Noosa Mnemonic

My latest residency project with Noosa Library Service.

The overall goal was to get multiple artists, starting with me, to recreate their favourite places in Noosa, purely from memory. Each artist will create the location within Virtual Reality, using an application called Tilt Brush, from Google.

Once the places were all created, the goal is to incorporate all of them into a single read-only VR environment, which will have its default state as a 3D topographical map of Noosa.

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2019 – Week 42


I’m finally here. A life-long ambition is finally realised, and it has been a revelation.

Monday we flew in to Tokyo – an easy 9 hour flight. Monday night, a Japanese take on Italian food, with an Australian red wine.

Tuesday things began properly, being picked up at the hotel at 9am, and taken on a private tour of some of Japan’s finest Bonsai artists and their nurseries. A lot of what I saw, I’m not sure how much I can talk about, or show in photos – apparently there is a real problem of bonsai being stolen to order from nurseries, as a result of photos appearing online.

Suffice to say, what I saw was mind-blowing.

Dinner Tuesday night, was Pizza – hilarious, and quite tasty. It was an American-themed pizza and burger 0lace, with Halloween decorations everywhere.

Wednesday, we had a loooong trip to Unazukionsen- unfortunately the Shinkansen was out on a section of track, due to the recent typhoon, so we had to use two different local trains to get between our Shinkansen legs, one of which was only a single carriage.

5 trains total – a long day, but also amazingly interesting. At the end, we arrived at Unazukionsen after dark, walking through the town to our hotel. We went out for Ramen at a local place, and tried the local beer. We did some wandering around the town, photographing buildings, and saw a wild tanuki, as well as micro bats.

Thursday, was the tourist train from Unazukionsen, up through the Kurobe Gorge – Japan’s deepest gorge, and home to a network of hydro-electric power stations. The train is a little open sided thing, more like an amusement park ride, and after an hour and a half travelling through some of the most beautiful countryside I’ve ever seen, we reached the end of the line, had lunch at the restaurant, then a couple of hours walk out and back along the line.

We saw a snake.

Thursday night, was dinner at a great little place with a human-sized tanuki statue outside. I had the best deep fried chicken I’ve ever eaten. Dinner was followed by more late night photography.

Friday, I shot a few more images at Unazukionsen, before we headed for Takayama – one local train from Unazukionsen to Toyama, then another to Takayama. We lad a late lunch at an American-themed burger place, then went and did some shopping at the local Uniqlo, bought some snacks, and had an early night.

Saturday (my birthday), we finally saw the scale of tourism in Japan, with massive crowds at Takayama old town – it’s a beautiful place, but very busy. Busy for 3 blocks at least, leave that critical set of streets, and there’s very few people about. Our run of good lunch with weather ran out, as rain set in, bucketing down. Thankfully I had my waterproof travel hat, and all-covering poncho, so we were able to make the best of things, and enjoy our day nonetheless.

Saturday night was Ramen, featuring Hida beef, then on to Japanese whiskey-tasting at a local bar, before roaming the streets for some long exposure photography.

Sunday, a trip to Hida-no-sato (hida folk village), a recreation of various historic farming houses (most the actual buildings moved there and rebuilt). A nice easy morning, before catching a local train through the mountains to Nagoya, then the Shinkansen through Kyoto to Osaka, then a subway line to the hotel at Dotonburi.

Sunday night was spent wandering around, half in a daze, at the Bladerunner-esque madness of the place. A lot of takoyaki was eaten.

2019 – Week 41

So a Colossal Typhoon is bearing down on Japan, two days before I’m due to arrive. Timing, I have it.

I picked up my glasses – they were badly made, with a lens that wasn’t ground properly, and caused a part of the frame to snap trying figure out the alignment. When I get back, stern words will be had with the manager of the practice.

But all of this pales in comparison to Typhoon Hagibis. :(

2019 – Week 40

A productive week of holiday preparation – the big one having been arranging an all-day Bonsai tour for while I’m in Japan, including a visit to the garden of an extremely famous Bonsai artist. It’s probably the single most expensive activity of the trip (after the flights), but it’s the first day in country, and we get picked up from the hotel, driven there, all day tour, including stuff that’s closed to the public, lunch provided, then dropped back at the end of the day.

