Coming up..

We have one or two more reviews of last week’s sessions, and a couple of posts wrapping up our thoughts on Creative Sydney 2010.

Stay tuned.


Review: Security / Eat It / Kitchen Cook Off June 12 2010

Security Review

So, before I get to it: The security at Creative Sydney was still really off-putting. Rocking up to a venue and being asked: “Where are you going?” is not an inclusive feel. Security at the MCA is on the whole incredibly polite. But having them stand out front is off-putting. And having them step into your way as you come into the building is flat out intimidating.

The only words we had to say to them were “Creative Sydney”. This was not a well-guarded code. Security-wise it didn’t seem to to be the most watertight of procedures.

I’m sure Creative Sydney wants people to wander in off the street. I’m sure the MCA wants people to come back in again after cruising in, hoping for an open gallery. So why do their audiences get treated this way?

Eat It / Kitchen Cook Off

There were big round tables set out around the room, with people spiked around them, cabaret-style. These were all full, so we had to pluck chairs from the bar and drag them over. As we waited, copies of‘s  zine Eat It got passed around the audience.

We waited for the show to begin.

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Review: Scratching the Surface? Sydney Session Thurs 10

Since gaining an audience (albeit a very small one) I’ve done the cardinal writing sin and edited my opinion. There are things that haven’t made it to these pages because I was afraid I was being too cynical and ‘unfair’ in my review.

But first impressions are what matters in this instant society isn’t it? A first impression can be every bit as valuable as a thoughtfully considered opinion.

It is with this attitude (and a tight deadline) that I write today.

The best part about last night was leaving.
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Review: I Robot 9 June 2010

There were a lot of young people in this session. Not exclusively. Most sat around chatting in pairs. There were less people there by themselves (like me). But enough of them. They tended to sit alone, looking contemplative and lost. Maybe Creative Sydney needs Creative speed-dating? Except that speed dating is tack. (And, apparently, they already have something like it anyway.)

Yoshimi vs. the Pink Robots came on over the stereo, and the curtain fell away to reveal Robbie the Robot behind a pulsing wall of blue light.

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Two Twitter reviews from Tuesday evening

Two tweet-sized critical opinions of Creative Sydney went up during the sessions on Tuesday evening. (Neither associated in any way with Creative Sydney Review.) One tweet from @ApostrophePong found the MCA security guards out front of Creative Sydney disconcerting:

Pong (@ApostrophePong)
8/06/10 6:23 PM
Was asked by the security while entering MCA for #creativesydney talk: “Where are you going?!” That tells you something about Sydney.

As did I. (Although I also found them very polite.)

And another tweet from @lisadempster had a good thought about gender balance at the festival:

lisa dempster (@lisadempster)
8/06/10 8:38 PM
Four #creativesydney sessions, approx 25 panellists, only four female presenters. Industry dominated by men, or unrepresentative spread?

Review: Local Talent / Global Market & Inside the Creative Process – June 8 2010

I think I have begun to cotton on to the darker purpose of Creative Sydney. Back in 1998, I heard cinematographer Chris Doyle being interviewed about Gus Van Sant’s remake of Psycho, in the bar of what was the Dendy under Martin Place. He said that they’d been given a load of money by a big studio to make the movie, so they decided to make a shot-by-shot remake of the original. And if the big studios wanted to give them a pile of cash just to experiment with an art-project, he said, well what was wrong with that?

The Sydney Sessions, so far, are like the Creative Sydney art project. Big names come in during the first sessions of the evening, drawing the crowds. By the time the second sessions have come around the crowd has thinned out, the note-takers become more obvious and people with lower-profile projects get a big stage to talk about them. But the big sessions fund the art-project of the second ones.

Tuesday night had two sessions.
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Review: Pecha Kucha – 7 June 2010

In this week’s episode of This America Life, host Ira Glass opens by saying

Why don’t we just charge for the podcast? Answer is we don’t want to, because fewer people would actually hear the podcast. We like it to be free. And, idealistically, we like the idea that it should be possible to do ambitious stories and try things that nobody else is doing on radio, on podcast and pay for the whole thing by asking the people who listen to kick in a couple bucks each. I believe in that. I have thrown money at podcasts I like. It’s still really cheap entertainment. If that’s going to be the future of media, I like that future.

Monday night’s Pecha KuchaRight-Brain Business Models – had two 6 minute 40 second presentations on this sort of theme.
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