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Friday, 29 May 2009

We're Having So Much Fun!


Pick of the Week - 20.05.09

Pick of the Week comes out every Friday and is busting with reviews and descriptions of all the cultural activities our Artsbloggers recommend for the week ahead. You should read it, because these guys know all kinds of insider-tips about what's going on in the worlds of performance, live art, theatre, art and film, and share the best of them here.

Show – Chosen by Sam
TPO Company, Butterflies
Touring May - July 2009, suitable for 3 to 8 years

In this amazing kid’s show TPO will allow children to follow the life of a butterfly, from larvae to fully grown, using their Children’s Cheering Carpet and motion capture technology. Created for those of 3 and up, the Children’s Cheering Carpet (CCC) is a touch sensitive carpet that triggers images and sound, creating a virtual landscape for performers and the audience. Motion capture sensors enable images to be triggered by breath and light, creating images on the white carpet and two large wings. Images and sounds are created in real time, making the audience the artist as well as the two performers, and an opportunity to get hands all over TPO’s technology. TPO are one of Italy’s most distinguished visual theatre companies, and have been producing well-received children’s shows since 1981.

Magazine – Chosen by Carly
Art and Things

Designed to highlight emerging talent in, well, art and things (photography, writing, music, performance art, graphic design etc.) this original magazine is humorously and intelligently written and beautifully laid out. Every issue I've found something/someone/some band to inspire me and fall in love with - consequently I have several art crushes on the people who've been featured. Check out the short story 'A Well-Oiled Heart' by Stefan Podsiadly in this issue - a wonderfully creepy tale! You can read it online, pick one up at a range of shops and venues, or send them a little message and ask them nicely to send one straight to your door! Can't ask fairer than that and it's free, free, free for all that talent!

Event – Chosen by all of us
Artsblog Live
7.30pm, Friday 29 May, , Toynbee Studios, free

We couldn’t resist quickly plugging tonight’s event, taking place at Toynbee Studios to mark the end of Artsblog Live Week. Okay, it’s being organised by the Artsbloggers, so we’re a little biased, but even if we say so ourselves, this looks damned good fun! Come along and try out some surprisingly lo-fi versions of social networking tools, join us in creating an online collaborative piece of work, or even grab five minutes of fame by featuring in the recording of the final Newsflash. The bar will be open, all the Artsbloggers (at least those who’re Lodon based!) will be here in person for you to chat to, and we’ve got a few secret tricks up our sleeve, to keep you all on your toes. Don’t miss it! Also, don’t forget to check out everything we’ve done so far this week here on the Artsblog.

Exhibition – Chosen by Alison
FORS (Rethinking the Altermodern )
4-76th June, 12-6pm (Saturday 6th open until 10pm)
The Rag Factory, 16-18 Heneage St, E1 5LJ

Altermodern was a recent exhibition at Tate Britain where curator Nicholas Bourriard labels the current globalized state of the world as being 'altermodern' (post post-modernism). Lots of people, although appreciating the work in the exhibition, thought his theory was a load of rubbish. FORS is Chelsea student, Samantha Cotton’s response to this.

Residency – Chosen by Rosalie
In My Shoes, Parachutes and Puzzles at Blast Theory, Brighton

Ever wondered what it would be like to inhabit someone else’s body for a while? Well, here’s your opportunity…Brighton based performance and media artists Parachutes and Puzzles have just begun an exciting new residency at the studios of Blast Theory, during which you’ll be able to do just that (well, sort of). The piece they’re working on, IN MY SHOES, is a screen-based performance work which will create a ‘wearable film,’ allowing the viewer to seemingly inhabit the body of the performer. By wearing a pair of video goggles, with the projected image of the performer’s body performing certain actions on two tiny screens inside, participants experience a sensation known as the ‘body swapping illusion’. The artists predict that this feeling will confuse participants to the extent that they’ll be possessed by a real sense of ‘ownership’ of the body whose movements they’re witnessing. Parachutes and Puzzles are looking for participants to test their work in progress during the residency – contact them here

Exhibition - Chosen by Oyinda
2nd Biennale, Greece
Praxis: Art in Times of Uncertainty
24th May - 27th of September

‘Praxis: Art in Times of Uncertainty’ is the theme and title of this year’s 2nd Biennale of Contemporary Art, which the State Museum of Contemporary Art/ Costakis Collection is putting together from the 24th May until the 27th of September 2009. Curators of the 2nd Biennale are Olabisi Silva from Nigeria, Gabriela Salgado from Argentina and Syrago Tsiara, director of the Contemporary Art Center of Thessaloniki.

Exhibition – Chosen by Lisa
Picasso: Challenging the Past, National Gallery, London
until 7th of June, Adults £12, concession and seniors £11, students and unemployed £6, under 12s free.

Picasso's work is familiar to anyone who knows half a thing about art but this exhibition only has a sprinkling of well known pieces so there'll be a lot of works you probably haven't seen up close and personal. The theme of this exhibition looks at the influences of the past on Picasso's work, including a section on Picasso's own versions of the works of great masters like Manet.

Magazine – Chosen by Joanne

This brand spanking online zine-come-blog is dedicated to art in all its forms. Run from London and Brighton they write reviews, news, previews and listings. They accept submissions too…subject to, as they put it: ‘vetting process and brutal initiation rituals’. Email them for details.

