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Posts Tagged ‘arts’

OPENING NIGHT: dis-place this collection@The Glue Factory

In Community, film, Performance, poetry on April 12, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Opening Night April 30th poster by Ming Tse

Come and join us as we make our first ever journey west and open an exciting fortnight-long event at Glasgow’s infamous Glue Factory artspace! 

dis-place THIS COLLECTION: OPENING NIGHT

Venue: The Glue Factory, 22 Farnell Street, Glasgow, G4 9SE  See map less than 10 min walk from St George’s Cross SPT.

Preview:

6pm (Open to Public)
Self-organisation in Education: with Stevphen Shukaitis and Glasgow Open School
Author of Imaginal Machines: Autonomy & Self-Organization in the Revolutions of Everyday Life, Stevphen Shukaitis and Glasgow Open School welcomes all to workshop to discuss the installation of thiscollection and present the first in the series of two events aiming to bring together people interested in holding experiments in education this Summer and anyone struggling with ideas and practices of learning, democracy, collectivity, curatorship, culture and knowledge production.

We aim to combine space for open discussion of ideas and pragmatic arrangements for collaboration. For more information visit
http://glasgowopenschool.com/blog/?p=1788
http://www.autonomedia.org/node/94

830pm -1130pm

HEADLINING:

+ BLOCHESTRA: innovative and experimental noise-makers — “a band to turn the conventional music experience on its head.” adapt poems into song, Kate Charles’ “Cables” is given a new spin.

Zorras Film Poetry Vocal velvetness photo by Evi Tsiligaridou

+ ZORRAS:poetry-music-video weirdness fusion. With megaphones adapt Brian McCabe’s thiscollection poem “It”.

A.P & Swedo: Herbalist & Farmhand anarchic word workers this image by Swedo (Sean Cartwright) says it all.

+ A.P & Swedo Anarchic duo jam in a polymusical moon symphony of wordage favourites and new work inspired by this collection poems.

ALSO ON SHOW:

+ Graffiti from up and coming graphic designer Ming Tse who made the awesome opening night poster.

+ a huge and stunning mural by illustrators Helen Askew and Laura Mossop

+ this collection’s 100 poems and film responses collected so far.

this collection in Glasgow is preparing to ease into a more democratic DIY phase and has developed an open installation with Glasgow Open School to prove that culture or creative endeavours need YOUR input, not over rely on funding bodies or enthusiastic volunteers but everyone. Just as democracy needs to be practiced or it is lost – if there is no input from you or dialogue, NOTHING will or can happen.

If you have already submitted a poem or a film or an adaptation the Open Schedule on the Glasgow Open School blog is YOUR platform.

REFRESHMENTS:

Summery wheat beer, honey and heather ale, strawberry cider and some lager.

TRANSPORTATION:

Trains do group discounts half price for a group of 4 and the 3rd travels free in a group of 3 (a return ticket costs £11.40). Last train home is 1130pm.
The last underground is 1115pm, and the venue is less than 10 mins from St Georges Cross.

ANY QUESTIONS? FILM@THISCOLLECTION.ORG

Click “attending” on our Facebook event!

WHAT IS THIS COLLECTION…?

this collection began life as a modest bouquet of 100 short poems on the subject of Edinburgh. Authors included all manner of Edinburgh residents from high school kids to University professors, and over the course of the past two years, their work has acted as a foundation upon which artists and creatives from all walks of life have built collaborative responses to the poems. Thus far, the project has primarily attracted short films, but more recently the artistic responses have included works as diverse as street art installations, handmade zines and improvised music scores to live screenings.

this collection has hosted a plethora of community art events in Edinburgh, too – including a memorable poets’ and filmmakers’ speed-dating night, a huge multi-media showcase in the cavernous McEwan Hall, and an experimental ‘friendly’ poetry slam.

The project will adopt The Glue Factory – an abandoned industrial space turned arts venue – as its temporary home from 30th April to 14th May as part of a GSA postgraduate show. Glasgow residents and visitors are invited to peruse a wide and vibrant showcase of creative work inspired by the original this collection 100 poems.

