13 October 2008

at the waterwall - soundtrack by patti smith


OMG OMG OMG! i seriously cant wait til thursday it's gunna be sooooooo friken AWSOME!!! cause we have the one and onley interval isnt that RADICAL!!!!!!!!!!! well if any of youse are going you are just as fricken lucky as me to go to EIGHTH BLACKBIRD WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!! PLUS it is going to music... apparently well anyway this ishaan telling you all how awsome thursday night is gunna be. peice out!!!

patti smith and the jury have a chat


ecstatic city


hello, everyone wat yo doing its harry here so yeah okay bye

the jury meets patti smith

ecstatic city

in the artist's lounge

waz up

hi everybody waz up i have a slurpeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee i like slurpees and cats. goodbye


The Oak Tree

The Oak Tree was a play by Tim Crouch and starring a different localish well-known actor who has no idea what they’re supposed to do. The play is about a hypnotist who has killed a young girl by accident with his car and his encounter with the girl’s anguished father who thinks he’s managed to transfer the girl’s soul into a tree. There was lots of contact with the audience, Tim often directly addressing the jury, which nicely opened the door for some additional comments from the young jurors. The kids were not convinced that the actor, a woman, had never participated before – I talked to her and it was true. It would have helped me and the kids if we had been familiar with her; in other places people like Mike Myers play the role. Formally, it had some really interesting stuff, but – if I may indulge in some subjective opinion – it climaxed with tears and soulful monologues delivered into the middle distance. What is it that actors are looking at out there?

Ecstatic City

Ecstatic City was a video installation in raised huts, which sat in the fountain outside the Arts Centre. Outside there was a projection of people flying and inside there were short videos, some by pros, some by students. The huts could just fit the jury, almost as if they were constructed with the jury in mind.

Patti Smith

Patti Smith had a photo show up at the Anna Schwarz gallery. It was about the death of her friend, the photographer Robert Maplethorpe. Patti liked the idea of the Children’s Choice Awards and asked to me them. So that’s what happened. She talked about her work, what it takes to be a rock star and cautioned against being a arrogant VIP (a problem some jury members are struggling with).


News Boys is a collaboration between Lone Twin and Suitcase Royale, the guys who are doing our fake paparazzi. Lone Twin wandered around Melbourne and collected stories about mundane day-to-day things. Red ball sits undisturbed in school year, man feels his life is dull, couple have an argument about whether to go out for dinner or dancing. Stuff like that. Then they printed these stories on broadsheets and Suitcase Royale acted like newsboys and distributed it. When the jury came by they also asked them about their lives – what did you have for breakfast, for ex – and then called those out as if they were the top of the news.

two-faced bastard

Two-Faced Bastard by Australia’s Chunky Move, was a show that happened on two sides of a curtain – one of those verticle blinds that can be altered so that you see through the slats. But it started off as a solid wall. On the other side there was a panel discussion about art by a bunch of artists who went through a few ideas around performance and the audience. On my side a woman danced. Gradually all the panelists left the panel and came over to dance. Then a bunch of stuff happened including: a guy searched for “Stephanie” but couldn’t find her and was abused by a sort of host of the show. It was absurdist – rational man in an irrational universe kind of thing. Then a bunch of other stuff happened. Lots of rigourous dancing, some choral speaking, a war, a little chicken girl and some kissing through a table. Then the audience was invited to sit on the other side. I declined. Then there was a robot. And then it was over. There was a Q&A where we learned that they developed the show over the course of two years, in chunks totaling 15 weeks.

i have the taste of an 11-year-old

So we’ve seen about seven things and I am somewhat astonished to find that the Jury’s rankings are identical to my own. What has garnered the most points is the same show I enjoyed the most, what is at the bottom also accords with my own feelings and everything in between is ordered exactly how I would order it. What does this mean? That I have the taste of an eleven-year-old, I guess.


One of the toughests aspects of organizing this and Haircuts by Children is managing to achieve some level of diversity. In Toronto we’ve managed to cultivate a great relationship with Parkdale Public School, getting to know a lot of the students and their families, so that we can call up kids and find a good mix of collaborators. We’ve put a lot of effort into this, picking kids up at their homes, dropping them off, inviting whole families over for dinner, taking them out on trips to the Science Centre, the Island and a zombie movie – a bad idea, btw, don’t ever do that. Zombie movies are FOR ADULTS. We also took a bunch to Misha Glouberman’s participatory sound performances. That was funny. The kids were so embarrassed to see a group of adults making random screeching noises that they were physically unable to stay in the room. Even little Sanath, clocking in at 8-years-old, declared the event to be ‘gay.’ And we understood him to mean the bad kind of gay, not the good kind and not the happy kind, which is more like the bad kind.

Here the festival hooked us up with the very mixed neighborhood of Footscray but, for some reason, it didn’t yield a diversity of participants. It’s hard to say why but, likely, the typical challenges confronting recent immigrants precluded a broad participation: over-worked parents, unfamiliarity with Australian cultural activities, language barriers etc.