May 17, 2011
At 3pm on Sunday 15th May the All London Anarchist Revolutionary Movement (ALARM) was born amidst beery cheers in a crowded function room above the Calthorpe Arms pub. The diverse group of eighty or so Anarchist and Libertarian Socialists (including myself and the sound asleep 1.5 yr old Finn) spent the next two hours debating organisational and constitutional issues in an atmosphere more redolent of the W.I. than a revolutionary group. Representatives of London boroughs were nominated and selected, informal communication networks built and, due to the exertions of such a prolonged labour, the debate on the thorny issue of a political manifesto was postponed until next Sunday (at the Cock Tavern, Euston).
ALARM is an opportunity to focus the resurgence of interest in Anarchism that has surfaced here over the last six months. It should provide a cohesive and active confrontational force in opposition to the ongoing Tory austerity programme and the corporatist state. It should become a platform for collective action that goes beyond just ‘fucking things up’ but provide real-word examples of practical anarchism in housing, education, work, healthcare etc.
Coming soon: ALARM website, blog and contact information
March 30, 2010
From the Peasant’s Revolt to the Boston Tea Party, Taxation has historically been a defining issue in the struggle of people against imposed government. The poll tax riot of March 31 1990 was ‘the most serious public order disturbance for over a century’ and the culmination of months of anti-poll tax protests and riots in the north of England and Scotland (where the tax had been ‘tested’ on the strongly anti-Conservative Scots) .
October 13, 2009
“As capitalism collapses around us in the market of ideas the anarchist pound is bouyant and the 28th London Anarchist Bookfair is back at Queen Mary College in London’s East End…”
for more details: http://www.anarchistbookfair.org/
April 2, 2009
This is a video i took after gaining access to the RBS Building (Royal Bank Of Scotland – notorious for incompetence, hubris and corruption) with twenty or so other individuals. The offices were quickly set alight and i made my escape up the fire escape persued by a number of portly riot cops, who, encumbered by shields, batons, armour, helmets and excessive body fat took several minutes to make the ascent. The short fideo clip shows the banking district of the City Of London occupied by massed anarchist hordes.
March 31, 2009
In advance of tomorrows events: a ‘print-out and keep’ map of all the happenings c/0 Indymedia:
see you’s there…
March 3, 2009
“Anyone who was working in the City in 1999 will remember how awful those riots were. There were riot police banked outside my office and all the tube stations closed so I had to walk for miles through what was effectively a war zone. It was absolutely terrifying and I’m afraid I can’t believe there is anything more behind it than a desire to cause as much damage and mayhem as possible. The mindset is no better than that of football hooligans, if not worse. I for one will be taking April 1st as a day’s holiday rather than risk putting myself through anything like that again.”
London Evening Standard march 2009
December 12, 2008
‘Anarchist’ riots continue for the fifth day in Greece triggered by the police murder of teenage boy and popular disgust at the self serving and corruption ridden right-wing government. Here in London our own home-grown police murder goes almost unnoticed and without a stone being thrown. The verdict from the Jean Charles De Menezes killing inquest is expected today, yet in an outrageously blatant attempt at controlling the outcome – echoing the history of Police lies and attempts at cover-up throughout the proceedings- the Coroner (Sir Michael Wright) instructed the jury to only deliver an ‘open’ or ‘lawful killing’ verdict.
August 1, 2008
Image: Street advert in Hoxton, London, displaying real-time decibel level. March 2008.
“Let us cross a great modern capital with our ears more alert than our eyes, and we will get enjoyment from distinguishing the eddying of water, air and gas in metal pipes, the grumbling of noises that breathe and pulse with indisputable animality, the palpitation of valves, the coming and going of pistons, the howl of mechanical saws, the jolting of a tram on its rails, the cracking of whips, the flapping of curtains and flags. We enjoy creating mental orchestrations of the crashing down of metal shop blinds, slamming doors, the hubbub and shuffling of crowds, the variety of din, from stations, railways, iron foundries, spinning wheels, printing works, electric power stations and underground railways.”
