IDIOT SON OF STELLA AND GEORGE
In the Pines
Order and Disorder
One or Several Wolves
Priya Chohan, Coral Churchill, Annelie Fawke, Kwang-Sung Hong, Heidi Locher and Anne E Wilson.
A group of artists look at conceptual motivations within Art, using a variety of media each artist explores the relationship between concept, material and final work created.
Kingsgate Gallery, 20th March – 5th April Free
New installation work from Glaswegian artists littlewhitehead.
The Bun House Bandits, 96 Peckham High Street London. Preview: 15th March 2009, 4pm. Exhibition: 16th March 2009 – 29 March 2009, 11am–11pm
Being and nothing-ness
Youngmi Kim, Kiwoun Shin and Seunghyun Woo
Three Korean artists explore the notion of “being” through various multi media methods, the exhibition includes paintings, videos and sculptures.
Nolias Gallery, 60 Great Suffolk St SE1. Private view: 26thMarch at 6pm- 9pm, exhibition: 27th March- 7TH April 200 10:30Am-6pm,
We are his body
installation art work inspired by the artist’s exploration of the cross in today’s society.
Viewing at Christ Church URC 663 Barking rd Plaistow E13 9EX, 25th March 6pm
Kate Marshall: Live Painting.
This dextrous figurative painter will be doing a live drawing and painting gig at Movida, Argyll Street on April 2nd. Arrive at 9.30pm, you might get a free drinky. She’ll be starting work at 10pm. Check out the event on facebook.
I just woke up from the best nightmare I ever had, store at least I think it was a nightmare. I mean, side effects I’ve heard of mutton dressed as lamb and a wolf in sheep’s clothing, health but last night I saw a couple of ladies, dressed as a wolf and a sheep respectively, among other things.
But what was this, what had I stepped into? Well I found the best person to ask, Annie Oldfield. A lovely young lady from Leeds, dressed as a wolf! I thought it would be fun to create a one-off themed party where you can listen to music all night that`s in some way related to animals: Animal Collective (Panda Bear), Deerhunter, Modest Mouse (the list is endless), eat crackers and, of course, what themed party is complete without fancy dresses. Shark, tiger, zebra, duck, crab, swan, cat (there were lots of cats) all had turned out.
After Annie along with friend Bonnie Wan came up with the idea they went to
DJ/Promoter friend Dave Bassinder (Underachievers) and Filthy animals! was born.
Not one for getting down on the dance floor, that was no problem here, you could keep yourself occupied by making animal balloons or watching films played on a big screen, obviously starring our fantastic furry friends. Or grab a piece of paper and give origami a go, make some sort of flapping pterodactyl. Of course the term filthy suggests more than balloon modeling so a few cheap drinks and many tunes later and the dance floor got the attention it deserved, well you spend all day making a costume you gotta show it off, right?
It`s a real shame it had to end as there are no plans for further repercussions. If you read this Underachievers “BRING BACK THE ANIMALS and KEEP EM FILTHY”!
I have something to admit, viagra sale I am a warehouse party virgin. By warehouse parties I mean not-really legal parties, treat which announce their locations via facebook messages about five minute before they start and you quickly have to get yourself to some remote north London spot in Zone 4. For me there is nothing fun about the obvious issue of trekking all the way out there just for the police to shut it down at twelve. Or 11.30 PM on New Years Eve, rx which is what happened to one of my friends!
After one of our writers posted about their last exhibition I decided i couldn’t miss the LuckyPDF warehouse party, even better it was all above board and legal. There were rather fancy gold flyers promoting the event and they even hired their own bouncers, who were at the door all night checking ID. While this might take some of the thrill away for regular warehouse party goers I rather enjoyed being somewhere with plumbing and electricity. My favourite part was not having to trail across London to a Saw-esk industrial park, because the event was just off Peckham high street. As the LuckyPDF people boldly proclaimed before the event, “The people of South London shalt need to travel to East London any longer for their Huge Party needs.”
I arrived at eleven and the queue to get in was absolutely insane, luckly i’d sent a RSVP email, but I still had to wait a good fifteen minutes to get into the rooms even once I was through the main gate. This was no thrown together event, they had obviously put a lot of effort into sound and lighting, which was refreshing and very welcome. As I entered the bottom room floor I was immediately hit with throbbing lights and heavy bass. There were hoards of people, I couldn’t even begin to count how many attended the event, but nothing was too serious. I think something about the fact it was in a warehouse just made the whole event more relaxed, there was a lot less people there just to smoke and be seen than there were people just wanting to have fun. No “this is the dance floor, this is the bar” locations usually explicit in gig venues meant people were just doing what they wanted where they wanted.
The LuckyPDF warehouse party aimed to be “a rampant music/art extravaganza that will continue til the early morn..” The music was definitely there with the order of the day being, “Bass, Bass, Garage, Electro, Bass, Drum n Bass, Swing, Tango, Nintendocore and Bass”. There were Dj sets from 10 PM – 4AM from South London party circuit favourites, XXX, My Panda Shall Fly and Tomb Crew, plus many, many more. These Dj’s were well selected and well received (apart from whoever kept cutting tracks short in the top room!) effortlessly mixing cutting edge bass tracks with forgotten classics.
However, I was completely perplexed about the other bit, you know the art. Unless really, really small (microscopic) art has come in fashion since the last exhibition I went to I would swear that there wasn’t any. It could have been hidden by the hoards of people there, but still if you’re going to advertise art it would be helpful if people could see it. Previously this would have annoyed me, but I feel i’m just starting to get the point of collectives such as LuckyPDF and it’s peers. Although these guys are artists, they’re not together to try and promote a certain type of art or medium over any other. With the exception perhaps being Off Modern who have a whole Off Modern manifesto on their website. As far as I know there is no particular theme or common interests in the work of the organisers of these events and if there were it would be purely incidental. It’s more a case of getting people excited about South London. Which something that hasn’t happened since (dare i say it) the YBA’s, and they all rushed off to live in the East End or houses in the country as soon as they could anyway.
I will forgive the LuckyPDF guys just this once having an event light of the art and heavy on the music (which draws people in and allows them to charge entry fee), because they have stated that they’re a not for profit organisation, and I hope the money they made will be going into more exhibitions. And when they do I’ll be there, pen in hand, because I can’t wait to see what they’re going to do next.
Photography by Ted Williams
The Rakes release their third album, symptoms KLANG, buy information pills today and to celebrate the band will play a special gig at London’s Rough Trade East at 6pm tonight.
The follow up to ‘Ten New Messages’ is pure and the best of The Rakes as you can check out on lead track ‘1989‘.
Wristband collection 1 hour prior to gig, first-come-first-served basis-one per person.
It`s crunch time at The Social and the venue welcomes Kid Carpet to promote his new single, followed by Moonfish Rhumba with their electro beats and peculiar lyrics.
If great music is not enough to take your mind of recession, this month the venue provides the Crunch Time Rant where you can take your anger to the stage, step on to a soapbox and speak out your thoughts.
Doors 6pm, 99p.
My Tiger My Timing
Up for some healthy girlie pop? Betty and the Werewolves bring their female fronted indie-ditty-pop vocals (they do count with one boy on the drums!) to Bardens Boudoir next Saturday.
Betty and the Werewolves
To all you vintage addicts I bring you salvation!
On April the 4th a vintage bonanza will be hitting the streets of Bethnal Green to bombard you with their scandalously cheap vintage, viagra 40mg so prepare yourself Shoreditch! I understand if you are dubious, case “what makes it unique in comparison to the endless array of oversaturated vintage fairs and markets in London” I hear you say? Well, the differentiation is that at this event you won’t be leaving empty handed if you left the house with a mere twenty pounds. This is vintage on an extremely tight shoestring, for any savvy shopper the affordable vintage fair is akin to the sensation of being a child in a sweet shop again!