We hope to see you there!

this collection friendly slam: the fallout

In Performance, poetry on April 6, 2011 at 10:53 am

Cat Dean
Slam virgin Cat Dean wows the slam crowd at the Banshee Labyrinth.

I’ll admit – I was worried about how this event might go down. My aims for the slam were manifold. Firstly, I wanted to drag a few more “page” poets (i.e., poets who are normally more at home publishing in journals and books, and reading at traditional stand up readings) kicking and screaming into the performance scene – mainly to show them that hey, it’s really not that different or scary and look, there’s good poetry to be found here. Secondly, I wanted to get the message across to the performance crowd (although they do tend to be more receptive to stuff outside their own field of literary experience) that page poets can be fun, and that they can – sometimes, at least – perform. Mostly, I wanted to try and narrow the divide that – in spite of the best efforts of fabulous folk like Jenny Lindsay, who has been organising very open and approachable performance events for years – still stubbornly exists between page and stage in the Scottish poetry community.

As I say, this was by no means the first friendly slam that’s ever taken place. Indeed, I’m proud of the fact that Scotland seems to be at the forefront of new and innovative thinking when it comes to slamming and other performance poetry events. Over the past few years there have been one or two “sotto voce” or “quiet” slams about the place – the now-sadly-defunct VoxBox held a “quiet” slam specifically for page poets, and the Scottish Poetry Library also did a sotto slam in 2009, which yours truly here somehow managed to win. Working in this tradition, I wanted to further mess around with the traditional slam format, and by doing so, I hoped to chip away at some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding the phenomenon.

The main difference was in the scoring of the poems. I’m defiantly against the “traditional” slam scoring method, which involves the audience getting involved in rating each poet. In the US, where slams are always well-attended and often patronised by folk who are not either a) poets or b) friends of poets, I can see how this system could work… but in Scotland, where almost everyone in the crowd is a friend/enemy/editor/publisher/workshop buddy/love interest of at least one of the performers, it makes for skewed results. The poet with the most mates wins, to put it simply. The other traditional slam scoring option is the use of a judging panel. But this was a this collection event, and this collection is very much anti-hierarchy, anti-quality-control, anti-curation. To gather a panel of “esteemed judges” for the poets to impress was really not our style.

Instead, we decided to let the poets score each other. Each poet received a personalised score-card, which bore the names of all the poets performing, except for their own – so they could not award points for their own performance. Scores were out of 30 (10 for content, 10 for delivery, and 10 for that individual’s particular “overall opinion”), and recorded at the end of every poet’s performance. At the end of each round, all the scorecards were collected up and the scores anonymously tallied. Poets with high scores progressed through the ranks; poets with lower scores fell by the wayside – but everything was on a democratic, peer-review basis, and thanks to the wide variety of poets performing, we were confident that there would be little-to-no bias.

The scoring system did throw up some issues. Most obviously, it was a logistical nightmare. It wasn’t until I received the first batch of scores at the end of the first round that I realised: I was going to have to add up sixteen sets of scores out of 30 for sixteen poets within fifteen minutes. In round one alone, poets were competing for up to 580 points… that’s a hell of a lot of adding up. Fortunately, I had the help of two glamorous calculator-wielding assistants (my poor, long-suffering flatmates), and we managed, but if I were organising another event of this type, a more simplistic scoring method would have to be devised!

Secondly, several of the poets told me afterwards that they’d found the quick-fire nature of the scoring rather tricky. With only about 30 seconds or so between poets, they had to make snap decisions about the numbers they entered for each. Some said they appreciated this – it prevented them from getting bogged down in thinking and re-thinking their decision, and it meant that their responses were instinctive. Others said they found the whole thing rather stressful, and would have liked a bit more time to reflect on what they’d heard in order to give a score that they felt was reasoned and fair. Next time, I just need to spraff a bit more between performers, I think!

Finally, a couple of people said afterwards that they felt the poets-only scoring left the audience a feeling a little bit surplus-to-requirements. I was really pleased with the enthusiasm the audience were willing to give for each performance in spite of it being quite a long night, but I did note that things cooled off a little in the middle. I’m now thinking that perhaps a compromise of some scoring being done via audience reaction and some done by just the poets may be an interesting avenue to explore.

