Archive for March, 2010

Creative Regions Summer School

The University of Southampton is organising a Creative Regions Summer School in Birmingham, 12th-16th July 2010… “an exciting week of intense learning for postgraduate students, practitioners and policy makers interested in engaging with the current debates and research surrounding the role of the creative economy in local and regional development.” There’s an even more exciting […]

Open Office can now do basic editing of PDF files.

Useful. The latest free Open Office 3.2 has a free official add-on PDF plugin that lets you open a PDF in Open Office’s Draw module. This lets you convert PDFs into a basic editable format, and then save out as either HTML or PDF.

Behind the Screens

PACT and Adobe are teaming up for a “Behind the Screens” Digital Showcasing event in Birmingham, on the 13th May 2010… “… to highlight some of the best new digital, innovative and technological projects from the UK digital media industry.”

Steampunk at Oxford – the website

For those who were unable to get to Oxford, the Museum of the History of Science has published an online exhibition website for its wildly popular steampunk arts & crafts exhibition. Includes video… “Between 13th October 2009 and 21st February 2010, the Museum held the world’s first major exhibition of steampunk art.”

Rhubarb’s new gallery

Rhubarb Rhubarb opens a new Birmingham gallery. The opening show pairs local lads The Jackson Twins with Australian photographer Vee Speers (now based in Paris). Opening 27th March 2010. “Left dry with his private harrowment” by the Jackson Twins. From “The Birthday Party” series, by Vee Speers.

Re-building the TV Drama Industry in the West Midlands

Re-building the TV Drama Industry in the West Midlands — a public meeting is set for 30th March 2010. 6pm – 8pm at The Bond, 180-182 Fazeley Street in Birmingham city centre (mid-way between the Custard Factory and Millennium Point).

Grand Union spring opening

The arts project space Grand Union, aka Unit 19 on the Fazeley Industrial Estate, reopens for Spring on 27th March 2010 (event: 6pm-9pm) — and is part of the Open Studios from 12-5pm on 27th and 28th March 2010… “Eight Artists and four Curators from the city have collaborated to establish this unique project that […]

New BIAD thrown under train wheels?

Pete Ashton points out that the new-build BIAD (BCU) campus buildings seem set to be crushed under the proposed tracks of the new high-speed train line into Birmingham. Given the placement of this new station and tracks, I’d assume the line won’t then burrow north under the city (in order to get to Stoke and […]

Turned out nice

Google’s photographic Street View coverage of the city of Stoke-on-Trent is now live. Looks like they picked a nice day for it… Stoke-on-Trent train station, looking toward the University. Stoke-on-Trent train station. This is going to smooth the way to a billion appointments over the years — satnavs and map-books can only do so much […]

Stoke-on-Trent left off the map again

Ooops. Advantage West Midlands pays for a shiny West Midlands promo supplement inside The Guardian. But forgets to include the city of Stoke-on-Trent.

Skillset Employment Census published

Skillset Employment Census 2009 (PDF link, 700kb). Taken in July 2009, the results are now available. They estimate that the West Midlands has a combined employed/freelancer total of 5,950. Strip out occupational groups like management, engineering, sales, “journalism and sport”, roadies etc., and the total might drop to a ‘creative core’ of somewhere around 3,000 […]

Interruption, Inc.

West Midlands Open 2010 – opens Sat

The West Midlands Open 2010 biennial opens tomorrow at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, showing 145 artworks until 2nd May 2010. Veteran photographer Lorentz Gullachsen, who lives in Worcestershire, is the overall winner…

BBC iPlayer Downloader

iPlayer Downloader. Open Source.

Artisteer 2

Those who’re still paying people to design a basic WordPress website from scratch — or paying $50+ for one off-the-shelf “limited number of sales” template to get a margin of exclusivity (yep, I’ve been there) — might do well to first investigate the unique Artisteer WordPress design software. Despite its own rather naff website design, […]

Eastside open studios

We Are Eastside. A new blog, and what seems to be an “open studios” weekend in Birmingham on Friday 26th March, and Sunday 28th March 2010.

Election tech

Those living in a Twitter bubble might do well to read the FT on the real technologies shaping the general election… “These three forces [ data-mining of databases for demographics, search-engine swiffling, email lists + using Skype to follow leads ] are now reshaping Britain’s party political machines for the internet era. For decades, our […]


Fresh from their work in Eastern Europe over the last few years, Laundry get together with Birmingham City Council to host an interchat: a dialogue on arts and communities. 7th – 8th April 2010. Birmingham, 10am – 4pm. “Day One will be of specific interest to artists and practitioners (whether as individuals or as part […]

Kate Oakley on Cultural Labour Markets

Anything by Kate Oakley is worth reading. Her newest is “Art Works” — cultural labour markets: a literature review (PDF link, 200kb), which appeared last autumn for the London-based Creativity, Culture and Education literature review series. She evaluates the last fifty years of research on cultural work and labour markets (in the UK, USA and […]

Above and beyond the fold

Sad to hear that the British Journal of Photography is to become a monthly. But it means we can look forward to an outstanding new cover redesign…