Because a hotel and shopping mall will have so much richer a cultural value…(and they say Britons don’t value the arts, some small irony that if the de-polticised strain of artists had not been so successfully neutered by the likes of Tory Saatchi this might not be happening, still you pays your money and you get fucked, capital is always scheming)

Beloved centre of London’s alternative art scene for a decade is set for demolition, but six-metre Banksy mural to be preserved

Pete Doherty used to host its poetry nights, the band Hot Chip formed there, and artists from Banksy to Gavin Turk have adorned its walls and propped up its bar.

But now the Foundry, an east London gallery and pub that for more than a decade has served as a focal point for the area’s alternative art scene, seems set to be demolished after the site’s owners drew up plans for an 18-storey hotel and retail complex.

Hackney council was today expected to approve plans to pull down the building which houses the much-loved if rather ramshackle space in Shoreditch close to the edge of the City, despite protests from the gallery’s founders that it performs a vital artistic function in the London borough.

In what its supporters regard as a particularly ironic twist, the council intends to salvage a wall painted with one of the biggest Banksy murals in Britain, even as the remainder of the building is demolished. The planned redevelopment, part of the Art’otel chain, will also incorporate gallery and retail space and a spa.

Foundry founders Tracey and Jonathan Moberly expect to be evicted by April, when the site will be cleared for the construction of a circular tower block by award-winning architects Squire and Partners. The Moberlys said they were “pretty resigned” to the fact that the art space would close, and had no objections to the conduct of the architects or the developers, Park Plaza hotels. “That’s fair enough. This isn’t our building, we’ve been renting, and they have been supportive in helping us look for another premises,” said Tracey Moberly.

But the couple are angry with Hackney council, which they accused of refusing to designate the Foundry as an artistic space, which they say would require the council to seek to resettle it in other premises, preferring to refer to it in planning documents only as a pub.

The council has also specified its intention in the planning officer’s report for the “safe removal and retention of ‘Banksy’ art work” – a six-metre high painting of a rat with a knife and fork over which the building’s owners have constructed a protective wooden covering. A spokeswoman for Squire and Partners said: “The aim of the client and design team is to permanently locate the artworks on site, in one of the public galleries at ground floor – this is to be agreed with Hackney council.”

Posted in Art, Capitalism, Culture(!), Neo Liberals. Tags: . Comments Off on Regenerated

Art or Extinction

Look! It’s evil me, channelling Dr. Mabuse & Professor X through the Happy Famous Artist’s Lichtenstein Device, there are some terrifying & reassuring Rules For A New Decade too.

And in glorious big vision me, her, him.

Posted in Art, Culture(!). Tags: . 4 Comments »


So City of London Police say they are right to stop photography because they caught some terrorists who were doing it, except…none were ever charged or convicted of terrorism-

The police said the CPS had decided there was sufficient evidence to bring terrorism charges, but it was not in the public interest because they would have received the same sentence as for fraud.

Bullshit! They really do think we are stupid, so the government would pass up a chance to convict on terrorism charges and defend its authoritarian police force and justify its Prevent spying program and its wars of aggression. The rest of the articles about this are full of smears and accusations against the gang none of which is substantiated and all tied up with a bow of- so there, terrorists are everywhere and stopping photography is how we catch them. Just look at the hard evidence they release to the media-

  • one man was caught filming and acting suspiciously at Liverpool Street…City of London Police, who led the investigation, said the filming was an example of “hostile reconnaissance”. {So that’s it folks we are not taking pictures or making photographs we are engaging in hostile reconnaissance, what a lovely military term, good old 4th gen warfare, no civilians we are all potential ‘enemy combatants’ now}
  • It showed him examining Oxford Circus, Mornington Crescent and Camden Town Tube stations. He had filmed underground maps and lifts, CCTV cameras, entrances and exits of stations. {er you mean he filmed the station?}
  • During the video, the man gave a muttered running commentary in an obscure North African dialect. A translator said the man said at one point: “There are cameras there, there are cameras everywhere.” {Well case closed Inspector, he didn’t speaky The English, and the phrase ‘There are cameras there, there are cameras everywhere‘ is now evidence of terrorism? God help Jessops staff talking to customers}
  • Police discovered the gang also visited shopping centres in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, Bluewater in Kent, and Bridgend, south Wales. Two men were subsequently convicted of a huge mobile phone and luxury goods fraud scam and deported after serving prison sentences. {Gosh petty crooks went to shopping centres, um and that’s terrorism not say part of their fraud activities or y’kno…shopping? Also bear in mind that real terrorist cells tend to avoid overt criminal activity because they need to remain unnoticed in order to carry out their plans}
  • Police discovered that the 7 July 2005 London suicide bombers carried out reconnaissance of the Underground trains network prior to their attacks, one of the trips being a week before they struck. {So your basic guilt by association, they took photos so look it’s what terrorists do…give me fucking strength}

Bull-fucking-shit. The City of London police have decided to react to complaints of illegal and authoritarian thuggishness with a bullshit media campaign disguised as a news item about scary terrorists, put up or shut up, if they were an evil Al Qaeda cell and not just a gang of petty crooks then show the evidence. And no, video on mobile phones is not evidence on that basis I am a terrorist, I have photographed and filmed tube stations, security cameras at sensitive locations and maps, you might accuse me of bad art (which of course would be incorrect, I’ve got an artistic licence from the post office and everything) but not terrorism. This should be a free country right up until we allow this unproven PR crap to go unchallenged as it moves us into a police state. Anyone remember the Cold War or even stories now where poor locals or Brits would be arrested by foreign security forces for taking pictures and we’d all tut and say well that just proves our political system is best and we are free compared to those authoritarian police state nightmares, well game over genius and the media are happy to play along and reprint this PR Bullshit. There, have I said Bullshit enough. We should feel insulted that they think we are so stupid as to fall for this cock and bull story.
Good time to plug this (ht2 D-Notice)-

Free At Last

RIP Patrick McGoohan

I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered. I am not a number, I am a free man.