Heralded as the largest vintage fair in north England, the organizers have delved the nation with their noble quest for affordable vintage, leaving no stone unturned. Our loyal travellers have unearthed hidden gems and want to bring you the fruits of their labour! So cast aside the idle and banal window shopper, let your hair down and embrace your style hungry primordial urges. The fair is an emporium of vintage wonderment; there are style advisors, a customisation and alternations area, swapping area as well as bundles of vintage clothes and furniture.
But the most exciting element of the fair has to be the pay by kilo vintage stall. This really is vintage paradise; trawl to your heart’s content safe in the knowledge it’s not going to cost you much more then your weekly grocery shop. The phenomena is commonplace with our European counterparts, but kilo shopping will be making its debut here in the UK. So get trawling and scout some hidden gems, this might just be your chance to revive your wardrobe from the brink of darkness and inject a whole new burst of life. What other chances would you get to weigh out your clothes, just like you would weigh out your sugar?
They have catered for your every whim feeding your ears and taste buds with a nostalgic trip down memory lane. With music spanning the decades from the bohemian 60s to the energetic 80s, not forgetting a whole host of cake stalls and beverages to whet your appetite.
So don’t miss out, get down there 11am pronto on the 4th of April, I for one will be installing my vintage bargain radar and heading down myself!
Everyday at the office here, treatment while we`re writing our articles and drinking our teas, we try to go through the many cd`s we receive daily and now and then there`s one that catches everybody`s attention, making everyone in the room ask “who`s this”?
That`s exactly what happened when Cari put on the single from up and coming group My Tiger My Timing. In less than 30 seconds heads were bopping and legs were shaking unanimously. This Is Not The Fire is so catchy that I`ve been listening to it non stop since Tuesday.
They play a delightful, totally danceable afro beat, electro-pop and still they compare themselves with bands like Metronomy and Casio Kids. While most of the groups desperately run away from extreme pop and commercial tracks, MTMT does exactly the opposite, recognizing their will for creating easy listening and fluid beats.
The foursome was formed in 2008 in south east London and their debut single was produced by Andy Spence of New Young Pony Club and will be released April 6th 2009 downloadable through Silver Music Machine.
Tuesday I had the chance to see them live at Cargo and I`m definitely looking forward to the entire album, it was quite an electrifying performance. Here`s a little video of the last song:
Yesterday, buy a few of the Amelia’s Magazine girls went along to witness the G20 protests in the City of London. The day had dawned to brilliant sunshine, and clear blue skies, which meant that the sight and sound of the police helicopters hovering overhead was even more pronounced. The events which were due to unfold promised to be extraordinary, and I was keen to see what was going to happen. It was hard to know what to expect, but here was the run down. Four different carnival parades, were to converge around the Bank Of England, and protest the current economic and environmental climate. We were guided there by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, leading the processions from four rail stations. We were setting off from Liverpool Street, led by the Green Horse – representing climate chaos. Walking from Brick Lane to the station, I was struck at how different the city seemed. Spitalfields Market, and all the restaurants around it were closed. There were not many city workers around, but those who were out and about were dressed down. I didn’t see a single suit around me.
The Barbican towards The Bank of England. It was enjoyable to be part of such a good natured crowd and it was fun to watch all the shop owners standing outside their establishments, watching with fascination at the colourful carnival proceeding past them.
As we walked towards Bank we passed Northern Rock. Some clever jokers had hung a sign inside their office entitled ‘We Love Money”. As I went to take a picture they hastily pulled the sign down. I could only marvel at the thoughtlessness of that statement, wasn’t it hundreds of thousands of pensioners money that they had lost – was that the money in question that they loved so much? After a brief stop, we marched into the space around The Bank Of England. I was shocked by the amount of people who were here. Estimates at 4,000 are not an exaggeration. The place was packed. Having only ever seen this section in London as a thoroughfare for busy, frantic city workers, and crammed to the gills with buses, it was surreal to see it filled with so many protesters. No cars, just people.
After about 45 minutes, we were ready to head back to the office. I went to walk past a row of police and quickly found that I couldn’t get through. Not quite understanding the situation I was unconcerned, thinking that they were guarding just one exit. Knowing there were plenty more exits around Bank station we wandered back to the road that we had come in on. Again, we were met with a throng of police. They stood arms locked. Still assuming that this was something that would be resolved soon, we sat down and scrounged some crisps off a girl sat next to us. (Not expecting to be there for long, we didn’t take any food, and not much water.)
Then some of the police vans next to us started to move through the police and drive away. We thought that this was our cue to leave as well, and strode towards the police. They immediately closed ranks. It was at this moment that I took in the situation. They had cordoned us all in; we had unwittingly become kettled. (This word now chills me to the bone). No one was going anywhere without their say so. the crowds started to fill up and began asking questions. As I was nearest the front I asked how long this situation would last for. “Don’t know” came the response. Many people started asking why this was happening, but the police would not respond. Our crowd was large, and there was not an ‘anarchist’ in sight. Many tried to squeeze towards the police and told them that this was violating their human rights, and was against the law. Again, no response.
We were soon packed so tightly that it was like being at the front of a gig, but instead of watching a band, we were staring into the hard faces of men who refused to talk to us, and would sooner beat and arrest us then let us get past them. At this point the crowd surged and we fell into each other. The police shouted at us “Get back!” a woman shouted “Where to?!” We were trapped in a scrum, and the police were pushing us back while we were being pushed forward. I saw riot police walk towards us and I felt a surge of panic. We had been trapped by the police and there was nothing that we could do. I pleaded with the officer in front of me to let us go (I can now see how futile that was). I said that we were scared, and asked if a riot were to kick off, who are they going to protect? “I can’t answer that” was the response. Women started shouting that they had children from school to pick up, jobs to get to. The most common cry to the police was “Why won’t you speak to us?” I got so fed up from this feeling of powerlessness that I phoned the news desk at BBC News. I shared my feelings of worry to the reporter on the other end of the phone; and told her the scenario. I relayed what the officers had told one girl to do who said that she needed the toilet – “you can go in the street”; what they told one boy who said that he wasn’t even part of the protest – “You are now”. The BBC reporter told us that this situation was happening at every exit of the march. She said, “You are all being tarred with the same anarchist brush, this is their tactic”.
Around an hour later, still in the same position, a man passed out in front of me. He had been standing quietly, not trying to defy the police, and his only movement for the two hours that we were held was to quietly read a peace of paper that he had in his hands. I had looked at it at one point and could see that it was a Psalm. Thankfully, the officers took him away and led him to an ambulance. Just as I started to feel that it was going to be an all night cordon, my friends phone rang. A friend of hers told her that they had just opened one of the exits round the corner and we bolted for it. Walking to the tube, we were jumping up and down with exhilaration. We began receiving updates that the RBS building was being stormed, and that the police were beating protesters. What had started off as a peaceful and well meaning protest was quickly turning into something much darker, but who was at fault? If you asked anyone in the 4,000 strong crowd they would have no trouble telling you. The police’s tactic of kettling us, purposely providing us with no information and locking us in for two and half hours was easily going to generate the mayhem that they had predicted. Nonetheless, I am so pleased that I attended. It was always going to be an interesting day, I just wish that the peaceful protesters would have been treated better and not denied their basic human rights.
Monday March 23rd.