Event – Chosen by Rosalie
Cabaret without Borders – Talks and Performances for Free Movement
6 – 9:30pm, Wednesday 3rd June
Rochelle school, Arnold Circus, E2 7ES
£8/£5 concession

This convivial evening of satirical artistic interventions, passionate political rhetoric and personal testimonies is aimed at celebrating free movement for all and opposition to the Home Office's new Visa controls for visiting artists and academics. The evening comes from the Manifesto Club's Visiting Artists Petition, and is supported by A Foundation and Artsadmin. Bring your own alcohol! See the Manifesto Club’s website for full details.


Thursday, 28 May 2009

'Sneak Preview' the finale!

The end is nigh, as my show comes to its end, will it be a climax or just fizzle out into the forgotten?! I thought I would take this opportunity for one last self indulgent plug! COME AND SEE MY SHOW PLEEEEASE!

I do feel a little guilty asking my friends to come and do it all again - look at me and all my work, indulge me and support me! But I think I've earnt it over the years - going to their shows and various functions, its all part of the game - you come to mine and I'll come to yours and hopefully some other people will turn up too! Its been well worth the effort though - I have found myself an audience and I think doors have been opened! I certainly feel more confident about what I'm doing and people have started to take me more seriously as an artist/photographer, even though I've been showing them stuff for years, now its up on a wall it seems to mean something to them! Blimey I'm even being called an artist over a teacher! Its good to shake it up a bit and lose the labels! But come next week half the work will be packed away, hidden from view, taking up valuable storage space in my little flat, I wanna make more but what to do with it all? On the other hand I've actually sold quite a few and they'll be going up in new places, being seen by more people which is really cool! And exciting! Yes lets do more and have another show but where next???? Any offers?!

'Sneak Preview' closing party Saturday the 30th May 4-7pm EDVI public house, 25 Bromfield St. Angel N1 OPZ (open daily 12-10pm, Free)
See previous post titled 'Sneak Preview' in April for more details... Read more...

Here are our wonderful Artsbloggers on the Peachy Coochy Stage at the David Gale Peachy Coochy Nites.
A round of applause for being so f*&king cool, and giving mad props to LOL CATS and Mums on facebook.

See you all tomorrow in real life in the Arts bar and cafe for the Arts blog live event.
woop woop


Our on-the-spot reporter headed out to the countryside last night to report back on the Artsblog's alternative marketing strategy. The Artsbloggers have been disseminating their thoughts and opinions about art not via the usual Blog but by writing them down and sending them out in the form of paper airplanes. Who were the lucky people who received them, and have we attracted any new audiences who would usually engage with us through the internet?

Don't forget that the Artsblog live week culminates in the LIVE EVENT tomorrow at 7pm in the Arts Bar and Cafe at Toynbee Studio EC1 6AB. So come along and join in on this fresh look at the ideas behind user generated content, and you never know, you might end up featured on the Artsblog!
You lucky peeps.

Include the summary of your post here.

And the rest of it here.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Live Week Podcasts

It's day three of Live Week, and last night's Discussion Event went fantastically. Thanks very much to all our contributors, both those who turned up to Toynbee Studios in person, and those who joined us online. A very interesting conversation resulted and was streamed live - watch the recording below.

Today, we've got something new for you - a pair of specially recorded Artsblog Postcasts. Click on your selected podcast above to listen - choose from the Aldgate Tour with Juicy du Jour, or the Soundscape tour from Liverpool Street Station. Both have been designed to accompany you as you make your way to Toynbee Studios for the Live Week Interactive Event this Friday, (May 26, see the Artsblog Live post below for full details), but both can be listened to elsewhere and at your leisure instead if desired.

Podcast 1: The Aldgate Tour with Juicy du Jour
Join Juicy du Jour, the sparkly burlesque gem from the streets of Paris, on the dirty streets of Aldgate. We'll shimmy our way to the Artsadmin Blog Launch together, whilst discovering a little about the ghosts of beauties past. Wear your highest heels or toppiest top hat, and keep an eye out for the Ripper, as we leave a trail of glitter and blood all the way to the door of Toynbee Hall...

Map: The Aldgate Tour with Juicy de Jour

Podcast 2: Soundscape Tour from Liverpool Street Station
This podcast is a collage of sounds recorded in and around the East London area. All the voices and noises were captured in the vicinity of Commercial Street over the last few days. There's no need to follow a specific route while listening, although certain sounds may indicate the whereabouts of the original recording. Start at Liverpool Street station and walk to the Artsblog Live Event on Friday, or enjoy it next time you're nearby.

We'd love to hear how you got on... tell us about your experiences in the comment section. Read more...

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Live Week Discussion - Live Stream

Online live from 7.30pm... watch and participate in the Artsblog Live Week Discussion by clicking here, or by joining us in person in the Brick Room at Toynbee Studios. The following group of individuals – who all spend their time writing about, observing and performing art works, music, fashion and current affairs on the internet – will be coming along and getting involved in the conversation:

Tassos Stevens (theatre-maker & game-designer, Coney)
Isabell O’Carroll (blogger, Catwalk Queen and Brandish)
Anna Goss (music manager, music blogger and blog PR)
Linda Duffy (artist, ‘Encounters’: Accidental Festival)
Holly Revell (teacher and photographer)
Ben Beaumont-Thomas (blogger, Bad Idea Magazine and
Justin Allen (artist, Switch Performance)
Ant Hampton (artist and performance maker, Rotozaza & The Other People)
… and the Artsbloggers themselves (yes – you’ll be able to meet these cultured wordsmiths in person!)

