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Last updated on March 6th, 2018 at 12:30 am

When it comes to sock puppets, Melbourne artist and academic Ian Haig is one of the sockiest, as Andrew Bolt reports following an email from “Fran Preston”:

As it happens, the first thing I nosed out was that “Fran Preston” was a fake name put on a new Yahoo account registered by … gosh, Ian Haig.

Hit them links for details. For his services to sockery, Haig has, of course, received a slice of your taxes. Several slices, in fact; a few years ago he scammed $5000 to present his masterful Brain Tumor Helmets with Microwaves. More recently, Haig pulled in $10,000 to develop Futurotica Mk2, “a body of animatronic and electro mechanical sculptures exploring sex and technology.”

Hmm … could be time to get on board this gravy train.

Posted by Tim B. on 04/29/2006 at 02:28 PM
    1. I’ve always enjoyed reading the comments by JDB. What an interesting person. He (I’m assuming he is a he and probably very handsome and great in bed) is an astute and humorous observer of human foibles.

      Posted by JDB on 2006 04 29 at 03:06 PM • permalink


    1. An Internet sock puppet (sometimes known also as a mule) is an additional account created by an existing member of an Internet community. This account allows them to pose as a completely different user, sometimes to manufacture the illusion of support in a vote or argument. Other reasons include a desire to support or vote on an issue coupled with a desire to have one’s “main” account stay away from the issue.—wikipedia

      Hmmmm.  Might be time to push the “Let’s Make Wronwright a Full Member of the RWDB”.  I want the company Humvee and the biweekly paychecks.

      And my very own black helicopter.  I wonder if I get to choose.  Apache?  Or Cobra?  With gatling guns and Hellfire missiles.  I don’t want a Blackhawk.  And I certainly don’t want an used Chinook.

      Posted by wronwright on 2006 04 29 at 03:43 PM • permalink


    1. Has anybody ever seen wrongwright and the LA Times’ Hiltzik together?

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 04 29 at 03:51 PM • permalink


    1. Wronwright-I think that this is a little more your speed.

      Posted by 91B30 on 2006 04 29 at 03:52 PM • permalink


    1. Jesus, Tim, I thought you were kidding with those links about his “art.”

      I chose the wrong fuckin’ career.

      Posted by ushie on 2006 04 29 at 03:53 PM • permalink


    1. Smash the extortion funded sector!

      Posted by Rob Read on 2006 04 29 at 05:29 PM • permalink


    1. Maybe I’m blind, but does Bolt actually present his sockpuppet evidence anywhere in the article?

      Posted by PW on 2006 04 29 at 06:01 PM • permalink


    1. Does anyone else get a “403 – forbidden” when they select “Arts Development” from this page?

      I suspect that this is another example of the Bracks government’s openness and accountability.

      Posted by 2dogs on 2006 04 29 at 06:10 PM • permalink


    1. “When I hear the word art I reach for my pistol”

      Why is it that almost all modern “art” appears to me to be a huge confidence trick on 99% of the population that pay for it?
      Whats in it for me whith this tripe?

      “”Hanifa Deen Development of ‘The Jihad Seminar’, a narrative non-fiction manuscript exploring religious vilification.$10,000″”
      I call shenanigans.

      Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2006 04 29 at 06:55 PM • permalink


    1. #9 Yes, I saw that one, too.

      If you want to get a grant I think you need to be a member of a protected species (anything other than a straight, sensible, law-abiding conservative male).

      What a crock of shite.

      Posted by Nilknarf Arbed on 2006 04 29 at 07:48 PM • permalink


    1. The problem here is the syllogism that runs:

      Great Art shocks people.
      This **** shocks people.
      There for this **** is Great Art.

      Some of this stems from the rejection of the early French Impressionists by the highly conservative Frency Academy, and other examples where pioneering folk (scientists and artists alike) scandalised some people, who are generally referred to as the “bougeoisie” (the new ruling class) to link the whole thing with leftwing thinking.

      However in recent times it has become harder and harder to shock the boueoisie beccause we have all leaned that it is unspeakably philistine to complain about anyting that is done in the name of Art. So progressive wankers have to go further and further over the top to get attention.

      Posted by Rafe on 2006 04 29 at 07:49 PM • permalink


    1. #9

      I call shenanigans.

      I second your call for shenanigans.

