The 20 days of 20×20 #1 – 1st September 2014 at @AccessSpace #20×202014

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Strictly speaking this is a bit late, but they changed the dates and I only just thought about it so, whatever. If you’ve missed it before, Access Space has a free-to-enter show each year entitled “20×20”. You can make a piece of work in any medium on any subject as long as its physical dimensions are 20 inches square.

Access Space can provide a ready made “canvas” of a plywood box-construction board for £3.75, but you don’t have to buy one of theirs. All entries are accepted as long they are not considered to be inoffensive or inappropriate.

Here’s a video from last year of the opening evening.

So, I am publishing an advent-calendar style countdown until the official opening on the 20th (geddit?). FYI the DEADLINE IS THE 17TH SEPTEMBER and the “private view” (to which anyone and everyone is in invited) is on the 19th, but the general opening to the public is on the 20th. It’s a bit of a stretch but it gives me another 20 so I’m running with it.

I’ve never been short of ideas, but I am not sure what to do for this year’s 20×20, so by way of a bit of promotion for the show, I am going to attempt to come up with 20 ideas over the next 20 days. Not necessarily new ideas, maybe some I conceived before and didn’t make. I have a few of those already. I do try to come up with something clever each time, but I can not necessarily claim that they are all cool.

I timelapse recorded it, but I seem to have failed to make a ‘making of’ video from last year (I thought I’d made one, but I can’t find it online so maybe I never finished it). Here is a video of me making my 20×20 back in 2012. I successfully finished the video but it documents me making two failed attempts at making cool shit grasping victory from the jaws of defeat.

The idea to come up with 20 ideas came from this blog post I saw this morning. This hipster Pieter Levels is labelled as a “digital nomad”. He’s a young man who is launching 12 “startups” in a year, living out of a rucksack and doing it all on a laptop from various countries using whatever wifi and Jolt Cola that he can find locally.

Sounds cool, huh? Well, I sit in cafés and bars tapping on a laptop, often writing, always posting social media trivia and sometimes even genuinely coding, but no-one ever refers to me as a digital nomad.

I can’t deny being irritated by this sort hipster cock-sucking, but even Wired admit in their pull-quote:

“Levels represents everything that’s right about the state of the technology industry – or everything that’s wrong.”

It will be no surprise to learn which end of that particular see-saw I am on. What I find irritating is the obsession with, undoubtedly talented, twenty-something hipsters being feted for inventing first-world #coolshit that no-one actually needs.

Anyway, my home broadband got cut off recently, thanks to the incompetence of the people running South Yorkshire’s Digital Region and our provider, Origin Broadband. Consequently, I am currently an enforced digital nomad and am writing this post in one of my favourite free-wifi haunts in Sheffield, although I don’t think Wired would pimp me up quite the same as Pieter Levels.

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I’ve rewritten one of the paragraphs from the article as if it was written about me. The strikethroughs are what was originally there, and the bits in square brackets are my substitutes.

‘Launching one product [idea] a month [day] would be a major endeavor for anyone, but Levels [Bolam] has ramped up the degree of difficulty. For one, he’s building [posting] all this stuff while traveling the world [around Sheffield]. He has no fixed [IP] address. Instead, he lives out of a single backpack and works from coffee shops and co-working spaces [pubs]. And two, each of these “startups” [ideas] is a one-man operation. “I do everything,” he tells WIRED from his current home, The Philippines [The Rutland Arms]. “I’m sort of a control freak.”’

But Wired is not interested in what I’m doing. It’s not that my shit is not cool, it’s just that I don’t tick the trendy boxes (although they seem to be coming around), so my cool shit does not currently qualify as #coolshit. I don’t dress the right way, I don’t use the correct language, but most unforgivable and irredeemable is the fact that I am just too old.

Anyway, please support the Access Space 20×20 show and, hopefully, you will see some of my shit there. Hopefully, it will be clever, but it may or may not be cool.


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