Ear Trumpet – exhibition by Alex Baker

Ear Trumpet at Art at 42
Alex Baker has crafted another beautiful sculpture for his new show just opened at Art@42 gallery in Notting Hill Gate. This gallery, bizarrely, two-times as the waiting room to a dental surgery, but don’t be put off by the sound of drilling and smell of mouthwash – its a great space and really worth checking out for this show.

The main piece is called “Wind-Powered Record Player” and consists of a record (Herbie Hancock’s Future Shock) sitting on a sideways windmill being played by a needle amplified by a small trumpet. It is rather lovely! Also in the show is a site-specific video installation involving a live video stream, and some sound-prints (you have to go and see for yourself to figure out how that works!).

Ear Trumpet runs until 22nd September at 42 Pembridge Road – call 0790 4522 103 to book an appointment to see the show – no purchase of dentistry services necessary!

If you aren’t going to see the exhibition then check out a detailed photo of Alex Baker’s Wind-Powered Record Player on my Flickr page.

Sports Day for Artists

Celebrity Sack Race
A Sports Day was held on Hackney Marshes over the bank holiday weeked in order to help artists retrain as sportspersons’, since that’s where all the Arts Council funding is being syphoned off to now (see my previous post on this). Considering it was pissing down all weekend they were a pretty determined bunch and we should congratulate them, and Grunts for the Arts for organising it. We can also laugh at them in more of the photos of on their website: www.sports-day.net/events.html

Mike Benedetto – Picket Fence

Picket fence
Mike Benedetto has put a nice slideshow of photos on his website, of a recent performance he did called Picket Fence. It was one of a number of performances which took place in metered parking spaces across Chicago simultaneously. Of course having paid for his spot no one could really make a fuss about his occupying it, but the police did threaten to charge him for building with out a permit. Ha! LOL.

Cat Power and the Dirty Delta Blues

Catpower and the Dirty Delta Blues
I went to see Cat Power playing with her new ensemble, the Dirty Delta Blues, at The Forum at the beginning of May. Cat Power AKA Chan Marshall has ditched her trademark heavy fringe for a completely different look, bizarrely, kinda like Sporty Spice or Lady Sovereign: hair pulled hard back from her face into a high ponytail (see photo on Flickr). She played a fantastic set, and then some, but I have to confess I was not as moved as I had hoped to be. From the spine-tingling music I have heard by Cat Power in session or on album, I came expecting a night covered in goose bumps, but found instead that I was warmly impressed at her musical skill rather than shivering at the passionate beauty of it all.
More photos from Cat Power at The Forum on May 1st

Spaghetti Carbonara recipe

This simple recipe has become a regular feature in our household recently – it just perfect for when you’re in a rush/can’t be bothered to spend long cooking and want some comfort food – its very naughty! It comes from a famous Brit chef who I won’t mention here else I get done for copyright, but I was just asked by a houseguest for the recipe and figured if I’m going to write it down I might as well share it with y’all. So here it is from memory, in my own words.

Ingredients (for 2)

200g Spaghetti
4 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1 egg yolk + 1 whole egg
4 tbsp vermouth
2 tsp olive oil
100g pancetta, cubed
1 tbsp butter
freshly grated black pepper and nutmeg

Whisk the eggs, parmesan, black pepper and nutmeg together. I buy pancetta from my local Italian deli already cubed and ready to go – if you can’t find pancetta you can use a good quality smoked bacon and chop it into small pieces. Measure out the vermouth and butter as this dish takes no time to cook so you need everything ready.

Boil a medium saucepan of salted water and add the spaghetti. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the pancetta for 5 mins until getting crispy. Add the vermouth to the pan and let it cook down to a nice syrupy consistency then turn off the heat. The pasta should be about ready now – just al dente. Drain the spaghetti and put it back in the pan. Add the butter to the pancetta and vermouth mix and then stir this into the pasta. Then stir in the egg mixture (keeping it off the heat – you don’t want the egg to get scrambled!). The result is that the spaghetti is just coated in a delicious creamy sauce, flecked with pancetta bits – but without any actual cream.

The spaghetti carbonara is now ready to serve. I would have a green salad on the side if I have time/inclination. Enjoy!

Stephen Cornford – Artist Spade

stephen cornford artist spade
From Stephen Cornford’s website: “Dig your own hole, put your own head in it. Pack down soil gently. Wait for the apocalypse, or until you can’t breathe any more.” The video documenting this work is very nicely composed and ends perfectly (the suspense!), and the performance itself is well shot (i see the molehills, but what are those cement coloured cones?!!) and a good length. This webpage is well worth a visit!


Stop Arts Council Funding being spent on the Olympics!

The insane (and ever increasing) amount of money that our Government is going to spend on the Olympics is going to mean that 35% of (the ever dwindling) Arts Council funding will be cut. This is going to impact our arts community in a massively detrimental way as I’m sure you would agree…

So here is a petition to the Prime Minister to Stop the Chancellor from using lottery money to fund the olympics in 2012 which I urge all UK residents to sign… If you think that signing petitions is pointless please consider this:

It has already gathered 1000 signatures and closes on 16 September 2007. If it gets to 40,000 signatures it would make it into the top 5 most popular petitions on the site! Currently, the petition in the number 4 spot is ‘Continue funding for the Royal Air Force Aerobatics Team’. Surely in the arts world we are able to gather a similar if, not larger number, of supporters? Also, very popular petitions seem to generate responses from the Prime Minister prior to the petition closing.

Please sign up and tell your friends and peers to do the same!