Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Cops & Robbers

Cops and Robbers is a free guide to DIY gigs in Leeds. It's a long-standing institution which lists gigs that are for fun, not profit, and not as a stepping-ladder into mainstream music industry success.

Run by a couple of hard-working volunteers, Cops & Robbers is itself a non-profit - you don't pay to list your gigs in it, and it carries no advertising. It survives on money from benefit gigs and the generosity of donors.

In and amongst the gig listings are illustrations, usually drawn by members of the local DIY community. At the moment, Nick & I (the print project) are working on illustrations for the next issue. I've written a short 'fact-haiku' about DIY and activism, and the text is illustrated with text pictures using large wooden letters and typography, mostly courtesy of Nick. I'll post up pictures of the whole thing when it is done - but for the time being, you'll just have to content yourself with looking at part of the text and a letterpress forme 'word-cloud'.

Black Dogs: Next to Nothing

Black Dogs: Next to Nothing, an exhibition of the price of nothing and the value of everything, opens this coming Thursday. The exhibition contains work from over 30 individual artists and contributors, whose work has arisen from a series of discussions around themes of worth and value. The exhibition is in a disused shop unit on the 3rd floor of The Light - which is one of Leeds' 'destination' shopping centres. Luckily, the manager doesn't seem to mind having a critique of materialism installed there for 2 weeks.

Leeds' DIY art collective Black Dogs have been active since about 2003. Completely self-organised, voluntary and non-profit, the ethos is one of non-corporatism and being non market-driven. The Next To Nothing exhibition will pose questions connected to those themes: "What is the radical potential of thrift and an economical approach? When and why is something cheap? What does it mean to be not-for-profit or operate in a non-capitalist fashion? How do we value our time and how does this find expression through the things we do or make? When are we working and when do we play?"

The preview evening will be on Thursday 15th September, from 5-8. The exhibition is open until the 1st October, and its opening hours will be: 4-7 Mondays - Fridays, and 10-6 Saturdays.

Currently reading

The Millstone Margaret Drabble
Three to See the King Magnus Mills

Monday, 5 September 2011

Next to Nothing

This is the latest in a long line of current projects... two letterpressed short stories for the Black Dogs 'Next To Nothing' exhibition, which opens at the Light in Leeds, on September 15th. The exhibition, which will include contributions from around 30 artists, and non-artist reprobates like me, is sited in a disused shop unit in one of Leeds' most 'aspirational' shopping centres, and explores our conception of worth and value.

I have two short stories included in the exhibition, both of which I typeset & printed myself: Hourly Rate, and The Most Wonderful Time of The Year.

The exhibition's preview is on Thursday 15th September, with an after-party gig at Wharfe Chambers (formerly the Common Place). It will be open until 1st October and will be open Mon-Thurs 4-7pm, and on Saturdays during the day.