      Well, that settles it! Everybody grab a broom, it’s Shenanigans!

      Posted by Dan Lewis on 2006 04 29 at 08:01 PM • permalink


    1. I prefer these to sock puppets (and I see they were recently in town).

      Just browsed through the grants lists. Yikes. I think I get it though–the more obscure the work or the artist or the more hare-brained the idea, the greater the chance of scoring some taxpayer scratch. Hmmm, sounds just like home.

      No, 2dogs, I get a PDF–try this link

      Why is it that almost all modern “art” appears to me to be a huge confidence trick on 99% of the population that pay for it?

      In the French National Museum of Modern Art at the Pompidou hangs a large board painted black with a big old rusty nail stuck in the middle of it. Now who among us couldn’t “create” that? (Yeah, I know, but none of us thought of creating it.) I don’t know of course, but I suspect a government grant was involved. There’s also a sculpture (or would it be performance art?) consisting of an old B&W TV with rabbit ears that was playing “snow” titled “Zen TV”, but I must confess I liked that one. Clever. Worthy of the national museum though?

      Posted by Kyda Sylvester on 2006 04 29 at 08:24 PM • permalink


    1. #7, PW:  I didn’t see it either.  I’m expecting that Bolt (being an experienced journalist and all) has the evidence, or he would not have published.  But, still…..

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2006 04 29 at 08:48 PM • permalink


    1. Well, this post will probably expose me, anyway, so I guess I may as well confess: I’n a sock pupet. I’m reely Margo Kingston.
      Their, I feel better alreedy.

      Posted by rinardman on 2006 04 29 at 08:48 PM • permalink


    1. I wonder how Mr. Bolt came by the information that the fake Yahoo account was registed by Ian Haig?

      Normally that sort of detail would only be available to Yahoo themselves.  If Yahoo have passed these details on to Bolt then Yahoo should be facing prosecution for breach of privacy law.

      Posted by RexR on 2006 04 29 at 08:55 PM • permalink


    1. Haig’s contact email is an ‘’ address -says it all really.

      Posted by Lucky Nutsacks on 2006 04 29 at 09:06 PM • permalink


    1. Isn’t it possible to identify someone by looking at their IP addy, which would be the same no matter what the email account?

      As for the rest, I always fancied myself an artist, but I never quite mastered Fecal Art, nor the finesse of tricking people into paying for it.  Oh well.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2006 04 29 at 09:35 PM • permalink


    1. Totally OT – but Important

      Humble apologies for this, I know it is very bad form to post an entire article instead of a link.
      But I think people need to read this. If this is correct, we may be on the precipice already.


      Iran’s Secret Plan if Attacked by US Codenamed “Judgement Day”
      Asharq Al-Awsat Exclusive
      By Ali Nouri Zadeh

      London, Asharq Al-Awsat- Eight fundamentalist Islamist organizations have received large sums of money in the last month from the Iranian intelligence services, as part of a project to strike U.S military and economic installations across the Middle East Asharq Al-Awsat has learned.
      The plan, which also includes the carrying out of suicide operations targeting US and British interests in the region, as well as their Arab and Muslim allies, in case Iran is attacked, was drawn up by a number of experts guerilla warfare and terrorist operations, and was revealed by a senior source in the Iranian armed forces’ joint chief of staff headed by the veterinary doctor Hassan Firouzabadi,

      The source added that the forces of the Revolutionary Guards’ al Quds Brigades, under Brigadier General Qassim Suleimani is responsible for coordinating and providing logistical support for the groups taking part in the execution of the plan, codenamed al Qiyamah the Islamic word for “Judgment Day”.

      The plan includes three steps, which Asharq al Awsat has examined in earlier reports. The source gave more details about how the plan will be implemented. He said, “Most of Iran’s visitors in the last four months, including the leaders of revolutionary groups in Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon, as well as the heads of Hezbollah cells in the Persian Gulf and Europe and North America were asked, when they met with the Iranian intelligence minister Gholamhossein Mohseni Ezhei and his aides: are you ready to defend the Islamic revolution and vilayat e faqih? If you agree to take part in the great jihad, what would you need to be ready for the great fight?

      Amongst the leaders who visited were the head of one of the Iraqi armed group who was very clear and honest. He said his men would transform Iraq into a hell for the Americans if Iran were attacked.

