Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Badge bait

Here are some lovely badges Myles was asked to make for the Brockwell Lido Midwinter Swim. Their winter swimming club used to be called the Icicles - and this is a little homage to them. The badges were given out to intrepid bathers on the day of the swim. For the first time since the Ice Age (certainly Ice Age the movie), the pool was frozen over. And yet dozens of people still took the plunge. Madness? Yes. But the kind of madness we love...

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Play Daze

Read all about it! Guess who's in this month's issue of Dazed&Confused?
Spike Jonze? Snoop? Andy Kaufman? Turner Prize winner Martin Creed? OK, yes, all of these and plenty more... but also us. Which is nice. In fact Creed is lucky enough to share a page with us in a big feature about artists who use games and playfulness in their work. As is traditional with Dazed, they've misspelled Myles's name, but like they say in the world of play: you win some, you lose some.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Herne Hill Hunters

This weekend saw Herne Hill over-run by people squinting at maps, counting logs, guessing the ages of buildings and spotting the height of bridges as hundreds of locals (and a few out-of-towners) took part in The Hunt. We designed the maps so that they'd take people on a tour of Herne Hill's hidden joys according to us, so it was brilliant to see the hunters coming back full of excitement about having discovered the Velodrome or visited the Lido or noticed the painted menagerie for the first time. Loads stayed on to see if they'd won and the party in the tunnel afterwards, by all accounts, went down a storm. Though, actually, we'd gone home knackered by the then. Very un-rock'nroll altogether.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Tunnel visionaries

What does it take to get a drink around here?... Well, if you're in Herne Hill, it'll need: a month of stopping people in a piss-stinking tunnel and asking them where they'd love to be right now; endless negotiations with Lambeth Council, Southeastern Rail and Railtrack (not to mention narrowly avoiding a last-minute, show-stopper when some bright spark decides that the word 'buddha' is "disturbing" and likely to "offend certain members of the public" ... presumably, visiting members of the Burmese junta); a day of jetwashing and scrubbing aforementioned piss-stinking tunnel; a back-breaking 18 hours straight (!) of chalking and painting to get the artwork down and dry for Monday's commuters (which, just so you know, means getting home at 5am - and that's not even mentioning the police raid at 2am... Nice to see eight of the boys in blue being put to such good use); and then when it's all done, a lovely news feature by Warren at the BBC (what did we say before about never watching yourself on telly? Heyho) ... Then, with a bit of luck, it'll be free drinks a-gogo (much obliged to Crazy Jimmy, Alan ... and the drunken posh bloke in Pullens).
Free booze notwithstanding, we are broken - honestly, we can still barely walk. We'd never have made it without Sabrina and George turning up like heroes to bring us dinner ("Oh thanks! That's amazing. Here's a paintbrush...") nor without the encouragement of the punters who stopped to watch the work taking shape. And while we're in Oscars mode, the biggest thanks must go to Gerry at Lambeth for being consistently upbeat and on-it, and the wonderful folks at Herne Hill Forum who had the vision, enthusiasm and belief to get us involved, battle all the red-tape and then let us do our thing.
Anyway, making Passages has been a testing but hugely rewarding experience and we're really chuffed with the response it's had from the local community: all we've been doing since we regained the use of our legs is hanging out down there watching people enjoy it. It'll only be there for a few weeks, so see it while you can!

Monday, 28 September 2009

Reality Reality check

Hold the presses, it turns out 'goodbye' - and not 'flocci­nauci­nihili­pili­fication' - is the hardest word. And so it was that, having sworn never to return, we donned our technician outfits and gave the Amazing Reality Reality Helmets (Like Virtual Reality - Only Better)® one last hurrah. The occasion was the Hide and Seek Global Domination Tour (we think that's what it's called), and the venue was Southend's Village Green arts festival. Needless to say, the work's Situationist lineage and biting social critique was lost on none of the assembled Bad-Manners-tribute fans, and against all odds, there were no disasters, deaths or stonings.
And so the leviathan was sent to its final slumber.
Perhaps even more exciting was the invention of our latest cocktail - inspired by our travels to the Far East... Southend Champagne is an effervescent treat of Super Strength cider, Super Strength lager, blackcurrant cordial and Pastis. Yum. Be warned SC may cause you to laugh hysterically, fall in love with David Blaine (his butterfly tricks, at least) and promptly fall asleep. All within the space of five minutes.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Double header in the Alt Press Anthology

