12 May 2013

It's maybe for Skywhale Monday

| johnboy
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skywhale

The Centenary Team have let it be known that Skywhale might be slipping the surly bonds of earth tomorrow morning.

Or it might not depending on the weather which isn’t looking good.

Check the Centenary website from 5am for confirmation.

[Photo by Deref]

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johnboy said :

They’re talking about a Saturday flight.

They’re spoiling us… 😉

Not so sure about that Spiral – I saw some great concern porn on FB from someone objecting strenuously to the Skywhale being launched “near” Breast Cancer Day because it might offend victims of breast cancer.

I thought they should have had it at Sunday’s run/walk against breast cancer. With 10 breasts it would almost seem like a mascot for that event, but alas no it skywhale decided not to hang out there.

They should be capitalising on it and making some nicker out of it. Hats, imagine Hindenboob hats. Balloons on sticks. Lampshades. Cushions. Things to hang on car aerials or dangle from rear vision mirrors. The possibilities are endless.

johnboy said :

They’re talking about a Saturday flight.

Light winds are forecast so perfect conditions to take flight.

Is that it then? The alleged artist and the UK manufacturing firm trouser $300,000, and the inflatable monstrosity pops up once, (but does not fly,) in Canberra.

We’re all supposed to feel culturally enriched by this?

God’s sake.

They’re talking about a Saturday flight.

MariaC said :

Barcham said :

curmudgery said :

Now that the novelty is beginning to wear off, let’s look at it again and think.

I believe Canberra and its Centenary celebration deserve better than this.

The thing itself is synthetic, eccentric, expensive and of limited usefulness. But more, our Centenary is not about whales and breasts – this is a private indulgence at public expense and an abuse of position and trust.

I hope my children see the day when elected representatives, the committees they create and the contractors they engage approach their public works, instead, with style, finesse and an adult sense of history.

It’s a thing of beauty. It’s a majestic and imaginative piece of work commissioned by one of the worlds best sculpture artists, and arguably the biggest artist to have come out of Canberra.

It is unique and memorable.

In terms of cost, how much do you think it should cost to hire a world class artist to work for several years to create a hot air balloon? $300,000 is quite reasonable in my opinion, and is barely a drop in the ocean of the ACT’s yearly spending.

For the first time in a great many years people are not discussing Canberra as “That place where politicians are” or “the round-about and road-works Capital” but “That place where they made a flying whale!”

I couldn’t be happier.

To quote David Mitchell, what is an ocean but a multitude of drops? The sky whale, the penis owl, the twin towers wreckage on the gde, the goldfish thingy on drakeford dr… It all adds up, and it’s disgusting. We have the worst hospital wait times in the country, but by all means let’s keep pissing away money on this crap. What’s truly insulting about the sky whale is that it’s supposed to celebrate canberra. It has 1) made us the laughing stock of the country (after being very seriously told that we’re not to be made fun of, thanks Robyn!) 2) yet again resulted in detractors being labeled philistines who just don’t get it (a celebration of canberra which looks down on more than half the population? Cheers, what a great place to live). The whole thing sums up everything I hate about canberra, which I’m sure wasn’t what they were going for.

And I LIKE living here.

Very well said. I agree completely.

I think it would be a good idea for the Raiders / Brumbies / Capitals to adopt it as a new mascot, and have someone run on the pitch in a Tittycarp costume as part of the warm up entertainment!

Why not? It’s the art symbol of Canberra, and recognised world wide. Well worth considering!!

Barcham said :

curmudgery said :

Now that the novelty is beginning to wear off, let’s look at it again and think.

I believe Canberra and its Centenary celebration deserve better than this.

The thing itself is synthetic, eccentric, expensive and of limited usefulness. But more, our Centenary is not about whales and breasts – this is a private indulgence at public expense and an abuse of position and trust.

I hope my children see the day when elected representatives, the committees they create and the contractors they engage approach their public works, instead, with style, finesse and an adult sense of history.

It’s a thing of beauty. It’s a majestic and imaginative piece of work commissioned by one of the worlds best sculpture artists, and arguably the biggest artist to have come out of Canberra.

It is unique and memorable.

In terms of cost, how much do you think it should cost to hire a world class artist to work for several years to create a hot air balloon? $300,000 is quite reasonable in my opinion, and is barely a drop in the ocean of the ACT’s yearly spending.

For the first time in a great many years people are not discussing Canberra as “That place where politicians are” or “the round-about and road-works Capital” but “That place where they made a flying whale!”

