Category Archives: Writing by others

BANALITIES for Babel (by Ruark Lewis)


1. a still road is littered with the bodies of a hundred

2. was burdened with the weight of down

3. his drunken joy was volatile

4. the winds sift through the grasses on the dunes

5. a foul air penetrates the soul

6. he steers his punt against the lyric poets

7. it sped and jumped the tracks to cross the distance very fast

8. fancy-free he disappeared in thin air

9. across the city's frozen water he could hear the voices

10. where the folded ribbons remain a warning

11. a snake is mostly mis-understood

12. in their music the sound of water is almost audible

13. he was stationed in the army of the senses

14. why gather momentum?

15. the rat has solved the problem of the hole

16. to find a dollar it is sometimes harder than we think

17. perfume is a sense of place

18. S-shaped for an hour from one place to another

19. the brown bird built a temple in the nest

20. a sport of water

21. the waxy substances that form a soap make bubbles

22. the meeting of the battled unions generates more than noise

23. orchestras are not cricket teams

24. when the corpse speaks from his bed the grave is empty

…for more Ruark Lewis please visit


The following is a review of a show that Tim Hilton produced for BlauGrau Gallery (inner Sydney) in 2001. At the time that the review was written, Tim emailed it to me. I am not sure if it has been published elsewhere, and hope that it's ok I post it here. If not, please get in touch! Cheers, Lucas.



by bunny star

31 may 2001

"Artists and creative thinkers will lead the way into
space because they are already writing, painting and
filming space. They are providing us with the only
maps for space travel. We are not setting out to
explore static pre-existing data. We are setting out
to create new worlds, new beings, new modes of
consciousness. … What you experience in dreams and
out of the body trips, what you glimpse in the work of
writers and painters, is the promised land of space."

– Burroughs

Travelling through a world of experimental art, the
explorer discovers a field of music branching inward,
and outward, in a spiralling, centripetal fashion,
revealing the industrial insect sounds of Tim Hilton.
Shadow Matter – his second CD – is a collection that
plays with the combined forces of technology and human
chance. Dinosaur bleating, liger growling,
extraterrestrial humming and hearts beating leaves
listening open to individual interpretation. The idea
is to access pathways through ‘coincidence’ by
locating form in surface using the random functions of
a computer. Hilton describes his process as a way of
‘revealing the hand of god at work’ – artist becomes
conduit to facilitate an interaction between universal
energy, human perception & earthly technology. An
aural mapping, if you will – a stitching together of
space and time in the 21st century.

Through music and art, Hilton investigates what lurks
beneath the surface of sound and sight. He is
interested in the response-ability of himself,
technology, an audience and the space in which we
locate ourselves.

‘I see the process of making these sound pieces as an
unknowing collaboration between person and machine
with the outcome due to guided chance – a personal and
impersonal documentation of existence.’

An alchemical resonance is fused by choosing computer
samples and filters, leaving the technology to shape
shift the selection. Soundscapes form and like ‘making
pictures in clouds’ or ‘throwing grains of rice and
seeing where they land,’ the end result reflects a
surrender of absolute control. Unsolicited imagination
meets multi-media modes of statement. Laptop geek
music comes alive.

Like an apparition of the spiral entrance into a
galaxy seen from afar, Hilton’s music embraces
non-linear consciousness. The journey takes precedence
over arrival. As such, we are offered process-based
productions of anti-narrative, fantastical aural
visions sprayed out in the circularity of musical
loops. Finding form in spurts of crackle, beats &
rhythms looped at different speeds, a mutation takes
place. Bridging the microcosm with the macro- he
points to ways of bringing awareness to inner states
of realisation and magical energy through the
technology of this time.

‘I see the melding as a way of creating phantom-like
sound pieces that I could not have otherwise imagined
– like hypnagogic imagery. Although I produce these
images, I don’t conjure them, they appear in my
consciousness with other forces at play.’

