Friday, 27 August 2010


As a new academic year beckons, I have recently been reminded that plagiarism is on the up. If you go to the brilliant you will see plenty of, frankly shocking evidence of this fact. What is surprising to me, is how blatant and lazy this has become, some examples being lifted almost unaltered. I’d have thought they would at least try and conceal the deed in some way, which wouldn’t take much imagination. Now, this suggests to me that the perpetrator either thinks they’ll get away with it – a similar mentality is well established in the illegal downloading of music and films, and software piracy, the fact that one will get away with it seems enough to cloud one’s judgement – or, and I suspect this to be the probable case, they are stupid. Either way, this problem is unlikely to go away in a hurry, unless there are some high profile legal cases of the potential consequences. There is just too much temptation out there, Deviant Art, Flickr, The Behance Network, the list goes on.
As one involved in art education, I intend to make it one of my goals this year, to instil in each and every student I come into contact with, that plagiarism is possibly the only cardinal sin in our profession. That the difference between being influenced by, and lifting someone else’s ideas is a massive chasm, NOT to be crossed. And I urge anyone else, who is in education, to pass this post on, so as a collective of creative educators, we can help to assert a strong zero tolerance. And if we see any instances of this foul practice going on, we alert our community to it, and hound them out of business. All we have is our ideas and our style – it would appear that we need to guard it more closely.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

New work, on A4 paper

Well, after 5 months of creating and editing video for Quiet Voices, I never want to look at another video file....not for a long while, anyway. So, I have set out to make work on paper, stuff I can actually hold in my hand. So here are the first few doodlings!

Friday, 13 August 2010

Quiet Voices - On reflection

Well, where do I start? 5 months in development and creation, 8 artists involved, making, in total 35 hours of footage or motion graphics. Reading this back, it was a big ask, but the work was made, and it was magnificent. The venue fell short, slightly, of my expectations - I wasn't prepared for wrinkly screens & broken projectors - and the ground looked like...well, a mixture of soil and fag-ends.
But by the time sunday arrived, I was already harbouring some doubts about who would want to see this event. The festival had a huge proportion of very young folks - many, many more than I'd have predicted for this festival. The previous two nights had seen the Igloo packed with revelers and big beats. They came back for more, and were a little disappointed! There was a hardcore of folks who clearly did want to watch our show, but had I known the demographic when invited to put this on, I'd have probably thought twice about it.
You see, the Big Chill has changed, almost beyond recognition. The name used to say it all, but now seems like a misnomer. The beautiful, laid-back vibe that used to pervade the whole site, has been replaced by hoardes of feisty teenagers, dodgy geezers and a general lack of care and consideration that used to be the hallmark of this event.
Maybe I am just getting too old for this - I could see lots of folks clearly having fun, but most of this was fueled by stimuli of one sort or another. But one thing was for sure, they weren't interested in anything that went below 120 bpm.
It saddens me to say that I will never go near this festival again. The Big Chill had a huge part to play in my family's life since 1999, when we first went. Pete and Katrina really built something beautiful, that touched so many people's lives. Now, it is just another festival on the calendar, where tens of thousands of folks will descend upon it and spend the weekend getting totally trashed. If that's what they want to do, who am I to knock it?
I'll finish by thanking everybody involved in Quiet Voices - Tim Hetherington & Kate Flurrie, Muffled Visions, Simon Wild, Tim Holmes, MachV, Enrico & Francesca Coniglio, Bruce Bickerton, John Heery, Tom Sweet and Tom Green. You were all brilliant!