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fee

In 2011 Fee gave up her increasingly respectable career as a creative digital consultant in order to take up a new life as a bus-loving nomadic geek artist. In a reaction against the shift in global politics, she set out to discover how someone could disconnect as much as possible from a broken socio political system while maintaining meaningful connection to the people and places which enable her own vision of home and self.

Her work explores the increasing removal of ‘the commons’ in contemporary life, from common land and open democracy through to open source creative digital commons, and the tensions which exist between them.

This is a space for my personal ramblings, to begin taking myself out of the anti-netneutrality world. Known lets you publish status updates (etc etc) which are then pushed to Facebook, Twitter, etc. This means you own your content rather than giving rights away to walled gardens that are more interested in your data than providing the service you originally signed up for. Check out more at http://withknown.com.

http://reallybigroadtrip.com | @feesable | http://technoevangelist.net/

reallybigroadtrip.com

technoevangelist.net

twitter.com/feesable

faebook.com/reallybigroadtrip

hammocktime.cc

sundayaternoonactivistsclub.com

 

celebrating our inner Grinch #happinessisforlifenotjustforxmas

I know at this time of year you can't speak badly of xmas without being heard as a Grinch, or mention new year without expressing gratitude for the lessons learned or the joys come. But I'm done. Time to go public.

I dislike xmas with a ferocity. I despise the onslaught of commercialism, distracting us with baubles and toys that shatter or are discarded to landfill moments after the present opening excitement fades. I baulk at the demands from a herd mentality that says we must be happy (or at least pretend to be) for fear of ruining anyone else's celebrations. I squirm at the expectation that we will all share this time of year "with loved ones" (the social web's phrase of choice for 2015)... or the pressure that we should. But mostly I despair that roughly three months of my year, any year, every year, are spent in this desperate scramble to protect myself from the deep sense of dread that, for me, is xmas.

Three months. A quarter of the year. Every year. I want a fucking refund.

New Year used to be OK, better than xmas at least, but as the years have gone on I increasingly find myself asking, what the actual fuck is it that we are celebrating? Another year where we let innocent people suffer in incarceration while the real criminals walk freely, spending the planet's money and resources in some debauched old boy's club bacchanalian binge. Another year where we allow generations of oppression to continue to thrive while we, the comparatively safe, revel in rhetorics of freedom and privilege. Another year where these privileges crumble into the dusty broken promises which make up their foundations. Another year where lies and spin dominate every visual and oral orifice, where free speech is held up as a mantle while peaceful protest is made a crime and legal services are defunded. Another year where independent voices are slashed and silenced to pave way for yet more homogenised Hollywood hullabaloo. Another year where, despite its supposed season of goodwill, otherness is deemed food for hatred, fear, intolerance. Another year where those who hate so deeply are some of those most deeply in need, victims of their own commitment to a system designed to destroy them. 

Call me a grinch, call me a misery, I honestly don't care. I am not an unhappy person and neither do I berate anyone else their happiness, that's not what this is about. This is for all the other people out there who equally dread this time of year. You don't need my (or anyone's) permission, but know that it's OK to not feel right about all these celebrations and all that spending. It's OK to quietly while away this time of year in a cocoon of solitude. It's OK to focus on putting one foot in front of the other from sunrise to sunset for 90days, smiling politely through gritted teeth to well-meaning bystanders. It's OK to repeat the phrase "this too shall pass" from the moment the first xmas decorations tumble from supermarket shelves to the last champagne cork popped perfectly to the chimes of Big Ben.

It's OK to feel shitty, there's a great deal to feel shitty about.

I used to not mention my dislike of this season because it upset people. "Oh but you MUST love xmas, it's such a lovely time of year when everyone comes together and..." or "No I simply won't hear that you want to spend xmas alone, you MUST come and spend it with my family...". I knew they meant well so rather than risk the same mutually sad-making conversational feedback loops, I simply stopped mentioning it. I stopped telling the truth about how I felt, just to make other people feel better.

In recent years I've taken a different stand. When asked what I'll be doing I answer 'xmas alone is the best, all the streets are quiet because everyone else is distracted' or somesuch positively-imbued missive. It seems to work, people seem to understand that instead of lacking their ideal, you're living your own. I'm proud of the fact I've dropped out of this symbolic charade. I don't feel ashamed that I don't 'fit in', so why should I hide it?

