Archive for January, 2009

Baskerville / BIAD Open Days

The recent short 8-minute film, Baskerville, finally makes it to YouTube. Worked on by 12 of my dissertation students (although I can’t claim a shred of credit, as all the work was done over in the studios under the supervision of David Osbaldestin) in 2008, the film… “…celebrates John Baskerville, the man, the typeface and […]

Fully functional

The Coventry-based web designer Function is giving away a free set of vector character illustrations in a collaboration with artist Pasquale D’Silva… “Basically you can use them for anything, we don’t mind. All we ask is that you link back to this page if at all possible, but it’s not a requirement.” And don’t miss […]

Infinite Canvas

Microsoft has released a working alpha demo of Infinite Canvas, a new app for presenting online comics. It aims to make a reality of one of Scott McCloud’s key ideas for the future of webcomics… Indeed, McCloud has even supplied a short comic strip to test the system with… For those who get huffy and […]

Public Mail

The Daily Mail enjoys a lengthy chew on The Public. Meanwhile, the Express & Star reports that the gallery at The Public is to be wound up, and thirty employees are to be sacked.

De Monsters

De Monsters. Animated monsters composited into everyday places… [ Hat-tip: Drawn! ]

Warhol retrospectives for the Midlands

A significant Andy Warhol retrospective exhibition will be staged in Walsall and Wolverhampton in 2009. It comes as a result of Anthony d’Offay giving his £125m collection of 725 art works to the nation. “Andy Warhol: posters and paintings” will be at Wolverhampton Art Gallery (28th Mar to 21st Sept 09), fitting in nicely with […]

Religion and Lolcats

How long before the first real academic dissertation on lolcats? “In this paper I explore the origins of religion in lolcats and the ways in which religion is represented through the creation of lolcats. The research is based on the analysis of lolcats and various secondary sources such as the lolcatbible. Understanding the representations of […]

Lower Ed.

The great ‘university expansion drive’ in higher education. 60,000 shiny new places on degree courses, many of which would have been in the arts and humanities. But now it seems that ministers are throwing a roadblock across this easy escape-route for the newly-unemployed seeking three years sheltered from the recession. According to the THES, … […]

Arts Council throws another £3m at The Public

Predictably, the Arts Council has just very noisily “refused” to give The Public its next annual funding tranche of £500,000. Having already given the place £31.5 million. Yet the Council has decided to pour another £3 million into keeping The Public open and “developing a new business plan”. Bizarre.

Death by digital

The last chemical-based pro photographic darkrooms in London; a photographic survey.

Dont do that

Oh dear. Birmingham City Council appears to have outlawed apostrophes… Councillors who voted yesterday to scrap apostrophes on road signs have been accused of “dumbing down”. Birmingham City Council claims the possessive punctuation marks are confusing. Cllr. Len Gregory even said: “I don’t see the point of them.”


Amap. A rather elegant-looking online “argument-map maker” service. I’m thinking this might be useful for students planning the structure of an essay. Or even a replacement for the comments box on blog posts likely to attract more brainy comments than “OMG wow!”

The whole Whole Earth

The entire text of the influential Whole Earth Catalogs, although seemingly without the original images and original layout, now available at: The website and online format is as clunky as a big clunking thing. But, hey; the Catalog effectively designed a template for the internet, before the internet. So it’s good to see it […]

Under the Rotunda

The new iBostin blog has a long interview with the author of Under the Rotunda by Danny Bernardi, a novel set in Birmingham. And while you’re over there, iBostin also has a copy of Windows: the Black Country version…

Birmingham Music Archive

The Birmingham Music Archive (requires Flash + plugins that are “unknown” to Firefox)… “The Birmingham Music Archive has been established to recognise and celebrate Birmingham’s rich musical heritage. We are interested in hearing and sharing the stories about the bands, the musicians, the venues and the great gigs that have taken place, the managers and […]

Kristin Lyseggen

The stylish Flash website of Norwegian photographer Kristin Lyseggen, who since 2003 has completed documentary photographic studies of the transvestite community in Walsall — along with similar studies of the West Midlands Jesus Army, and Birmingham’s urban cowboys… Lyseggen is also on Flickr:— Princess of Walsall set / Wild West Midlands set / Birmingham set […]

Street Signs

Street Signs magazine, a critical urban studies/street-photography/ethnographic magazine, from Goldsmiths in London. 12 full-text issues online, in PDF format… Also, coming up at Goldsmiths, “An Afternoon of Thoughts on the (Im)Possibilities of Engaged Urban Sociology/Photography/Art” on 3rd Feb 09… What role do urban researchers, artists and photographers play in regeneration processes?” “Are we accomplices or […]

Retailing History: Texts and Images

An unusual workshop conference on shops, to be held in Wolverhampton. Retailing History: Texts and Images will be on 29th April 09 at the University of Wolverhampton… “…a discussion of the nature of the texts and images associated with retailing and retailers, including commercial images, artistic and literary representations, photographs and postcards, the printed word […]

Modern Virtues, Modern Vices: Restaging Rejlander’s “Two Ways of Life”

The Royal Photographic Society is holding an Oscar Rejlander competition. Rejlander (1813-1875), the “father of art photography”, was from Wolverhampton and was a founding member of the Birmingham Photographic Society. The RPS would like to see modern versions of his painstaking picture “Two Ways of Life”, a picture he created in the darkroom by seamlessly […]

Hirotoshi Itoh

Hirotoshi Itoh’s “stone faces” (Flash-only site)…