A most queer Gothic scientific romance Brontë family LARP...
My column from the autumn/winter 2018 edition of Sluice Magazine.
Photos from my performances at b-side in 2018.
Towards a fair artist residency.
Portland, Dorset, October 8-9 2015.
“Being an Artistic and Quality Assessor for Arts Council England,” I thought. “That might be an interesting job to do.” No, I really did. I know it’s sick. What’s an Artistic and Quality Assessor, though?
“Experienced cultural professionals [who] work with the Arts Council to contribute towards the assessment of arts organisations and museums. We will be asking you to undertake assessments of the work of Arts Council funded organisations across England.
Artistic and Quality Assessments provide a fair, robust and transparent platform for discussions about the quality of work produced by organisations that the Arts Council regularly funds, helping the Arts Council develop a broader evidence base to inform funding decisions…”
I’m an experienced cultural professional. Despite my opinion that ACE is far from perfect, they make an embarassing number of idiotic and non evidence-based policy blunders, they waste a lot of money and prioritise wrongly while harping…
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BE THE ARTS COUNCIL’S PEWDIEPIE
“This video work is an ontologically complex vehicle for the exploration of domestic space, oscillating between the predatory subtexts of the manufactured consumer sphere and its products, and an ironic postmodernist subversion of so-called “innocence” in nature.”
The Arts Council has just awarded a “seedcorn investment” £1.8 million grant to Rightster, the “global b2b video network for distribution, content-sourcing, audience engagement and monetisation”, via the National Lottery. That’s a large seed corn, approaching inexplicable James and the Giant Peach proportions. It’s in aid of a new YouTube-based multichannel network (MCN) for the arts. You never know, it may be brilliant. It may open up opportunities and wider audiences for lots of previously undersupported, excluded or underappreciated artists who deserve more recognition and reward. Stranger things have happened. Maybe they’ll genuinely bring in people other than the usual suspects and the same boring old brand…
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b-side Multimedia Arts Festival, Friday 5 September on the Isle of Portland in Dorset, until Sunday 14 September.
Supporting rural artists: Thursday 10th July, 1pm-5pm Hestercombe Gallery, Cheddon Fitzpaine, Taunton, Somerset TA2 8LG
This phrase is most often heard from people in salaried jobs (often at publicly funded galleries, museums or agencies, so it’s not even their money as such) who seem to experience no doubt whatsoever that their own contributions should be remunerated. Sometimes it’s plain old tight-fisted hypocrisy, occasionally it’s real cognitive dissonance because they genuinely can’t see any analogy or interdependence between what you do and what they do. Either that, or they have internalised the widespread “I only do my job to get paid and I don’t like it, therefore if you like your job, why should you be paid for it?” fallacy. For artists in the UK, two significant counter campaigns have recently begun. The first is Artists’ Union England, the new national trade union for visual and applied artists. Scotland’s artists’ union has existed for many years. I suggest that all artists who care about fair…
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Evidently Herbert Draper (1863-1920) was an artist dedicated to solving one of the age-old problems of mankind, i.e. the impossibility of a man getting his end away with a sexy mermaid when she’s a fish from the waist down. Herbert– the dirty perv– provided an ingenious answer: when they emerge from the water their tails turn into legs. Brilliant.
As the caption says, technically these are sirens rather than mermaids. The picture shows a story from The Odyssey, in which Ulysses has himself tied to the mast of his ship so he can hear the fatal call of the sirens without being lured into wrecking his ship, as was their desire. The crew had their ears stopped with wax. Until their mythology got completely jumbled up with mermaid stories in the middle ages, sirens were originally…
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The day when England barely celebrates its Greek patron saint and sheepishly denies having any national pride. The day when we remember that Christianity, via the story of George slaying the dragon, tacitly acknowledges the existence of dragons. If they weren’t real, how could George slay one? So not believing in dragons would technically seem to be heretical if you’re a Christian.
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“An Usurer (i.e. a person who lends money at an unreasonably high rate of interest and/or with unfair terms) is not tolerable in a well established Commonweale, but utterly to be rejected out of the company of men.”
Too bloody right. Four hundred years on, little has changed: payday loan companies, Lehman Brothers, toxic mortgage lending, fixing the LIBOR rates, bank executives getting huge bonuses at failed but state-bailed banks, etc. Note also the piggy bankers on the right, the top one saying “Mine is the Usurers defect. To root in earth, wallow in Mire” and the bottom one issuing the refrain we’ve also recently heard many contemporary versions of from bank CEOs, that they can’t and won’t be held accountable for the devastation they’ve caused with their greed: “Living spare me, and Dead spare me.”
PS: Beware, for after a long separation I have been reunited with my…
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My article about Arts Council England’s “small” (£100,000-£499,999) funding for stylish foyers, gardening and service lifts (while artists often can’t even get paid for an exhibition) has been picked up and republished in The Guardian.