Sunday, January 1, 2017

"The Beginning of the End"

A human being is in the pages of this blog.

About two months ago I was programmed by The Yard Theatre in London to create End of Species: a monologue about Charles Darwin, climate change and a long journey overland. This happened at the end of a 20-hour journey from Berlin, when I arrived at my pitching appointment two hours late and at the end of my fuse, having been significantly delayed by a deceptively slow channel ferry. For whatever reason - perhaps blind luck - I was forgiven for this.

Since then, to be honest, it has been a process of tearing more than the usual amounts of my hair out.

I will post some of this residue over the coming weeks in the lead up to the first performance on March 11. Meanwhile, the posts below are a kind of travelogue, marking points of my journey from Australia to Germany 'overland', the development and performance of the political mime work People Spoke, my investigations into theatre and oppression, and my various rationalisations for taking the journey in the first place.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Friday, March 7, 2014

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Monday, March 3, 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Why, Darwin? (Three Defenses, plus a surprise defense)

The question I have been asked the most by far since I began this project is 'Why Darwin?'

The answer to this questions is still a bunch of loose threads that have not yet come together.

But I have three defenses.

First Defense: preceding art, there is a leap into the unknown.

Second Defense: I have a feeling the narrative of evolution, which is one of the most assumed, widely known, and yet most contested scientific narrative that we have, has something to do with the way we approach climate change.

Darwin's life is a rare example of a story told a thousand times in a thousand different ways, each with absolute certainty.

I myself have a feeling of a man who is not really even a scientist - more of a 'bit parts man' who happened to be in the right place at the right time. Consider a sentence such as this:

"The noise from the insects is so loud, that it may be heard even in a vessel anchored several hundred yards from the shore; yet within the recesses of the forest a universal silence appears to reign. To a person fond of natural history, such a day brings with it a deeper pleasure than he can ever hope to experience again".
When I read this, which is taken from The Voyage of the Beagle, and describes Darwin in the Brazillian port of Salvador, I question, earnestly, whether it is written by a scientist or poet.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Interview with Ahmed Nadalian

In March I undertook a residency with the artist Ahmed Nadalian in Iran. During the residency I interviewed Ahmed about his role as an environmental artist in a period where Climate Change is becoming important to all areas of human life. That interview was published yesterday by Cultura21.

I would like to say a special thanks to Tom Doig of for helping me to edit the interview and providing general moral support.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Berlin Performance of People Spoke

Areille and Orion (in absentia) were kind enough to host me for my final performance in Berlin, as part of Berlin's Month of Performance art.

I inserted a slightly different opening for this perfomance. Here is an excerpt:
SLAVOJ ZIZEK: You know what is interesting to me in the Turkey situation is that its alot like the Arab Spring yes, but also the Turks have much more, er, media *sniff* and so it was even quicker to get out on the internet and so on. I mean this is a really good example, I think, where, you know, the media is not reporting directly so much on the crisis, but it also doesn’t matter so much because the narrative is already written without them.

Thank you to all who came last night, it was such a pleasant and unexpected evening.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Performances in Bucharest

In Bucharest, I found a generous and engaged arts community. I made two performances, both to full houses, one in an abandoned building which has been turned into an arts space called Carol 53, and the other in the Apartment Theatre of my host, Lorin, called Lorgean Theatre.

Photos from the performance of People Spoke in Carol 53 were taken by Ana-Maria Iordache, who was also my host along with her sister Roxana.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

"The most dangerous forms of oppression are created by shaking hands" Interview with Cristina Toderas

As part of my performances in Bucharest, I was interviewed by journalist Cristina Toderas. The full interview can be found here (Romanian).

A translation with Google Translate (and some grammatical corrections) follows.