Consider this – a space pulsates with the blueprint
energy of Hilton’s work. Three hand clap samples are
arranged randomly through the use of the software’s
random function pattern. Set to the beats per minute
(bpm) of his heart rate at the time (63bpm), the
composition is humanised, or mortalised, through an
interactive process. When installed, the piece
emanates from two red funnels which are suggestive of
big ears, or maybe eyes, that become a productive
organ, rather than a receptive one. The space is
anthromorphosised as the unit is attached to the body
of the room, endowing it with human qualities.

At the launch of his debut video clip at Squatfest
2001, critic
Heath O’Brien comments on the effect such
sutured sounds had on the audience.

‘Everyone is silent, basking in the hypnotic rhythm
and pulsating response’orial psalm. Now everyone is
intensely aware and there is an electric sense of
expectation and a palpable curiosity in the air
mingled with an uncanny familiarity as if we are
immersed in a primreview collective memory.’

Hilton’s work delves further and invites the audience
to step outside of the subjective experience of human
ego, just for a moment, to stand on a stage of
unidentified experience, if only to broaden the scope
of inner vision or activate latent perception. Barbara
Freedman writes in Staging the Gaze, ‘The
objectification of the self by an alien viewpoint
enables, as it undermines, self-consciousness by
calling into play an unconscious look.’2 With a
Lacanian bent, Hilton encourages a destabilisation of
conditioned response by challenging the limitations of
conscious thought and, in doing so, allows space for
the collective unconscious to mingle with music and
mortal beings.

Is this by chance or specific intent of the composer?
Both – the essence of blueprint energy lies beneath
the surface of Hilton’s sounds, conceived in the
mind’s eye and ear, according to the subjective
experience of the collective unconscious. Working with
an interest in responding critically to the concept of
‘Mektoub’ – the idea that everything is written by the
hand of fate – he points to the significance of human
interaction in an age of art and technology, blazing a
trail of unique talent.

– bhs 2001

BANALITIES for the East Cape (by Ruark Lewis)

BANALITIES for the East Cape

1. she flies over the molten lava and looks out to sea

2. the bird is accustomed to headaches, yet no one acts naturally. when the car rounds the corner expecting collision. heartaches, clenching teeth, shortness of breath or far-off something that sounds like a skidding snake

3. when the fire burns it follows orders. it makes no mistake by diverting attention or lowering its heat

4. where food is beside sleep nothing is resolved, nothing except a fart

5. movements open the door to the face without translation. kiss my teeth to whisper . . . . . I say nothing then I ask, would you leave and you don't

6. the soup is customary, like tidal lagoons it has something to say to the sun

7. the trees disappear, they simply leave a gap of broken teeth

8. this surface makes a trace, a space between rivers, between land plates for grazing cattle and tracks for explorers. it is about proximity, about length and breadth, over time and space hillock and mound are turned to acres then to shires their measure of weight and height we sell abstractly full of weeds

9. in the course of the day, eros and desire, urgency and gaze pushes me ‘til I sleep

10. nothing follows, things follow things where a thing seems to move round and round and is followed around then turns and having followed it again when they have followed all day long looking for a voice that persists – in time these things come and go and then they turn. their beauty has no order. their being has no movement outside where a bird is literally caught in flight – and squeezed to death

11. sound. my ears are made of deafness in the roar of reckless care

12. beside this measure where else is the edge or morsel beside taste and food?

13. the application in itself goes against the tide, and that line yawns absentmindedly, that's how conversations circle one another, in time and after, a beautiful intelligence with nothing to say, that things end sometimes before the next phase of time exists at all, or perhaps way after it should – given time I think I would settle for charming you

14. but trees are like that – they rarely risk attack

15. the uneasy condition sore and broken has fallen from a mighty height

16. to get it on. to lose the plot. to never reach the end. to drown here where it is shallow

17. size sets elements to organise old Greeks and Egyptians, but now in the age of everything things are elementary, they are full of principles and coordinates

18. around and around sent off spare the wool drawn up against your hair

19. in crime as in freedom honesty is pretty universal

20. in sea myths storms are synonymous


…for more Ruark Lewis please visit:

Ken Bolton on Bilateral

[The following review of my show BILATERAL, by Ken Bolton, is from PLANET_EAF,, the Experimental Art Foundation’s online version of its newsletter, Oct-Dec 2002]


25 October to 16 November : LUCAS IHLEIN Bilateral

Sydney-based artist Lucas Ihlein’s stay at the Experimental art Foundation took the forms of an exhibition, a residency (effectively a ‘live-in’ exhibition), numerous outreach extensions of the show-and-project, and special events that took place simultaneously in different registers: the purely social, the social conceived and judged as exchange and reciprocity, and as a system viewed as or by ‘Art’.

