Tag Archives: Culture

On Culture: HighTide Festival comes to Walthamstow

Fantastic news for East Londoners who love progressive new writing and theatre – HighTide Festival is coming to our capital.

The Suffolk festival celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2016, and later this year makes its debut in Walthamstow in a temporary theatre space in partnership with Waltham Forest Council.

Kanye the First: Photography by Helen Maybanks and Rebecca Pitt

HighTide Theatre will present two world premiere productions in 2017, Heroine by Nessah Muthy (Host) directed by the Festival’s Artistic Director Steven Atkinson and comic dramaKanye The First by Sam Steiner (Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons) directed by HighTide Theatre Associate Director Andrew Twyman. A co-production with Theatre Clwyd, Muthy’s devastating exploration of patriotism and nativism in modern Britain follows young ex-soldier Grace as she struggles to reassimilate into society following a medical discharge from the army. Steiner’s first commissioned, and highly original, play will chart the second coming of global pop icon Kanye West. The play takes a timely look at identity and guilt in contemporary culture. Kanye The First is a co-production between HighTide Theatre and Paul Jellis in association with The Marlowe and The North Wall. Alongside these productions Theresa Ikoko’s Girls, joint winner of the George Devine Award (2016), the Alfred Fagon Award (2015), is set to return. Telling the tale of three young friends who are kidnapped in Nigeria, Ikoko wrote Girls to highlight the stories behind the headlines that quickly become yesterday’s news. Girls is a co-production between HighTide Theatre, Talawa Theatre Company and Martha Rose Wilson.

New work: Heroine, Photography by Helen Maybanks and Rebecca Pitt  

This year we’re focused on what HighTide Theatre is renowned for: commissioning bold and timely plays from the best new writers. We look forward to developing and previewing these world premiere productions in our beautiful home of Aldeburgh, and then for the first time bringing the whole festival to Walthamstow, alongside showcasing work by local artists. This new producing model for HighTide Theatre of two festivals allows us to take risks and continue to develop our productions with the input of our audiences in Aldeburgh. And then our new partnership with Waltham Forest Council and the National Theatre enables us to bring our fully formed productions all together to Greater London, where they can be seen by a wider and diverse community who would like a greater cultural provision in their area.” ~ Steven Atkinson, Artistic Director of HighTide Theatre 

It will be in Walthamstow town centre for 12 days after its Aldeburgh season, bringing an eclectic arts programme to an area of London. The programmes in both locations will include three headline plays (two of which are world premieres) and a programme of comedy, cabaret, talks and music.

HighTide 2017 Walthamstow Artist’s Impression, by SKA

The Walthamstow Festival will run 26 September – 8 October with Press Nights on 26 & 27 September.

“Waltham Forest Council is delighted to be partnering with HighTide Theatre for the first time this year.  Whilst the borough has a thriving cultural scene we do not have any bespoke theatres and a recent survey of residents showed that this was the cultural provision they felt was most lacking.  By bringing the Festival to Walthamstow Town Centre we are able to provide theatre right on residents’ doorsteps. Some of our talented local artists are included in the programme and a number of our young people will have the chance to gain first-hand experience of a professional theatre. We’re proud that our borough is home to one of the most diverse populations in the country and it’s of the utmost importance to us that our cultural programme reflects this diversity. We’re sure that the range of shows on offer will appeal to a wide cross-section of our residents. We also look forward to welcoming visitors from far and wide to experience Waltham Forest’s creative buzz.” ~ Lorna Lee, Head of Culture & Heritage, Waltham Forest Council

Free or discounted tickets will be available to those with a Waltham Forest postcode and HighTide Theatre will be working to help young people find routes into creative roles, in collaboration with local organisation Big Creative Training, hosting a traineeship and work experience placements. The full programme in Walthamstow will include a late night comedy and cabaret strand, a series of talks, a site-specific production,Mobile, and a strand of work showcasing and supporting local creative talent. The comedy line-up is set to include: Phil Wang, Suzi Ruffell, Dane Baptiste, Tez Ilyas and Jayde Adams. Cabaret and music artists include Joe Stilgoe who will perform Songs on Film, The Beatbox Collective and an exclusive preview of new music from Arthur Darvill.