They'll all be open to your questions, please do log on and interrogate them (kindly, of course) about art, the internet and all things blog-related! To do this, click here to go to the live discussion on the Usteam site. Find the 'chat' tab (next to the twitter feed on the right of the screen where the action is being steamed live) and type in your comments. We'll feed these into the discussion for you, and you'll hear the participants instant response!

Artsbloggers are taking over the streets

It's the second day of our live week and this morning our bloggers headed out to the streets of East London, fighting wind and rain to bring you important updates about how they're getting ready for the live event on Friday 7.30 pm, Toynbee Studios.

Join us this evening online to talk to our amazing panel of artists and bloggers. We'll be streaming here on the blog, and at There's a 'chat' option too, so if you're watching online, please do respond to the conversation, and we'll communicate your remarks to the group!

See you tonight!

Monday, 25 May 2009

Artsbloggers take to the streets

It's up, its new it's the first newsflash of our Live Week.
Admittedly this isn't very live as you might guess from the youtube logo at the bottom but hey it's back holiday Monday so we did this last Friday at Liverpool street station.
Our bloggers took to the street to tell Londons city workers about all the things taking place this week.

Tomorrow we will be hosting the live art and the internet discussion...tune in and ask the bloggers and artists whatever you want! 7.30pm

Follows us all week as we prepare for the ArtsBlog Live Event on Friday were you can come and join in, in real life some art and internet related fun times. Read more...


After much preparation we’re all set, and frantic with excitement – welcome Artsblog Live Week! And what a programme we’ve got planned for you... with two fantastic live events, accompanied by a deluge of online activity, including videocasts, tweets, podcasts, blogging and more. It’s all aimed at exploring how artists and audiences interact with, talk about and create art works using the internet. More than that though, it’s also a celebration of the achievements of the Artsblog to-date. Have a quick scroll through the blog archive - with a huge range of live art, theatre and exhibition reviews, and coverage ranging from national service in Nigeria to un-appreciative Turner Prize visitors, the atheist bus campaign to performance art it any wonder we’re rather proud of ourselves? Read on for full Live Week line up details...

Released at 3pm on Monday 25, Tuesday 26th and Thursday 28th May

Streamed live from 8pm on Friday 29

Log on to the Artsblog to see live videocast footage of the Artsbloggers preparing for the ‘Artsblog Live’ event on Friday, and then take part yourself on May 26th. Expect a quirky take on everything from promotion to some rather physical preparation, all with the comic and unusual slant of our diverse set of Artsbloggers. Newsflash 5 will be streamed directly from the ‘Artsblog Live’ event on 29 May, enabling an intimate insider-view of Friday night’s action, as it unfolds.

Downloadable from the Artsblog, from 12pm, Wednesday 27 May

Download a podcast walking tour to guide you on your journey to the Artsblog Live event on Friday 29, or just to listen to and follow at your leisure. Choose from two Podcasts recorded by our Artsbloggers: a burlesque Jack the Ripper Tour or a soundscape DJ set, both based in the area around Commercial Street, London E1, with one starting at Liverpool Street Station and the other at Aldgate East Tube.

7.30pm, Tuesday 26 May, Brick Room, Toynbee Studios, free

Join us at Toynbee Studios or online, here on the Artsblog, for a round table discussion that everyone can get involved with. A group of performers, bloggers and artists will be invited to share their views on the relative merits and complications of using the internet as a space to present work, and will be open to your questions. We’ll discuss issues such as developing new audiences, questions of ‘quality’, notions of truth and representation, and the impact of all this online activity on ‘real life’ books, print media and art. The following group of individuals – who all spend their time writing about, observing and performing art works, music, fashion and current affairs on the internet – will be attending and giving their views:

Tassos Stevens (theatre-maker & game-designer, Coney)
Isabell O’Carroll (blogger, Catwalk Queen and Brandish)
Anna Goss (music manager, music blogger and blog PR)
Linda Duffy (artist, ‘Encounters’: Accidental Festival)
Holly Revell (teacher and photographer)
Ben Beaumont-Thomas (blogger, Bad Idea Magazine and
Justin Allen (artist, Switch Performance)
Ant Hampton (artist and performance maker, Rotozaza & The Other People)
… and the Artsbloggers themselves (yes – you’ll be able to meet these cultured wordsmiths in person!)

7.30pm, Friday 29 May, Artsadmin Arts Bar & Café, Toynbee Studios, free

Witness the virtual and real worlds collide at the Artsblog Live interactive event. Come along and try out some surprisingly lo-fi versions of social networking tools, join us in creating an online collaborative piece of work, or even grab five minutes of fame by featuring in the recording of the final Newsflash.


The Artsblog was set up in September 2008 by Artsadmin and a group of participants from past education and participatory projects at Toynbee Studios, as a way of talking about the arts. It continues to be run by this group of young artists, students, teachers and performers, all of whom are driven by an interest in live art and performance. We all contribute for free, and no money is earned through advertising or sponsorship on the blog. The Artblog is fuelled by our passion for opening up the often small circles formed in the live art and performance world: we want to encourage conversation and debate. It is with these objectives in mind that we have developed the Live Week programme of activity you’re about to experience – get involved!