It's not every day you get to work with a man called Jimi Gherkin. Today was not that day.
But some day last month was.
Gethan's work for the brilliant Attack!!!! is on p9 and extracts from Myles's labour of love The Fox and The Pig are on pp65-67 of Gherkin et al's Publish You.
This inspiring (though we are a little biased) compendium of cutting-edge independent publishing is out now. Buy it!

Monday, 3 August 2009

Pulgar Libre at the Southbank

This weekend saw the hotly anticipated return of Pulgar Libre. Following a dalliance with the big time (T-Mobile eat yer heart out), it was back to its populist roots at the brilliant Hide and Seek Weekender in the Royal Festival Hall. Once again it was a hard-fought contest with plenty of underhand (-thumb) behaviour and a good share of heroes and villains. The winner was a cheeky little number called Manchego, whose deft digits, seasoned ringcraft, dry wit and slightly moist palms won through. 'What price a Manchego/Paella showdown?' the crowd neglected to scream. Personally, we're hoping for a Pulgar champions' wedding. Paella and cheese? If only all celebrity unions were that appetizing.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Latitude Gets a dose of Reality Reality

An odd weekend at the Latitude festival: huge electric storms running rivers through our tent (ha); Passion Pit rocking the pilled-up teens (haha); a madness of gin, rum, Sabrina and George (hahaha); and an odd, pervasive joylessness (hmmm). Still, performing The Amazing Reality Reality Helmets - Like Virtual Reality, Only Better!® with epic double hangovers was a challenge we won't forget in a hurry. (And fitting, given that this extravaganza of Cecil B DeMille-esque proportions was conceived with equally poisoned heads). Happily, the audience - and participants - seemed to love our lo-tech gifts of Flight, The Voice of God, Snow, Cocoons, Perfect Storms, Edible Elements and Perfection. Which is fortunate because, given the insane propiness of the whole performance, we've sworn never to repeat it...
PS. Gethan's decided Latitude's slogan, "Not just a music festival" could use a bit of work... She suggests, "Not really a music festival". Harsh. But fair.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Giant Paper Rabbits Invade London Park

After a weekend spent filling Brockwell Park with oversized - and tiny - origami rabbits, then watching them ransacked by marauding 'hunters', we're knackered but content. Crap weather didn't stop hundreds of local people coming down to help us make the rabbits on the Saturday. Nor did it stop even more turning out to scour the park for prize-winning specimens the following day. The highlight/shame of the weekend was our star turn on ITV's London Tonight - never watch yourself on telly...

Sunday, 22 March 2009

On Your Marks at the Animation Decathlon

Family fun or council-condoned art vandalism?... You decide.
Our drawing-assault-course for Ken&Chelsea (the borough, not the latest Hello! coverstars) resulted in tired bodies, grazed knuckles, tears, laughter... and multicoloured cascades of chalk flowing around the pavements in front of the Town Hall. All in all, a good evening's work.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Pulgar Libre at the ICA

Last night Arma Bianca and Hijo de Fruta (aka yours truly) took Feedback at the ICA by storm with Pulgar Libre: an absurdist art-game with deeply scientific principles at its core... With the current ubiquity of texting and gaming, never have we used our thumbs so much. Will this have a Darwinian effect? Will future generations basically be giant thumbs trailing around puny bodies? And who will these chosen thumbs be? … There was only one way to find out – a contest so grueling, so vicious, so emotionally harrowing, only the fittest could survive. The thumb war to end all wars. Pulgar Libre.
The winner (shown above in ceremonial gold cape and crown) was the indomitable Paella. For a true taste of the evening watch this amazing film by our friends at Hide and Seek.