Tag Archives: culture jamming

Dead Set Mate

9 Aug

This masterful piece of uncommissioned public sculpture tunes my dial for a number of reasons. Anyone who is friends with me on facebook will probably have mused about my profile pic, a reflection of the beige cowboy in a dead TV set snapped one sunny day while walking missy. I used to take photos of abandoned TVs, for no other reason than it sparked my creative curiosity. To see this abandonment of old technology, like so many jilted lovers left to mope and decay on the nature strip, was a moment in history worthy of documenting in all its sad glory. It brought up mixed feelings in me – the nostalgia of seeing clones of the old box from my childhood; the ugly spectacle of the sheer waste and its thoughtless abandonment; the creative itch that spoke of the potential for some meaningful statement that could be made if these abandoned beauties could be harvested and turned into art.

I came across a disemboweled circuit board crucified on a power pole a few months ago and thought, this person is onto something – got to love that sympatico.

Power Pole Circuit Board Hack

Power pole circuit board hack – Cnr St Georges Rd and Miller St Thornbury

Power pole circuit board hack

Power pole circuit board hack (detail) – Cnr St Georges Rd and Miller St Thornbury

But then I came across the pièce de résistance near the Thornbury Railway Station and had to stop to take off my hat and wipe a metaphorical tear from my eye. This piece is not only bright and provocative, it has subtext in spades. Retouched abandoned monitors stacked as building blocks spell out a term, in the vernacular, that means in total seriousness, and of course the pun that here are a bunch of terminal boob-tubes. When I first saw this piece it had been vandalised and someone had thrown the tube with ‘Dead’ stenciled on it onto the railway tracks. I went back to take these photos a few days later and the artist had set up another monitor to complete the message. Your intrepid correspondent fished the old tube off the rocks and placed it back with its red case for the pic at the bottom.

Dead Set Mate

Uncommissioned sculpture near Thornbury Railway Station. I like the unintentional extra touch of the vomit of wires from the vandalised red 'Dead' set, bottom right.

Dead Set Mate

Here modelled by missy, with red set back in one piece.

As a footnote: I rode past this on my way picking missy up from day care yesterday and I noticed that it’s become a bit of a shrine for other abandoned televisions. Who knows what other great things are in the offing for these abandoned electronic lovers. I shall endeavor to keep you posted.


Building Bullshit

28 Jan

You’ve got to love the desecration of political propaganda. Snapped on Australia Day 2011, I thought it appropriate to commemorate the waffle of national pride with this cream topping (in a can) of a culture-jam (a couple days late I know but… whatever). Perhaps fair comment is a more appropriate label for this work of poster vandalism. I like the A sign strategically placed next to the blacked out Labor Party Logo, transforming it into anarcho-syndicalist colours… who said old leftist dreams are dead. Shamefully un-Australian of me (and this spray can warrior) I know, but that’s free-speech for you – lap it up.

Building Bullshit

Political bullshit in its myriad forms


We turn homes into “assets”

24 Jan

You know you are living in sad times when you show something as guttingly insightful as this supplementary real estate slogan to someone and they simply shrug their agreement. That’s the case with property acquisition in this fair city of mine – ownership of a home, in the area of your choice, has become a privilege (don’t get me started on the leech like machinations of rental agents). That is why I was particularly chuffed when I came across this aptly and ably altered agent’s sign on my way home from the park with missy.

We turn homes into "assets"

Indeed we do.

Say No to Graffiti!

19 Jan

This really should be the (ironic) banner image for this blog… a stencil artifact after my own heart. I’ve seen this etched up all along the Epping train line near Croxton station, but this one was snapped on a garage roller door near Northcote Plaza. It reminds me of a sticker I saw circulating around the time of the Gulf War (the second coming) with a pic of those champions for the moral high-ground, the G.W. and our own Little Johnny which said “Just say No to War.”


Spelling mistake aside, a stellar effort.

Bill Posters is Innocent!

9 Dec

I have been told that there was a time when Bill Posters, that notorious scourge of public wall space, was the subject of a prosecution to wit the public responded with a free-Nelson-Mandella-like enthusiasm – riots took place outside the courthouse and when Bill was finally freed with only a $150 fine, the public responded with a PayPal driven defence fund, taking pennies from supporters all over the world . Well it was really a piece of graffiti that read “Bill Posters is Innocent” but every blog needs a little literary largesse to keep readers amused.

Any one who has walked the long mile putting up band posters or taken spray can in hand will appreciate this piece of stencilling on the side of the Terminus Hotel in Abbotsford – a sweet piece of culture jamming that will warm the heart of the anarchist in all of us.

City of Yarra – Approved Street Art Location

City of Yarra – Approved Street Art Location


V.B. – Wasted Daily

6 Dec

I’m a big fan of culture jamming, especially the appropriation of logos. That’s why I was chuffed when I saw this sticker plastered on the wall next to the Commonwealth Bank ATM in High St., Thornbury. For those not acquainted with Australian beers, VB (Victoria Bitter) is the working mans bevy made famous in this wide brown land by the “I’ve got it now” commercial. As you can see below the typical VB drinker is a wife beater wearing, hard working bloke who looks forward to beer-o’clock (“comin’ on around four”) and a good piss up with his mates.

Compare and contrast the VB logo appropriated by unknown artist and social commentator… subtle, perhaps not, but definitely worthy of a chuckle.

VB logo culture jam

They’re Everywhere!?!

23 Nov

Ever since I learnt to read I have been fascinated by the messages that people leave on walls. One of my favourite childhood memories of our family road trips, trekking to our holiday house in Lake Eildon, is stoping off at the regular pitstop at Yea and reading the latest jokes scrawled onto the walls of the public loo. One that had us in hysterics, multiple times, was “I came to shit and stink but all I did was sit and think.” Oh to be 7 again.

As I got older and more politicised, I started paying attention to the protest slogans and culture jamming that popped up around town. From the simple and direct “Smoking Kills” scrawled in ugly black paint on defaced cigarette bilboards (when they were still legal in Australia), to the mind-bending “Punks still not dead” which graced the walls of Lunar Park in St Kilda for a while back in the 90’s.

Since the coming of age of the camera toting mobile phone, I’m sure I’m not the only person who has sniggered and snapped random pieces of salacious graffiti that has caught their fancy. The purpose of this blog is to capture some of the serendipitous scrawls that I come across – be they profound or ridiculous – and share them with you, dear reader. Hopefully the words captured in these images will show, to paraphrase Nietzsche, that lover of condensed profundity, what others try to say in a whole book. Or at least give you a chuckle as you marvel at the outporings of some of the felt-tipped warriors who dare to share their inner world with the rest of us.