Matt Stokes is involved in an ongoing investigation into the history of a defunct rave organisation called Out House Promotions – four friends from in and around Windermere in the Lake District, who came together during the Acid House phenomenon of the late eighties.
Although Out House contributed to the early underground scene in the region, the group achieved notoriety after staging a series of raves in a cave, at a remote slate quarry near the village of Coniston. As word of mouth publicising and rumours about the 'Cave Raves' grew, they attracted increasing numbers people from across the UK. As a consequence, the local police became involved and raids made to seize equipment. Access to the quarry was blocked and as a last resort, the entrances to the caves were drilled for blasting (halted only due to a failure to apply for planning consent).
The organisational drain and the mounting pressure on Out House from the police to cease the parties eventually sealed their fate. Despite this, for a brief period the group successfully retained their position within the club and free festival circuit. Finally, disillusioned by the commercialisation of rave music, worn down by the excesses of the scene and after having further equipment confiscated the 'Cave Crew' disbanded in 1993.
Stokes is currently developing work in collaboration with the former members of Out House Promotions and people who attended or were affected by the Cave Raves. His work for ‘Space Between Us’ forms part of a broader project, using a collection of research material and artefacts, which will document the impact of rave culture on South Lakeland communities.
Minerva researched a number of projects which would feed into the Grizedale Arts touring show Roadshow, including the design of two stickers adapted from the ‘Del Monte’ food sticker and the British Farm Standards logo (the latter was adapted to read ‘Fool’). The stickers were intended for placing
on food products as part of an intervention in supermarkets nationally and internationally.
The Fool Sticker (which read ‘the little red tractor means very little’) was enlarged (approx. 2’) as a circular plaque and shown at Ambleside Flower Show (9, 10, 11 August 2002) and the exhibition One Monkey Don’t Stop the Show - part of the Grizedale Show (Sep 14 2002).
Minerva also developed an idea for the Grizedale Arts Christmas theatre event which stemmed her interest in multinationals and focuses on Coca-Cola and it’s involvement in supporting a number of dubious organisations, events and causes.
Minerva’s idea took the three polar bears that Coke used in their Christmas ad campaign and placed them at the centre of a drama. This idea was then put out to scriptwriters who worked up a script incorporating information provided by Minerva.
The resulting collaboration was Coke on the Rocks by Paul Francis – based on an idea by Minerva Cuevas.
Minerva also produced a poster for Roadshow, which was pasted up and given away at each venue.
Nathaniel developed a body of work that was exhibited at The Changing Room Gallery, Stirling 5 April - 24 May; The Turnpike Gallery, Leigh
14 June - 26 July; The Brewery Gallery, Kendal 3 - 31st August.
The show was called Prince Lightning and comprised of photographs, music and a sculptural installation.
Prince Lightning is a rap-star for the British countryside. He was conceived by Mellors during his residency and inspired by the discovery of a specialist collection of rare soul records in Cumbria.
Prince Lightning is a romantic phantom born of generic sources. He is an attempt to mutate the pop-cultural symbol of the black soul man into 3-dimensional being. He represents the desire for an alternative position to mainstream cultural influences. At the same time, because he is sourced from the limited iconography of the mainstream, he remains a flawed and tragic construction.
The 12-track album The Long Scratch Mellors produced is an original composition featuring rare soul samples and Mellors/Prince Lightning’s rapping and guitar-work. It plays inside a 30-foot long crucifix-shaped nest. The photographs demonstrate Prince Lightning at work on stage and in the woods. The images have a seductive but dislocated quality and alongside the music reflect upon Prince Lightning’s Frankenstein-like identity crisis.
The Long Scratch is a continuation of Mellors’ satirical work dealing with the processing of human interests through entertainment structures.
Mellors also developed a new 16mm film called Pod War which was screened for the first time at all Roadshow venues. Based on an abstract idea of an enemy & psychological warfare, the film was shot on location in Grizedale, incorporating local children form the Honeypot estate in Ulverston and actors. Mellors also produced the soundtrack for the film.
Paul researched a number of phenomena and organisations in the Lakes, from local psychics to the Beatrix Potter Museum. Paul developed a rock opera called Tony’s a Winner, based on a press cutting found in the Stan Laurel Museum in Ulverston which outlines how the man who used to do the voiceovers for the Generation Game went to America with Isla St. Clair & Larry Grayson and met and married Stan Laurel’s daughter. The resultant musical was performed by Paul and a group of others live at each Roadshow venue. Please see Events, Past Projects & Events 2003 for more information.
Roddy & Colin worked with local charcoal burners to create a raft made of charcoal, which was shown at their Milton Keynes show in 2002. They also made 24-Hour Heel Bar, which was shown at Lawless in 2002 and toured with Roadshow in 2003. Please see Events, Past Projects & Events 2003 for more information.
Simon & Nick responded to the local situation of post foot and mouth during their residency and proposed re-designing farmer’s cattle feeders. This proposal is still on the backburner due to difficulties in generating funding.
Tatsuo created The Grizedale Museum dedicated to local Grizedale people, which included objects, ephemera donated by them. The exhibition (still on display at Grizedale) includes vitrines with the personal objects in and text in Japanese and English with background information on the local individuals.
Tatsuo also produced the Pocket Museum at the Ambleside Flower Show in 2002, which involved engaging the public in exchanging whatever was in their pocket for one the objects on a series of plates.