Friday, 22 May 2009

Pick of the Week 22.05.09

Pick of the Week is your guide to all that's good coming up in the world of culture - compiled by the Artsbloggers and released every Friday. Today's edition is extra special, because we're celebrating the approach of Artsblog Live Week, which starts this Monday, 25th May. During Live Week - a series of events devised and led by the Artsbloggers - we'll be taking over Toynbee Studios, parts of the area around Commercial Street, large chunks of the internet, and yes, then the world. In the meantime, read our recommendations for a whole range of exhibitions, performance, books, events and music to get yourself involved with (when you've got a spare minute in the gaps between all the Artsblog Live events you'll be attending, of course!).

Event – Chosen by Carly
Site-Specific Panel Discussion, The Roundhouse, 23rd May
Part of Accidental Festival, 22 – 24 May

Fancy a bit of intellectual debate? Interested in challenging your assumption of what site-specific performance consists of and how it can work effectively? Or just want to listen to some fascinating people for a little while? Then you need to get to the Site-Specific Panel Discussion at the Roundhouse on the 23rd. Curated as part of The Accidental Festival and chaired by Nick Kaye, it promises to be an interesting and varied discussion on the definition of site-specific theatre, and how it is evolving through various practice. The other speakers include Hilary Westlake, Felix Barrett, Cressida Brown, Joel Scott and Julian Maynard Smith and following their opinions the discussion will be opened to the floor. It's only a tenner, and it really is worth it, as some of these guys are in high-demand!

Also while you're at The Roundhouse , check out Parrot {in the} Tank's 'Excursions', happening throughout the venue, also as part of the Accidental Festival. A nice tie-in for all you site-specific enthusiasts, particularly as The Roundhouse is a labyrinth of brick corridors and glass doors! I'm confident this fairly new company will have pulled something magnificent out the bag once again. Immersive, unusual and beautiful - go see! See the full and extensive line up of The Accidental Festival here.

Event – Chosen by Holly
White Mischief – Journey To The Centre Of The Earth
May 23, 9pm - 4am, Scala, King's Cross, London

In a collaboration between promoters Whoopee and White Mischief come this astounding night featuring vaudeville, aerialists, escapeology, chainsaw juggling, interactive art, theatre, sideshows, six live bands, DJs and more. For further details on White Mischief, including group discounts, how to get tickets in person with no booking fee, dressup inspirations and how to get discounts on costume hire, click here. Reviews of previous events have been glowing: ‘More fun in one night than most venues can manage in a whole year’ (The Guardian), ‘Event of the week, the month, the year’ (Time Out), sounds like it’s worth checking out.

Book – Chosen by Joanne
'The Plague' (La Peste) by Albert Camus

One of the best books that I have ever read! In the town of Oran, thousands of rats, initially going unnoticed by the populace, began to die in the streets. A hysteria develops soon after, causing the local newspapers to report the incident. Authorities responding to public pressure order the collection and cremation of the rats, unaware that the collection itself was the catalyst for the spread of the bubonic plague. The daily number of deaths grows and grows and eventually the town is sealed off and all travel prohibited. The separation affects daily activity and depresses the spirit of the townspeople, who begin to feel isolated and introverted, and the plague begins to affect various characters.

Event – Chosen by Frank
Tony Benn Introduces Two Plays for Gaza – Seven Jewish Children and The Trainer
Thursday 21 May, 7.30pm
Hackney Empire
Book online or call 020 8985 2424

Proceeds from this exciting evening go to the Gaza School of Music and the Stop the War Coalition, with performances by Roger Lloyd Pack, Janie Dee, Jana Zeineddine and others. Caryl Churchill’s Seven Jewish Children will be introduced by Churchill herself, and include some of the cast members from its Royal Court premiere in February 2009. This will be followed by a one hour performed reading of The Trainer by David Wilson & Anne Aylor, exploring a love story between a British Jew and his Palestinian fiancée. Also appearing on the bill will be renowned Palestinian singer, Reem Kelani, rap poet Lowkey and ex-SAS soldier Ben Griffin who will read from the Winter Soldier Investigation into the Vietnam war. The benefit will be introduced by Tony Benn and directed by Tom Platten.

Exhibition – Chosen by Oyinda
William Hunt: "I don't believe you, you're a liar" Open Studio, Camden Arts Centre
and Saturday Night TV an evening of live music and performance in King's Cross.
Midland Goods Shed, off York Way, King's Cross, 30 May 7.30pm, £4

Artist William Hunt has transformed the Artists’ Studio at Camden Arts Centre into a recording studio, and will be based there throughout May. Visitors to the space can book a slot to perform with a lie detector or take in the view from the production box and see recordings of singer-songwriters hooked up to the polygraph machine. The finale of Hunt's residency takes place on 30 May in King's Cross when Hunt will present a major new installation and performance work. A battle of the bands/ X Factor hybrid, the work features live music and tough-talking judges. Call 020 7472 5500 to book a performance slot with the lie detector.

Magazine – Chosen by Rosalie
Notes from the Underground – distributed at major underground stations, free.

Set up as an alternative to the crappy free papers that litter London’s Tubes and Busses, this interesting little magazine comes out monthly. Their aim is to publish the ‘best in new writing covering fiction and arts based non-fiction’, and in their latest offering – issue four – they seem to have done a pretty good job. Included are interviews, poetry, short stories and some random illustrations (particular favourite: Andrew Viner’s bizarre graphs. One compares ‘my siblings’ and ‘things that are heavy’). Tom Kingsley’s ‘Adventure Story’ about a gorilla high on e-numbers, spread in coloured boxes throughout the magazine is another gem. It’s time to stop numbing our brains with the Metro and while-away those commuting hours with something a bit more stimulating. They accept submissions too, so if you’ve always wanted to write but never actually done it, now’s the time. The next edition’s about to come out, and will be distributed free at major underground stations between 8am – 1pm all next week (see here for times/places).