Otherwise, I was really pleased with the outcome of the scoring experiment, and really interested to see how poets reacted to other performances. Some folk were clearly being very harsh across the board, with some poets scoring certain performances with a big fat zero and never venturing into figures much higher than 6. Others seemed more than happy to dish out perfect 10s across the board to poets they really liked, and – my favourite part of the adding-up process – many of the scorecards came back with doodles, marginalia or explanatory notes decorating their margins. Overall, scoring was extremely close. Numerous folk have noted in their feedback about the evening that poets like Andrew Philip and Dave Coates deserved to move up to the second round, and I agree on both counts. However, it was literally the odd mark here and there that separated 10th place from 11th and 11th from 12th, etc. It was almost too close to call in some cases, and at one point my glamorous assistants and I actually did a re-count to ensure that the right person was getting the correct score. Poets who came lower than they would have liked – or perhaps lower than some of those in attendance felt they deserved – will hopefully be ever-so-slightly placated by the fact that it really was very close indeed.

The main discussion taking place in the aftermath of the slam – and may I take this opportunity to say how happy I am that so much healthy discussion has been generated by the event – concerns the old chestnut of performance vs page. Who had more of an advantage on the night? Who in attendance counts as ‘page’, and who counts as ‘stage’? Did one camp score the other unfairly – was there a bias for or against either side? And so on and so forth. Personally, while I am watching these discussions with interest, and chipping in every so often (of course), I’m kind of sad to hear these questions being raised. As I said above, my aim for the evening was to temporarily erase – or at least blur – the dividing line that exists between page and performance poets; to see the two sides of the poetry world come together and yes, compete… but also to listen to and acknowledge each other. And it felt like this happened on the night itself. In many cases it was difficult to ascertain who belonged to which camp – over at Tonguefire, commenters are scrabbling to define poets like Alec Beattie (whose set was decidedly performance-esque, but read from a book and something of a departure from his usual work), Colin McGuire (a poet who performs with great gusto but who normally shies away from performance-heavy gigs and whose stuff works brilliantly on the page too) and Emily Dodd (a poetry slam virgin… but one who embraces audience participation). I think it’s only later that the feeling of never-the-twain-shall-meet has begun to slink back in, which perhaps is inevitable. For me, the night itself did exactly what I wanted it to: it picked up the traditional make-your-own-slam kit and gave it a bit of a shake, and it got page-folk and stage-folk up to the same mic, and forced them to rate (or, indeed, slate) one another… all of which involved everyone listening carefully to everyone else. The array of talent on show was refreshingly varied and – if you ask me – of excellent quality, and everyone seemed to have a damn good night. It might take a few more of these things before folk really start thinking differently about how poetry is performed and received in Scotland, but for now, I’m really quite pleased.

Responses to the this collection slam:

“A great learning experience for us novices and some wonderful poems and performers.” – Alec Beattie

“It was a great success, with consistent quality and entertainment, from a controlled crowd of temporary human beings and poets…I think there may be more this collection SLAM nights to come. I hope so. Let there be mic!” – McGuire (more here

“I loved that Claire did something new with slams, and particularly that the ‘friendly’ tag encouraged folks to take part who usually wouldn’t touch slam with a barge pole. A couple o the scores raised my eyebrows – but that’s always the case with competitions isn’t it?” – Jenny Lindsay

“stand-out poems of the evening were Colin McGuire’s “Wrap the children in white”, Mairi Campbell-Jack’s “The Book of Antonyms” and Stephen Welsh‘s newspaper poem in the last round. Colin’s poem set me in mind of some of Neruda’s work, with its combination of surreal imagination, incantatory impetus and political edge. Mairi’s poem seemed to me to mark a significant and exciting step forward in her writing, and I was really impressed with how well she read. Stephen had cut up a Sunday Herald report of the weekend’s protests in London and blanked out certain portions, creating a beautiful, strange, quirky, lyrical, powerful poem — perhaps not so much found poetry as released.

