For the uninitiated, Semi-Permanent is an event about design and creativity. But it’s more like a mélange of concepts, creative disciplines and philosophies being crammed together, expressed in a series of talks and workshops, exhibitions and film screenings.
“Semi-Permanent is rooted in this idea of bringing people together physically, in one spot,” says Murray Bell, now the sole curator for the event. Though the speakers and “sideshows” change year to year, the premise is the same: “Above all we hold highest this opportunity for a physical interaction with artists. It’s so easy to look online and watch a video, see a tweet. But they don’t become human until you see the little nuances in their speech, or how they stand or how they dress.”
The topic of a talk by actor-turned-artist Noah Taylor is intriguing. Taylor, well established in the film industry has also always painted, although he has only exhibited his work in the past five years. He will be answering the question: how does professional creative duality work? “I think most creatives have this moment when they consider all the other types of creative output,” says Bell.
Creativity and its influence will be explored at WIRED By Design, a pop-up event based on its US counterpart about how design is intimately connected to all the sectors of our lives. And it doesn't come with the same $10,000 price tag as the original event in the States does.
But there is one thing Bell is most excited by. “It’s not an event as such, but the Stanley Donwood/Radiohead/Thom Yorke retrospective is going to be crazy huge. It’s a whole new level for us. This is a two-week-long, 6000-square-metre room filled with thousands of pieces of Radiohead and Thom Yorke artwork,” he says.
“And there’s a secret that no-one knows yet. I can’t tell you now. It’s just on a whole new scale; it’s something I’ve been working on for six or seven years.” He won’t divulge any further details, but it’s bound to be just one of the many inspiring, surprising and thought-provoking things to happen at Semi-Permanent.
Semi-Permanent is held at Carriageworks on May 22 to 23.