The world as we know it is on the verge of economic collapse (Well most people claim so ). Oh there’s a famine in Africa, again. Drought is the cause apparently, but water or lack of said wet stuff does not cause famines. Well not this sort any how, I mean didn’t anybody see this one coming?. Oh what about the big chief in the sky? Ya know Mr. Numero uno. Isn’t he lord and protector of us sheep? Well that’s what some people have been harking on about, ever since some dude got nailed to a big-ass cross two thousand years ago. Oh and this dude also has extremely, awesome, magical powers. Apparently he has the gift of absorbing all of humanities sins, cool or what? So he’s some kind of magical sponge basically, who can also time-travel, oh apparently he’s also a citizen of the united states of America. So did dinosaur’s sin? What about those Neanderthal’s, you just know that they did wicked things, yeah like draggin‘ their unconscious bitches across the lawn. Are E.T’s on the list of saved people too? Oh they’re just a figment of my imagination and so are their modes of transport, they’re either airplanes, stars, or just plain old weather balloons.
Apparently 2012, is when most of us are gonna bite the dust. According to the Mayan calendar or myth, or your local fear fuelling D.J, pretty soon the T.S.W.H.T.F. Are we prepared though? Are we prepared to survive this coming mangled scorched earth , are we prepared for the cries of the pain filled billions? You wretched people lost.
Irish musician and skills exchange member Bill Coleman gives us another song this week. Something to smile about at the end of the week. So in his own words “I ended up in trouble this week, spent a load of time on something that didn’t work out, so here’s an old tune that I never worked on. In THE BOOK it’s right next to “I Want You to Know“, which likely means it was written just before or after that.
It possibly needs a bit more on the writing front. It possibly needs a whole pile of things, but only time will tell…”
Jazz saved my life. I know, I know a big statement to make, a whopping declaration but true nonetheless.
Getting an audience for a gig in a small cork music venue is getting more difficult every week as we sink further into recession. People simply don’t have the money for it – I know I don’t.
Hard choices are being made; people are staying at home, counting their pennies, saving for their bills, rent, mortgage, food, electricity, gas, credit cards. It’s hard. Bleak. Real. And while we, the people, are struggling our Government continues to sell us a pup; all is okay, we’re resilient, our European masters love us, life is getting better, bring back those of Irish origin to the auld sod and we’ll fleece them for all they’ve got and call it a cultural tourism initiative. Don’t worry about the lack of health services, the falling levels of education, the inequality, the injustice, the old boys network, smile, be happy, be thankful. Fuck you. I’m not happy, I’m struggling to keep my family alive, warm, fed, healthy. Life is not getting easier, it’s getting harder.
And all of this comes back to Jazz.
With Cork now involved in the worldwide Occupy Campaign I thought it high time I posted up something relevant into our culture blog that somehow reflects the anger and inequality of the majority of people who have mostly resigned themselves to paying for the debts of a minority. If this wasn’t bad enough we, the majority, have to get up everyday and struggle, get by, manage, scrounge for our very existence under a political yoke put upon us by politicians who claim to serve the people but in reality have utterly capitulated in the face of naked, craven and wanton greed. We are at the end.
Last Friday as I was setting up for sound checks – at the music venue I run – I fell into conversation with one of the activists from the occupy cork camp. He was in for a coffee, a break from the weather.
I had met him briefly before, at a party, somewhere, someplace, I was drunk, who knows. Anyway, he mentioned that they were screening a film that night and asked me if I’d come down and join him. I couldn’t as I had a gig to run but the following day I went online and got the film for myself. I’m now going to share it with you.
In our culture blog this month one of our regular travel writers gives us more anecdotes from a place that seems a million miles away from here unless of course you’re from, or living in, Andalusia
Que haciste por la tarde ayer? Estaba tumbando en la sofa What did you do yesterday afternoon? I was lying on the sofa
The translation, I was lying does not do justice to the metaphorical beauty of the Spanish verb, tumbar.
Tumbar can mean to roll and tumble, playfully, like a seal does on the shoreline. So when someone says to you ‘tumbarte en el sofa’, they are saying to you, ‘plonk yourself down on the couch, rest yourself, make yourself snug and comfortable by rolling and tumbling yourself, playfully; make yourself as snug as a bug. It gives the impression that the essential, conceptual meaning of ‘sofa’ in the Spanish language is this enormous space where you can creatively play, frolick, and rest, which in some respects you do, from a psychological point of view. I think we can agree that the Spanish have a high frequency verb that holds a deeper evocation than lie down, in English.