Hearing those poems alone would have made it a worthwhile evening, but there were others. I particularly enjoyed “Scotland as an Xbox Game” by Andrew C Ferguson — just the sort of witty, imaginative examination of the hame nation that appeals to me. Dave Coates also read good work but unfortunately joined me in the junkyard after the first round; that’s just the risk you run at these things. And I liked the sci-fi poem that Russell Jones read in the second round.” – Andrew Philip (more here)

“I know what you were trying to do [at the slam] and there is movement in that direction we can see in the quiet slams that have been held. It’s fair enough and I really liked the poet judge thing.” – Tickle McNicoll

“The night was an enjoyable one, though, holding a friendly atmosphere and quick pace that kept things interesting. If you didn’t like a poet you only had to put up with them for 2.5 minutes, much like my love life.” – Russell Jones (more here

You can find photos of the event here.

Anyone else want to offer feedback? If so, comment below, link me to your thoughts or drop a line to poetry@thiscollection.org. All comments welcomed!

Post by Claire

this collection & Tollcross Community Centre: call for pitches!

In Community, film, poetry on December 29, 2010 at 7:40 pm

Edinburgh's Barclay Kirk from a wet bus

this collection are teaming up with the fantastic Tollcross Community Centre and their Adult Learning Programme, and throughout Spring 2011, we’ll have access to the centre’s space and resources for three days of every working week. We’re hoping that we can fill this time with exciting collaborative opportunities, providing a space for artists of all walks of life to come together to create and discuss under the umbrella of this collection.

And that’s where YOU come in. We are throwing open the doors to allow access to anyone who’d like to join us in organizing an activity for local artists and/or writers. We’re looking for people to:

— host workshops in anything from creative writing to sculpture
— lead meetings, panels or discussions in the space
— host and co-ordinate events (remember our poet/filmmaker speed-dating?)
— give readings, performances or recitals in the space
— use the space for anything and anything artistic, collaborative and creative!

What’re the conditions? We don’t ask for much in return. Only…

— that your event MUST be inspired by or related to the this collection project
(e.g. you could give a masterclass on writing poems of 100 words or less, host a filmmaking workshop to adapt some of our poems, get together and discuss the concept of community collaboration, etc)

Interested? We’re looking for suggestions, proposals and pitches, and nothing is too small, too big, too weird or too ordinary. If there’s something you think you’d like to organise and you like the sound of a totally free space, get in touch!

Stuff to bear in mind:

— your event can be one-off, or one of a series. Let us know what you’re planning, and we’ll do our best to accomodate you.
— some materials/resources we may be able to provide; others you may have to bring yourself. Again, let us know.
— the space is available from 10am to 8.45pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Want to use the whole day? No problem. Just want an hour or two? No problem. We can be flexible!
— the space is ours to use until at least the end of March, so if you’re busy for the next little while but still fancy doing something, fear not! We can fit you in!

Basically the message is, if you’re interested, GET IN TOUCH! We’d love to hear from you. We’re hoping to gather as many proposals as possible before the space is opened up to us, so if you’d like to be involved, drop us an informal line by 15th January and let us know what you’d like to do.

film@thiscollection.org
film@thiscollection.org
film@thiscollection.org

Get thinking, get emailing, and have a fantastic New Year!

PS: we will also be holding community meet-ups in the space on Friday nights, as of the middle of January — more on this soon! So if you want to talk to us about your thoughts for the project rather than emailing, drop us a line and we’ll let you know more!

PPS: A few T&Cs before we go…

this collection and the Tollcross Community Centre ask:
— that you take responsibility for the majority of the organisation and promotion of your event. this collection is anti-curatorial, which means we won’t do any of the tricky stuff for you, like making sure that people show up! We will, however, happily plug your event as widely as possible, put you in touch with helpful people if we know of any, and provide resources if we have them to hand.
— that, if you need to cancel your event for any reason, you let us and the venue know as soon as you possibly can, so we can try and give someone else your spot
— that you’ll credit any references to this collection in work that comes out of your time in the centre
— that you’ll allow the this collection crew to attend, promote, talk about and document your event if we want to
— that all work produced at your event is produced under creative commons (i.e. the artist retains the right to their work, but the work can be shown/referred to by this collection with their permission and with due credits)

(Photo by allybeag)

this collection and Rocio Jungenfeld: weaving the streets

In Community, film, poetry on December 16, 2010 at 12:38 pm

You may recall that Stefa posted some months ago about our adventures in the streets of Edinburgh with super-talented conceptual textile artist Rocio Jungenfeld. It’s taken a while to update you, but we can now let you see some of the fruits of the collaboration between Rocio and a handful of our talented this collection poets!