      The source also said that the military training camps of the Guards were opened for the fighters of the Mehdi army in Iran to receive the necessary training. Iran had also increased its financial assistance to Moqtada al Sadr to more than 20 million dollars.

      The same applied to Islamic Jihad in Palestine which has received large sums of money, large quantities of arms and military training for its cadres in Isfahan, including street fighting methods.

      As for the Lebanese Hezbollah, several loads of arms have been sent to; they include rockets, explosives, and guided missiles. Hezbollah’s arsenal includes more than 10 thousand rockets short-range rockets and missiles including Fajr, Nour, Arash, Hadid.

      An estimated 80 members underwent private training last year on how to carry out suicide operations from the air (through the use of kite planes) and undersea operations using submarines.

      While denying that Hamas had joined the list of organizations ready to help Iran in its likely war with the U.S, the source indicated that the external success of the movement, which enjoys considerable Iranian support both financial and military, was strengthened following the latest visit by its leaders to Tehran. This was translated in the Palestinian masses’ support for Iran, against Israel and the United States .

      According to Iran, the latest military plan includes:

      1- A missile strike directly targeting the US bases in the Persian Gulf and Iraq , as soon as nuclear installations are hit.

      2- Suicide operations in a number of Arab and Muslim countries against US embassies and missions and US military bases and economic and oil installations related to US and British companies. The campaign might also target the economic and military installations of countries allied with the United States .

      3- Launch attacks by the Basij and the Revolutionary Guards and Iraqi fighters loyal to Iran against US and British forces in Iraq , from border regions in central and southern Iraq .

      4- Hezbollah to launch hundreds of rockets against military and economic targets in Israel .

      According to the source, in case the US military attacks continue, more than 50 Shehab-3 missiles will be targeted against Israel and the al Quads Brigades will give the go-ahead for more than 50 terrorists cells in Canada, the US and Europe to attack civil and industrial targets in these countries.

      What about the last stage in the plan?

      Here, the Iranian source hesitated before saying with worry; this stage might represent the beginning of a world war, given that extremists will seek to maximize civilian casualties by exploding germ and chemical bombs as well as dirty nuclear bombs across western and Arab cities.

      Posted by MarkL on 2006 04 29 at 11:04 PM • permalink


    1. On the Andrew Bolt Forum, Bolt says “Haig twice denied the email from disgusted “Fran” came from him before finally admitting it.”

      There’s no explanation for how he came to that conclusion in the first place, but if he has received an admission then that’s fairly solid.

      Posted by Evil Pundit on 2006 04 29 at 11:12 PM • permalink


    1. MarkL, do you have a link for that please?

      Posted by Kyda Sylvester on 2006 04 29 at 11:27 PM • permalink


    1. However in recent times it has become harder and harder to shock the boueoisie…

      That’s not the problem for the artist.  The problem is, by defining your art’s validity by its ability to shock the bourgeoisie, you are allowing the bourgeoisie to define your concept of art.  In other words, even the most transgressive “art” is thus a profoundly bourgeois creation…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 04 29 at 11:54 PM • permalink


    1. I, too, would like to see a link for that article, Mark.

      I had a question and I guess I’ll go ahead and ask it:

      If this guy is so well known in the Art Community, being shown all over the world, etc., why does he need grants for his work?  Seems to me that if his stuff is known and selling, he no longer needs any kind of subsidy.

      Now, I’d like to see more about Iran, please.

      Posted by saltydog on 2006 04 29 at 11:55 PM • permalink


    1. This is a link to their enrichment.

      The UN is bloody useless.

      Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2006 04 30 at 12:21 AM • permalink


    1. The original Iran article is here (from a link at LGF).

      Posted by Evil Pundit on 2006 04 30 at 12:21 AM • permalink


    1. Again, apologies to all for posting a complete OT article of such length, then compounding it by forgetting the link. (Duh!)

      Thanks, EP, for posting it. Glad LGF has it, too. I came across the article in my morning scan of the usual suspects.


      Posted by MarkL on 2006 04 30 at 12:58 AM • permalink


    1. #19 MarkL,

      Thanks for posting that article.  This begs the question:  If a US President is faced with a Iran that looks increasingly dangerous to American interests and to humanity at large, what can he do?  If it invades the country, it would likely result in a very long hard fight in terribly disadvantageous terrain.

