Semi-Permanent is an annual three day conference on all things art, design and creativity. There's a very strong bias towards counter-culture including graffiti, skateboarding and all things 'cool'. In June, I had the pleasure of attending the Friday and Saturday sessions.
A total of 46 speakers spoke over the three days including Tony Hawk and the infamous Mr. Brainwash. Highlights included:
Billy Sorrentino – Creative Director, Wired Magazine
Wired Magazine's creative director spoke about where Wired and the future of publishing are heading. His fascinating talk touched on how magazines need to become cross-platform brands rather than magazines, offering different content on different media.
Tara McPherson – Illustrator
From Brooklyn, New York, Tara is an amazing artist who paints dream-like fantasy scenes, usually involving female characters. She's living in her own little universe and it was great to be able to visit it for an hour.
Ben Briand – Film maker
Ben Briand is an Australian film maker. He chose Semi-Permanent to showcase his new short film Blood Pulls a Gun. The film stars Josh McConville, who I first met at Griffin Theatre Company. I also used Josh as the voice talent of the Telstra Our Connected Future video.
Jeremy Fish – Artist/Illustrator
What a character! He walked on stage sporting an enormous thick beard and wearing a brown patterned matching safari suit and hat. His talk was hilarious as he walked us though his life as an illustrator living in San Francisco, and crazy anecdotes of hanging out with Snoop Dog! An absolute one off.
Andrew Denton – Producer / Writer / Media Personality
Andrew Denton gave the best talk of the day. He spoke about his seven tips to be creatively satisfied. Very insightful and very entertaining. Gold!
Mill+ Carl Addy – Design / Animation
Carl Addy from The Mill gave a great presentation of some of his philosophies own work and of his colleagues. Beautiful and innovative motion design of the highest class.
Mr. Brainwash – Artist
The drawcard for me was Mr. Brainwash who found notoriety in Banksy's film Exit Through The Gift Shop. The documentary was about how a crazy French man who made it his mission to interview the man who can never be interviewed – Banksy.
The jury's still out whether Mr. Brainwash is the real deal or an elaborate artwork from Banksy. Judging by the talk he gave, I tend to favour the idea that Banksy is having a good old laugh at the idea of fame, and the joke's on us.
He didn't have a talk actually. He was just winging it. He repeated three themes over and over. "You have one life!", "make sure you live it!", and "you can do it, like me!". And repeat.
Eventually he had to be cut short by the organisers who decided enough was enough. But he kept going! I managed to snag a picture with him and a signed poster. The joke's on me too, but I don't care!