Monday, 13 August 2012

VJ Screenshots from Magiclamp jam session

Magiclamp: live electronica from the UK.
This session was from the first time we've played or jammed together for at least 5 years.
We spent the whole day in the studio getting back into the swing of creating together again. Ostensibly to rehearse for a live gig in November but it's been on the cards for a longtime. The pictures below are just a small number of screenshots from the session. 
you can hear some of the music at 
Hope you enjoy.


Monday, 18 June 2012

Peterborough in Transition_The 2040 Workshop



The "28 YEARS LATER" Workshop

 This article is about the workshop run by Luke Payn from the Blok Collective on the Launch Day of Peterborough In Transition at The Green Backyard on Sat June 9th 2012.

We were asked by Sophie Antonelli if we could run one of our sessions at Peterborough's Transition Town launch. There were several aims of this session; to see what people were thinking about at this point in time, to create a sort of TimeCapsule, a record or document for posterity-something we could look at in 2040, and as a yardstick- we could ask this question again in say three years and compare answers, and lastly to get people thinking about these questions at a personal level and stimulate discussion around the launch of "Transition Peterborough".

Predicting the future is possibly one of the hardest things  for us to do. But hoping, praying, planning, wishing and dreaming about our futures is something we all do everyday. It is also something that business, government, kings, dictators and similar societies and groups do all the time, in fact not just Predicting it, but Forging it, twisiting the future to their will and to their interests.

It is a difficult question to ask, some people do the maths, and clearly the answer is that they may not be alive by then, - highlighting peoples mortality at a celebration event on a (reasonably) sunny day is at times a bit awkward. And of cousre young children can only respond with a sort of cartoon fantasy scenario as the whole idea of being old is really quite alien to any child, they sort of look at you as if say 'what a silly question.'

Their answers though were quite telling in that they were full of optimisim and a sense of fear was absent, although some young boys did start talking about China and how it may be a global dictator.
A young boy wanted to a racing car driver, and young girls wanted to be married with kids to the pop-star of the day. So like everyone else they want a safe, emotionally stable and happy future doing the thing they love and being with the person they fancy, rasing a family.

For Transition Towns thinking about the future is vital as it allows us to build a sense of direction and then working back we can see what needs to be put in place now and in the near future.

Transition Towns and the Transition movement is essentially about preparing for the future as the supply chain and the resources and amenities we take for granted now become unstable, rationed, expensive  or dissappear alltogether. It is about making communities resilient to that change. And communities are made up of individuals. So if individuals in a commnity have a better sense of their possible futures then the community at large can, in theory, start becoming better prepared.

We wanted to bring the question of 'what will life be like in the future?' away from the global perspective and pull it into the daily nitty-gritty, 'what will YOU be doing in 2040?'
What will daily life be like? 

Asking this question many people's first response was,
'do you mean what I think it will be like, or what I want it to be like?"

So the seperation between what people hope for and what they believe will happen is quite prevelent. 
And this really gets to the crux of the matter. 
Most people don't want war, or our forests to be destroyed, or people to have dirty drinking water, or politicians to consistantly betray us-but all these things happen.

so it was hard for people to respond without dividing between "I Predict This..." and "I Hope For This...", or a similar divisions.

I took the main question and split into as many permutations as I could, so people didn't get too stuck on semantics and free up their answers, or inspire different thought paths.
What Might My Life Be Like In 2040?
In 28 Years I Will Be....
In 28 Years we will have...
What Will My Life Be Like In 2040?
In The Year 2040 Peterborough Will Be....
In The Year 2040 There Will Be....

and then going a next layer into the question I asked more precise questions such as;
where will you be working?
what kind of work will be available?
will the world be a better place in 2040?
what sort of new technology is available?
where will you buy your shopping from?
what will be on TV?
what currency will you be using?
what will the Health care system look like?
how will you communicate with friends and family?
how will you vote and Who can you vote for?
what will our schools and colleges look like?
what will the social structure be like?
in the Year 2040 What currency will we be using?

If you have any answers to the above please leave them in the comments box, I'd love to hear your responses!

It is certainly a session that I hope to run again, if you have a group / venue you would like to run this session with please get in touch. -it is a prickly question and at the fat end of the wedge there really is no right or wrong answer. however as you drill into the question some veryinteresting questions arise!

