The Life of Lucy

218141-prostitute (2)

By Emily Zeinert.

Upon entering Tiffany’s Palace in Canberra, you will find an assortment of girls waiting to fulfil your most intimate desires and erotic fantasies. One of these girls, Lucy, spoke to PRISM about the ins and outs of working in a brothel, from the lonely, weird and sometimes delightful clients she has had, to the sexual assaults that regrettably go with the territory.

Lucy is almost twenty and turned to prostitution when she was seventeen to avoid the minimum wage grind of working in fast food joints and supermarkets. She walked into the job with a “get rich quick” mindset and has never looked back.

Lucy is proud to admit she enjoys her job. The hours suit her and she finds great delight in dressing up in outfits she wouldn’t otherwise wear in public. She makes an average of $600 a night, though one night she proudly claimed she earned $2400. On weekends she says she can earn around $100-1500 generally.

While the pay is great, the job does have its downfalls. Lucy has at times felt unsafe and she’s been sexually assaulted twice. We asked her about how she keeps safe in this business. “If I don’t like their attitude in the introduction room, I’ll tell my reception that I’m unavailable if the client chooses me. Some guys can be nice as chips in the intro room, but as soon as they’re alone with me they turn evil. In those cases, if I can, I ask them to leave, and if they refuse I can press an emergency button and the security guard or reception will come to the door and ask them to leave. I have only ever been sexually assaulted twice whilst working, and those situations were because I was either with a drunk guy, or in a threesome when I didn’t have the skill set at the time to handle two guys. The police are great when we ring to notify them of these situations; they arrive promptly and are swift with how they deal with the clients, without making a scene.”

Continue reading The Life of Lucy

PRISM’s Guide to Magic Mushrooms

DISCLAIMER – This guide is in no way meant to advocate the use of illegal drugs; it exists solely to spread an important pocket of knowledge that might have the potential to save lives, or at the very least, trips to the hospital. There is currently too high a risk for the uninformed novice to mistake a poisonous mushroom for a psychoactive one, and so it is our hope that this article helps illuminate the otherwise dark and mysterious pursuit of magic mushroom identification.

DISCLAIMER #2 –  PRISM do not have magic mushrooms (or any other illegal substances) in their possession. We destroy all evidence of this rewarding (but sadly illegal) hobby by means of digestion.

Every year in Victoria, Australia, between the cold months of April to August, magic happens. This magic reveals itself in the form of psychoactive mushrooms. They grow wildly in parks, playgrounds, creeks, forests, nature strips and garden beds. They thrive pretty much anywhere with wood chips, tanbark, or mulch that gets a lot of rain and shade. Of course, there are lots of poisonous doppelgängers out there, so it pays to have a bit of experience in identifying the right ones. This ‘experience’ is something we have acquired over the past five or six years of picking and eating magic mushrooms, and so this guide is written with the hope of sharing that knowledge with others. Why buy a man a fish when you can give him a fishing rod, right?

This exclusive PRISM feature will attempt to explain how to find magic mushrooms on your own (or with friends), and outline some good methods of drying and storing them.

Contents

Continue reading PRISM’s Guide to Magic Mushrooms

Interview with a Skid Row Gangster

gangster
Gangster Erwin Ross talking to PRISM about life in South Central, Los Angeles, heroin addiction and homelessness.

Words and Photography by Joshua Thaisen. Every Monday morning at 10am, street sweeping trucks roar up and down the gutters of Skid Row, while homeless people, who are being threatened with loitering citations by the LAPD, search for a new space of footpath for the next long, restless night. The four-square-mile district of Skid Row is ‘home’ to thousands of homeless and saturated with drugs and prostitution, creating a climate of sickness, hunger and violence. With a population nearing 20,000, the strain on community services and healthcare has created the largest humanitarian conflict zone in the developed world. The footpaths are furnished with used needles, broken crack pipes, loan sharks, and street gangs. Referred to by locals as a lawless “snake pit,” Skid Row is society’s comedown, with track marks that lead back to a great institutional failure of a nation neglecting its own people. Skid Row gangster Erwin Ross spoke with PRISM about life in South Central Los Angeles. Erwin is a well spoken, hard-edged elderly man, decorated with scars and stories from a hard life on the streets. Born in South Central Los Angeles, Erwin describes his life as a colorful adventure of risk-taking and hard lessons learned. At the age of fourteen, he was sentenced to four years in the State penitentiary for vandalism, depriving him of any formal education or career prospects. While in prison, Erwin’s masculine identity formed in an environment rewarded by violence, deception and drug-taking. Erwin developed what would become a twenty-two-year-long heroin addiction, keeping him bound to a vortex of crime, incarceration, and homelessness.

Continue reading Interview with a Skid Row Gangster

I used an Oculus Rift and Felt Like God

oculus rift

Words by Nick Taras.
Photography by Sergey Galyonkin.

As I stood atop an asteroid, mesmerised by the cobalt aura of Earth viewed through an Oculus Rift headset, my meditative state spawned only one thought: “This is what it feels like to be God.”

My “voyage” through space was the penultimate level in a five-minute simulation developed for the virtual reality console known as Rift. Designed by Californian company Oculus VR, inside the Rift goggles you’ll see something so spectacular that Facebook paid $2 billion in March 2014 to acquire it.

