On Saturday 2nd February myself and 15 other artists/hackers/tinkerers/people descended upon West Bromwich to hack The Public. A little more about what it actually is:
The Gallery Hack Camp is a new initiative developed by The Public and the first delivered in February 2013. It will bring together artists, producers, creative entrepreneurs and technologists from across the West Midlands and wider United Kingdom.
We aim to develop new ideas at the intersection of art, technology and culture. Setting out to make new work which you would like to see in a gallery of the future. It is also intended to be an active community of peer learning and development.
I was personally interested in converting the railings that go along the walkway into a kind of guitar or harp. All that you’d need is a vibration sensor hooked up to an Arduino that would trigger a sound to play on Pure Data. Easy, in theory…
It was very interesting to see that most of the other ideas ignored the infrastructures already in place for installations and instead either worked around them, or were situated in unlikely places
Me and David.Checkley doing very safe things. Don’t tell the HSE!
On Thursday night there was a whole host of cultural events going on in Birmingham. The one that I spent most of my time at was the All You Can Eat Zine event at the Sunflower Lounge hosted by Gallery Of Owls.
Since last year they’ve been regularly making atheir own zine, the GZEAN. Soon after An Endless Supply appeared and from the amount of zines available last night it seems like there is a small, but dedicated zine culture in Birmingham, which is definitely inspiring and reassuring for people looking to start their own.
The general price range was about £2 for a zine, which seems fair. Taking a flick through you could take a guess at how some were produced. For example, you could see that An Endless supply is made on computer with desktop publishing software (and possibly the a.a.s Group zine) whilst ATTA girl and GZEAN are clearly put together by hand. In a way it’s reflective of how times have changed and access to tools increases and learning curves to use software decreases.
There were also a few performances. First up was Richard Peel who did an adaptation of Dracular in about 10 minutes. The two actors mimed to the vocal track which really did make it funnier!
The next that I saw before I had to leave was Pez on drums. He had ambient music going throughout the speakers which he drummed along to. In a rather experimental twist he’d sometimes hit his guitar with his drum stick which worked quite well. Have a look and listen for yourself.
(The sound didn’t come out as expected, but I like it more for that reason)
Going to this event really inspired me to start up a zine again. Midge was right in saying that you can sometimes overthink yourself out of doing a zine and part of it is just getting up and doing it.
Thanks so very much to all that came to see the first B-VAC exhibition! It really was a great success.
I had a slight problem with hanging stuff up and we ran out of drinks, but for something that is funded entirely by us I think it was executed very well.
As this is my first exhibition ever (aside from the uni Degree Show) I felt really nervous about how well it’d be received, but my fears were put to rest once the event started. There’s a certain sense of satisfaction when you see someone looking at your artwork. Even if they don’t like it, just knowing that they’ve taken the time to form an opinion on it is more than satisfying.
Here’s a copy of the work I exhibited. (click to expand)
Check www.b-vac.com in the coming weeks for more info about the exhibition and future projects.
a.a.s did a performance at the Crowd6 event Mingling and Mistletoe on Saturday evening. It involved us dancing around a Christmas tree whilst vaguely chanting the theme from a popular product and then spewing our guts all over the tree. We then crawled back to our cave whilst blood dripped from our guts creating a pool of festive gore for onlookers to gaze at. Wonderful!