Rak’s media press history and appearances:
From: the HACK/ JJJ Radio on the ABC network Australia-wide
DATE : Mon, 23 Jan 2006 00:00:00 +1100
Entered in Database : 2006-01-22 13:00:00
length : 2776452
Link to the Show / Show Notes
In 1943 the first ever trip was dropped by Dr Albert Hoffman. He’s the guy that discovered LSD and he’S still alive. A big symposium about LSD has just been held in Switzerland to celebrate his 100th Birthday. Rak Razam, editor of the counterculture website undergrowth.org went to the conference and interviewed Albert Hofman. This story was first broadcast on triple j on 23/01/2006
As part of my activities with the consciousness-activist group Barrelfull of Monkeys we received national and international press coverage of our efforts. This has included spoken word readings from my writings on national radio broadcaster JJJ, and an interview with a German magazine distributed internationally. Our experiments with ‘Flash Mobs’ and ‘Silent Dancing’ gatherings were first discussed at the National Young Writers Festival 2004 and were followed up with an article on Flash Mobs by the Sydney Herald-Sun, which interviewed us at length:
SYDNEY HERALD SUN INTERVIEW (October 6, 2004)
Random acts of silliness
By Sunanda Creagh
October 6, 2004
They appear out of nowhere, assail your senses, then disperse like smoke. Their organisations are highly secretive, their activity mysterious and no one really understands what they do. Part art performance, part cult, flashmobs are the new situationists.
“We gather, do the thing we agreed to do, then get out,” Rak Razam, a Melbourne flashmob organiser, says. “It’s a flash in the pan but the key is that we are brought together by the use of technology.”
Flashmobbing – where people meet to perform an act of silliness for a short time – is on the rise in Australia. The rules are simple. Participants co-ordinate an action via the internet, firming up details by text message. On the day, they meet, perform an act, then scatter. The nature of the act varies from group to group.
Razam, whose group is called Barrel Full of Monkeys, says the practice has origins in New York, after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. “I think the climate there, at that time, there was a lot of concern about the Patriot Act, about people gathering in crowds and what they could and couldn’t do. These [people] wanted to keep it positive and neutral and not a political act – they would meet randomly to do instant theatre and create an art experience that was short and sharp,” he says.
Razam says his most memorable flashmob was in January, where Barrel Full of Monkeys broadcast music on a particular frequency and participants donned headphones and danced to their radios. “It was a silent dancing party where if you knew the wavelength we were transmitting on and had radio and headphones you could join in,” he says. “It only went for 11 minutes and 11 seconds in front of the Victorian State Library,” he says. Razam says the act is inherently political and artistic.
“The word ‘mob’ has bad connotations and I think it’s inherently political because people are gathering. It’s like a human art exhibition,” he says. “It’s also drawing on the idea of reclaiming public spaces. There’s so much rigmarole with permits and things, whereas flashmobbing is all about spontaneity. It’s organised spontaneity.” It’s an activity that couldn’t have existed in the past. “It’s so instantaneous,” says Razam. “You can literally say ‘turn left’ and the whole group can turn left without speaking.”
MUSHROOM MAGAZINE INTERNATIONAL (2003)
Intershroom #3, Feb – April, 2003
The Barrelfull Of Monkeys: Party and protest in Australia
An in depth profile of the arts and activism adventures of the barrelfull of monkeys was reported in the international Trance Culture magazine Intershroom, in early 2003.
‘EARTHDREAMERS’ RADIO DOCUMENTARY (Jan 20th, 2001)
Select spoken word readings from my story “Rainbow Dreaming” story were part of an Earthdream ‘audio trekumentary’ originally broadcast on ABC Radio National, Sat Jan 20th, 2001 and repeated over two weeks on Triple JJJ radio.
Earthdreamers and Mad Max meets the Merry Pranksters
“The most kickass adventure of political, social, cultural and historical proportions to snake its way across Australia ”
On May 1st, 2000, a group of about 100 artists, activists and performers from 18 different countries left Port Augusta in South Australia in a motley assortment of old cars, busses and trucks ( one van was powered by recycled veggie oil !) On a very definite zero-budget operation, without funding or financial support of any kind, the Earthdream convoy set out on an epic trip northwards across the red centre in an attempt to experience first hand the issues of Aboriginal land rights and sustainable living.
With freaks, greenies, doofers, science eggheads, film crews, black fellas, crusties, ravers, punks and revolutionaries it ‘s a road movie through Australia which combines the anarchic humour and politics of Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters with the dusty technology of Mad Max.
En route the artists created remarkable art installations from salvaged aeroplanes and recycled mining machinery. The Earthdream event was the brainchild of UK artist Robin Cook from the Mutoid Waste Company as part of his quest to find new ways to live with the land.