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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

The Age of Stupid

Film

Written by Lucy Jones

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TONIGHT. E-ON REF OFF!

Coal Baddies E-ON (responsible for new coal-fired power station Kingsnorth) are also financial backers of the FA Cup. Lets wind them up some with some light hearted whistle blowing and chanting at tonight’s Arsenal Vs Cardiff Match.

Meet at 17.30pm outside Holloway Road tube station or outside the Hornsey Road entrance to the Emirates stadium before the 19.45 kick off. If you can, help treatment come dressed as a referee (black shorts, advice balck top with white collar and black shorts).

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EXT INKED

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Always wanted a tattoo but waiting till you find something ‘meaningful?’ Well here’s your chance…

This month would be 200th birthday of Charles Darwin. To celebrate The Ultimate Holding Company (UHC) is inviting 100 volunteers to become the ambassadors of 100 endangered UK species-by being permanently tattooed. UHC illustrators are busy creating the designs- from snails to sharks to seaweeds-to go on display at a free exhibition in Manchester later this summer. The project also aims to raise awareness of the Marine Conservation Society and Buglife (The Invertebrate Conservation Trust) who have helped compile the list of endangered species.

Find out more.

THE WASTED SPACES PROJECT-CALL FOR ARTISTS.

“A good Wasted Spaces artwork is measured by its ability to stop traffic.”

Wasted Spaces is an international non-profit organisation that transforms abandoned commercial space and empty shop front windows into exhibition space. In enabling young up- and- coming artists a much needed platform to showcase their work they help ‘reverse the decaying effect vacant commercial property has on local high streets.’

Brent council have recently provided funding to create several Wasted Spaces windows in the borough. Participating artists will receive free exhibition space and funding. If you live and/or work in the borough submit your work to proposals@wastedspaces.org. Deadline March 1st 2009.

THURSDAY 19TH FEBRUARY

HEATHROW EXPANSION PROTEST

17.30-19.30 outside 10 Downing Street. No third runway and no increase in flights using existing runways. Speakers include John Mcdonnel MP, Susan Kramer MP, Jean Lambert MEP. Organised by Campaign Against Climate Change.

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Photographers are a funny lot… put a load of them in one place with no-one to photograph but themselves and they get thoroughly confused. Thus was the situation this morning when I rocked up to New Scotland Yard with about a hundred other photographers, sick to make a stand against the new Counter Terrorism Act which comes into force today.

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Sliding slyly past the general public without much of a fuss this act makes it a criminal offence to take photos of the police or the armed forces if you are suspected of “terrorism.” Given the already alarming attitude within some quarters as to what exactly constitutes terrorism (I was effectively branded an eco-terrorist for my involvement in Climate Camp last year in a story that ran in the Observer, this before it was pulled with an apology) photographers have a right to feel concern about this depressing development.

For someone who has been on the receiving end of unnecessarily aggressive behaviour from the police, who are often heavy handed in their efforts to curtail freedom of speech and the right to protest, this feels to me like yet another big stride towards a police state. And I don’t say that lightly. Protesters and activists of many persuasions already have to put up with the intrusive and threatening presence of FIT teams, who follow our every move with an arsenal of big cameras whenever we challenge the misbehaviour of both our government and big corporations (who are often in collusion), and thus far our only weapon against any possible misdemeanours has been the ability to photograph them back. This could now be an arrestable offence in itself, despite the obvious neccessity to keep a watch on our police. The police habitually lie about the necessity of force, as was evidenced by the excessive policing that was seen at Kingsnorth Climate Camp. The truth about the “injuries” – a few possible bee stings and diarrhoea – of the police officers (which were used as justification for the disproportionate amount of money ploughed into the operation) surfaced in December, and reinforce the need for unbiased footage of demonstrations provided by freelance photographers. This is obviously now at risk and is yet another serious threat to the civil liberties that are being gradually eroded by our government.

But back to the sea of slightly bewildered photographers, obviously more used to being provided with something to photograph than having to create their own.

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Instead photographers turned in on themselves, devouring each other’s lenses with gigabytes. It was down to a few random souls to provide some colourful diversions amidst a sea of black.

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My friend climbed aloft and posed in her police hat and a red jumpsuit, before she was joined by a crafty photographer, garlanded with sexy old cameras of the type that I love to shoot with. He was soon relishing the turn of tables and firing away in front of that iconic New Scotland Yard rotating sign.

