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Avoca: Event based Hospitality and Fabulation

November 2014 saw the SenseLab go to Avoca to explore sustainability in the context of event-based hospitality. Lyndal Jones’ The Avoca Project is “an international art project in regional Victoria, Australia, centred on Watford House. Referred to locally as ‘The Swiss House’, this pre-fabricated gold-rush residence was imported from Germany in 1850. The house is thus an immigrant, its walls revealing stories of wealth and a European glamour now faded by the harshness of the climate and the decreasing services that are the result of globalisation and climate extremes in rural Australia.”

A fabulation emerged that led us to wonder about how fabulation can work as intercessor to the event.

An excerpt:


Lovely to Have Met You Nov 27 2014

Regarding other fishy business … It was such a well designed urgency to get to the kangaroos on Tuesday night that I fear that I was unable to clearly tell of all that I uncovered. I feel that Mayra might come to know more and Indira, as a very fruitful sleuth, can certainly find more. Justy hasn’t drawn yet … I feel sure that she should in some way. Adele definitely knows something, but whether we can access any more is unclear after she made that stealthy escape on Tuesday afternoon … perhaps it will be more possible at another time. Mick and Diego seem to be of the few that know something about the part that the fire plays in how the fish behave. There might be some connection here with what Grant knows about the current pond semblance in the garden. Pia also knows something about this otherness of the pond … she is most definitely holding back information. I too am suspicious of the architects … they are very consumed by the taking of measurements and spinning stories about cloaks. I had one of them in the car on the way home but I couldn’t detect any deviation within the story to catch them in the act … my jury is still out. There is something going on with those possums … however, when one was scratching at the back of my tent it was pretending to be a wombat, then a kangaroo, not a fish … I suspect it may be yet another diversionary tactic!

There are a couple of anomalies that I stumbled upon… how Joel knew about the fish being flying fish is beyond me. Likewise with Andrew … he knew that the fish ate the Chinese. Perhaps Andrew has been informed through some pragmatic instructions (bequeathed recipes?) for the preparation of the fish meals … if this is the case, the usefulness of this information is likely to be questionable so further effort here may not be worthwhile.

Mattie holds the key … she, and Bea, are the only ones who have properly experienced the ‘vortex’ (for want of a better word … I don’t think there is a word for it in English), although we did sense its pull ourselves in the dining room. Bea knows it best and Mattie has spoken to her about it. Mattie is also the next person to return in December so she will be able to speak further with Bea then. Mattie’s expertise is in finding and manipulating the ‘spot’ … only she can do this. Mattie also said there was a ‘hole’ where the orange tent was as well as where Adele’s tent was. Indira knows about this too. I’m attaching the image of the tent city in case this turns out to be key information. I wonder about the position of the tents in regard to Pia’s drawing … this could be an important drawing since she performed the sketching in a slightly intoxicated haze, without her glasses, in dim lighting conditions. It might be the only time when her guard was down, although she refused to add anything to the drawing the next day. I can’t be certain, but I feel that she wants to disregard it, or hopes that I do …. she kept telling me that she didn’t have her glasses on, perhaps to throw me off from seeing its significance? There are lots of sneaky contrivances in the tent area by the way. Pia tried to divert our attention to the white tower near the gate close to the garden. The rocks right near Adele’s tent are just rocks too. A funny thing about the tents though … Lyndal told us the ‘good places’ to pitch our tents. Perhaps her guard was down at this point? The tents were difficult to pitch too … there was a lot of wind that fought against the tents.

This is all that I managed to gather over the few days in Avoca. I hope that it is helpful and that we might finally uncover and understand what has really been going on at the house and garden. One last detail I noticed is the difference between orange fish and fish of other colours. The fish on the bag is green … and remember we were not sure how the actual real fish appear.


Lovely To Have Met You Nov 27 2014

… I need to add a post script … I was just sorting some stuff and came across the bag. The fish isn’t green, it is just an outline. I remember it as being green and that’s how I drew it. I hope it hasn’t been tampered with.


Lovely To Have Met You Nov 27 2014

this is a real breakthrough. I wonder if you felt it could be advantageous to get others on board. I have sent a cryptic text. Still a lot to feel out.


Lovely To Have Met You Nov 27 2014

Great! I received the well measured cryptic text. Definitely good to send this to Indira, she might even need my full report, particularly prior to Sydney if she is going as I won’t be there. I don’t have her contact email, but I can hunt it down if you don’t either. I doubt that Mattie requires any information for further spot finding, but good to keep her informed. Same with the contact details, but I can find a way to get the message to her too. I think you might also be right about Aphra … she spent a lot of time in one of the tents.

It occurred to me later today the strangeness of a vegan chef knowing about recipes involving meat. I also discovered further information from another image – see attached.

Keeping the feelers out!


Lovely To Have Met You Nov 27 2014

semblance indeed! And what does Joel know???


Lovely To Have Met You Nov 27 2014

more than the fact that the fish fly – that we can be sure of! Must be his music improv skills – he has insight into how special tricks that look like magic occur.


The Investigation Nov 27 2014


Dear co-investigators,

I’ve put this list together carefully. I think there are a few missing. Mattie? Indira? Aphra? I’ll trust you to know where to send it next.

I’ve had a studied report from Tania. Since some of it is confidential, I will only touch on the salient issues.

We’ve left Avoca.

Orange spray paint may contaminate the soil in the guise of philosophy. (or was philosophy left to contaminate?). We fear this may have repercussions. Is Celine a double agent?

The green fish has turned into an outline. There is a strong memory of its greenness. Fish meal still seems to be a strong clue.

Mattie said twice that Bea was no longer there. The vortex is awfully close (and yet she guards the fish)

If the fish are the outline, the semblance is near.

The tunnel entrances seem to have been masked by the tents. I’ve seen a picture. It’s possible that you will get access to that image. Adele holds a clue.

Mattie again: she finds the holes.

Why is Pia measuring? Pia, I’ve included you here, though there is some concern about whose side you’re on. Architects are very suspect in this scenario is dissimulated gardens and covered-up tunnels. We will need a copy of the architectural plans.

Sam, after investigative reporting, you have come out more Australian than Chinese. This makes you a fish, I think. We’re keeping you onboard for now. I know you think you are a meerkat. We’re not sure where you are going with this. Please elaborate.

Something about Diego, Mick and fire. I wonder whether Ronald isn’t also implicated. I’d like to hear more. And about rabbits. Did Lyndal think eating them would make them less of a pest in Australia? Is there a parallel with the chinese?

For now, Lyndal must be treated with caution. She knows more than she admits.