I couldn’t be happier.

To quote David Mitchell, what is an ocean but a multitude of drops? The sky whale, the penis owl, the twin towers wreckage on the gde, the goldfish thingy on drakeford dr… It all adds up, and it’s disgusting. We have the worst hospital wait times in the country, but by all means let’s keep pissing away money on this crap. What’s truly insulting about the sky whale is that it’s supposed to celebrate canberra. It has 1) made us the laughing stock of the country (after being very seriously told that we’re not to be made fun of, thanks Robyn!) 2) yet again resulted in detractors being labeled philistines who just don’t get it (a celebration of canberra which looks down on more than half the population? Cheers, what a great place to live). The whole thing sums up everything I hate about canberra, which I’m sure wasn’t what they were going for.

And I LIKE living here.

dpm said :


And Poetix, I thought calling someone sweetie would be a no-no!!? 🙂

I meant it nicely. In just a few more years I’ll be legitimately able to call someone Bantam’s age ‘dearie’ or ‘young man’, and start crapping on about ‘the good old days’ and ‘the days before these computer thingies when we made our own entertainment like that lovely Lord Byron with his couplets’. (-:

It’s a bit of a shame that we don’t get a bit more mileage from The Hindenboob. 300k is a lot for a few flyovers and then it vanishes. I quite like the idea of it making sudden appearances to unprepared visitors, and citizens at solemn occasions. Kind-of like a weird, embarassing mascot. But for it to come, appear a few times and disappear forever is pretty pointless.

poetix said :

Barcham said :

A minute fraction of that on a piece of art that will travel Australia and is getting international attention and everyone explodes with rage.

I don’t get it.

Not everyone, sweetie! A lot of people love it as much as you, and have expressed that point of view.

Barcham, I’m guessing it’s because the artist will get any attention (good or bad) outside of Canberra, not Canberra itself?
And Poetix, I thought calling someone sweetie would be a no-no!!? 🙂

Barcham said :

A minute fraction of that on a piece of art that will travel Australia and is getting international attention and everyone explodes with rage.

I don’t get it.

Not everyone, sweetie! A lot of people love it as much as you, and have expressed that point of view.

Skywhale is the representative of the post-modern obsession the current crop of Australians have. They panic at the thought of Australiana (which is kitchy shit for the most part) and end up producing something so alien that it requires a thesis to understand.

Canberra is a fundamentally modernist city. I understand the desire to have art which challenges the norm but to be representative of Canberra… it sits the sky and screams for attention about how cultured and how interesting Canberra is.

It’s representative of the absolute worst in current Australian art.

Barcham said :

Ben_Dover said :

Barcham said :

Just recently, a coalition of delegates spent $45 million of Federal grant money on a bid to host the 2022 World Cup.”

To compare the Tittycarp to the world cup is like comparing Canberra’s music scene with that of London, nay, the that of the whole of the UK and Europe.

In terms of consumer interest, world publicity impact, and the potential for revenue generation for the country, the World Cup is, bar the olympics, the biggest event in the world. The Tittycarp is a silly foible.

Of course the world cup is a much bigger ‘deal’ than the SkyWhale… that’s not the point.

The point is that the $45 million was spent on a BID. It was gambled away on the possibility of having sports played here, and nobody blinks.

$45 million dollars of taxpayers money and we have nothing to show for it.

A minute fraction of that on a piece of art that will travel Australia and is getting international attention and everyone explodes with rage.

I don’t get it.

It would have cost us more than $45 million if we had “won” the bid. Can you remember how much business the 2000 Olympics in Sydney brought into Canberra? No, neither can I and NSW is still paying for them.

so all we get is a few hundred meters of flight for our money.
So what happens now. Sky Whale travels on to Shelbyville makes money and gets recognition for them ?

Barcham said :

Ben_Dover said :

Barcham said :

Just recently, a coalition of delegates spent $45 million of Federal grant money on a bid to host the 2022 World Cup.”

The point is that the $45 million was spent on a BID. It was gambled away on the possibility of having sports played here, and nobody blinks.

$45 million dollars of taxpayers money and we have nothing to show for it.

A minute fraction of that on a piece of art that will travel Australia and is getting international attention and everyone explodes with rage.

I don’t get it.

Simple mate, the world cup was wanted. We were told we were bidding for it.
The Tittycarp is not wanted (by a majority.) Nor were we told we were paying for it.

