non-fiction rock from Aotearoa New Zealand


Out of step to not Offset

If you have been following our tour diary, you will have picked up that we often comment on the environment, in all its beauty and/or visible degradation (or often invisibity due to the impenetrable smog).

Creative work generally has a low carbon footprint. However, it’s unarguable that hopping on a plane to tour your creative endevour generates a massive carbon footprint.

As creative workers, we wanted to attempt to offset our impact as best as possible. Our work is not more important than the sustained ongoingness of life on this globe.

For this tour we have chosen to utilise the services of Ekos, a NZ charity that produces internationally certified CO2 offsets from rainforest protection carbon conservation projects. When we offset our flight emissions with Ekos we supported the Rarakau Rainforest Conservation Project on Maori land in western Southland, Aotearoa NZ. And it was easy and affordable. Ekos also has certified rainforest protection carbon projects in several Pacific nations.

From the Ekos website:

“Most of us understand the need for infrastructure to support and enable our economy and wellbeing. Water, energy, waste management, transportation, communications, self defence… Without sufficient investments in infrastructure, the services we enjoy from them cannot endure.

Ecosystems are also ‘infrastructure’ – they provide beneficial services to our wellbeing. For example rainforests provide water quality, water supply, flood protection, drought mitigation, climate resilience, nutrient cycling, food fuel, and building materials. These services are central to our economy, and nature provides them for free – until we kill the geese that lay the golden eggs. A smart economy takes advantage of nature’s helpers by investing in their maintenance and durability.

The time has long past when we can rely on governments and voluntary organisations to meet our ecological infrastructure investment needs. Ekos enables visionary elements in the private sector to take on a game-changing leadership role in sustainable development through an approach based on carrots rather than sticks. An investment in nature is an investment in our common wellbeing.”

We hope other creative practitioners and festival organisers can hook up with a services like Ekos and make reducing their carbon footprint a regular and expected part of creative responsibility and activity. It is encouraging the hear that some big festivals are discussing with Ekos ways to minimise the environmental impact of their festival.

FYI: A couple of books have stretched our thinking about making bigger connections. Donna Harraway’s book, Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene stirred lots of conversations. She talks about how this new epoch, our current age, has been termed as the Anthropocene, the age where humanity-collective is responsible for the multi-environmental/multi-species damage. Harraway suggests this concept isn’t big enough, or accurate enough, and suggest that the term Capitalocene is more apt: that the fundamental driver of environmental and species damage done is the economic model of Capitalism in all it variants, not ALL humans. Naomi Klein also discusses the links between capitalism and climate change in her book, “This Changes Everything“. Klein also discusses the low-carbon footprint of creative work. Both books are well worth read.

Big day today – Happy Birthday Chrissie Butler!

Chrissie Butler's Birthday A very special day today!

On the 4th December 1964, a very young Chrissie Butler birthed forth into this glorious domain.

I hope the day is a wonderful celebration, and all that follow it!

It is an extreme delight to spend such precious time in your company, to travel on adventures, and making raucous fun along the way. It is inspiring, unfolding and rewarding, long may it continue! It is the best!

Massive birthday wished to you


mr sterile

R.I.P Pepenk Polutan : 1 September 2014

pepenk & StellaWe received some very sad news.

Our very lovely friend, Pepenk, who we first met in 2007 in Blitar, Java, died today – 1/09/2014 – for what seems like complications to an early onset renal disease.

He was an irrepressible, incandescent rascal, full of life, enthusiasm and boisterous noise. A beautiful human with energy for life, and wicked tattooist to boot.

He leaves behind his mother Pujiati, his wife Vina and new born son Kellen, his sister Lestari and partner Dayan with children Stella and Ardian, and brother Gunawan and wife, and a wide circle of friends.

It has been a pleasure to know, and a friendship we shall always treasure.

Goodbye to our good dear friend Pepenk.

Alas, now Gone as Goldie.

Sad news today.

Goldie and PoochScanning through facebook while at work, I spied an announcement on a friends page commenting on the passing of an 89 year old gentleman. It was the notice of the passing of the exuberant and intently alive-till-the-end Karl F Sim, also legally known as Carl Feodor Goldie. A article was published also on, and a short clip on Radio NZ – including the voice of Carl into the report.

Carl's cardCarl came to national attention in the early 80’s as the first convicted art forger in the country. He was arrested for a dodgy Rita Angus painting, and from that unfolded further discoveries of other forgeries. Carl painted in the style of many artists, by the 18th C English painter in NZ, C F Goldie, was a personal favourite.

