Monday, 8 November 2010
Seems like a million years ago, I think it was the beginning of 2004 when I made this video. I had been recording with ben at the mechanarchy studios for a while and combined some of the results with snippets of video from actions and performances over the previous 4 years. Much of it shot at various ‘Reclaim the Streets’ events I was part of, that and anti-capitalist and ‘No Borders’ demos, including the 2003 convergence outside the Baxter detention centre.
I wanted to post the video because it is so easy for our histories and activities to slip away out of memory. I watch this and it seems like another lifetime. I move around, mine is a fairly transient, precarious life, I’ve been part of many activities, places, groups.
So it helps me personally as well as politically to see my activities as a continuum of events, collaborations, subcultural engagements and activism that form a story, a some what messy chaotic story, but a story nonetheless and one that spans at least 20 years of activity.
Prior to moving to Sydney I had been mostly working with multi-media artists collectives, often our work was political, (I had spent ten years as a photographer producing mostly feminist works) but the realm that our activities took place in was mostly the ‘art world’ or interventions based around ‘cultural production’ in it’s narrower senses.
In Sydney I decided to let that connection to ‘art’ fall away and became more involved in direct action politics and the ‘RTS’ crews. Their focus on Situationist ideas was something I already had experience of, but taking this into the streets and into a direct confrontation with the law and day to day social structures…. truly a ‘revolution of the everyday’ was something else.
this is also a story about collaborations, GROUPS, the action of people on each other, how much the flow and change of our connections influences shifts and moves us, transporting the individual in ways otherwise unimaginable.
when I watch this piece it is the people that I remember, high times…. The wonderful moments when I have been lucky enough to work with people who are so damn smart and onto it that collaborating is like a beautiful game of ‘catch’ (and don’t get caught) where you can FEEL the dynamic moving, power being shared and shifting amongst the group, power freely shared and balanced.
And those times of tight connection, where damnit you bet we are scared, pretty sure that we are going to get the shit kicked out of us, but still we choose to stand together and to support each other in NOT caving in to injustice.
Not much more to say…. Because another big thing in the video is the words, seems I read a whole lot more theory in those days, certainly seemed to use a few long words, but the gist of it is much the same and I still stand by those beliefs.
'Skirmish' is a salute to all the dazzling stars who have shown me what it is to run fast, find courage and laugh.... finding a way to paint a banner, stencil graffiti, make some noise, tear down a fence and tell a story while we are doing it.
love and rage to all the crews xxxxxxxxxxx