October 30th, 2009

Willow

fly by post

Getting stuck into things here and getting into it. It's been a while but I am working at the more philosophical and theoretical end of conservation which is a breath of fresh air.

OMG I am loving the Shuffle function on my ipod. I already mentioned I am not an early adopter. Also, the Shuffle function works much better if you have all your music on it - which I mostly do, so yay! again. I love that you can wander around with your whole CD collection in this little machine. Yes, again, not the most early of adopters.

Swancon 2010 - The price for a full membership to Swancon 2010 was due to increase this Sunday (November 1) from $130 to $160. However, the current price offer is being extended for another two weeks. This means that the $130 price will be available until November 14. From November 15, the price will increase to $160.

I'm waist deep in reading for the Aurealis Awards at the moment. I'm hoping to get it done by the end of the weekend but we'll see.

I'm anxiously awaiting announcements out of World Fantasy Con.

I've sent in my application form and deposit for Dealers Tables for Aussiecon4 - check out the Aussiecon4 website for information on how to do the same.

I'm behind in craft goals. A little tired but not too bad considering I've had the first week fulltime work. TV/Film watching got reduced this week. I just rather had the free to air on and ignored it most of the time in favour of catching up on urgent TPP matters and reading. But don't mention LSS to me!

me

on Art

I grew up in a house filled with books. If you mentioned you were bored, you were directed to one of many bookcases or piles of books and told to find something you liked (and shut up). Some of the most cherished books I own are my mother's young adult books - they are hardcovers, were bought in the late 1950s and early 1960s and smell musty and delicious. And she and her brother were allowed to pack and bring as many boxes of books as they wanted the several times their family moved between Perth and East Africa whilst they were kids.

I love books and reading and grew up surrounded by people who love books and reading.

But there is this other element to my cultural background - my grandfather escaped the Nazis and when he raised his new family post WW2, his philosophy was that "they" can strip you of everything but they can't take what's in your head, and that the only thing you know you can take with you is your knowledge. Which is why in my house, in my family, and in the school I went to, we were encouraged to get a profession or a degree. And that's how I think I ended up being qualified as an engineer :) I mean, I love what I do. It keeps me interested and conservation is my passion. But, it wasn't my first choice of job.

So I guess it's funny that with all of that, I'm still back loving books and reading.

What I always find interesting is how, even though the stereotype (and in this case it's a stereotype because it's true) is that Jewish mothers want their kids to be doctors or lawyers, Jews also excel at the arts - writing, the fine arts, film, design, production and so on. When I visited Yad Vashem (Holocast Museum in Jerusalem) the only part that I visited was the art shows - art that was salvaged after the war but also artworks that artists drew, mostly, whilst in the camps but not necessarily direct depictions of their experience. So, people drew things they remembered or they missed or they dreamed of. And people collected works of artists who perished. I skipped over the more horrific stuff. One of the books I bought at the gift shop was a collection of poems and art that children created whilst in the camps.

So I dunno, maybe I'm wandering around on a thought here but ... if the only thing you can take with you is in your head, maybe a powerful way to communicate, commemorate, express and emote is through art? And this too forms a fundamental part of who we are, as a people and as a species?

This link on Boing Boing is what kicked off this post - "'Mickey Mouse in Gurs' is a tragic 'comic' book made by Horst Rosenthal in 1942 while incarcerated at the Gurs internment camp in France. Rosenthal uses Mickey Mouse as a kind of subversive Virgil to guide us through the hellish experiences of the concentration camp. Horst Rosenthal was murdered in Auschwitz in 1942." More here.

That art can (should) be powerful and persuasive and educational and profound.