just a few more interventions to consider activating…


THA AGE Be Guided v2

The Interventionist Guide gets a mention in arts section of The Age yesterday.

Synchronistic wanderings…

October 8, 2009

by Cye Wood

Last time I was in Melbourne I spent an evening criss-crossing the city scouting for locations to perform in with Lynda and Ceri Hann. Along the way we found a few interesting sounds emanating from the city and captured them with our field recorders. I thought it would be appropriate (and fun) to use these sounds as the basis of the improvisations I will be conducting throughout the city for the Interventionist Guide.

In a strange case of synchronicity I was recently asked if my piece undertow (from my araya EP) could be used as part of ‘en route’ a series of sound walks in Melbourne put together by the bettybooke collective.

I feel quite fortunate to be the only non-resident of Melbourne to be included in two unrelated, yet parallel events taking place over (almost) the same period of time!

by Rayna Fahey –

Last night saw the official launch of the Interventionist Guide to Melbourne cabinets in Platform Gallery, Flinders Subway, Melbourne. While there is a gallery space where you can go and see work, the true work is on the street, where each artist is spending the month of October encouraging and developing new ways of doing public art in Melbourne.

I have installed four pieces of work around the streets now and planning a fair few more. For those of you in Melbourne, put October 16-18 in your diary as the weekend where all the artists will be hitting the streets for performances, tours, installations and other creative bits and pieces.

Two of the four pieces have already been on here:



And here’s some pics of the latest couple.






For this show us artists were asked to consider urban space: how it’s built, how we relate to it, how others relate to it. And for me it is very much about questions of ownership, access, power and control. My experiences of Melbourne’s CBD have been quite varied; as a worker, an activist, a resident, a mother, a pregnant woman, a public transport user, a cyclist, a pedestrian. None of those experiences have meant much control in the space so I’ve managed to experience quite varied forms of discrimination in that space.

I’m also very aware of the access issues other people face. Those in wheelchairs is a prime example. It’s hard enough getting around with a pram sometimes, but even harder with a wheel chair. You learn a whole different path of navigation around the city that able bodied people just don’t ever need to consider. Another example is the elderly. I do know people who live in Melbourne who haven’t visited the CBD in over a decade because it’s just too hard and intimidating. They prefer the relative safety of the suburbs where they can get everything they need without the (media driven) fear of the city space. And there’s of course other reasons, language especially.

This all means that there is a large amount of people who are simply excluded from that space, they are invisible.

I got wondering just how many other people thought about these issues and I figured probably not too many. Discrimination tends not to be something you think about until you experience it, and spatial experience is something that even those that experience it, aren’t necessarily aware of. The idea that our cities and buildings are designed by and for able-bodied white guys is such a given that considerations for other needs are rarely made.

I always find department stores pretty amazing in their design. If you stop and look at actually who uses a department store, women are by far the majority. Yet even their designs rarely accommodate their needs. If it’s a multi story building you will almost always find the baby wares department above or beyond ground level. So a woman with a pram is going to need to negotiate at least one floor change to get there. And given you aren’t supposed to use an escalator with a pram it can sometimes take longer to get to the department you want than to find the actual item you’re looking for once your there. And that’s if you can get through the aisles. It’s astonishing how many shops selling baby things I have been into with a pram that have aisles narrower than the average pram..

So a lot of the pieces I’m doing are talking about different peoples’ relationships with space. And also the stuff that moves through the space. Especially given a fair chunk of the urban space is dedicated to the peddling of stuff.

The piece above on the rubbish bin is one such piece. Very much geared towards encouraging people to consider how easily and flippantly we throw things away. Rather than focussing on whether you can recycle something or not, I’m more interested in people thinking about why they needed this throw away thing in the first place. It seems that so many people still believe that the solutions to climate change and the rampant abuse of our planet are decisions to be made by politicians and CEOs. While those people certainly have a role, the role of the consumer in changing their own behaviour is just as, if not more important. In a country with the highest per capita emissions in the world, we really need to start thinking about why we invest so much energy in making things just to have a short, uninteresting interaction with the thing and then throw it away. There’s got to more to life.

So these are just some of the issues that I think about when engaging with the urban fabric. And I am sure these are completely different to the issues the other artists consider. I urge you to visit the website and visit the gallery and check them all out.

And most importantly, I urge you to grab a map from the gallery and get out into the city and consider your own relationships with the spaces within and what opportunities you see for artistic practice and engagement. Then head back to the gallery and share your ideas with the rest of us!

And now for some pics of the opening. Thanks to all who came it was a great night!