On the cusp of the 21st Century, a group of cultural provocateurs known as Spungo, went on a rather peculiar mission: to slit the glug of daily life. Their new forms of media, language, ideas and dance moves wiggled their way through the streets, board rooms, fish and chip shops and lecture halls of Wellington, to both the delight and disturbance of the citizens.
Predating the age of flash mobs and the war on terrorism, Spungo’s infamous performances known ‘Spungo Hits’ were a playful and mysterious part of the capital city’s urban folklore. Despite evacuating the civic gallery, causing a police call out at the bank, and being banned from the local supermarket, these mythical-like characters had adoring followers and the ears of some of the major business, media and cultural leaders in the city.
With FM transmitter mounted on his back, and mixer at the ready, the Snokker Officer is the fleet footed DJ of Radio Spungo. Together with the Spungo Chief, they formed RadioSpungo broadcasting into the bus shelters, banks, supermarkets of Wellington around the turn of the century.
Popular transmissions included ‘The Pompous Aardvark’ and ‘Hey Citizen’ by Toby Laing (Aka the Registrar) and Brett McKenzie; and ‘Be the Man’ by Ebb.
A series of transmissions to unsuspecting audiences in Fish and Chip Shops appeared on TV thanks to the kind use of a media ‘slush find’ by Spungo’s friends at Saatchi & Saatchi. Initially TCAB, the censoring authority, banned the videos, claiming they ‘made no reasonable sense, nor was there any obvious brand attached’. Yes this is true. However, after a little persuasion, the ‘ads’ appeared in the commercial breaks in the nation’s mainstream news channels. The general public still none the wiser. Perhaps they needed to be in the fish and chip shop on the day.
Printed in the architectural blueprint format, preserved in vegetable oil and sealed in a fluroescent pink goo, The Guz was a subscription publication like no other. Subscribers, known as ‘Guz Readers’ received a ceremonial PVC apron and arm length rubber glove to open their fresh Guz. Some Guz Readers froze their copies for future prosperity, while other readers about town made themselves known to each other through the pink goo stains on the carpeted floor of their office… as was the case with one CEO of the nation’s major telecommunications company, Telecom.
To view a copy of The Guz, please contact the national archives.