March 31st, 2010

Cultural campaigning of the highest order

A deep intake of breath is happening across the arts world. Suffice to say funding is diminishing left right and centre and it’s time to assume the crash position.

Lottery money has contributed to the arts sector enormously, The Tate Modern being the most successful and high-profile project, but revenue is now being diverted to the Olympics.

Added to this, there are the inevitable budget cuts that will hit the arts world. Clearly, the true situation won’t become clear until after the election.

Last Thursday, by way of a pre-emptive strike, the heads of our best loved museums, galleries and theatres launched a ‘cultural manifesto’ urging the government to uphold public arts spending.

The report attempts to qualify and quantify the social and economic impact of culture. They believe the arts can help Britain recover from recession and improve society. Bold claims.

One writer for the Independent criticised the situation saying it’s a sad day when ‘arts policy is discussed on the basis of its economic value’ that ‘their final justification rests on human value not economic growth. It’s a mistake for them to try to sell themselves as anything else’.

Personally, I think that’s an out-dated view and good on them. Surely it’s about being smart, using your information wisely and growing intelligence across arts organisations so we can better measure and understand the full impact the arts has on society.

This is interesting stuff and will only help us to grow appreciation of the arts and to innovate. Why should the arts exist in a bubble? That’s not very modern or forward thinking. What is there to be scared of? Am I missing the point?

Manifesto for the arts | No Comments »
March 30th, 2010

First Spring by Yang Fudong

Come worship at the temple of Prada. A film so beautiful and contrived it hurts. A collaboration with the young Chinese artist Yang Fudong.


Fashion film | No Comments »
March 19th, 2010

The High Line vs MoMa

Do you remember the New York deserted rail line that got turned into an elevated park come walkway last summer? Well, pioneering curator Lauren Ross has attracted 2 million people to walk the High Line which runs through NYC’s meat-packing district. And that’s just since June. By the end of this year, visitor numbers could feasibly be larger than MoMA’s.

Increasingly, it’s the work of contemporary emerging and mid-career artists that are winning over the public. Ross commissions work directly from the artist, “The important thing is that we are working with a unique space – it’s not a museum or gallery, it’s not even like any other park…The pieces have to respond in some way to the uniqueness”.
Public art | No Comments »
March 19th, 2010

The Design of the Year Award

There’s been a lot of chitter chatter about the folding plug designed by Min-Kyu Choi. On Wednesday he won the Brit Insurance Design of the Year Award, hosted by the Design Museum. Such a simple redesign of the original 1946 plug – doesn’t it seem mad to think we’ve been lugging round those cumbersome chunks of plastic for the last 50 years. Ha!

I also really like this shortlisted work by Jason Bruges originally created for the WWF Pandamonium exhibition. The panda heads swivel and their eyes track your movement through the space. Jason took 100 standard coin-collecting units and rigged them up with thermal sensors and hidden motors.

I love the human engagement, playfulness, simplicity and how the idea shortcuts straight to the heart to make the concept of giving more entertaining and thought-provoking. Nice one.

Interaction | No Comments »
March 17th, 2010

Billboard hijakers at it again

Brilliant – this cracks me up! Courtesy of Dr D, David Cameron’s getting more unwanted attention.

Found via 

Uncategorized | No Comments »
March 16th, 2010

Post-impressionists downunder

There’s something about this story that warms the cockles of my heart.

OK. Imagine you’re an Aussie. Canberra isn’t the most exciting place on earth. In fact, you probably can’t think of a single good reason to visit…not one.

BUT. If you bring over some of the world’s best post-Impressionist paintings from Musee D’Orsay in Paris for an exhibition at The National Gallery of Australia – well, godammit you’ve got a road-block on your hands.

Aussie’s are driving for hours from across New South Wales and beyond to visit. And at the weekend are queueing for 3 hours to get a first hand glimpse of a Van Gogh, Cezanne or maybe a Gauguin.

Gallery director Ron Radford said to the press: “We’re not used to these huge crowds. No one in Australia is.”

Love it. The ability for art to inspire and refresh is incredible. Doesn’t it make you realise how lucky us Londoners are.

Found via Sydney Herald and my sis.

Uncategorized | No Comments »
March 16th, 2010

Brick Lane’s ‘hijab gates’ go back to the drawing board

Follow my post on 1st March about the controversial (and in my opinion utterly pointless) ‘hijab gates’. I’m pleased to update you that Tower Hamlets have listened to the 158 local objections and have gone back to the drawing board. Phewey!

Found via The Evening Standard.

Public art | 1 Comment »
March 15th, 2010

Ikea Moscow collaborates with contemporary artists

Swedish giant Ikea continue to democratise design, this time by commissioning multi-million pound installations by major contemporary artists including Piotr Uklanski, Jeppe Hein and Jim Lambie. A series of works will form part of an “airport-sized” Moscow development opening in 2012. A project that is set to fuse of commerce, leisure and culture in unexpected ways.

“We want to create a better everyday life for people.” said Hakan Pehrsson, the head of commercial development at Ikea Shopping Centres Russia & CIS. “With this project, we feel that we (can) give extra quality to the life of the whole family.”

Found at the

Uncategorized | No Comments »
March 13th, 2010

Online exposure for LPA members

The London Photographic Association have added free social media marketing to their list of member benefits. Surprisingly, they are the first online photography and film association to do this.

They promise to market members through social, business & photo-sharing sites as well as through forums and their blog.

An ongoing relationship with PR agency Ginger Media & Entertainment means they’ll keep plugging the online trade & consumer audiences to gain greater share of voice for their members.

Members programme,social networking | No Comments »