on keeping track of it all

Sitting at Charles De Gaulle Airport, Paris. The flight to Torino, your final destination is 5 hours away. Plenty of time to kill.
You’re always nervous when you transfer at this airport, since when you were here once with plenty of time to waist, and still managed to loose your flight.
You had a window sit on the plane coming to Europe.
The night flight amplified the sense of crowding-ess. The sparkling cities down there went on forever,
descending on Paris you couldn’t see the end of the illuminated metropolis.

Posters for the incoming international Earth Hour got duplicated in a different language: English in Australia, French here.
Sure enough, and soon enough, you are going to see the Italian counterpart.
On the flight you divided your time between tetris, chess (which You’re afraid to say was a bit boring, as even the expert setting of the game was far too predictable), and films.
If it wasn’t for the occasional international flight you wouldn’t ever see the current blockbusters, You just don’t go to popular screenings.
So here you were, looking at a couple of Italian films (Mio fratello e’ figlio unico was quite good) and Australia.
What you got of the Buz Luhrmann’s epic were not comments on how good or bad Kidman’s acting was, you were far more fascinated buy the side caracters.
King George, the Aboriginal elder, was being portrayed with great respect.
Respect for the metaphysical connection with nature and esoterical phenomena.
“King George is teaching me how to sing magic”, said repeatedly the young half-cast boy.
Lurman (who wrote produced and directed the film) manage to instill in the script the essence of ancestral connection to the environment, such a far cry from Harry Potter’s wizardry.


Image from Varied Noisy, Rachel Ormella, 2008

During the week you had several conversations with other artists, friends, writers and even gallerists (even though they were the most shallow) about your practice.
The fact you won this scholarship put your argument in the spotlight, and other critical thinkers are now intrigued by weedyconnection.
Who, what, how and -mostly- why questions have been used to decipher your drive.
Raquel was very keen to find a philosophical placement, despite your objections. Bringing examples like the Myna Birds ‘plague’ in Camberra, she probed your motives: “What would you do in such a situation, where an introduced species population blow-up to such proportions and aggressiveness to de-facto create an aviary monoculture.
Over and over again you sneaked out of conceptual corners explaining that you are not a conservationist or an acclimatiser, you do not advocate for or against darwinism. You just want to acknowledge reality.

Lucas decided at the end of a great chat (which he recorded for post-Lempriere assessment, he says) that the best way to describe what and where you’re at with Weedyconnection could be compared to the modus-operandi of Socrates.
The ancient philosopher used debate as the building material for investigations.
So much that no resolution was presented as statement, but rather as a progression of questions and confrontations.
In his famous “Dialogues“, Plato -himself student of Socrates- present the practice of the master of rambling presentation of uncertainties, which frame a philosophical standing based on negotiations, and open ended.

So there you are Raquel.

More happened too.
Hopefully it will get recorded.

About info

Diego Bonetto is a multimedia artist living and practicing in Sydney, Australia, and is a key member of artists' collectives SquatSpace and the BigFAGPress. -The SquatSpace collective has been producing ground-breaking events and projects since 2000. The group has been curated in a number of shows both in Australia and overseas. The current initiatives, the Redfern-Waterloo Tour of beauty (www.squatspace.com/redfern) tackle issues of social representation and the politics of space generated by gentrification. -The BigFagPress (BFP) is a publishing facility housed in Wooloomooloo, Sydney. The BFP is a salvaged 4-tonnes Off-set proof press. The press allows for the creation of countless artworks by keen printmakers and self-started publishers. www.bigfagpress.org Diego has also been working with WeedyConnection, an environmental art campaign. The project involves an online resource (www.weedyconnection.com), short documentary films, cooking shows, blogs, installations, prints, facebook interventions and various site-specific installations in the form of self-guided tours. WeedyConnection tackle the anthropocentric view of what environment should look like. Based on research and data provided by disciplines as far apart as biology, anthropology, paloenthology, social ecology and ethno botany it formulates ethical questions about cultural representation in times of environmental urgency.
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4 Responses to on keeping track of it all

  1. Sam H says:

    Hi Nobody ,

    I have a friend invited to the Firenze Bienale. Will you still be in Italia in September. He would love to go to the school , institute where you are placed.

    Sam H

  2. info says:

    sure sam,
    i’ve sent you an email with details

    nbdy

  3. raquel says:

    hello Diego,

    My name is Raquel not Rachel- please change when you get a chance. thanks for including an image of my work.

    My questions to you where more about now you image yourself as an artist in relation to your philosophical ramblings- how does the “reality” of you as an artist enacting certain propositions or posing certain questions affect teh reception of the informtion you are presenting or gathering. I think the acknowledgement that you can not have a clear position because this would turn your work too quickly into propaganda or just information and not art, is one way by which you think of yourself as an artist- as a kind of “reality” agitator, no?

  4. info says:

    Thanks Raquel, and sorry bout the name, i’ve changed it.
    So, first of all i would like to chuck in the pot the social agency which “arttistic immunity” has.
    By “artistic immunity” i refer to the freedom artists have of talking and tackling certain issues (even with graphic details otherwise banned from public consumption, see Bill Henson controversy as example).
    Somewhat, in the current societal settings, as artist we can avail ourselves of an immunity seldom granted to any other cultural worker.
    The reception of the proposed argument , on the other hand, hardly ever gets out of the artistic circle, yet, when the work do have strong propositions and/or graphic/aesthetic value, it does get out, and by its own account becomes the agent for discussion.
    The fact that I do not have a clear position is more related to my lack of resolution, lack of conclusion (still looking for it, if there is any), rather then a clear artistic goal.
    I do what i do because i need to get it out; i call it art and argue from an artistic pulpit because i found i had a forum; i do not lock myself in any clear statement because i’m not ready, and, anyway, i despise absolutism, in a absolutist way.
    uhmm
    how’s that for a start?

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