentino
Emergence: Women Filmmakers
Homelands Now: The Middle East in Focus
Horizons: New Chinese Cinema
International Panorama
New Europe: Visions from the Edge
Regional Focus
Short Films
Sliced Life: Fruit Chan
Special Events
Talking Pictures
Zero to Hero: Survival of the Fittest

W: http://www.melbournefilmfestival.com.au

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Back in Sydney

Been back in Sydney for a week now. Had a great trip. Great to just get away. Apart from seeing and experiencing lots of great things, you get the opportunity to have some thinking time away from home. Helps you plan, prioritise and think about new projects.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Stockholm IKEA

Heard that Stockholm has the biggest IKEA in Skarholmen. Just wanted to check it out to see if it was v.different in scale and feel. So caught the free IKEA bus from Regeringsgatan 13 and got to IKEA in about 20 minutes. There were about 5 levels. Have seen a lot of the items in the Rhodes store in Sydney. Not sure what I was expecting but the store wasn't that different to the ones in Sydney. The layout of the store was circular with the items in the middle and then the concept rooms on the outer ring. So you could walk around the concept rooms then go down a ramp to the items. There were a few cafes there too and the food was nice and cheap. Then caught the free bus into Central station.

Walked around in the afternoon enjoying the sun and then came across Ristorante Sewinto and it was a really great Italian restaurant. Had the lobster pasta in a tomato cream based sauce and it was really delicious. The tiramisu was really yummy too. The place was totally packed out and the prices were v.reasonable for Stockholm.

Walked around town yesterday and went into heaps of department stores and other shops to have a look around at the homewares, lighting, fashions, textiles, glassware etc. Found it much more expensive than Sydney overall. Some things had a larger range than what you may get in a Sydney department store but if you know what item you want, you can still pretty much get it from Sydney eg Paddington, Surry Hills etc.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Stockholm museums

Many of the museums in Stockholm are v.close to each other, in fact they're all kind of in a museum area. So today we visted the National Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Architecture Museum, Svensk Form which had a packaging exhibition on, and then went past the Kulturhuset Cultural Centre on the way back into town. The Museum of Modern Art and the Architecture Museum were on opp sides. I liked the Architecture Museum - high ceilings, v.nice displays with lots of models of the various buildings in Stockholm displayed on tables.

Heard that Grill was a hip and happening place to eat. They've themed the restaurant into numerous areas, almost each table had a different design theme associated with it but it worked. V.busy, buzzy place.

Went to SoFo yesterday - a bit like Surry Hills, Paddington, Newtown. There are lots of emerging fashion designers who have set up small shops in the area. So we walked a few blocks and saw heaps of really nice fashion and jewellery designs, some really nice bohemian type cafes, and vintage furniture and clothing shops.

Also went to DesignTorget - a design shop, Granit - homewares and stationery in shades of white, black, and grey, and visited a couple really great art, design bookshops as well.

Sunday, May 8, 2005


Arrived in Stockholm this afternoon. It's a cold city weatherwise, but the people are friendly and warm. Walked around Old Town - felt like The Rocks area in Sydney, lots of narrow, cobbled streets full of cafes, souvenir shops, clothing shops, ice-cream shops, art galleries and more. Went to the Ice-Gallery. That was really fun. You pay 50kr, ie about AU$10 and you put on this smock thing and enter an ice room made up like a room in the ice hotel in regional Sweden. Temperatures are -5 degrees in the room.

After that we walked around the city and walked around NK dept store. There are some cool Swedish glass and homewares to look at.

Went to Sally's Bar for an Italian dinner. The pasta and pizza was great! The diversity and quality of food in the cafes and restaurants here is v.high. Stockholm has a v.different feel to Copenhagen already.

Saturday, May 7, 2005

Copenhagen canal tour

Wanted to go on the Canal tour. It was worth it. It was a sunny day and so got a seat outside. On some parts of the tour, the water splashed onto us like rain. Filmed lots of the tour. The tour guide spoke in Danish, English and German for every sight. Ate at a cool Greek restaurant. It was packed at 3pm. It was a great buffet for the 39kr or approx $10 Australian and the food was great too. Had dinner at Riz Raz - vegetarian buffet this time for about $20 Australian. This place was also packed at 7pm. Have heard that this place is v.popular with uni students. Heard about both places from friends who live in Copenhagen. Found some cool designy homewares, clothing and fabric shops just walking around today. So that was really cool. Was tempted to buy this really cool mail box in red metal. But have resisted so far.

Friday, May 6, 2005

Copenhagen cultural sights

Went to the Dansk Design Centre the other day. They happened to have an exhibition of the Campana Brothers' work. I'm a big fan of their work and so loved the exhibit. Have seen some of the pieces before in Sydney. They had a special exhibition catalogue book so I got that too. They use recycled goods and local labour to create some really cool pieces of furniture. Love their philosophy and their furniture pieces. Took heaps of photos. The great thing about the museums in Copenhagen is that they actually let you take photos, unlike Sydney. They also had an exhibition of Eero Aarnio's chairs. Visitors were encouraged to sit in the chairs so that was great. I was trying out all the ball chairs. Kids who went to the exhibition would read the gallery blurb and say they want a Ball Chair in the future etc so it's a great way to educate people about design and to let them interact with the pieces, rather than treating the pieces like artworks to be viewed from a distance.

Also went to the Museum of Decorative or Fine Arts. Have to check on the exact name of the place. They had lots of glass art work and chairs, and Japanese and other artwork, furniture and chairs generally through the ages.

Have taken heaps of photos of the architecture of the place already!

Tried some great Danish food today and some great coffee at a place that was very Bohemian, grungey - a bit Glebe like.

Tuesday, May 3, 2005


Arrived in Copenhagen yesterday afternoon. The city feels a bit like Wellington, New Zealand - cold weatherwise, rainy, cosy, compact, arty, but more old European style of architecture, and feels like there's a lot of history and old style grandeur associated with the place compared to Sydney or Wellington.

Surprised at the prices though. It's been an expensive city to eat in so far. Got 2 coffees and 2 slices of pizza bread and a chocolate croissant and it cost approx $30 if you converted it back to Aussie dollars. It was a small bakery rather than a cafe or restaurant. Had some nice Vietnamese food tonight - Billy Kwong feel. Cost $75 for a duck curry with rice and bread, a beef noodle soup, and a liquer raspberry sorbet. Our friends told us that it is a very expensive city to eat in. Also visited some design shops including a few department stores, Georg Jensen, Royal Copenhagen and others.

Copenhagen is a much more relaxed feeling city. Great for taking it easy, chilling out, and just walking around leisurely.

Daikanyama and Roppongi Hills

Went to Daikanyama on Friday. It was pretty cool! It felt like Oxford St, Sydney. Lots of cool designy furniture, clothing shops. Spent the afternoon walking around there. Then on Saturday, checked out the Roppongi Hills area. Also went to Hibiya in the afternoon. Had a look at Muji - kind of like an Ikea store but selling pretty much everything from homewares to clothes of pretty good quality but Muji means no brand. The locals seem to get a lot of their goods from here because it's of a high quality at reasonable prices.