Thursday, October 23, 2014

another Lower Bar Collective event

Another Lower Bar Collective (and Safe Little World) event coming up...

Other than providing the visuals to accompany the music of the LBC (and designing the above poster), I'm doing an installation for the event called 'Pride and Refuse'. This installation has been sitting in concept stage for more than a couple of years, so it's pretty cool to be able to finally exhibit the thing.

My father-in-law has finished work on 15 cloth dummies, I've framed 24 little photographic prints, the 15 adhesive vinyl outline men arrived from the printers today ... it's all go.

Event info:

Name: (Lower Bar Collective Presents) Transitions

Date: Friday 31 October – Sunday 2 November. 6 – 10 pm Friday. 11 am – 10.45 pm Saturday. 11 am – 3 pm Sunday.

Location: Silo Six, Silo Park, Wynyard Quarter.

Blurb: The Lower Bar Collective presents Transitions, experimental music and art installations. For one weekend, the Auckland-based collective takes over the silo space, inviting fellow sound and visual artists to present their material in that unique acoustic and aesthetic environment.

Sound artists: Lower Bar Collective; Colin Woods; Paul Buckton; Panhandlers; Baby Took My Dingo; Terracotta Cat; Reverbaphon; Ben Lawrence; Kraus; DJ Popular Music; Saturnian Noise

Installation artists: Belinda Griffiths; Beau Cotton; Kristin Herman; Arthur Amon; Peace Myth; Safe Little World (Andrew Killick).

A diverse array of music and sound performances (from ambient to experimental) take place continuously over the three-day programme, with the installations concurrently open for viewing. Entry is free.

Further details: and

Sunday, October 19, 2014

safe little world in cambodia

The Safe Little World concept was always grounded in the context of a quiet suburban backwater in New Zealand, and I've always wondered what would happen to it in a different situation - one with less comfort and a different culture. As things transpired, I had the opportunity to test that question on a recent trip to Cambodia.

The contrast between Tauranga and Phnom Penh in many ways couldn't be more stark. With this shift out of a comfort zone, the comfort of western suburbia which is inherent in the Safe Little World concept was immediately destabilised and then thrown into a light that exaggerated just how obvious our western expectations of comfort are. The sarcastic phrase "first world problems" is probably the most apt way to describe this in a nutshell. But the Safe Little World concept has also always embodied a paradox. The paradox is that our safe worlds have the potential to come under threat - and Cambodia's history and our experience of it as visitors definitely bore that out (encapsulated, for example, in a visit to S-21).

Other than a critique of our western sense of a safe little world in the context of a developing nation, it could be interesting to see if the underlying concept of a safe little world was found wherever we go. The question is, is it a fundamentally human drive, no matter where humans find themselves, to try to create a safe haven? The short answer is yes. This drive may embody itself slightly differently and have unique cultural manifestations, but ultimately this is a very human trait.

No matter how much, or how little, you give a person; no matter the threats, upheavals or fragility, humans seek to create a space for themselves.