Exhibition – Chosen by Frank
Annette Messager – The Messengers
Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, until Monday 25 May

Annette Messager (born in 1943, lives and works in Paris) is widely regarded as one of Europe's most important contemporary artists. This retrospective presents an overview of the artist's career and reveals her use of an astonishing and affecting repertoire of forms and materials, among them soft toys, stuffed animals, fabrics, wool, photographs and drawings. The work ranges from the smaller conceptually driven pieces Messager made in the early 1970s to the very large sculptural installations of the past 15 years, in which movement plays an increasingly important role. It is an affecting and deeply moving show, instilling discomfort in the viewer through its sense of over-intimacy, yet funny and silly in places too. Despite the occasional flashes of humour, it leaves behind a sense of unease that is hard to shake off.

Performance – Chosen by Joanne
21st to 23rd May
Wondermart by Rotozaza at ASDA
Part of BURST 2009 at BAC

Take part in this exciting new theatre performance that takes you on a journey of re-discovery around the local ASDA supermarket. Wearing headphones and listening to a pre-recorded narrative, you’ll become a player on a magical audio tour. Anonymous behind your trolley, you are both actor and audience – interacting with the drama of an ordinary supermarket unfolding around you.

Event – Chosen by Mark
Transition Towns National Conference, Battersea Arts Centre
22 May - 'Energy Descent Plan', 23 May - 'Speakers to Inspire' both events at 7.30pm
Book online or call 020 7223 2223 for tickets

The Transition movement is a fast-growing, bottom-up response to peak oil and climate change. If you ever feel like these problems seem too big, and you too small, getting involved with the Transition Towns network, and through it the thousands of Transition communities around the world, provides a positive way to start making a difference. Part of the Transition Network Conference, these events at BAC offer an inspiring introduction to the Transition concept and its various aspects, as well as an opportunity to meet others involved and get a sense of the huge possibilities that these challenging times present. The event on the 22nd will introduce the concept of the ‘Energy Descent Plan,’ and subsequently create the largest of these ever made. On the 23rd, an impressive collection of speakers – including co-founder of the network, Rob Hopkins; David Strahan, author of The Last Oil Shock; and eco-psychologist Mary-Jayne Rust - will talk about their involvement, and various issues surrounding the Transition Towns movement.

Talk – Chosen by Alison
Dexter Sinister, ICA, London
Part of Talk Show
30 May 2009

Dexter Sinister's True Mirror Microfiche is an illustrated talk performed by twenty performers at the ICA on Sat 30th May as part of Talk Show. This season of events runs until the end of the month and features a range of live events and artworks all examining different aspects of the act of speech. Dexter Sinister is made up of Stuart Bailey and David Reinfurt who explore alternative distribution strategies and have set up a bookstore/workshop in New York that prints-to-order using machinery in the shop – should definitely be worth a look in, especially as it’s free. The accompanying exhibition looks interesting too, including a Tower of Babel version of the Jungle book by Pierre Bismuth and other art pieces that investigate the
human voice in subtle, humorous or unexpected ways. Book for the Dexter Sinister event by calling 020 7930 3647.

Music - Chosen by Rosalie
La Roux, Quicksand - autoKratz Drags to Riches Mix

Really good remix, which won't fail to stick in your head for whole evenings if you listen to it before going out.

Festival – Chosen by Richard
Junction Sampled: Live Art Weekender
The Junction, Cambridge

This two day exploration of Live Art is a great opportunity for those interested in the genre to immerse themselves in two days performances and discussions, and for those who are new to the art form to dip their toe in the water. Tickets for some events start at just only £2 and there’s a brilliant range of performers.

Exhbition – Chosen by Joanne
The Demographic of a Pigeon Fancier by Victoria Melody
18th to 25th May
Jubilee Square Brighton

What do Northerners think of Southerners? What does Brighton look like when cameras are attached to pigeons? This exhibition presents previously received messages from the public of Cumbria of their opinions of southerners, which were delivered by pigeons to Brighton. Also being exhibited are video portraits of pigeon fanciers, filmed footage of a pigeon's flight over Brighton in March 2009 and an art installation of the piece 'Talking Heads' which plays with dialogue between fanciers. Victoria Melody is an artist who spent 2008 travelling around the UK living with pigeon fanciers, researching stereotypes, Northern-ness, class and Britain's disappearing traditions.

Event – Chosen by Lisa
London MCM Expo, London ExCeL Centre
23 May 11am-6pm and 24 May 11am-5pm
£10 for 15+ years, £5 for 11-14 year-olds, FREE for under 11 year-olds.

This is one for all you geeks out there. Japanese and Western comics, games, cartoons and films are celebrated in this weekend convention that only comes to London twice a year and to the Midlands annually. Guests such as Linda Hamilton (Sarah Connor, 'The Terminator') and James Duval (Frank, 'Donnie Darko') will be appearing, as well as hundreds of cosplayers dressed as their favourite characters. It'll probably be too late to make a costume by now if you don't have one, but if you do, or can throw something together in a jiffy, you could enter the cosplay competition to show off your outfit!