More information is online.

On Culture: Inhotim reopens Gallery Doris Salcedo

The CultureJukebox team are huge fans of the epic gallery Inhotim; our visit there was one of the highlights of our month in Brazil in 2016.

So, it was great to hear that ine of the most important works of Inhotim’s collection is now reopened for the public. Neither (2004), by Colombian artist Doris Salcedo, was first exhibited at Inhotim in 2008, and has recently been fully restored, together with its host gallery.

This is the first major restoration project undertaken by Inhotim, reaffirming its commitment to the permanent exhibition of contemporary artworks.

Image c/o Inhotim
Image c/o Inhotim
Image c/o Inhotim

Neither’s restoration was concluded in three stages. Initially, an architectural intervention in the gallery modified the public access to the building and created a heated antechamber to avoid direct exposure of the work to external conditions. Then, the engine room of the pavilion was expanded to receive new monitoring equipment, which will guarantee more homogeneous and linear climatic parameters, even with the variation of temperature and humidity in the outdoor environment, as is common in Inhotim.

After the gallery adjustments, it was possible to start the third and more complex stage: the restoration of the work itself.

“In Neither, Doris Salcedo unprecedentedly combines non-conventional materials such as gypsum and metal plaques. We need to consider that contemporary art works like this are designed by artists during experimentation and often for short-term exhibitions. At Inhotim, our challenge is to carry out continuous research on the processes, materials and concepts used to guarantee the perenniality of the collection and the access of the public”, ~ María Eugenia Salcedo, adjunct artistic director of the Institute.

Born in Bogota, Colombia, Doris Salcedo’s work has since the 1980s dialogued with political and social issues. Several 20th-century violence stories, such as the guerrillas that have marked Colombian history for decades, emerge as references and starting points for her sculptures and installations.

Neither highlights the artist’s interest in architectural interventions, and more specifically with one of the paradigms of modern exhibitions: the white cube, a space segregated from the outside with idealized proportions and continuous illumination, providing a more “pure” and “neutral” experience with art. In this installation, however, a grid was attached to the walls, with minimal differences in its repetition. Charged with emotion but almost invisible, the work relates to the architecture of concentration camps, but also with the apparatuses of segregation in large cities. If the walls protect, the bars seclude and separate – the artwork, however, is neither.

Explore Inhotim online here: http://www.inhotim.org.br/en/

On Arts: UK City Of Culture? Hull 2017 Makes It Mark

It was one of Hull’s best known voices that said: “Nothing, like something, happens anywhere”.

That was Philip Larkin, and this year *something* is happening in Hull – it’s the UK Capital of Culture this year and has a mind-expanding programme of events, arts and cultural happenings going on that is really going to put the Humberside city on the map.

On New Year’s Day thousands of people gathered to watch fireworks and a stunning multimedia installation to open the year of culture in the City. This brought to life stories of the city and its people from the past 70-years.

Image c/o Getty

Sean McAllister, a documentary filmmaker from Hull, said the Made in Hull event – would show the world that Hull has a remarkable hidden culture.

He said: “We’re finally going to share our secret. If you’re from Hull, we always knew we had culture, it’s just the world didn’t know, so the secret’s out. Finally we’ve had to let them in. In a way we’ve kind of had these doors up to keep everybody out of our culture.

Sean added: “It’s just for us, we’ve had it as a subculture but, damn it, we’ve finally had to open the door to the international world and let them in. They can come and see what we’ve been enjoying.” 

Image c/o Getty

From the devastating bombing during the second world war, to the disappearance of its fishing fleet in the 1970s due to the cod wars, to the decimation of its shipping industry, Hull has struggled during the last seven decades.

