colour 2.0

just dandy

yesterday i discovered the website colour lovers – possibly the first ever, wait for it, colour themed social networking site. yes, really.
in the past i have used sites such as degraevev’s colour palette generator as tool to find the hexes that compliment imagery on a website or so on but colour lovers is a whole other ballgame. along with a bunch of really useful tools such as the ability to download adobe, css or html versions of the palettes there are also all the conventions of any other social networking site such as chat,friends, groups, rating systems and so on..
initially i thought this was maybe the geekiest thing i’d ever seen but the more time i spent on the site the more i felt it’s actually almost the opposite.

the fact that i found myself staring, a little breathless, at this colour combination for a good five minutes means that i am still in touch with something absolutely basic to visual art and almost as un-geeky as you get. i’ve found that my journey from the conceptual bullshit degree i did has been largely a journey back to aesthetic. it’s not that i am shallow, or that i only enjoy shallow art but sometimes i think that we have a lost a lot of our pleasure in the visual aspect of the visual arts. so concerned with concept, contect and functionality that we hardly ever take the time just to stop and look.
it pleases me that so many artists and designers are using something as modern and technology based as a social networking site to embrace something as ancient as pleasure in colour. i’m sure the site will be a very useful tool for me but more than that it has something reflective, playful and energising about it.
my new favourite thing!

four of my favourites:
you are hurting mejet screamersunset at the sea.Band-Aid™

four of my own:
evepeachy keen
seamed stockingsno parking

Modern art is what happens when painters stop looking at girls and persuade themselves that they have a better idea.

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alex hartley installation at the fruitmarket gallery

on saturday i decided to take advantage of the good weather and go round the galleries in town. i always enjoy this during the festival since there is such a great atmosphere in town. i must confess that my 4 years at glasgow school of art have left me with a very low bullshit threshold so i don’t really ‘do galleries’ as often as i should but every once in a while it’s nice to get out there and brave the white cube.

i eased myself in gently with a nice bit of william blake at the nation gallery. or at least as nice as hellfire and anguish ever gets… the blakes were lovely to see in the flesh – so detailed, and so much smaller than i expected – but the unexpected treat was a section of the exhibitions showing artists who had either inspired or been inspired by blake. there was an illustration from the tempest etched by i p simon based on a painting by henry fuseli in this part that i just loved to death, but can’t seem to find anywhere online…

next i went through the various contemporary and modern galleries. i should say here that i’ve not made it to the warhol show yet but i’m planning to make it very soon.

a guy i know used to say that if you went up to every girl in a nightclub and said ‘fancy a shag’ for every ten slaps you got at least one would say ‘ok’ – it’s much the same with the ‘contemporary’ cooler-than-thou galleries. most of what i saw was either a total pile of art-wank crap or just not my thing, but there was thankfully one gem of a show by alex hartley in the fruitmarket gallery. hartley’s work was roughly split into two areas – large photographic works, often doctored with sculptural elements added, and large installation pieces. the photos left me cold i must admit, but the intallations i could have looked at all day. they consisted of huge frosted perspex boxes mounted flush into the gallery wall with lighting behind illuminating muzzy minimalist architectural spaces. the effect was a sort of tranquil modernist trump loeil. they had a zen-like quality as well as just being visually very appealing. i want one in my house!

after that i demonstrated my true ‘contemporary’ esprit de times and went for a big fat starbucks.

so, all in all not a bad day out!

the gods would be terrified

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image by dan in deutschland

i went to see a new production of hedwig and the angry inch last night (at the greenside church) starring jamie firth of w4 productions and i found it…
…completely…
…meh.
admitedly meh is still better than the utter eat-your-own-eyeball horror that was the 2005 production by ‘it ryhmes with anus’ janus productions, but it’s still just not quite good enough.
i hadn’t realised that hedwig was showing this year, and as it was the second last night i thought what the hey, i might just toddle along…

the good bits:

  • an interesting take on the costume, though closer to secretary barbie than anything else, with a black pencil skirt, red satin blouse and red heels.
  • an enjoyable version of ‘wig in a box’ with a good bit more rock than usual
  • a surprisingly visually arresting moment near the end where, rather than the usual undies only, we have hedwig stripped only to the waist and becominging, literally

    the divide
    between East and West,
    Slavery and Freedom,
    Man and Woman,<br /
    Top and Bottom.

the bad bits:

  • the performance was static to say the least. the delivery was perfectly competent and the singing actually very good (the band less so) but there was no emotional connection. rather than the viceral blood, sweat and tears that kevin cahoon gave in the first uk tour of the show this hedwig was throwaway and rather stiff. insolent rather than angry. whether this was a deliberate directorial direction or an inability to move in heels i’m not sure but it didn’t pull off for me.
  • an interpretation of the ‘wicked little town’ reprise that i thought was really off the mark. rather than moving moment of unity/apology/forgiveness/wholeness it came over as merely sarcastic and bitter. there was no absolution or conclusion for this hedwig.
  • the makeup was terrible and the wig clearly a party shop special. given the ‘warm hand on her entrance’ hedwig’s look is hugely important and there really hadn’t been enough attention paid above the neck.

on the whole not a terrible show, not even bad just a little hum-drum. more a good amatuer performance than a bad professional one – but at £9.50 a pop, that’s not really enough.

report card says: could do better.

giving you some hed:

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john cameron mitchell (writer, director and star of original stage version and film)

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artwork by emily hubley used in original stage version and film

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min-hed

possibly the most annoying spam email ever?

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some wankers from ‘neatvibe’

christine posner to earlysmu 18:41 (7 hours ago)

uhm, sorry for emailing you but i found your profile the other day and i think your privacy settings are too high because i couldn’t view it. i like your style and was hoping to find out more about you. if you want to send me an email back. we can go from there. you could view my profile if you are curious. I prefer using neatvibe, so if you want you can look me up there. http://Christy.member.neatvibe.com
hope to hear from you soon. bye for now!

1) what profile, where?
2) how could you ‘like my style’ if you couln’t read my ‘profile’?
3) how much exactly are neatvibe paying you?
4) if you even exist

fucks sake.

sweet charity

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this rather utilitarian looking charity shop is near where i live and although i have walked past it a million times i swear i have never once seen it open. that and it’s rather grim window displays have me convinced it is really a front for something sinister and illegal…

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spider is as spider does

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there has been a spider, a fairly large one, lurking by my front door for three days now. i have decided to call him frank. it freaks me out knowing that he is there but i am trying to come to terms with the existence of arachnids. that and the fact that when he does finally disappear it will freak me out even more.

poke me! pet me! feed my! bite me! add me!

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following on from the myspace vs bebo post i di d a litle while ago, the tme has come to review facebook. yes, yes, i know – it is insane that i am now a member of 3 social networking sites (5 profiles between them) but what can i say… i’m a ‘joiner’…

FACEBOOK

    basic ethos
    bebo for grownups.
    on the surface it’s all very preppy and ‘literate’ but once you’ve been bitten by the ninth zombie in a row you may begin to question that…

    8/10

    typical user profile
    college students, professionals, stephen fry. people who’ve never had a myspace but used to be on friendster

    8/10

    functionality
    very good, very like bebo. no lags or errors. pages can become a bit overcrowded with pointless applications (see below) but you do at least have the ability to minimise these.

    9/10

    aesthetic
    the facebook interface is pleasant enough if you like blue but sadly there is no way to customise it. i apreciate that they want to keep it streamlined and away from the visual hellpit that myspace has become but it would be nice to be able to at least change the colour scheme. this is where bebo is really winning above all others.