WE CAN postcards to Ed Miliband and MPs: Monday 23rd March
On Monday 23rd March, pills hundreds of children dressed as endangered animals will write postcards to Secretary of State Ed Miliband and to their MPs, in an effort to make the government call a halt to plans to build a third runway at Heathrow and a new coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth.
According to NASA scientist James Hansen, who is now advising President Obama, up to 400 species of animals are threatened with extinction by the emissions from Kingsnorth.
Filmmaker, mother of three and founding member of WE CAN, Rebecca Frayn said, ‘The children are horrified that so many animals could be wiped out. Ed Miliband has said that carbon capture and storage will be introduced to clean up the emissions, but nobody knows when, or if the technology is even practical.’
The postcards will be coloured in and presented after a gathering in Old Palace Yard at 5pm on Monday 23rd March. Several MPs including Andy Slaughter and John McDonnell have agreed to meet children in the lobby of the House of Commons
Forests and Climate Change: an Amazonian Perspective for Copenhagen
Date: Tuesday, 24 March, 2009 – 17:30
10 St James’s Square
A joint IIED and Chatham House event, the debate will be led by Professor Virgílio Viana, Director General, Amazon Sustainability Foundation.
Doors open 5.30pm?Event starts 6.00pm?Reception to 8.30pm
Venue:?email: Alessandra.Giuliani@iied.org Tel: 0207 388 2117
Professor Virgílio Viana is one of Brazil’s leading academics and practitioners on forestry, environment and sustainable development. Prof. Viana served as Secretary of State for Environment and Sustainable Development, Amazonas, Brazil, between 2003 and 2008. He stepped down from the position of Secretary of State for Environment and Sustainable Development, Amazonas, in March 2008 in order to devote his time to new challenges and projects. He is currently the Director General of the new Amazon Sustainability Foundation, and is presently in London as part of a 3 month sabbatical with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).
Wednesday 25th March
St James’s Church
London W1J 9LL?
GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT FORUM – Governments; friends or foes of development?
Contact 020 7734 4511 for further details
Thursday 26th March
35 – 47 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6LA
020 7613 7498
020 7613 7490
The Age of Stupid (PG)
Dir: Franny Armstrong
The Age Of Stupid is the documentary-drama-animation hybrid from director Franny Armstrong (McLibel, Drowned Out) and Oscar-winning Producer John Battsek (One Day In September, Live Forever, In the Shadow of the Moon).
Oscar-nominated Pete Postlethwaite (In The Name of the Father, Brassed Off, The Usual Suspects) stars as an old man living in the devastated world of 2055. He watches ‘archive’ footage from 2008 and asks: why didn’t we stop climate change when we had the chance?
Plus Q+A with
Thurs 26 March after 6.45pm screening- Lizzie Gillet (The Age of Stupid film producer)
Forests and Climate Change,
7pm, Royal Geographical Society,
1 Kensington Gore, SW1 London
The world’s forests are home to an extraordinary range of species, and are arguably one of our greatest safeguards against climate change. Yet deforestation, whether for timber, farming or human settlement, continues at an alarming rate.
Climate Change, Canopies, and Wildlife
Dr. Mika Peck, University of Sussex
What are the impacts of climate change on the cloudforests of north-west Ecuador? Are existing reserves in one of the richest and most diverse of all biodiversity hotspots big enough to protect large charismatic mammals like the spectacled bear and big cats? How much do carbon offset programmes really benefit wildlife? Can technology such as Google Earth help us to identify canopy tree species and biologically diverse areas from space? These are just some of the questions that will be addressed during this lecture, which is based on data collected by Earthwatch volunteers in the mountains of Ecuador.
Dr. Mika Peck, Dr. Dan Bebber. Info: Earthwatch/ 01865) 318856/ email@example.com
Friday 27th March
(illustration courtesy of Aarron Taylor)
“Hell and High water: Climate Change as a spiritual challenge.” An evening talk with Alastair McIntosh
6.30pm drinks & light buffet at Gaia House, (18 Well Walk, Hampstead, NW3 1LD)
7.30pm Talk & discussion at Burgh House (Opposite Gaia House, New End Square, Hampstead, NW3 1LT)
Alastair McIntosh’s recent book, “Hell and High Water: Climate Change, Hope and the Human Condition” has been described on Radio 4′s Open Book programme as one of the best on climate change “because of its rage and optimism.” But Alastair’s “optimism” is not of a conventional type that relies on political, technical and economic solutions. His book is about hope, and how our response must also be psychological and spiritual. During the course of this evening, Alastair will introduce the book exploring why he thinks climate change is as much about our inner lives as outer realities, and discuss here this leaves us as campaigners for change.
Saturday 28th March 2009
“Climate Change, Consumerism and the Decolonisation of the Soul.”
10am – 4.30pm at the Gaia Learning Centre
18 Well Walk, Hampstead, NW3 1LD
Alastair will build on his presentation from the previous evening, focussing in particular on the role that consumerism plays as the driving force of climate change. He will unpack the history of consumerism and demonstrate how it has “colonised the soul” in an addictive manner, that needs to be responded to in a manner akin to other addictions. This will bring us back to the need, discussed the previous evening, to understand climate change as a call to deepen our inner lives, as well as come up with outer solutions. Many of these solutions will touch on the need for “Rekindling Community” – the title of his other recent book (a Schumacher Briefing) which he will introduce in the latter part of the workshop.
Alastair McIntosh is a writer, broadcaster and campaigning academic best known for his work on land reform on Eigg, in helping to stop the Harris super quarry; also for pioneering human ecology as an applied academic discipline in Scotland. He is a Fellow of Scotland’s Centre for Human Ecology, a Visiting Fellow of the Academy of Irish Cultural Heritages at the University of Ulster, and in 2006 was appointed to an honorary position in Strathclyde University as Scotland’s first Visiting Professor of Human Ecology. He is the author of many books, including the critically acclaimed “Soil and Soul: People versus corporate power“.
Booking for either the talk, workshop, or both is essential. Evening talk £10 / One-day workshop £45.
Reserve your place online at: www.gaiafoundation.org
Or send a cheque made payable to The Gaia Foundation.
For further details contact Vicky at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7428 0055.
Put People First march for Jobs, Justice and the Climate
11am Victoria Embankment, London
Please come along and add your voice to the Put People First march for Jobs, Justice and the Climate in London on Saturday 28th March.
Global leaders are meeting in London on 2nd April for the G20 meeting, and we want them to Put People First and focus on jobs, justice and the climate.
Greenpeace is one of the 50 organisations supporting the march, which is calling for — among other things — a green new deal to help rebuild the economy and create green jobs. To see the full list of demands visit www.putpeoplefirst.org.uk.
Put People First is a coalition of organisations ranging from environmental and development charities to unions, churches and mosques, and we are expecting thousands of people from all walks of life to take to the streets and send a strong message to the G20 leaders. If you can make it to London, please join them.
The march will start at 11am at Victoria Embankment and head to Hyde Park for a rally with speakers and entertainment including comedian Mark Thomas and environmentalist Tony Juniper. Visit the website for more details including a route map.
We’re sorry if you’re not based in or around London and can’t make it, but if you do want to travel down for the march, Put People First are organising coaches from various places around the UK.
Hope to see you there,
Timothy M Duong is a fine artist searching for something extra ordinary to put “the ordinary on blast”. He as no interest in the ideal beauty, pilule finding that painting from life poses a challenge that often results in mistakes which can change simple art works into timeless pieces. This week I had a chance to find out what inspires his creativity.
What inspires you?
People inspire me. The space around us inspires me. What fills that space and our relationships to it inspire me. Anything that sparks a resonance inside of me to ask the question “why” is probably the reason why I continue my work. So I guess you could say what I am making at the current moment is a documentation of how I perceive the world or my view of it and this is constantly changing as for my work also.