Ben_Dover said :

Barcham said :

Just recently, a coalition of delegates spent $45 million of Federal grant money on a bid to host the 2022 World Cup.”

To compare the Tittycarp to the world cup is like comparing Canberra’s music scene with that of London, nay, the that of the whole of the UK and Europe.

In terms of consumer interest, world publicity impact, and the potential for revenue generation for the country, the World Cup is, bar the olympics, the biggest event in the world. The Tittycarp is a silly foible.

Of course the world cup is a much bigger ‘deal’ than the SkyWhale… that’s not the point.

The point is that the $45 million was spent on a BID. It was gambled away on the possibility of having sports played here, and nobody blinks.

$45 million dollars of taxpayers money and we have nothing to show for it.

A minute fraction of that on a piece of art that will travel Australia and is getting international attention and everyone explodes with rage.

I don’t get it.

Barcham said :

Just recently, a coalition of delegates spent $45 million of Federal grant money on a bid to host the 2022 World Cup.”

To compare the Tittycarp to the world cup is like comparing Canberra’s music scene with that of London, nay, the that of the whole of the UK and Europe.

In terms of consumer interest, world publicity impact, and the potential for revenue generation for the country, the World Cup is, bar the olympics, the biggest event in the world. The Tittycarp is a silly foible.

Yes but for $300,000 we have a skywhale.

Whereas for $22 million we have enriched some dodgy consultatants and nothing more.

Spectator sport is just an early version of reality tv, State funding is just there to buy votes.

I quite like the fact that the whale will be travelling around Australia too, rather than tied to any one place.

Skywhales have to migrate. Everyone knows that.

The cat did it2:46 pm 13 May 13

I don’t see what everyone’s complaining about. Back in the day, I used to have to drop LSD to see things like skywhale- now it’s on show for free.

Personally, I think it’s ugly and a pointless waste of money. But I am feeling better about it knowing that there are people who actually like it and appreciate its worth.

Quite like the Skywhale. If the art program for the centenary only included the safe, civic and worthy, I’m sure it would be criticised for being dull and uninteresting.

This magnificent writer has summed my feelings up nicely.

http://www.thevine.com.au/life/art/in-defense-of-the-skywhale-canberras-wonder-of-the-world/

“It’s frustrating that sports funding is never subjected to this sort of questioning, despite it arguably being more pointless, less varied and certainly less imaginative, than the steady parade of wonders and cultural creations put forth by our artists (if you want to see the definition of Aussie battlers, look no further than the majority of this maligned group). Just recently, a coalition of delegates spent $45 million of Federal grant money on a bid to host the 2022 World Cup.”

Word.

Ben_Dover said :

World class? Entirely subjective.

Exhibited at the Venice Bienalle.

Not subjective. Utterly quantifiable.

World class artist, says so right there on the tin.

Do not portray your ignorance as bringing weight to your views.

Barcham said :

In terms of cost, how much do you think it should cost to hire a world class artist to work for several years to create a hot air balloon? $300,000 is quite reasonable in my opinion, and is barely a drop in the ocean of the ACT’s yearly spending.

World class? Entirely subjective.

But the hoot for me is that you think the artist ‘worked for years” on this heap. At best she would have knocked up a few sketches and renderings, (Do we get those to keep?) She would have then handed these over to the balloon company in Bristol in the UK. When they had finished laughing, and had made sure the cheque is in the bank, they would have had their technical people knock it up.

Barcham said :

For the first time in a great many years people are not discussing Canberra as “That place where politicians are” or “the round-about and road-works Capital” but “That place where they spend a fortune of public money on a flying Tittycarp, which they don’t own and didn’t fly there. Dear God! This is supposed to be a national capitol, not a kiddy playgroup.”

Fixed.

curmudgery said :

Now that the novelty is beginning to wear off, let’s look at it again and think.

I believe Canberra and its Centenary celebration deserve better than this.

The thing itself is synthetic, eccentric, expensive and of limited usefulness. But more, our Centenary is not about whales and breasts – this is a private indulgence at public expense and an abuse of position and trust.

I hope my children see the day when elected representatives, the committees they create and the contractors they engage approach their public works, instead, with style, finesse and an adult sense of history.

It’s a thing of beauty. It’s a majestic and imaginative piece of work commissioned by one of the worlds best sculpture artists, and arguably the biggest artist to have come out of Canberra.

It is unique and memorable.