Here’s the new video, ‘Two Enemies’ by Cork Electronic Band and mutantspace skills exchange members Versives. The name Versives was discovered clearing out a dusty old music room to make way for a new writing space, the song Two Enemies was written down a dimly lit lane on a Winter’s evening.
Versions of Two Enemies passed through loud venues around Ireland, a cottage in East Cork and an open rooftop in Dublin before emerging in its final form.
Two Enemies, directed by rising Cork filmmaker Rob O’ Halloran, with visual effects provided by the incomparable James Murphy (both of Bold Puppy Productions) and starring actress and singer Una Power (herself a musician with Panikon Deima), focuses on intimate human detail while leaving a sense of separation and mystery, in the style of Glen Fogel’s work with Anthony and the Johnsons (‘Hope There’s Someone’).
While the song now has its own meaning for the band, Versives leave it and its video open to interpretation and comment.
Written by Versives, Produced by Ciarán O’ Shea
Video Directed and Edited by Rob O’ Halloran
Visual Effects and Grading by James Murphy
Another week, another song by Irish musician and skills exchange member Bill Coleman. I can’t pronounce this weeks song so you’ll have to give it a lash yourself. Please let us know what you think of it and if you’re a member of mutantspace feel free to send in your work along with whys and wherefores of the song
About this song – TS@aW #19 De Nuh Nuh Neeh Neeh Nuh ‘N Nee
This is a a poppy, summery, breezy concoction. I’m still not happy with the lyric but I’ve been stumped on it for the last few days so it’s one for the ‘further honing’ file. Actually, that’s kind of the case for the whole of TS@aW really, whether I like the lyric at the moment or not, but that’s beside the point. More than most of the other tunes though, this one feels ‘unfinished’ somehow, but I’ve no idea what the next step is.
In a little over a month our DIY Arts Festival, The Trash Culture Revue, kicks off. As usual it’s unlike producing any other festival as it’s organised online and through a skills exchange in which members volunteer their services, resources, ability and talent to create a diverse programme of gigs, theatre, film, art, poetry, workshops and food events
This time round we’re teaming up with Art Trail – that has been running in Cork for a number of years – a visual arts festival that uses existing and unusual spaces to develop and present projects by established and emerging local, national and international artists. Personally, I’m delighted that we’re helping each other out, it’s a great partnership, we share common ground; both voluntary, both do it because it’s important, both do it because we’re passionate, both do it because we’re constantly looking to create space in which artists have the opportunity to come out of the shadow of the more administrated and bureaucratic festivals that exist in the city, in the country – that are deemed cultural tourism assets.
This month from the mutantspace kitchen our skills exchange foodie gives us an old traditional recipe for boxty. A very simple recipe that is absolutely delicious – with eggs, steak and whatever else you’re having – especially around Halloween time
Hallowe’en is nigh and I have been scrambling around looking for a dish, which is associated with this time of year. When on the brink of concluding that my repertoire of autumn recipes had been exhausted by previous blogs contributed to this site, boxty suddenly came to mind. Here is a potato dish traditionally found in the northern counties – e.g. Cavan, Leitrim, Donegal and Monaghan – and much favoured at Hallowe’en. The Irish bacstai is said to be derived from bocht meaning poor and perhaps explains why this dish is sometimes called the bread of the poor. I grew up in the north-west of Ireland but have no memory of boxty. Perhaps it was not made in that particular part of the country. However, I suspect that my mother’s intense dislike of grating any kind of food is the more likely reason why boxty did not feature in my childhood.
