Archive for January, 2011

Trot off, bureaucrats

The Black Country’s horses — still roaming free. My photo from Tipton in the Black Country.


SparePlace… “A map of spaces across the UK which can be used for temporary and pop-up projects: it includes empty shops, church halls, fields, shopping precincts and old offices. All spaces can be legally occupied by agreement with the owner.”

Derelict forests

A timely look back at a news story from three years ago: more than half of England’s forests are derelict… “More than half the forests in England are now in effect derelict, experts at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology claim.” Perhaps if they’d been properly commercially managed…

8-bit Funding

8-bit Funding: crowd-fund your videogame.

Private funding for the arts up 3% in the Midlands

Latest figures from Arts & Business show that private funding of the arts has dipped by only 3%, despite the desperate economic conditions… “in 2009/10, private investment in culture stood at £658 million, a 3% decrease in real terms from the previous year.” However, these are national figures. The Midlands is actually up by 3%…


PirateBox, the… “self-contained mobile [wi-fi] collaboration and P2P file sharing device. Simply turn it on to transform any space into a free and open P2P file sharing network. […] the system is purposely not connected to the Internet in order to subvert tracking and preserve user privacy.” “The PirateBox is registered under the Free Art […]

London Street Photography

Opening at the Museum of London on 18th February 2011, the free exhibition London Street Photography… “over 200 candid images of everyday life in the street. From sepia-toned scenes of horse-drawn cabs taken on bulky tripod-mounted camera s to 21st century Londoners digitally ‘caught on film’, explore how street photography has evolved from 1860 to […]


Why you should keep Facebook paste-ins off your blog… they make the page really clunky when loading, jar with your layout/colour-scheme, and sometimes even obscure your content… For those who want an immediate “nuke from orbit” solution, the Remove Facebook Greasemonkey script for Firefox works a treat at removing this sort of cruft.

Sketching at Work

Free ebooklet from the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, Sketching at Work: A Guide to Visual Problem Solving and Communication : for Managers, Consultants, Sales Professionals, and Trainers


Speccies on for art

In this week’s Spectator Miru Ratnam suggests making some radical changes in the UK’s art school system… “The maths is fairly straightforward; up to now every undergraduate art student has come with just over £7,000 of cash, £3,224 in the form of an up-front loan to pay tuition fees and a second chunk of £3,947 […]

JURN at 4,002

Two years after launch, my JURN search-engine has indexed the 4,000th free arts & humanities academic journal. For those who want home pages rather than searchable articles, there’s also my big organised list of over 2,700 free or partly-free English-language ejournals. Minor spin-offs during the project have included the basic-but-functional Earworm search-engine for academic podcasts, […]

UK Cities in 2011

A clearly presented report on the state of UK cities in 2010/11 (PDF link), with emphasis on jobs growth and the likely impact of the curtailing of state benefits that are (rather amazingly) available to the earning middle-classes. Only 12 per cent of the UK’s welfare cash is spent on the major “out of work” […]

Global stats

Stir the Custard

The Custard Factory wants a resident blogger and “parish gossip”.

City as a Platform

A free one-day event in Birmingham on the topic of “City as a Platform“. Keynote speech by Jon Kingsbury, Director of the Creative Economy Programmes at NESTA, on “The future for the creative industries?” 17th February 2011, 10am — 5.45pm, at the Aston University Business School and Conference Centre (coming from New St. Station: walk […]

Ark Hotel

An architect’s visualisation of the Ark Hotel (Remistudio), a radical eco-redesign of the cruise ship. Unfortunately it doesn’t, as the second picture seems to suggest, sink below the waves like a submarine when there’s bad weather above. If it did, we might have the first glimpse of those long-awaited undersea cities.

Some Midlands visual arts shows in 2011

My selection of visual arts shows, announced for the Midlands in 2011… On now. Until 18th January 2012 (yes 2012, not a typo). Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham. Sacred and Profane: Treasures of Ancient Egypt. A selection from… “one of the most stunning assemblages of ancient Egyptian decorative art worldwide”, the Myers […]

Format 11

Derby’s Format 11: International Photography Festival, 4th March – 3rd April 2011.

Dudley cuts

The arts in Dudley… “From 547 responses to 1,000 paper questionnaires and 1,078 website visits, only one area, arts and entertainment, got a [public] vote in favour of reduced spending.” “Cuts are in the pipeline”