Interestingly this year I wasn't alone for the first time in my almost 8years of living in Australia... and because of that I write this knowing that these words will probably cause unintended offence to the people I spent it with. I didn't have a bad time, they are lovely, generous, funny and warm hearted people. I tried to treat it as 'just another day hanging with friends and their friends', but I still felt a pressure that would not have existed had I spent the day alone. In fact if anything the day reminded me how important it is to spend quality time with friends and their friends... just not at xmas.

So for those who adore this time of year and want to share that delight with everyone on the planet: that's very lovely for you, please continue to live your own lives. But don't let your adoration make those of us who don't feel we should hide behind 'I'm having a great time, really. Look, I'm smiling, see?' grimaces. If your invitations are gratefully, smilingly, rejected, don't feel that this is a sleight on your offer or a criticism of your lifestyle choices, simply accept that not everyone feels the same way. Understand that this is just another arena of otherness, not something you need to fix or feel bad for us about. We're OK, we choose this.

And for those of you hiding behind those grimaces: stop. Stop faking it for other people. Stop making yourself feel worse about the fact that you feel shitty. Embrace the shitty because that's what gives us the energy and focus to fight these ohsomany insurmountable wrongs. Eventually there will come a time when we can genuinely celebrate something amazing: true freedom, for everyone. Until then: bring out your inner grinch, revel in your isolation, be true to your own beliefs and never ever let anyone make you feel that your lack of desire to buy into their idea of happiness makes you a bad human.

Because happiness is for life, not just for xmas.

 

Photo: as the last sun of 2015 went down over semaphore... mounted police began their patrol of the beach. sigh.

 

cosmic thoughts from watching the Geminid Shower #meteors

4 min read

Geminids Meteor Shower in northern hemisphere, Asim Patel, CC:BY:SA

Image: Geminids Meteor Shower in northern hemisphere, Asim Patel, CC:BY:SA

did anyone see the meteor shower last night? the Geminid Shower happens every December, when our planet passes through the trail of asteroid "3200 Phaethon" which is classified by NASA as an extinct comet. i meant to stay up for its peak (1-2am in adelaide) but fell asleep. randomly woke up at 3.45 and dashed outside... just in time to catch a few sky sparkles from the back porch. so stunning! i'm staying in semaphore at the moment, so ran down to the beach to see if that view was any better, but lights from the pier and cloud cover limited access to whatever remnants there may have been. 

the meteors i did see were just incredible. some were shooting-star-like, individual hot pinpricks dashing across the sky in all directions before burning out. others were giant gleaming rocks, hot coals burning so much bigger and brighter and moving everso slowly compared to their seemingly static milky way backdrop. others were clusters of movement, like shining fighter planes flying in formation (only less deadly).

it was pretty spectacular to feel our planet passing through a solar system that sits ever present, yet mostly invisible to the human eye. 

as i lay on the beach i dug my hands down into the sand, connecting above and below, within and without. yes i know i'm an old hippy, but i've never seen meteors before. i couldn't help but be reminded -yet again- that we don't know why we exist on this planet, that there is so much we don't -can't- understand; the ocean, the power of nature, our own minds and bodies. i can't even begin to imagine how these skies would have seemed to our ancestors, to first nations peoples, what magical insights they would have brought ...yeah, wow.

so why the fuck are we letting a handful of greedy morons destroy it all?! why the fuck have we LET OURSELVES end up on this commuterbelt feedback loop to hell?

this is one mofo special rock that we live on. let's take care of it, eh? the oceans, rivers and lakes. the forests, deserts and mountains. and every single last human, animal and plant that has managed, against all odds, to stay alive this far. we need all of it. and we need to stand together: one planet against a handful of evil beings - surely the odds have to be in our favour??

we've been given a gift in life, one you can't buy at a store. and this gift is extra special - you can give it away, keep it for yourself, AND set it free, all at the same time! how cool is that?! 

so as you dash around scrabbling for the last xmas pressies, preparing feasts for family and friends, can i recommend that you take a moment's pause in all that crazy? can i ask that you go and stick your hands in the soil (or in the sand, in the river, anywhere), and just take a moment to reflect on all that we've got to be grateful for in this life. this big rock that somehow manages to sustain us despite all the crap we throw at it. 

