Archive for April, 2011

Union city blues

Why do the Council taxpayers of Stoke-on-Trent pay for the salaries of 7 full-time trades union activists, at an annual cost of £286,860 a year? This is at a time when arts groups in the city have seen their Council funding cut by a combined total of £33,445 a year since 2008/9, and when entrance […]

Art & Heritage quarterly

A new quarterly Midlands art magazine, Art & Heritage, produced for a consortium of Black Country and Wolverhampton museums and galleries. In the Spring 2011 issue (viewable online in a Flash player) there’s a three-page article, with bibliography, on the history of the Wolverhampton School of Art. Although it has to be said that the […]

Two Saints Way

The Two Saints Way, a major one-person retirement project to make a long-distance footpath that links the cathedrals of Lichfield and Chester, via Stoke-on-Trent. A superb idea. There’s also a long newspaper article on the path and the man behind it, David Pott of Stone (near Stoke-on-Trent).

Stoke F.A. Cup Final poster

A lovely faux-retro poster for the F.A. Cup Final, from local Stoke artist Paine Proffitt…

100 nests

Sharon Beals’ 100 nests, and the birds that built them, now a photobook…

Take to The Streets

The touring Magnum / Format (Derby) exhibition of street photography Take to The Streets reaches Birmingham on 18th May 2011, when it’ll be dislayed outside Snow Hill train station in the city centre (until 3rd July). I’m not sure they’ll have room to put all 139 pictures on display, but they can all be seen […]

Taking Part 2010 – new arts audience statistics

The latest 2010 DCMS Taking Part statistical survey shows one aspect of what happened to the arts under Labour, in terms of measuring participation in cultural and arts events. Only a small national increase of less than 5% between 2005/06 and the end of 2010, in the proportion of adults “visiting a museum, gallery or […]

The view from the bubble

Bloomberg BusinessWeek , on the deeper damage being done by the current SEO/Twitter/ad-driven bubble… “Hammerbacher looked around Silicon Valley at companies like his own [Facebook], Google, and Twitter, and saw his peers wasting their talents. ‘The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads,’ he says. ‘That sucks.’ Silicon […]

BCU impact statement

Birmingham City University has a new statement on real-world research impact.

Philanthropy Daily

Interested in how the Americans do philanthropy? Philanthropy Daily joints to venerable ranks of Arts & Letters Daily and SciTech Daily, and uses the same format.

Reinventing Research?

Reinventing Research? : information practices in the humanities (April 2011) (PDF link), a new report from the UK’s RIN consortium. The report looked at all digital research resources, not just social media. The English Department at the University of Birmingham was one of the case-studies, which presents an interesting three-page snapshot of digital usage (or […]

Full HTML5 suite for free

IBM is giving away its HTML5 authoring software called Maqetta, as open source.

A crowd-sourced recruitment agency

A quick idea, on youth unemployment. What if we had a Midlands job-finding online marketplace for young creative graduates, where job-seekers had to offer a cash prize to whoever introduces them to their future employer (proper jobs — duration of six months or more, at 20+ hours a week). The cash prize would only be […]

National Art Pass launched

A special National Art Pass has been launched today by the Art Fund. The pass is available for those aged under-26, and costs from just £18.75. The pass gives free access to a variety of galleries, heritage attractions, and also some National Trust properties. A number of the galleries are likely to have to introduce […]


Boffins from MIT have released source code for their socialbots… “you can now play from the comfort of your own home and rig up your own automated social-influencing bot too” The source code arises from a challenge to… “program bots to control user accounts on Twitter […] to influence an unsuspecting cluster of 500 online […]

Neither Shoreditch nor Manhattan

Black Country Creative Advantage has just rolled down the shutters, and last weekend they launched a book and DVD to document the project: Neither Shoreditch nor Manhattan: Black Country creative advantage, which focusses on the interplay of regeneration and community arts in West Bromwich.

Birmingham City University’s Contribution to the Creative Economy

The briefing paper (2010?) “Birmingham City University’s Contribution to the Creative Economy” (.doc link), which appears to be a submission to government. Very impressive to see it all condensed in a few pages in this way. I’d say this could usefully be the basis of a student graphic design project, one that presents this document […]

Online Mainline

Online Mainline: alternative media and remediation. A one-day conference examining the increasingly complex feedback loops between the online and offline worlds. Birmingham City University, 15th September 2011.   [ Hat-tip: CiB ]

Animation Explosion

Birmingham City University is set to host an Animation Explosion one-day conference, on 14th September 2011 in Birmingham. The event is sponsored by the UK’s Society for Animation Studies and is now inviting papers. There seem to be two broad areas of interest: approaches to the analysis of animation, especially in its new and hybrid […]

Careers in Art History

The third edition of the UK AHH’s Careers in Art History (2006) book is now freely available in PDF form. The print run of this 120-page book has sold out, and a new updated 2011 edition is due.