Archive for October, 2006

Pornotopia: Sex and Design

For those planning to hang around the London streets tonight, in their oldest raincoats — the best place for that would seem to be outside the ICA. Since there’s a Pornotopia: Sex and Design talk there at 7pm… “The convergence of sex and design makes perfect sense. Both are compulsively visual and tactile; both offer […]

Louise T. Blouin Institute

London has an interesting arts location, newly-opened just ten days ago, the Louise T. Blouin Institute. The LTB’s opening exhibition seems like a nice complement to the current V&A “Twilight” show; a retrospective of James Turrell’s light-art.

Business Life

A new business magazine – for Second Life. These worlds are interesting areas, not only for making and selling products, but also for prototyping and testing ideas and business models. There’s now also a travel agency for such virtual destinations, Sites like this, plus the press and media interest, will surely nudge the demographics […]

Otome Otaku

Only in Japan; a discreet dating service for Japanese women who want to meet new ‘girl nerd’ girlfriends. Female otaku seem to be variously called ‘onna otaku’ (she-nerds) or the slightly more polite ‘otome otaku’ (maiden-nerds).


One to watch: I hear that Isaac Julien is currently working on ”Derek”, a bio-pic feature film about Derek Jarman. Apparently a lot of footage has already been shot, according to slowmotionangel.


Etsy, a rather good-looking auction site for selling unique hand-made items, mostly crafts.

Birds of the Devil

One for any neu-baroque readers: “Birds of the Devil”, a series of 18 new artworks by Edward Summerton, featuring strange fictitious evil-looking birds. Map magazine has an article (but no images).

Up, up, and away

A study of the West Midlands housing market, by the National Housing Federation and the Chartered Institute of Housing, predicts that prices in the region will grow by 50% before the end of 2011.


Many creative industries microbusiness only need small amounts of start-up capital, and are thus often self-funded by equity-release from house-price rises, downshifting, or savings and inheritances. But what if you only need a small loan to buy tools, and all you have access to is an overdraft at a High St. bank, or your credit […]

Museum of Lost Heritage

Some readers may remember the grand old Birmingham Museum of Science and Industry, left vacant after the opening of the child-oriented Thinktank attraction at Millenium Point. Parts of the old building are currently being demolished; but there’s a last chance to get inside, to see a final show of photography. Factories by Michael Collins, runs […]


Any new book by Marina Warner is welcome, and her latest is no exception. Just published by Oxford University Press, several months ahead of schedule, is Phantasmagoria: Spirit Visions. The book examines how our culture has represented ‘the spirit’ and ‘the soul’ in different mediums, ranging from waxworks, to photography and film. She writes… “This […]

Quarry Land

Simon Denison’s “Quarry Land” series of pictures, made in the Clee Hills of Shropshire, is going on show at The Light House in Wolverhampton. The opening event is on the 9th November 06.


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Fabric of time

Morphing dresses that travel through time. One day, they may even be controlled by thought.

Festival of English Music

Starting today, the Festival of English Music, down in Dorchester. It’s been organised by the dogged Em Marshall, who has worked four years without pay, sponsorship or funding, to see this unique festival realised.

Moo 2

Granny Buttons uses flickr’s new low-cost approach to printing and the business-card format. It’d be interesting to see if this sort of speedy and convenient web2paper product leads to small innovations in social behaviour, and a consequent deepening of social connectivity in real-world social networks that have not yet been ‘wired’ (such as Granny’s live-aboard […]

Protection money

It appears, from a report in the Daily Echo (commenting on the policy in Southampton), that the city of Birmingham’s art collection is not insured. Sensible enough, I suppose; if art is priceless and irreplaceable, then why insure it? Still, if the worst happened (since it is now almost impossible to buy good Victorian paintings), […]

“To be, or not to be…”

Shakespeare, meet Second Life. This is a news story from the Reuters Second Life news desk. Yes, really. Meanwhile, Wired has a short proto-Rough Guide to Second Life destinations. Text-to-speech for Second Life is on the horizon, so we may hear as well as read Shakespeare in the “Arden” world that is set to be […]

Photography criticism

Susie Linfield, in The Boston Review, makes a long argument for a more emotionally engaged and less distainful photography criticism. Amazingly, she ploughs through a 6,000-word essay on the subject without once mentioning the names of either John Szarkowski or Robert Adams.

Into black

As a sort of shadowy doppelganger of the current V&A “Twilight” show in London, Seattle in the U.S.A. has a show called “Into Black”, a show that… “conjures the idea of seeing darkly, making art in the gap between the thing and the thing perceived.”.