May 24, 2010

finishing up

The semester is coming to an end, and with Melbourne Muse now up and running, I think our group has done a great job!

We've put up a heap of new content since last week (including an article on Next Wave's Dachshund UN that Annur and I both made it to on Saturday), and are making good use of our twitter feed. It's been heaps of fun writing about Melbourne's great art scene, and I think we'll try to keep Melbourne Muse alive beyond the conclusion of this subject..

One of the toughest things we've had to deal with throughout this project is creating a clear idea of who we're writing for. After much discussion we decided that Melbourne Muse is a site for emerging artists, who are also in fact ardent gallery visitors. So our content needs to speak to both the artist and the art-enthusiast! To address this, we have a variety of content for the artist (information on grants, figure drawing etc) and the art enthusiast (gallery listings, reviews, artist profiles, critiques etc). And of course the art enthusiast may decide to take up figure drawing, and the artist will most certainly be interested in the opening of a new gallery or an interview with one of their peers. It's this crossing of audiences and relevant information that makes for a vibrant cultural landscape, when the artistic community is made up of not just the artists, but the people interested in seeing the art and talking about it.

We hope Melbourne Muse will become a part of this exchange in Melbourne, making it richer and more accessible to people from all walks of life. Thanks for reading, and we'll be in touch!

May 17, 2010

getting better...

So Melbourne Muse has undergone a bit of design work, and it's looking pretty good if I don't say so myself :)

Also the content is coming along, if a tad slowly. I've just uploaded our first batch of gallery listings - there sure were a lot more than I expected! Melbourne is awesome!

We also have a brief spiel on our About page! (it just keeps on getting better!)

Another note on Melbourne's greatness - don't forget to check out the Next Wave festival, it's on now!!

May 12, 2010

the ever-improving melbourne muse!

This week we had a meeting with Sarah to run through where Melbourne Muse is headed..
it went ok, but we still have SO MUCH WORK TO DO!
(But on the plus side Annur has found us a pretty cool photo for our header!)

Content wise, I've been putting together some gallery listings this morning.. tedious tedious work! It's going to be hard to keep track of new galleries opening, and old ones closing, I think we'll have to work out a strategy to keep on top of changes. The most efficient way would be to build up our network, so that galleries contact us.. but I'm not sure how realistic that is? is also turning into a tricky site to bend into the shape we want. At the moment we're trying to sort out the best way to organise our content so that it's easy to navigate, and the connections between pages make sense! It's a bit of a challenge!

More to come..

May 10, 2010

re-visiting CRAWL

I've just registered to CRAWL - I want to see how this site works, and thought it would be useful to have insider access!

This site has so many people joining everyday, it's quite impressive..
also one key feature of this site is it's extensive and regularly updated 'current events' listing on the main page. I think this needs to be a key feature for melbourne muse as well.

Also I think we need to get a twitter feed going asap!

Ok more updates on my investigation to come soon.. :)

May 2, 2010

artist of the week!

Ilia Farah Rosli: Everything and nothing at the same time

Annur Yusuf

I'm standing in Ilia's kitchen, slouching over the kitchen bench as she makes me a cup of tea. I glance at the gigantic fruit bowl near the window, which supplies every common fruit imaginable. "We're a fruit house", she proclaims, "we eat a lot of fruit!".

Ilia at home

Recent works in Ilia's exhibition at Y3K have dealt with the organic and the natural, using materials such as fruit and vegetables. Her work, Brand new, a potato covered in fruit stickers, is an interesting exploration of notions of identity. She calls the conception of this work a "happy accident". She would bring a piece of fruit into class everyday, and with each fruit she'd collect the sticker. It thus became a "beautiful collection and I'd collect more and more stickers". Ilia decided to stick them all onto the potato, giving it a new identity, a multiplicity of generic labels which simultaneously recreated it. "It is everything and nothing at the same time", she explains.

Brand new, various fruit stickers, potato, 2009

Born in Geelong, and spending her childhood in Kuala Lumpur, Ilia's mixed upbringing is often reflected in notions of duality in her work, combinations of old and new, of formal and informal. She works with recycled materials far from the traditional artist's tools, giving them a second life. These objects are used to create monumental pieces, such as Play house, which was showcased at Bus Projects last month. Play house consists of a wooden door, a blow-up globe and a gym ball, balanced and integrated to create a massive sculpture. "I like dealing with things at hand", she says. "I like to operate with things as I go; it's a more fluid approach and this tends to be the most fun. I don't want to always try to justify materials and ideas beforehand because this makes it too academic."