      Wouldn’t invading an adjacent country with a weaker military and trying to influence change from without the better solution?  Is this something one announces to the world as part of the reason for invading Iraq?

      I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again.  George Bush is a master chess player and he’s looking 20 moves ahead.  Genius.

      Posted by wronwright on 2006 04 30 at 01:34 AM • permalink


    1. Is it just me, or has LGF been down most of the last few hours?

      Posted by Spiny Norman on 2006 04 30 at 01:50 AM • permalink


    1. Spiny Norman
      Im not having any problem here yet. They have been under attack from “elves” earlier on though.

      Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2006 04 30 at 01:53 AM • permalink


    1. Thanks for the link, Evil, and for bringing this to our attention, Mark. I did some other reading while I was there. Not an entirely unreasonable publication (because it’s Jordanian I suppose), but it does have its very own MoDo, one Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban (even looks like her) who writes things like this:

      Facts show that Europe is launching a new holocaust against Muslims around the world. What is happening to Muslims in Europe today is almost identical with what the Jews suffered at the beginning of the century. Muslims in Western countries find themselves obliged to change their names and suppress their religious identity to avoid a racist witch-hunt against them.

      Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him, brought to humanity a message of peace, mercy and tolerance. The Muslim civilization that ensued from Mecca set the foundation for today’s scientific and social development. What did those who dared insult him bring to humanity in comparison? They only brought hatred and anger and intolerance. Their actions, like those of Nazi Germany, should only be “a source of deep shame,” as Merkel put it. However, unlike the descendents of the culprits of the Holocaust, their conscience is not guilt-ridden yet with this new crime against humanity. When such guilt will start rectifying Western politics towards Muslims is a disquieting question.

      I gather other Arab governments, with the exception of Syria and Palestine, aren’t especially happy with Iran, it’s plans and it’s bluster. All this shit Iran says it and its terrorist cohorts will do in retaliation to an attack, how much of it are they actually capable of pulling off?

      Posted by Kyda Sylvester on 2006 04 30 at 02:08 AM • permalink


    1. How was Andrew Bolt able to remove Haig’s sock?… AB noticed the similar academic literary “style” of Fran’s and Haig’s writings.
      For examples, see these two quotes from AB’s column:

      Fran’s style:
      ‘ “What got my attention was the talk of the exhibition being about detox and cleansing, well I went to see this exhibition myself at the VCA and let me say I was mortified,” gasped Fran, too perturbed to punctuate properly.’

      Haig’s style:
      ‘ “In 2003, I made some sex machines made from household appliances and exhibited them in Sexpo in Melbourne to an enthusiastic crowd, hardly anyone from the art world came to see my work at Sexpo . . .” (Damn, that same confusion of commas again.) ‘

      Posted by Skeeter on 2006 04 30 at 03:20 AM • permalink


    1. OT sorry!
      DID you watch the “Einstein Factor?” on the ABC
      A contestant took questions on the Moon landing and the Apollo missions.
      One of the panel was a middle aged celebrity female “human rights” lawyer whose name i missed.
      After the questions , she interrupted the question master and asked the contestant if he truly believed that the moon landings had actually happened and were not in fact staged managed somewhere in the navada dessert!
      Instead of saying something something like” thats exactly the type of question expected from a human rights lawyer”. he mumbled almost apologetically that he believed the landings were for real.
      It seems to me that hatred of America has reached the point that any loony conspiracy is eagerly believed by these moonbats

      Posted by davo on 2006 04 30 at 05:29 AM • permalink


    1. O/T – The Bunyip is back on line.  Just an announcment at this stage, complaining about a New Year’s Party.

      Posted by walterplinge on 2006 04 30 at 05:37 AM • permalink


    1. Slightly off topic, although related, a recent Big Brother evictee has been bashed. Although I don’t condone bashing of homosexual men and women I do condone those who want to bash Big Brother contestants.,5478,18973287%255E661,00.html

      Posted by cjblair on 2006 04 30 at 06:42 AM • permalink


    1. Back on thread for a moment;

      Contemporary art is for wannabes who haven’t sufficient skill nor talent to be real artists.  It especially applies to installation ‘art’.

      I’m surprised Haig has his drawings on his site, as they’re testament to his degree of talent.  In all seriousness, they’re exactly the same as the doodles we used to draw on pads in high school when we were bored listening to the teacher.

