Thursday, 21 May 2009

Are you one of Sydney's 100 most creative people?

Check out the CREATIVE CATALYSTS list here.

It features 100 Sydneysiders (selected from over 700 nominations) who are being honored as key people who inspire and contribute to a creative Sydney, as part of the Vivid Festival Creative Sydney Program.

The list features names such as Adam Zammit (Peer Group), Andrew Denton, artist Ben Frost, photographer Dan Boud, Elke Kramer, George Gittoes, John Wall & Ming Gan (Fuzzy), The Presets, Mu-Meson Archives, The Chaser, Vince Frost, and Zac & Zolton Zavos (Lost at E Minor).

What do you think of the names that made the cut?

Is there anyone on there who shouldn't be? Is there anyone integral you think they've missed?

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Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Chk Chk Boom - the Kings Cross meme

It all began with Clare, who witnessed the shooting in Kings Cross last Saturday night.

Clare's description of the event led to a stream of activity on the internetz...

From a Facebook fan page,

to a meme competition via (thanks to Shadenfreude Pony for the image)

the Fully Sick Chk Chk Boom t-shirt.

plus the chhuck chhuck boom t-shirt / water bottle / ceramic mug etc.

NineMSN is now reporting that Clare has become such a celebrity she's had to engage a PR representative!! Is Clare the new Corey Worthington? And does no one else think this entire thing is utterly ridiculous?!

I'm amazed that people have jumped on money-making ideas from this event so quickly. I recently heard that the guys behind the 'Beached As Bro' whale video made a killing from selling/leasing their whale character and tag-line to Supre for a t-shirt range. The whale itself became immensely famous - as has Clare's "Chk Chk Boom".

We all know there's money to be made in passing fads. Think hypercolour t-shirts, rollerblades, puffer jackets, nerf balls, sea monkeys, slap bands and the macarena... I wonder what sort of longevity t-shirts featuring internet memes will have?!

UPDATE: I've just been sent a link to the Chk Chk Boom remix! When will it end?!
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Should you use fame to push politics?

Time to get political.
M.I.A has always tried to promote the situation in Sri Lanka, but given her more recent increased media exposure, she has really put her popularity on the line to stand up for what she believes in.

I'm sure most managers would have sat M.I.A down months ago and said to her: "You've made it! You've performed at the Grammys with Jay-Z and Lil Wayne ... you're a household name... you're one of Time Magazines most influential people of 2009... now don't do anything that might offend people if you want to remain successful."

So many musicians who have 'made it' change their stand on issues they were once passionate about, in the interest of being inoffensive. The less you upset people, the more likely you are to be popular. But occasionally, an artist comes along to show us how important it is to be true to what you believe in.

Bjorke was banned from performing in China when she stood up for Tibetan rights last year. I hope that none of M.I.A's political activism affects her career. She is one talented and intelligent lady.

M.I.A is of Tamil origin, so you'd expect her to have some bias on the situation... but I'm sure that if it wasn't for her, the conflict in this country wouldn't have received as much media attention (particularly as journalists have been kicked out and there is a media ban).

M.I.A has used her Twitter account, media & event appearances, and music to promote the atrocities that have been occurring in Sri Lanka (A message from M.I.A's blog about the Time Magazine Influential People event read: MICHELLE OBAMA GAVE A SPEECH AND THERE WAS MAD SECRET SERVICE IN THE AIR SO I DIDNT GET TO THROW A PAPER PLANE AT HER SAYING "STOP THE BOMBING OF THE TAMILS IN SRI LANKA")

M.I.A on the fusion of politics in her music:
"Nobody wants to be dancing to political songs. Every bit of music out there that’s making it into the mainstream is really about nothing. I wanted to see if I could write songs about something important and make it sound like nothing. And it kind of worked."

It is so easy to become consumed in one very small genre / tribe / community, and to have the culture and information that is fed in & out of that group become the only information you ever hear. So many of us consume masses of useless words on a daily basis, that we have no time left for actually contemplating what it must be like for the people living through political turmoil at the moment.

So, I'm all for people using fame (and the access to media that it brings) to push their political views. Thousands of artists use media in all its forms on a daily basis to push their own agendas, so why not use that same media to promote a cause? I'm glad there are artists like M.I.A out there who aren't afraid to do so. And as she's done most of it via Twitter and blogs - if you're offended, you don't have to subscribe.

If you don't know much about what's been going on, check out this video via VBS:

I really enjoyed this article from Village Voice which discusses the complications around M.I.A's stand on the Civil War.

And if you'd like to read what is perhaps the most inappropriate headline in relation to the Sri Lankan situation (via M.I.A's Twitter), check this one out from UK's Telegraph: "Sri Lanka: end of conflict could boost tourism"
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