Exhibition – Chosen by Holly
Luke Fowler, Serpentine Gallery
Until June 14th

This series of films by Glaswegian winner of the first Jarman award, currently showing at the Serpentine, focuses on obscure underground music movements and counter cultural figures. Fowler’s films have often been linked to British Free Cinema of the 1950s, whose distinctive aesthetic came out of a conscious decision to engage with the reality of British society. Fowler uses similarly impressionistic sound and editing, and avoids didactic voice-over commentaries and narrative continuity. The results are atmospheric, sampled histories that reverberate with the vitality of the people he studies.


Monday, 18 May 2009

Seeing as a very special week is coming up for Artsadmin Artsblog it got me thinking about blogging and the internet in general as I was checking my Yahoo mail at college. Then I logged out of my account and instead of bringing up the logout page it told me, “SITE BLOCKED”. To log out of Yahoo? Really? WHY?

There’s a reason why many areas of the internet are blocked at schools and colleges. Flash game sites, blogging sites, video sites… it’s all a distraction from concentrating and getting down to some serious work. A lot of workplaces have the most popular distractions/websites blocked, such as Facebook. And, okay, so it’s rather annoying when you’re trying to research candy and the firewall blocks you because it might be porn…
But then you get home…
And all intentions to finish that bit of work and get this thing and that thing out of the way go straight out of the window once that computer goes on and there are a million distractions at your fingertips.
Now, perhaps you’re the kind of person who’s really good at saying… “NO! I shall not check my Facebook for new notifications. I am NOT going to look at LOLCats and spend ages laughing at silly pictures of cute kittens speaking with horrific grammar. NOT UNTIL I FINISH MY WORK.” If so, good on you, and I’d like to meet you just so I can say I know ONE person with such willpower.
If only we had a firewall at home, right? Well, of course not, then we wouldn’t be able to use Facebook and similar ANYWHERE. But what if there were some kind of timer we could set, perhaps it just let us on for an hour when we get home… maybe for a few hours later in the evening… or maybe a kind of meter where we could clock up only a certain amount of hours per day…
But how on Earth would that work? Surely we’d have to be allowed to set our own limits, but how to make it difficult to just switch the home firewall off when we want more time?
Damn it, does that mean we’re just going to have to rely on our willpower to avoid these distractions?
Oh, okay, fine, responsibility must be taken, I shall avoid checking my Facebook every five minutes, I shall only look at a few LOLcats and then shall move on, I HAVE DEADLINES TO MEET! Looking at my notifications is not worth not getting a good response to my final show!

Let me just go on Minekey for a bit and then I swear I’ll get on it…

Friday, 15 May 2009

Pick of the Week - 15.05.09

We're very event-focused in today's Pick of the Week, profiling a range of performances and shows that, we're proud to say, contrast completely in their content. From male burlesque to poetry about place; treehouse workshops, to Brazilian music, there should be something to suit everyone in this range of entertaining goings-on. Of course, since everything on here is chosen by a different one of our Artsbloggers, this difference in taste comes naturally to Pick of the Week. We hope you find the range of viewpoints and preferences make for interesting reading.

Event – Chosen by Holly
The Male Tournament of Tease - Round 2
Thursday 21 May, 8.30pm - 2am
The Bethnal Green Working Men's Club
£8 - tickets on the door

This month, London’s first ever all male burlesque contest, the Male Tournament of Tease, holds its second round at the Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club. The competition is hotting up (ha ha), as contestants compete to make it through to July’s final. Come along and feast your eyes on a delectable selection of snake-hipped acrobatic chaps, competing for some serious cash prizes. Hosted by the Whoopee Club, this promises to be a highly entertaining evening. Just the ticket if you’ve had your fill of lady-led burlesque, but still want to see some saucy scantily-clothed action accompanied by a range of blue-peter-esque props.

Workshop – Chosen by Joanne
Area 10, Peckham, in aid of The TreeHouse Gallery
Saturday 16 May, 3pm-12 midnight

The TreeHouse Gallery is an absolutely amazing project taking place this summer that comes highly recommended by the Artsbloggers. Throughout July and August a cluster of treehouses will be built on the banks of the Boating Lake in London’s Regents Park. Intended to prompt visitors into re-imagining one of the city’s great outdoor public spaces, this collaborative project will encourage people of all ages to explore a variety of creative responses to nature. A diverse programme of exhibitions, performances, workshops, spoken word events and debates will run during the course of the two-month project, focusing on finding local and creative solutions to global problems, and generating ideas for individual engagement with natural cycles.

On Saturday, the first of these workshops takes place from 3pm until midnight at Area 10 Project Space in Peckham (behind Peckham library. Live drawing, theatre, performance, puppetry, live music, labyrinths, projections, workshops, collective games and home-made ice-cream will be on offer for the modest charge of £3. Proceeds go towards the TreeHouse Gallery this summer – go along and help them get this faboulous project off the ground.

Event – Chosen by Giles
People Like Us DJ set
Barbican Centre, 21st may, 7.30pm

People Like Us/Vicki Bennett will be DJing at a thematic evening of Brazilian and Flamenco music at the Barbican on 21 May - between 9 and 11pm, in the Fountain Room on the Ground Floor. Due to the Latin theme, this event veers away from the usual People Like Us sound, but expect a quirky and danceable set and a fun crowd. Aside from DJing, Bennett has been her name with audio and multimedia works since the 1990s, and has had shows at a ramge of museums, public galleries and music festivals in the UK and internationally.