Delighted to introduce you to a new short story by one of our most prolific writers in our skills exchange, Mark Kelleher
The child plucked the fluffy-duck from under its velveteen pillow, inspected it with an odd confusion, and began to strangle it. The act was delivered with a guttural gasp, disgorged through clamped teeth. The sound was a common projection from his lips, the first he made after sleeping. Sometimes it was espoused in a lower tone, as if the child had surrendered to the routine of it. Accompanied by a leveraged sigh, most mornings at least, he would arise, brush off the lasting effects that sleep brings, and get about doing his task. Simply yet always precisely. Some mornings, however, had much more of a frenetic beginning, depending on how he’d woken – his earliest adoration, of the very few he harboured in his short life, was for untroubled sleep; to be roused out of sleep, purposefully by her or by some accidental noise, infuriated him beyond belief. Awaking to the shuffling of feet on the floors of other rooms, or the baying of far away dogs, the child would prop himself quickly, toss his duvet aside, and attempt to shatter his ribs with desperate screams. His fingers entangled around the duck’s ruffled neck, he would twist tightly with all of his young strength. It was the creature’s eyes, marbled slits of mauve, which the child became lost in, staring them down hauntingly. He hated that fluffy-duck with an absolution that defied his years. He was six years old then.
The act lasted for mere seconds and took place immediately after the first chiming of his alarm-bell. There was the initial head-rise, the quick stretch and sigh, the arising, and then, finally, the reach for and strangling of the fluffy-duck. Gripping the creature’s neck, the child’s pointed face contorted with awful spasms. His tiny teeth clamped tighter than a vice and his eyes sunk back into his skull, diluted and convulsing as though wired by some fit.
To contemplate the act was beyond the child. The timescale of his first doing it to the present day could not be mapped by his limited memory. It was only in the instances of now, all the moments of the immediate present, which his mind chose to function in. The only genuine semblance of all his doings was in the rooms which he inhabited, the possessions he embroiled himself with, the long-term effects of his movements and wrongdoings. He was, in essence, a child possessed by nothing at all. His intentions were unclear and wholly irrational.
The neck of the duck was severely worn, a wealth of its red stitching having loosened and burst through daily mangling. Its head, for now, lay in place – though for how much longer it could not be known. A fluffy-duck, no matter how well it’s manufactured, can only take so much toil. Why the child chose to orchestrate his own misery through that and not something else was also unknown. It was a present, as far as he could recall, but why it had come to this – routinely engaging in battery of the damned thing – never troubled him or came to him. It was, to put it simply, an abandoned toy one day, and then it became a necessary tool another. In rare moments of contemplation, or when thoughts emerged out of the dream-world of sleep, the only purpose he could assume was accurate was simplistic and, to him, somewhat understandable: someone, something, somewhere in between his days, needed to die badly.
It could just as easily have been something else, some other fixture of his room: the porcelain faced Mickey Mouse clock on the far wall; or the star-stickered universe of his ceiling; or an even more prime candidate: the buckled rocking-pony. But no, it was the duck, perhaps because he was nothing more but too close to the child, that got it at the beginning and would be condemned now forever. Its eyes refused to blink. The silly dickey-bow of silver and turquoise stapled to his miniature sailor-suit stank of mould. The fluffed tail, complete with toy-store tag, had been dropped in some sauce sometime. Enclosed inside the fluffy-duck’s chest a hard, squared box lay, where the child’s father had once put batteries in. Back then, when its beak was pressed hard, it would jerk into motion, mouthing ‘quack-I’m back, I’m back –quack,’ but now it was broken and the box felt like a festering dead heart.
I watched ‘Il Divo’ on BBC4 last night, a film that’s still resonating with me today, probably because it was in Italian but mostly because it was so visually arresting; beautifully framed, lit, structured and had a thumping soundtrack that verged from Sibelius to Beth Orton, Fauré to Teho Teardo, Vivaldi to Trio’s “Da Da Da”.
Il Divo – a label, once applied to Julius Caesar – is a biopic of Italian politician Giulio Andreotti.
So you might ask, legitimately if you’re not Italian; why watch this film? Who is this man? What makes him such a compelling subject for a film?
Andreotti entered the Italian political arena in the late 1940s and is now in his 90s. As the right-leaning leader of the country’s centrist Christian Democratic Party he was elected to his first term as prime minister in 1972 and led three different Governments up until the early 90s. Throughout his political career he has been called everything from the Sphinx to the Hunchback, the Black Pope to Beelzebub. He was appointed a senator for life in 1991.
