Making with nothing: Hack Circus podcast, plus Dublin, Rome, Helsinki, Salford

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 20.52.06Hello again, two blog posts in the same six months! I don’t recognise myself. But I have some news and links to share so I hope you can forgive the impossible breakneck pace of content creation.

I’ve stopped my mad spate of applications for residencies and grants, for a while. I had a tonne of rejections, which has been gutting but also of course also brilliant, because it’s cleared my schedule – and my head – a bit.

The show I’m in at the Lowry gallery now has a mini webpage. And they’re using my artwork to promote the show :)))) See here. I’ve done so much sketching for this one I’ve almost relearned how to draw. The living room is penthouse cardboard city, boxes and LED panels everywhere. (Please don’t burgle me.)

I’ve decided to make some more episodes of the Hack Circus podcast, as it’s one of the aspects of the project that I’ve enjoyed the most and potentially the thing that’s been the most well-received, even though there are still only 11 episodes. Also, I think having this big art show coming up is pushing me into distracting blow-off-steam type projects to alleviate the pressure a bit. The new episodes are about Survival and Dance, featuring interviews with artists interested in empowerment through nature, and top-flight dancers from, of course, Rambert.

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 20.47.03Gone are the days when I could make a new episode of a podcast with a different amazing guest every single week, but I’m going to make at least eight for this year’s season. Coming up – episodes on archives, comedy and performance and some people you’ve probably heard of, so do subscribe if any of that sounds interesting. Find links to iTunes, the direct feed, or just listen in the browser, here.

My talk about dance and technology has been accepted by the Rome Maker Faire. So it looks like in between my Helsinki residency and the Lowry show opening in October, I’ll be going to Rome for a few days! Which is GREAT. One of my fave places.

Issue 11 of Hack Circus magazine will be out September/October if we have some sort of miracle. We’re all rushed off our feet, half the articles for the forthcoming issue never showed up, and almost all the adverts which were promised (even the free ones!) haven’t come in, so we have been on the back foot this time. The future of the project is in the balance a bit, various funding bids and hopes have come to nothing. But even if we lose the mag and the shows and the R&D plans don’t come together, I do believe I can make it into a hit podcast.

I’ve written some new stuff for my Huffington Post blog including an article about R&D in the arts, and my book about my Rambert residency was reviewed by Furtherfield.

A few things since I last blogged: I hosted the talks stage and spoke myself at Dublin Maker, the best maker event, which was a total treat as expected. A lot of the organisers have been hugely supportive of Hack Circus and involved with it from the start, and we’re all on the same page about a lot of stuff. I had a great time. Here I am looking like the geek Karen Carpenter. Who knew these trousers would be such a hit?

Rambert dancers 'at rest'

Rambert dancers ‘at rest’

I also spoke at the Festival of the Spoken Nerd event ‘An Evening of Unnecessary Detail’. Really good fun to reprise my Terminator talk and meet a new line-up of talented speakers and performers.

I was interviewed for a sort of gently therapeutic podcast called Introspectology yesterday (always nice to talk about oneself and one’s work! Hence blogs!) and the day before, had a chat on record for Rosa‘s research for a fascinating R&D investigation into dance, emotion and avatar creation, called Wholodance. Rosa is a flamenco dancer who is also ballet trained, with huge dance instinct, discipline and talent for communication. It was great chatting with her.

September and October are the dense months. Nothing is going to quieten down till November now. It’s worth saying that there’s no (or minimal) financial incentive, for any of the things listed above. Every single thing involved with Hack Circus, and every minute I spend on it, actively costs me money. Every residency interview I go, every application I fill in – they take days out of my time, and time is money.

Next year things are going to look very different, when I start to re-tune all my energies towards business. It’s going to mean saying no to a lot of nice people, I guess, which I’m not looking forward to (but the plan is, of course, that I’ll come back later and hire them.)

 

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