‘Glass Gun 2′ by Julie Hill
A couple of days ago my housemate returned home bursting with a tale that he’d been carrying around with him all day. What he had witnessed on his well-trodden route to work that morning had seemed to pervade the conditioned air of his office in the hours that followed, mind reruns of the scene played out in windowpane reflections and on the inside of mid-blink eyelids. He had been inspired.
The action that had my friend so roused wasn’t overtly political. Nor was it spectacularly en-masse. It was a man. Alone. Dancing at 8am in the centre of one of Bristol city centre’s busiest junctions, stuff multiple lanes of traffic whirring around unrestrained flying limbs like mechanical rings of chorus girls, capsule their metallic bodywork sparkling.
The root of this act, and the results of it, we can only guess at. Was his rush hour spinning a signal that the rest of us should slow down? A statement on the vulnerability of the pedestrian or the mindlessness of the daily grind? Maybe he just fancied a dance.
CRASH at Artsadmin: experimenting with sustainable alternatives to financial and ecological crises
As my friend’s impassioned regaling of the scene evidenced, whatever its grounds, form or situation, art is an enormously affecting class of action. And it’s being increasingly embraced as a method of political expression beyond homemade banners or gallery walls, because we can all be arts activists. The only thing that’s required is a little imagination.
Image courtesy of Artsadmin: ‘Quantitative Teasing- A benchmark in post-capitalism’
Two artist activists are on hand later this month to help spark that imagination via Interference, a free five-day workshop to encourage people to develop new ways of working collectively to make a difference to the causes they care about. Beth Whelan (who last year played a large part in the Mainshull Solidarity Camp) and Julie Hill will be working with participants to develop art-related strategies for both acting towards and reacting against change, using such tools as story-telling and myth making, climbing and reclaiming public space, urban foraging, self-publishing and night biking. Interference runs from 21st to 25th June at Artsadmin’s Toynbee Studios in London, but is limited to just 20 places, so if you want one of them Artsadmin asks that you write a short paragraph explaining why you want to get involved, and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beth Whelan at CRASH
Open to people from all backgrounds and experiences, Interference is an invitation to those who want to go beyond just thinking about change; to act via art to be part of, or begin, an empowering, engaging and positive political movement. You never know, it might even be one that stops traffic.
Turning our attention to the smaller independent festivals, page we are thrilled to be featuring Truck, help an event with an impeccable reputation and massive good will behind it. There are so many things that we like about Truck, we could practically list its attributes alphabetically. But for those who are scratching their heads in befuddlement, and wondering who and what this curiously monikered event is, the most important fact to learn about Truck is that it has the ethos and sensibility of a village fete and combines this with a cutting edge musical policy to create a unique and highly personalised festival that is head and shoulders above many of its contemporaries.
Truck has a much deserved reputation of having an eagle eye for upcoming talent. In recent years, bands such as Foals, Young Knives, Fuck Buttons, Get Cape… Wild Beasts and Fanfarlo have all graced the stages (which are used as cowsheds for the rest of the year – it’s on the site of a working farm), at a time when they were still fresh faced to the music scene. Headlining this year are bands that can easily be described, as NME did, as “awesome”. The roster includes Teenage Fanclub, Mew, Mercury Rev Clearlight Ensemble, Los Campesinos!, Chapel Club, Good Shoes and Summer Camp (a full, and yet to be completed line-up is featured on Trucks website).
Situated deep in the Oxfordshire countryside, Truck is proud to be one of the UK’s longest standing independent small festivals. The more you discover about Truck, the more you realise that it is fiercely independent in all aspects. From the get go (it was formed in 1998), Truck has rejected corporate sponsorship; instead allowing its food and ale stalls – all locally produced of course – to be run by locals rather than brands (and in the case if the ice cream stall, run by the local vicar). Truck lives by a strong charitable ethos; rather than sitting on their profits, they funnel money made at the festival back into local and national causes. Last year for example, £50,000 was raised for charity. The people behind Truck are quite possibly the busiest of bees in Oxford; as well as community projects in the city, they also run Wood, described as “Trucks folkier/younger, cleaner, greener and mysteriously beardier brother”. While Truck may be less hirsute, it certainly has the travellers bug, and recently came to New York State in the shape of Truck America, held in the mountainous Catskills region. Those who would like to attend a closer to home Truck can do so buy booking tickets through their ticket providers, Gigantic and Brown Paper Tickets, one of the first fair trade ticketing agencies in the UK which operates in a not-just-for-profit fashion. For the first time this year, there will be Friday night festivities (the music starts on Saturday at 12pm and finishes Sunday at 10pm), so campers are now welcome to pitch up from Friday, 4pm onwards. This perfectly sized, magic brew of a festival has all the key ingredients for a glorious weekend, and time is running out to get your tickets before it sells out, so hurry up and book yourself a spot!
Truck Festival July 23 -25th
Adult (18+) Weekend – £80?Friday – £15 adv/£20 on the day
Teen (13-17) Weekend – £60?Friday – £15 adv/£20 on the day
Minor (0-12) Weekend – Free?Friday – Free
Children age 14 and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Weekend tickets include access to the festival from 9am Saturday, and include 2 nights camping (saturday & sunday).
- Festival Preview: The Great Escape
- Festival Preview: the Eden Sessions
- Wood Festival 2011: a special preview interview with founder Robin Bennett
- Review: Truck Festival 2011
- Festival Preview: The Trip Festival