Grown up stuff

Kim Williams speaking to the Sydney Biennale staff in late May, 2019

In the last blog post I talked about how we have been working with kids to make a song which swims around in the mess of plastic in our everyday lives. While we’re working on all that fun stuff, and preparing for the exhibition at Cockatoo Island, we’re also working behind the scenes with the Biennale of Sydney staff, in activities which look more grown up.

The Biennale, via the Artistic Director Brook Andrew (himself an artist) has commissioned us to work on this project about plastics, in the hope of transforming some of the Biennale’s own processes. So we’re hybrids. We are making “artwork” for the exhibition, and at the same time we’re play-acting at being “organisational consultants” (if you can come up with a better name for this, let us know!).

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Plastic in the House – the song

Plastic in the House (captions version)
Plastic in the House (without captions)

Plastic-free Biennale has a whole bunch of moving puzzle pieces. Some of them are very “grown-up” looking, like meeting with the Board of Directors of the Biennale of Sydney (to urge them to update their environmental policy) or researching the science and history of plastic.

But other aspects of the project are pure fun, and allow an alternative way for our audience to engage with the complex world of plastics. For example, Kim Williams wrote a brilliant and ridiculously catchy song called “Plastic in the House” which we recorded with some local Wollongong kids.

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[detail from Household Audit Concrete Poem ]

The Biennale of Sydney wants to go plastic-free.

What could this mean? How could this work?

One of the things that the staff (and Artistic Director Brook Andrew) are keen to have is a “manifesto”.

What would a Plastic-free Manifesto look like, and how might it help shunt the organisation closer towards its goal?

Continue reading “Manifesting”