Archive for May, 2006

Heading for Florida

Heading for Florida: Richard Florida‘s much touted U.S. urban-living renaissance isn’t actually happening — even in culture-rich attractive cities, even in the middle of an economic boom period. [tags]creative industries[/tags]

Arts Festivals

Arts Festivals: Richard Morrison in The Times, a veteran of arts festivals, bemoans the proliferation of boring identikit arts festivals… “The notion of celebrating a town’s unique character has been lost. So has the sense of freshness. Many festivals are now just another tired branch of local government. They hardly register on the streets or […]

Bolton bursary bolt-on

Bolton bursary bolt-on: 30 x £3,000 per year bursaries to go to live in Bolton, England? Not an offer many would readily take up, even for a £3,000 bung. Unless… there was an M.A. degree in Photography at the end of it.

New Nokia photog compo

Nokia photog compo: Nokia are running a UK-based Citizen Journalism Award; news photos that have appeared on weblogs are eligible. Meanwhile, Alternet reviews some of the new ‘News 2.0’ news services.

Shitty Waterside

Shitty Waterside: The artists and architects who have been involved with creating this ersatz modernist ‘vision’ as the future of the flagship City Waterside area of Stoke-on-Trent should hang their heads in shame. Not to mention the councillors who have apparently granted them planning permission, the various quangos that were supposed to be promoting “the […]

Tony Arts Cuts

Tory Tony Arts Cuts: The new DCMS push for thinking about a renewed emphasis on supporting the creative industries is beginning to look somewhat like a rearguard action, as other bits of government lose interest or even take outright hostile actions. Latest in line to kick ‘the creative economy’ is Gordon Brown and the Treasury. […]

England In Particular

England In Particular: Published on 22nd May 06, Common Ground’s mammoth 540-page new book England In Particular, an encyclopedic “celebration of the commonplace, the local, the vernacular and the distinctive”. I’m happy to say I’ve made a few contributions to it. The Amazon ordering page (nearly half-price) is here

How much is that artist in the window

How much is that artist in the window…?”: Interesting; the UK Freedom of Information tribunal has recently ruled that the amount of money paid to an artist for taxpayer-funded commission has to be divulged on request.

London Calling

London Calling: Photo London has its list of 06 talks up. Of particular interest are panels on ‘Collecting Photography Books’ and ‘Pictorialism & Surrealism’. Although the latter doesn’t (it seems) intend to excavate new subterranean passages of culture by which Pictorialism might somehow have influenced Surrealism. It’s apparently just that both have been relatively neglected […]

Geriatric graffiti artists

Geriatric graffiti artists: Grumpy pensioners start doing stencil graffiti art? Five of these have been applied to the local cycle path…

A little space (new photo)

A little space: (large version in the gallery, 160kb)

The Ice Man Go-eth

The Ice Man Go-eth: Health puritans are forcing yet another traditional aspect of street culture off the roads. They’ll be after chocolate next, mark my words.

Blade Runoff

Blade Runoff: The Japanese underground stormwater system; more interesting than you might imagine. It certainly beats the results from a workshop I ran today, on photographing the townscape of Stoke-on-Trent.

Aesthetica magazine

Aesthetica: New British art magazines are getting to be rather like buses; there’ll be another one along in a minute or two.

New photo

New photo: (large version in the gallery, 160kb)

Arts Fund report

Arts Fund report: The Arts Fund has just published the first-ever report on national museums & arts galleries policy and acquisitions, a decade after Labour scrapped dedicated acquisition grants. The report (not yet online) finds that the joint government and Heritage Lottery Fund policy – for a PC-flavoured anti-elitist “access, social inclusion, outreach and education” […]

Jean Genie

Jean Genie: The new Lee Jeans ad campaign steps in ahead of the pack, by using an ersatz pop-surrealist look to sell jeans.

CQ and the Arts Council

CQ: The Spring 2006 issue of Critical Quarterly leads with an essay by Andrew Brighton, about the Arts Council. “Consumed by the political: the ruination of the Arts Council” opens with the sterling suggestion that the Council and all its regional variations be abolished. You can guess the rest, but the argument is very elegantly […]

In the zone

In the zone: Remember the Ansel Adams’ Zone System? No, not the obscure 1970s prog-rock band. The Zone System was a darkroom photography manipulation system that fried almost as many minds in the 70s as bad LSD and structuralism combined. Now, someone’s hidden the complexities behind a layer of computer code, wrapped it up in […]

Ikon do that

“Ikon do that”: Finally, an Ikon Gallery show that might actually be worth braving Birmingham New St. to see. Marcel Dzama opens his show there on the 24th May.