Archive for February, 2011

ICA Talks, 1981-1994

London’s ICA and the British Museum have published an open online audio archive of the ICA’s public lectures, from 1981-1994. Bless the person who had the foresight and patience to record them all for posterity. Any public-funded organisation putting on such talks/events has a public duty to have them recorded, if not immediately published online, […]

Fun with the Tron-look

My original background matte and light-bike trail, plus the videogame’s light-bike 3D model extracted, converted and then lit/posed in the foreground. My lighting setup. Looks best against grey/black. Real-time rendered. And I’ve made my background matte ‘Creative Commons Attribution’. Again, you’ll need a good monitor and a grey/black background to see the detail…

Purchase Grant Fund cut by 33%

Bad news for galleries in the English regions. The Purchase Grant Fund (PGF) is to be cut by a third. This is the public fund that makes regional purchases of outstanding works, for regional collections at museums and galleries. After the cut it’ll be worth £600,000. That’s nationally, not per museum. “Local financial commitment is […]

Ikon Eastside set to close

Ikon Eastside, the Ikon Gallery’s ‘on again, off again, closed during the winters’ Digbeth outpost, is set to close. Birmingham City Council gives the gallery £200,000-a-year. This was announced, before Christmas, as likely to be pulled completely from April 2011. Now Created in Birmingham has confirmed the closure date.

Birmingham in bpm

The speed of Birmingham is 120bpm.

Genomic Dub

The Genomic Dub Collective at the University of Birmingham do Darwin’s famous book Origin of Species as an 11 track dub reggae album… “a chance encounter between Professor Mark Pallen and Dominic White, a Jamaican scientist working at the University of Birmingham led to the formation of the Genomic Dub Collective and a bid to […]

Wailing Souls

Handsworth in the 1970s, Wailing Souls…   [ Hat-tip: Hunt Emerson ] And another from Birmingham, the dubmaster Dennis “Mixman” Bedeau, last heard of in the 1990s it seems… I found Bedeau’s name in the excellent feature-length documentary on dub reggae, Dub Echoes (2009).

Black Country Mash

The museums and archives of the Black Country are inviting coders to their WAG Hack Day on Saturday 16th April 2011 (10am-6pm) at The Public in West Bromwich. The aim of the day is to mash or filter the metadata that’s powering the new Black Country History website, which offers complete online access to records […]

Heritage Hub

The University of Birmingham plans to create a combined online-exhibitions / research-repository website, and is calling for donations. The plan is to… “bring together its existing research in a world-class [ online and public ] facility. […] At the heart of the hub will be a 3D multimedia hall, showcasing interactive heritage projects”

Open Plaques

Open Plaques, enabling searches for the nearest “blue plaque” on a building. Only one for Stoke-on-Trent, so far, so I suspect coverage isn’t very complete… There’s also Plaque Guide, which has (apparently) mapped most of London for plaques, and seems to have limited and possibly expanding(?) coverage elsewhere… Or you could just search over 6,000 […]

Midlands Aquaphiliacs

Midlands Aquaphiliacs, a photography show documenting the love of the sea among land-locked Midlanders.

Game On

Birmingham City University’s Game On day is… “a one-day speed–dating style event during which students can meet professionals and potential employers in the videogame industry.” Attendees will talk individually with one of six experts for 15–20 minutes. 23rd February 2011, at Millennium Point, in Birmingham city centre. No mention of any booking requirement, and it […]

Kindle zines?

My rough sketch of a ‘Kindle steampunk aesthetic’, trying to blend the old-school pritt-stick/photocopier look with crisp pixel-art fonts. Made directly in Photoshop , then some simple ebook hand-coding would make the pages into an ezine for the Kindle ereader… Very “hands on”, both in the layout and the need to hand-code the ezine containing […]

Tinkering with innovation

A new academic paper finds that tinkering by British nerds effectively triples the nation’s private-sector R&D budget in consumer products. The time we… “spent making and improving products was more than twice as large as the amount spent by all British firms combined on product research and development over a three-year period. … The types […]

Reggae Britannia

I’ve been listening to a lot of early golden-age Caribbean reggae recently (Roots of Reggae vol.3 is an outstanding album to start with), so thanks to Spaghetti Gazetti for drawing my attention to the new 90 minute BBC Four documentary titled Reggae Britannia, which tells the later story in the UK… “Documentary about reggae’s influence […]

Google Personal Blocklist

Google has launched its own personal blocklist for the personal banning of dodgy websites from your search-results. This only works with the Google Chrome browser. Blocked sites are shared with Google. There’s no way to import a pre-existing list, or export your list to share with others. Firefox users already have the excellent (and private) […]


Finding that the Council’s allotments are full up? How about using the garden of someone who can no longer work it? Landshare tips over 50,000 members…

The Home of The Hangman

My attempt to emulate a dark old oil painting in straight 3D CG, allowing no more than very minor Photoshop post-work. All the lighting is CG, and Photoshop was really only used to finesse some of the hard edges on the water/sky. For those who’re familiar with 3D CG work, this isn’t rendered in the […]

Pub Walks in Underhill Country

A new humorous novel of the West Midlands, albeit written by a Londoner. Pub Walks in Underhill Country appears to be Trains Are Mint meets a Wainwright hill-walking guide, by way of The Archers, and is out now… “Graham Underhill is a much-loved local watercolourist, ale enthusiast, and self-published guidebook writer — the ‘Wainwright of […]


The new Lunar Society has four round-table panel discussions at the Ikon gallery in Birmingham, during March and April 2011. Starting on Wednesday 9th March 2011 with “Heritage and the role of art in contemporary society”.