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   ZenGum  Monday May 13 12:24 AM

May 12th, 2013: Skywhale

Back in 1901, the states of Australia decided to hook up and form a country. It was agreed that the capital mustn't be Sydney, but would be in a special territory carved out of New South Wales, somewhere between Sydney and Melbourne. In the meantime, Melbourne was the temporary capital, but after long searching, a site was chosen, and in 1913 the new capital city, Canberra, was founded.

Now it's 2013, and it's time to celebrate the 100th anniversary of this event. So we made a big hot-air balloon in the shape of a giant whale with ten enormous boobies hanging off it, and floated it over the city, because nothing says "100 years* of our nation's capital!" like a giant ten-titted skywhale.

Attachment 43999

Attachment 44000

*actually, it says 300,000 dollars of our nation's capital, but it only murmurs that quietly.

xoxoxoBruce  Monday May 13 12:30 AM

Is there actually some significance to a ten tit whale?

Flint  Monday May 13 12:39 AM

It has...

...ten tits.


ZenGum  Monday May 13 12:43 AM


The artist says her inspiration came from the wonder of nature.

"My question is what if evolution went a different way and instead of going back into the sea, from which they came originally, they went into the air and we evolved a nature that could fly instead of swim," she said.

"In fact coming from a place like Canberra where it's a planned city that's really tried to integrate and blend in with the natural environment, it makes a lot of sense to make this sort of huge, gigantic, but artificial and natural looking creature."

Piccinini says she understands the artwork will challenge public opinion.

"I think that's confounding for people because they don't know what the creature is, but secondly they don't know if it's an artwork or what it's trying to do," she said.

Hanging from its giant whale-like body are ten huge pendulous breasts.

Ms Piccinini says they reflect how whales are mammals and breast-feed their young.
I think that means "no".


FTR, I like it as a piece of art, and it is by Patricia Piccinini, who has done a lot of other great freaky stuff. It just has only the most tenuous connection to the Canberra Centenary.

Flint  Monday May 13 12:48 AM

Fixed (?)

"...confounding for [the artist] because they don't know what the creature is...if it's an artwork or what it's trying to do..."

SPUCK  Monday May 13 06:58 AM

LOL truly lame..

glatt  Monday May 13 08:26 AM

I bet they had to go to the trouble of putting weights in those boobs so they would hang down. The hot air in them would make them tend to be all perky and pointed up. I bet there is about 10 pounds of sandbags sewn into each nipple. (and if I ever saw this post of mine out of context, I would be really confused.)

Coign  Monday May 13 11:24 AM

Looks more like a turtle then a whale to me. And yeah, I may not be an art critic but I know what I like, and that isn't it.

Clodfobble  Monday May 13 11:55 AM

First whale penis, and now whale breastfeeding. Dwellars have some serious issues, yo.

BigV  Monday May 13 11:59 AM

"It's all about the dowas."

BigV  Monday May 13 12:00 PM

Originally Posted by Clodfobble View Post
First whale penis, and now whale breastfeeding. Dwellars have some serious issues, yo.
Well, yeah. Before there can be whale breastfeeding, there's got to have been some whale penis time in there somewhere. /mammals

richlevy  Monday May 13 08:46 PM

I'd like to see someone sneak that into the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade.

ZenGum  Monday May 13 08:56 PM

I'd like to see it land on the Japanese embassy.

Aliantha  Monday May 13 11:33 PM

I'd like to see someone put a pin in it.

What an embarrassment!

sexobon  Tuesday May 14 01:45 AM

Originally Posted by ZenGum View Post
"My question is what if evolution went a different way and instead of going back into the sea, from which they came originally, they went into the air and we evolved a nature that could fly instead of swim," she said.
"... then the Skywhale grew really, really big and flew beyond the atmosphere out into space as a Starwhale carrying the city of Canberra; or, maybe even the entire country on its back and we called it 'Starship Australia'."

Attachment 44027

Attachment 44029

Clodfobble  Tuesday May 14 08:49 AM

You can't trick me, sir. It's starwhales all the way down.

xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday May 15 09:50 PM

It's got a WIKI page. $300,000 for one flight?

The cost of the balloon and the arrangements under which it was funded also attracted criticism. The executive director of culture for the ACT Chief Minister’s directorate informed the media on 9 May that the balloon and its supporting website cost about $170,000.
Documents released the next day showed that the total cost to the government of commissioning and operating The Skywhale over its lifespan will be $300,000, and the philanthropic Aranday Foundation will provide a further $50,000. Moreover, the balloon will remain the property of the Melbourne-based company Global Ballooning and only one flight was scheduled for Canberra at the time.[1]

In response, Jeremy Hanson stated that "this $300,000 extravagance again shows out of touch the ACT Government is with Canberrans' priorities".[8] Katy Gallagher has stated that the Government considered retaining ownership of the balloon during its development, but decided against this option as it would have also involved funding all of The Skywhale's operating costs.
[17] Robyn Archer defended the project, arguing that the balloon's cost was relatively low, and represented "a bargain for public art".[1][11] Piccinini has also said that "it's an aeronautical machine. People's lives depend on it. It has to function properly and that's what it costs, to make a balloon".[3]
While Global Ballooning owns The Skywhale, Piccinini retains the intellectual property to the balloon and the company does not expect to make much money from displaying and operating it. The director of Global Ballooning believes that The Skywhale will become self funding when international galleries begin to exhibit it.[10]

SPUCK  Thursday May 16 05:42 AM

Yeah.. See that's the last of the Helium left on earth.

They got it from rendering down the last Koalas.

ZenGum  Thursday May 16 07:30 AM

Oh, no need to worry, it just uses the hot exhaust gases of burned fossil fuels. We're not stupid.

SPUCK  Friday May 17 05:48 AM


Ocean's Edge  Friday May 17 08:37 AM

BUT an excellent statement on Canberra - fat, bloated, ugly, fulla hot air, no sense of direction, with giant teats hanging off it....

that's political life all over

ZenGum  Friday May 17 09:58 AM

Well, since we have six states and one federal government, I think a six-titted sky-shark would have been more symbolic and, frankly, cooler.

ZenGum  Tuesday May 28 08:50 AM

They're not sure whether to call her Norca or The Hindenboob.

Glinda  Tuesday May 28 07:25 PM

Hindenboob. *snort*

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