Archive for September, 2006

Arts policy under attack

Bitter attacks on government art policy and the Arts Council litter the September issues of various arts publications. Artists Newsletter has four pages of searing criticisms of the Arts Council, and the almost complete lack of participation by artists in making arts policy. Munira Mirza also lobs in the choice observation that… “…the target to […]

Art books without the art

The latest Art in America has a long and detailed article on the costs and legal problems associated with publishing any substantial art book on a dead artist, once the family and the image-libraries have got their claws into the artist’s estate. The money quote… “A 200-page book could require an investment of $50,000 or […]

Letters to a Young Artist

Art on Paper magazine has published a small book of 23 Letters to a Young Artist, each from a leading artist. Among some of the advice… “Keep away from art fairs.” “Beware of who you let into your studio.” “The answer is in the Work. To Work. To care about the Work”.

Iran and the cartoons

Iran’s pitiful “Holocaust Cartoons Contest” exhibition, of 200 home-grown Holocaust-denial and jew-hating cartoons, seems to have failed to draw much of an audience. In the west we simply turned up our noses and turned the page. The Independent reports today on what seems to have happened in Iran itself… “It drew audiences of fewer than […]

GPS digicam

Sony has a new camera with a built-in GPS device, allowing the photographer to embed precise geographical location co-ordinates in the EXIF data.

Maggie Taylor

The flatbed scanner montages of Maggie Taylor. This is refreshingly fun photography, if somewhat derivative — imagine Charles Dodgson meeting Terry Gilliam in the salon of Max Ernst, and you’re in the right area. But it’s refreshing to see an artist push so much of her work onto the web, and also to publish a […]

Unknown Comics Visionaries

Published in June: Art Out of Time: Unknown Comics Visionaries 1900-1969.


The English city of Leicester has a wholly-free ‘festival of digital culture’, F-city, launching at the end of September 06.

Day-rate for artists

The latest Artist’s Newsletter calculates that a newly-graduated British artist, one with overheads and materials costs of around £10,000 a year, should be asking for a day-rate for commissions of £183. For an artist with five years of experience, the suggested day-rate rises to £225.

John Chillingworth

Just opened at the Birmingham Central Library — an exhibition of the work of Picture Post photographer John Chillingworth, whose work seems to have focused mainly on the street life of young children. There’s also a biography here, and he has his own web-site at

Arts Council show

Bloomsberg’s Martin Gayford is uninspired by the current exhibition of the Arts Council art collection… “one of the most dismal installations I have ever seen” … “It would be interesting to see a big, thorough survey exhibition of postwar British art … This definitely isn’t it. It looks like what it is — a report […]

Google Score

This is not something I’d use, but it seems a rather a useful and wonderful creative app. PhotoScore scans the musical score from printed sheet-music, recognises it, and can play it back as music or export the notes to other software. I predict a “Google Score” search-engine in future years, as an adjunct to Google […]


Kinetica is a new London museum that’s set to open on the 6th of October 06. Ready to ride the wave of interest in creative robotics, it features examples of machine-based art from the 1920s onwards, plus sound art and video art. (Flash required)

Brum in 3D

A new Google search engine has launched. Google 3D Warehouse is an engine for finding free 3D models. For the moment, that mostly means models made with Google’s own Sketchup software and intended for use with Google Earth. There’s already a free basic model of the Rotunda in Birmingham city-centre, along with several other Brummie […]

Sex in video games

Just published — a weighty book on Sex in Video Games.

Video fun

I made a short YouTube video as an experiment, combining some of my recent triptych photos and a 5-minute ambient soundtrack I composed in Reason. When you go to the page, I suggest you hit the “see it Full Size” button that’s in the bottom-right of the video box. It’s just an experiment to see […]

Clouds make nerds look good

Want to get into a good university, and have a good academic record? Go for the interview on a cloudy day, says new research… “changes in cloudcover can increase a [bright and academic] candidate’s predicted probability of [university] admission by an average of up to 11.9%” … and all potential students visiting a university campus […]

‘The Path To 9/11’ on BBC2

Excellent — the BBC has picked up the $40m five-hour U.S. docudrama The Path To 9/11. It was shown in full at the Venice Film Festival, but it seems set to be censored when it’s broadcast in the U.S. (after the Democratic Party threatened to pull ABC’s broadcasting licence). The BBC will show it without […]

Geek in the Park, gone

Awww… damn. How did I miss that? There was no mention of it in NTK. Apparently there was a large Geek in the Park al fresco event, Leamington Spa, August bank-holiday 06. Perhaps it’s just as well I didn’t hear about it; as I seem to remember it poured with rain that day. Oh well, […]

How to be Silicon Valley

“How to be Silicon Valley” is a May 06 essay by Paul Graham. He starts by talking about the folly of trying to use public-sector bureaucrats to pick and invest in hot start-ups, as being like… “Vogue editors running a math journal”. He quickly dismisses the possibility that subsidising the building of shiny new glass […]