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02 MAY 2015

Aboriginal People's Relationship to Land

"Every different clan group has stories about their beginnings. Stories are like our archives, detailing how Creator Beings from under the earth arose to shape the land and to create the landscape. There are myriad variations of the story, but the theme stays the same.

The whole surface of the earth was like a moonscape, no features, no flora and fauna, just bare open plain. But there were Creator Beings sleeping in a state of potentiality just under the surface. At a certain time they were disturbed, whereupon their potentiality transformed into actuality and they arose out of the ground. When they finally emerged, they were very big and tall. These beings were spirit ancestors of many of the varieties of flora and fauna, especially large animals, in Australia. When this emergence was completed, the spirit ancestors started to interact with one another, fighting, dancing, running about, making love, killing. All of this activity shaped the Australian landscape as we know it today.

Throughout this period humans remained asleep in various embryonic forms, in a state like a kind of proto-humanity. They were awakened by all the activity above; the Creator Beings helped these proto-humans to become fully human, teaching them the Laws of custodianship of land, the Laws of kinship, of marriage, of correct ceremonies-they gave them every kind of knowledge they needed to look after the land and to have a stable society.

When this work was finished, the Creator Beings went back into the land, where they all still remain in the same eternal sleep from which they awakened at the beginning of time. The locations to which they returned have always been and are still today regarded as very important sacred sites.

Wherever the Creator Beings travelled, they left tracks or some kind of evidence of themselves. These traces determined the identity of the people. In other words, every Aboriginal person has a part of the essence of one of the original creative spirits who formed the Australian landscape. Therefore each person has a charter of custodianship empowering them and making them responsible for renewing that part of the flora and its fauna. The details of this metaphysics varied widely across the land with the physical environment, but the spiritual basis-the understanding that what separates humans from animals is the fact that each human bears a creative and spiritual identity which still resides in land itself-provided and still provides in many places the religious, social, political and economic force throughout Aboriginal Australia."

(Mary Graham, 2008)

Australian Humanities Review 45 (November 2008): "Mary Graham: Philosophical Underpinnings of Aboriginal Worldviews". This essay was originally published in Worldviews: Environment, Culture, Religion 3 (1999): 105-118.

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Aboriginal Australia • Aboriginal mythology • Aboriginal worldviews • ancestral beings • Association for the Study of Australian Literature (ASAL) • Australian Humanities Review (AHR) • Australian landscape • beginnings • belonging • charter of custodianship • clan • clan group • creation narrative • creative and spiritual identity • Creator Beings • custodianship • customs • embryonic forms • eternal sleep • fauna • florafolkloreIndigenous Australians • Juanita Bailey • Kombu-merri person • landland custodianshiplandmarkslandscape • Lilla Watson • Lin Morrow • Mary Grahammetaphysics • open plain • origin mythphysical environment • potentiality • proto-human • proto-humanity • sacred sites • spirit ancestors • symbolic placetimeless time • under the earth • under the surface • worldview

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
07 NOVEMBER 2014

Songlines: How Indigenous Australians Use Music to Mark Geography

"There are many different methods of pre–literate navigation that have been documented around the world. One of the most unique, a fusion of navigation and oral mythological storytelling, originated among the indigenous peoples of Australia, who navigated their way across the land using paths called songlines or dreaming tracks. In Aboriginal mythology, a songline is a myth based around localised 'creator–beings' during the Dreaming, the indigenous Australian embodiment of the creation of the Earth. Each songline explains the route followed by the creator–being during the course of the myth. The path of each creator–being is marked in sung lyrics. One navigates across the land by repeating the words of the song or re–enacting the story through dance, which in the course of telling the story also describe the location of various landmarks on the landscape (e.g. rock formations, watering holes, rivers, trees). In some cases, the paths of the creator–beings are said to be evident from their marks on the land (petrosomatoglyphs), such as large depressions in the land which are said to be their footprints (parallels can certainly be seen in some North American First Nation creation stories).

Songlines often came in sequences, much like a symphony or album today. By singing a song cycle in the appropriate order could navigate vast distances, often travelling through the deserts of Australia's interior (a fact which amazed early anthropologists who were stunned by Aborigines that frequently walked across hundreds of kilometres of desert picking out tiny features along the way without error). Each group had its own set of songlines that were passed from generation to generation so that future generations would know how to navigate when in neighbouring tribes' territories. The extensive system of songlines in Australia varied in length from a few kilometres to hundreds of kilometres in length crossing through lands of many different Indigenous peoples. Since a songline can span the lands of several different language groups, different parts of some songlines were in different languages corresponding to the region the songline was navigating through at the time, and thus could only be fully understood by a person speaking all of the languages in the song."

(The Basement Geographer, 21 October 2010)

Fig.1 "What are song lines?" Colin Jones, lecturer in Aboriginal History, talks about his culture, his history and his art. Queensland Rural Medical Education.