How did you get into Art?
My cousin who passed away several years ago introduced me to comic book art when I was very young and for years until high school that was all I was doing. While I was deep into the world of comics and the linear art, cure I bumped into “Kabuki” a book written and illustrated by David Mack and that was probably one of the most pivotal points in my artistic development. I didn’t even know that it was possible to bring such a way of communication with such a medium as comics. From then and there I abandoned comics and ventured into fine art.
Who do you aspire to be like and who inspires you at present?
I really don’t aspire to be like anyone. I aspire to be more my self, if that can be an answer. People that do inspire me at the moment are artists like Phil Hale, Alex Kanevsky, Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon, Degas, Egon Schiele, Richard Diebenkorn and anyone that has a way with the brush and pencil.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?
I see myself living comfortably from what I love doing. I can’t really put it any others words other than that…but I guess we’ll see how the economy goes eh.
What advice would you give to someone trying to get into the Art?
My advice would be to have an open-mind and be forgiving of your mistakes, yet be your harshest critique. Our experiences are what makes us and to be afraid of consequences generated by our “experience” is to neglect ourselves. It’s all about trial and error in my book.
Do you have a muse?
I have no muse. Although I do hire models and try to work with some friends but no one on a regular basis, at least for now. I need constant change and revision so for me to have a regular muse would probably bore me, but you never know…maybe I haven’t found the “one”.
Jeremy is self-obsessed. Jeremy is pop. Jeremy overdoes things. Gratuitously. Jeremy indulges ostentatious musical whims. And Jeremy has just made his first great piece of work: How We Became is his masterpiece.
I’ve been checking out this half-French fop’s work for a few years, click since I caught him at one of the Mystery Jets’ Eel Pie Island Bandpies, site spooling tales of rentboys and such, side effects strumming his guitar, while his voice fought for attention. Interesting stuff, but not compelling. Then he progressed, churning out a couple of decent tunes, like 5 Verses. He was obviously a talented chap, but I couldn’t obsess over what felt to me like dry and bloodless songs. Jeremy, where’s your passion? I asked. And then I went and listened to something else.
Imagine my surprise then, putting on this CD and being forced to let Jeremy fully into my heart. He is the same Jeremy, but more knowing, now. There is a lot of really beautiful music here, as though he’s been suddenly possessed by the spirit of Brian Wilson in his prime. There are chord progressions that tighten tendons, and make you want to do some parkour in a balletic frenzy.
He’s also very canny at matching lyric to music. “I heard that it’s true that everything is made of tiny bits of nothing. There’s music in the gaps and colour in the cracks, as the sirens wail and car alarms ring” is delivered so delicately in Waiting Room, a lullaby of electronic drums and oboes and flutes. You can’t help but become as soppy as the man himself.
The record is very much a studio thing. It sounds as if he’s laid everything out to click track, layered in his keyboards and vocals, then got his servants to fill in their designated parts, with utter precision and exactitude. There isn’t a slid or bent note, not even a spaghetti hoop of a solo. The only emotional expression on the whole CD comes from Jeremy’s uncannily skilful songwriting, and his boyish note-perfect vocal squeaks, whimpers, and entreaties. It’s testament to the power of those factors that they’re enough to keep you in for the whole shebang.
There are some surprisingly rocked-out moments, too. Just slipped into the mix. Jeremy still warbles on top, the ghost of the click track still hovers, but just with distorted guitar riffing away and driving drums pounding a strange imitation of rock bands. The rest of the time, we are left with a world of synths, round bass tones, gentle acoustic guitar samba-chords, robo-tight drumbeats, and really sexy wind instruments. Check the stunning horns on Dancing with The Enemy. And production about as perfect as it gets.
I must admit my mind started to wander as the last track drawled into verse three and a half, and then I realised why it had to be the last track. A sequence of pure musical wizardry divides the song in two. Debussy duetting with King Crimson, followed by a one minute piano and snare crescendo. “What a surprise! We grew up,” realises Jeremy. Truly.
This isn’t an experimental record, at all, but I’m still fairly stumped for unqualified comparisons. Let’s try, err… The Divine Comedy, but no… it’s more earnest. Fugu, but no… less ironic. Or Patrick Wolf, maybe, but no… much less masturbatory. Essentially, this is its own beast. That’s what makes it great. Jeremy Warmsley’s vision has finally borne fruit. Very juicy fruit.
You can buy “How We Became” through roughtrade.com, and there’s a free download of “If He Breaks Your Heart” on his own site, jeremywarmsley.com. See him live at Barden’s Boudoir this Saturday, March 28,, when he plays alongside Betty and The Werewolves, or on his tour of the UK and Germany, as listed on his myspace.
Tatty Devine are so prolific it’s hard to keep up – legions ahead of their counterparts who must surely feel as though they are lugging behind them gasping for breath. Never ones for being complacent, pharm Tatty Devine are consistently striving to push the boundaries in accessory design.
The innovative duo have enjoyed a cult following, web and their list of collaborators is long enough to struggle in the recollection. There was the infamous Gilbert and George, the master craftsman Robert Ryan, eccentric electric group Robots in Disguise, and then the zany Mark Pawson. Not to mention their bizarre projects. One of their latest was undertaking a pendant replica of the angel of the North. As a proud Northern lady myself, this holds a particular sentimental place in my heart!
Tatty Devine have recently joined forces with artists Phil and Galia Kollectiv in a conceptual project for their Brick Lane store. The exhibition comprises of a series of photographs to coincide with the launch of their capsule jewelry collection. Inspired by Cold War Design, the pieces play with the concept of espionage and the clash between ideology and human emotion.
The collection has a distinct three-dimensional allusion, drawing influence from emissary tools used within the Second World War. The pieces range from acrylic brooches to pendants, my distinct favourite would have to be the pendant of Oskar Schlemmer a prestigious figurehead in the Bauhaus theatre workshop.
So head on down and catch the collection at the Brick Lane store which runs till May 3rd
In conjunction with their work with minimalist duo Kollectiv, Tatty Devine has been dipping their toes into the world of music. Their latest collaboration is with new kids on the indie block Betty and the Werewolves. This quartet are bursting with flair, injecting a healthy dose of saccharine laden pop. But don’t discard these girls as entirely sickly sweet, they pack a real punch. With racing punk rock guitars and scandalous lyrics these girls don’t adhere to the usual pop group ethic.
The accessory collection comprises of bold graphic pendants rather reminiscent of the font of an 80s action comic, you almost expect the words POW! The red acrylic pendant is gloriously kitsch, a perfect outlet to announce your passion for these cool cats to the unsuspecting public. Their next piece pays homage to 70s star David Cassidy, which aptly is the title of the bands debut album. This charming heart pendant is a perfect piece of 70s nostalgia.
With the prices starting from a mere £15 pounds, now is your chance to grab yours. I have a sneaking suspicion these girls will be making waves in the music sphere in the foreseeable future. Infact they will be playing this Saturday at Bardens Boudior with Jeremy Warmsley, The Duloks, and the Bobby McGee’s, a perfect chance to experience this energic bunch first hand.
Like it or not (and I bet they don’t), dosage the Government are now being hit from all sides over the issue of Climate Change. Yesterday, approved the harsh criticism came from a determined and impassioned group of kids dressed as lions, tigers and polar bears who stood outside Parliament and protested the plans for new coal fired power stations, and the building of Runway Three at Heathrow Airport. It was a double-whammy kind of point. First, the children wanted to show that they too are as concerned as any group of adults about the issues of global warming, and want their voices to be heard too. Secondly, they wanted to represent the many animals who face extinction if climate change isn’t halted. And who can say no to a kid dressed up as a polar bear?