      Emperor’s new clothes indeed, and juvenile at that.  The sadder part is others in the arts establishment take it all seriously.

      Posted by romeo on 2006 04 30 at 06:45 AM • permalink


    1. OT but farking great news!

      2 miners trapped for the last 5 days in Beaconsfield, Tasmania have been found alive and kicking. linky

      This has been all over the telly for the last half an hour, and it has apparently been confirmed by the mining company.

      For those not in the know, there was a rockfall in the mine last week. The 2 blokes have had no food or water, but are thankfully will with us.

      Thank God for that, and it’s great news for their families.

      /normal programming

      Posted by Nilknarf Arbed on 2006 04 30 at 07:08 AM • permalink


    1. #36 Yeah the miners were protected by the cage of the cherry picker type machine they were working in.Fourteen men were able to escape at the time when seismic activity occurred but now there are thankfully two more.Sadly one man behind the machine was killed in the rockfall.
      However families and townspeople prayed for a miracle after it was said there was almost no chance of the last two men being found alive.
      Their prayers were answered.

      Posted by crash on 2006 04 30 at 07:18 AM • permalink


    1. Haig’s work collectively called “the Mother of Invention”…oh wait.
      Next unbiased SBS Insight programme is titled “What’s wrong with the Labor Party and whether those who deserted it can be TEMPTED BACK AGAIN. O Gummy Brockie if wishes were fishes…
      sbs MEWS tonight –
      Action on Darfur -Clooney and Obama 70 seconds-Dubya 2 seconds….
      Plight of muslims starring the Bomber Beazley-52 seconds.
      “Anti American union of leaders of Venezuela,Bolivia and Cuba meet in Cuba”-
      presenter stated “Cuba would be much happier if OIL was discovered in Cuban waters (it’s all about OIL folks).-140 seconds.
      Pakistan’s President Musharref declares war in his country against A.Q almost won but local fundamentalists have a grip on the area which is “out of bounds” to journalists,so they were travelling with (read EMBEDDED) the Pakistani Army.-170 seconds.
      Pakistani Nuclear weapons capability to even up the “balance” with India -25 seconds.
      Iran Nuclear capabilities -27 seconds.
      New Orleans “Gets its groove back”-incorporating a new song “cry,cry,cry for New Orleans” -in which Winston Marzadis “tries to incorporate bitter notes”-152 seconds..
      Keith Richards falling out of a palm tree -29 seconds.

      Posted by crash on 2006 04 30 at 09:13 AM • permalink


    1. Laugh if you will, but read his CV. Any man that can present ground breaking research in a poster paper entitled, “My Hugh Hefner sex machine fantasy came true, Culture Fix conference, University of Technology, Sydney, 2005”, should not be mocked.

      Posted by Whale Spinor on 2006 04 30 at 10:30 AM • permalink


    1. The sad thing is that Mr Haig’s art is so predictable. The best way for him to shock us would be to make a living without using tax dollars.

      Posted by Margos Maid on 2006 04 30 at 07:13 PM • permalink


    1. Tim, part of the academic illusion is receiving the funding, thus illiminating the contamination of Greed, competition and other psychological primary and secondary emotions. It’s about them and us now…

      Who is truth in australia? Disortion is at its best now…

      Down with Coles and Woolworths……and the mac bank as well…

      Posted by 1.618 on 2006 04 30 at 09:42 PM • permalink


    1. saltydog – our “living treasure bestest ever poet” Les Murray has lived on government grants forever.

      The amount of tax payer dollars pissed up against a wall for “art” and for “research” is truly disgraceful.  I have no objection to grants per se, for art or for academic research, but really, so much of it is given to total tossers, and the output contributes nothing to the fabric or well being of society.

      cjblair – the BB participant has not been evicted – no-one has yet; and the bashing took place in January in Queensland.

      Posted by Ck on 2006 05 01 at 12:47 AM • permalink


    1. 39 Whale

      Any man that can present ground breaking research in a poster paper entitled, “My Hugh Hefner sex machine fantasy came true, Culture Fix conference, University of Technology, Sydney, 2005”, should not be mocked.

      Damn.  Is that the title, or the abstract?

      Posted by Stoop Davy Dave on 2006 05 03 at 04:41 PM • permalink


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