Read this and get yourselves to this creative space for skills exchange and learning that’s happening today and tomorrow in the Exchange, Dublin and organised by Open Learning Ireland
I hated school. You know the kid who sits sullenly at the back of class, doesn’t fit in with his classmates, and is always arguing with the teacher? That was me. Day after day we sat in airless dusty rooms at rotting brown desks, listening to uninteresting subjects taught by rote, by teachers whose primary motivation for the job was the holidays. By the time I’d reached the leaving certificate college seemed like an impossible dream – in the way was an exam system geared around rewarding kids who could silence their voices and absorb vast swathes of disconnected data.
I barely scraped a leaving certificate. I knew I was bright, but the education system didn’t fit me. Our education system doesn’t really fit anyone, but it’s especially inappropriate for kids who learn through doing and speaking, who need to engage with material to understand it. Kids who are active rather than passive, intellectual rather than obedient and creative rather than competent. In the years that followed, thanks to a supportive parent and a great FETAC course at the National College of Ireland I was eventually able to break into 3rd level education as a mature student. I found that in college I could learn at my own pace, in my own way, the things that interested me. I got to study my lifelong passion of psychology, and learn how poor our education system is at putting into effect what we have long known about learning and motivation.
About this song – TS@aW #14 of 52: You Don’t Know What You’ve Been Missing
These particular words I’d had floating around for quite a while now, but never had a demo that I felt worked until this one. I think I kept trying to do a chorus/bridge thingy with it, until I slapped myself around the head for falling into THAT trap, and copped myself on a bit.
‘After Hours’ is an Irish exhibition, in Dublin, that showcases fine art by selected tattoo artists from many different countries, and art by fine artists who are influenced by tattoo art and culture. It will showcase how tattoo art styles influence fine artists via technique, subject matter and style. By showing the work of both groups together, After Hours intends to offer the notion of tattoos as Art, and to examine its place within contemporary art and subversive culture.
This is the first time that Dublin has seen the art of tattoo artists displayed in an independent gallery setting, away from tattoo studios and conventions. This marks an important acknowledgement of tattoo artists’ artwork as worthy of notice away from a working shop and be exhibited instead in a gallery within an international context.
Body Art is a personal and treasured medium for artists and tattoo studio clients and challenges the artist to produce work on an elastic and dynamic “canvas”. Through using their own preferred artistic mediums outside the studio, obstacles faced working on skin can be met and confronted.
Mutantspace skills exchange artist Hilary Williams gives us her thoughts on Dublin Contemporary 2011 that’s on until October 31 in venues across Dublin and tells us of her plans for a group walk in Dublin this coming Sunday, 16th October, from Bray to Greystones Dublin along the Cliff Walk. Meeting at 11am in the morning
Sitting here thinking on this calm, sunny, Autumnal, yet slightly windy day, thinking I must get some sheets out on the line…
First must get the man in my life some lunch, poor man for the first time ever he is grounded. No golf, only me, the TV and some books for company. Both legs are bandaged, one had a mole removed, the other a skin graft.
Life is full of possible Performance Art.
No matter which way I move, turn, come and go it all seems to present possibilities of creativity, the mundane joins the adventure, the chance is happy with chaos, how one presents it is the trick….
I have been to Dublin Contemporary twice now. It gives me much to ponder on, but I have few to converse with.
I could document my husbands legs, make many gory images and then install them as some wondrous cultural spiel…
Still seriously I am always hunting what art is today as in contemporary, having being through the college milieu of understanding all the eras, cults and spins, I have sort of have come to a resting place of understanding.
There is a question which asks “Where are we after the age of ideology?” in print on the stairwell? I asked some passer bys and they were not sure. Maybe an age of individualism? Where we can sort out where the cultural shift is going?
I now hunt stuff that resonates with my own work, which is?
Big pause here as I can’t put a quick fix statement of my own work…
Briefly it takes from my observations, experiences, fears, wishes and possible philosophies all tunnelling into images, stories, fragments of my life and others.
Sorts of inconsistent, unorganised bits of life and of mortality with tongue in cheek.
our next DIY arts festival, the Trash Culture Revue, will take place sometime towards the end of the year. So if you want to create, produce, get involved, play, experiment, try stuff out, have fun, design, administrate, organise, volunteer or just come along then let me know
we provide free creative and production skills for your arts projects and events through our skills exchange so you can experiment, fail, make and play no matter who you are, where you are, what you do or when you do it