During his residency Micz developed an interest in ‘The Blair Witch Project’, making associations with the environment and Grizedale Arts’ history and narratives within the film. The nearby village inspired the video ‘The Blawith Project’ - a re-reading of ‘The Blair Witch Project’ in the context of land art and his residency in Grizedale. Micz also developed Text To Speech Radio (TTS-FM) during his residency. TTS-FM is an on-line/on-air solution allowing delivery to talk radio across the poor connectivity to the local FM transmitter via a text-to-speech synthesis application. On the website, visitors could e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, post messages directly or supply him with URLs from the web. In return he posted some diary entries to TTS-FM for the outside world to enjoy.
Any message posted to TTS-FM was converted into spoken word and stored as an MP3 file. Once a day, a local computer in Grizedale connected with the central server and retrieved the new texts. Once downloaded, the material was be converted into audio files and played as loops on the local FM transmitter.
Throughout Micz’s residency TTS-FM was used to plug the outside world into the airspace around Grizedale. Whatever the rest of the world believed Micz was missing out on whilst on residency, this was their way of delivering the world to his doorstep. All e-mails and postings were broadcasted on a local FM-transmitter. This way he had the opportunity to check his e-mail via radio, an exciting experience while walking the woods!
Amongst the contributors to Micz’s content rescue system were media theoreticians Geert Lovink, Adam Hyde, practitioners from various countries, such as Zjelko Blace from the Media Centre, Zagreb and Akos Maroy from Radio Tilos, Budapest, as well as a number of artists including Nick Crowe, Becky Shaw, Graham Parker and others. But many of the postings were anonymous or came from people he had not directly contacted. Altogether there were around 100 e-mails and contributions to the programme. Most important to Micz was the exchange he had with Matt Campbell, a blind programmer who has been very influential on the way he ‘saw’ the web and who has given him interesting thoughts on further ideas for the TTS-FM radio.
Some of the material Micz posted as diaries on the site were also used in a video production he developed for the ‘Lawless’ show at Grizedale Arts in the middle of September. Micz combined some of his entries with interviews he conducted in the visitor area. The video combined his account of a fairly long term residency, the adjustment for a New Media artist that comes with this environment and the statements from visitors, who he’d asked about their perception, understanding and expectations of art and nature in general and notions around the sculpture park in particular.
Micz became involved with the Tech_2 event, which came to Grizedale after a brief stay at Folly in Lancaster. In preparation for the Grizedale event of Tech_2, Micz went to Lancaster and took the opportunity to assemble a dedicated router for Grizedale as part of the Tech_2 programme “build your own media lab”. This machine was then taken back to Grizedale to be installed and set the frame for the Tech_2 event in early September.
As a result of the Tech_2 event he also created a more professional PC lab for Grizedale Arts’ artists in residence, in the studio along with a dedicated router, 10Mbit Ethernet network and HUB. He also installed a dedicated multimedia PC for video editing and provided a number of workshops and training sessions.
Micz also became involved with Tech_2, who were resident at Grizedale Arts from the 4th – 8th September 2002. Tech_2 was part of a Media Art Projects production, in 2002 with Folly (Lancaster), Grizedale Arts (Cumbria), and Redundant Technology Initiative Access Space (Sheffield). During their time at Grizedale Tech_2 investigated possibilities for wireless networks in and around Grizedale Forest.
Micz chaired a lively talk/discussion in conjunction with Tech_2, who engaged locals (predominantly non-arts based) in a thought provoking discussion about the use of digital technology and art, held in a local village hall. (Digital Technology – But Where Is The Art? Micz Flor and Tech_2 at Wateryeat Village Hall Thursday 5 September).
Micz also ran workshops for children – please see past education projects for details.
Wowhaus are a collaborative partnership who worked with Barrow council and the residents of the Hindpool estate in Barrow. The Hindpool Residents Association were consulted by Wowhaus on their desires and requirements for the plot of land that would become vacant once a number of houses were pulled down within the community. Wowhaus’ consultation process led to a number of visualisations with the community and engaged the large population of Hindpool in meetings and discussions which fed into the development of this space, encouraging a creative approach and connecting groups of the community who had not been in contact before.
Jorg developed a multimedia sound-based performance, which he presented at Last Night a DJ Saved My Life, Grizedale Live May 2002. The performance was based around language and generated through a computer, utilising text and graphics to produce a visual and audio feast.
Inksetter and Livingstone’s work was affected quite radically by their time at Grizedale - they capitalised on the landscape and environment to develop their practice outdoors, including engaging visitors and the local community.
Their research and experimentation resulted in a number of performance videos that they previewed during Grizedale Live (1-9 June) in the Forestry Commission Visitor Centre shop, Grizedale Arts’ shop, and the exhibition One Monkey Don’t Stop the Show in the Grizedale Arts gallery.
They also led a workshop with the Honeypot Youth Group – please see past education projects
FlatPack001 were commissioned to co-curate Roadshow, a Grizedale Arts Touring Show. They commissioned Henry V111’s Wives, Guy Bar-Amotz, Mark Titchner and the designer, Robert Johnston and developed and designed all the marketing materials with Mark Titchner.
FlatPack001 also designed and produced iDeath, the touring structure which provided the platform and hub for all the touring works, including cinema screen, re-configuring it for the exhibition in Dundee.
Mark Beasley also initiated the Vilma Gold project and was a contributing editor to the catalogue. Please see Events, Past Projects & Events 2003 for more details.
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