Posted in Art, Culture(!), Film, Media. Comments Off on Free At Last

a birthday pause

30th- The blog is two, I am forty, so is it possible to imagine respite for a night, a wee pause for cake and licentious behaviour…

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As Dave says, in memory and as a better Xmas message than any offered by our teevee machine, his Nobel acceptance speech: Art, truth and politics-

Best obit I have seen is by his friend & biographer Michael Billington in the Grauniad. My earliest memory of his work was seeing ‘The Servant’ late night on TV when I was maybe 13 or so, what a corker. Now as I think I have a copy of ‘Accident’ in my DVD treasure chest I will watch that tonight.

Full text of his Nobel acceptance speech Art, truth and politics below- Read the rest of this entry »

Pimping The HFA


HFA vs. Han Hoogerbrugge

Hey Art fans. Antwerp is the place to be, my Euro chums the Happy Famous Artists have their new show opening tonight at Base Alpha Gallery:

Kattenberg 12
2140 Antwerp – Borgerhout
32(0)3 2958636
32(0)476 620317
Wed – Sat: 2 – 6pm

And it will run for six weeks. Contained within-

They have created a collection of wonders including a shimmering glass and crystal bowling challenge from Nietzsche, Hell’s Angels for Hegel and an immense angelic creation with a 4 metre feathered wingspan resplendent with neon, Swarovski crystals and Wittgenstein’s representations. They also promise to provide a safe public installation involving a maligned artwork infamous for its rumoured occult powers of pyromania.

And lots of texts by me! And the new website should be awakening soon with animations by Han Hoogerbrugge.

Posted in Art, Media. Tags: . 2 Comments »

Friday! Talk Talk- I Believe In You

From their post pop Spirit of Eden album, a band who truly evolved beyond the confines of their contemporaries. And there is also a lesson here about how the record industry react to copying, if it wasn’t for a 90 minute cassette of a bootleg compilation (from possibly Saudi Arabia – don’t ask) I would not have had the chance to hear the range of their work, which meant I then bought their stuff and subsequently greeted their move into the avant garde with much joy. A copied tape led to buying vinyl and then CD’s. I think what really worries the industry is they push lightweight junk food music  for short term profit that actually inspire little long term interest or loyalty to (often very shallow fame hungry) artists. Being able to listen to a wider range of work means you can sort the wheat from this heavily marketed chaff much better. Some ratfuck creeps will spend their lives mass torrenting hundreds of albums, but they are possessors not lovers of music. That need to have everything is part of the culture of consumerism the corporations inculcate, they created a monster that technology now allows to thrive, hoist by their own petard. They also push the model of superstars, elite wealth and power for a few (who invariably descend into solid gold self destruction) while others who are doing amazing things will toil in penury. With new models of artist and audience hopefully comes a democratising of the culture and the limits of the dominating business mind can be relegated to their proper place.

Posted in Art, Music. Tags: , . 16 Comments »

Say Cheese

The beeb have caught up with all the people being harassed by security services for practising photography and towards the end of their piece they add this-

The National Union of Journalists has staged a demo to highlight how media photographers are wrongly challenged by police. In May last year, Thames Valley Police overturned a caution issued to photographer Andy Handley of the MK News in Milton Keynes, after he took pictures at the scene of a road accident.

Guidelines agreed between senior police and the media were adopted by all forces in England and Wales last year. They state that police have no power to prevent the media taking photos. They state that “once images are recorded, [the police] have no power to delete or confiscate them without a court order, even if [the police] think they contain damaging or useful evidence.”

Also there is a pdf here of photographers rights (or lack thereof) in the UK drawn up by Linda Macpherson [LL.B, Dip.L.P., LL.M, who is a lecturer in law at Heriot Watt University, with particular experience in Information Technology Law, Intellectual Property Law and Media Law.]

Even ten years ago whenever you wanted to get permission to wield a camera (still & cine) you often faced twin excuses to say ‘No’, they always were- insurance and/or security, which sometimes mutated into health & safety. Filming once at Picadilly Station in Manchester I got permission and while very proper they were reasonable and after explaining what could be dangerous or not I signed a form and they let me get on with things. But more often than not attempts to get proper permission were simply refused out of hand. Which led to more than a bit of guerilla working practices, a good example of unreasonable restrictions making legal activities impossible thus making illegal ones inevitable. Even large productions with considerable budgets fell afoul of this officious over abundance of caution. Now under the war of TERROR!!!!!!!! Every jobsworth in a uniform sees it as their right to interfere with the quite reasonable activity of taking a picture. Yet everywhere corporations and the state make video records of us. The imbalance in that relationship mimicking the imbalance in wealth and power growing in our country, and the way the state and corporations deal with that is increasing authoritarian measures of control and suppression. One can hope photographers understand this and see the politics in the restriction of expression and the practice of creative arts… and in return I will avoid the easy ‘see the big picture’ cliché.

And again I would like to wonder out loud why there are always enough motherfuckers to fill uniforms and do what they are told. Is thinking for yourself so repulsive to so many people?…*looks at TV schedule & newspapers and realises*- yes, it is.

Posted in Art, Authoritarianism, Capitalism, Culture(!), Media. Tags: , , , . Comments Off on Say Cheese