Tuesday, I picked up my CNC Machined custom camera plates, and found a little molle-webbing pouch to put my speedlight in for quick access.

On Wednesday, I went for a walk to the top of Noosa Hill to test out my gear setup – I think it’s going to work great.

Sunday was the annual Noosa Classic Car Show.

2019 – Week 39

A bunch of medical stuff this week – I had my ears syringed, to clear out wax. Good lord, the amount of sound I’ve been missing out on – all the high end was missing. My keyboard is more clicky, everything’s clearer. Now using a nasal spray to try to clear my sinuses so that all the fluid that’s built up behind my eardrum will clear.

It’s literally been years this has been a problem.

Down to Brisbane this weekend, to do more last minute shopping for travel. I also got back on my bike again this weekend – there’s something very sinister happening in Noosa at the moment – trees everywhere are being removed, there’s lots of illegal land clearing in protected scrubland, that just so happens to sit across the road from vulgar McMansion construction sites.

The really big timesuch for this week, was an attempt to upgrade my computer’s operating system two versions to macOS Mojave. It was a debacle, with a major workflow I rely on, being broken in the previous version, such that I can’t use this newer system for a task I do most frequently.

So it’s back to the old system I go. Thankfully I had everything backed up, and I’ve mastered the art of reconnecting time machine backups.

2019 – Week 38

A week of productivity:

  • I dropped off my restored glasses to have a new script put in them.
  • I went to a bunch of travel / camping stores to look at clothes for my trip.
  • I found a CNC machining company to produce the prototypes of my new camera offset plate.
  • Then I went down to Brisbane to buy travel shirts, and drop off some boots to be modified in order to be easier for travel.

I ended the week with a bike ride, for the first time in a couple of months. Trees keep disappearing in Noosa, old houses keep being demolished, and replaced with vulgar McMansion duplexes. All the bush around here is dry, the understory is clear, because the grasses are dead.

2019 – Week 37

Some good news this week, with modifications to glasses I had wanted done getting an OK from the people doing them. I’m going to have two old pairs of frames restored, repainted, repaired and modified for just $360 – which is comparable to the cost of new frames.

Tuesday I spent on actually making stuff:

I was making a physical prototype for this camera plate I want to produce. The test piece worked really well, validating my ideas, and proving the viability of the design.

On Wednesday, it was down to Brisbane to visit various camera shops – to pick up another bit for my Japan trip setup, and to exchange a bag that had arrived pre-damaged, with one that was not.

Thursday was back into CAD for rebuilding models to reflect the lessons of the physical prototype.

Friday, my glasses arrived – and they’re magnificent. They look brand new, and the modifications I wanted to one pair, make them look like they should have from the start. I am better at designing glasses, than the designer who designed these glasses.

Sunday was a walk out through the national park, to test out some new gear. Saw dozens of whales passing, as well as one of our rare wild koalas.

2019 – Week 36

Gear I bought having issues, and deciding it will need to be replaced next week. *sigh*

Not much else happened, started to put together ideas to do a little making project, to test combinations of stuff, prior to committing to a 3D print.

2019 – Week 35

A week of gear experiments, as well as the completion of the epic encryption.

I also completed a couple of versions of my new camera plate design – it was nice to get back into CAD based tasks, and the product I’ve developed out of it looks like it has real potential.

2019 – Week 34

The epic of time machine encryption continues, almost completing by the end of Sunday night, interrupted only by a suburb-wide power outage, which thankfully didn’t seem to interrupt the backup process.

I’ve spent the week putting more pieces into place for a trip to Japan in October – travel for me can be difficult, so gearing up is a major issue – I’ve tried almost every combination of camera harness and sling imaginable – to the extent that I’m currently designing a custom camera mounting plate to allow me to adapt to multiple different systems on the one camera. Thankfully I know a guy who designs custom parts for water-bombing helicopters, and has a CNC milling provider he can put me in touch with, to get it done in aviation-grade aluminium.

2019 – Week 33

Bit of a flat week feeling under the weather. Managed to clear a bit of room in my storage space, and spent a lot of the rest of the time watching over backups as they continue – the new pre-populated Time Machine drive is successfully integrated into the system, and now it’s encrypting, which will likely take more than a week.