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Claus Sterneck / Claus in Iceland
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Wolfgang Sterneck
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Party and Protest in Australia

"When a certain critical number achieves an awareness, this new awareness may be communicated from mind to mind. Although the exact number may vary, the Hundreth Monkey Phenomenon means that when only a limited number of people know of a new way, it may remain the conscious property of these people. But there is a point at which if only one more person tunes in to a new awareness, a field is strengthened so that this awareness is picked up by almost everyone!" - Ken Keyes Jnr, The Hundreth Monkey

The BARRELFULL OF MONKEYS are a global network of ravers and mischief makers, dancers, lovers, activists, artists, DJs, tech fetishists and idealistic dreamers, pleazure Terra-ists and media savvy memetic sculptors surfing the inphomation tsunami filtering through the last wave of kulture before the End of The World As We Know It in 2012, by which time everyone will have got their sh*t together and linked up in HIVE minds for the pure creation and transmission of ART, and we'll have a party to end all parties on Monkey Island, kundalini rainbow beacons shining from the dancefloor.

I guess with the monkeys it all started out on the dirt dancefloor in the Temporary Autonomous Zone (TAZ) and the sacred space of group mind consciousness. The BOM are a journey through time as well (to 2012), as all the good people I meet I give a real barrel of monkeys monkey to and thread into the group. Back when outdoor parties was my main focus that meant getting a lot of trippers and party people in the barrel, which was basically a loose collection of friends and acquaintances I kidnapped into the barrel (I had no idea I was being an email terrorist by collecting everyones email addresses and starting the List, but there you go).

I've read (and written) a lot about rave culture since then, and have come to see each generation has its own counterculture, fuelled by its own drugs and idealogy that is superceded by the generation that follows it. Iain Spence comments on this in an article/book called the Sekhmet Hypothesis, where he looks at the solar cycles that hit maximum every 11 years and help expand and contract consciousness in their full 22 year cycles. What this means is every 11 years youth culture explodes with a new movement – hippies in 1966, punks in 1977, rave in 1988, Seattle anti-globalization activists in 1999 (who, Iwould argue, use technology as their /drug’ to expand their consciousness and communicate). What Im getting at here is that for me, the BOM started as a hippie/rave type fun loving mind expanding consciousness having resonance with those archetypes as at the time me and my friends were all into that scene and it was all about having a lot of FUN. It started in 1997 during the rave/mind expansion phase but it is my long tern plan to build naturally and organically a network of rave mates and friends with the skills to DO good work all the way through to the global paradigm shift the Mayans/McKenna and science is predicting in 2012. This means living through a few culture changes and being changed by them on the way (the next mind expansion/hippie phase is set for 2010), changing focus in accordance with the times.

For instance, with the world turning and the ‘new world order’ being forced on our consciousness by the global spin doctors, the parties started to be protest parties, there started to be rallies, we all party/protested in the carneval against capitalism on Sept 11 2000 in melbourne when the WEF were in town, and that changed everything, I think. The subculture around us crystalized and the BOM started to change to reflect that, becoming focused on the issues facing this generation and trying to fight the injustices that are destroying our culture and threatening our entire planet. So the e-List has reflected that with more political/activism memes and information and Ive come to see the BOM list as a resource for those memes as well as the party meme and information about consciousness etc, as well as the original vibe about FUN. So now its PLAY, PROTEST and PARTICIPATION. I guess some monkeys still focus on our obvious and childlike memes but cant see past the trees for the forest. Those ideals are still true and strong but they are the foundation for the adult realizations of the dreams – if you care to get involved and get your hands dirty so to speak and not just mouth empty platitudes.

At the heart the core ideals like Monkey Island – a utopian space where we can all do our own thing – are just that, Utopian ideals. But with the momentum of an activist culture where DIY (Do It Yourself) is the central meme the childlike ideals are in a culture where they now have the chance to be realized through a lot of hard work and participation. Monkey Island for me isnt just a dream, its a reality Im working towards and want to join with other like minded folk who want that too. Its a label for an intentional community that a lot of people in the counterculture are saying they want as the world goes to hell in a breadbasket – a space where we can control our own community, go solar and eco-tech friendly, experience alternative communities and lifestyles and live the dream. Utopias arent that hard really, its a shame this mainstream culture thinks they’re a dirty word because they’re so conditioned by the cultural brainwashing to be passive and rely on cities/hierarchies to give them everything, cut off from the learning curve of DIY which has become now the central meme of this counterculture post 1999. And when the hippie type gen manifests again in 2010 the PLAY aspects of the monkeys memes will still be there under the reality we have constructed, and will come to the fore again.

Anyway, what I see the BOM becoming is what I see the culture becoming this decade. People are linking up in cells/activist groups/communities because they have to – they have no other choice when things are disintegrating around them in the mainstream, skyrocket prices, alienation, isolation, death and destruction. Technology and control of media (the old Marxist chestnut) is finally available to the common person and as the mainstream media outlets are losing their grip on a passive consumer audience, that same audience is waking up and becoming the producer, the artist, the dreamer is becoming the maker. Passive culture that allowed the world to get so bad, put under a spell by the corporations and governments is seizing back control. Its all about being ACTIVE-ATED. So many monkeys are talented people in their own right and im hoping the BOM provides the glue for them to channel their energies into this as a community. Its not about me, its about US. Its not about leaders, its about participants. Its about everyone having equal rights and votes, non hierarchical decision making 9which is also why sometimes nothing ever seems to get boff the ground; it’s hard to motivate people without pushing an agenda onto them!). The monkeys crew has writers, artists, film makers, teachers, magicians, DJs, musicians, multimedia artists, dancers, parents, hippies, ferals, phreaks, chefs, yoga instructors, plant cultivators, tech gurus, webheds, army trained skills, alternative energy makers, fashion makers, etc etc etc etc etc. We have as many skills between us as are needed for a healthy and diverse community, we just need to pool those resources and recognize them as such and BECOME that community.

