Archive for March, 2011

Shakespeare Memorial Room in the new Bham Library

A BBC report on the 1882 Shakespeare Memorial Room, which is set to be restored and rebuilt inside Birmingham’s new Library. The original 1864 Shakespeare Memorial Library was destroyed in a fire on the 11th of January 1879, along with Birmingham’s entire reference collection of 50,000 books and manuscripts… “The destruction of this library was […]

Some cuts links

A few of the weightier links on today’s arts cuts… A round-up on photography cuts/rises from the British Journal of Photography… “Photography galleries and organisations that will receive increased funding from ACE: Open Eye Gallery (Liverpool): +15.4%; The Photographer’s Gallery (London): +10.4%; Redeye Photography Network (Manchester): +55.7%; Photoworks: +2.5%; Impressions Gallery (Bradford): +5.1%; Focal Point […]

Arts Council RFO funding for the West Midlands, 2012-2015

The Arts Council has just released its list of 695 organisations which are set to replace the Council’s previous “regularly funded organisations” portfolio of 849. 110 of these are new. 206 previously “regularly funded organisations” have had all funding cut. The arts in the UK will have around £2 billion of public money spent on […]

Tiny twits

New number-crunching research on the Twitter bubble, courtesy of Yahoo Research (PDF link)… “20K elite users, comprising less than 0.05% of the user population, attracts almost 50% of all attention within Twitter.” “Within the population of elite users, moreover, attention is highly homophilous [incestuous], with celebrities following celebrities, media following media, and bloggers following bloggers.”

Lunar Society Annual Lecture

The full text of Birmingham’s Lunar Society Annual Lecture, given on the 15th of March 2011: Birmingham Unleashed: An Elected Mayor, High-Speed Rail and Academies, by Andrew Adonis… “Type “Made in Birmingham” into Google Search, and the first item listed is: “Birmingham’s Industrial History Website” — together with a tag: “Please note: this website is […]

New report on arts and heritage funding in the UK

Ahead of the arts cuts announcement on Wednesday, a weighty new report on arts and heritage funding (PDF link) from the Parliamentary Culture Media and Sport Select Committee. The Public gallery in West Bromwich gets a page to itself… “The Arts Council played a major role in a gross waste of public money during its […]

AHRC rebrands a research priority

Lots of whining in the Guardian today about the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council. The AHRC has reportedly stated that ‘the Big Society’ will become an active research priority for the Council’s funding [update: actually, it hasn’t. That claim seems to be journalistic spin. See the comments on this post]. But, even if it’s […]

James Watt and our World

Just opened in London — a free exhibition celebrating the Birmingham giant of science James Watt, James Watt and our World : the workshop, the man, and the new Industrial Age. The curators have recreated Watt’s attic workshop based on the 6,000 workshop items they’ve had in storage since 1924, and the original photos made […]

IOCT Masters

The Institute of Creative Technologies, Leicester, Third Annual Masters Student Showcase. 12th-13th May 2011. Previous showcases online here.


Brian Sewell in The Evening Standard… “Scrap the Arts Council. Fund the bottom, not the top. De-accession [i.e.: sell] the superfluous, irrelevant and weak [works from museum collections]. Impose, for [five years], either [museum] entry charges or a culture tax on foreign visitors. And suggest to the millionaire artists whose reputations have been established at […]

Developing the Market for Contemporary Art

The Contemporary Art Society is to hold a “Developing the Market for Contemporary Art” day on 16th May 2011 (10am-4pm) in Birmingham city centre. “Invited guest speakers will represent a range of key contemporary art world stake holders including: private collectors, artists and those involved in selling art work at fairs as well as through […]

The Budget – just the creative industries bits

Just those parts of today’s Budget that are relevant to creatives and the creative industries… * “a moratorium exempting all businesses employing fewer than ten people – and all genuine start-ups – from new domestic [UK business] regulation [and this will last] for the next three years.” * “we have agreed with the banks a […]

Mapping the deficit

Brilliant bit of pre-budget data visualisation (PDF link).

Fixing Firefox 4.0 final

I just installed Firefox 4.0 final, which is officially out-of-beta and available now. Happy to see that the JURN toolbar and all my Addons work with v4.0, except Font Replacer. My 10 quick steps to taming Firefox 4…. 1. Restored top Menu to “always show” — press Alt | Go: View | Toolbars | tick […]

Creative Stoke’s RSS feed

Creative Stoke. 800 local creative opportunities, jobs, calls for artists, etc, were posted on the “What’s New” page in 2010. And well over 200 have been posted so far in 2011. But I’m still meeting people who don’t know there’s an RSS feed for all this, a feed that has been in place since Sept […]

Fear, Horror and Terror at The Interface

Fear, Horror and Terror at The Interface, a major two-day conference at Oxford in September 2011. By interface they mean “at the interface of fear, horror and terror”, rather than that such might be implicit in the web/digital/software/games interface that sits between the user and the Web/virtual-world. Although they do also say that… “We are […]


Learnable. Sell educational courses online, or take a course. Nice idea, good web design, but they might have usefully bought in a hundred professional courseware courses to pre-load the Directory and give a better and more academic initial impression. At present it’s mainly coding and new-age/old-hippy stuff.

2011 skyscraper competition winners

Winners of the 2011 skyscraper competition. Not likely to be happening anytime soon in Stoke-on-Trent, since the government’s just pulled the plug on the detested Renew North Staffordshire housing pathfinder scheme. Above: The Hydra, a deliciously ambitious super-conductive tower that would be made of the new material graphene, and designed to collect massive lightning strikes […]

BBC plans to scrap local radio – unbelievable

The BBC is reported to have an unbelievably potty plan to effectively close all its local radio stations. It’s not April 1st yet, is it? Or will it take a mass nationwide boycott of the licence fee to bring them to their senses?

Project Finder – a crowdfunding project search-tool

Project Finder. My new simple search-engine to help you find projects to fund, searching across 14 crowd-funding websites.