Friday, 18 November 2011

Occupy the Blogosphere

I think I need to stop reading The Metro on the train in the morning; it is just bumming me out. Although I am aware that the climate of “we are all fucking doomed” in which we find ourselves at present is not the fault of The Metro I just don’t think I can cope with another story about debt, unemployment, cuts and futile protests.

Having said that, the article that irked me the most was the one about people camping overnight to queue outside H&M in Glasgow in order to be the first in line to spend, in one case, over £1K on items from the new Versace for H&M line. Now I have been known in the past to indulge the odd fashion related fantasy and far be it from me to dictate to you what you can do with (what I hope) is your disposable income but come on! Camping out overnight? Spending upwards of a grand? Really?!

The part that annoyed me the most was that I couldn’t get past the notion that this was probably just a brand obsessed frenzy that involved very little assessment of the garments these people were spending their money on. We’re talking about a crowd that has formed over night, which according to the article required management through a wristband system. This doesn’t sound to me like a group of people who when the doors finally opened calmly browsed what was on offer, gave consideration to personal taste or regard for whether or not it was going to suit them. Rather, I picture a kill or be killed environment in which the purpose of the mission is “it’s Versace, it’s cheap, fucking buy it”! I assume the sales assistants will be having Vietnam style flashbacks until next winter, at least.

Call me cynical but when an article like this is adjacent to others describing aggressive removal tactics towards people protesting corporate greed, cynicism would appear to be the order of the day.

On a slightly less ranty note the Versace article was very well was written by Jen Lavery. Click to read her blog. You’ll see this lass alongside Charlie Brooker in the Guardian one day, mark my words.

In the list of other things being occupied is my mind, or at the very least I am trying to keep it occupied. What am I working on? Things at Fringe HQ are pretty quiet at the moment; I am experiencing what is a seasonal lull in my particular department. What this does do is free up some time for heavy research into industry trends, politics, policy and opportunities all of which will prove useful moving forward. This research will also aid me in my planning of new artist resources. I have some ideas up my sleeve with regard to international exchange and supporting emerging producers, both of which I can’t really discuss in great detail at this early stage. Fingers crossed all will go well.

The Made in Scotland 2012 deadline is fast approaching. This is actually my favourite bit of the whole process, discovering what new artistic plans are bubbling away across Scotland’s creative landscape. It’s very exciting and I enjoy being privy to the debate and discussion that follows.

In other Fringe news, I will be heading out to Australia for the Adelaide Fringe in March 2012, which is super cool. My colleague Barry and I will be leading on a Fringe Roadshow and a networking event as well as meeting with artists, companies, venues and promoters about their plans for the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe. The Adelaide Fringe is the sister to Edinburgh and the second largest Fringe in the world; a vast amount of work transfers from Adelaide to Edinburgh so I am really looking forward to exploring what is on offer and getting the jump on seeing the shows I will inevitably miss during August! But most importantly, I am looking forward to seeing my pal Jen Mackie whose face I sorely miss.

Following Adelaide, given that I am on the other side of the world and should take advantage of the opportunity, I am planning on dossing about South East Asia. Kicking off in Singapore I am then hopping over to Japan for a few days to explore the arts scene out there and potentially spread the good Edinburgh Fringe word.

Other travel plans for 2012 that don’t necessarily involve the Fringe will concern NYC but more on that at a later date.

Never one to be satisfied with one project to occupy my brain I am keeping myself creatively satisfied with a new idea entitled Project Memory Box. All the information about this wee project is available via its own online platform so I shan’t waste word count on repeating it here (as this is already looking to be a longer blog than I can expect your attention for). Needless to say, I am in the very early stages of development for this so haven’t accurately mapped out it’s trajectory but what I do know is that however the research develops the end result will be a performance. When? I don’t know. Where? I don’t know.

It was inspired by the need to get some closure on some and to find a way with dealing with other things in my personal life. At some point in the near future I am going to start a conversation with the Neuroscience department of Glasgow University to flesh out the sciency bit of understanding memory. The way the brain works, I think, is at the core of this process.

I am looking for friends, strangers, confidantes and acquaintances to get involved so please have a look at Project Memory Box online and find out how you can contribute. The thoughts, memories and stories of real people is what will drive things forward. You can tweet me about it too (crazy, modern bint that I am) @lucilleburn but please remember to include the hash tag #projectmemorybox

At some point I will be on the lookout for any clever creative types to collaborate with me on creating the performance element of the whole thing so feel free to Tweet me about that too.

I think that will do from me for now. Before I sign off, here a few things I recommend to make the coming winter months a little bit nicer...

Pass the Spoon. Me Selling Some Pretty Things. 1770 House Meatloaf. Franks Wild Band. Fringe (not the Festival). Dr Sketchy Glasgow Goes Tiki.

Five by Five Y’all x

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