    4/10

    self-promotion
    apparantly it’s good to get and find work through, particularly if you are involved in the arts though so far i haven’t used it that way myself. they do have a jobs section and a pretty good local network system however so far it does seem more geared towards play than work. i think that unlike bebo it probably is possible but unlike myspace you would have to try quite hard to be noticed – this may change with time and increased numbers of users though…

    6/10

    twiddly bits
    like bebo you can’t embed anything of your own however you can upload your own videos which you can then post.
    there is a fantastic function where you can import ‘notes’ (blogs to you and me) from any rss feed meaning that i can import my posts from marilyn’s shampoo automatically to facebook as well as being able to add extra facebook-specific ones when i feel like it. this is a brilliant feature for bloggers as it keeps my facebook ‘blog’ active without me having to duplicate work. LOVE IT!
    there are also an absolute multitude of ‘applications’ that can be added to your profile. some of these i find strangely addictive (visual bookshelf, throw food, fluff friends) some that fritter away nicely without you having to do anything (twitter, last fm, youtube, import notes) and some that i just find a bit annoying to be honest (fortune cookies, vampire bites, tattoo me) though obviously one man’s annoying is clearly another man’s addictive….
    the most irritating feature of these application is that everytime someone pokes, bites, tattoos or whatevers you the application has to be added to your own profile for you to be able to view it. this is really anoying because of course curiosity always gets the better of you and you end up with all this shit on your page result in a weekly crap-cull.

    10/10 for the good bits

    3/10 for the annoying bits

    = 7/10 total

    hookability

    initially very high but the fun of ‘wacky’ applications may wan quite quickly

    7/10

closing marks

42/70

previous scores

bebo: 43/70

myspace: 26/70

it’s strange i assumed it would come out higher than bebo because i’ve been using it a lot more recently but when i actually filled this out i realised how much the things that bug me really do bug me a lot. however i think if they removed the need to add every application to view stuff folk have sent you and added some basic customisation it would soar above bebo. it may not have won the battle but the bits that are better are so much better that i suspect it may win the war in the long run.

put down the knitting, the book and the broom

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last week i went to vaudeville caberet’s one o clock show at the fringe and what a great night it was! i must confess it was one of those nights where the last thing i wanted to do was go out and i had to literallly drag my arse out of the door at 11pm, but i’m so glad i did. unlike many cabaret or review-style shows there was a genuine mix and range to the acts and whilst there was an overall ‘dress up and play at being debauched’ vibe the eclectic choice of performers kept it from becoming over-camp.
the show was compared by ‘drunken raconteur’ dusty limits (pictured above and with fellow organisers wild card kitty and tipsy shenanigans below) whose spoken delivery brought to mind the young julian clary (and i don’t mean that in as lazy a way as it sounds) but who really came into his own when he sang. what a set of pipes that boy has! but also a mature and capable an grasp of the darker side of songs like cole porter’s ‘love for sale’ that gave me a good few shivers and ‘holding my breath’ moments during the night.

other acts included a fantastic flamenco group (who i’m having trouble finding the name of, so please let me know if you were there and remember…) a very athletic rope ‘dancer’ (is that what you call it?) and the WONDERFUL miss leggy pee (pictured below with the bow-wows) whose strangely heartwarming combination of dragesque lip synch and dry wit may mean i never look at a muppet quite the same again.

after all that i was ready for the off, but we decided to hang around and catch the band playing at, as the name suggests, one o clock. it was the low miffs (pictured bottom right) who i had never seen before, and they were…
incredible.

if you put a bit of jaques brel, scott walker, neil hannon and sparks in a blender and added much more guitar and some extra sax you’d get something approaching the full pelt genius/madness that the low miffs are live. truly charismatic singers are a dying breed these days but leo condie has it in spades. powerful delivery, great musicianship and a combination of often neglected inspiration points and a good dash of originality meant they were an absolute jaw-dropping joy to watch – i shall be following their future career closely…

so, all in all a damn fine night 😉

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