Put the mask on and you’ll experience a 360-degree visual display so real that your mind can’t distinguish it from reality. Combine this optical hijacking with headphones, and the Rift is a completely immersive computer-generated adventure.

With such clear definition, the occipital lobe in your brain – responsible for processing vision – tricks your mind into believing that what you’re seeing is real. For decades, futurists predicted that virtual reality would become the next big thing in technology. However, the poor visual quality found in early virtual reality models only drew attention to the oxymoron that is ‘virtual reality.’

So what?” you may be thinking. “My HD TV has killer resolution.” The difference is that you know when you’re staring at your TV screen, whereas the Rift transports you to an environment that responds to your every movement in real time. For example, when I was orbiting Earth, I tilted my head to the left and saw Mars floating in the distance. Then I faced in the opposite direction and the Moon glared back at me. Looking at my shoes, I was presented with the perforated, brown rock of an asteroid. Just like your real vision, you see something different everywhere you look.

Continue reading I used an Oculus Rift and Felt Like God

In Conversation with Loui Jover

loui jover

By Michael Cunningham.

Loui Jover is a talented Australian artist with an impressive body of work, due in part to his personal compulsion to draw something new everyday. His unique art style consists of flowing ink caricatures on glued together pages from vintage books; an aesthetic he likes because of its “fragility… as if the wind may blow them away at any moment.” He also believes that the “hand drawn stark black lines, against the intricate printed words of the book pages offer a strange fusion and depth.” We got together with Loui – a very friendly and likeable guy – to discuss everything from exotic inks to time travel. We talked about his art too, of course, but I think his drawings speak for themselves.

loui jover

PRISM: It would appear your favourite medium is ink on paper. How did you get into using these materials, and why do you prefer them over others?

Ink on paper is indeed my favourite medium, I have chosen this media over others because of its versatility and quality, and for the significance that ink has as a foundation medium of visual art itself – particularly drawing, which is my chosen form of artistic expression.

The front cover of our first issue features a Melbourne artist with squid ink poured over her body. Have you ever thought to use squid ink to create an art piece?

Squid ink sounds great. I am not sure of its properties though… Would it smell? Does it keep its pigment or fade quickly? I have used things like merlot and walnut ink in my drawings before, but nothing as far out as squid ink. I think it would be cool, and apparently it has some sex appeal right now… as far as your cover is concerned!

Well, apparently a bunch of scientists took an ink sac from a 150 million year old squid fossil, mixed it with an ammonia solution, and used it to draw a picture of the squid! The picture looks pretty good, considering how old the ink was, and that it was drawn by scientists.

Haha, I guess you would get a few scientists about who are perhaps also repressed artists. It sounds great, I like the use of media that is different and interesting, as long as it’s not too gimmicky. I think squid ink would be great to use.

In most of your artworks, you use pages from books to form a canvas. Is there something particular about using recycled paper that appeals to you?

At first I glued book pages together because that was all I had, and I couldn’t afford to buy paper. At that time I was using found cardboard sheets, brown wrapping paper and other things to draw on, but the book pages just looked good to go once glued together. Also, the use of recycled paper really appeals to me on a number of levels; I much prefer marked, foxed and stained papers to white, virginal sheets of stock.

loui jover Continue reading In Conversation with Loui Jover

The Art of Being Unemployed

centrelink

Words By Francis Hadid.
I grew up with two conflicting messages: ‘do what you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life’ and ‘working is so bad, you get paid to do it’. And although they both followed me around like a Japanese death god, I feared the latter and vowed to a life of leisure. To me, that meant and still means low expectation academic pursuits and lazy afternoons under the sun. Then, I turned twenty-five and suddenly money, doubt and fear became the dominating theme to my existence. Am I gonna have a cubicle? What if the manager slaps my bum? Are they gonna ask me to sign Sharon’s birthday card? How does one respite when wearing the shackles of employment? I hadn’t yet started the job hunt and was already panicking. ‘Job hunt’ seems like the appropriate term because that’s exactly how it felt. I was a huntress, tip toeing through the forest of jobs, trying to catch a rare, feeble, beady eyed prey. What I didn’t know: it hadn’t been open season for a while; the forest was closed; I wasn’t the only hunter around, and my days of youth retirement were about to begin. I was unemployed.

Continue reading The Art of Being Unemployed

The Dark World of Balinese Cockfighting

cock fighting

Words by Michael Cunningham.
Photos by Albert Retief.

On an otherwise uneventful day in Bali, I found myself standing in the sweaty crowd of an illegal cockfight. Being the only white person present, I was left wondering what I was doing there, and more importantly, why I was betting money.

I know many of you reading this are already reaching for your pitchforks and blazing torches, and that’s ok. Cockfighting is a dirty sport, and one that probably shouldn’t exist, but the reality is that it does. I only knew of its occurrence through word of mouth prior to my first hand experience of it, and even then I compartmentalised it in a section of my brain I like to call ‘things that exist that I pretend don’t exist’ , and imagined it would do a life sentence there. However, when I was standing in front of that pit, watching two roosters fight to the death in a very violent display, I was forced to re-evaluate my entire outlook on reality, especially the dark side of it that I had simply chosen to ignore.

cock fighting
Continue reading The Dark World of Balinese Cockfighting