Event - Chosen by Oyinda
Holding Our Ground, Albany Theatre
Friday 15 May, 8pm

Exploring ideas of public space in this age of sat-nav obedience, Friday’s event at the Albany Theatre in East London should give you some topographical food for thought. As part of their ongoing project My Place Or Yours, Rukus - the most up-for-it MC in the Midlands - has been undertaking a writing residency on the streets of Derby, digging deep and discovering just what it is that binds a place and its people. This Friday he’ll be previewing some of his work. The wild and wonderful Mark Gwynne Jones, meanwhile, will be presenting Whose Common Now?, a specially commissioned poem-sequence that celebrates London's parkland whilst pondering the extent to which the public really owns so-called public places. In addition, London Transport Museum's poet-in-residence Abraham Gibson and sometime BBC playwright Nandita Ghose will contribute their own sidelong take on what it means to be a Londoner (or not). And finally, there'll be some placey post-punk chanson from Sussex songthrush Pog.

Event - Chosen by Sam and Richard
Burst Festival - BAC
Until 20 May

BURST, BAC's flagship festival returns with 51 events squeezed into 16 days. This year's festival, with the subtitle 51 Reasons for Living, is inspired by Barack Obama's Presidential Acceptance speech.If you can manage the huge programme it's worth navigating to the opening night on Friday 16th. If you haven’t been to a Peachy Coochy before, then this is a good chance to do so, as it will be kicking off the programme from 9pm. See you there, or at one of the myriad of other events!

Film - Chosen by Lisa
Angels and Demons (based on the novel by Dan Brown)
Out on 15 May

Here's Lisa's take on this, and the first Dan Brown film adaptation, the Da Vinci Code:
'What really annoyed me about 'The Da Vinci Code' the film is that it seemed to try its best not to offend Christians, such as when it was suggested that the descendant of Christ had inherited divine healing powers, and it seemed to negate the point of the book somewhat. Still, I thought that it was a rather enjoyable film in its own right, and I'm hoping that Ron Howard can pull off another not-too-shabby representation of Dan Brown's writing.' If you agree with her, then go check out this madly-hyped blockbuster. If you'd rather experience stigmata than read or watch anything related to Dan Brown, then don't.

Performance – Chosen by Carly
Sharon Hayes as part of ICA Talkshow
Saturday 16 May, 2pm, Victoria Tower Gardens, Millbank, at the statue of Emmeline Pankhurst, SW1P
Sunday 17 May, north-west corner of Trafalgar Square, WC2N

If you happen to be wandering the streets of London on the 16th and 17th and come across a woman who seems to be proclaiming quite personal things to an imaginary person, you will have found artist Sharon Hayes. Continuing her exploration into the relationship between political and personal desire, she will negotiate the 'unspeakable' as she talks to an anonymous lover out loud, in public. Part of the ICA's 'Talkshow', a season of speech-based artworks and events, you will be very lucky to come across her indeed. Check out their website for other exciting things happening in the coming weeks!

Event – Chosen by Sam
Participate With...
Toynbee Studios, London
21 May 2009, 7.30pm

An evening of practical workshops and talks with experienced artists and programmers of socially engaged work. Join our panel for a hands on approach to participatory practice. With Barby Asante (artist), Anne Bean (artist), Joe Moran (dance artist and artistic director of Dance Art Foundation) and Leanne Turvey (gallery education programmer), this event looks to be a corker.

Exhibition – Chosen by Alison
Wysing Arts Contemporary: Performed
Saturday 16 May - Sunday 28 June
Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge

Wysing Arts Contemporary’s second exhibition Performed presents a selection of video, photography, installation, performances and documentation of performed actions and interventions by 10 artists based in the East of England. From Andy Holden’s series of LP records melted and morphed into bowl and vessel structures and hung like baskets from the gallery ceiling, to CJ Mahony’s unsettling, intimate and humorous text based works exhibited in quirky and surprising locations throughout the gallery space, this stimulating exhibition explores the relationship between the artist and viewer and seeks to create a challenging and engaging meeting point between both. Artists include Elena Cologni, Simon Davenport, RJ Hinrichsen, Andy Holden, Katherine Hymers, Olga Jurgenson, CJ Mahony, Rob Smith, Townley and Bradby, and Mark Wilsher.


Friday, 8 May 2009

Pick of the Week - 08.05.09

Fancy exploring the shadowy tunnels beneath Waterloo station, chatting about Moroccan forgery or dancing to 80s music while dressed as a dead celebrity? Well, lucky you, it's all here, in this week's Pick of the Week. On top of that, there's contemporary dance, unusual photography, a course about French cinema and some political campaigning to keep you entertained and engaged all week. No excuses not to improve your life by getting involved with something creative, right now.

Performance – Chosen by Richard
The Old Vic in association with Punchdrunk presents TUNNEL 228
7-25th May, book online from 6pm Friday 1st May
Waterloo Station

Punchdrunk’s latest performance takes place in a network of tunnels beneath Waterloo Station, formerly owned by British Rail. Handed a surgical mask on arrival, visitors will be free to roam through a magical underground world, bumping into performers and spectacular installations along the way. Producer Hamish Jenkinson of the Old Vic says: "It's a totally immersive experience - expect to be spooked, surprised, even grabbed by the arm and dragged into a one-on-one confrontation." It promises to be an incredible, one-off experience. Tickets are free, but limited – we strongly recommend you try and get hold of one.