Thankfully, the dire rainstorm which had threatened to send everyone running cleared and made way for blue skies. I pitched up at around 4.30pm to find more police standing around then children. Being fully aware of the planned protest, there were quite a few clusters of armed police standing guard. Is that justifiable when you consider that the event consisted of under 10 year olds singing “We’ve got the whole world in our hands” while they threw an inflatable globe around? I’m not so sure.
Sipson, near Heathrow, whose primary school will be demolished if Heathrow’s third runway goes ahead. (I especially liked their teacher who instructed her pupils to wriggle their bums at Parliament). So while this seemed like a light hearted affair, the message was serious. Especially as these are the type of age range who will have to deal with the devastating impact of global warming.
Several MP’s came along to show solidarity, including environmental campaigner and editor of The Ecologist, Zac Goldsmith. His speech highlighted the disparities between other countries commitment to using alternative energy and our country. An example he gave was the town of Marburg in Germany, which requires all homes and renovation project built to be fitted with solar systems – a policy which has means that this small town produces more solar energy than the whole of Britain.
Once the kids/polar bears had done a few photo-calls, they trooped off on mass into Parliament. The aim being to meet and tell their MP’s they want two things – No new coal fired power stations unless CO2 is captured and stored, and no aviation expansion. What we weren’t planning on was being made to wait outside for 45 minutes while each parent and child was given the same stringent screening of their bags and clothes that is usually reserved for suspicious looking men boarding planes. For any other group this would have been tolerable, but there seemed something especially pedantic about doing this to a mass of children who were doing their very best to stand patiently in icy winds.
The guards had no intention of speeding up the process, even for the children who were getting cold, tired, and letting us all know how much they needed the loo. I stuck around too. Even though it was absolutely freezing, I knew that if these children could give up their tea time to wait for three quarters of an hour to meet their MP’s then so can I!
By the time I got in, the kids had disbanded to every section of Parliament, so it was hard to keep track of them. I spotted a couple of kids who looked like they were at the end of a long day, and the only option left was to slide through the lobby. I was so envious.
Talking with the organisers later, I was heartened to hear that the several politicians came down to meet and talk with the children, including Simon Hughes, Glenda Jackson, Andy Slaughter and John McDonnall. The protest appeared to have fired them up, because the kids were all eager to talk about the realms of global issues which were affecting them. I have heard politicians claim many times that young people are apathetic to governmental policies, and I hope that Monday’s protest showed them how wrong they are.
Yet again I have been utilising the joys of the World Wide Web, information pills the latest hidden gem to grab my attention is gifted photographer Cari Ann Waymen. It’s a wonder this lady has lasted so long undetected on our radar; at the tender at of 20, ampoule Waymen has talent that precedes her years.
A self professed novice she has never taken a single photography class. Subsequently her work exudes a naïve expressionism deriving purely from her love for capturing ambiance. Not tainted by over processing, viagra approved her pieces portray all the distilled qualities of 70′s cinematography.
I caught up with Waymen in the far- flung realms of the other side of the pond for a quick email interview.
Tell me a bit about yourself Cari?
Hi, my name is Cari Ann Wayman, but a lot of people know me as “yyellowbird.”. I currently live in chicago, illinois, but I have a hard time picturing myself staying anywhere for long. I love taking pictures so much i’m afraid to take it seriously, so much that I call it “taking pictures” instead of “photography”. I would like to be an explorer in the most victorian sense of the word, my interests include abandoned buildings, russian royalty, the beautiful and strange, wilderness and ruins, carnivals and the moon.
??How do you find all those abandoned buildings??
Just wandering around, the amount of abandoned buildings has a lot to do with the area you’re in, if you’re in a nice, big, wealthy city, you’re not going to find much. But mostly I just keep my eye open for them whenever i’m out, make a note, and come back later. Eventually you develop a sort of sixth sense for it. (note: i do not recommend or endorse anyone breaking and entering or otherwise disobeying the law to get inside of these places, what I do myself has nothing to do with what I think you should do, so if you get caught, don’t blame me!)
What sort of camera do you use in your work?
?A nikon d50, truthfully I don’t know much about cameras, I really only use the most basic of capabilities on my camera, I prefer to be expressive in different ways.
What lenses do you use??
Just the one my camera came with, so pretty standard. I don’t know what kind it is or anything.
How do you get those light spots on your pictures?
?I take a broken image of faraway lights at night and overlay them in photoshop.
You use of colour is particularly interesting, is the blanched effect achieved through digital altering?
?Yes my work is highly digitally altered, but all I do is slightly change colour/saturation/brightness/contrast settings in photoshop.
Your work seems heavily inspired by hazy 70s cinematography, are you inspired by films in your work?
Actually, I don’t watch very many films, I have a hard time sitting still long enough to sit through a whole movie! But I would like to maybe make films one day. I am very inspired by music though that evokes that similar dreamy nostalgic qualities to it, if that makes sense?
What other photographers have inspired you?
I really try to keep myself as influence-free as possible. I like to look at other photographers’ work sometimes, of course, but I want my work to come strictly from my head..
What do you aim to achieve from your photography?
Oh, I don’t really know! I’m not dim enough to think i’m going to change the world or anything, but at the same time I think there’s secretly a tiny part of me that hopes for that. I don’t know, it’s not like i have this agenda or message or concept i’m forcing on the mases. If I just want to make beautiful things and hope they affect someone in even the smallest way.
What is your main stimulus when your seeking out locations to shoot?
Location is one of the most important things in my pictures. I’m always in this mindset where i’m looking at everything as a potential picture. I just wander around all the time and think, “oh that should be in a picture! that too!” wandering is sort of my hobby, and I think after awhile, you develop this sixth sense for special wonderful places.
Intrigued by the very thought of cutting edge art rumblings in South Ken, approved I send out my feelers to bring me word of Propeller Island. Who better to tell me than lo-fi conceptual warrior Jamie Dyson, viagra dosage who was involved from day one. We meet in a Sam Smith’s tourist pub to discuss the project, illness his work, servicemen’s pensions, and bourgeois tickbox gallery vampires.
Jamie Dyson: Hello, hello, are you receiving me?
Gareth David: Yes. Jamie Dyson. You. Tell me, what is Propeller Island?
J: Named after a book by Jules Verne, a story of a quartet of musicians, hired for a gig on an island, who get kidnapped, and I won’t spoil the end, but it’s a Utopia gone wrong tale. It is an exhibition and a group of people and a series of art and music events, started by 15-ish graduates of Chelsea MA last year. The first exhibition space was a place in South Kensington, an old shop front owned by Brompton Design District. A month-long open studio exhibition, culminating in a four-day series of events, music performances, video screenings, etc.
G: What was the starting point, then?
J: Well, a lot of it came out of the blogsite. I was creating images for that, some very nice images, and some car crash victims, presented as posters with the words “Propeller Island: An Evolving Artspace” written beneath.
G: Bit of Warhol in there.
J: Yeah, we like a bit of that. Other people were less interested in the themes of the novel and just liked the idea of the exhibition space as an island, a metaphorical island, and that’s why we were all working there and creating the exhibition at the same time. Things worked, things didn’t work. It was really good, really high energy. And we decided it could have more satellite events, one-off events, evening and all-day events, and the emphasis is on putting up other people’s work on, rather than just setting your own agenda.
G: So you’ve got fluid borders.
J: Exactly. That’s where we’re at, at the moment. We’re trying to organize another evening performance/music/video event. I’ve got to have a meeting with everybody to decide what’s going on. It’ll be “Propeller Island presents…”
G: So, you’ll become a platform for anything?
