On Ideas: Introducing A New Way To Get Things Done

As you’ve probably read already, the CultureJukebox team like to get things done…

So, it was great to be introduced to a whole new way of sorting your life out, and saving some money too. Bidvine recently launched in the UK, and we’ve been really impressed with the website so far.

The website has a clear mission – “to enrich lives through fulfilling outcomes that improve relationships, make us smarter, and ultimately increase our ability to spend time on meaningful things”. Sounds good, right?

The website does this by connecting people with things to be done with those who are skilled at doing them. So, what does this mean in practice?

Essentially Bidvine allows you to search for a service via a postcode – finding the right expert at the right price to get something done. This could mean window cleaning, video editing, Spanish lessons, putting together Ikea furniture or something else entirely different.

What’s great about Bidvine is that once you put your job request out there, you get a variety of quotes back – meaning you can choose the one that best fits. There could be cost or timing implications or something else, the choice is yours really.

In total, Bidvine offers more than 600 services at dozens of locations around England. They have an app, and it’s worth exploring the website to find out more: https://www.bidvine.com/

Easy to use, smart and (potentially) a big time-saver too. Thumbs up!




On Data: Dress For Our Time explores global migration

Dress For Our Time, by award-winning artist is a unique installation that brings statistics and fashion together to explore one of the world’s most pressing issues – migration.

The installation has been created by designer Helen Storey MBE RDI (London College of Fashion, UAL Centre for Sustainable Fashion). By using innovative technology, the latest data and Helen’s unique voice in fashion, Dress For Our Time delves into the complex matter of human displacement in a pioneering endeavour to change the social narrative of this complex topic. A really impressive idea.

image c/o Holition
image c/o Holition

The dress itself is a decommissioned refugee tent which once housed a refugee family in Jordan and was gifted to the project by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). In giving the tent a meaningful reincarnation as a public installation, Dress For Our Time transcends both data and fashion by humanising the numbers to tell a bigger story.

“Worldwide, one in every 113 people on the planet is now either a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking shelter – but numbers means nothing, if they don’t affect your own heart. This project uses the power of fashion to help us connect to the previously unimaginable and asks how each and every one of us can remain a humanitarian in such a time of colossal and irreversible change”. ~ Helen Storey, Professor of Fashion and Science at London College of Fashion, UAL

The UNHCR has logged a record 65.3 million people currently displaced worldwide and 21.3 million refugees.  Dress For Our Time uses the very latest data, representing one year’s worth of UNHCR statistics collected by its Field Information and Coordination Section. This information will be used to visualise the refugee crisis and demonstrate its true human element, through a striking animation that will be projected onto the dress itself using data visualisation developed by Holition. The animation is formed of points of light, each representing one hundred human lives and creatively illustrates the journey each one takes in search of a better life. The lights flow from six points, depicting the continents where the refugees have moved from, before populating the countries in which they find shelter. The image that emerges is not a world map of countries but a map of human migration.


The piece opened to the public earlier this month, and will be on show at The Science Museum until September 4th. For more information click here and follow the hashtag #Dress4OurTime. A powerful, timely and beautifully produced idea.

On Art: Something Amazing

British artist Stuart Semple has announced a major public art project, Something Amazing.
It has been commissioned by The Fertility Partnership and is taking place in six locations (London, Glasgow, Chelmsford, Southampton, Oxford & Nottingham) around the UK on Thursday September 1st.
Popping up in well-known sites – yet to be revealed – Stuart Semple’s large scale installations will brighten even the most mundane of mornings, encouraging people from all walks of life to stop, look and discover.
c/o Stuart Semple
c/o Stuart Semple

Raising awareness of the essential work of The Fertility Partnership, and to increase egg donations at their clinics, the campaign invites all women to consider how it might feel to be infertile, or unable to conceive, and the amazing gift they could potentially give.

Fertility treatment has transformed the lives of thousands of women. Every year, around 2,000 children are born in the UK as a result of donated eggs, sperm or embryos. The problem is, the UK just doesn’t have enough egg donors – and a woman can wait up to two years for an egg.

