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  • Writer's pictureSuitman

Late October 2017 - Testing and Repairs

Updated: Jan 23, 2018

15/10/2017 - Sunday

I went to Wollongong City Gallery for the closing of the Illawarra Almanac project. This was a great ‘de-brief’. During the project, everyone connected by using Instagram as a sharing platform. As a direct consequence of this online community building, I received a pair of potted bromeliads in appreciation for the banana flower I cut off and took in. There was a good deal of discussion about the nature of art, and the benefits to be had by being more connected with nature and its rhythms. The food provided for ‘intermission’ was excellent.

I took the opportunity to have a good look at Derek Kreckler’s exhibition which has just begun at the gallery. This consisted of photographic images, videos, projections, and installations.

Zema also came to the gallery and in our talk beforehand he suggested a Situationist style intervention. This would require people to get a load of shopping each at Woolworths, or some such retail outlet, and undo all the packaging to leave behind when purchasing items at self-serve check-outs.

I received two bromeliads in appreciation for the banana

flower I brought in for Ali

Locally sourced seasonal foods

16/10/2017 - Monday

I played with photoshop today for the first time in a while. I took an image of a new artwork I recently purchased because the artist wanted a picture. The image was a bit warped so I spent some time to straighten it out, which required ‘re-creating’ parts of the original.

Warped photograph

Straightened image

17/10/2017 - Tuesday

I finally got around to testing the dodgiest batches of soap that I have made so far. These were batches 5 & 6 made early in the new year. I was attempting to make a blended, natural-colour combination from two different soaps. One of them was primarily red palm oil (which I no longer use) and the other was primarily sunflower oil.

After a week of use, the rancid soap (left)

is starting to show the orange and white (right)

The red palm makes an orange coloured soap whereas the sunflower makes a white soap. I made some with just batch 5, some with just batch 6, and a combination of the two. Unfortunately, these soaps from very early on seemed to sweat oil. I was unable to troubleshoot the issue, and it remained a mystery until recently I ran some of my early recipes through a soap-recipe-calculator.

This showed me that these batches had been made with an excess of oil, to the extent that they were ‘super-fatted’ at 20%. It is recommended not to super-fat above 5% as it can give the soap a tendency to go rancid because of the excessive amount of un-saponified oil. The soap also has an oily feel when used. This can be beneficial if making soap using excessive amounts of coconut-oil (which is great for cleaning but poor at moisturising). It is worth noting that although rancid, the soap I am testing still works well as soap, and I guess this soap is also good for its moisturising quality.

I watched a short animation - waiting for the Barbarians (4mn26 seconds, loop)

I watched Four Horsemen (Documentary)

18/10/17 - Wednesday

I went to the Innovation campus to pick up the Canon 5D and another tripod.

I read the reading provided by Kim Williams (‘Humanities in the Anthropocene: The Crisis of an Enduring Kantian Fable’ 2016 by Dipesh Chakrabarty), in readiness for the semi-colons meeting on Friday.

I am also in the process of annotating / critiquing this article as part of my reading /writing exercise. I think there needs to be some degree of flexibility with the word count for the writings I am producing. This is because articles and books vary in length and complexity of content. Consequently, a book of 500 pages will most likely require more annotation than a book of 100 pages. Essentially, 4,000 words / book is too narrow, as is 1500 words for an article, which may also vary from 3-30 pages or more. I will mention this to my supervisors and try to write a suitable amount per reading, using 4,000 and 1,500 as guide.

19/10/17 - Thursday

I started using the latest batch of soap (which has been curing for 2 months as of today). I was curious to see if the colour affected usage, which of course it didn’t. The green soap still seemed to produce white bubbles.

I went to Henley Clean World to get some laundry liquid (5 litres) and toilet paper (not wrapped in plastic).

5 litre laundry liquid

(independently made)

Plastic free toilet paper

20/10/17 - Friday

I spoke to Libby at the Early Start Discovery Centre. She gave me Karen’s details (responsible for bookings) because she was not at her desk to receive the call

Karen books spaces in early start building. I will try again in a while - Recorded message indicates she only works Monday-Wednesday. I left a preliminary message indicating that I will send an email.

I sent an email and CC’d Jo and Andrew (I will need to wait till next week for a response.

I went to the semi-colons meeting (Kim and John and myself + late arrival of Misty)

21/10/2017 - Saturday

I went to a BBQ at Chloe’s, which was a good social gathering. We ran out of gas and made a fire to cook on which added lots of atmosphere, especially once darkness fell.

