Showtime!

A couple of people wondered what happened to the Showbag DVDs. Sorry, sometimes things stop dead waiting for a mysterious signal. It’s like a red light in the twilight zone. Once I performed the recent VJ sets, the green light went on and I finished the compilation. There’s been some technical problems as well. Anyway, THAT, thank God, is the end of THAT. The discs are on sevcom.com and much of it is on YouTube. Fare Thee Well! Bon Voyage!

The US dollar is rising up ever so slowly so I was able to make this 18 bucks for the two discs & postage. I am going to drop the prices of the CDs again soon, but postage remains the biggest cost.

It’s been a bad week for the twilight zone. It is KAMP lore that the KUNSTLERS start to come apart around this week when they realise that they have only one month left to deliver their long promised major KUNSTWERK. Some climb trees and disappear when they reach the top. Some start to speak in a special language known only to their identical twin. Others are able to form miraculous doctor’s certificates from their bodily orifices – strange documents where the words flicker and rearrange as you tilt them in the light. Some hand in envelopes where the contents evaporate overnight leaving only a pile of ash. Assignments appear in a sealed office, passing through walls.

When you take the roll, their faces seem different, faces that you thought you had seen all year are rearranged such that Ng is now Jones, whereas Jones was always really Wong. No wonder that John Foxx is now an academic.

I’ve been reading Mike Jones’s blog. Mike teaches at a rival KUNST KAMP, which is more about film studies than the melange I’m offering up (this week: talking dog!). I think I can sum up some of what he’s analysing (in 5 parts) via a much shorter quote from AC/DC: ‘Who Made Who?’ You start asking questions like that and you’ll quickly get to the point where you’re trying to place your feet on your head.

It’s my role here to be nasty, short and brutal.

I don’t think that there is anything important about universities for teaching media production. So doctors and lawyers go to university. That’s because doctoring and lawyering are basically just skills. You can’t say you don’t want to teach skills, then compare film making to doctoring. It’s not about equal job prestige. I begin to understand and agree with the people I work with, that an art college should not be run like a university, rather like a community.

I do not think you can teach art. Bottom line. You can only provide all the means to let that art out. Person has art in them, cannot decant it. You show them how to decant it. They run off with new found expression while giving you the finger. Academics are bloody tin openers.

My video learning was carrying UMatic recorders up and down stairs and having my red faced mentor yell at me for putting the wrong cable in the right place. More like being in video Iraq. I learned how to make print advertisements by being dropped without training into real production crises (‘there’s an error with the layout, you need to fix it in Quark, BTW the presses are on hold at $1000 an hour while you fix it’). I made TV music without any training, simply by playing a VHS and pounding along. Why do we keep agonising over what version software the little darlings might use?

I already made fun of industry standards, but let’s look at this one again. We worry that if we teach them Final Cut they will become Final Cutlets. If that’s the case then they were always going to be some kind of cow slice. The student who is ready to learn will see all skills as adding to their gamut.

So long as the argument is ‘how can we properly teach too many fee paying people’, it’s stupid. Don’t teach them. But if you are going to take people’s money, then teach them what they pay for. My lot want Final Cut, so bless them, they will get Cutlet for dinner every day.