“I’m really excited to be creating these new pieces and to be bringing them to streets throughout England and Scotland. It’s amazing to be able to lend my art to a cause as important as egg donation. I see art as a really generous thing and the idea that art can link so directly to life is wonderful.” ~ Stuart Semple, artist

Exhibited globally, most recently in his solo show ‘My Sonic Youth’ at Fabien Castanier, Los Angeles, Stuart Semple is perceived as one of the UK’s most significant post YBA artists, with work owned by some of the most important and high profile collectors worldwide.
His artworks, worth from £300 for limited edition prints to £300,000 for large original painting, are highly collectable. So an exciting dimension to the project, and one reflective of the generous act of egg donation, is the 1,000 limited edition signed and numbered artworks, created by Semple especially for the project and to be given away on the day. Members of the public will be permitted to take an artwork with them – as a gift of generosity from the artist – but may also be inspired to continue in this altruistic vein, to share something amazing by giving the artwork to somebody else.
Stuart Semple is famous for his positive public art projects. In 2009, the artist came to public attention with ‘Happy Cloud’, in which he released thousands of smiley faced clouds created from soap and helium. Launching them from Tate Modern, the clouds were seen across the London skyline as they moved towards the City. Its universally enthusiastic reception compelled Semple to repeat the project in Milan during Salone De Mobile, followed by Moscow and Dublin. Other public artworks have included ‘JUMP’, a 100 metre squared inflatable interactive sculpture in Melbourne’s Federation Square in 2013 and, last year, ‘My Happy Place’, a city-wide event in association with Coventry Centre of Contemporary Art on the occasion of World Mental Health Day.
On this occasion, he invites us to explore what it means to change another woman’s life by sharing something amazingpublic art that can create life. The women who engage with the project on the day, and with the entire concept of egg donation, could ultimately positively affect the family of a stranger through one of the greatest gifts they could possibly give. Thousands of fertility treatments are only possible because a woman like you donates an egg. This is the fundamental message.
Certainly worth keeping your eyes peeled for this thoughtful and brave piece of work. For more information, visit here.

On Sustainability: the ongoing coffee-cup waste campaign

As regular CultureJukebox readers will know,  we’ve been campaigning against coffee cup waste for a long time now.

So, it was great to read about Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s BBC News piece, here.

There are some eye-opening statistics in the piece. In his War on Waste campaign, Hugh estimates that 2.5 billion single-use cups per year go to landfill in the UK. But the problem is much bigger when we look beyond Britain…  With estimates of up to half a trillion manufactured, globally, over 100 billion single-use cups go to landfill each year. Starbucks, in the US alone, serves 8,000 cups per minute.

At CultureJukebox HQ we just received an email from an  innovative company called Ecoffee. It explains:

Due to the volumes produced, single-use cups are cheap and make up a miniscule percentage of the cost of a cup of coffee, which means a change to something more sustainable will impact on profits, and shareholders are averse to anything that does that. Starbucks has announced it will be “trialling” Frugal Cup – a recyclable single-use cup – in the UK. Whilst this is a step in the right direction, we don‘t believe it tackles the problem at the source. We can’t see how this will work in practical terms either.  Separation and non-contamination of recycling is the key and unless facilities exist, it will be very difficult to ensure such separation occurs, especially when dealing with cups that are taken off premises. Instead, and as is the current reality, cups will simply end up in general waste. In order to have any impact at all, coffee chains need to invest in special facilities – dedicated bins, dedicated waste recovery, dedicated recycling facilities – and pool resources to do it. Unfortunately, we can’t see this happening any time soon.

So, we think that rather than focusing on the recycling of single-use cups, it’s behaviour that needs to change. A bit like single-use plastic bottles, and more recently, plastic bags, it’s evident that it’s not that hard to change a few little things to help make a big difference. Reusable coffee cups are the way forward.

We’ve stopped drinking coffee from single-use cups. And you should too! The Ecoffee Cup is worth checking out. Made from biodegradable bamboo fibre and available in a wide range of designs, Ecoffee Cup is light, practical and resealable for easy storage in bags.

With a number of coffee shops and cafes offering discounts for those using reusable cups, it also saves money for the British coffee consuming public. The Ecoffee Cup team has set up the #stopthe100billion social media campaign in an attempt to raise awareness of the issue and effect real change in the way we consume coffee.




On Beer: The Great British Beer Festival

As anyone who has followed the CultureJukebox team for a while will already know, we’re partial to a drop of real now and again.

So, we’re really looking forward to this year’s Great British Beer Festival. It’s organised by the dedicated and hard-working team from Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) – and is a must-attend for real ale fans from around the country.

The event offers visitors more than 900 real ales, ciders, perries and international beers. Visitors can also enjoy fantastic entertainment, food, seating areas, and traditional pub games too. We’ll be there on Saturday – drop us a line if you’re around!

Great British Beer Festival: c/o CAMRA
Great British Beer Festival: c/o CAMRA

And if you want to know more, check out some of the authors who are sharing their beer wisdom at the event here.  Tickets and timings are all on the festival website here. Cheers!