Political puppets for Puppet Government

I made four puppets of Australian politicians earlier this year – Abbott, Bishop, Turnbull and Hockey – for Puppet Government, an indie youtube parody series.  So far four episodes have been made, with more presently in the works.

Here are some photos from making process:




The design for Bidja the bunyip, the mascot that I made for the Pacific School Games, was transfered into this soft toy as part of the merchandising for the event.



This is what my studio looks like at the moment. I’m making a large dead manta ray out of polystyrene. I wish it wasn’t so messy and that I didn’t have to wear a respirator all day, but it works nicely.

Poster’s remorse

I’ve just pulled my last post, the one about a mask I made in 1974, called the Essential President. It was spooking me, and completely at odds with how I am feeling, as the world looks hopefully to the promise of Barack Obama. Instead I recommend this hit of optimism.



I’ve watched the story of Shepard Fairey’s Obama poster unfold right from the beginning, about a year ago. The design is so good, and it’s wonderfully appropriate in the circumstances that a street art design has become iconic and so appreciated that it has become mainstream. Now you can obamify yourself at Obamicon.Me.  It’d be fun if everyone adopted one of these as their avatar at Twitter and other places on inauguration day to celebrate.

Obama banner

As square as a butter box

For your reading pleasure: David Barnett frothing over last night’s broadcast of ‘Keating the Musical’. My favourite bit:

Alexander Downer, dressed as FrankN’Furter from The Rocky Horror Show, is shown as effete. Downer, father of four children and with nothing in his private life to suggest he is anything other than as square as a butter-box…

I’d never heard that euphemism before!

…how ironic it is that the Liberals are in the process of organising an orderly transition of leadership from Brendan Nelson to Peter Costello, along the lines of the transition by agreement from Bill Hayden to Bob Hawke. Not one like the brutal coup arranged by the stabber, Paul Keating, to serve his own ambitions.

I wonder if this is an insider view, considering Barnett is Prue Goward’s partner?

Keating! the musical is no joke, and the question it invites must be taken seriously: where does all this hatred come from?

An absolute mystery, isn’t it? Continue reading

Kevin Rudd glasses

Kevin Rudd glasses

Eight pairs of sparkly Elton-John-sized Kevin Rudd glasses made for Shortis and Simpson’s lastest political satire, Three Nights at the Bleeding Heart, currently at the Street Theatre.

Modeling elections?

Listening to the opinion going round and around entrenched positions about whether Hillary Clinton would make a good VP, and whether she and Obama individually would come at a joint ticket, has made me wonder again about the role personality type plays in politics and the way people vote.

I’ve never been officially Myers-Brugged, but when I’ve done the tests online I consistently come out as INFJ, with the J being borderline; an Idealist/Councilor-borderline-Healer in the Keirsey descriptions. I notice and admire that INFP’s (I am close to a number of them, though they are rare!) step up more quickly to look for a negotiated way of getting to a desired bigger picture position. For instance, my instinct is that Clinton has done too much that is the antithesis of what Obama is driving at for it to be right for Obama to accept her as a running mate. But Amy is trying to get past the discomfort by framing the ticket as a coalition of separate minority parties, if it will get Obama into office. It’s a little like those woven tube finger traps: pull from opposite positions and you are stuck, give a little and you can get out.

There have been studies that suggest that personality type plays a part in political affiliation. Taking that idea further, if you can break a population down into personality types by percentage, and forecast what attitudes are likely to be taken by each type and how they might vote on different candidates and the range of issues on the table, perhaps it would be possible to model an election outcome? It would save a lot of money and shenanigans. Would you be able to build in nimble-enough responses to unexpected events and happenstances such as the perfect storm of 9/11 and Tampa that Howard finessed to give him the 2001 Australian election; or alternatively would it provide a protection against such occurrences? What about rigging? And is it likely we would be happy to accept the underlying idea of determinism, and the missing drama and excitement of the election trail?