J: Yeah, anything. Anything that’s any good. It’d be boring just to be another artist’s group, just putting on exhibition after exhibition. Obviously, we’re not the first to do this, but it’s just more interesting if you mix it up a bit. Enjoy your pie.
G (begins enjoying his pie): So who are the main protagonists of the Island?
J: It was organised chiefly by a woman called Pippa Gatty, who came up with the idea at the end of the year, and she delegated jobs, like press, bar, site management to five or six of us, who were instrumental in getting the thing up and running. And we’ve decided now that any one of us can come up with an idea and the others will support that idea. That’s because where the original exhibition fell down was that nobody wanted to stand on anybody’s toes, it was all a bit nicey-nicey, so, we decided that the fewer people organizing any one thing, the better it would be, because it wouldn’t have so many different voices going “I wanna do this” and “I wanna do this”. So it’s one particular vision, and everybody helps that along.
G: The first event. Give us the visitor’s-eye-view.
J: Well, we have a glass-fronted open space with the name of the exhibition, and it’s wood-panelled, white walls, lots of mirrors everywhere. The first floor was where we had the performances and screenings, a small amount of wall based/sculptural work was shown up there, including some ink drawings by Lady Lucy.
G: Tell me about the work of this Lady Lucy.
J: Well, she started a project. It wasn’t that successful, but it was a good idea. It was a bring-your-own-books, a sharing library, in French, so she got lots of French Literature, including an illustrated edition of Gargantua And Pantagruel. Then she worked from that, making enlarged versions of the illustrations, ham-fisted versions – that was the point. They were really good and quirky images. There were about 15 of them, at eye-level.
Most of what I’d call the exhibition proper was downstairs, in the basement, which was used as a studio space for the month, and then became the show in the last four days. And the bar.
G: I know that Mark “Danger Man” McGowan was involved. What did he get up to?
J: He organized thirty performances for the Sunday, involving various things. People did a work-out to some eighties music for him. So he was curating these performances, really. He just phoned up people and got them involved. I’ve been involved in exhibitions with him before, like Flash In The Pan at the House Gallery in Camberwell.
G: Ah, yes. That was the show that had to move to Brixton over a censorship disagreement.
J: Yep. A drawing of mine and a painting by John Keates caused offense. I wasn’t willing to edit the show, so I moved the whole lot to the Trade Apartments in Brixton. Mark was part of that, with his running tap piece and a performance. At Propeller Island, we found that he’s moved on to shooting people with bb guns, etc. There were lots of people there for that. They loved it. There was also a performance sculpture. Basically, a lot of chocolate in a pan on a camping stove in the middle of the space, and it was cooked until it was no more, and it smelt quite horrible and there was chocolate all over the floor. So, it was a, er, time-based sculpture event.
What I thought was the best work out of the collaborators, was by Adam Smith and Keiko Takahashi. They went through a synopsis of the book, and took out key words, and then created this environment. It was an installation, it had musical instruments, it had cooking facilities, not quite Rirkrit Tiravanija, it was sculptural, but utilitarian as well. Really interesting, and really inviting, not as austere as a normal gallery space. It drew you in, encouraged you to use the computer, heat up some food in the microwave, look at a book. It sounds a bit peace-and-love hippy-style, but there was some criticality, which I think is lacking in most relational art.
G: And what of your own work?
J: Based on something I showed at Chelsea on the last couple of days I was there, there were two posters I got from the Guardian of Lord Kitchener.
G: Your country needs you?
J: That’s the one. I put these alongside a video I got my dad to make of himself. I asked him to explain his reasons for leaving Oldham, near Manchester and embark upon a 22-year career in the Navy. He wasn’t very pleased with that, but I made him do it. It ended up being a very sharp 2-minute video, which I had in the space in a semi-sculptural way. I didn’t conceal the audio-video equipment at all. I used them as another element to the whole thing. As for the posters, I displayed them a little differently to Chelsea. I defaced the left-hand Kitchener, put a new face on him.
G: I recall when I saw the Kitcheners at Chelsea, the main import seemed to be that they’d been folded and then unfolded in different ways. Together, they were drawing attention to their mass-produced nature. And to the fact that, although there’s a finger coming out of the picture, pointing at you, it’s not personal, it’s pointing at anyone in particular, just at absolutely anyone.
J: Yes. And I kept the Guardian logo at the bottom, and the copyrighting, which adds to that another level of remove. I wanted that because political affiliations in papers are obviously a very normal thing. I don’t think any paper’s particularly good. The Guardian can be too Guardiany. And hypocritical, preaching green living and then deliver its Saturday paper in loads of plastic, which you can’t recycle. It has some very good points and very bad points, like any paper, I suppose. I folded it in different ways for a very basic reason – people are different.
G: The face you slapped on top of Kitchener. Was that in a John Currin kind of a way?
J: It wasn’t as sophisticated as that. John Currin’s a fantastic painter and I’m not a great technical painter. That’s not my thing for my own work. This was not even a Chapman’s comic book face. It was two black splodges of Indian ink for eyes, and then a big massive wide mouth with a few teeth in it. I was thinking of Brian Haw’s ramshackle shantytown, some of the posters or banners there are quite dumb, well meant, but with no research. When feelings take over the mental, it gets a bit ridiculous. It’s a protest art look.
G: How did the posters play off your dad’s video?
J: Well, I told him that I was thinking about it in relation to the Kitchener piece, but i didn’t tell him to answer that in his video, and he didn’t. He joined the Navy ultimately because he wanted to see the world. He wasn’t ever really interested in fighting, I don’t think. Or being patriotic. It was about getting away fom a very dull life in the North of England. He didn’t fancy going to work in an office or industry. In the video, he says how much he enjoyed it, though it ended his marriage. He said it’s a single man’s armed forces. And he was never in any conflicts. Even during the Falklands, he was based somewhere else. And glad of it. Not to say my dad’s a coward, but he’s an intelligent bloke, and he doesn’t like bullshit. And he saw enough of it. But there was none of this First World War lying about your age business. And he got to see the world alright.
Because the poster is reprinted by the Guardian, with other propaganda posters, do-your-bit kind of posters, presented as archaic, aren’t they pretty, but hey, we’ve moved on. The forces advertise differently now, plugging the pension, the free dental, etc. I think it’s too easy to be anti-Armed Forces. We need them. It’s the machinations above that I’m more against. It’s a whole complex issue, the just-following-orders, Nuremberg trial thing.
G: That’s a dark thing to say about your own father!
G: Let’s get back to the show.
J: We had an artist who’s also a firefighter, she talked about Community Support Officers. And she gave her interpretation of the recruitment seminar given to her when she joined the fire brigade. She was doing it in a slightly more blunt way. Certain things that would be glossed over, she gave the gory detail on, saying what a pain in the arse it can be. “If you’re lucky, you’ll see a fire”, she said. They spend most of the time just putting out car-fires. (Jamie yawns) She gave the impression that a typical firefighter really has the fire-bug. They’re all pyromaniacs.
G: That plays off your own work in a nice way. The idea of public service against private interest. Why would anyone get into something so selfless? It’s a thought that doesn’t easily fit with the current prevailing swamp of indulgent consumerism.
J: This is why she got into uniform and talked about it so candidly.