In terms of cost, how much do you think it should cost to hire a world class artist to work for several years to create a hot air balloon? $300,000 is quite reasonable in my opinion, and is barely a drop in the ocean of the ACT’s yearly spending.

For the first time in a great many years people are not discussing Canberra as “That place where politicians are” or “the round-about and road-works Capital” but “That place where they made a flying whale!”

I couldn’t be happier.

Now that the novelty is beginning to wear off, let’s look at it again and think.

I believe Canberra and its Centenary celebration deserve better than this.

The thing itself is synthetic, eccentric, expensive and of limited usefulness. But more, our Centenary is not about whales and breasts – this is a private indulgence at public expense and an abuse of position and trust.

I hope my children see the day when elected representatives, the committees they create and the contractors they engage approach their public works, instead, with style, finesse and an adult sense of history.

Been away on holidays with no net access and come back yesterday to this monstrosity 🙂 love that this sums up Canberra for most outsiders (full of hot air) I think it’s interesting but at a reported $300k, maybe that money could have been better spent?

The Skywhale will travel to the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Tasmania in June and the work will be presented at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in Melbourne later this year.

The Centenary of Canberra also hopes the balloon will appear at galleries and festivals throughout Australia, acknowledged as being commissioned for Canberra’s centenary.

Travel Advice: If going on holiday anywhere the Tittycarp is appearing DO NOT mention you are from Canberra.

thebrownstreak698:40 am 13 May 13

Are those things down each side meant to represent ‘the public teats’? Is the idea that Canberra suckles from them?

Well, aside from a tenous link to canberra, not owing it, costing 300K plus, probably never flying here again and no consultation, I like the ugly beast.

In fact I went along on Saturday in the hope seeing the beast hop across the lake but, alas, I was too late.

However, I’m leaning towards the ‘artist taking the piss out of pretentious art critics’ theory.

Masquara said :

Mr Evil said :

And MONA was pretty much paid for by a very rich individual – who was prepared to put his money where his mouth is, rather than expect the taxpayer to fully support his bold idea.

mmmm perhaps, rather, “paid for by unfortunate gambling addicts preyed upon and pickpocketed by opportunistic gambling entrepreneur”? It’s also likely that the fortune that built MONA, besides cleverly tax-havened and tax-avoided, was heavily subsidised by government and welfare agencies helping the families of those gambling addicts. e.g. indirectly paid by the taxpayer.

He’s a sucessful gambler – good on him and his mates for being able to take money back from the ‘system’.

And, ATO were after him for $37million in 2011/12, so I don’t think he’s been able to hide all his wealth.

http://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2013/february/1366597433/richard-flanagan/gambler

Yes, MONA was funded privately.

Now why would that be?

Why couldn’t a state or federal Government have conceived of and funded a highly successful, world class, controversial artistic institution off its own bat?

Could it be because it knew that if it tried, it would run into exactly the type of sour puss backlash that our skywhale is facing – or at least, the protracted, intensified version of it?

The comments I see on Riot Act make me wonder how we ever got the courage to by a Jackson Pollock for the NGA.

HATERS GOTTA HATE

SKYWHALES GOTTA SKY

Do what’s right, skywhale – we want you to fly tomorrow but don’t take foolish risks.

Free the whales!

grunge_hippy9:00 pm 12 May 13

why didnt it fly today? would have been perfect!

Masquara said :

Mr Evil said :

And MONA was pretty much paid for by a very rich individual – who was prepared to put his money where his mouth is, rather than expect the taxpayer to fully support his bold idea.

mmmm perhaps, rather, “paid for by unfortunate gambling addicts preyed upon and pickpocketed by opportunistic gambling entrepreneur”? It’s also likely that the fortune that built MONA, besides cleverly tax-havened and tax-avoided, was heavily subsidised by government and welfare agencies helping the families of those gambling addicts. e.g. indirectly paid by the taxpayer.

Why pick on MONA? The casino at Wrest Point built about 40 years ago was also “subsidised” by thousands of Tasmanian gambling addicts. It was so bad that when the casino opened at about 2.00pm every day there were dozens of women lined up to get to the tables. Locally, this event was known as “the housewive’s stakes”
Also, how many poker machine addicts are there in Canberra that get fleeced at a certain club that subsidizes a certain political party?

