Having begun their incarnation as a Cycling Cinema which premiered at 2007′s Big Chill Festival, and capsule The Magnificent Revolution have progressed into all types of creative, information pills imaginative and inspirational forms in which to educate people about renewable energy and ecology. If you were around East London on Sunday 26th April, adiposity you might have caught their outdoor, bicycle powered film screening of Nanook of the North. This was projected onto a wall of a warehouse building in Hackney, which also serves as the location for the next wave of art, music, discussion and peddling power which will be taking place this coming Saturday, 2nd May.
So, what did I miss on Sunday?
“We held an outdoor cinema screening – there is no electricity or power in the building, and we felt that this was an amazing opportunity to use our bike generators to power a screening. Last week we screened Nanook of The North; we chose it because it is a documentary about the harsh reality of living in a truly remote, isolated environment which is devoid of all the mod cons of our society – so there is a nice dialogue between what we are doing with this building space, and the fact that it is a barren canvas for us to work with. Also, Nanook is based in an isolated community and the fact that we can project this story onto a building in built up Hackney – (laughs) – we felt that we had a strange contrast between the Hackney area and the icy tundras of North America!”
Can you tell me a little more about the events that are taking place this weekend?
“This Saturday, we have a programme of art and workshops running from 12.00 – 8.00 pm at 6 Orsman Road, Hackney. The main event is a live art installation and some video pieces created by a few of the Eastern European artists that are connected to the group who are occupying the ground floor of the building. They are in the process of installing site specific works which are dealing with the history of the premises – it used to be an old vinyl building. It was closed down about two years ago, has been left dormant, and is now in the process of planning permission to be torn down and rebuilt as as a five story apartment building. Obviously this is will obscure the views of the canal and block a lot of the light, and most of the local residents are unhappy with these plans, so there has been a lot of support for what we are doing, and the fact that we are bringing attention to the fact that people don’t want these new buildings springing up.”
So who else is involved in the activities?
“There are various different organisations that are feeding into the project and we go by the collective name of Resistance Unit. Within that is Magnificent Revolution, which is basically an environmental education project. We have developed the bicycle generators which we tour around schools, and we also do festivals and events – we teach people about renewable energy sources and using the bicycle generators is a nice way to get people to understand the amount of power which is needed to power the households, and it also gets them to reassess their energy use.
As well as Massive Revolution, we have also got a group called Data Blender involved for Saturday- they are a dance collective, and they do various parties around London in abandoned buildings. Basically, we are providing a platform in which people can come down to the space and utilise in a creative way. So anyone who pitches up can take part – the exhibition will be taking up the space downstairs and upstairs will be workshops. During the day we will be running a workshop on how to make your own bike generator – we will take you through the process that we have been through in order to produce your own generators, you can learn more about the context of what we do, and then you can download further information off our internet site. So all in all, it should be a good introduction to bike power and renewables.
With regards to the rest of the day, from 4.00-6.00pm we will have an open drawing club. This is a session run by a friend of ours, Sebastian who is an amazing art teacher. There will also be discussions about art and philosophy as well as the experimental drawing! After this, from 6.00 -8.00 pm there will be a bike powered open jam session held on the roof terrace where we held the Nanook screening. It promises to be an interesting day!”
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