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The biggest frisson of the morning was provided by a photographer in a motorized wheelchair, who manouvered gallantly down the middle of the road, which the two coppers on duty were bound to keep clear. For a moment everyone spilled into the road, jostling for the best shot, before backing politely away again.

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Mark Thomas, the alternative comedian who has based much of his work on the right to protest, spoke for the rolling cameras, calling for an exhibition of photos of police officers. Perhaps he knows that FITwatch, set up to counteract the FIT teams, have already called for such a competition, with awards based on the most scary, funny and effective photographs taken (this last for photos which have had the most success in defending civil liberties – an issue never far away.)

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It was a strangely post modern occasion but one that was desperately needed to mark this most scary of developments. Long may we continue to defend our right to take photos of whatever we please. After all, as the stickers being given out announced, I’M A PHOTOGRAPHER ….NOT A TERRORIST.

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Monday 16th February

Crystal Stilts, viagra Manhattan Love Suicides, website like this Wet Dog, The Lexington, London

Heavily 80s influenced shoegaze-goths over from Brooklyn to play songs from their debut album.

Secret Machines, The Big Pink, The Joy Formidable, Islington Academy, London

Texas/New York psych rockers bring their driving dream rock to London. Joined by dead trendy Londoners The Big Pink.

Tuesday 17th February

Ra Ra Riot, King’s College, London

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I think my iTunes has got a bit of a crush on these guys, as it tries to attribute every CD I ever import onto it to them. Catchy folk rock not too far wrong though.

The Seal Cub Clubbing Club, 93 Feet East, London

Tongue-twister post-punk from up North.

Wednesday 18th February

Black Kids, Esser, Boy Crisis, Passion Pit, Koko, London

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The big famous draw are Cure-esque, impossibly catchy headliners Black Kids although the three support acts are also well worth catching. Esser is an electro one to watch for this year, fronted by ex Ladyfuzz drummer. Boy Crisis bring more 80s-tinged sounds with their Brooklyn electro-pop and Passion Pit bring some indie to the synths.

Thursday 19th February

Yo Zushi, Old Queens Head, London

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Quirky anti-folk from the mix-tape loving Londoner.

Asobi Seksu, ICA, London

Sweet girl vocals and alternative guitars at the Institute of Contemporary Arts. Can’t say trendier than that.

Friday 20th February

Things To Make And Do: It Hugs Back, Gold Sounds, Victoria and Jacob, The Vital Organs, Wilmington Arms, London

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Resolutely indie fun Friday night fodder with music from lo-fi dream-pop headliners, new signings at 4AD. Followed by DJs.

The Walkmen, Hatcham Social, Electricity In Our Homes, Scala, London

Swaggering new wavey sounds from The Walkmen with a slightly more effete, Smiths-style take on the eighties from Hatcham Social.

Saturday 21st February

Herman Dune, Laura Marling, Johnny Flynn, Peggy Sue, Union Chapel, London

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All day folk fest at this lovely intimate venue with pretty much all the rising folkstars of the Western hemisphere performing.

Jane Birkin, Barbican Centre, London

Ex-Serge Gainsbourg wife and muse cracks out some of the old numbers with her breathy little girl voice. Some new numbers may be included too.

Sunday 22nd February

Sunn O))), Corsica Studios, London

Drone metal that is sure to pulsate through every fibre of your body at their reliably awe-inspiring concerts.

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Wouldn’t it be great if you spent each day hanging out with your closest childhood friend; drawing, here making, price building and all-round creating to your imagination’s absolute content? That’s what Sofie Hvass and Nan Na Hannibal do on a daily basis from a colourful little studio in the basement of an old house in Copenhagen. Love at first sight, Nan Na walked into school one day without knowing a soul, and was instantly drawn to the girl scribbling on the pages of her notebook – a relationship blossomed with much much more scribbling untill we arrive at Hvass&Hannibal, the Danish illustration duo with a beautiful and impressive back catalogue of exciting projects, all with their very distinctive and captivating signature – fantastical yet immediately relatable, wholesome; it looks like perfect childhood memories.

