Joshua Santospirito is a musician and a visual artist.
Joshua grew up in suburban Melbourne, has lived in Sydney, Alice Springs and Hobart where he now lives with his wife Nadine Kessler (or go to her art site) and their veggie patch. He brews beers, ciders, perries, fruit-wines and preserves apricots … he also eats them. He has worked in mental health as a nurse for a number of years, working in Central Australian Aboriginal communities and in Hobart, Tasmania. In 2013 they started San Kessto Publications together.
COMICS – He has also been quietly creating comics for a few years. His two main projects in the last few years are – The Long Weekend in Alice Springs (available from March 2013), and Sleuth (a multiformat experimental series exploring spirituality in modern Australia). The former was adapted from the 2004 essay of the same name by Craig San Roque about the psychology of cultural group behaviours. Josh saw this graphic novel as a brilliant synthesis of his experience working in mental health in Central Australia and his love of art, comics and anthropology. In 2013 he will be commencing a comic-series curating Tassie comic-practitioners in a project called Down There which will publish small, handsomely published comics by San Kessto 2-3 times per year. Josh’s shorter comics can also be bought from the the San Kessto Publications website – click on the image below
MUSIC – Having performed his strange and beautiful music since 2005 under the name Drive West Today Josh has played at various festivals, including the MONA FOMA (2010 and 2013), Wide Open Space (2008 and 2009), Forest Festival (2012) and played concerts all over Australia. DWT has also had two European tours – travelling to Berlin (2008, 2012), Basel and Galicia (2012).
Josh is also active in promoting the experimental music scene in Australia and hosted a radio show focusing on experimental and innovative music on Edge Radio called The Musical Dissidents for 2 years, and he has also been involved in organising and curating Sound Art and experimental music events through Sound Klub in Hobart.
For postal address and phone numbers – please e-mail me at disco_jeans (at) yahoo (dot) com (dot) au
Josh is a mental health nurse, veggie patch maintainer, experimental musician, illustrator and comic artist living in Hobart, Tassie.
* 2013, May – The Long Weekend in Alice Springs. Santospirito and San Roque present the original art of Josh’s at Watch This Space in Alice Springs, with a book-launch at the opening on the 10th of May.
* 2012, November – Sleuth – Inflight Art Gallery (Hobart). Comprising numerous series of comics intersecting across the walls of the Paddy Lyn memorial space detailing an animistic reinvigoration of the Australian landscape.
- April 2012 – Its my party and I’ll die how I want to, social engagement artwork with Sara Wright, Nadine Kessler, Dr Bruce Wilson at MoMa.
- December 2010 – Dog, with Dan Murphy and Craig San Roque at Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs as part of Watching this place organised by Watch This Space Artist Run Initiative.
- December 2008 – Respond with Nadine Kessler as part of the Container Project, Taste Festival Tasmania, organised by 6a and Inflight ARI.
Comics & Zines
- The Long Weekend in Alice Springs. Full length graphic novel based on Craig San Roque’s academic essay.
- Sleuth 1 – zine produced from a larger body of work from the exhibition in Nov 2012.
- The Bluebaggers 2012 – Carlton Blues zine
- I wanna be a travella #1, 52 page comic-zine, 2012.
- The Barbarians zine made on the set of the IHOS production at MOFO 2012.
- Contributor to “Our time will come” zine #2, 2011.
- Chugnut zine #1 2011 – Group zine distributed nationally and digitally.
- History Volume 1-4 – 2008 to present – Distributed nationally.
Josh has played live improvised music as Drive West Today since 2005 in over 50 concerts across Australia including the MONA FOMA in Hobart in January 2010 with visual artist Anthony Magen; two concerts in Berlin, Germany in 2008; and in 2012 Josh again toured to Germany as well as Switzerland and Spain. A complete list of concerts can be found on his website.
Josh has released seven albums under the name of Drive West Today.
- 2003 – the child & the tractor
- 2004 – The balloon
- 2005 – feather
- 2006 – Is this a desert? (reviewed in Cyclic Defrost Magazine)
- 2011 – A shitload less understanding than what is required
- 2012 – Acousmatic Ecology part 1 – a query
- 2012 – pardon? Acousmatic Ecology part 2
Josh is involved with the experimental music scene in Australia, having been a presenter on Edge Radio from 2009 to 2011 on the Musical Dissidents radio show on Edge Radio as well as organising concerts as part of the Sound Klub series in Hobart. In 2011 Josh performed The Shipwright and the Banshee in the Sound to Light festival in collaboration with cartoonist Christopher Downes, repeating this collaboration again for the 2013 MONA FOMA to a sold out crowd. Chris and Josh are plotting future forays into comics-performance.
The most reliable way to contact Josh is
e-mail – disco_jeans (at) yahoo (dot) com (dot) au
If you’d like his postal (snail-mail) address then please e-mail him to ask for it
You could also – follow Josh on Twitter
Aussie COMIC LINKS
I am vaguely a member of this bunch – Chugnut Collective
Chris Downes - A Tennessee native in Tasmania
Pat Grant - extraordinary comic-er
Jo Waite – is she an owl?
Bernard Caleo - purveyor and producer of fine comic-scenes
Bobby N – please read his Digested series … or anything by him
Mandy Ord - top comic-er from Melbs – very fine stuff inDEED!
Arran McKenna - smart-arse EXTRAORDINAIRE!
Maude Farrugia - Really nice drawer
Andrew Fulton - my fave
Sam Wallman – totally yag!
Hamishi – quite strange
Marc Pearson – particularly amusing stuff
Rebecca Clements - very swish … very swish
Adi Firth - does a cracking comic about being a mother – really funny / heartbreaking / etc
Dave Mahler – does some great comics and animation too … do look!
The Comic Spot - radio program on 3CR in Melbourne, hosted by John Retallick, Bernard Caleo and Jo Waite
David Hales - does a great erotic graphic novel called Double Trouble
MUSIC and ART LINKS
Matt Warren - Hobart
Anthony Magen - Melbourne
Sound Klub - Hobart
Hobart Improvisational Collective
The Silent Hour - Sydney
Nadine Kessler - Hobart
Inflight Artist Run Initiative – Hobart
MONA FOMA - Hobart
Wide Open Space - Alice Springs, NT
Forest Festival - Northern Tasmania
Watch This Space - Alice Springs, NT
Die Junge mit der Trompete - Basel, Switzerland
Make It Up Club - Melbourne