Luigi Russolo excerpt from “L’arte dei Rumori” 1913
Russolo’s eulogy to the sonic city was inspired by the urban clamour of turn of the century Milan. “L’arte dei Rumori” betrays a fascination with novelty of noise, the signature of modernity and the promise of the future in the form of the industrial city. Russolo argued that music has reached a point where it can longer excite when pitted against the real world sonic complexity of new metropolis. In turn, this statement led to the formation of a new type of music based on machine inspired atonality and stochastic composition.
June 19, 2008
13 June – 26 July 2008
mon- fri 10-6pm, sat 12-6pm
SPACE celebrates 40 years with an exhibition selected by Caroline Douglas, Head of Arts Council Collections.
Axel Antas, Josh Baum, Amanda Benson, Anne Bristow, Chila Kumari Burman, Leigh Clarke, Julie Cockburn, Ben Cove, Richard Crawford, Layla Curtis, Deborah Dawkin, Natalie Dower, Paul Eachus, Nigel Ellis, Julia Farrer, John Frankland, Peter Fraser, James P. Graham, Paul Green , Mark Harris, Peter Hawksby, Claude Heath, Mustafa Hulusi, Jim Jack, Rannva Kunoy, Ann-Marie LeQuesne, Hew Locke, Camilla Lyon, Andrea Medjesi-Jones, Fiona Merchant, Natasha Morland, Jost Münster, Adriette Myburgh, Saskia Olde Wolbers, Laura Oldfield Ford, Peter Peri, Sarah Perritt, Joanna Price, Bridget Riley, Suzanne Roles, Pascal Rousson, Piers Secunda, Yinka Shonibare, Martin Shortis, DJ Simpson, Walid Siti, Aerial Sparks, Fergal Stapleton, Michael Stubbs, Anthony Sullivan, James Faure Walker, Mark Wallinger, Ben Washington, Jackson Webb, William Wright.
This selling show has been selected by Caroline Douglas who toured all our studios visiting 600 artists to select this rich and diverse group show. It celebrates the strength of London’s artistic & creative community, and demonstrates the value of studio provision to London’s competitive edge and position in the international art world. SPACE has played a key role in establishing this position and continues to underpin its success. SPACE NOW launches a fund-raising campaign to support future SPACE studio developments.
Location; Space triangle
May 19, 2008
The much anticipated Noise Maps version 2 was released by our favorite government agency, DEFRA, last week. This version includes a noise source filter (road, rail, industry and air) – which ‘kind of’ works – and day and night switch. The maps spread beyond London to ‘agglomerations’ of over 250,000 people…everyone else will have to wait until 2012 for round two – or make do with pdf of ‘major roads’ and airports.
December 12, 2007
The intention of these series of posts is to document sounds that have remained in memory. Not sounds that are particularly pleasant or trigger ‘Proustian Resonance’ but unique sounds that once heard are never forgotten (therefore impossible to reproduce or record). If i get enough – and please add your own – i’ll organise them into a top ten ‘mnemaudio’ chart.
Miles was the first casualty, and, I always maintain, the inspiration for the violence that took place at the Trafalgar Square Anti-Poll Tax protest in 1989. During what was an admittedly tense but peaceful sit down protest in front of Downing Street, Miles charged at the Police brandishing a metal pole. He was immediately floored, struck on the head by a brick thrown from the police lines*. Seconds later the police panicked and sent mounted riot squads charging into the unarmed protesters, this event ignited a day of fierce fighting in the centre of London. For six hours the police held protesters in the square: The sound that fixed in my memory is the combined roar of bottles and bricks being thrown, burning buildings, screams, police sirens, helicopters, horses, whistles and ambulances which, after six hours, merged into one high pitched continuous distorted scream. This noise stayed with me for weeks, day and night -a kind of hysterical tinnitus.
*I dragged miles to an ambulance which took him to hospital. A few hours later he discharged himself, concussed, dripping blood from a head wound he returned to the battle pressing home his assault on the forces of ‘law and order’.