Mr Evil said :

And MONA was pretty much paid for by a very rich individual – who was prepared to put his money where his mouth is, rather than expect the taxpayer to fully support his bold idea.

mmmm perhaps, rather, “paid for by unfortunate gambling addicts preyed upon and pickpocketed by opportunistic gambling entrepreneur”? It’s also likely that the fortune that built MONA, besides cleverly tax-havened and tax-avoided, was heavily subsidised by government and welfare agencies helping the families of those gambling addicts. e.g. indirectly paid by the taxpayer.

Deref said :

thoughtpod said :

I hope it flies on Monday.

Firstly, because it is a beautiful, wondrous and creative thing that it marvelously at odds with the (slowly ebbing) conservativeness of Canberra.

I wish it were true. My perception is that, as Canberra’s population’s grown, it’s become dramatically more conservative. RA posts are a pretty good indicator.

You might have a point. I remember the heady days of pommy bastard, captain raaf, woody, henry bg and mr gillespie etc telling us how we should live our lives. Miss you guys…

MONA is wonderful. It has also been paid for out of a private individuals pocket.

thoughtpod said :

I hope it flies on Monday.

Firstly, because it is a beautiful, wondrous and creative thing that it marvelously at odds with the (slowly ebbing) conservativeness of Canberra. The people who saw it were delighted, and rightly so. They were also proud of the city for investing in something that whimsical and controversial…again, and rightly so.

Secondly, because the Sour Puss brigade may have a chance to see it and befriend it before deciding that it is irrelevant or wasteful.

I was recently at the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Tasmania. It too delighted in surprising people, challenging them in ways both serious and lighthearted. It’s a national treasure, but I suspect that a lack of hackneyed kangaroo sculptures and other safe cliches would have had the Tasmanian chapter of the Sour Puss brigade up in arms.

Whatever happens, it will never fly.
It’s a hot air balloon, not an aeroplane.

What a ridiculous waste of money.

I hope it doesn’t fly, just to highlight what a monumental folly and waste of money it is.

God help us.

thoughtpod said :

I hope it flies on Monday.

Firstly, because it is a beautiful, wondrous and creative thing that it marvelously at odds with the (slowly ebbing) conservativeness of Canberra. The people who saw it were delighted, and rightly so. They were also proud of the city for investing in something that whimsical and controversial…again, and rightly so.

Secondly, because the Sour Puss brigade may have a chance to see it and befriend it before deciding that it is irrelevant or wasteful.

I was recently at the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Tasmania. It too delighted in surprising people, challenging them in ways both serious and lighthearted. It’s a national treasure, but I suspect that a lack of hackneyed kangaroo sculptures and other safe cliches would have had the Tasmanian chapter of the Sour Puss brigade up in arms.

I love how some people are so happy to foist their idea of “whimsical and controversial” upon everyone – but never at any actual real cost to themselves.

I’m sure the artist has made sure they won’t be out of pocket throughout this whole saga………

And MONA was pretty much paid for by a very rich individual – who was prepared to put his money where his mouth is, rather than expect the taxpayer to fully support his bold idea.

thoughtpod said :

I hope it flies on Monday.

Firstly, because it is a beautiful, wondrous and creative thing that it marvelously at odds with the (slowly ebbing) conservativeness of Canberra.

I wish it were true. My perception is that, as Canberra’s population’s grown, it’s become dramatically more conservative. RA posts are a pretty good indicator.

I knew it wouldn’t be too long before someone linked the Skywhale with the Budget on Tuesday. Nine News ran a report about “hot air in Canberra” showing the NGA event with tut-tutting about how family benefits will be cut to finance things like the Skywhale.

Really, you’d think they’d come up with something more original. The “hot air in Canberra” line is trotted out each balloon festival, and as for the nonsense that the taxes of hardworking Aussies (porkbarrelled bogans?) in the Western Suburbs are financing bread and circuses here, that just reinforces negative stereotypes which were superseded when the ACT gained self government.

I hope it flies on Monday.

Firstly, because it is a beautiful, wondrous and creative thing that it marvelously at odds with the (slowly ebbing) conservativeness of Canberra. The people who saw it were delighted, and rightly so. They were also proud of the city for investing in something that whimsical and controversial…again, and rightly so.

Secondly, because the Sour Puss brigade may have a chance to see it and befriend it before deciding that it is irrelevant or wasteful.

I was recently at the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Tasmania. It too delighted in surprising people, challenging them in ways both serious and lighthearted. It’s a national treasure, but I suspect that a lack of hackneyed kangaroo sculptures and other safe cliches would have had the Tasmanian chapter of the Sour Puss brigade up in arms.

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