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Aboriginal mythologyancestral beings • ancestral heroes • animist belief systemAustralia • Colin Jones • creation narrative • creation spirits • Creator Beingscultural memory • cultural webs of memory • dreaming (spirituality) • dreaming tracks • earth motherFirst AustraliansFirst Nations • genii loci • geographical point • Indigenous Australians • kin-grouping system • kinship • landmarkslandscapelocationmappingmarkers • mythological storytelling • navigation systemnavigational methodsoral historiesorientationorigin myth • paths • petrosomatoglyph • place • point-to-point • pre-literate navigation • pre-literate societiessequences and spatial practisessmooth space • song cycle • songlinesspatial literacyspatial narrativespiritualitysymbolic placeterritorytimeless timetopology • totemic ancestors • voice map • watering holewayfinding

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
19 SEPTEMBER 2013

Designs for Great Architectural Landmarks that Were Never Built

"If you're writing an alternate history, these would be the buildings you'd want to include. They're the discarded designs for famous landmarks." (Vincze Miklós)

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Adolf Loos • architectural landmark • British Eiffel Tower • Bruno Tautbuildingsclassical formcultural historydesign proposalsdiscarded designsEiffel Tower • famous landmarks • fantastic architecture • Great Tower of London • Joseph Marzella • Kurz Schutz • landmarks • Lincoln Memorial • modernist architecturemonumentneoclassicism • plans • proposalsshapesketchesskyscraperspeculative architecture • Sydney Opera House • The Metropolitan Towertower • Tower Bridge (London) • Trafalgar Square (London) • Unbuilt Washington (exhibition) • Walter Gunther • Washington Monument • White House

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
02 JULY 2012

Stadium UK: BBC Olympics title sequence revealed

"RKCR/Y&R, Red Bee Media and Passion Pictures' director Pete Candeland turn the UK into a giant sporting venue for the BBC's Olympics marketing trail and title sequences

Super–stylised athletes are seen competing in Scottish lochs, terraced streets and around London in the film which will be used across all the BBC's TV and digital Olympics content. The film also features Five Steps, the Olympics 'theme tune' written by Elbow.

RKCR/Y&R developed the concept, the animation was by Passion and the sequence was produced by Red Bee Media. It will be used for the BBC's 2012 title sequences and on desktop, mobile tablets and 'connected' TV content. A full two–minute, 40 second version will be premiered on BBC ONe on July 3. 60, 40, 30 and five second versions will be used throughout the Games."

(Creative Review, 2 July 2012, 10:12)

Fig.1 BBC "Stadium UK" created by Agency: RKCR/Y&R; ECD: Damon Collins; Creatives: Jules Chalkley, Nick Simons, Ted Heath, Paul Angus; Production company: Passion Pictures/Red Bee Media; Animation production company: Passion Pictures; Director: Pete Candeland.
Fig.2 Published on 24 Jul 2012 by "london2012", the London 2012 Olympic mascots Wenlock and Mandeville.

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20123D3D animationadvertisingadvertising campaignanimationanimation production • athlete • BBC • BBC Children in Need • BBC Philharmonic Orchestra • BBC TV • connected TV content • Creative Review (magazine) • Damon Collins • Elbow (band) • Five Steps (music) • Jules Chalkley • landmarkslandscapeLondonLondon 2012 Olympics • Mandeville • marketing campaign • marketing trail • Nick Simons • NovaVox gospel choir • official trailerOlympic GamesOlympic Games 2012Olympic StadiumOlympics • Olympics content • Passion Pictures • Paul Angus • Pete Candeland • promotion • Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe Y&R • Red Bee Media • RKCR/Y&R • Scottish lochs • sport • Sport Relief • sporting arena • sporting venue • Stadium UK • Team GB • Ted Heath • terraced streets • theme tunetitle sequenceUKUnited Kingdomvisual design • Wenlock

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
28 OCTOBER 2008

Nakagin Capsule Tower

"Kisho Kurokawa can't seem to catch a break these days. Just days after the Japanese architect lost his bid for the governorship of Tokyo, the Nakagin Capsule Tower, his best known building and one of the few built examples of the Metabolist movement, was given a date with the wrecking ball.

The Capsule Tower, completed in 1972, stands in the centre of Tokyo's affluent Ginza neighbourhood. The building is actually composed of two concrete towers, respectively 11 and 13 stories, each encrusted with an outer layer of prefabricated living units. It has long been appreciated by architects as a pure expression of the Metabolist movement, popular in the 1960s and 1970s, which envisioned cities formed of modular components. But in recent years residents expressed growing concern over the presence of asbestos. On April 15, the building's management association approved plans calling for the architectural icon to be razed and replaced with a new 14–story tower. A demolition is yet to be determined.

For his part, Kurokawa has pleaded to let the Capsule Tower express one of its original design qualities: flexibility. He suggested 'unplugging' each box and replacing it with an updated unit, letting the base towers –which he calls 'timeless'–remain untouched. Japan's four major architectural organisations, including the Japan Institute of Architects, support this scheme. But the building's management remained unconvinced and raised concerns regarding the towers' ability to withstand earthquakes, as well as its inefficient use of valuable land. The new building will increase floor area by 60 percent.

Following the board's decision, only Kurokawa continues to raise protest. If the Capsule Tower is destroyed as planned, it will join a growing list of losses. His Sony Tower in Osaka, completed in 1976, came down last year; Plantec Architects designed a glass–walled commercial building that will replace it."
(Yuki Solomon, Architectural Record)

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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