November 26, 2007
(Image: London Noise-map. The arrow points to my house)
” Noise can cause annoyance, interrupt conversation, disturb sleep and, in extreme conditions, cause physical damage to those affected. The types of noise that are experienced can be classified into some fairly broad categories. For example, occupational noise which is experienced at work, neighbour or neighbourhood noise and environmental (aka ambient) noise caused by transport and industry.”
My cousin does this – standing on a street corner all day in some bland suburb of London, microphone in hand, recording the average volume of environmental sound. The data is collected and projected over a London street map to form a graphic visualisation of the changing volumes throughout the city. this is part of DEFRA’s “National Ambient Noise Strategy” who’s aim is to provide us and ‘policy makers’ with a source of sound data for the whole of England.
The map, though fascinating, seems to me to be of little value because volume is not the only parameter in determining the annoyance factor of ‘noise’. Equally relevant are duration, repetition, pitch, timbre, time( the noise of the city animated over one day), and frequency. And, DEFRA assume that all noise is inherently annoying. My thesis is that the map should become a tourist map of London defined by it’s unique sound as much as by it’s geography, architecture and so-on. At the same time as capturing volume data, all other aspects of noise can be measured and visualised giving an invaluable and unique ongoing audio-visual symphony of London.
London is noise:For instance where i live in east London ( marked a dark brown on the map for ‘reasonably quiet’ ) is bathed in an ever present low volume but high pitched susurrus generated by traffic on the A12 – the sound spill from the motorway gives this area a unique feel and interestingly where the noise peters out, the social demographic radically changes. Time plays it’s part: in the morning the low almost inaudible mumbling of the underground trains at 6am in Whitechapel and the sounds of the first aeroplanes circling the city, a descending tone as they drop down to Heathrow (Sarah says the sound of the banking planes changes from summer to winter and that the winter sound she finds depressing – i had never noticed the difference). Each city has it’s own audio fingerprint: the time i spent in Lisboa had the backing sound of the Ponte 25 Abril (inaudible to the Lisboans), the sound of angry bees made by cars on the resonating bridge (i heard this sound again later in Oxford where the noise from the unusually corrugated surface of the a34, several miles away, drove my friend from his rented, supposedly tranquil rural bolthole). Hanoi is the scooter horn and the early morning rumble of a single advancing tidal wave of noise as the traffic en mass, enters the the sleeping city.
November 22, 2007
This wednesday was the annual ‘away day’ for Space Studios trustees (of which i am one) board i.e. a 7 hour board meeting discussing Space Studios policy, strategy and future direction. The venue for the meeting was the newly acquired ‘Malthouse Studio’ in Barking which is intended to become the cultural hub for the Thames Gateway development in the east of London. In the near future Space will redevelop the adjacent ‘Icehouse’ building and build new premises to lead the creation of the ‘Thames Gateway Cultural Quarter’
“The Malthouse, Barking is a newly refurbished warehouse in Barking set in the heart of an ambitious creative industry regeneration scheme for East London. Situated on the river Roding, the local environment is visually rich in the industrial heritage of the East London river basin and canal network. It has excellent transport links being near A13 and Nth Circular jct and Barking underground (District and Hammersmith&City lines) and 10 minutes walk from the town centre.”
” About SPACE:
Founded in 1968, SPACE is an arts educational charity which produces dynamic environments where individuals and communities can engage in creative processes. SPACE supports the production of art through the provision of studio space, widens participation in visual arts & media and fosters creative potential of individuals and communities.
Our mission is to provide ‘space to create’: supporting the production of art through the provision of creative space; ‘space to engage’: widening engagement in artistic practices; and ‘space to develop’- supporting the development of creative individuals and communities.
SPACE fulfils its mission through the provision of affordable, accessible studios and production facilities to over 600 artists, designers and makers across London. And through delivering an innovative programme of Exhibitions, Media Arts commissions, community based collaborations, events, International Residencies, training & professional development courses.”
Excerpt from Space Studio press release.