Archive for March, 2008

Subvertising at the OK Cafe

Still from Subvertising at the OK Cafe

Still from Subvertising at the OK Cafe

Subvertising at the OK Cafe (4 mins 53 sec, 2002) is a short D.I.Y. video about subvertising and stencilling, which shows you how to create stencils from ordinary materials you can find at home.

I made this video about a subvertising and stencil graffiti workshop at the OK Cafe in Manchester in 2002. The OK Cafe was the name of an ongoing squatted social centre that moved from squat to squat over the years, run by different collectives. Workshops, parties and meetings etc. were held in this incarnation of the OK Cafe – an old pub near Deansgate.

Memorably, at one squat party (scene of my first ever dj set) there was only one toilet that worked upstairs, so another was constucted using an old-style red phonebooth and a bucket. Partygoers had to pop into the phonebooth just off the dancefloor to relieve themselves during the night. The party was really fun, my friend Alex pulled out a drumkit into the middle of the dancefloor for my set and drummed along to the tunes (a mixture of punk, riot grrl, electroclash and rnb as I recall). It was an all-girl d.j. night, my friend Hazel also played an amazing set the highlight of which was the crowd going wild to Joan Baez’s “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” and Jo Banana played a steamy set of northern soul.

Anyways, I digress, the workshop was by a couple of excellent local graphic and stencil artists who were also responsible for great political posters and whatnot. This video was made for BeyondTV, the video distro site I was working on at the time, played in the Melbourne Underground Film Festival in 2003.

For now you can view the video here.

Oceania Indymedia Newsreal

Still from the Oceania Indymedia Newsreal 3

Still from the Oceania Indymedia Newsreal 3


Oceania Indymedia Newsreal was a compilation of short, critical documentaries focusing on social and environmental issues in South East Asia, Australia and the Pacific. Distributed online and also on VCD, three editions were produced in 2003, 2004 and 2005 including pieces on Maori struggles in Aotearoa, East Timorese campaigning over Australia’s theft of oil in the Timor sea, life in the slums of Jakarta, climate change in the Pacific, Food not Bombs in Australia and much more.

I co-produced the Oceania Indymedia Newsreal with Tim Parish and Andrew Lowenthal in conjunction with Access News and EngageMedia, and did the motion-graphics and authoring for all three discs. This is one example from the newsreals, featuring a confronting and moving video “Through The Wire” about the 2002 breakout from the Woomera asylum-seeker detention centre, directed by the late video activist extraordinaire, Pip Starr.

More videos from the Oceania Indymedia Newsreal can be found here on EngageMedia.

Fervid Flipbook

Fervid Flipbook (10sec, 2008) pokes fun at the stereotypical imagery and predictable body-fascism found in a pile of old gay porn magazines of the 80s. Pornography is often somewhat lacking in humour itself, though there’s plenty of humour to be found.

A 10-second video produced/directed by me and Robbie MacEwan for a project run by the Tape Projects artist run initiative in 2008. Videos by various video artists are printed out as flipbooks to go with a 12″ record of locked grooves created by various sound artists.

Sound is by DJ Rainbow Ejaculation (Rank Sinatra / Victime de Mode / 7U? etc.) – “Carpet Cleaning Professionals”.

The Lock Groove Flip Book set was exhibited at the This Is Not Art festival in Sept/Oct 2008. Read a review by Dan MacKinlay of this amongst other shows, over at RealTime.

Lock Groove Flip Book Exhibition (Tape Projects) photo by Torunn Higgins
Lock Groove Flip Book Exhibition at TINA. Photo by Torunn Higgins

This screened recently as part of the excellent Esky video program in the Schmigloo at the Nextwave 2008 festival.

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