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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 | @feesable |


celebrating our inner Grinch #happinessisforlifenotjustforxmas

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.


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

#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


day1 #wwoofing at aldinga arts eco village

day1 #wwoofing at aldinga arts eco village

in a beautiful series of connected events, and I now have a new home-base. I get to park on an empty block down here in exchange for some WWOOF (willing workers on organic farms) labour. considering growing my own food is something I've dearly missed since I'm honestly not sure how I get to both and with this one! today was my first working day, mostly spent thinning out new shoots and weeding basil and spring onion rows. tomorrow we start planting. I'm in mud-fuelled heaven! :)


Perth really does do good storms

Perth really does do good storms

Couldn't catch the lightening though