As an exhibition Bilateral took the form of installation: much of the installation was made up of works produced (as installation in some cases) for previous incarnations of the project: installations in Singapore, Hong Kong and Perth. Many of the works recorded the experience of those places Рthe learning processes involved in adapting to them, the frameworks of thought they gave rise to Рfrom preconception, prejudice, clich̩, through to a measure of understanding.

An effect of Bilateral, then, was to foreground these things in general terms as well as specific – and to promote a degree of selfconsciousness about one’s own behaviour or about one’s city’s attitudes and the degree of sophistication, tolerance, complacency or ignorance this might evince. The viewing of (the) art was also cast as an experience much less neutral than the gallery cube normally implies. That is, the viewer’s presence relevantly carried signifiers of social class and caste (as it always does, but not usually to the art’s point); the art itself (inviting viewer participation, with the artist present, mediating the experience to a degree) was very much a social situation, with unstated social obligations and codes in place.

Ihlein produced a 3 colour silkscreened poster catalogue/invitation for the exhibition and produced new work in response to the live-in experience at the EAF and in response to Adelaide. Associated events included a film night (‘Film’ Films? Fine!) that, as well as the films, involved the staging of a Fluxus performance event, Albert M Fine’s Piece for Fluxorchestra and Ihlein’s Event For Touristic Sites – a kind of ‘action’. At this last volunteers (and people who joined in on the spot) wore T-shirts at a public tourist site (and on the occasion of the annual Adelaide Xmas Pageant) baldly proclaiming the truth of national stereotypes (All Australians are arse-lickers, All Germans are efficient, All Mexicans are loco, All Taiwanese are shifty sort of thing). Naturally, collected like this, they rendered the very formula ridiculous.

Tim Hilton at SquatFest 2001

[written by Heath O’Brien]

got to tha broadway squats just on dark..stumbled out
of carolines white/sunroofed/roofracked beamer(BMW)- not very pc
for a squatfest i realise however we were pumping japanese 80’s pop.
so, immediately i lose my new goggles…thats ok cos
the lovely michaelscaviellero of imperial slacks spots me & we
meet/greet etc. we knab a skanky futon practically under the
‘bigscreen’ in front of the ballistic speakers & kick back as the first vids
begin…..i ask him if he’s seen u…..who?…he tells me he has
a couple of flicks showing….so does hilton i reply.
about 3 shortfilums later, a lone flyingfox swoops
overhead, and a subtle instantly recognisable beat ..or is it a
clap or pulse…nailsmy attention to the silverscreen.
everyone is silent, basking in the hypnotic rhythym
and pusating gorgeous ‘music{}response’sorial psalm.
now eveyone is intensely aware of the experiance,
there is an electric sense of expectation and a palpable curiousity in the
air mingled with an uncanny familiarity as if we are immersed in a
primeval collective memory.
tension uncannily mounts.
i check the audience – rivetted!
people love it but dont know why!
they want more yet cant take much longer…there is a
whimper from some pleb chik, a question? a moan?
the film peaks—the crowd, silent almost reverent
till now applaud as one.
relieved admiration and a sense of true wonder as we
marvel @ the elegance of your little flic.
the final 20 seconds were genuinely gruelling however
addictve / intoxicating…
imperial slacks calls it “mesmerising”
well received by all .. great interest evident..big
kudos claps

the sound was sensational… loud were i was
almost distorted so beautifully juxtaposed on the pinkneon visual yet
remarkably concordant.

an eager voice calls for identity, who was that auteur ?!

“yay…yay timhilton !” i give ’em the goods… she
recognises you so i give her my email 2 contact u…..some

all in all a true highlight … exploit the medium harness!
do us a favour.

for more on Tim Hilton go here and here