A different artist was responsible for each night. The first night was mine. I put together a series of short films by artists that I know, and some performances, one by Phill Wilson-Perkin in his home-made Judge Dredd outfit. I did a film about the attempted Spanish Invasion of England in the 17th Century. It was a film of my living room with The Goonies on in the background, and it had Wikipedia text in subtitles, about the Invasion, and I chose to illustrate the English and the Spanish by having a San Miguel lager and a Lamb’s Navy Rum, so it would go down as the film went down. And I cut it down to ten minutes from an hour or so. A few people took the idea of power and authority and ran with it, and it was quite interesting, but there were some people that didn’t really do that and just used it to bolster their own thingy.
G: Without naming any names.
J: damn right. I’m professional here. Let me tell you about John Trainer, who has made video work about the link between perfume ads and the dark gods of Atlantis. So he had images of the dark gods, and then, ripped internet adverts for Touch Of Pink, Lacoste, etc in a very nasty, noisy, hard-to-listen-to way. All about evil and advertising, boiled down. Saturday night was busy, that was the bands night. One of the prerequisites of the show was that you had to invite at least two people to do something, musical or otherwise. Joe Robertson made some lovely Tortoisey noise, Martin Creed was there to see it.
G: Feel free to namedrop some more, Jamie.
J: Nah, I think that was it, really. We had about 150 people each day come down to see it.
G: Let’s get back… to the future. What happens next? And what should a creative human do if they wanted to get working on Propeller Island.
J: Well, we’re organizing satellite events, including one in April, but not at the same venue. We like this being an island that keeps moving, as in the book. It docks, and then gets into trouble with cannibals and stuff, then a new adventure. It’s a fairly wide-themed book. There’s lots you can glean from it, but I think from now on, themes can be really opened up. We don’t need constrictions in this. As for new collaborators, they can get in touch via the blog site.
What about you? What do you think of it all?
G (pauses for a while): I see it as part of a trend away from the preciousness of art, and getting a communal art, that gets people having a laugh, in art. There’s as much to be said for something that’s just playful as there might be for something that’s the most amazing concept, or the finest brushwork, or whatever. It’s a kind of levelling. For decades, artists have been saying “hey, everybody’s an artist”, but they haven’t really acted like they mean it. Something like Propeller Island, which is a friendly, welcoming Island, says leap onto our shores, do what you do, and we’ll find the way in which it’s beautiful, in which it’s art.
J: Yeah, we’ve opened it up with the musical elements, a bit of stand-up, just to make it somewhere that people will just go for stuff. So the artist-nonartist divide is left way behind, a totally defunct question. If it’s done without bullshit or pretence, then it will be good, whatever. If it’s art or not, I think, is a bad question. If it’s interesting or not, that’s a good question. And whether it’s something where you feel somebody’s really involved, rather than doing something to forward themselves as an entity, or blow their own trumpet. And hopefully this will snowball into something interesting for lots and lots of people, not just the few who started it. It’s difficult, you know, because everybody feels pressure to say “I’ve been doing this, or that”, to say you’ve been doing well. It’s really annoying. And I fall into the trap every time. To make it sound good, when really you should just make sure you’re doing something you feel for. I’d rather work less, and do more of this, but we’re all victims of the way of the world. I’m happy with Propeller Island, and I think everybody involved was too.
G: Does the spectre of Chelsea cast much influence on the Island?
J: Well, I started on the PG.Dip course before I shifted. On that course, they really ask you to challenge yourself. I know a lot of courses say that, but this one really does. They don’t want to know what you think art is, they just want you to get on with it. Since the middle of 2007, I haven’t painted, not because I think it’s outmoded, but it’s just not for me now. The courses, for the last two years has made me stop worrying about, say, going through the motions because you’re good at a certain method, or practised in it. Over that time, I’ve been quite scared, and not sure about what I’m doing because it’s not in a format that I’m used to. And that, to me, is an interesting place to be.
G: Would you say there’s a consensus amongst the Chelsea Class of ’08?
J: There is a contingent that would agree to that, but there’s also a fair few people who just joined the course so they could put it on their CV. Whenever we had group tutorials, or crit tutorials, they just wouldn’t want to know. If you said something a bit different, or you saidthat their work wasn’t working for such and such reasons, they’d get all defensive and shut up, and just produce the same stuff. Not everybody needs to change their work, but it seemed to me that the people who didn’t need to change their work did, and those that did need to change their work, didn’t. That’s my opinion, of course, but anyway, I loved being there. You’re a full time artist, and it’s very difficult to be that, unless you’re a student. That’s what I liked about it. What I didn’t like about it was the institutional, homogenizing effect. It pains me a little, for a course that has produced a lot of good artists, to lack the sense of enquiry. The tendency to please the teacher seeps into a lot of people’s work, and that’s bad.
I think that there’s no particular school of thought at any artschool, anymore. I suppose you could say that the Royal College has a kind of swish, funded kind of you-can-do-anything thing to it. Adding money to something can make the possibilities of your work maybe more interesting. Anecdotally, I lost my cameras after the show, and I was devastated. I got drunk and left them in the pub. The next day, I felt terrible for a bit, and then, I just thought it’s just stuff, isn’t it? You’ve lost a lot of photographs, but so what. Get on with it. I was just so locked into the “get money, buy stuff” thing. It’s wrong. I see it in relation to my essay on education. It reminds me of this guy from the seventies. He’s called John Holt, and his book’s called Instead Of Education. It’s a really lucidly written book, too basic at points. He talks about the need for letting children do what they want. They’re inquisitive by nature, he was saying. It’s not as easy as that, I realise, but there shouldn’t be these strictures on success and failure. And I suppose people could look at me and say “look, you’re not earning lots of money and you’re bitter”, but I don’t think I am. I’m alright with it.
G: About your interest in education, there’s education and education, isn’t there? The leftist tendency which is prevalent amongst pedagogues has created an institution which is more focused upon allowing kids’ creative spirits to flourish than actually teaching them, and certainly more than is necessary. I would have thought that we have centuries of evidence that even in the most stifling environments, kids will find their creative path. In fact, if you institutionalise their creativity, that’s the really stifling path. If you have every door open, and everything hanging on their creative whims, that’s not really fostering creativity.
J: One of the big reasons for doing an MA… well, I wanted to learn more about what I was doing, and that’s a difficult question, in itself, because you can’t expect tutors to tell you “oh, you need to know this, know this, and so on”, but also because you’re working within a system that is a certain way, like a gallery system. That can be really good, but also really boring and annoying. I joined partly for that reason, but also because my parents kept asking “so, what can you do now you’ve got your Masters? Can you teach?” That’s the only thing they can see me doing! My mum cleans posh people’s houses, my dad drives a fucking car for people, he’s a chauffeur. And they want better for me. And better to them means more money. And that’s understandable. I did some BA teaching, and that’s demoralising within an institution. For me, anyway. I had some conversations about interesting stuff, the ideas behind people’s work. And I’d get in the flow, and suggest people look at this and that, try this and that, and to see them just looking back blankly. You’re at BA – what are you doing? I think there are a lot of people who go to Chelsea because of the past and the famous Alumni. Maybe that’s an overly negative way to look at it, but it is there.
G: I imagine you see a fair bit of wrongheadedness also in your slave job at Tate Britain.
J: There are a lot of people who visit the blockbuster exhibitions, say Monet or whatnot, not to see the exhibition, but to make sure that they’ve seen it. They can say to people that they’ve seen an exhibition, normally mid- to late fifties, affluent, middle or upper class, and they listen to the audioguide, which is usually a load of trite nonsense. Yes, you can quote me on that! They stand there, going “it’s marvellous, marvellous”, but there are some really bad curatorial decisions in the Van Dyck, say. And the contemporary shows are just as bad, though it’s the other end of the spectrum. Trustafarians, quirkily dressed, Fucking grrrr… I’m just ranting, now. I just don’t like most of the people that (falls about laughing in his anguish). Because culture makes you better, doesn’t it? Culture makes you better!
