Putting the Kunst into Country

Ping pong country at Mighty MightyIf you’ve had enough of pretending to be Latin American, The Mighty Mighty now give you an opportunity to pretend to be from a very different part of the world with ten days of The Berlin Bonanza.

Much of this appears to involve a highly traditional Teutonic leisure activity: mass games of ping-pong with a country music accompaniment.

If that doesn’t appeal (and why on earth wouldn’t it?) there’s a bewildering array of other acts and activities on offer. Vodka ice slides! Beer and sausage! Polish/German chansonettes! Krautrock! More photos here and here, excited gossip here, and the urban semiotics of cowboy capitalism here.

The Circuits of Happyness

At Happy tomorrow night you can hear three of New Zealand’s rising stars of minimalist electronic music:

  • Sam Hamilton
  • Angeline Chirnside aka Jane Austen
  • Nigel Wright

These artists are described in the media release as “wonderful and amazing; think the magnificent beauty of Rosy Parlane, Minit, and Rachel Shearer’s Lovely Midget project. Hell, think of the internationally reknowned Fennesz, Tim Hecker or Keith Fullerton Whitman, if you like.”

Nothing on

It has been brought to my attention that “a common complaint … from native Aucklanders when they venture south, or even tourists, is that, after three days in Wellington there is nothing to do”. While the writer of that comment doesn’t agree, looking around the city at the moment, I can see that they may have a point.

Sounds of the city

Frey (aka Damian Stewart, aka Mr bleep) is putting together a reactive sound and light installation for next month’s Fringe Festival, and he wants your help. Specifically, if you know of any interesting sounds around Wellington that he can record and use in the installation, drop him a line.

Looking UP 2007

Want to know what the New Year holds? Well, come along to What’s UP – 2007 on Thursday the 24th to hear predictions for 2007 from a group of infallible experts: or “bloggers”, as we like to call ourselves.

A group of more-or-less well-known local bloggers (including the (in)famous DPF, Tom “WellUrban” Beard, techno-prophet Hamish McEwan and Mr Geekzone himself, Mauricio Freitas), will make rash forecasts about the Internet, gadgets & games, business and telecommunications, technology and (my particular field) Wellington & NZ.

Waterfront Update

I must be a sucker for punishment, since on Monday night I attended the latest Waterfront Development Subcommittee meeting. Some people would consider that the study of local government consultation belongs under governance or public policy studies, but I’ve come to realise that it’s a branch of psychopathology. The range of social dysfunction, paranoia and anger-management issues on display would fill several chapters of DSM-IV-TR: and that’s just among the councillors. Those in the public gallery are worse, and I include myself as an obvious textbook example of chronic masochism.

Nevertheless, it’s the only way to get the latest updates and gossip, which I’ve combined here with my usual other sources (public notices, real estate advertisements, unsubstantiated rumours, peering through windows) to update my previous post on current and upcoming waterfront developments.

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Silicon Welly – the sequel

Remember that article in Idealog that Noizy wrote about last month? It looks like the name was too good to pass up, because some of the high-tech companies featured in the article have got together and formed a Silicon Welly website to help keep you up-to-date with techy developments.

One of the more prominent of those companies, ProjectX, is about to launch a new version of their ZoomIn interactive mapping and community site. Rumour has it that there’s a now lot of exciting functionality and local data on the way, but if I told you I’d have to kill you.

Spend it

Wellington may be New Zealand’s most exciting city, but that’s not enough to earn us one of Wallpaper*s City Guides. Almost as galling as the news that Auckland will get one next year is the fact that this disqualifies us from entering Gridskipper’s $100 a day contest and winning the complete set of guides.

Still, that shouldn’t stop us. What’s the best way to blow US$100 (about $150 Kiwi) in Wellington in a day?

Inhabitable art

Wellington Architecture Week - pamphlet cover imageWellington Architecture Week kicks off next Monday, including everything from a visit to the exquisite and hidden Futuna Chapel to a sandcastle competition on Petone Beach.

My WellUrban post gives a bit of context, including links to relevant developments and controversies, and the full illustrated programme (in glorious black, white and blue) is available on the Architectural Centre website, but here’s a text listing of all events.

Waterfront update

Last night, I once again forced myself to sit through a Waterfront Development Subcommittee meeting. While it was full of enough procedural tedium and political pigheadedness to make sitting in broken glass during a Celine Dion concert seem like a pleasant alternative, it was worth it to get the latest updates and to see an inspiring presentation from UN Studio‘s Holger Hoffman (since Ben van Berkel had to miss it due to illness) about the processes behind their design for the transition building.

Here’s an update on progress and plans, mainly based upon reports from the meeting, but with a few other tidbits.

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