Walsh agreed to pay Boltanski for the right to film his studio, outside Paris, twenty-four hours a day, and to transmit the images live to Walsh, in Tasmania. But the payment was turned into a macabre bet: the agreed fee was to be divided by eight years, and Boltanski was to be paid a monthly stipend, calculated as a proportion of that period, until his death. Should Boltanski, who was sixty-five years old, live longer than eight years, Walsh will end up paying more than the work is worth, and will have lost the bet. But if Boltanski dies within eight years the gambler will have purchased the work at less than its agreed-upon value, and won. "He has assured me that I will die before the eight years is up, because he never loses. He’s probably right," Boltanski told Agence France-Presse in 2009. "I don’t look after myself very well. But I’m going to try to survive." He added, "Anyone who never loses or thinks he never loses must be the Devil."—Tasmanian Devil is the story of David Walsh and his Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart, Tasmania, as told by recent Man Booker winner Richard Flanagan.
In the July issue of The Monthly, John van Tiggelen tells the tale of “The Destruction of the Triabunna Mill and the Fall Of Tasmania's Woodchip Industry,” detailing how “How the end of Gunns cleared a new path for Tasmania.” [more inside]
On January 4th, 2013, in the midst of a national heat wave, Tasmania experienced some of the most extreme weather on record, with Hobart recording a record temperature of 41.8°C in the afternoon. Fires blazed around the state, covering almost 50,000 acres, claiming hundreds of properties, and destroying the town of Dunalley. The Tasman peninsula was cut off by the fires, necessitating a sea rescue of over 2,000 people. An image of a family clinging to a jetty in the water to escape from the fire captured the attention of the world. With the launch of their Australian edition, The Guardian have produced a frightening and fascinating multimedia article exploring the human side of the inferno.
Three young filmmakers from Melbourne, Australia were set to make a short film on the serenity of fly fishing, focusing on a man named Phipps who lived on a lake in central Tasmania. Once they met Phipps, however, that all changed. Here is a glimpse into Phipps' beautiful, quiet world. [more inside]
Scientists on Tasmania's Maria Island caught footage of an echidna playing in the water. Stay spikey, stay cute!
A new, controversial super-trawler, the Dutch-owned FV Margiris, has set sail for Tasmania, off the south-east coast of Australia, to take a haul of jack mackerel and redbait, prompting concerns it is going to decimate several Australian fish stocks as factory fishing has done elsewhere in the world. Greenpeace claims the industrial super-trawler is part of the European Association of pelagic freezer trawlers (PFA), responsible for "some of the worst fishing excesses on the planet.'' It is scheduled to be roaming between the Tasman Sea and Western Australia this spring. [more inside]
On Dec 14, 2011 Miranda Gibson climbed 200ft up a tree in Tasmania. She hasn't yet come down. [more inside]
"It was always about the intersection of creativity and chaos." So said Kirsha Kaechele, described at Wikipedia as an "American contemporary art curator, artist, and practitioner of sustainable architecture," of the avant-garde Life is Art Foundation/KKProjects art happening that she carried out via Katrina flooding-devastated homes in the St. Roch area of New Orleans' Upper Ninth Ward. These homes now lie in ruins, as they did before. She owes back taxes on the homes, and city has placed tax liens worth $28,000 on two of them. While she can afford the back taxes, she says, the liens are beyond her means. A medicinal marijuana farm created to fund Life is Art failed to make enough money to fund the projects. In any case, she has spent the past five months in Tasmania with her boyfriend, professional gambler and art curator David Walsh, where he has established something called the Museum of New and Old Art. (Pause.) I believe that connects all the most relevant dots as succinctly as possible. [more inside]
Topher wants to know why Melbourne's water supply system doesn't include a gravity-fed pipeline from Tasmania.
Bass Strait is the stretch of water separating Tasmania from the Australian mainland. It's a treacherous stretch of water, about 240km wide. These two guys just kite-surfed across it in 12 hours. (Pre-crossing forum discussion.)
Gould's Book of Fish (full contents of Chapter One) by Tasmanian author/historian/Rhodes Scholar Richard Flanagan is a critically lauded 2002 novel that is the most interesting and accomplished work of fiction I've read in years. Set in the 19th century on a penal colony off the coast of Tasmania, the book is narrated by William Buelow Gould, a convict, charlatan, and possible madman. Here is an audio interview with Flanagan; here's an audio clip of the author reading from his book. (.ra files) Yes, the book is a few years old, but it somehow passed under my radar; and, anyway, a good book is timeless. (Picking up the piscine gauntlet thrown down by Plutor.)
"The onslaught of destruction wrought upon the thylacine by the early settlers of Tasmania came about largely as a result of fear, ignorance, and misunderstanding." An extinct carnivorous marsupial.
The Tasmanian Tiger or thylacine [Thylacinus cynocephalus], a marsupial, was thought to have become extinct when the last known animal died in captivity from exposure in 1936. There have been numerous alleged sightings since. A German tourist supposedly photographed one recently (free reg.). Now there's a reward out for producing a live specimen but with prohibitive conditions requiring a permit that won't be issued. The thylacine cloning project has just been abandoned because the pup (from 1866) was kept in alcohol and not formalin - degrading the DNA.
The big bird race. Will they survive the long-lines? Will I get a return on my investment? Not the first use of the technology but a worthy effort.
State Library of Tasmania, Heritage Collection Image Library.
The Thylacine Museum is a true labour of love. Everything you could possibly want to know about the thylacine (AKA "Tasmanian tiger" or "Tasmanian wolf"). Able to open its mouth incredibly wide, sit upright on its hind legs like a kangaroo, and a foremost example of convergent evolution (extremely similar to placental mammals like wolves, yet marsupial), the thylacine was a fascinating animal. Hunted to extinction in less than a hundred years (or not), a cloning project is underway to try and resurrect it. This site has everything: videos, Java-riffic skull diagrams, pictures of mummified thylacines who died over 4,000 years ago, and pictures of Benjamin, the last captive thylacine who died in 1936.
A safe getaway If the excrement REALLY hits the oscillator What's your thoughts on a safe haven??