Course – Chosen by Oyinda
Revisiting the French New Wave
Thursday 14th May and Thursday 21st May, 6.30pm
Studio, BFI Southbank

This course, which includes six two-hour sessions, is presented with the BFI in conjunction with King’s College London. Each session will revisit a key aspect of the French New Wave, the 1960s film movement which revolutionised world cinema, making connections with the films shown in the BFI retrospective. Expert staff from KCL Film Studies will lead lively and accessible seminars, illustrated with extracts, introducing and discussing the films and a range of critical approaches. Issues will include New Wave style, major films, directors, stars, characters and narratives. Beginners and afficionados equally welcome.

Exhibition – Chosen by Alison
Ethelburga Tower: at Home in a High-Rise
The Geffrye Museum, Hackney
7 April - 31 August 2009

The Geffrye Museum is well worth a visit in general, to wander through the many ages of living-room-dom and dream of bygone eras. This exhibition looks like a perfect companion to the museum’s nostaligic permanent collection. Photographer Mark Cowper has made images of the inside of 46 of his neighbours flats in the Ethelburga Tower in Battersea, showing how each inhabitant has made an identical shell completely unique. A good exhibition if you’re feeling a bit anonymous in London’s homogonous vastness, or alternatively, you just need a bit of interior design inspiration.

Performance – Chosen by Joanne and Rosalie
Under Glass, The Clod Ensemble in association with Sadler’s Wells
Until 16th May at Village Underground, Shoreditch.

Inside the cavernous Victorian warehouse space of the Village Underground, The Clod Ensemble present Under Glass, an enthralling site-specific performance in which a collection of extraordinary human beings are contained in a series of glass jars, cabinets and test tubes. Choreographed by Suzy Willson, with an original score by Paul Clark, The Clod Ensemble's latest performance is an animated exhibition of human beings - an exploration of how we might live within our limits. Tickets are selling fast – if you want to go, we advise you book quickly, before it’s sold out.

Exhibition – Chosen by Lisa
Art and Mental Illness
Wellcome Collection, London, until 2nd August. Free.

This multidisciplinary exhibition provides an insight into the ways madness was treated in Vienna in 1900, at the beginning of the industrial age, and encourages us to reflect on how we deal with mental illness 100 years on. Lisa’s working on her Final Major Project, for her foundation course, on the theme ‘Madness in the City,’ and so has found this show a great source of inspiration. She also highly recommends the Bobby Baker show at the Wellcome Collection (19th March – 2nd August), which explore an artist's personal experience of her plight with mental illness.

Event – Chosen by Oyinda
Fashion, Faith and Fakes: Playing with Commercial and Cultural Ownership in Morocco and London
13th May 2009, 5.30pm
Rootstein Hopkins East Space, London College of Fashion

The Research Hubs at London College of Fashion are running three seminars per term this year, with this summer’s talks focusing on the theme ‘Fashion and Faith’. For this conversation event, Professor Reina Lewis will host, with Moroccan photographer and designer Hassan Hajjij giving his views on issues of cultural ownership and authenticity. The event will be followed by drinks, so should be a good networking event for aspiring fashionistas and photographers out there. Email Rachel Jillions for information and booking.

Exhibition – Chosen by Holly
The Photographic Object
The Photographers Gallery, 24th April – 14th June.

Dissatisfied with the conventional function of photography as a surface that reproduces the external world, these artists test the materiality of their medium. Through a variety of distinct propositions, the images included trace an eclectic journey from the potential of photography to exceed its medium to relishing its hermetic and decorative function. By stitching, cutting, piercing and punching their films, images and sometimes even their cameras, the internationally renowned photographers in this exhibition explore the ambiguous space between two and three dimensions with unique and fascinating results.

Campaign – Chosen by Rosalie
Petition against Home Office restrictions on non-EU artists and academics
Manifesto Club

This week is was announced that acclaimed Iranian director, Abbas Kiarostami will be unable to come to London for his production of Cosi fan tutte at ENO after encountering problems obtaining a visa. This adds another production to the list of concerts and residencies that have been cancelled or fallen into complications due to new Home Office rules that alter the procedure for visa application non-EU artists and academics visiting the UK. Show your support to the campaign against these changes, already backed by the likes of Antony Gormley and Nicholas Hytner of the Royal National Theatre by signing the petition, writing to your MP, or attending the campaign’s ‘Cabaret Without Borders’ event on the 3rd June.

Event – Chosen by Oyinda
‘It’s all been done – It’s all up for grabs’ – Contemporary Painting and History
15th May 2009, 10.30am – 6.00pm
Tate Britain Auditorium

How can artists find inspiration from modernist history and the more recent past? How can contemporary painting negotiate the boundaries of its discipline? In what ways can contemporary painting remain critical? Leading artists and theorists discuss these questions and more at this day-long symposium on contemporary painting at Tate Britain.

Event – Chosen by Richard
Celebrityville! is Dead! at Bethnal Green Working Men's Club
Friday 8th May, 8:30pm - 2am

And lastly… something to brighten up your nightlife this weekend. After two years in London, the hapless fake celebs that make up fancy-dress comedy cabaret night Celebrityville are calling it a day and hanging up their fancy dress shoes for good. This, the last ever Celebrityville party, will be an extravaganza of hillarous cabaret performances, poetry, party games and more, accompanied by barginous drinks offers and a trashy 8os soundtrack. The dress code demands that you ‘come as your favourite deceased celebrity’… not to be missed!