Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Triumph mods

It's taken me a while to get around to putting this stuff up here. This work was actually done almost two months ago now. To give some brief sort of a background — I have always loved old bikes, specifically 'cafe racers' of the late 50s and 60s. I like British bikes, and a couple of years ago I bought my first one. A Norton Commando 850 MkII. I loved this bike. I still kinda do. BUT, I was wanting to ride more, and ride longer, than a 36 year old motorcycle was really willing to, and so I was spending much more time and money on constantly fixing the thing than was conducive to actually riding... many a sunny weekend passed with me either trying to fix it, or looking forlornly at it sitting there before heading off in the van to do something. SO... I bought this. It's a 2008 Triumph Thruxton. My intention being to slowly pull off all the ugly modern looking bits and replace them with bits from old bikes. What you see here (post below) is my first real attempt to do this. You need to see an original Thruxton to see how bad the original back-end looks, but trust me it's pretty shit.

I did this with the help of Malcolm and Shane, see Malcolm below with the bike once we got the hideous stock rear fender off. I have some nice shots of Shane rewiring it too, will post those later.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Julian Dashper vs Billy Childish

It's very odd listening to Billy Childish records while laying out Julian's book. Julian and Billy. They don't really go together for some reason? But it's not bad. It's do-able, but it's like being pulled in different directions. Billy seems the opposite to Julian, most obviously in that Julian was all about travelling and Billy seems to have always wanted to stay at home in the small town he grew up in.


I'm not sure I believe Julian when he says he didn't care about not seeing lightning while staying at Walter De Maria's Lightning Field.

Billy Childish and Bill Drummond

I just found out Billy Childish is friendly with Bill Drummond (of KLF and K Foundation fame). That makes perfect sense and makes me feel good that these guys are out there doing things in the world. Apparently the idea for the band name 'Musicians of the British Empire' came from Drummond, who had the idea to do a thing called Artists of the British Empire.

Art School Journals

Are all schools (by which I mean tertiary art and design schools) publishing their own journals now? I just noticed that one of these Dashper pieces was published in a journal called 'Probe' published by Manakau Institute of Technology in 2002. Did this turn into 'ZX'? Or is it from somewhere else? Canterbury has started one too, it's called 'Oculus' and I believe the focus is postgrad students work in fine arts and in art history. Are these attempts at PBRF outputs? Do they really count in any sort of financially meaningful way I wonder? How many other schools are doing one. I know Otago and AUT were conspiring to publish a peer-reviewed Design journal, but I guess that might not be going ahead now since Otago uni shut down it's design course? Or was it the polytech that was involved? No I think it was the university because Noel Waite was involved. Does Elam do a journal? Massey?

The Julian Dashper book

The problem with the Julian Dashper book is that I keep ending up reading the text, and I just need to be laying it out... fast.

There's some really great stuff in it. He must have been a great teacher? I think he was Dane Mitchell's teacher/lecturer? And maybe Nova's? I must remember to ask them.

I think I'll give some of these texts to my students. We're going to talk about noticing.


1. I shouldn't be doing this I should be working on the Julian Dashper book.
2. The Julian Dashper book is the reason I'm doing this.
3. Julian sometimes wrote about the importance of archiving — for an artist to leave an archive. He obviously wanted to be remembered. Well, his ideas anyway. One of the questions here is do you keep everything or do you edit your archive? I think Julian would have edited his.
4. I going back to laying out the book now.
5. The rough complete layout is due on Monday and I still have over 100 pages to do.
6. It's not an easy job because each text is different and there's a lot of different texts; lists, interviews, essays... even though there's a very straight grid it's taking a long time to set out each page. I'm up to page 94.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Maybe what I should really be thinking about is using my time more wisely? Gwyn Porter talks about having only so much "available energy"... I think I might be running out.

I guess what I'm really talking about is do I have the available time and energy to be doing this? I end up sitting here staring at this screen thinking 'what am I doing this for?'... I should go to bed. Why did I want to do this again?

I think my earlier posts make it sound like I have some sort of plan in mind, when really I don't... I suppose my anxiety here is quite normal? I haven't told anyone about this yet either. I think I'm waiting to actually start getting into something more properly.