Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Journeys by Swarming Pattern

Kim Rugg - a solitary red balloon drifting skywards

I recently got to quickly visit The City Gallery in Leicester for the Pattern Recognition show, which turned out to be a good oportunity to see works by Bridget Riley, Victor Vasarely and Roy Lichtenstein, among other more contemporary works. I've never been there before and was pleased to have found the place - the gallery is extremely well curated with a well balanced selection of work. I would have left a little note in their comments box saying how much I'd liked it but couldn't find a pen...

Among the posters and prints there was a nice interactive piece, by Boredomresearch called Ornamental Bug Garden, made up of small elements with different behaviours, such as jumping and spinning. It was kind of like an animated painting. Another inspiring piece was by Kim Rugg in which she'd cut out every letter from a Newspaper cover and placed it back, but with each letter now in alphabetical order, and even cut the images into 'pixels' and re-arranged them piece by piece. It made me consider the automation and sorting done by computer programs or the garbled info you get when they crash. What I liked was the fact that it made evident the 'components' of the text - the number of e's used, which letters were bold, etc. and that it was a task usually done by computers but meticulously done by hand. Strangely the essence of what was written was somehow carried through the other design elements despite the disruption of the text.. Genius.

I'm sad I can't go to this years Supersonic Festival, but I can't really afford it right now. Damn all you lucky people who will be spending 3 days listening to some of the world's best new music! But...

As part of the festival Capsule have collaborated with Germination and Fierce! to produce a treat for travellers at Birmingham's Moor Street Station. There Are No Others, There Is Only Us is a video installation of "an aerial dance of half a million swarming birds" by Marc Silver, with music by Ben Frost (who's worked with Bjork among others).

It opens this friday and I'm off to lend a hand tomorrow with it's installation - it may be as close as I get to the action :( Still, it's better to be a tiny part, than nothing at all, and I'm eager to hear some of the alternative soundtracks to the video - submitted through Capsule's website. These days I seem to spend a lot of time at Moor Street and it will be good to have something to muse over next time I'm there.

Pattern Recognition at The City Gallery, Leicester, runs until 24 October.

"There Are No Others, There Is Only Us", is at Moor Street Station, Birmingham : Friday 24th – Sunday 26th July. 10 am – 6pm daily. Free Entry.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Killing Birmingham : Birmingham City Council

I've been following this for a while and am disgraced by the threat to - in my humble opinion - Birmingham's best clubs and pubs and festivals by The City Council.

Just thought I'd share this video (found thanks to Created in Birmingham) and hope that this whole series of events will go away with minimal loss to some of the places that made Digbeth great in the first place.

Coming up is the 'Raise the Roof' event on August 1st - designed to raise money to sound proof The Rainbow Warehouse and save The Rainbow. Join the Facebook Group to campaign against it's closure and the 'Friends of The Rainbow' group here.