Here, Rocio talks with Morgan Downie about the concept of street weaving.

Rocio worked with poets Anna Dickie and Lauren Pope to create weaves of their poems, Same place different view and Southside II and III respectively. The resulting films are below!

Rocio also worked with Morgan Downie and Priscilla Chueng Nainby to create films based on their this collection poems. These will be online very soon!

Want to make a film for us, or find out more about street weaves or Rocio’s work? Email us at film[@]thiscollection.org or check out our Submissions page!

Adapt our winter poems!

In Community, film, poetry on December 16, 2010 at 12:23 pm

As you’ll no doubt have noticed over the past few weeks, winter has now fully gripped Edinburgh, treating us to the heaviest snowfalls the city has seen for fifty years. Rumour has it there’s more of the white stuff on the way, and although this may seem like a good excuse to get your woolies on and stay indoors, this collection has a better idea. We have a whole flurry of winter poems in our collection of 100 that need adapting into films. We suggest you don an extra pair of socks, grab your camera and get out there and make us a short film. No prior experience or fancy tech necessary!

Here are some of our lovely winter verses that need adaptating!

The Piteous Pine by Florian Raith
“So cold despite the solid coat; clenched tightly,
The right fist in the pocket and partly regretful
Not to gorge on the sordid warmth: brightly lit
The stifling, horrid feast promises forgetfulness…”

January by Hayley Shields
A murmur rippling through
the silver edged blades
of grass, as they bathe
in muddled starlight…”

Cables by Kate Charles
“Edinburgh cuts a high moon
Hunkered figures, hands expectant, ask
For reasoning, dulled or blank to your rising rage,
some long gone time come close…”

The Windy City by Kat Maher
“Meadows of ice, deceptive sunlight
So inviting from windows, a kaleidoscope of lies…”

Waking up with Edinburgh by Helle Hang
“Grumpy as always,
Dear as always.
Frost over the Meadows,
Smoke from neighbour’s chimney…”

A Recipe for Whisky by Ron Butlin
“Wring the Scottish rain clouds dry;
take sleet, the driving snow, the hail;
winter twilight…”

A Winter Walk Along Lauriston Place by Laura Barbier
“The street swims by beneath,
Siberia groans aloud in my ears
Shifting the last of the leaves
Into freefall…”

Need some inspiration? Check out Helen Askew’s adaptation of Struan Robertson’s snowy poem, “Where it lies” — first showcased by this collection at the McEwan Hall!

Want to make a film for us? Email film[@]thiscollection.org or check out our Submissions page for more info.

this collection appeal: HELP SAVE THE FOREST!

In Community on December 16, 2010 at 9:42 am

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, it’s pretty much a given that you’ll know what The Forest Cafe is… you will at the very least have heard us mention it/wax lyrical about it/praise it to the skies. Forest is an Edinburgh institution and a place that carries a great deal of meaning for many Edinvarians. And unfortunately, it is now under threat. Please, please read the following and help us to save this very deserving Edinburgh landmark.

What is Forest?
Forest is a unique access-all-areas arts initiative which works to provide space, resources, funding and encouragement for artists and creatives of all walks of life in the Edinburgh area and beyond. It “aims to advance access to art and cultural activities amongst the general public of Edinburgh and the wider community“, basically. The Forest Cafe is the base of operations for this initiative: housed in a former church and inhabiting a maze of rooms over several floors, it offers a variety of vibrant, unusual and versatile arts spaces to anyone who wants to use them. At the heart of things is the veggie and vegan kitchen, which not only helps to fund Forest‘s other activities, but also supplies hungry visitors with the best vegan burritos and chocolate brownie this side of anywhere. The cafe is also Forest‘s performance hub — if you want to watch, play or organise a poetry reading, an acoustic gig, a play, a film night, a gramophone evening, a reading group, a recital or any other creative endeavour, this is your place. Events are free to stage, free to perform at and free to attend. They’re pretty much always brilliant, too.

