This is a lecture I gave in 2010 at the University of New South Wales College of Fine Arts. Joanna Mendelssohn, the lecturer who asked me to give the talk , is one the very few academics in Sydney who has both been aware of my work from almost the beginning and is politically as well as culturally aware so she has understood and sympathised with what I have tried to achieve.
The theme could not have been more appropriate because if one idea has been fundamental to my practice it has been the idea that being an artist is not defined by manufacturing stuff for the art market. The role of the artist is defined by generating cultural change and while some of the means you might use to do that may produce artefacts that could be traded in the market place that is basically a sideline, exactly the same as any other sort of merchandising. You should never mistake the merchandising for the real activity even if most people who talk about art have made that mistake.
I had the Victoria Street Resident Action Group and the squatting there in 1973 on my list of future posts. It was a critical experience for me and I have already talked about it before but I thought the whole event needed a bit more detailed discussion. Before I could get the time to do it the problem solved itself in the form of this interview by Iain McIntyre which I did last October 2011 for Community Radio 3CR in Melbourne. It’s long but it has pretty much the whole history of my involvement in the group. It can be streamed from www.australianmuseumofsquatting.org or it can be downloaded as a podcast.