22/10/17 - Sunday

Editing the Chakrabarty article provided by Kim to the semi-colons.

I’m also editing the Fitzpatrick article about Stiegler’ Symbolic Misery

And… completing the feedback/edit of Stiegler from Jo

23/10/17 - Monday

I spent most of the day reading Susan Buck Morss’, The Origin of Negative Dialectics 1977, and taking notes

I decided to fix my broken sunglasses using a hot glue gun.

My broken sunglasses

Hot glue gun and glue stick

Repaired sunglasses

25/10/17 - Wednesday

I attended a tie-dye workshop today and finally learned the basics. This process has similarities to the textile painting I used to do. I’ll be sure to experiment soon with dyes and my own modified processes.

Josh Mills from the UOW Music Society (also a Post-Situationist) supervised the workshop

A bucket of soda ash mixed with warm water

to assist dye penetration into the fabric

This is the type of environmentally safe, water soluble dye being used

My first two tie-dye shirts

Top left and bottom right

are my next two -

I was a bit more experimental

There was also a lady there showing how to make mats using plastic shopping bags. She had a few girls making with her who said how enjoyable it was to do this repetitive practice in a social setting, engaging in conversation

Making mats from plastic

shopping bags

Enjoying a relaxing, social

and environmentally-friendly practice

I also rang Karen Barrett about booking the Commercial Kitchen, but ended up leaving a message on her answering machine that I would try to see her at some point during the day whilst on campus. As it turns out, she wasn’t in and won’t be till next week. I sent her an email enquiring about cost etc.

I had lunch with Misty and Deniz, each discussing our research.

27/10/17 - Friday

I had lunch at the Uni with Misty, Matt and Deniz

I watched and discussed a feminist porn documentary, ‘Woman’s Deeper Journey Into Sex’, in the afternoon with Matt and Deniz and how a paradigm shift is needed in a number of areas. In the case of my own thesis, I think in terms of capitalism, whereas Deniz is thinking in terms of gender equality. In both cases, societal constructs are no longer serving the best interests of society at large (assuming they ever did).

I went to the exhibition opening of WALKING UPSTREAM - Waterways of the Illawarra, at Wollongong City Gallery.This project is the work of Lucas Ihlein, Brogan Bunt and Kim Williams. There was another exhibition opening too called Silent.

Part of the exhibition

An array of bongs found

on walks through Illawarra


28/10/2017 - Saturday

I did some repairs today after deciding to sew the hole in the pocket of a pair of my trousers. This didn’t take long and wasn’t difficult. In the consumption driven world of today, I wonder how many homes have something as simple as needle and thread to fix things.

A gaping hole that even

my set of keys can fall


Needle and thread to fix

a hole in a pocket

Hole fixed

29/10/17 - Sunday

I went on an art walk today, Waterways of the Illawarra. This involved walking up American Creek at Figtree with the artists (Lucas Ihlein, Brogan Bunt, and Kim Williams) and about a dozen other people. My friend Simon, who’s up visiting from Melbourne, came along also with his Canon 6D Mark II camera and took heaps of photos. The walk was fantastic; interesting, informative and invigorating, with a great community of people. We went to the Wollongong City Art Gallery afterwards (where I went to the exhibition opening on Friday) and then for coffee at a local place.

A nice shady spot to be

unexpectedly entertained

30/10/17 - Monday

I did some more close reading, and note-taking, from Susan Buck-Morss’, the Origin of Negative Dialectics. I’m taking a lot more notes than I would like, but I think it’s because there is so much new knowledge that I can’t distinguish the most important stuff. I also realise that I do need to learn a lot of fundamentals, and this is to be expected.

31/10/17 - Tuesday

I played a bit of guitar with Andy, who I haven’t seen in a few months (a multi-talented bass-rhythm-lead guitarist & drummer) during the day and made a strawberry and mandarin peel jam/marmalade. I added the citrus peel to try to get the pectin needed to get the jam to gel (strawberry is extremely low in pectin) but it still wasn’t enough. Consequently, the ‘jam’ is more like a syrup with chunks of strawberry through it (I didn’t crush the strawberries).

Strawberries and mandarin

peel for jam/marmalade

Boiling on the stove

Still not gelled enough…

more like chunky

strawberry syrup

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