Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dirty Cop Friday

As previously mentioned, Optical Radio is based at the London art space The Old Police Station, with all its attendant interesting "original features". This Friday the station is holding a party/fundraiser, Dirty Cop Friday, which will also be streamed live.

It starts at 6pm and includes films, talks, art, DJ Munkybutler and live sets from the bands The Ruthless and The Apocryphalites.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Artist in the Loo

You ever make a dash for the loo and find an artist in residence? Well, it is a hazard in London, as I discovered on arriving at The Old Police Station to do my radio show. There, ensconced in one of the former cells, was artist Claudia di Gangi, several days into her residence with her show Is Your Studio a Refuge or a Place of Torture? , as part of Walls of Authority.

As this particular cell served as the Ladies toilet, it was a bit of a shock, but after a visit elsewhere, I sat down in Claudia's temporary studio for a chat. She has been living and working there since last week, making videos that she posts on YouTube. Although she doesn't consider her practice to be performance, she does interact with members of the public who drop by. But, mainly it's about the videos and reacting to the enforced solitude of such a space. She will be presenting her findings to the public on 23 January.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Amanda Palmer live webcast

So, here's a bit of post-modern multi-tasking in the digital age. As I type this, I am passively participating (i.e., lurking) in the latest Amanda Palmer cosy fireside webcast. Quite by accident, as I saw her status update on MySpace mentioning it. I haven't actually figured out how to actively participate by commenting without handing over the shreds of my online security to some unknown company. But, at least I can see other people's (1453 viewers at last count!) comments.

So, far she's not saying anything of burning interest, but is sporting a cool T-shirt (Antihausfrau, with an umlaut over the i for some reason), and I am hoping she will expand on her Tweeted reports from the Golden Globes that I found highly amusing as they appeared, alongside Twitpics, especially the one from the ladies room, packed with young thin, blonde things I didn't recognise but are apparently really famous.

Ah, the ukulele has made an appearance! Yes, that gets an immediate response from the commenters. Odd, Amanda hasn't really responded to any of the comments that are appearing. Surely, this is the point of webcasts--interactivity. Now Amanda is taking a moment out to Twitter during her own live webcast. This must be the ultimate in self-reflexivity. What did we all do before the web, eh?

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Listen to the Pictures

Anja Huwe in her studio in Hamburg; photo by Val PhoenixAs career shifts go, moving from goth sirendom to painter is a pretty nifty one, and Anja Huwe has made just such a move, establishing herself in the art world over the last decade, after leaving Xmal Deutschland. Tonight was the opening of her first exhibit, Listen to the Pictures, in her native Hamburg.

In November, Anja walked me around her studio, showing me the large canvasses she works with tools to make densely pointillist acrylic works. As she explained, even in her days as a singer, she saw songs as colours and, in her paintings, she hears sounds. "This is my music," she told me. Currently, she is working on a book about this condition, known as synaesthesia.

Listen to the Pictures
runs at Westwerk, Hamburg until the 24th of January.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Miep Gies

Miep Gies, who helped hide Anne Frank's family and rescued the girl's diary, has died aged 100. What a woman.

This quote from The Guardian sums up her view of the world: "I don't want to be considered a hero. Imagine young people would grow up with the feeling that you have to be a hero to do your human duty."

ITN has an overview of her life.

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Saturday, January 09, 2010


This is pretty cool: Deerhoof and Marlene Marder performing Kleenex's "Hitch-hike" somewhere in Switzerland.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Flaked Out

Well, I am meant to be on air presenting the first edition of 2010 of Odd Girl Out. Spent the weekend editing audio clips, trying to get to grips with the limitations of Audacity, etc. But, No, tonight's live show is cancelled. The station manager was worried about getting home, as last time it snowed during a show, it took him five hours and me SIX HOURS to get back, such is the state of London's public transport and its strange aversion to a few flakes of the white stuff.

So, instead, I am home baking chocolate chip cookies. As you do. Tomorrow I hope to finally enjoy the snow, instead of enduring it. Will also listen to a bunch of downloads and try to make next week's show, which includes interviews with Chicks on Speed and Joyce Raskin, extra, extra special.

Oh, and Happy New Year!