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Smith Journal

Smith Journal Winter 2019

Smith Journal is a quarterly publication for discerning gents (and ladies who like reading about discerning gents). It’s heads-up and hands-on. A friendly guide to all things creative, intriguing, genuine and funny – full of stories, people, adventures, interesting conversations and gentlemanly style. The people behind Smith wanted to create something they’d be happy to read themselves. That smart, creative guys could peruse without shame, slap down on the coffee table, whack in their favourite old satchel or display proudly on the toilet reading rack. Something that looked good, but had substance, wit and inspiration. At a time when everything seems like it’s speeding up, Smith is a call to slow down. It’s about remembering, reviving and revamping forgotten traditions, skills and technologies. And backpedalling just enough to appreciate the good stuff in life. Like our readers, we’re not particularly obsessed with being the coolest, the biggest or the first in line. But we are interested in making things that last.

Nextmedia Pty Ltd
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1 min.
smith journal

Editor Chris Harrigan chris@smithjournal.com.au Assistant Editor Toby Fehily toby@smithjournal.com.au Contributing Editor Leta Keens Designer Anjana Jain anjana@smithjournal.com.au Writers Kane Daniel, Elizabeth Flux, Chris Flynn, J.R. Hennessy, Leta Keens, Eric Lawson, Ben McLeay, Andrew Mueller, Max Olijnyk, Kieran Pender, Patrick Pittman, Jana Roose, Luke Ryan, James Shackell, Jeffrey Silverstein, Rory Taggart, Jack Vening, Rohan Williams, Tyson Yunkaporta, Will Ziebell Photographers Kristina Gaddy, James Horan, Simon Kerr, Jan Braly Kihle, Jon Larsen, Ben Lindbloom, Christopher Myers, Jim Naughten, Michael Novotny, Louis Quail, Espen Rasmussen, Josh Robenstone Illustrators Bren Luke, Jess Kitty Parker, Timothy Rodgers Cover Conroe, Texas, by Richard Ross Goodbye Page Finance department, Berlin, by Louis Quail Poster Mountains, 1846, by John Emslie Thank You Sacred Bones Records, everyone who has ever been kind to us…

1 min.
driving through l.a. a few years ago, i was overcome with the urge to track down a house the internet told me prince had owned in the ’90s.

Tucked down a narrow road in the Hollywood Hills, the place was every bit as tacky and lavish as you might imagine a house owned by Prince in the ’90s to be. To my surprise, there wasn’t a massive security gate blocking me from entering the driveway. So, like the creep I clearly am, I drove right up to the Purple One’s old front door and saw what may, at some point, have been his wheelie bin. (It’s possible the bin had been replaced after Prince sold the house, now that I think about it.) Idling in that driveway, I realised I had no idea what I was doing there. I enjoyed Prince’s music, certainly, but wasn’t what you might call a superfan. And even if I were, what did I…

17 min.
smith stuff

A GREENER JAUNT The idea came to Dave Budge, an avid outdoorsman, when he was driving through rural Victoria. “I was just wishing I could drive through the bush without making any noise,” he recalls. “There was also this repressed guilt: I’m driving hundreds of kilometres to go out into this pristine nature, using heaps of diesel. What was my environmental impact? I was thinking about how I could put these pieces of the puzzle together, and encourage exploration at the same time.” The result was Jaunt, a new startup based in Coburg, in Melbourne’s north. Budge, a digital and technology designer by day, wants to convert old four-wheel drives into electric vehicles, and then put them to work in a car-rental network across regional Australia. “We’re trying to shift the country…

4 min.
on thin ice

TUCKED AWAY ON THE EASTERN SIDE OF GREENLAND, BETWEEN THE WORLD’S LARGEST NATIONAL PARK AND ITS LONGEST FJORD SYSTEM, LIES ITTOQQORTOORMIIT, AN ICY VILLAGE HOME TO JUST 355 PEOPLE. It’s the most isolated town in Greenland, which makes it among the most isolated places on the planet. And while that remoteness might keep the island’s more cosmopolitan residents further south, in metropolises like Nuuk (population: 17,984), it is precisely what attracted Michael Novotny to the place. Novotny, now a professional photographer, grew up in a small city in the Czech Republic, moved to Prague and then, four years ago, relocated to Iceland for good. Since then he has been almost constantly on the move, documenting the lives of people living in the Arctic Circle. Despite his experience living in out-of-the-way places from…

8 min.
can’t start a fire without a spark

WHEN ‘BORN IN THE U.S.A.’ WAS RELEASED IN 1984, I WAS SEVEN YEARS OLD. The age of the video clip was still in its infancy, and I devoured my pop music along with my Saturday morning cartoons. I remember watching Madonna writhe around on a boat while a guy dressed as a lion looked on, and asking my parents what a virgin was. I knew it had something to do with sex, whatever that was. And even though I now see that Madonna was playing with the idea of performed sexuality, it was the only kind of sexuality I’d ever been exposed to, so its meta qualities were lost on me. Along with Madonna and Michael (and Cyndi and George and Morten and Tina), there was the Boss. Bruce was an older…

7 min.
indigenous a.i.

IN 1843, AN EARLY SETTLER HAPPENED UPON A FISHING MACHINE BUILT BY INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIANS. Made from plant fibre and springy sticks, the device would sling snared fish up onto the bank of Victoria’s Murray River. It required no handling by the operator, instead utilising the energy of the flowing river. The settler’s assessment of this invention wasn’t exactly glowing. “Lazy blackfellas,” was the gist of it. “Won’t even work for their dinner.” Flash forward 176 years and white people are finally paying autonomous machines some respect. It makes you wonder what other innovations they may have overlooked. “There are so many examples of Indigenous technologies that are still relevant today,” says Angie Abdilla, a Sydney-based Trawlwoolway woman. “Technologies that are innately socially and environmentally sustainable.” Spinifex resin, she says, which was used…