Archive for June, 2011

Some reliable Twitter/Facebook stats

Recent reliable hard market-research statistics on internet and mobile use (PDF link, full report) among rail and bus travellers in the Birmingham/Wolverhampton/Coventry/Black Country areas, freely posted online courtesy of Dave Harte. It seems car-users, cyclists, and stay-at-homes were not included the survey, which was undertaken on buses and trains on behalf of Centro. Overall only […]

How to remove the annoying new ‘Google +1’ button

My instructions on how Firefox users can remove that annoying new “Google +1” button from your search results.

Pathfinder demolitions ruled illegal by Court of Appeal

After years of legal arguments, it now appears that the brutal mass demolitions of people’s homes under Labour’s Pathfinder housing schemes were indeed illegal, as well as deeply unethical… “The ruling was secured after a hearing in the Court of Appeal in London of a case between SAVE and the Secretary of State. […] The […]

This is Birmingham

Nice little animation for Jan Bowman’s new 64-page book This is Birmingham, the animation made by Graham Lock of Wolverhampton. Bowman also has a long article on the arts in Spiked this week, specifically on the love of instrumentalist social engineering (sometimes called ‘social-worker art’) that still persists in the UK’s taxpayer-funded arts world.   [ […]

Machinima bibliography 2007-2011

My new machinima bibliography (PDF link), primarily covering the years 2007-2011.

The rural/urban jobs divide

A curious finding, that should perhaps trouble those who casually think that Midlands job creation only really happens in cities and that the countryside is in a spiral of decline. The latest Staffordshire Economic Bulletin finds that between 2003 and 2008 urban parts lost 12,000 jobs, while the rural parts of the county added 13,000 […]

Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Coppelia posters

Birmingham Royal Ballet opened its Coppelia poster design to designers, and here are the results. I wonder if they asked for retro, or that’s just what they got because everyone is tapping that particular trend at the moment?

Newspaper Club

Newspaper Club is a welcome addition to the range of print-on-demand publishers such as Lulu (paperbacks) and Blurb (photobooks and art books). The market appears to be schools and local groups, but there’s no reason you couldn’t do a newspaper sized ‘zine. They allow PDF upload. The front page says the print-on-demand service has been […]

Open Culture 2011 notes

A whole lot of notes on the presentations given at Birmingham’s Open Culture 2011 day. Perhaps most useful is the feedback / findings from local Hack Days, events which invited local digital developers to engage with local museum collections.

High-speed rail line revealed

The proposed route of the new high-speed rail line, at Birmingham. It seems Birmingham city centre will be served by a spur-line, which also seems likely to squish BIAD’s plans for a new-build campus near Millennium Point… The Sunday Telegraph talks of the as-yet-unknown line further north thus… “passes through Stoke[on-Trent] – but it is […]

British horror film fanzine production in the 1990s

Birmingham’s Oliver Carter is currently researching the culture of British horror film steampunk production in the 1990s. Any info, interview tapes, or old rare ‘zines you can pass his way will probably be welcome.

Cartoon and Comic Arts degree at Staffs

A new B.A. (Hons.) Cartoon and Comic Arts degree at Staffordshire University, which I’m told starts with its first cohort of students in September 2011. They have a blog and a Tumblr page.

Is there a new geek anti-intellectualism?

Larry Sanger asks “Is there a new geek anti-intellectualism?”. My first reaction would be that expressions of anti-intellectualism among the self-made digerati are possibly being elided and confused with calls for radical education reform. We certainly need such reform. Possibly the sentiment is provoked partly by the fact that a great many intelligent and creative […]

Council arts spending survey is out

Arts Development UK’s eighth annual local authority arts spending survey is out. Mailed to all arts or cultural officers in all authorities in England and Wales, it seems that only 29.9% even bothered to reply. But, among those, the general picture is the one that’s pertained for the last decade or more — ever declining […]

Kirkland’s New Empire Bioscope

The organisers of Wolverhampton’s Kirkland’s New Empire Bioscope are seeking artists working in film/animation, to submit recent work or proposals for work that will be shown as part of a home cinema experience set within an ex-industrial unit, temporarily transformed into a classic British Edwardian ‘fleapit’ cinema. To apply please send proposals, artist’s statement, short […]

Summer visual arts exhibitions in the Midlands, 2011

My quick pick of the summer visual arts exhibitions in the Midlands:—   New Art Gallery Walsall. Opens 17th June 2011. Leo Fitzmaurice | You Try to Tell Me but I Never Listen. “Leo Fitzmaurice collects, contains and re-edits the visual noise that forms part and parcel of 21st century life. He will transform the […]