we so often forget that we humans are fragile; we grit our teeth, swallow our sorrow, and carry on regardless like dutiful little programmed cogs in the greedmachine. this globe of ours is fragile too. give it a hug, tell it you love it, tell it you're sorry for all the bullshit, tell it that it matters and you're equally angry that the demands of a bullyboy few have somehow outweighed everyone else's entire reason for existing. tell it you hear its pain and you feel the same.

then allow yourself to grieve, recognise the fear and pain and anger you share with so many others. because the only way we can begin to heal ourselves and the wounds we have inflicted on nature -and therefore on ourselves- is through accepting the damage that exists and committing to righting those wrongs. the battle for a better world has both never ended and is only just beginning. shit's gonna get worse before it gets better. but it WILL get better. 

however you celebrate this season, and whomever you share it with, remember that there's one more seat around the table. here's to old ma nature, long may she reign x

Check out some views from around Australia

 

NOPSEMA rejects BP's bid to drill for oil in Great Australian Bight! But we still need to keep up pressure #keepitintheground

2 min read

I just wrote a brief email to BP to let them know that even though NOPSEMA (National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority) rejected their bid to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight (WHOOT!) that we're still watching, still fighting and still remember their past failures. 

Feel free to send in your own email, or drop them a phonecall - national office number 03 9268 4111 or email gabconsultation@se1.bp.com (HT @Cristel for the info).

A small win is always wonderful, but we can not fall into complacency. Their desire for profit will drive them to push until there is nothing left to suck out of the ground, so our resilience needs to be stronger than their greed. WE CAN TOTALLY DO THIS!

Here's a copy of the email I just sent. I'll also be contacting NOPSEMA to say thanks for standing up for the planet: http://www.nopsema.gov.au/contact/

#homeJames on the west-side of the stunning Great Australian Bight in 2014

 

Dear BP,

We (as in: those of us who love this planet and would like to continue living with her for generations to come) had some great news this morning. Apparently NOPSEMA rejected your bid to drill offshore along the Great Australian Bight. YAY! 

Let's face it, it's long overdue time for BP to transition your business model away from fossil fuels and into renewable energies.

You don't have the best track record of protecting the environment while you plunder our natural world purely for profit, so maybe it's time to cut your losses and walk away.

Please don't resubmit a plan to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight. In fact don't submit any more plans for drilling - and killing - anywhere on this beautiful planet ever again.

With the warmest of regards,

Fee.

 

#keepitintheground letter to @TurnbullMalcolm - stop blocking global climate deal http://getup.to/qYNldIDjYHKdoszLW

2 min read

photo of coal-man marionette

Dear Prime Minister Turnbull,

I thought you had a soul, certainly at least more humanity than Abbott, and yet here you are spouting the same rhetoric and taking actions which will cause the same harm. But then of course you would - you're a marionette, with the mining companies pulling your strings. 

Is this the person you thought you'd be when you grew up? Is it?

I would assume you started life in a well off family as an innocent, playful, open minded, fun loving child, like all children do (assuming they're not escaping wars that the west has paid for, or are locked up in a prison watching their parents and friends suffer immense brutality and dehumanisation under our hands). 

So what awful tragedy happened in your life that you went from childhood innocence and love to a grown-up who willingly and actively bows to rich bullies? 

That's all these people (the mining, media and global corporation magnates) are, they're just bullies. Please, get help. Get a psychologist to help you deal with your own trauma and give you some lessons in how to deal with bullies. You need to dig deep, yes, but in to your own heart, your own humanity, not into the ground.

The world is not our playground to be toyed with. We do not control it. If we are lucky, and if it is not too late, we just might be able to salvage a way to live in harmony with it. But we have to start now. And we have to stop digging every last element from the earth and seas.  

We, your citizens, expect more from you than this. The world expects more from Australia than this. 

Please, just .