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Take one of their own favourite projects, a collaboration with Efterklang in September. In two very busy weeks, they did all the stage and costume work for their concert with the Danish Chamber Orchestra – pictured above – amalgamating in a very otherworldly, fairytale creation that enhances Efterklang’s sound; I want to wear one of those hats and have perfect circles attached to my cheeks! Hard work, they say, is what accounts for their success: “sometimes we are completely surprised at how difficult we are able make things for ourselves, because we get too ambitious – and if we aren’t satisfied we keep going on. But it probably pays off at the end!” It does.

They say that their dream project would be to build a house and I love to imagine what that would look like, though in the meantime, I’ll leave you with some creations they have made from the contents of their fridge; they decided to step away from their computers and work with a different medium, “food seemed to be an appropriate choice!”.

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Have a look at more of their work here, it will warm your cockles.
Campfire Songs

After recently going out of print on the Catsup label Paw Tracks have decided to re-issue Animal Collective‘s Campfire Songs EP. Apparently it’s not an album to listen to when sat around the campfire telling stories. Instead the songs contained on the disc are actually about the fire itself. So far so interesting.

Anyone who is familiar with Animal Collective’s recent output will know that they make music which is at once poppy and difficult. Last year’s Merriweather Post Pavilion had as many detractors as it did people praising it as album of the year, thumb in January! The tracks varied from the personal, stomach My Girls, and Brother Sport (which are about Noah Lennox’s, a.k.a Panda Bear wife and daughters and trying to get his brother to open up about their fathers death respectivley) to the more fun loving, Summertime Clothes, and Lion In A Coma.

Campfire Songs is as far removed from the sound of MPP or Strawberry Jam as it is possible to get. It almost sounds like a completely different band, except for Noah’s plaintive vocals. There are no drums, no synths, and certainly no big sounds. It’s just acoustic guitars being gently strummed while Noah breathily sing/chants over the top .

The album was recorded outside, on a porch, on mini-disc which allows the sounds of nature to be heard and adds a layer to the idea of making music from the elements. It’s an interesting experiment and certainly shows that Animal Collective have never been afraid to experiment. It also shows the bands development from their more noisy/acoustic sound to the electronic juggernauts that they have become.

It’s an album that I would certainly have on in the background while I was doing something else but I don’t think I’d want to sit down and actively listen to it. It seems that even amongst their fans, of which I consider myself a fairly big one, they can still be a divisive band. Something which I think is important as they aren’t trying to please anyone but themselves with their sonic experimentation.
On 20th March the highly anticipated The Age of Stupid will be released in cinemas nationwide. Amelia’s Magazine were lucky to get a sneak preview-and we were gripped. If ever you were burying your concerns for the state of the planet down there with ‘smoking won’t increase my risk of cancer, web ‘ then this is the film to shake you out of such delusion.

Directed by Franny Armstrong (McLibel, store Drowned Out), it is a documentary-drama-hybrid that starts in 2055 with Pete Postlethwaite (who, among other roles, played the priest in Romeo and Juliet!) living in a stark post-apocalyptic world ravaged by climate change. He looks back at ‘archive’ footage from 2008 and assembles a montage of documentary and news clips focussing on the stories of six individuals living in 2008. The catalytic question that Pete Postlewaite’s archivist searches to answer is ‘why didn’t we stop climate change when we had the chance?’

We meet a variety of people from across the world. Poverty-stricken victims of oil companies like Shell, a windfarm developer whose struggle to develop greener sources energy is met with sickening adversity from his NIMBY neighbours, and an airline entrepreneur too dollar-eyed to see how he could be responsible.

The film brings to light what we smokers (try not to) know all to well. It is a strange component of the human psyche to stall when faced with an unwelcome calamity like climate change. In the same way the six separate lives are brought together as archive footage to encapsulate the multi-faceted cause behind runaway climate change, we must see past our individual lives to rethread the relationship between humanity and nature that has been severed by too many years of economic greed.

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Scenes from the film were shot in Jordan, India, New Orleans, the French Alps, Nigeria and England.

The Age of Stupid is released on 20th March at the following cinemas:

Chapter Cinema, Cardiff
Filmhouse, Edinburgh
Eden Court Theatre, Inverness
Glasgow Film Theatre , Glasgow
Watershed, Bristol
Queen’s Film Theatre, Belfast
Showroom, Sheffield
Odeon Panton Street, Leicester Square, London
Rich Mix, Bethnal Green, London.
The Tricycle Theatre, Kilburn, London.

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One Response to “The Age of Stupid”

  1. Lola says:

    Will this film ever come to Canada?

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