Her most recent exhibition at Y3K utilises organic materials rather than recyclables. Ilia claims that organic materials are honest, "you drop them, they bruise, they smell nice when ripe, when they rot they're ready to throw out". In Time and a half, she divides a lime then pieces it back together using gaffa tape. By joining the segments in a slightly off kilter manner she is "disrupting their flow", and overtime the lime begins to look like a rotting lemon, and in a way becomes whole once again.

Time and a half, lime, gaffa tape, 2010

As I drink my cup of tea, I can't help but imagine the kind of art that will be constructed from the fruit in the communal fruit bowl. On the windowsill I see oddly shaped potatoes covered in plaster. "My housemates are getting used to me drawing on food and covering objects with feathers or plaster", she says. "No one has told me off, just yet!".

Apr 30, 2010

melbourne muse

Ok so we have a name --- Melbourne Muse (!)

Now I'm got to get onto putting together this interview feature that I'm working on!

I'll upload it to the site by tuesday! (I might upload it here as well)

Apr 23, 2010

hyper hyper link

This week in class we looked at hyperlinking

When navigating all these complex (!) questions we need to ask ourselves a few questions: 
  • how web savvy are our readers? (our links need to be just explanatory enough for whoever is reading) 
  • what links do they want? (we need to be sure to provide these, and then surprise them with a few more) 
  • what links are strategic for us? (how can we get our readers coming back for more, and how can we build up networks with the other people doing similar stuff as us?)

So, in relation to 'our site' (no we don't have a name for it yet, that's our homework for this week, any ideas are very much welcome!) we need to consider how our readers will be using it, what information they will expect to find, and what other content they would find useful. The answers to these questions should point us in the right direction. 

ps. Just an after thought - how do you feel about blogrolls? Useful, or a messy list you try to ignore? 

Apr 16, 2010

site content in progress--

I've managed to get a good start on writing a gallery feature on Utopian Slumps for our site. Utopian Slumps has had a fair amount of media coverage of late, having undergone some quite drastic changes. This previously not-for-profit gallery has recently moved from Collingwood to the CBD, the curator-owner Melissa Loughnan trying her hand at something a tad more commercial. The grand opening is tonight at 33 Guildford Lane!  

I'm also commissioning Annur to write an artist interview - we're going to have some pretty cool content!

Also Damien mentioned a good point in his post this week - who are we making this site for? Artists, or the public, or both? I think we originally wanted to create a community bringing the artists and the art-interested together. These two groups feed off each other, and to maximise the quantity and quality of our art in Melbourne, these two groups need to be connected. Communication and networking tools are going to be key in pulling this off, and I think we'll really need to carefully consider how we're going to make it work!

Apr 2, 2010


Our group is now official and we had a productive chat on tuesday, working out some details as to our site's content. We also went over some ideas for initial articles (assignment 2 being imminent) - lots to think about!

So, our team is: Annur, Damien, Stepanka and well, me.

The content (updated weekly):
  • Gallery listing by suburb
  • Events: Past exhibitions (reviews); Currently showing (details as to location/opening date and time/exhibiting period/artist etc); Upcoming shows (details as to location/opening date and time/exhibiting period/artist etc)
  • Community page: Artist classifieds (for anything and everything from organising group shows, finding studio spaces, selling/buying equipment); Forum for questions and answers
  • Interviews/Profiles (artists/galleries)
  • Art supply listings

To give you a better more web-appropriate idea, Damien has made a very cool site-map - this is what we're going for..

And now I guess we start writing..

Mar 26, 2010

new plans

So another week! 

Unfortunately plans to use dreamweaver to create out group website have been sidelined. We just don't have enough access to the program, so the next best thing to a real website is a blog-as-website. What does this mean? Well we'll be using wordpress to create our Melbourne emerging artist's repository. 

