Archive for March, 2008

Report from Creative Clusters 2007

A very useful long report from Creative Clusters (London, Nov 2007) — with a strong focus on the dubious statistics about the creative industries, and their dubious sources.

MAC offsite programme

The Stirrer reports that employees at the Midlands Arts Centre have had their jobs placed in jeopardy for the £13.6m demolish and rebuild, because… “they [ the MAC ] obviously haven’t got the funding for the offsite [ arts ] programme that was originally planned so we’ve got to accept that” The Stirrer‘s board throws […]

Produce a feature film in one year

Fancy making a complete feature film? In one year? In the West Midlands? A new M.Sc. in Digital Feature Film Production postgrad degree at Staffordshire University will see a team of seven filmmakers from around the world given £100,000 worth of budget and equipment by sponsors such as Panasonic, Sequence Post-Production, and Quadrant — to […]

Bike lockers

Decorated secure bicycle lock-ups at Sutton Coldfield train station… It’s a pity the whole bike has to be enclosed, rather than simply being locked to a secure rail. Presumably it’s needed to prevent spiteful petty vandalism, rather than outright theft. Part of the Public Art in Public Transport West Midlands Flickr group…


Wefeelfine now includes the West Midlands… ‘We Feel Fine’ is an ’emotion map’ of recent postings from genuine weblogs (it seems to filter out the splogopshere, probably because it’s made by one of Google’s top people), detecting English keywords and phrases associated with certain emotions and feelings, and then plotting these into ‘clouds’ where similar […]

‘Here be dragons…’

“A new golden age of cartography has suddenly dawned” chirps Ben Macintyre in The Times. That’s certainly so, in terms of the availability of online maps, and the potential for ordinary people to use them in useful ways. But remember when desktop publishing produced a tidal wave of the ugliest design and layout ever seen […]


Nice; I’ve just heard that a D’log reader saw a thumbnail of a Nic Gaunt picture here — the one I’d used to illustrate my recent posting about the launch of the Visual for Business show — then went along on the opening night, met the artist, and successfully purchased the actual picture for his […]

Asia Alfasi

Panel Borders has a 32mb podcast interview recorded at the Japanese Embassy in London. It talks to the winners of the recent Manga Jiman (‘Pride in Manga’) competition to find new British Manga creators for 2008 — and I’m pleased to hear that Birmingham’s Asia Alfasi took second prize with her autobiographical strip “Beginnings”. Due […]

£9.2m for theatre companies and orchestras

After all the fretting about arts cuts, it now turns out that Birmingham City Council is to start subsidising city-centre performance — to the tune of £9.2m over three years… “City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Birmingham Repertory Theatre will share a £9.2 million pot [ along with ] Symphony Hall […]

22nd century cities

After What If New York?, The History Channel recently invited architects and designers to give three U.S. cities a Photoshop /rendering makover for the 22nd century… Some interesting ideas, but I’d say this sort of competition really needs to be thrown open to the wild imaginations of Photoshop pers and compositors everywhere in a city […]

Dzarma’s dioramas

Marcel Dzarma, whose Ikon show I reviewed a while ago, has started making tableaux dioramas…

Volume II of LOTR Online

West Midlands games developer Codemasters has today unveiled Volume II of the epic Lord of the Rings Online MMORPG game, which has around 250,000 subscribers. Appropriately enough, they’ve announced the sequel in Tolkien’s home city of Birmingham. Volume II, Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria, will be released Autumn 2008 and sends gamers […]

Laura Ford

I like these. Some of the bronze sculptures of Laura Ford, currently on show at Winterslow (great name) near Salisbury… More on the New Arts Centre website.

Flickrvision 3D

Flickrvision 3D, an envisioning of photos being uploaded to Flickr all around the planet, shown in real-time… We definitely need one of these for the West Midlands, ideally with a sidebar for a three-picture ‘gradually fading out’ stream of recently-uploaded pics. Also; I wonder if this sort of approach could be used to engagingly visualise […]

The Language of Others

The Independent has a long interview with Birmingham novelist Claire Morrall, about her just-published adult-aspie novel The Language of Others. Morrall’s first novel was published by Birmingham’s Tindal Street Press, and she was nominated for the Booker Prize in 2003.

Murky Depths

Terry Martin, the Lincolnshire indie publisher of Born To Dye paintball magazine, has an ambitious new print magazine of short fantasy/science fiction and art. Murky Depths seems interesting — in that it’s an authentic grassroots attempt to reinvent the traditional short story print magazine, in the face of massive competition from games and graphic novels… […]

On the net, no-one knows you’re a puddle

I recently posted about a blogging plant, created by one of my ex-students. Now comes… puddle blog, in which a large puddle in NY gets a blog. And inspires all sorts of thoughts about making space for unruly bits of nature in cities.

4IP heads for Birmingham

It appears that Channel 4’s new “up to £20m” ‘4 Innovation for the Public’ investment fund will initially be administered from Birmingham… “The Midlands city has been chosen as the base for new media commissioning managers in England and Wales […] Other cities around the country will be chosen as 4IP commissioning centres once the […]

Passage to India and Frank Bowling

It’s all happening in Wolverhampton, with some excellent visual arts exhibitions opening and more to come later in the year. Not only do we have the Robert Haines’ show opening on 20th March, but there are two other important shows opening there in March. The large survey exhibition Passage to India which opens in Wolverhampton […]

Robert Haines

Malvern-based photographer Robert Haines has a local book launch next week, for his first Dewi Lewis photography book. The event’s free, and will be at the Light House in Wolverhampton on 20th March 08 (6.30pm – 8.30pm). There also an accompanying exhibition of the prints, which runs until 9th May 08 at the Light House… […]