Sunday, 29 June 2008
Wednesday, 25 June 2008
I've been waiting for this moment for a year and then it happens while I'm out of town. From my office window I've been watching the building grow, then I spend two days at Earl's Court with students exhibiting at the D&AD New Blood graduate fair and the sedum finally starts to be laid creating a green roof on the new UCS Ipswich waterfront building. It might look cloudy but in this heat they've got hoses running on it as it goes down to keep it alive while it settles in. I now can't wait to see it change colour with the seasons. I've been asked to pick rooms I want to lecture in next year, I wonder if they'll let me do it on the roof?
Wednesday, 18 June 2008
Above: a photo of an unidentifiable artist at hac, an event staged as part of the Ipswich Pulse Fringe Festival. The flyer stated...
"hac brings together local, national and international artists working in the intersection of technology, science and the arts. The concert features performances which utilise wearable computing , live coding, hacking, DIY electronics, and digital performance. The performances are multi-disciplinary and innovative, searching for new ways of engaging the audience and artist through computer code, wearable technologies and homemade devices.
Through the course of the evening new computer programs will be written live in front of your eyes, codes shift and morph, sounds and visuals emerge and explode: human movements make 3D worlds shift and stutter: hacked programs shriek and spew out their internal circuits. The performances will span from sonic soundscapes, experimental noise and feedback loops to electronica and techno."
I was hoping for an exciting and cutting edge evening. What I got was very poor visuals that were nothing more than screensavers accompanied by a few interesting noises. For the most part it was unrefined and experimental. No artist, except for PixelH8 announced their name and his ability to reconfigure old games machines to create 2008 eurobeat didn't exactly blow me away. The artist that held my attention the most was a guy who calls himself ZeroPointEnergy, or so I was told by a reliable source. He had strapped to his arms and head cables that clearly changed and altered the pitch of the noises emanating from his MacBook as he rocked and swayed over it. While throughout the rest of the evening there were interesting sounds being created, and this generated a hope that there would be some development and flow in the soundscapes to get a hold of, mostly sets wallowed and ebbed and didn't really go anywhere and people voted with their feet, displaying a complete lack of interest in the violent aural ambiance of it all. Personally, I've never seen the point of experimentation as an outcome. Sure, take the product of experimentation and give it definition and form, but I'm afraid most of the acts on display were nothing more than pretentious technicians asking too much of an Ipswich audience. Their sets were over long and there was absolutely no correlation between the visuals and the noise to hold attention.
Never the less, I applaud the organizers for putting on this event. Although I'd planned to attend hac for a while, an hour before I left the house I received an email from my brother announcing he'd received an email from a friend in Prague informing him about the event. Is this indicative of the fact that Ipswich is getting more culturally interesting, or is it indicative of the fact there is an extremely small pool of people who are vaguely interested in experimental music?
Saturday, 14 June 2008
Friday, 13 June 2008
Thanks to CannedFilm.com Dubdog's Contractual Freedom will get another outing, this time as part of the Ip-Art festival.
In the words of the organisers:
"Hello and welcome to the first film festival being presented at Film-Space , a Photo-Space initiative. We are very proud to be presenting this film festival as part of the IP-Arts festival for 2008. In collaboration with CannedFilm.com Cara Govan has put together an excellent selection of film shorts, animation, documentaries, music videos and experimantal works. Festival Dates are 11th & 12th July and the festival takes place at Exposure, the premiere photographic gallery and training center
12-14 Princes Street, Ipswich IP1 1QT.
Times are : 12-4pm and 6-10pm.
On both evenings one ticket buys you access to the special feature film presentation along with music shorts, documentaries, and live musical performances to specially created visuals. Tea or coffee included in the ticket price, other refreshments available at the bar.
Tickets £3.00 per night or £5 ticket booked in advance gives you both nights. To book call 01473 214300 or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org"
Monday, 9 June 2008
Video clip: Bank Station.
London, June 2008.
Faced by a concave animated advertising hoarding, travel weary heads gaze on, distracted from reality by moving pixels. Then an advert for the medium appears between the products, selling to the sellers. "Welcome to London's newest form of advertising...we hope it captures your imagination," it states. The thought of peoples imaginations behind steel bars comes to mind, detained in advert-land, devoid of free thought and individuality! A virtual camp x-ray. I don't want my imagination captured, thank you very much.
Friday, 6 June 2008
This is Experimental Jetset at the D&AD President Lectures last night at Logan Hall, London. A great presentation despite their nerves, the fact they were reading from a script that they hadn't rehearsed and that Erwin kept disappearing below the table to fetch printed material to hold up in front of a lecture theatre with what must have held over 700 people as if he were showing it to 20 people round a table. They were self deprecating, warm, human and displayed no pretensions or sense that they were 'superstar' designers. Their passion for graphic design and the clarity with which they explained the processes with which they approached projects and arrived at solutions was captivating. I came away enriched.
If you want to see Danny, Erwin and Marieke in action, there's a Quicktime clip on the Helvetica film site here.