THE BARRELFULL OF MONKEYS
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by its own drugs and idealogy that is superceded by the generation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
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 theyre a dirty word because theyre 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; its 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. Thats 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.
DO YOU WANT TO PLAY THE GAME???
Barrelfull of Monkeys - Interview
Sterneck: Theres a monkey siting on a skyscraper eating a
banana ... What do you think hes 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
Tush Gun: Free-circulation of the information, activism for freedom
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 its
becoming a reality...
Tim: The barrelful of monkeys can not be organized at all, it just
Diva: Life is a cycle...history repeats itself and if you believe
in a spiralish nature of evolution then it all returns but shifted...so
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 dont 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
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 side....like 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 its 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 everyone...you make it what you want I
believe....one 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...