Meanwhile our first assignment is coming up, and it should help make the actual details of our presently fictional site more concrete. There are a number of things to consider before our group begins creating our blog-site, such as who is our audience and exactly what information void are we trying to fill for them. I think it will be valuable to include the entire artist run initiative (ARI) world, together with the world of the small independent gallery. Frequently updated content will also be crucial, and we will have to work out a system to track upcoming events so we don't miss a beat! The existing emerging/ avant-garde artist community in Melbourne is quite substantial and needs a thorough and dedicated resource to not only nurture links within it, but also to link it to the outside world and the potential audience that is presently often left in the dark.


Mar 19, 2010

some research & confusing html

Well this weeks class was interesting (vague I know - but I don't really want to elaborate on my deepening phobia of html) 

Enough said? Can I just skip to some cool art sites I've found now?


(I'll take that silence as a yes)

So... to my surprise there are actually a couple of interesting (good!) sites bringing together artist run initiatives across Australian cities.

Here are my pick of the best!

NUCA (Network of Un-collectable Artists) : not only do they have a cool name, but this blog/site claims to cover our entire nation (!), connecting artists and documenting/ promoting events. Although the last event covered is dated Nov 30th 2006...

"NUCA is a nation-wide affiliation connecting those who gravitate towards ephemeral projects, participatory experiences, illegal art actions, and activities that oddify everyday life. Some members make unwieldy installation projects, while others alter billboards, project images in abandoned spaces at night, or exchange ideas rather than objects. Some simply make dead ugly paintings that would never sell.

Because such artworks are often fiendishly tricky to document, they seldom grace the columns of “recognised” publications. NUCA is building a publicity machine of its own, so artists may exchange essential info about their activities, collaborate on new projects, and connect with Uncollectable others."

2. CRAWL : already this one has more going for it simple by appearing update! 
Again another nation-wide site showcasing artist run initiatives, events, interviews and advertising available grants and proposals for shows. What seems to hold this site together is its online community, acting as a fast-track networking service for members. Other features are a blog (regularly updated!) and a facebook page (!)

"Crawl was started in January 2007 by Nicholas Hudson-Ellis in response to a need within the Artist-Run-Initiative (ARI) community for a new type of arts organisation. An organisation that exists to promote ARIs and the artists who they exhibit.

In the world of the commercial art galleries, there is an abundance of press coverage and cash to go around. But within the ARI community, the very group of people who need the most support, and indeed who produce the most engaging and avant-garde work there is limited support.

The aim of Crawl is to provide a central resource for artists, students and anybody interested in the ARI community to find out what is happening in ARIs all around Australia."

Inspiring stuff no?

Well while Crawl is clearly brilliant, our groups slant is to be entirely dedicated to Melbourne (maybe extending throughout Victoria in the future). And of course it will be far better and more amazing on many other levels as well (these details still need to be decided on). I think we need to have a talk (Annur, Damien, when are you two free?)...

Mar 10, 2010

melbourne underground art

Exciting new things were learnt in class this week! (but I'm easily impressed by technology so this probably isn't saying much). Learning all about html etc etc (I'm still too ignorant to elaborate) is changing the way I think about online publishing. I can see this 'building a website' project being really rewarding, and well, really complicated and difficult at the same time. 

This week topics were mulled over, and it seems that there are quite a few interesting website ideas germinating. Our little group has decided to create a directory of sorts of Melbourne's underground art activity. We have such an active artist community here, but for anyone on the outside it's relatively hard to find out what's on, where new spaces are, where old spaces have moved to etc. The idea is to plot out 'art activity' in the city and also to create a forum where artists can post exhibition details and also link up with each other to organise group shows and share studio spaces. It's tough being an artist, and it'd be great to make it a bit easier for all the emerging artists in our city.

That's the thought - more details to come soon!

Mar 5, 2010

continuing on..

this blog will now stretch over from 2009 into 2010! welcome back!

so 2009... 

our publishing industry (well the good guys!) sighed with relief as the government decided to stick with our existing legislation concerning the parallel importation of books (!) 

we also welcomed the arrival of the Kindle (albeit with problems) 

and now we have the iBook... 

I guess the question is whether this year will see the old ways (read paper and ink) left behind as the worldwide publishing industry shifts online

It's going to be an interesting year...