A court case was held, there was a sentence passed down akin to a slap on the wrist with a wet bus-ticket. Then to ice the cake, Carl walked out of the court room into the Government offices next door to the court house, and changed his name by deed poll to that of the long dead and favoured painter C F Goldie, legitimising his ability to continue to paint and sign under the C F Goldie moniker. A great prank!

At least that is how I recall the recounting of the story. I believe the truth could often be a flexible commodity in Carl’s stories. Why would you let boring facts get in the way of a good story. An approximation of the truth is near enough to clear enough perhaps? But without malice, only mirth.

I vaguely remember this story first time around as a lad, but then recalled and hunted out some articles in the last few year when pondering on what local personalities deserve more public attention than those who current get it. I came across the book ‘Good as Goldie‘ by Tim Wilson and Carl, it is mostly written from Carl’s perspective, and in his voice.

One thing flowed into another, time passed, we had written and recorded our song with the same title of the book, our small effort to return this fabulous story into the public narrative.

GoldieDuring this period we traveled to Auckland for a show. We made a detour through the back/main street of Mangaweka, just because, and there we noticed an art gallery was holding a Fakes and Forgers exhibition, with Carl as ‘Special Guest’. This memory was filed away and time past. We returned to Mangaweka some time later, on tour again, and this time with the intention to deliver the song to the gallery in the hope that it will find it’s way into Carl’s hands. Two discs were slid under the door of a closed shop.

Mangaweka MainstreetEarly in the new year Marie, the gallery owner, emailed us and invited us to Managweka to play our song to Goldie as part of a commemoration and celebration of the opening of a museum in honour of Carl’s antic and artistic out-workings. Needless to say, we went and played and reveled in the chance to meet such a grand bloke and his two dynamic sisters. There’s something in this families genetic stock that we could argue would be good to fortify our bread, milk or water supply with, such energy, vital living, and dynamism for life.Magaret's apprentices

The museum was a beauty as well! And even better, we got the opportunity to spend the night in the same lodge with Carl and Margaret. Precious hours full of delight, they were both excellent story tellers, with a vast life of unrestrained experience to draw upon. Joyous.

sterile GoldieI contacted Carl some months later and commissioned a work from him. A portrait of myself and Chrissie. He was only rending work in pencil now as his eyes were not as strong as they once had been.

The last time I saw him was in 2012, in his Orewa residence [the photo top left]. He still got round the house, was still signing his name to drawings and selling them, and still spinning yarns. I doubt the pranks ever stopped. On this afternoon he gave me a copy of a new book called The 10 Greatest Art Forgers by Bonnie Sheppard, published in Canada. It is a genuine signed copy…of a colour photocopy of the original…a signed fake version of a book about forgeries. Anyway, this book listed Carl as number 8  in the list of the 10 best art forgers of the world. It goes on to state that “Karl Sim stands at #8 on our list even though he had far more convictions than van Meegeren who is ranked #2. This is because Sim’s crimes mostly affected only New Zealand. If they had had more global impact, he might have been ranked higher.”

So some sadness in saying farewell, but so glad to have met you. What a life, lived till the very end I hope.

The End?

The first night with Carl around the table in Mangaweka with food and whiskey [though he had a colourful past with the liquor Carl was now sober] Carl discussed the book Good as Goldie that had been published. He then said that there is also a SECOND book waiting in the wings for publishing after he dies. With a wicked grim and glinting eye he stated that its full of the many other exploits that he NEVER got caught for! He’d say that he would flick through Dunbar Slone or Te Papa art catalogs and recognise many works of HIS that still were being cited as originals. I SO hope this story is true and that such a book is published. Fingers crossed.

See ya Carl

The Glorious Sendam Rawkustra crowd funding project

Post recording at the Newtown Community Centre

Post recording at the Newtown Community Centre

A small aside.

I have been participating in the group called the Sendam Rawkustra for the last five years as part of my day job, along with good people such as Andreas Lepper and Richard Noble. It is a music/health initiative at a day service for people who have past or current experiences of mental illness.

We recorded an album last year and are currently crowd funding the dollars to make the physical CD. We need NZ$3000 and are two/thirds of the way there.

It’s is wild, spontaneous, vibrant and dynamic music, and always always surprising.

So if you feel you can contribute $1, $30, $100 or $1000 then please go to our Pozible funding page and have a look in more details. If we don’t earn the full amount we get zero…eek