I’ve been involved in the arts for quite a few years, studied it, supported it, promoted it, even practiced it a bit back in the day. However much I loved the arts, the defining moment when I first purchased my major piece of work was still momentous. I had bought several smaller pieces in the past, usually based on intuition and an instant desire for the piece. But, this one was different: it was a large piece and a little bit out of my budget at the time, but I fell in love with it and I had to have it. Art is addictive, which is what eventually led me to open Leontia Gallery, selecting beautiful pieces and being surrounded by really powerful art, and I haven’t stopped collecting since.
The Design Museum in London's trendy London has announced its contenders for the 2015 Design of the Year award. There are 76 nominations split across six categories. You'll be familiar with many of them, but not all. This year's chair is Anish Kapoor, who will be steering his four colleagues to decide on the overall winner in June.
We list all of the nominations here; rather than give you long proclamations on each product, we have condensed our reviews into one sentence (OK, sometimes two). Right...
Last night the nation watched RAPT as a man shouted at two other men - THIS IS THE VALUE OF TELEVISED POLITICS. I didn't, though - I was at the theatre watching this instead, which is only on for two more nights but which any and all of you should make time to see as it is genuinely astounding.
BUT! You don't come here for the theatrical recommendations and 'satire'! You come here for LINKS TO OTHER STUFF! Well, sadly, you may have to stop doing that - we're coming to the end of Imperica's attempt to raise funds and it's looking A BIT HAIRY. Ah well, we've had a time (an actual, real prize to the first person to place that reference). At the very least this is the last Curios until after Easter - what remains to be seen is whether we too will rise, Jesus-like, from the TOMB OF PENURY, or whether none of you buggers will help us roll the metaphorical stone back.
So on that note, if this does turn out to be the final one of these things, then let me just say - it's been a PLEASURE. I kiss all of your faces. Especially YOU.
So, then, webmongs. This is WEB CURIOS!
(Oh, and just so's you know, there's an actual photograph of a penis in here this week (but it's a friendly, non-sexual penis, and it's right at the bottom, and it's all arty and stuff, so shouldn't cause too many issues). Thought I should let you know, though.)
As part of last week's μChip 3 event created by Antonio Roberts and Sam Wray, we had the opportunity to catch up with a few more of the performers and artists involved with the event. Gareth Roberts (GwEm) has been performing using an Atari ST for several years; Dan Hett (Bitrituals) is a creative programmer and live coder. We caught up with Gareth and Dan to talk about their work and the chiptune/livecoding scene in general.
After consulting with our eyes and ears on the ground all over the world—collectors from Los Angeles to Brussels, advisors and critics from Istanbul to São Paulo, and Artsy specialists from New York to Berlin—we’ve compiled a list of the top 15 artists we’ll be watching in the coming year.
Championing somewhat divergent trends—a return to figurative painting and focus on technical skill, versus the continued prevalence of digital art—the following list represents the artist’s we’ll be following in solo gallery exhibitions, museum shows, and, undoubtedly, across our Instagram feeds throughout 2015.
Black Tonic offers a glimpse into the lives of the invisible workforce whose erratic shift patterns service our round-the-clock society. The negative effects on health of a 24hour lifestyle - for those enjoying it, as well as those working to enable it - is only just starting to be reported in mainstream media. We worked closely with scientist Professor Debra Skene when developing the original production, and her research underpins the show’s plot, characters and situations.
Black Tonic’s protagonist is Lena, an eastern European hotel chambermaid who works a typically disruptive pattern of shifts to service the needs of hotel guests. It is these workers in the lowest-paid service jobs, who often lack influence, who fare the worst. Although people in more prestigious careers such as doctors work unsociable hours, their shift patterns are carefully managed to minimise negative effects to their health.
The excellent work of Professor Skene, and others like her, highlights the serious increased risks to health for those who work unsociable shifts long term, and challenges the assumptions that a 24 hour society is to be aspired to.
We think this is a little-discussed, but vitally important issue facing our society now, and hope that audiences of Black Tonic will be inspired to explore it further based on experiencing the show.
So last Friday I was in a GREAT mood and then I heard about the Battersea Arts Centre and it rather ruined it - BAC is an awesome venue, it supports some of my favourite artists, and if you can spare £10 for its renovation after the fire that would be ACE, thanks. And while you're feeling generous, you know, there's still time to SAVE IMPERICA, though not actually that long. I feel like Canute.
By way of exchange for your generosity, let me offer YOU - yes, YOU, noone else, only YOU - the finest selection of this week's 'hand-foraged' (picked up off the dark corners of the web's floor and basically nicked off other people who got there first), 'artisanal' (literally no idea in this context, sorry), 'eclectic' (incompetently arranged) and, occasionally, 'challenging' (bongo and death) snippets from the web. Let me be your Maitre D, webmongs, as you prepare to tuck into this week's splendidly tasty selection of WEB CURIOS! (NB - we do not care about your allergies)
The 1990s is ubiquitous in economic terms as Japan's Lost Decade. One of the products of this long and painful recession was a fear-based culture, where job security is scarce and employees would work beyond their means in return for security. A documentary focussing on employees living in Internet cafes won an award earlier this week.
µChip is an annual event which brings together chiptune music, hacking, digital art, hardware modding, and much more. For its third year, µChip3 comes to Birmingham and is created by Antonio Roberts (aka Hellocatfood) and Sam Wray (aka 2xAA). We caught up with Antonio and Sam in advance of the event taking place later this week.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has released the much anticipated Apple watch – his company’s first new product since the iPad. Cook said the new watch, in addition to telling the time, was a “comprehensive health and fitness companion”. But we’re unlikely to hear much about how people will actually use this new product for some time.
Our research has found that smartwatches certainly do have some benefits for users. But they also have a hidden, darker side which the companies selling them are unlikely to talk about.