Over the next 10 years the seeds have been sown and now its time to til the soil. Its time to live the life and the meme of particpatory community and all that embodies and we have the people and the resources. We will put on fundraising and community building parties over the years (as in the 100th Monkey fundraiser for Ramche village in Nepal, which I still must thank everyone who helped out in putting it togeher! We raised money for medical supplies for a remote Nepalese village, who are also fellow monkeys!) to fuel our journey, and the party is what brings us all together and where we all came from. But beyond the party is the community, and the output of that community, artistic and practical that provides an example for and is inspired by all the other like minded folk doing the same. That’s what its all about and the plan is opened ended and open source/ to interpretation and participation by all those ive kidnapped into this mad endeavour, because its what we make of it, after all.


Bom Tonka,

Barrelfull of Monkeys


Barrelfull of Monkeys - Interview

Sterneck: There’s a monkey siting on a skyscraper eating a banana ... What do you think he’s dreaming for ?

Tush Gun: He's may be dreaming about a lost way of life, non-teknikal world, nature-value, he's maybe dreaming the building is huge toilettes of the human society and pue on it!!!

Tim: Hmm, the only obvious answer I can see is... Aeroplanes!

Diva: A monkey on a skyscraper eating a banana would be dreaming for more banana's.

Sterneck: What do you see personaly in the Barrelful of Monkeys?

Diva: The Barrel is a dream of an idea...or a junket for art for art's sake...

Tush Gun: Free-circulation of the information, activism for freedom by nu-kulture,...

Rak: It is part of the evolving global Network of like minded folk, from the Cybertribes to the Tekno Renegades putting on free parties in your neck of the woods, to the mad trippers dreaming in the new frequency in urban crashpads across the sprawling homegenous trading zones of the New World Order. It started as an idea and now it’s becoming a reality...

Tim: The barrelful of monkeys can not be organized at all, it just happens

Diva: Life is a cycle...history repeats itself and if you believe in a spiralish nature of evolution then it all returns but whatever the timeframe or the "matrix", humans will be humans and monkey around.

Sterneck: On the way to the monkey-utopia ... the beat goes on, and maybe opens an inner way which become an outer one to this utopia ... What role have parties / raves to achieve a new awareness (if they have one...) ?

Tush Gun: Only fun baby.

Diva: It has been shown that deep growling bass played for 22 out of every 24 hours actually enhances the hormonal activity in the banana plant thus making the banana's grow bigger.

Rak: Parties provide nodal points across the globe for elevated consciousness/group mind dynamics. Not always, and drug abuse is as big a problem as ever, but at the right place at the right time with the right people – magic happens. Group mind awareness. Psychic collectivism. It feels good!!!! And don’t forget to have fun!Sterneck: Drugs can be a step to a new awareness, but also step in the other direction. What do think, which kind of role have psychoactive substances...?

Tush Gun: Drugs drugs drugs..... may be just free our mind from all th shit is around us, help our inner peace the win ze war agianst oppression, phreak out society, moralization.....

Diva: All drugs have a good side and a bad MonKeys...

Tim: A tool. no more.

Rak: They are catalysts, interfaces to our own consciousness within. Sterneck: It seems that there is a link in Australia between political activism and the Techno/Trance-Underground specialy on the fight against the politics of uranium mining under the label ”Ferals“ ...

Rak: Yes, there are quite a number of ferals and feral like monkeys in the barrel. Australia had the right social climate in the 90s to breed a generation of informed activists – and we had the cuases to fight for – Jabiluka, anti uranium mining, anti logging, Aboriginal land rights – the governments were and are trying to steal our dreamtime lands out from under us and sell them as commodities to the corporations, and some wonderful people of all ages took them on and tried to stop this – and it’s still ongoing!. Ferals is a whole ‘nother subject and maybe someone else could say more about it. Its mutated a bit and there are lots of ‘city ferals’ hanging out in the concrete jungles in collectives now, too.

Sterneck: Can you tell us a bit about the Australian Earthdream-festival?

Diva: Earthdream is for make it what you want I of those "...if you build it, they will come ' adventures and if you are meant to be there you will...what ever you belief's and connections...

Tim: Earthdream Krew rock on, respect to all massive

Rak: It varies in size and quality from year to yearaccording to participants and teir resources as its totally independent out in the desert. Lots of real Mad Max ...

Sterneck: Which kind of connections are between the Techno/Trance/Ferals-Scene and the Aborigines? Is there an influence of the Dreamtime-Vision on the scene?

Tim: Depends who you ask...

Diva: Techno/trance/ferals/aborigines/ and white urban bitches like me are all defined by which substances we abuse.

Rak: Small but growing influence as some people go beyond ‘drugs’ and into ideas of sacraments and consciousness exploration. Earthdream has been a strong link to this forming bonds with aborigine communities on the land -and it takes years for them to trust whitefellas – so its an ongoing process...

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