Friday, September 01, 2006


Avid readers. It's the first day of spring, so out with the old and in with the new. Hi, i'm the electric nerve Art Director and i'm here to help you with a few home decorating tips and ideas for the new season. Now, please don't sue me for saying this, but RED is the NEW BLACK. It's true. My uncle was an electrician back in the sixties, and one morning in 1967 his wife told him red was the new black, as indeed it was back then, and of course he never came home that night. Electrocuted. So please don't take me too literally on my colour advice, especially when doing electrical rewiring around the home. If in doubt, touch the wire with the BACK of your hand, not the front, so that way when your muscles involunarily clench you're not left holding a live wire. OK?

Now, i'm assuming you've all received the nice new Ikea Catalogue in your letterbox, if you have a letterbox, that is, and let's face it, the vast majority of people don't have a letterbox, since the vast majority of people are dead. But let's assume you're alive, and you have the new Ikea Catalogue. Take this catalogue and stuff it in the next door neighbour's letterbox, just in case they didn't get one.

What i'd like to concentrate on today is a design feature for the home. Now this may not be to all tastes, but it's fun to try, and won't cost you an arm or a leg. Firstly, find a couple of square metres of spare floorspace in your lounge room, or even, as i prefer, bedroom. Heck, move the furniture if need be. The second step is to pick up an old motorcycle, preferably pre-1980s, in a colour that matches your existing d├ęcor. Personally i prefer red or burgundy tones, but i'm not about to tell you what colours you should like. Place some cardboard on the floor, say from an old removalists' box, which will contrast nicely with the texture of carpet, and work well with just about any wooden floor. Put the motorcycle on the cardboard, and pull out the engine, placing it to the side of the motorcycle just so. You may like to sit the engine in a plastic baker's tray in a contrasting colour. Wallah. There you have it.

Now on a less serious note. Levity, that's what it's all about. We're going to Melbourne - no, we're levitating our way to Melbourne. Dan is already there, sending back strange found objects in the mail. Swiss bloody vials. And Melinda Mayhem is so high she may be able to hitch a ride on a low-flying jumbo. Reading her sleep-deprived / awake-depraved ramblings i can only really posit the thought "Look what ice did to the Titanic."

Enough said. I have, as Baldrick would say, a cunning plan. All those esoteric books i've been collecting for 'cn years? Art, mushroom growing, photography, histories of ideas and ideas of history, literature of varying degrees of literacy, cultural and critical theory, psychedelia, poetry, Beatnik culture, music, travel, erotica, yoga, journals of LSD experiences, physics, design, gonzo, philosophy - plus a few way out titles - well it's all being packed off to Melbourne come December to a new home, a commercial property hidden away somewhere in the wilds of Brunswick Street, to flesh out a bookstore, to be called Saint Mark's Books and Ephemera, in tribute to St Mark's Bookshop in Greenwich Village, New York. Why Saint Mark's? Well because that's my name. No, it isn't Arthur. Art Director is the moniker Melinda Mayhem plastered me with shortly after our meeting at a particular club where i was photographing like a deranged 'razzi and she was knocking her pretty head senseless on the edge of a basin in the Ladies while acrobatically powdering her nose. And if you throw enough plaster, some of it will stick.

Saint Mark's Books and Ephemera, Melbourne, will be Art Director's new squat and an epicentre for the Mayhem Inc. collective, just as soon as we honour our contract with the Town of Vincent and produce The Ford Maestro documentary - but more on that later.

Perhaps we'll drive across the Nullabor in my 1970 Renault 16? Now that would be comfortable, what with the independent suspension and all. The most comfortable vehicle I've ever driven over any distance! Trundled up to Cue in it in 2004 for Qfest. On 70mph! Unfortunately knocked the drain plug out of the fuel tank whilst climbing rocky outcrops, but hey, it's fixed now. We'll be tooling down Brunswick Street to our new squat before we know it! To build mezzanines; install hot showers; revamp tiny kitchens into chef central. Hopefully, every single thing we do will be against council regulations. Books, art, ephemera, musical instruments, everything for sale and nothing advertised, not even the shop. Especially the shop. We'll keep the location a secret. The prices? Rediculously high, almost unaffordable, although we will of course be open to offers and crude suggestions. Customers will be treated with the utmost contempt; the bookshop run like an exclusive club - we may even have bouncers, to simply not let some people in on random days for no particular reason. Melburnians will love it.

"Spring is an eternal gift." - Art Director