Officials hope Hull’s tenure as UK City of Culture 2017 will breathe new life into the city. It is the second city to be given this honour, following Derry-Londonderry four years ago. Hull was selected four years-ago from a shortlist which included Dundee, Leicester and Swansea.

I grew up a few miles outside of Hull and will be covering 2017 in some detail. Here are a few highlights to watch out for over coming months:

Voices Across The Humber, April 1st

This sounds like a fantastic introduction to the region’s character, through its unique voices.

Ours is a place with distinct DNA, inimitable character and high spirits – a true energy estuary. Rich in history and talent, both banks of the Humber will come together to perform an exciting choral, orchestral and visually stimulating concert celebrating our region’s proud maritime heritage.

Led by Hull Choral Union, one of the area’s longest standing and best loved choirs, the show will unite choirs aged 7 to 90, renewing old partnerships, forging new relationships and connecting communities from across the river.

Flood, Feb 1st to October 1st

This experimental performance works with the city’s unique geography and brings to mind some of the recent heartbreaking disasters in and around the region.

image c/o Hull 2017

An epic adventure about the end of our world, set in the future, told in many parts.

Flood is the story of what happens to Hull when the waters come.

Slung Low makes adventures for audiences outside conventional theatre spaces, each with a powerful, moving story at its heart. Their political, mythical and explosive storytelling has wowed audiences nationally, transporting them to new worlds and making them see familiar places afresh.

Flood is the company’s most ambitious and experimental project to date, using live performance, special effects, digital manifestations and other platforms to tell a story across an entire year.

Back To Ours, Feb 22nd to Feb 25th

As part of the celebrations there’s creativity coming to every corner of the city.

There’s a buzz in the air as we bring award-winning shows to every corner of Hull, with big names sharing the stage with familiar and favourite local artists. We’re transforming venues in the heart of local communities; from schools to shopping centres, there’s a festival hotspot right on your doorstep.

We’ve got something for everyone as we shine a spotlight on comedy, music, circus, theatre, cabaret, dance and film. There are stories that will bring a tear to the eye, belly-laugh jokes, magical moments and even a bit of puppet nudity. So what are you waiting for?

Bring a friend. Bring your parents. Bring your kids.

Heck, bring everyone Back To Ours.

COUM Transmissions, Feb 3rd to March 22nd

A subversive exploration of the Hull-formed artists who challenged societal conventions.

Explore the life of COUM Transmissions in the first exhibition of materials drawn from the personal archives of Cosey Fanni Tutti and Genesis P-Orridge. Live events organised by The Quietus will trace the conception and legacy of COUM, combining music, talks and discussions among original COUM members.

Founded in Hull during the late 1960s by artists Genesis P-Orridge and Cosey Fanni Tutti, COUM Transmissions was a collective whose work confronted, subverted and challenged societal conventions.

Labelled ‘the wreckers of civilisation’ by a Conservative MP following COUM’s Prostitution show at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts, the group’s end in 1976 heralded the formation of the musical collective Throbbing Gristle.

 

Mind On The Run – The Basil Kirchin Story, Feb 17th to 19th

Another experimental ambient happening – inside the mind of a post-war sonic genius.

Image c/o Anna Bean

What connects the first British rock’n’roll discs of the 1950s, Vincent Price and The Abominable Dr. Phibes, the Nagra tape recorder and the industrial sounds of the north? The answer is Basil Kirchin.

Basil Kirchin is the forgotten genius of post-war British music. His remarkable life stretched from the days when British dance music mutated into rock’n’roll, through a headlong succession of film scores and pop songwriting, before retreating to Hull, where he created sonic landscapes that still challenge convention while seeking out an increasingly reclusive existence until his death in 2005.

A pioneer of musique concrète described by Brian Eno as “a founding father of ambient”, Kirchin’s intriguing history represents a collision of popular and experimental musical cultures that predate and define much of the music we hear today.

