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Out at night on the canal testing the Floating Cinema

Testing testing 1 .. 2 .. 3

At the start of this week I spent a really amazing night out on the East London waterways cruising from 3 Mills down to the Limehouse Basin testing out the Floating Cinema. It was really good to see how it felt to be projecting onto the bank from the moving boat but I was also really excited just to be seeing the London landscape from the perspective of the canal at night.

The boat we are working with is owned by Annie & Hazel, and the great thing is that they both have masses of experience of the waterways and want to continue to use it for community tours after it's life as the Floating Cinema this summer. So it's a win win situation!

You can see more pictures from the evening here

Before & After

Our garden continues to grow

Andreas (from FOAG) and I were at the same film event in Hackney Wick a couple of weeks ago and one of the speakers mentioned that the google earth image of the Olympic park had recently been updated. I looked over at Andreas to see that we were both simultaneously searching on our phones to see if Abbey Gardens had also now 'arrived' on google earth and sure enough it has! I felt strangely excited to see the design there and a little bit proud of how the site has changed in such a short time frame. 

We also heard last week that the Friends group have successfully raised the funding (via the Tudor Trust) to continue our regular programme of gardening sessions throughout this season. We're so pleased about this as we think Hamish, the Garden Club leader we appointed last year, is great and he can now really get his teeth stuck into the new season, with all he has learnt about the site last year behind him. Well done especially to Alison and Fiona who wrote the funding application!

Toge villagers at Karen's home, Lawson Park

Our friends in Japan

With great relief we finally heard news of our friends in Japan, with whom we worked closely on the Seven Samurai project and many offshoot projects - Jamie and Aiko and Junko who sent news of our beloved villagers of Toge:

"Kucho-san said they do not have water yet,
but they are doing fine.
Toge damage was not big fortunately.
Murono next village is facing a worse situation.

What a life...the messages from over sea makes our life
bright. thank you.

take care you
junko maruyama"


Finally got some tasty little clips up about our long-running R & D on pedigree cat breeding...

Here's a quick preview which shows that not all ginger cats are tom cats ... 

Green light!

Delighted to have just heard the news that our 'lost' Screen East funding for the Jaywick film and outreach has been reinstated by E M Media - hurrah, we shall go to the ball after all!

Leslie Lyons & Tim Gruffydd-Jones

Cat Fancy Club talk

There's actually been a bit of a flurry of activity with the long running cats project over the last few weeks and I'm off to Belgium next week to present Cat Fancy Club as part of Alter Nature: The Unnatural Animal at Z33 in Hasselt on 17.02.2011 at 19h00.
Prompted by the pressure of a public presentation I have finally been watching some of the footage we shot exactly a year ago with Leslie Lyons on one of her research visits to the UK. Leslie is a Professor at University of California-Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, located in the Center for Companion Animal Health (CCAH), her research focuses on the genetics of the domestic cat and the development of genetic tools and resources that assist gene mapping in the cat and other companion animals.
Much of her time is spent travelling around the world meeting different cat breeders and talking to them about their pets, not to mention taking the occasional buccal swab! Last January we spent a very hectic two days together visiting a really fascinating group of breeders and Professor Tim Gruffydd-Jones at The Feline Centre, University of Bristol (seen opposite with Leslie). It's been great watching the footage finally and I must thank Matt Jones @ Illumina for managing to get it into a format I could watch on my Mac ... now I just have to edit it.

Image: Pope & Guthrie (Photography Marc Henrie)

We made WMMNA!

As some of you will know I teach one day a week at the Royal College of Art in the Design Interactions department. Let's just say that, at times, it's quite different to the rest of my working environment and different things 'count' there ... both in terms of 'academic research' and recognition. It seems though that getting onto Regine Debatty's (really good) Blog 'We Make Money Not Art' counts for a lot - within 3 minutes of getting an email with the link from Regine I also got a text about it from Tony our professor and no less than 5 of the students mentioned it that morning. It seems after 14 odd years of working in the same department I have finally arrived!

Anyway it's a nice piece (which you can read here) about our Cat Fancy Club project which Anthony Nicols and Leslie Lyons also contributed to.

Ye olde pre-digital documentation

9 year itch

The longest-running exhibition we've ever been in has come to an end! This time 9 years ago we were putting together an installation called 'Home-made Heroes' for a big survey show at the Barbican in London about gaming which included some commissioned pieces too.

Although,"As the nature of the hosting organizations has changed in recent years - there has not been the opportunity to display the commissioned works to the extent we had hoped." sounds ominously like the piece stayed in its packing cases a lot ...

The abysmal image opposite is sadly all I can find of this project (possibly it's a slide scan 'cos back in the day we only dreamt of digital cameras), which remains for some reason one of my favourite pieces of ours. We 'commissioned' about half a dozen 'dressing up' costumes from home dressmakers around the world, giving them just a text description of a well-known games superhero. What resulted is a really odd, charming and folksy melange of costumes that includes Supermario and Sonic amongst others.

Here's where it went:

.....Game On opened in May 2002 at the Barbican Art Gallery ...the Royal Museum at the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh...... Tilburg Art Foundation, The Netherlands, ...... Helsinki City Art Museum, Finland ....... Lille European Capital of Culture 2004 in France....... The Science Museum, London, .........Cyberport, Hong Kong, .......Australian Centre of Moving Image, Melbourne ........State Library of Queensland, Brisbane .......National Museum of Science and Technology in Kaohsiung, Taiwan....... Cellars of Cureghem in Brussels, Belgium........... The Ambassador Theatre in Dublin.

Permanent moorings at Three Mills in East London

Smile - You're an Olympian

Here's a link to some press about our new project in and around the 2012 Olympic Park in London

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