Some notes on sponsorship – redux

Hey folks, I’m just dragging this up (with a few changes to the wording) from the bottom of the post before last where it was first published. In conversations I had on the weekend at the Sydney Anarchist Book Fair and Canberra Zine Emporium (thank you to the organisers of both events) people were overwhelmingly supportive of the idea of boycotting the MCA zine fair over the MCA’s relationship with Transfield, but there was some confusion about precisely what that relationship is. Creating confusion is a pretty good way of obscuring facts, but anyway: this is the information I have found with my limited internet searching abilities:

In a pay-walled article on ArtsHub, the MCA called our use of the word ‘sponsorship’ to describe their relationship with Transfield a “factual inaccurancy”, stating instead that Transfield are a ‘Corporate Member’.

‘Corporate Members’ are listed on the ‘Sponsorship’ page of the MCA website.

Transfield are listed on page 60 of the most recent (2012) MCA annual report in the section for ‘Sponsorship, Donations, Marketing and Public Relations’, as a ‘Corporate Member’.

The MCA are listed on the ‘Community Involvement – Sponsorships’ page of the Transfield website: “Transfield Holdings has been a corporate sponsor of the Museum of Contemporary Art since 2004.” (accessed 24/3/14, emphasis mine. Note that the Transfield domain name and the Transfield logo at the top of the web-page do not make a distinction between ‘Transfield Holdings’, ‘Transfield Services’ or ‘Transfield Foundation’.)

Image

So, the word ‘sponsorship’ seems to have a slippery definition, depending on when, how and by whom it is used. Clearly Transfield consider their corporate membership to be a variety of sponsorship. The MCA, perhaps, feels differently – although their own publicly accessible information on their sponsors etc is ambiguous. Whatever the difference (or lack of) between ‘sponsorship’ and ‘corporate membership’ in this case, the MCA and Transfield have a brand relationship. As the MCA website outlines, Corporate Membership provides an opportunity to:

“[a]lign with Australia’s leading contemporary arts brand and an exciting range of collections” and[d]evelop and enhance relationships with key clients and stakeholders”.

What would a bit of amateur research be without a visit to Wikipedia? From the entry on brand equity (or as it’s sometimes known, brand value):

Brand equity is a phrase used in the marketing industry which describes the value of having a well-known brand name, based on the idea that the owner of a well-known brand name can generate more money from products with that brand name than from products with a less well known name…”

Cheers,

Emma

Tidy up, new zines forthcoming and why we’re not going to the MCA zine fair

We have A LOT of new stock to add to the catalogue, so in preparation I’ve just done a quick tidy up of the site.

Back in stock we have:

  • Taking Things Too Far (consistently the most popular thing on our table at zine fairs, with good reason)
  • Well, That Was Weird (Tamara’s ace collection of short, short stories)
  • Underground Fairylands (Emma’s laborious/elaborate letterpress/collage found poetry thing/zine)

And COMING SOOOON:

  • Many issues of Plastic Knife, including the latest, which is an album
  • Many issues of Piss Factory, including the latest, which is not an album but is (as always) about music
  • Three issues of Cheap Toys
  • Two issues of Love Like Pop
  • The Dream of Maxen

Thanks to everyone who came and visited us at our last open day at Junior Gazette. The day was a great success and we’ll be planning more open days this year, keep your eyes peeled. We took some photos of the space as it was set up, including Syd Terminal’s collages that were on display, so when we get around to it we’ll put them up.

Thanks also to Luke, Thomas and everyone in Melbourne who helped put on and who attended the Festival of the Photocopier at the beginning of the month! It was an extremely hot weekend in Melbourne – fortunately zines are really cool, right? Haw haw. Anyway, we were really pleased that we could finally make it down for the Fest. Can’t wait for next year.

On a more serious note before I sign off, you may have heard that the MCA has done the call-out for their zine fair this year at the end of May. Take Care has decided not to participate in this year’s fair, due to sponsorship connections the MCA has with a finance conglomerate called Transfield.  Transfield run the service contracts in the detention camps on Manus Island and Nauru. Some of you may be aware that there is currently a campaign underway to boycott the upcoming Sydney Biennale due to its ties with Transfield. We support this boycott and calls for organisations and individuals to disvest their financial interests with Transfield and any other company that profits from the human misery – and murder – produced by the conditions in the camps. As such, we feel that we can’t be involved with the MCA fair this year, either, unless they suddenly cease to have a relationship with Transfield. That would only happen if we make some noise about it. So we encourage others to read up on this issue, and to join us in a boycott. The Crossborder Operational Matters site has a lot of valuable information on it about Transfield’s relationship with the arts. The RISE (Refugees, Survivors and Ex-Detainees) site has a statement on the Biennale boycott.

x Emma

More new stuff! More new stuff!

Dammit, we’re on fire.

Some of the zines we mentioned in the last post have arrived, have been priced, bundled into plastic sleeves and slipped lovingly into our tub of zine-stock, ready for you to order. They are: Rhetorical #4 and Outshine the Sun #2, Indie Kids #1 and one that we forgot to mention before, Old Memory, a follow-up to Village Ghosts, with more beautiful collage, quotes and hazy childhood memories. Each copy comes with a different found photograph, such as this:

We received confirmation yesterday that we’ve got a table at the MCA zine fair, which is a fair while away but exciting nonetheless, as the organisers have this year heeded last year’s concerns that, despite being sold to The Unknowing Public as a ‘zine fair’, the nature of the application process (i.e. first in, first served) was such that only a few zine makers could actually get tables, the rest being used to hock crafty knick-knacks, art magazines etc. Not that there’s anything wrong with the latter, of course, but I personally think that if you’re gonna call something a zine fair it should, primarily, feature zines, unless you want to unintentionally alienate people who actually feel like they belong to the zine making community. Or perhaps I’m just a tedious hippy. Anyway, massive props to the organisers this year for screening applications so that zine makers and their ilk get a better showing. Hopefully that’s what the result will be and I’m not being stupidly optimistic. I don’t know what the deal is if you missed out on a table, but I’m sure there’ll be some discussion on the zines-aus google group  if people are in need of sharing (perhaps you could even start that discussion). Oh yes, it’s on the 22nd of May, ages away.

Another thing I’m looking froward to: Tim just sent me a text to alert me that this week’s issue of YOU has arrived and it’s a booklet all about The Fall’s recent gig in Melbourne. My heart is fluttering in anticipation. Are there any other Fall obsessives out there in Australian zine land? Maybe we should make a Fall fanzine, the world probably needs one. I, at the very least, need one.

Yours for now and probably again sooner rather than later, as I’m going to write some zine descriptions today or tomorrow,

Emma D

EDIT – I wasn’t lying. The catalogue is now totally updated. The following have had descriptions added: Old Memory, Sex Industry Apologist, Fern Zine, Plastic Knife #6/Black Paint Gold Wire #8, Indie Kids #1, The Church of Hysteria – Of a Photocopy, Rhetorical #4, Outshine the Sun #2, The Plural of Deer is Deer.

All written while listening to The Church of Hysteria’s ‘Of a Photocopy’ CD, which is pretty excellent, I must say, and Mission of Burma, who have always been excellent. But you knew that.