Flying Cars, obviously.....


Sunday, 3 June 2012

Landed Festival 2012

A highly memorble event with Ska, swing, gypsy-jazz, hip-hop and  folk-tronica galore
set in the stunningly beautiful Rhyder valley. The air is clean, I heard no emergency sirens for the whole weekend, and met loads of friendly people. The circus skills tent was busy from dawn to dusk, with a mini penny-farthing, unicycle, Diablo's and tonnes more being practiced by kids of all ages all day long. I now realise that I was so mesmerised in watching it that I didn't have a go myself, so I promise to get stuck in next year. It was a refreshingly well organised event, a light touch all round, and a focus on the important aspects of a festival, good music, nice atmosphere,  all spaces were easily accessible and a good use of the natural environment.
  I basically have two sets of photos , one from the phone camera, using Instagram  and uploaded during the event, and the others are taken on my Canon EOS 500D. The ones here are all taken on my phone and uploaded via Instagram during the event, I will post the others some point in the future....
This is the first time I had road tested my new cameraphone and the Instagram app. It was great being able to process the images right there and post them online straight away.

I was due to VJ on the Firday night, but alas after several hours I could not get the projector to talk to my laptop. 

This was made more frustrating as I had gone into the desk and seeing it all set up, projector on the rig, all the cables wired to to the desk, an actual space to put my equipment, - a plug and play gig..! was I dreaming?!

 I was so overjoyed at this that it took me sometime to  to come to terms with the fact that the projetor was simply not working.....gutted dosen't even cover it.... I particularly wanted to do some live stuff with Opaque, the shifting melodies, bizarre sound effects and sonic soundscapes, are perfect for VJ'ing to.
Alas not this time, had I been there a day before, or had the set on Saturday I may have had more time to solve the problem.... but by  the time the evenings entertainment had started it was too late to start fiddling and climbing rigs.

At least I got to create this set of images from the event, and these photos are give a pretty good feel of the vibes and visions of the weekend.  I also got to talk with so many wonderful inspiring people, took part in several workshops, chilled by the river, warmed up by the fire and threw some wild shapes to some proper festival music!

A massive thank you to Marv, Grubby, Luke, Woef and the whole Landed Team for inviting us along, it was lovely to bring the Grassroots vibe along and to be able to part of such a genuine event.
Hopefully see you all next year, if not sooner!

Quercus Burlesque_very unusual act!

Burlesque in the Theatre Tent

Moony from Opaque

Piper on the Grassroots Stage

Decoupage Workshop!
Peter Conway Band on the Grassroots stage

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Art in the Heart_Peterborough

Last night was the launch of the Art In The Heart project at Peterborough's Tourist Destination Centre. It has taken a couple of months to get to this point so it was nice to see it finally arrive.
For my part it is the first time
I have had my work presented as a greeting card, which is a bit surreal. The work I have produced for  this venture is the Peterborough Cathedral images discussed in a previous blog post. As I have just got switched onto the Instagram app a couple of days before I decided to create some work during the show using it, as Dawn had asked if any us could do some live work or demonstrations.
I took some photos of the cathedral as I walked there, the shop is next to it, and used those during the show.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Abstract Instagram:

Yesterday afternoon I obtained a new phone, all smooth and shiny. I spent most of last night tinkering with all the toys and tools associated with it.

I had heard, and seen, all about Instagram from Twitter feeds and G+, and was keen to see what all the fuss was about. A simple but somehow highly effective tool, I was told.

The images I had seen on these feeds made me curious. The square format  and film grain look, like a 1600 ISO,  and they seemed to refresh the litany of online photographs.
It puts back feeling and emotion into these quick snaps.

I liked the idea of square frame, referring to ye olde Poloroid. I guess the square is also very useful for mobile frames and social media feeds, the square image and ajoining text look very snug on the screen, again reinventing the Poloroid with the white box for writing a caption for the picture.

The image styles available are warm with a poetic effect, conveying mood, and sensation, and reminds me of the feeling of experimenting in the  darkroom.
All in all great stuff.

To get used to this new tool  I decided to make a set of abstract images whilst
sitting at home.
The settings I mostly used were Nashville, 1977, Kelvin and occasionaly Hudson and Toaster.
I hope you enjoy them, and watch out for plenty of Instagram's from Landed Festival next weekend!