A live music festival celebrating the legacy of Hessle Road’s creative genius.

John Grant’s North Atlantic Flux: Sounds From Smoky Bay, TBC

A four-day music festival celebrating the best in Nordic creativity and influence taking over Hull city centre.

Hull goes international as it celebrates the city’s Nordic links in this experimental music festival.

Critically acclaimed singer-songwriter John Grant will curate a brand new, experimental music festival celebrating Hull’s Nordic and international links, while exploring the best in sonic creativity as part of Hull UK City of Culture 2017.

A host of Nordic and international artists are coming to the city over May Day bank holiday weekend, including Icelandic electronic dance collective GusGus, Norwegian multi-instrumentalist, DJ and producer Lindstrøm and Wrangler, a project that brings together Stephen Mallinder of Cabaret Voltaire fame, Phil Winter from Tunng and John Foxx collaborator Benge.

Fila Brazillia’s Steve Cobby and acclaimed writer Russ Litten have teamed up for a unique musical journey. In 1968 three trawlers from Hull sank off the coast of Iceland within two months of each other. 58 Hull men died. There was one survivor. Combining Litten’s prose poetry with Cobby’s soundscapes they will perform four commissioned pieces to reflect the experiences of trawlermen. Making a ghost ship out of words and music and bringing their fore-fathers back home.

North Atlantic Flux: Sounds From Smoky Bay will feature a variety of electronica, contemporary classical, avant-garde and experimental music, as well as one-off collaborations. Venues around the city hosting the festival include Hull City Hall and Gate Nº5, with other venues to be confirmed. More details about performers and shows and what to expect at this major music event will be announced in due course.

_

More than £30m is being spent on the year’s events and £25m has been invested in revamping the city centre and refurbishing the (brilliant!) Ferens Art Gallery and the city’s main theatre.

Other happenings planned for 2017 include a visit by the Turner prize and a much-anticipated one-off gig from David Bowie’s old backing band, the Spiders from Mars.

And it’s not just culture. The city recently secured a £310m commitment by the German-owned firm Siemens to build new offshore wind turbines in the city, creating up to 1,000 jobs. More information and ticket details are on the Hull 2017 website here.
 

 

 

 

On Ideas: Reflections on Internet Culture after our WebSummit visit

Last week I spent a few of days working from the FutureSocieties conference at WebSummit in beautiful Lisbon. The event is Europe’s biggest technology and entrepreneurship conference – a global meeting place for web-thinkers and entrepreneurs focused on changing business and lives.

The FutureSocieties conference is a big part of WebSummit – bringing together leading thinkers, politicians and academics to discuss how our cities, our working lives and our culture are being transformed.

There were a huge amount of inspiring talks, packed with useful ideas and opportunities to connect with new companies, media and organisations who could help us to go mainstream. See below for a brief summary from talks and the entrepreneurs I met – I’m obviously happy to expand on any of these themes or connections if particularly useful for anyone’s work.

Talk 1) How is tech changing giving?

A provocative talk that claimed philanthropy and giving is stuck in the past. French entrepreneur Alexandre Mars gave a super interesting talk about how philanthropic organisations often operate in silos. How do we encourage giving to new ideas and social entrepreneurs doing things a little differently?

screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-22-34-23

He claimed that much of philanthropy is failing new social organisations and ventures seeking to make wide impact on problems that assail the poor. So, he set up Epic Foundation: this innovative website uses evidence-based data tools to identify innovative social ventures and organisations, giving them the tools they need to be successful regardless of prior track record, and then monitors their progress while working with them to evaluate what works and what doesn’t.

Corporate partners love Epic’s model because it demonstrates contributions unlocking their full social impact potential. Because of this, Epic helps corporations fulfil their social responsibility goals, while supporting organisations that make global social impact, whether that be feeding children in Darfur, offering underprivileged children access to technology and higher education courses, or getting homeless people out of shelters.

