Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Glass half-full...of human suffering!

Last week I went to the opening of the new Canberra Glassworks Centre. Described as: ‘Built and funded by the ACT Government, Canberra Glassworks is Australia's only cultural centre that is wholly dedicated to contemporary glass art.’

It was built in the old power plant which has mouldered by Lake Burley-Griffin for 40 years since its decommissioning in 1957. As well as an impressive series of workshops, it also has a gallery for glass works. In particular, I was attracted to a small piece of glass art which turned out to be a magic looking glass into the future, limited alas to what is in store for the glassworks centre (otherwise I would have been off to the bookies).

I quickly jotted down the following chronology as it appeared to me through a glass darkly.

26 May 2007: Canberra Glassworks opens to the public.

31 May 2007: First courses in glass art offered to the public.

20 June 2007: Second furnace installed in the hotshop to cope with unexpected demand.

18 July 2007: Two more furnaces added and courses now run 24 hours.

31 August 2007: 68% of all Canberrans and fully 7% of all Australians have now taken one or more courses at Canberra Glassworks. These numbers increase at the rate of 2000 per week. A tent city springs up in the Kingston area to accommodate would-be glass art apprenctices.

30 October 2007: Treasurer Peter Costello proudly announces that the Australian economy grew by 4% in the last quarter, purely on the strength of the so-called ‘glass bubble’. 72% of all Australians now make their living by designing, making, selling or disposing of glass-art or by administrating one of Australia’s 786 Canberra glassworks franchises.

25 December 2007: 102% of all Christmas presents exchanged in 2007 have at least one glass component. Tickle-me see-through Elmo is particularly popular as is the new invisible glass iPod. (Economists are unable to explain how it is possible that the number of glass presents apparently exceeds the total number of all presents. Professor Charles Barreau shrugs during an on-camera interview: ‘I made my reputation as a hardheaded supply-side econometrician but, let’s face it, it’s in no one’s interest to speak ill of glass.’

15 January 2008: ‘Glass’ is now universally capitalized when written. As in ‘the business of Australia is Glass’ or ‘if you’re not for Glass, you’re against Glass’ or ‘Glass does as Glass sees fit’.

31 March 2008: the dark side of Glass becomes apparent as thousands of itinerant glassblowers sleep rough on the streets and try to harass passers-by (typically more successful glassworkers and arts administrators) into buying their tchotchkes : ‘Please mate, anything, give me anything, just buy one o’ me cold-worked, handcrafted baby giraffe tumblers.’ This aspect to the Glass bubble is desperately suppressed by frightened Governments in Canberra and State capitals.

15 May 2008: construction begins on the new Glass bridge to Tasmania using excess glass trinkets. The remaining few independent voices complain of rampant Glass welfare and an all-powerful Glass lobby. Lobbyists for the farmers, big business and Israel complain that the Government ‘doesn’t even bother to return their phone-calls anymore.’

31 May 2008: Feminists speak up about the paucity of nationally recognized female glass artists, complaining about a ‘new Glass ceiling’.

27 June 2008: 89% of all arable land is now covered by Glass.

26 August 2008: work begins on an ambitious project to build a giant Glass computer which will decide once and for all whose work is good and whose is shit.

17 October 2008: DeepGlass comes online and assumes responsibility for all Glass-related Government functions (which is estimated to be 109% of such functions by the Australian Buerau of Glass Statistics).

27 November 2008: DeepGlass goes global and takes over the earth, consigning a miserable humanity to a thousand years of applying for local community development arts grants in triplicate.

So I decided we needed a glass cyborg from the future to return to our present and destroy Canberra Glassworks before it dooms us all. Expect fire-works in a month or two so get your shopping done soon...


The Man at the Pub said...

Well, it would look better than a perspex world. Though surely our hospitals would be overwhelmed by the deep tissue injuries.

killerrabbit said...

Stones will definitely be banned in the glassy future.

Ampersand Duck said...


You have no idea how often I look through Glass darkly.

Sorry I missed you at the opening*

(* because I forgot to go)

Megan said...

Shattering news (to all but those on the ground!) Oh the humanity...

glasscentralcanberra said...

Omigod! Don't tell me Peter Costello is still gunna be the Treasurer in October! When's that damned election?