Instead of reading a sackload of Valentine’s cards (none again), I’ve been sampling the zeitgeist in the latest crop of art & design & fashion mags and journals today: rural life and landscape is very big (Tate Modern is ‘right in there’ with a Hamish Fulton retrospective from mid-March); male & female nipples are everywhere; Britart and the Britpack was just a big Blairite/Saatchi con-trick; the once much-touted ‘metro city-living/cafe-culture’ has become increasingly bland and shopping/spending-oriented; New Labour’s agenda to use ‘community arts’ as a trojan horse to push their social-policy propaganda is reviled; eccentric British creatives are being forced to the rural/urban edges of cities to find cheap run-down areas because glitzy cafe-bars and franchised ‘entertainment venues’ are squeezing them out of the inner cities. Some quotes….

“Just as the only truly radical youth movement is that of the ‘Straight Edgers’ — who shun drugs, alcohol and corporate-branded sportsgear and go beyond what is offered to, and expected of them, within the modern world — perhaps the biggest challenge to urban addicts is to leave the high streets and the high life behind.” ~ iD magazine editorial, on ‘the return of the rural’, in the Feb 2002 Landscape Issue.

“The only shocking thing about British art is its total insignificance to anything going on in modern Britain. Young British art speaks a dead language.” ~ Beck’s Futures finalists, Oliver Payne and Nick Relph, February 2002.

“The work of creative individuals and multidisciplinary teams has become one of the most important engines of wealth creation [in Britain]. It has increasingly played this role over the last quarter century, only for some reason no-one has been noticing – at least not at the policy level.” ~ Sir Christopher Frayling, head of the Design Council, Arcady, Winter 2001/2.