There is a Comms and storytelling element too. Epic also provides news, stories, photos, and videos curated by their team from each portfolio organisations, creating not only a second high-value data point for donors to monitor, but also a growing stream of content to drive their inbound traffic and marketing. The constant flow of information that the Newsfeed provides shows that their money is working hard and that Epic Foundation and the organisations it supports are constantly in motion. Lastly, each venture Epic supports comes with an individual profile. This offers data, news, and background information – building credibility they need to build their donor community.

Talk2) Is the internet making us stupider?

Comedian David Schneider led an interesting talk on how the online world is changing the way we think. It was centred around the amount of online “content” that is out there. Consequently, our brains have learned how to read differently (with constant distractions), which has reshaped how we learn. While the Internet gives us access to more information than before, paradoxically, we are becoming dimmer and more superficial as a people.

There is a science behind this too. When you encounter hyperlinked text, your brain asks the question: “To click or not to click.” Because you are constantly being interrupted to make these decisions, you rarely “get lost” in the text and consequently the information infrequently becomes deep knowledge. The WebSummit heard how this redirection of our mental resources, from reading words to making judgments, may be imperceptible at first. But it’s been shown to impede comprehension and retention, particularly when repeated frequently. Not surprisingly, Internet usage is rewiring how we think.

Talk 3) The Filter Bubble vs democracy

I was at WebSummit as Donald Trump (surprisingly?!) won the election, so the question mark about us living and working in a filter bubble was high on the agenda. Have the open channels of the internet become ‘echo chambers’ for certain viewpoints? Does this impact the democratic process? And scientifically, the way we perceive and understand information?

Charles Arthur from from The Guardian opened the session: what is the effect on democracy of the fact that search engines and social media tend to feed back to users ideas that they already agree with? He considered that the problem of the echo chambers caught everybody – possibly also search engines and social media – by surprise particularly around Brexit and the US election. He asked to his panel if in four years time, when the UK will not be a member of the EU and the US will have new presidential elections, the filter bubble will have been addressed and burst?

Ann Mettler, Head of European Political Strategy Centre, said:  “The industrial age was about standardisation, the digital age is about customisation”.

This translates into an objective problem when it comes to today’s information world, where echo centres translate into the perpetual strengthening of biases and beliefs. Before the advent of social media newspapers were the ones responsible of fact checking and of making decisions on what was newsworthy. In today’s online world the absence of “mediators” in social media, and the fact that nowadays success depends on shares, not accuracy or precision, results in a wealth of lies and rumours dressed up as news.

The panel admitted the problem is far from being easily fixed, considering that people do not appear to really care, comfortable as they are right now in the bubble. Both Gary and Ann Mettler added that something would need to go “horribly wrong” in the democratic process for a solution to become felt as urgent globally.

screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-22-37-15

 

_

Of course, WebSummit wasn’t just about the talks. See below for a few interesting start-ups trying to make the world better in their own way:

Josoor

  • A new start-up, hoping to become the first community platform for refugees and supporters
  • www.josoor.eu

Logic@

  • Social Business who empowers Entrepreneurs to become Social Entrepreneurs, by using their knowledge and technologies to help the Governments solve Local and Global Problems, creating their own Crowdfunding Campaign where the Citizens and Investors support your Social Impact
  • A new social network for social entrpreneurs basically!
  • http://wsnetwork.co/

BrowniePoints

  • A social platform that connects non-profits, businesses and individuals to facilitate greater measured impact through incentivised volunteering and donating
  • www.brownie-points.co.za

AftLeuven

  • Introducing students to technology and entrepreneurship and inspire in them a sense of entrepreneurship, a quintessential skill in today’s economy. We provide technical students the opportunity to further develop their technical knowledge and reach out to non-technical students to introduce them to the wonderfull world of technology.”
  • http://www.aftleuven.be/

Aiden

Speak.social

  • Helping refugees and migrants connect with locals through the language barrier
  • www.speak.social

Quorom

  • A new app that changes volunteering – making it more accessible for people & efficient for organisations. Allows people to organise for action
  • http://quorumapp.co/en/

The Happiness Network

  • The Happiness Network is a social enterprise that focuses on creating technologies, brands and campaigns to empower people to maximise their quality of life and happiness.
  • http://happinessnetwork.co.za/about-us/

GiveBox

_

The CultureJukebox team left WebSummit full of new ideas and promising new connections. Obrigado!

