wanderlust

Today was cold and rainy. Which started me daydreaming about returning to Tokoriki Island in Fiji.
I’m remembering crystal blue water, huge friendly smiles, the softest ocean breeze rustling the palms, waking to the sound of gentle waves lapping and gulls chatting, reading my book stretched out on a swinging hammock, playing long games of pool-side chess, chasing geckos & hand feeding fish, the smell of sun block and papaya, snorkeling with reef sharks, hermit crab racing, our private little villa amidst paradise, the sweetest juiciest pineapple, midday beers by the pool, sunsets of the pinkest hues, massages by strong hands, the most amazing Kokonda for dinner, cocktails in the bar listening to the band and leaving so completely relaxed we felt reborn by the sun and the sea.

cakes for harmony day

Last week, the 21st March, was Harmony Day; an initiative by the Australian Government to remind us of our multicultural society and the differences that define us is what joins us as Australians.

We have over 40 different cultural backgrounds at my workplace, so to celebrate we held a morning tea, where people could bring in food specific to their culture, for everyone to share. It was wonderful!

cultural goodies on display
Aussie ANZAC Biscuits
Bangladeshi delights
South African Biltong (the company I work for originated in South Africa, although it is now owned by NTT Japan)
the not-so-humble pav (Pavlova) with its nefarious origination in NZ...
gathering
my mate & fellow PM, Amanda (aka Mands)
a yummy-looking cake of unknown origin
resource co-ordinator Nat looking devilishly guilty with her plate!
Vietnamese Mango Sticky Rice...mmmmmmm yum!
a couple of the managers (the one the left is Kiwi Ben standing in front of his proud pavlova!)
Bangladeshi Curry Puffs
decimating the food table
omnomnom!

Everyone loved seeing (mostly homemade) foods from different cultures and it was a great half-hour break from our desks to celebrate our diversity!

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer @ the MCA

I think the purpose of art is to make you feel…to make you think; of your surroundings, of places you’ve never visited, things you’ve never imagined, other people’s experiences, a different perspective, it raises emotions, can make your heart skip a beat and your soul sigh. It connects you. To your surroundings, the physical and metaphysical, and to others.

With no expectations, we visited the Sydney Museum of Contemporary Art to see the exhibition Recorders.

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer is a Mexican-Canadian electro-artist. He uses technology like motion sensors, microphones, facial recognition, cameras & heart-rate monitors to create art that is 100% crowd-sourced. His Recorders exhibition is at the MCA til March 2012.

The exhibit is interactive and joyful! I had so much fun!

Lozano-Hemmer in the Pulse Room

picture via LA Times

Usually galleries and exhibitions don’t allow the public to photograph the work but at Recorders the Artist wanted to keep with the theme of public participation and encourages photography. My pictures aren’t so good….they were taken on my phone, but hopefully they’ll give you an idea of what’s what!

On entry you are met with a contraption that resembles an airport xray scanner. It only works if you put objects on the belt; the camera records the object (eg: items from your handbag, wallet or whatever you put onto it) and then projects them onto the belt while adding in other items from memory. It’s a visual collage. 

The Year’s Midnight

Jay as part of the The Year's Midnight
me as The Year's Midnight

The title of this piece is a line of John Donne’s poem “A Nocturnal Upon St. Lucy’s Day, Being the Shortest Day“. The work broadcasts the image of the viewer directly in front of it and tracks the whites of the eyes to project out white plumes of smoke. It’s tripy!

Pulse Room

Image from MCA website

This room is amazing. It’s dark, cavernous and filled with hundreds of light bulbs 2m off the ground. There is a hand-held pulse sensor in the back of the room that you hold. It then pushes out the pulse to the light bulbs that flashes the exact rhythm of their heart rate.

my heart rate

The Seimoscope 2 exhibit 

the wall
the Seimoscope of Abu Hamid Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Ghazali

The seimoscope (yep, that’s how you spell it) uses the latent energy of the people around it to power the drawing of Abu Hamid Muhammad. 

The Pulse Index

Jay's fingerprint
My finger print (middle)
Pulse Index wall
Pulse Index wall
Pulse Index wall

This was one of my favourite works. Using biometrics a little wall-mounted fingerprint sensor takes your pulse (which is broadcasts onto a screen) before displaying your fingerprint as digital wall art on LCD screens. At the time there were over 10,000 people’s fingerprints stored in the work.

Microphones

Microphones

This was my other favourite exhibition! Created with 17 vintage microphones which both record and play-back thousands of soundbites from people. To activate it you must speak into a mic, then it will speak back to you from a random recording. We heard people laughing, saying things in various languages (German, Spanish, French, Russian), little kids reciting nursery rhymes, people singing, etc. I immortalised myself by saying “what does the colour blue taste like?” and Jay will be forever captured by his little sound gem “this microphone smells like cabbage”. Too funny!

Close-Up

Jay & I on the Close-Up LCD
Jay & I times infinity

The huge LCD TV screen tracks, records and projects you in real time. It remembers past recordings and also melds those images into the hundreds of little video tiles. 

