2011 was probably one of the most exciting years in terms of my artistic development. Overall, it’s seen a lot of my work go out into the wild, rather than just sitting on a server or on my computer.
January was pretty slow and saw me mostly carrying on with my studies at Birmingham City University.
Although it was a slow month I did finally meet Rob Myers at the Furtherfield show opening in London. I was also asked to join BiLE as their visuals guy. After initially being hesitant, due to my lack of experience in performing live, I accepted the offer.
I uploaded the What Glitch? scripts to the interwebs and showed off their capabilities in this video:
I still think I’m probably the only person to use these scripts. Someone please prove me wrong! Although the scripts are very rough, as one of my first attempts at writing someone functional I was happy with my achievement
BiLE also had their first performance at SOUNDkitchen:
Whilst it didn’t blow the socks off of everyone in the audience it represented how we were going to progress as a group
The finished competition entry, Internalised, sadly didn’t win but did go on to be shown at Cannes in a Van later in the year.
I also had the pleasure of meeting Rob Canning of GOTO10 whilst they were in residence at Grand Union. Pure Dyne, which is made by them, was one of my first positive experiences with Linux so it was great to meet those who have inspired my work!
BiLE performed at We Are Birmingham (RIP) on May 1st, the day of the Royal Wedding. Videos from the performance are available here
I did slip in some footage from the wedding itself, but it did seem no one noticed. We then played our first gig outside Birmingham at the Electroacoustic Compostion Forum in Liverpool.
I made available for download my general purpose video mixer:
It lacks a lot of features found in many VJ applications but it worked for me for most of 2011. I think I’m still he only person to use it…
They’re one of the few design agencies that focus on producing work made entirely using open source applications. What more proof do you need that open source tools are more than capable of producing design that is indistinguishable from work made with proprietary tools.
I’ve been an Ubuntu user for a number of years and whilst I’ve faced many problems I’m now at a stage where I can produce work quite easily.
A day later BiLE performed in Wolverhampton
I’ve been helping to organise Birmingham Zine Festival since its inception in 2010 and in July we expanded to fill the We Are Birmingham shop.
I (still) don’t make many zines, but it was really great to see such an active DIY/zine scene in Birmingham
(More photos from the event are here.)
Throughout my time in BiLE I’ve mostly been learning about the whole electroacoustic music scene. Being mostly a fan of heavy metal and the like, this is all new, and at times, just plain weird! Events like this, where people are able to talk freely about their motivations and approaches to this type of work, have really helped me to understand it better.
Freecode performed at the hexagon theatre at the mac.
This was quite a special gig for me as I performed alongside Modulate and Scree (Catweasel and DJ Sir Real. Back in 2007 when I was looking for local digital arts groups/artists it was these that I came across that then went on to inspire my work.
Did I mention that I met Richard Stallman?
I finally completed my MA in Digital Arts in Performance. Whilst my final piece for the course was criticised for its shallow storyline it was a great learning experience of using digital technology in a performance:
Despite it being 90% finished earlier in the year, in September I finally finished Skin Cells.
Straight after that it was time to get started on GLI.TC/H. With only two months to go things were getting a bit hectic. A (successfully funded) Kickerstarter was launched to support GLI.TC/H in Amsterdam and Chicago, whilst Birmingham opted for support from other sources.
I curated a screening of some great glitch videos as part of Flip Festival in Wolverhampton. This acted as a preview to GLI.TC/H, which by this point, had eaten up most of my free time.
A video for local Jazz-Metal band, Meatfeast, went online. I provided some effects for it:
Meanwhile, Birmingham Zine Festival held a stall and small zine exhibition at Supersonic Festival in Birmingham.
GLI.TC/H, for many reasons, was definitely the highlight of my year. Although I had organised art and tech events for awhile (most notably fizzPOP), I had never done anything on this scale. I’m thankful to the GLI.TC/H bots for allowing me to curate GLI.TC/H Birmingham and to the various people and organisations for supporting all of it! srsly, thanks!
I really liked how GLI.TC/H brought together many like-minded artists, many of whom had never met before in real life and were more likely to know their username than real name! Here’s some of the GLI.TC/H superstars hanging out after some good fuuuud!
Also, this month I Am Sitting In A Room, a piece inspired by Alvin Lucier’s work of the same name, had an extra-special showing at a celebration of Alvin Lucier‘s work in Connecticut in the US. I never would’ve thought that this video would’ve been seen by the guy who inspired it!
Elsewhere, What is your glitch? 1bitgifavibmpbmpcmykbmprgbjpgmpgpcxpixpngppmsgisvgtgawebp was shown at Leeds International Film Festival and I did a micro residency in Coventry.
Practically nothing happened, and for that I’m thankful! With most major things in my life over bty this point (my studies and GLI.TC/H) I used December as a period to reflect and think about where I could attempt to take my practice next.
2011 was definitely a year that took me by surprise. Here’s to 2012 being just as awesome!