"The most dangerous forms of oppression are created by shaking hands"

People Spoke is the performance that Richard Pettifer aims to discuss individual freedom and its limits. The show is part of Global Warming tour, which began on 1 January 2013 and will be completed when the artist will comes to Berlin, where he will join other artists who protest against unsustainable methods used by governments. During the tour, departing from central Australia to Darwin, then across the Timor Sea to Indonesia, stopping in Java and Sumatra Islands, then in Singapore, Peninsular Malaysia, Thailand, Myanma, Northern India, Pakistan, Iran and Turkey to Europe Richard preferred to travel by bus or train. A plane used only twice since the beginning of the challenge, when it was absolutely necessary. The only way to leave Australia is flying, and the artist needed artificial wings to cross Myanmar. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Coming performance dates - Bucharest


Artwork: Jean-Lorin Sterian

People Spoke
17th April
Carol I Boulevard, No' 53, 020915 Bucharest, Romania
(free), 45 mins

The Agony and the Ecstasty of Steve Jobs
by Mike Daisey
19th April
Lorgean Theatre, Bucharest
In English
(price: one fresh apple) 90 mins

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Persian Broken Fish Project


In early April I undertook two weeks residency with environmental artist Ahmed Nadalian in Iran. I had a lot of problems with Ahmed's approach, which seemed to me apolitical and apathetic at a time when action is paramount. He, in turn, found me to be overly cynical and detached (my words).

I promised him I would make a performance if he gave me one of his fish, which he makes by carving images of fish into rocks. When he gave it to me I began to smash it against the tiles of his gallery. Ahmed was filming using my camera. When it was finished, we realised that the camera was not rolling. I filmed the subsequent moment by accident, you can hear our embarrassed laughter.

2013-04-09 17.58.42 from Richard Pettifer on Vimeo.

Ahmed would late charge me 10,000 Iranian Rial (about $3) for the rock. He told me now that it was broken he would be able to sell it for double.

I conducted an interview with Ahmed about climate change - which I will post shortly.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Rooftop Stage in Kolkata (Calcutta)

Photos from the performance of 'Two Love Letters' on a rooftop in Kolkata, India.

 With thanks to League of Shadows for hosting me.

Pictured: Priyam Chaterjee

Saturday, March 16, 2013

How much shit is in the atmosphere because of me

Tally of Emissions

All measurements in Tonnes.

Via direct flight, total emissions would be 2.664

melb-bris = 0.1 (shared car, 3 people)
bris-townsville = .08 (shared car, 3 people)
townsville - darwin = .225 (shared car, 2 people)
darwin - bali = .267 (FLIGHT)
bali - surabaya = .01 (Ferry, bus)
surabaya - yogya = .01 (Train)
yogyakarta - jakarta = .01 (Train)
jakarta - batam = .02 (Ferry)
batam - singapore = .001 (Ferry)
singapore - kuala lumpur = .02 (Train)
kl - bangkok = .09 (Bus)
bangkok - kolkata = .233 (FLIGHT)
kolkata - delhi = .09* (Train)
delhi - lahore = .07* (Train)
lahore - quetta = .03* (Train)
quetta - zahedan = .02* (Bus)
zahedan - bandar-abbas = .01* (Bus)
bandar-abbas - tehran = .02* (Train)
tehran - van = .02* (Train)
van - sirince = .05* (Train/Ferry)
sirince - kavala = .005* (Bus/Ferry)
kavala - bucharest = .02* (Train)
bucharest - berlin = .11* (Train)


total = 1.511



(after the jump)

Firstly, as commented on previously, we might look at the first and most obvious Hypothetical:


If I had avoided flights, that is, there existed the Ferries:
Australia - Indonesia
Phukket - Port Blair

Projected total = 1.03


The second biggest total here is the Townsville-Darwin section. Let's imagine there was an affordable option for this journey, that is, aside from the $1200 ghan or the privately owned $650 Greyhound bus.

If this route is modified to a more normal .091 of the Adelaide-Darwin bus journey:

Projected total = 0.847

We are now at under 1/3 of the emissions of the long-haul flight.