15002454_10154012497616778_676986095446973259_o

On Film: East End Film Festival Collaborates with Stonewall

The CultureJukebox team are huge fans of the culture & creative industries supporting the causes that really matter. So it was great to read about the brilliant East End Film Festival’s upcoming film event..
Next week (running from 4th-6th November) the festival is hosting a special weekend of screenings raising money for Stonewall UK. It’s all part of a nationwide series of events taking place as part of Stonewall Season, all aimed at raising money for this vitally important charity and their work.
The festival crew are returning to one of London’s outstanding screening venues in the extraordinary Masonic Temple at the Andaz Liverpool Street. They have programmed two cult films that deserve to be seen within an LGBT context (A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 and Tony Scott’s The Hunger), with a third evening of screenings featuring a trio of documentaries from VICE, complete with director introductions.
More information is available here. Tickets are just £10, and you can support the festival team on social media too.
screen-shot-2016-10-29-at-20-10-20
Here’s the film line-up in full:Friday 4th November the East End Film Festival presents A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge

When A Nightmare on Elm Street became an unexpected smash hit, the birth of a horror classic also spawned a huge number of sequels to Wes Craven’s terrifying original. What was less predictable was that A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 would also be one of the gayest mainstream horror films ever made. Following a young man named Jesse who battles with Freddy Kruger when his family moves to Elm Street, this is classic 1980s slasher fare, but with a twist: all the victims are male, Jesse seems to prefer his best friend to his girlfriend, there’s terror in the locker room… and that’s not even mentioning a visit to a particular type of nightclub. A one off example of Hollywood (unintentionally) green lighting a script intentionally laden with gay subtext, don’t miss the chance to see this classic gay horror landmark on the big screen, in the most spectacular of settings.

Saturday 5th November the East End Film Festival presents The Hunger

A chilling classic starring the iconic David Bowie, Susan Sarandon and Catherine Deneuve, Tony Scott’s tale of love, lust and vampires is one of the most stylish and erotic horror films ever made. A tale of a love triangle between Deneuve’s vampire and her two paramours (the achingly cool Bowie and Sarandon, who became romantically involved whilst making the film), a thrilling life of seduction and blood sucking on New York City’s nightclub scene soon take a terrifying turn, when it becomes clear that immortality may be an illusion. Featuring one of the best ever movie openings, as well as perhaps the greatest lesbian seduction scene ever committed to film, this is American Gothic at its stylish, erotic best, but with a twist.

Sunday 6th November VICE Media presents three original short documentaries each introduced by people behind the films.

Young and Gay: In Putin’s Russia introduced by Milène Larsson (Filmaker)

When Russian President Vladimir Putin passed anti-gay ‘propaganda’ legislation in the summer of 2014, the country effectively institutionalised homophobia throughout the nation and turned Russia’s LGBT population into full-blown enemies of the state. The all-pervasive law systematically dismantled basic human rights, blocking LGBT people from accessing support or legal help in every aspect of Russian society and led to a sharp rise in homophobic attacks and hate crime.

Ahead of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, VICE News travelled to Russia to investigate the effects of the country’s state-sanctioned homophobia on Moscow’s LGBT youth, meeting leading gay rights activists, Putin’s spin doctor, the lawmaker behind the repressive legislation and the individuals protesting against their own government for the right to live freely and without fear.

