Catalogue text for Marc de Jong

Marc de Jong FLOCK WORK
Gould Galleries, 270 Toorak Rd. South Yarra
Opens Thursday 08 September 2011 – Saturday 08 October 2011


In Marc de Jong’s FLOCK WORK we are presented with explosive moments of energy controlled and contained. Removed from their origin as stock photography they appear to be slowed to the point of growing organically. His images of curling ocean waves, fireworks, volcanos, black holes all deal with brutal, spectacular energy. Electricity, water, gravity, fire – elemental forces man has tried to contain. These are portraits of entropy – a moment of peak energy about to dissipate – the greatest force frozen and permitted to grow a mould-like flock veneer. In this manner they are meditations on the speed of global image culture, overgrown phosphorescent works that contain our shared visual culture.


Stock footage and universal logotypes have long been a fascination for de Jong. From the early sign-jacking of the re-advertising project to his re-appropriation of Mad Max in oils, to the alternate reading of nationalist pride in his combination of Australian Aboriginal colours and the Eureka stockade flag. Marc has continued a tradition of very precise and controlled re-use of contemporary imagery. In FLOCK WORK we are witness to a sifting of imagery from stock photography libraries that privilege moments of dynamic intensity only to seal them in their explosive state and alchemically make them permanent on canvas. Somewhere between printing, painting and electrostatic experimentation lies de Jong’s flock process. Generating sparks in their big bang moment in the studio, these canvases represent and also contain the energy used to make them.


de Jong’s Buddhas stare out from the walls, peacefully surveying the folly of man’s attempts at longevity and permanence. These heads stand apart in this body of work as the only manifestation of a human form. A humble, resigned, knowing, curling smile that sees the world from it’s jungle home at Angkor Watt, Cambodia. These faces are the key to understanding Marc de Jong’s metaphysical concerns – they are the serene reflections of man surveying and attempting to understand the world. Fame dissolves, humanity is extinguished, but life continues in the pores of the earth. Surfaces of the world will again creep with lichen and moss, much like de Jong’s flock seems to grow and emit a faceless living energy.

Emile Zile 2011

Sandberg Institute at NIMk #3

On Friday, January 14 2011 the Netherlands Media Art Institute (NIMk) will host a night profiling the work of Sandberg Institute students from all departments. Theus Zwakhals of NIMk and Emile Zile (ex-S.I. Fine Arts, are curating and producing the event. The last two editions have hosted installations, performances and a screening program to a broad public audience.

Participating artists:
Manon van Trier, Samantha Thole, Tom Milnes, Katja Novitskova, Maartje Smits, Salomé Lamas, Edwin Stolk, Jetske Verhoeven, Eva Marie Rodbro, Sina Khani, Lida Krul, Sayaka Abe, Marc Barreda

e3.50 entry, students free.

Southern Hemisphere State of Mind • Museum Night doof at NIMk Amsterdam

Producing the event and performing as DJ Bushdoof this Saturday at Netherlands Institute for Media Art, Amsterdam. Museum Night 2010, from 22.00-02.00. NIMk has a busy public program starting at 7pm, we wind up the night with a big doofing party. Selector Tiny Tim is bringing fresh Jamaican bashment and live MC’s, the visuals are arriving via filetransfer services as I type; Mexico, London, Melbourne, New York and Amsterdam Oost.

DJ Bushdoof
Sensiriti Sound w/ MC
Visuals by
Maximum Rim (Australia)
Yoshi Sodeoka (Japan/U.S.A.)
TV aka Clickjaw (Mexico/Australia)
Flyer image by Antuong Nguyen of Maximum Rim.

Two dead media announcements in one week

Analog media seizure. Sony Cassette Walkman discontinued in Japan and Technics 1200 turntables discontinued globally. 30 year old technology. Beginning of personal audio. Beginning of scratching, club culture. Analog components difficult to source. Challenges in the marketplace. Walkman’s death announced on the birthday of the ipod.

Hong Kong Xiamen Shanghai • October 2008

In Hong Kong a compilation of Sandberg Institute artist’s video work that I curated was shown at Videotage (cheers Alvis and all that turned out) in Xiamen we held a group exhibition with Xiamen Art College students at CEAC and in Shanghai we had a few days off to soak in the big city mayhem.

Christian Marclay’s Screen Play was the final event in Shanghai’s eArts outdoor performance program that also included a performance by legendary Quake re-fixer / modder Feng Mengbo. Held at a temporary outdoor stage in Shanghai’s west, the audience was comprised of young and old, seeing octogenarians and kids dancing up the front was a blast. I’m thinking hard to recall a new media performance event in Europe or Australia that had it’s audience comprised of such varied ages. Marclay’s video score was interpreted by three mixed groups of Chinese and American musicians. Edited within an inch of it’s life, the images were tightly focused in their energy and dramatic flow. Sometimes linked by the motion within the frame, the content of the frame or by the simple colourful animations overlayed on the appropriated film imagery. A great amount for the improvisational performer to focus on, packed with patterns and rules, to break or follow. Sounds included Chinese opera percussion, squirming impro jazz Sax, crunchy MaxMSP processing, self-made breath controlled instruments and an old school Shanghai punk band.