With love and compassion, fee

---

Send in your own letter - http://getup.to/qYNldIDjYHKdoszLW

Photo credit: https://artistatexit0.wordpress.com/2014/09/30/fossil-beds-and-the-coal-man/

 

comms update - transitions between 'geek artist' and 'creative activist'

3 min read

i've realised that in my broad personal/creative meanderings over the last 12months i've started a few fb pages/spaces to help me work out where i'm going with it all. i've partly been trying to avoid overload in my personal profile (since i barely use twitter these days) but i've realised i'm possibly just spreading it all too thin.

i'm finally getting to the stage where the next steps are becoming clearer and learning is starting to take shape into action. it's pretty exciting, and definitely time for me to get more organised in how i communicate what i've learned and what's next.

to help this next stage i wanted to let old and new friends know that this is how my shares/comms work these days. I try not to cross-post so if you want to know you should follow all the pages :P:

Reallybigroadtrip​ - everything geek arts, nomadicy, and the hub for all my creative projects and the arts sector broadly.

Sunday afternoon activists club​ - for creative activism, social change and organising thinkings, actions, learning, strategy, celebrations, calls to action.

TransPassivePartyships​ - coordinating a TPP action in perth which kickstarts tomorrow :)

Hammocktime​ - we're running a new version for Adelaide Fringe​ next year, so if you want to be involved as a guide or just want to know about hanging out as a punter, follow us there (or PM me).

Little Activist​ - a little venture painting activist slogans on recycled kids clothes.

I've got a few other projects/spaces i've been playing around with, but for now those are my main social spaces. and if we're not connected on twitter i'm @feesable - maybe you can help me remember why i used to love it there, cause i have to say it feels an oddly dead space to me these days. 

i drifted away from 'developing my arts practice' and into the creative activism journey because i felt so desperate that the world was so broken. a year on and i'm blown away by how many astonishing humans i've met, watched and shared lives with. Yes there's a long way to go before we fix it all, but we've had some amazing wins collectively and my gut tells me the tipping point isn't far away now. 

I'm so grateful to everyone who's helped me fumble my way through in all the tiny and enormous ways you have. 

Big love x

 

Join us at Pioneer Reserve, Fremantle, this Thursday 18th standing against cuts to arts funding https://www.facebook.com/events/615153315288433/ ‪#‎freethearts‬

 

#freethearts [bit belated but we were on the #nullarbor at the time ;)

An indigenous artist, a regional artist and a permanent resident artist took a trip across the nullarbor... While we were out of mobile range there was a protest against Brandis' decision to reclaim $105million from the Australia Council.

This decision will just cause more in-fighting as indies/SMEs battle for (already shrinking) financial support against the protected 'high arts' bigwigs. It'll also make sure activist and social change arts (ie anything that goes against govt propaganda) won't have any chance of funding at all.

The Arts need to be free to reflect and challenge ideas of society and control. If we let Brandis become the curator of the Arts, all that is gone (not to mention an incredible waste of resources by duplicating administration).

Just coz we couldn't join the noise on the day doesn't mean we didn't care, so we painted the hashtag on and grabbed a shot.

*photo by Josh Barry

 

#niinamarni - reallybigroadtrip says hello to [ab]Original communities across SA, APY Lands and WA #sosblakaustralia #LifestyleChoice

1 min read

I'm about to head off on a pretty epic roadtrip from the Aboriginal Tent Embassy​ in Canberra through South Australian [ab]Original communities in The Coorong and APY Lands, through the centre and across to WA.

I'll be travelling with Uncle Chris Tomlins​ who is on his own mission of Unity and Healing across Country while I explore creative digital culture offerings within the communities we travel through. All this is part of the Niinamarni project I've been quietly developing which is supported by Country Arts SA​.

I won't be sharing everything publicly but if you're interested in hearing more about it or offering help (networks, etc) then please let me know. We leave on Monday and will be passing through Adelaide around 15th May if you'd like to meet Uncle Chris.

 

Beautiful words from Roxley, [ab]Original Tent Embassy custodian, ending May 1st protest #SOSblakAustralia #NoConsent #LifestyleChoice

1 min read

There are often negative messages shared around protests, so here instead are some beautiful words from Roxley.

I tweeted quite a bit during the day using , but here's one of my favourite quotes:

 

 

There are a few photos from the day on flickr too; here are a couple of faves...

Great to see so much support around the country and the world - keep up the pressure!

Next protest is June 1st, seeya there x

 

on de-registering the Burrup Peninsula as a First Nations Sacred Site http://rbrt.cc/1Gn4dQl