There have now been more than 500 views of this entire blog.

Eat your heart out Ms Huffington.

Reblog: Pretentiousness

Here’s Jana Perkovic???the guerrilla semiotician???discussing pretentiousness.


I am hoping she’ll sort out self-indulgence* for me next. Actually, I sound cynical, but I am not at all. I enjoyed Jana’s ‘taking back’ of the word, and her discussion of failure reminded me of Steve Paxton from Materials for the Spine:

I believe that the important work is accomplished in the multiple failures to accomplish the idealized form ??? tiny back-to-the-drawing-board moments between attempts. The dancer has tried and been found wanting. With this awareness they seek new approaches. And the real work and value of improvisation has begun.

* The grand-daddy of put-downs with respect to making work. But where are the lines? When does work cross over into indulgence? Is it about lacking in vulnerability? Or being too vulnerable? Help Jana help!

Steve’s palate

I’m a dancer. That means that when it comes to performance it’s my senses and the way I’ve trained my senses, I guess the fact that they can be trained at all, the storage of information to be released in performance. That is my palate. As though feelings were colours that could be mixed and liberated … liberated at the time of performance.

Steve Paxton, Material for the Spine: Sensation and senses: weight of sensation

Savvy artists taking the system for a ride


The strangest thing (other than a slight feeling of ‘success’ for being damned by a tabloid) is that funding bodies encourage the ‘double dipping’ across multiple funding bodies.

No mention (on the pdf) that “Inert” (wacky project) was funded by Arts Victoria in 2004 and 2006, and then by the City of Melbourne in 2008. That’s actually $40k AUD of public funds over 5 years of development, and involving 5+ different artists, 137 performances in Melbourne, and screenings of the film in Scotland, England and France. This might be considered value for money, but I hope I am not sounding too defensive!

The larger story is perhaps about how we devalue things that are not designed to make money, when perhaps (particularly given the wonderful display of stability and honesty in the ‘free market’ lately) endeavour that is not about profit or market should be prized.

I am involved in making performance and screen work because I believe it is meaningful; not in a world changing way, but with small, delicate (and often wobbly) steps. This is not so wacky.

Here’s Efva Lilja (again):

I sometimes get so dreadfully tired of the fact that significance is only assigned to that which fulfills some obvious function. As a result, art becomes aesthetics, entertainment, form … Function becomes synonymous with meaning, or with what can be explained.

(from Dance ??? For Better, For Worse, p.38)

Productivity is very much in focus when it comes to contemporary work for the stage, as are quantitative assessments based on the number of performances and the size of audiences. ‘Knocking out a hit show’ ??? the very idea impoverishes the content and blocks off possible paths to development. Performances become trade goods, adapted for the market. Work fast and simply and it will be cheap, which means many people can see it. But what will they see? What do you? (p.26).


By the way, Elizabeth just landed in Melbourne and happened across a copy of the Herald Sun (or The Hun as it is known there) that contained this expos??. And she thought she was getting away from me.


Why must everything be explained, or be possible to translate, why pick it all to bits???as though it were only a camouflage for something else? MADNESS. We hide too easily behind all the words.

Efva Lilja
Words on Dance, p.11.