But Forest isn’t just a cool cafe that also holds events. Alongside the cafe space is Total Kunst, Forest‘s very own art gallery, which hosts traditional, experimental and installation artists from all over the globe. Anyone can exhibit and it’s always free. Also always free is Forest‘s downstairs space, which provides facilities such as a dark room for budding photographers and a rehearsal space for bands and musicians. For a small fee — or sometimes for free, depending on your event — you can also hire out the cavernous Forest Hall, which will accomodate anything from a small group of amateur filmmakers to a full-scale ceilidh band and a hundred guests. Forest also has its own shop, selling a variety of crafts; its own successful publishing imprint, Forest Publications, which I really cannot praise highly enough; it even has its own hairdressing salon. And I haven’t even got started on their monthly free shop, library facilities or free fringe antics

Forest 'o' Flash
(Photo by digiphotoneil)

How you can help.
Now, Forest is in danger of being evicted from its current home because the building has been put up for sale. Forest are currently tenants, and have been for many years — and although it’s very ambitious, they want to try and secure their future by raising enough money to buy the building outright. The current target is a massive £500,000, so they really need YOU to give as much as you can. The main way in which you can do this is by clicking here and donating via their simple Paypal form. For other ways to donate, or to get involved in other fundraising activities, just get in touch with them — they’d love to hear from you.

Why you should help.
Given all of the above, I don’t think I really need to tell you why you should donate to Forest. If you’ve ever been there, you already know what a special, unique place it is and what excellent work they do every day within and beyond the arts community in Edinburgh. If you’re local and you’ve never been there, now is the time to start — Forest desperately needs your support, and your life will be better for it. Even if you’re not an Edinvarian — hey, even if you’re not a Scot — you should still consider giving up a few of your hard-earned pennies for this very good cause. Like Shakespeare and Co and The Beat Museum, this is an arts initiative whose work resonates far beyond its small home city. If you donate to the Forest you’re helping hundreds of artists and creatives, and you’re making a stand for independent arts organisations the world over. Please think about giving as much as you can spare, even if that’s only a couple of quid.

P1150846
(Photo by acb)

Let me tell you why I donated to ForestWhen I first came to Edinburgh, I didn’t know anyone. I was vaguely aware that a few people I went to high school with also lived in the city; that was about it. I was living in Uni halls with chilly rooms, unreliable internet access, and I was broke. Forest provided me with huge pots of tea for next to nothing, a quiet and comfy place to sit for as long as I liked, and totally free access to the internet. Later, when I got more acclimatised, I started getting interested in the Edinburgh literary community. Forest — and the fabulous Ryan Van Winkle, one of its most famous staff members — provided heaps of support for my writing, via their brilliant writing groups, workshops and events. One of the first Edinburgh readings I ever did was The Forest Golden Hour, and the crowd was huge, warm and wonderfully supportive. Later still, I decided I wanted to start my own literary magazine, and yet again Forest was there to help me. For two full years Forest gave us the space and resources we needed to print, hand-bind and distribute our own zine — all totally free. We ran Read This events in the Forest Cafe, we used their fabulous website, noticeboards and Facebook group to promote ourselves and call for submissions. As things progressed, Forest also supported Read This Press (in particular, Chris Lindores’ collection You Old Soak) by providing printing facilities and carrying our titles in the shop, cafe and online. Forest Publications have published and promoted my work and the work of my various projects on numerous occasions. I genuinely believe that without Forest I wouldn’t be the writer I am today. And I’m just one young artist of the thousands who make use of Forest‘s services and resources every year.

I implore you to help keep this incredible project afloat. Please go here, and donate now. As much as you can — it will make a difference.

Thank you!
Claire