The most successful collaboration in my eyes was the second set, comprised of Bruce Gremo, Ben Houge and Yan Jun. Highly synthetic sounds that closely followed the on-screen score. The artificiality of the sounds complemented the 1940-50’s black and white film stock, playing against the perceived ‘authenticity’ of film grain and documentary form. This set stayed with me long after. Great work.

Leaving Shanghai we heard a loud bang over the right wing just after leaving the ground. I knew something was up. Twenty minutes into the flight there was a discernible hum and rattle. The plane dropped speed and it was clear it was being flown manually. The captain came on the P.A. and told us in an almost too chirpy Dutch accent it was time to return to Shanghai. Highlights of this stressful situation included a group of Romanian men smoking novelty electronic cigarettes in the aisle, coping with stress by creating more stress? Tourists rushing to take photos of the fuel dumping over the East China Sea, the in-cabin monitors showing ‘time to destination: 5 minutes’ when were circling over the sea. I saw the air brakes on the wing extend to lose speed and altitude and I was sure we were destined for a water landing. A tight, choking knot of fear in my stomach. After returning safely to the airport and the round of applause on touchdown we were instructed to stay in the plane while the damage was ascertained. After two hours inside the cabin we were told it was a defective piston on a door near the landing gear. A replacement part was searched for; after another hour it was decided to stay at the airport hotel until the next day. We spent the night in a futuristic Franco Cozzo/Scarface/SpaceAirport hotel from another dimension. The hotel looked about twenty minutes old. Round beds, mirrors on the ceiling, designer fittings and views of the landing jumbos. My favourite Chinese state TV show ‘Dialogue’ was on the plasma, usually two or three guests and a host sitting at a table discussing Chinese geopolitical matters and economics. Refreshingly low-tech after the visual bubblegum of CNN. Like watching a television format from the fifties. People speaking to each-other and a three cameras. After the rigmarole of checking-in a full 747 of passengers in two hours, the flight went very smoothly direct to Amsterdam. Apart from the dodgy tuna sandwich I had at Shanghai airport that made me weak in the plane and sick in Old Europe. So many days on the mainland eating quick, cheap and tasty hawker food cooked by grandmas on the street and what gets me is the last bite, a dodgy sanger from Shangers.

Interview • Spat’n’Loogie cooking with Finnish trolls

Kat Barron and Lara Thoms a.k.a. SPAT’N’LOOGIE a.k.a awesome hybrid performance creators a.k.a Charltons ‘Gangstas Paradise’ Karaoke Champions have quickly moved from their HOLIDAY show during Melbourne’s recent Next Wave Festival to a residency in Rauma, rural Finland.

What are you doing in Finland?

Soaking up the sun. Taking tours of ‘Rauma’s dark side’, inlcuding a date in a car with ‘pussy patrol’ sprayed on the doors. Writing a feature film. Making a cooking show. Hanging out with teenagers. Making videos at the pool. Making paper mache muscle suits and spitting in each others faces. 7 hour dinner parties. Getting into craft – creating heaps of ‘buddies’.

Do the Finns make good conversationalists?
Do you have any Finnish tales or jokes now?

The most popular joke in Rauma is to say ‘Hey, what’s going on in Rauma tonight?’ – funny because nothing is ever going on in Rauma tonight. Also to add a T to the beginning of Rauma. The locals we have met have been pretty good conversationalists, we met two brothers who were satanists and told us they  wanted to make a didgeridoo out of a t-rex bone and come on as guests on our cooking show to cook mock human (soy based). One of them was going to begin a job managing the local nuclear power plant. We are a bit concerned about that.

What’s the greatest thing that’s happened to you during the residency?

Buddies. (shell art). Seeing a young punk with multi colored giant mohawk dive from an 18 metre platform gracefully into the local pool fully clothed. An all-accapella heavy metal band in Helsinki.

Has the constant daylight affected your ability to work or sleep?

In the beginning we were waking up at 2am, thinking it was 2pm, etc. Its getting dark at about 12 now, we still can’t bring ourselves to sleep before 3am.

How did the cooking show come about?

Boredom and hunger and inability to ever eat outside of the house, entertainment for close friends and coconuts.

Have you been to the Finnish outback?

We are in the Finnish outback.  We have seen crop circles in fields nearby. No, Lapland would be nice.

What else are you doing in Europe?

We are planning to visit St. Petersburg and Stockholm during our visit for good times, after the residency we are going Linz to attend Ars Electronica.  Other plans include making a skype video artwork gameshow with you.


Reindeer stew.

Where can I revel in the excitement of candy?

Pick and pay, this is a mall city.

Whats hot this summer?

Roller blading, peroxided hair, sausage dogs, PUA’s