Young and Gay: Jamaica’s Gully Queens introduced by Christo Geoghegan (Host / Co-Producer)

VICE News travels to the sewers of New Kingston to meet the ‘Gully Queens’ – a group of young LGBTI Jamaicans forced out of family homes and into the underground dwellings of the capital by the constant threat of attack, rape and murder by anti-gay mobs.

In a country where the ‘Buggery Law’ still exists and carries a ten-year prison sentence, VICE News explores how young trans girls and gay men are leading the fight against Jamaica’s institutionalised homophobia through visibility and a fierce community spirit.

Gaycation: Japan introduced by Will Fairman (Series Producer)

GAYCATION follows best friends Ellen Page and Ian Daniel as they set off to explore LGBT cultures around the world, starting with Japan, where same-sex marriage is still not legal and LGBT couples often bear a social stigma. Despite the huge challenges, parts of the gay community continue to thrive in Japan’s vibrant culture and nightlife and in some cities, same-sex marriage is even starting to become recognised.

In a journey which includes getting ‘friendship-married’ at a Buddhist temple, working at a rent-a-friend agency and joining the party in the world’s smallest gay bar, Ellen and Ian find out what it’s really like to identify as LGBT in Japan and meet some of the people struggling to find their voice in a country that refuses to give them equal rights under the law.

screen-shot-2016-10-29-at-20-09-59

_

Tickets are available here.

 

On Culture: The Waldorf Project is back

The Waldorf Project: Chapter Three / FUTURO is returning to London in its biggest and most ambitious incarnation yet. Chapter Three / FUTURO will guide participants through the vast abyss, manipulating their emotions and responses in a genre-defying, multi-sensory experience – expressed in a universe of black and white alone.

One of the CultureJukebox team’s favourite London creative crews – this is a truly expansive immersive experience. Not to be missed.

The event is take place at Here East, London’s home for making, is – as a hub for entrepreneurs and pioneers of technology – the perfect stage for The Waldorf Project’s latest Chapter, presenting a world full of intrigue and wonder, unimaginable even to the most seasoned of Waldorf Project devotees.

c-greg-shaw-3

The Waldorf Project is staged under the concept of the Japanese emotion ‘AMAE’, meaning ‘a temporary surrender in perfect safety’. As in its previous chapters, The Waldorf Project unites the most pioneering practitioners in the worlds of environment design, product design, sound design, choreography, costume and textile design, and gastronomy, engendering through the birth of a new art form a rare synergy.

c-greg-shaw

Orchestrated and directed by artist Sean Rogg, the experience takes place between individual stages, or environments (each creating a new emotive synchronisation of taste, sound, touch and sight), participants will be immersed in the void of the cathedral-like sensation. Lost in the vacuum, they will be guided to move both as individuals and as a newly formed cumulative organism. Using exciting technologies and emotional manipulation, The Waldorf Project will explore new ways of implementing its algorithmic methods to manipulate the group, as developed in previous chapters; the ‘organism’, by interacting with its environment, will, ultimately, bring it to life and even learn to control it.

“We are not thinking beings that feel; we are feeling beings that think” ~ Antonio Domasio, Professor of Neuroscience, University of California

wald-rend-09-copy-1

“Those attending the experience will have their minds opened to the fanciful and phenomenal possibilities envisaged by preceding generations, before worldly pressures took over and stifled such thinking. By taking our guests on a journey, guided by their senses and interactions with hosts and fellow guests, we aim to satiate their inquisitiveness of these progressive worlds. Upon entering and experiencing Chapter Three / FUTURO, the environment we all live our daily lives in may seem a little humdrum to the initiated” ~
artist, Sean Rogg

The Waldorf Project: Chapter Three / FUTURO runs for nine nights, Thursday 10th – Sunday 13th November and Tuesday 15th – Sunday 20th November 2016.

For further information and for tickets visit www.waldorfproject.com

 

On Culture: The Wanstead Fringe

This month, Wanstead’s annual Fringe Festival begins its fantastic celebration of some of East London’s most creative residents and venues.