(We then muse on the image of Gerhard Richter arriving at the National Portrait Gallery, looking at the ticket office where he has to hang his series of distinguished 19th and 20th Century portraits, saying “there’s nothing I can do here, and I don’t give a shit cos it’s just a loadf stuff from the 70s, so why not just put them in a big triangle up the stairs”, taking a briefcase full of cash and going home.)
J: ALL THE MYSTIQUE AND MAGIC OF ART HAS GONE, HASN’T IT???
Obviously, Mr. Dyson doesn’t really believe that. Art’s just on the move, right now. Island hopping. Maybe one day, an iconic Propeller-retrospective will take all the magic out of that too. For the time being: Watch this space.
The next Isle, Power Of A Dischord, will be at The Bear, Camberwell on the 9th of May. Visit the blogspot and the Will Oldham enlisting a tribe of happy marching ants with a melodica, order this tune soon blossoms and grows, and then signs off with a wink, and a doff of its hat, after slapping its thigh. Yet there is beauty and depth to it. And frank, tender love.
The b-sides develop the same character, an exuberant brotherhood of special handshake rebels out on the road, adventuring and refracting their adventures through a succession of groove-flips, and tonal wonks, with occasional pause for thought. Bless them. It’s a really good CD.
But look, there is more joy to be had! There’s a 12” version, which features some remix action courtesy of Four Tet and White Williams. These are very worthy bits of work. It’s not remix in a filler way, no house beats with bits of sample flopped on top. These are serious deconstruction/ reconstruction works, taking the character and style of the band, and reshaping the whole business into what would work as standalone electronica, with very beautiful results. I suppose it’s a perk to being a guitar band signed to Warp. The Four Tet effort on I Need A Life is particularly good. It’s a shame that only the vinylhounds get all that loving. I’ll be using it more as thoughtful bedroom moods, than as dancefloor filler. Don’t miss out.
You can purchase bits and bobs of the Born Ruffians repertoire on their myspace.
After listening to Dan Deacon‘s brand new cd BROMST I immediately got in touch with him to find out more. He was kind enough to give me a moment of his time:
You said that ‘Bromst’ is less plasticy than ‘Spiderman of the rings’. Could you tell me what you mean by this?
Well every sound on SOTR is synthetic or synthesized except for the vocals and the one sample of woody woodpecker, pilule and even those are process and altered heavily. Bromst has a lot of acoustic and non-manipulated “organic” sounds. It`s a mixture of acoustic and electronic sounds.
You once said that you try to make music that 6-year-olds would think is awesome, Do you think these kids will still think Bromst is awesome?
That quote has haunted me like a ghost.
Could you tell me how Wham City began and what it comprised of? I was sorry to read that it’s over, what happened?
Wham city is not over. It`s just not a place anymore. It`s a collective of arts that works together under the same moniker.
Do you all still work together and feed off each other inspirationally?
Are you involved with any other projects?
I book a festival called whartscape. Jimmy Roche and I are working on a squeal to ultimate reality and I’d like to finally finish my production of Peter Pan.
Your work has been heavily involved with community. Does Bromst also fit in with this?
I think so, mainly in the live performance of it.
I found out about you on an outsider music network on yahoo! Do you consider yourself an outsider musician?
Nope. What about me would make me an outsider musician? That is also a totally classist and dated term that I’ve always thought was total bullshit. Outside of what?
I heard you were coming back to the UK but there’s no info on your webpages. Are you planning to come back?
Totally. There will be a show booked through upset the rhythm, we’re just waiting on getting the whole tour confirmed before we announce it.
Keep looking out for updates on Deacon’s Myspace.
It was an unlikely spot, information pills sitting in the basement of a theatre in Dalston, East London, to hear about an idea which is both revolutionary and amazingly simple at the same time. I had come along to a meeting called Transition Town Hackney, and while I had read up a little on the concept, I wasn’t too sure what to expect. So to say that my mind was blown a little is not much of an understatement. But there I am getting ahead of myself. Lets rewind a bit and talk about the Transition Town principles before I delve in further;
“In response to twin pressures of peak oil and climate change, some pioneering communities in the UK, Ireland and beyond are taking an integrated and inclusive approach to reduce their carbon footprint and increase their ability to withstand the fundamental shift that will accompany peak oil.”
Still with us? Basically, some clever and forward thinking folks have realised that we need to rethink the way in which we are living. Driving 4×4′s around, taking hundreds of flights a year, and putting politicians like George Bush in charge of the planet have been just a few things that have led to global warming and left us in what is widely believed to be the position of Peak oil ( the point in time when the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production enters terminal decline.) So, Transition Town is the idea is to equip your community with the tools to make it self sufficient and sustainable, build up the community and strengthen the local ties. Imagine a road map, but of a town.
You have all the elements which collectively make a town; economy, health, agriculture, energy, food etc. Then you imagine how to creatively adapt all of these issues in order for them to result in a sustainable future for the town and for its inhabitants. So anyone who wishes to join Transition Town – and all are welcome – will become part of these growing communities. One message that I particularly liked at the meeting was that ‘Transitioning is everything-ist’. It is not religious, it is not a decree, it is more like a way of thinking – that you want yourself, and where you live to become more self sufficient.
So, this brings us back to the Transition Town Hackney event. The great thing about it being held in a theatre is that you can go to the bar before hand and bring along a beer. Hurrah! The evening began with some words by a woman who was part of Transition Town Tooting. (Seriously, these TT’s are popping up everywhere). She explained the principles – which you can find here. After that, we divided into a few groups to talk about specific issues; I went with the topic which I have an inexhaustible knowledge about – food. We chatted about ways in which we can grow our own vegetables, which can require a lot of thought and imagination when you are living in the center of London. Many had ingenious ways of getting around the whole – living in a concrete sprawl without an allotment – kinds of issues. One girl had contacted the lovely people at Growing Concerns, a community based East London gardening and landscaping team, who will come and visit if you have a garden (however small), and advise what plants and vegetables will be grown with most success. She was looking forward to seeing what can be grown in her garden. Another man sat down and offered up his large patch of land near Victoria Park, logically pointing out that he didn’t know how to garden, but would like to see it used to its full potential. I got a kick out of the synchronicity of this.
After the meeting, my curiosity was piqued, and I was generally intrigued by the idea of a town as built up as Hackney aiming to become self sufficient. I chatted with Robyn, one of the Transition Towners, and she told me that it is not just Hackney in London which is setting up at TT. Others include Stoke Newington, the aforementioned Tooting, and the initial London Transition Town, Brixton. So obviously, the aim is not to make these towns into bucolic replicas of country villages, but to utilise what the town brings to the table to its fullest potential. So for example, working with groups who have come places in the world where they have strong farming skills and are used to living in a much more sustainable way then we do in Britain. I asked how Transition Town aims to grow, and get more communities involved, and I was told that the key is not to force people into feeling that they need to join this group – rather than being an ‘Us and them’ concept, the aim is to alert more people, though talks, events and even film screenings, of the issues of climate change and peak oil. Once you realise how real these issues are, you naturally want to gravitate towards a logical and practical response, and that usually means setting out to becoming more self sufficient.
So could you become part of Transition Town? I think I will. If you are curious, then come along to the next meeting at the Arcola Theatre on April 20th 7pm.
- Brixton makes transition
- Hackney Green Party – Greens Are Good For You!
- Guerilla Gardening – the community led action
- Staging a Sunday to Remember: Green Sundays at The Arcola Theatre
- Hackney City Farm Gets A Green Thumbs Up