Made By

Background

Monograph on the work of → ↑ →. The book is soft-cover 162 pgs black-and-white 210 mm x 296 mm. The cover is screen-printed with 3 colours. The book contains a one-sided flexi-disc.

1983

Design & editing - Philip Brophy
Bromides - Maria Kozic
Screen-printing - Maria Kozic, Philip Brophy & numerous → ↑ → members
Flexi-disc music - Philip Brophy Partial funding - Visual Arts Board, Australia Council

Overview

from the introduction

The title of this book Made By → ↑ → is taken from the uniform credit that → ↑ → gives to all forms of its production.

1982 saw the phasing out of live performances by → ↑ →. Among other things, this was so that → ↑ → would be able to concentrate upon effectively organising, presenting and distributing its product (i.e. records, films, videos, and written material). This book, then, rigorously documents what on reflection amounts to a specific phase of the work of → ↑ →, in the sense that 1983 appears to be a year marked by → ↑ → branching out into areas not covered or encountered in the previous six years.

Whether it be to the value or detriment of this book, there has been no critical evaluation placed upon any → ↑ → program notes or press articles. What is written is written; the readers can make their own judgements. At a glance the book is simply intended to portray the group as a production house fully involved in a number of media operating in multiple of contexts.

In this sense, the → ↑ → oeuvre provides a source of critical value that is not to be found in a → ↑ → work by itself. → ↑ → has always been involved in the formulation of a practice, and not just producing objects for an audience. This book represents the first clear account of → ↑ → in its totality.

Technical

Since its first public event in April 1977, → ↑ → was notable for trying out a wide range of projects in various media and in multiple contexts of presentation and exhibition. Mostly governed by its live output, the group's activities were centred around music performances, film screenings, and live video events. All events were accompanied by often portentous programme notes, and most were advertised through flyers and posters - all designed by the director of the group, Philip Brophy (17 at the time of the group's inception). The idea of 'making' as opposed to 'creating' was always a central concern, and despite the art context in which a large portion of → ↑ → work was presented, the group never promoted itself as the efforts of 'artists'. The phrase often used by Philip was "somewhere between art and pop".

The flexi-disc contains the responses of 61 people who had been involved in promoting, reviewing, broadcasting, curating or booking → ↑ → at the time. They were asked the following: "Your mission, should you accept it or not, is to sum up all that you think is 'good' about → ↑ → in one word. And to do the same with all that you think is 'bad' about → ↑ →. One word for each category." Most responses were delivered over the phone or by mailed cassette between February and April 1982.

As indicated in the book's forward, the aim of → ↑ → was to move further into 'serious' production of films and records. This logically led to the dissolution of the group, and Philip continued producing films, video and music that followed and extended the initial concerns and interests of → ↑ →.

The cover is emblematic of both → ↑ →'s and Philip's take on culture: the wording of "Made By → ↑ →" is assembled from individual letters taken from the most mainstream of corporate entities at the time: McDonalds restaurants, Ansett airlines, Dunlop types, the film E.T., Bank-card credit, the YMCA, and finally → ↑ → itself. All work by → ↑ → (and, consequently, Philip) is grounded in working with the blunt and blatant cultural landscape as it exists in the present moment - a strategy adopted from Duchamp's and Warhol's reflection of contemporary visuality in their eras. Various Pop sensibilities were thus crucial to the strategies of → ↑ → projects. The opening page of the book features a quote from an essay Philip wrote around this time which sums up the drive of the group:

"... the present tense lasts as long as you speak it, and it lasts only as you speak it - but you can speak it FOREVER."