◊◊◊

I definitely recommend you checking out the exhibition if you get a chance. And if you miss it in Sydney, keep an eye out in your major city as the exhibition travels the world.

Voice Array
me (right white top) People on People

tell-all

It’s probably embarrassing to admit, but I often read those Q & A interviews with celebrities in magazines and then sit and imagine how I would answer them…

Here is one from the January 2012 edition of Australian Instyle Magazine. The questions were asked to the beautiful & talented Zoe Saldana but I’ve inserted my own answers….

Q) What’s the best style advise you’ve ever received?

A) I remember a primary school friend’s Mum telling me once that fashion is fickle but true style never goes out of favour. I was probably only 11 or 12 at the time, but I’ve always remembered that. Most likely because I thought my friend’s Mum was super stylish. I now know what looks good on me and what stores do quality clothes that transcends seasons. I like buying a few good quality items and then stocking up on cheaper pieces throughout each season. I don’t like to think of my bank balance once I hit my goal weight!

Q) What’s something you hated but now love?

A) The colour pink. I used to hate pink so much, it made me want to gag. Now I love it! I love hot pink nail polish, peach suits my skin so I wear a lot of it and I also love the pink tones of salmon, magenta and fuchsia. Pink in fashion is where it stops though (no luggage or decor!).

Q) What one item should every woman have in her wardrobe?

A) It’s a cliche but a classic little black dress. Its so versatile and should be a staple in a girls closet!

Q) Who are your style icons?

A) Karla Deras; this fashion blogger from LA is très chic, she has real style and comes up with the coolest ensembles. I’d seriously like to raid her closet!

Christine Centenera; one word sums up the super stylish Australian Harper’s Bazaar fashion editor – WOW!

Q) What is your fantasy purchase?

A) a big airy terrace house with a deck & a grassy back yard in Glebe! I’m working on it becoming a reality.

Q) What’s your guilty pleasure?

A) doing my nails & watching the latest episodes of my fave TV shows. I have the television preferences of a 17 year old girl (eg Gossip Girl, Secret Circle, Supernatural etc) which my hubby thinks is ridiculous so I have to watch them when he’s not home or he’s otherwise engaged!

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE…

Q) Gadget?

A) My Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1  I adore it!

Q) Hostess gift?

A) a bottle of wine or a beautiful candle

Q) Secret cheapie?

A) cotton/lycra singlets from Cotton On. I wear them working out, to bed or layered with Tshirts or shirts. They’re $10 and they have so many colours!

Q) Comfort food?

A) pasta with chorizo, tomato, lemon & garlic. It’s quick and simple and just to die for!

Q) Indulgence?

A) 1.5 hour long massages from Nature’s Energy in Glebe. Heaven.

Now there you have it, my fun & frivolous fashion tell-all 😉

Luminous | Celebrating 50 Years of The Australian Ballet

In October The Australian Ballet is celebrating 50 years! To celebrate, they are releasing a special collection of photographs in a mammoth coffee-table style book that my friend Mandy has designed & published (for global publishing house Imago)!

‘Luminous’ Celebrating 50 Years of The Australian Ballet

The book’s description from their website is:

“Luminous captures 50 years of The Australian Ballet in photographs, revealing dancers at work and at play, on stage and on tour, in rehearsals and in love, and the many creatives who nurtured our artistic vision. This handsome 360-page coffee table book features defining images and never-seen-before photographs of the company, accompanied by essays from Australia’s leading arts writers.”

I love browsing in their online store and I’m definitely going to buy one of these gorgeous tote bags…

visit their shop here

all images from The Australian Ballet website

did you know?

I learnt something fascinating this week!

If you haven’t seen it before, let me introduce you to the Lion’s Mane Jellyfish

Lion's Mane Jellyfish @ The Deep Aquarium in Hull, England | http://www.thedeep.co.uk/

It is the largest known species of Jellyfish on earth. It’s seldom found further than 42°N latitude meaning it’s confined to the waters around the Artic, northen Atlantic and northern Pacific oceans.

According to Wikipedia, the largest specimen was found on the shores of Massachusetts Bay in 1870 and had a body diameter of 2.29m (7ft 6in) with tentacles reaching 37m (120ft) long!

Luckily for most of us, we’ll never encounter one of these giants in the flesh while swimming at the beach, but thankfully it’s not known to be fatal if stung. It will still hurt causing redness, swelling and general agony, but you apparently won’t die (unlike the evil Box Jellyfish that we have to deal with in Northern Queensland)!

Jellyfish move around usually within the top 20m of the ocean surface, using the currents to supplement their weak pulsations to drive them forward.

Like other jellyfish the Lion’s Mane can sexually reproduce both through a partner (in the Medusa phase) and by itself (asexually in it’s polyp stage). The female carries it’s fertilized eggs on it’s tentacles until they’re ready to be released onto a hard surface where they mature and then break free into little jellyfish.

It’s zoological name is cyanea capillata

Cool, huh!?!

source: Wikipedia