Briefs from Issue 19
by Jasmine Grindstone

artistic computer
  • Cramley Arts Update
The London Borough of Cramley's Arts in Action Unit launches its web site in May.
The pages will contain information on the borough's arts policy, many arts commissions and artists opportunities plus a companion site for everything magazine.
After the abolition of the GLC, the imposition of rate capping and the introduction of the community charge, Cramley remains one of the only boroughs able to provide forward looking arts provision. Juliet Tidyman, Director of the AIAU, said: "We are happy, pleased and joyful to be a meaningful vehicle on the Information Superhighway which will drive us into the 21st century. It is our aim to create a provision which is user friendly and easily surfable whilst at the same time providing metaphorical hedge-hog tunnels for artists who have yet to evolve the necessary driving and avoidance skills."
Alderman Marcus Tavistock (acting council leader) endorsed Ms Tidyman’s sentiments: "It is incontestable that the future is virtual, and moreover that artists will be the architects of the infoshpere which they will use as a cyberplastic entity".
The Cramley Web site will be open to the public on May 25 1996 at

  • Government
In a recent mini-shuffle Wendy House MP has taken up the post of second under-secretary at the National Heritage Department, taking the place of Marcus Swivel-Bowtie who has left parliament to become head of security at the Arts Council.

  • Arts Council
The Arts Council's Evolutionary Fund was announced in February. Awards totalling £20,000 will be given to artists, or artists' groupings who can accelerate the human evolutionary process through the production of artefacts which will cause paradigmical shifts.
Applications should be in by the end of May. Full details of the Arts Council's address are available from the Phone Book (British Telecommunications 1996 ISBN 564 786545).

  • Millennium
There is heated speculation as to whether the centre piece of the 1951 Festival of Britain, the Skylon, will be re-erected in Greenwich. Its rotting husk was recently discovered in a children's adventure playground in Bow and for years has formed what the project leader, Reverend Michael Slogin, has called "rocket land". Its reconstruction will be undertaken by architects Hoot and Tootly and will be sponsored by Qwick Fit Communications PLC.
The team hopes to fit a high range laser lens on the tip of the reconstructed Skylon, and project images of the festival's attractions on to the surface of the moon.

  • Art Critics Awards
Helen Highwater, the art critic of London's leading soft pornography listings magazine Good Times, will be presenting the 1996 Art Criticism awards at the Prometheus Gallery in June.
The categories include: Best Description of a Piece of Work, Best Description of an Atmosphere, Most Speculative Passage, Best Ruminations and the coveted, Most Accurately Predicted Tip For the Top.

  • Talent Virus Discovered
Scientists studying Martina (Little Duchamp) Kapopkin (the five year old Ruratanian refugee who has displayed an artistic talent belying her years) have succeeded in isolating a talent virus. Research team leader Maximillian Montyblume explained: "Scientists had previously speculated that talent was an amalgam of genetic, sociological and psychological variants, or a tussle between extrovert and introvert characteristics. The discovery that talent is actually a virus will mean that we will have to reread our attitude to the vast body of artistic production over the last 25,000 years."
The discovery now presents us with an ethical problem: If talent is a virus, should we search for a cure? The World Health Organisation goes into emergency session in June to discuss the implications of this discovery. If further research is recommended, with a view to eliminating the virus, current projections suggest that an anti viral agent will not be on line before 2050 at the earliest.
Kapopkin takes the news that she has full blown Montyblume Talent Syndrome (MTS) with characteristic indifference: "The revelation that I am in some way "afflicted" will make little difference to my current practice and approach. I have stopped the production of material artefacts - realising that the core problem of the "avant-garde" is their privileging of space over time. After recontextualising the works of Plato, Hegel and Bergson I now seek to create art out of pure thought, an art the nature of which will not be limited by the messy contingencies of materiality, nor desported like a whore in a tawdry and philistine marketplace".

© Jasmine Grindstone 1996elogo