Above all else.
Each and every time I'm presented with yet another challenge I remind myself that trust is the paramount, deep set and consistent intuition that gets me through.
2015 through the beginnings of 2016 has been beyond tumultuous.
Not only have I continued to let go of things and people who would have preferred I'd stay the same old me, I've also learned a few things along the way.
Here are some highlights either for you to have a laugh at or perhaps they might ring true for you too.
I've learned that organisations, particularly large educational institutions with a long list of self serving academics are a law and bastion unto themselves, determined to defend themselves by maintaining a status quo, even if that falls outside of the societal norm. Not only have I developed a deep disdain for a number of individuals whose names would be apparent to some reading this chapter, there is a lesson that I learned profoundly at the beginning of 2015 and throughout till its end.
That lesson is - if you are a male and you wish to represent yourself in a nude, classical pose online, live to the internet be aware that in this day and age in conservative Australia that such nudity (as a male) is frowned upon even in black & white. Had I been a female on the other hand then its any guess as to what the appreciation cycle might have differed by.
if you choose to do so be assured that someone who would like to take advantage of you will do so and those who would call themselves professional, ethical and of sound moral compass.
To those who contributed to such a charade which led to an exoneration by the very system setup to vilify the defendant (by-proxy-victim) then I can assure you in no uncertain terms that you have it coming for you as all energies return to their source and test you ten fold, even if that happens in a mad black flash on your deathbed.
Art is art and you completed the engagement as an audience. Your contributions were duly noted and now it's my turn to use the data for my own good, not yours.
It's the ying and it's the yang.
Given no oxygen the evil doesn't breathe nor does it see the light of day.
Magali remarked today (which I though was exceptional hence the quotation):
"...Systems only value difference when it becomes sameness."
How very true.
Which brings me to thank on the other hand the universe for providing me with mentors whom have their own life's challenges and in one short year have taught me a few truths of their own.
Second - given that I'm a curious person, that I have an insatiable thirst for knowledge that transcends in many cases the typical Australian moral conscience (the populace at least) I embarked on a get-to-know of Grindr. The resultant months of fun connecting with, meeting and analysing this mobile-enabled-GPS-tracked-GIS facilitated gay, bisexual and transexual community has been exceptional.
Yes - I am completing a PhD and yes, I am an action researcher. Lastly, yes, I am LIVING my PhD and have been since 2009 - not simply filling in the boxes and handing in a cookie-cut piece of crap.
It has also been interesting investigating OKCupid to a lesser extent.
I could add a few more but none more so than better understanding how the internet of veillance has crept it's merry way into all the subcultures it would seek to have tracked and traced the most.
So as an Artist I thought to myself that it would be good to screen capture 45 of the best profiles in one evening and turn them into an art work of their own right. No names and no pack drills.
Just good old connection data that will shock of you poor souls reading this or perhaps when you see these printed on scale, on photographic paper and exhibited in the not too distant future. Go on....click on a few and check them out.
So, what else is new?
Well I have taught ethics and technology (ISIT203) at the University of Wollongong which required me catching a bus to Sydney and train to Wollongong weekly. That was tricky as was housing three children in a very small apartment and preparing it for sale (loss) in this present economic climate brought about by enduring war and greed everywhere in this capitalist culture.
As far as family goes nothing could be more shocking than actually speaking your truth with the them and so I continue to do so as often as possible and without restraint. Children grow into adults and then we have the duty of reminding them of the selective memory they operate out of in their own quest for autonomy and fulfilment.
The letting go of the child is painful and the welcoming in of the adult just as worrisome. When they choose to move interstate we celebrate and grieve into the same cup that overflows with prospect.
I have moved house and have the most amazing and fulfilling relatedness with my partner Magali McDuffie. I have friends and I have a vast network of connections yet to explore.
I am completing the PhD and I am happy.
Trust - above all else.