With a more than thirty events taking place venues around Wanstead and beyond – people can enjoy live comedy, open-air cinema, poetry, a vinyl record night, a cult pop quiz,  art exhibitions and much more.

If you’ve not been to Wanstead before, it’s the perfect excuse to hop on the Central Line and head East..

Wanstead Kinema, c/o Geoff Wilkinson
Wanstead Kinema, c/o Geoff Wilkinson

The literary events are one of the highlights. The CultureJukebox team are looking forward to Aldersbrook resident and Guardian journalist Hugh Muir joining local author John Rogers on a discussion about the changing face of London’s suburbs. The talk will cover place, space and the future of East London.

Locals are also looking forward to some of the live music – with East London rising stars Recoupes and Luna Blaze (Tues 13th) at the brilliant Wanstead Tap. Finally, a live acoustic night in the Manor House sees Wanstead-based acts take to the stage in a  special event called  Keep your Freak Flag Flying.

The Duke, Wanstead

Other eclectic events include nocturnal photography walks, a guided gardening tour and yoga among the trees. There’s also a cornucopia of events for families, children and particularly foodies..

.. in fact, some of Wanstead’s best independent eateries are offering food and menus at a discount, as part of Wanstead Restaurant Week. With this summer’s arrival of Bombetta, The Ginger Pig and a beautiful new greengrocer alongside some of the area’s old foodie-favourites doing great business – it’s a brill time to visit the area.

Bombetta
Bombetta

For more information on The Wanstead Fringe, see here: https://wansteadfringe.wansteadium.com/

On Culture: Sheffield’s Brilliant Off The Shelf Festival

The CultureJukebox team spent some time in Sheffield earlier this year, and was great to see so much energy and ambition around the culture, places and spaces.

So, it was great to receive a press release earlier today about the Off the Shelf Festival of Words 2016. It is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, having established itself as one of the UK’s most innovative cultural festivals.

The 2016 has an outstanding line-up of heavyweight guests and contributors including; Nick Clegg, Tracey Borman, Kid Acne, Tony Robinson, John Pilger, Alan Johnson, Carol Morley and a UK first –  ‘It’s Raining Words!’

There are also appearances from Nick Hornby, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall and The Cure’s Lol Tolhurst. An illustrated talk charting the dramatic history of Sheffield’s brewing industry from 1750 onwards also looks like a treat for all real ale fans.

 “The Festival aims to provide a glittering, eclectic and accessible programme that is not only hugely enjoyable but does make you think. In 2016 we achieve a quarter of a century of celebrating the spoken and written word with a festival whose aim is to speak to everyone.  We love welcoming our local and regional supporters and look forward to the increasing number of people who seek out the festival, and are keen to join us at any one of our 200 events.” ~ Maria de Souza, Arts Officer at Off the Shelf.

 

 

Read more about the festival here.

 

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.

Our Neighbourhood: plans for new Stratford Waterfront Culture Quarter unveiled

So much going on around East London these days – so was great to read about the new cultural quarter opening up in a few years in the Olympic Park. Called the Stratford Waterfront.

Bringing together education, arts & culture, design and digital/tech. Ambitious plans.

We cycle through the Olympic Park most days, and these plans do look impressive. There’s some brilliant partners involved (V&A, UCL, Sadler’s Wells and London College of Fashion). Now, let’s hope they inspire further independent creative businesses to head East too..

“In a few short years we will see not only a new cultural and education district in east London with some of the world’s leading institutions sitting in the heart of the park, but new neighbourhoods and business districts and hugely successful sporting venues delivering on the legacy promises made for the 2012 Games. This is the perfect illustration of how London is open, and will remain so.” ~ Rosanna Lawes, regeneration head at the London Legacy Development Corporation

image c/o Future.Londonimage c/o Future.London

The full story in the Evening Standard here and for more details on the plans check out Future.London