New Bank of X Official Bank Note Launch – Bloc Spring Fete 25th May, Sheffield, UK

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Printing money, how hard can it be? Pretty hard, actually, but not impossible and the process has given me a new respect for the world of banking. I remember seeing a tv programme many years ago about the design and technicalities of bank note printing. It’s a very complex affair with many details included for security rather than design reasons.

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New Bank of X One-X bank note, obverse.

A bank note is intrinsically worthless, but is a mode of exchange. You can meet me at the Bloc Spring Fete at Bloc Studios, Sheffield, UK on 25th May 2013 3-9pm (Facebook event here) and negotiate an exchange. The notes can be bought for other currencies, bartered for, or paid for in-kind. Each one is serialised and unique and there is a limited edition, although there will be other denominations issued in the future.

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New Bank of X One-X bank note, reverse.

I will publish a more exhaustive discussion about the graphic design and physical specifications of the note on my sister blogsite Black Daffodil Press at some point in the near future, and there is a Retrospective flyer with the design here. In the meantime, come along to Bloc Studios fundraising event for music, food, drinks and fun, and you can plant your seeds in my hedge.
http://blocprojects.co.uk/

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Sheffield Zine Fest 2013 – stop us and buy one or more

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I’m not really part of the zine scene. Or am I? I don’t really think of myself as a filmmaker, but I make films, so I guess I’m a filmmaker. For many years I was reluctant to call myself an artist, but I make art, so I guess I’m an artist. And now I made a zine, so I guess I’m a zinester, and Black Daffodil Press is a distro?

Either way, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that I will be selling my wares at Sheffield Zine Fest 2013 as Black Daffodil Press and you should come and see me and the other stalls at the first outing of this event at Electric Works, across the road from Sheffield rail station.
http://sheffieldzinefest.wordpress.com/
http://electric-works.net/
http://blackdaffodilpress.wordpress.com/

There was a one-off Sheffield Zine Fair in 2011 but it doesn’t seem to have continued so Chella Quint and Bettie Walker have organised Sheffield Zine Fest 2013.
http://chellaquint.wordpress.com/
http://manufacturinghearts.blogspot.co.uk/

Anyway, I will be there selling my “World X- A Speculative History” book, and the first two packs of my Retrospective flyers.

I will also have a couple of things from other artists, a newspaper / artzine by James Price, and maybe a few bits and bobs from veteran art-zinester M. A. Longbottom (more about him soon).
http://jamesmprice.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/stop-me-and-buy-one/
http://platform58.tumblr.com/

If you can’t make it to the zine fest, “World X” is on sale at The Old Sweet Shop and Rare & Racy, both in Sheffield, UK, and I will be opening an online shop with various publications and merch before long.
http://www.theoldsweetshopsheffield.co.uk/
http://rareandracy.co.uk/

Here are a few additional google-randomised links that I have nothing to do with. I’ll add more links to this post and also on Black Daffodil Press as and when.

An online zine resource.
http://spillthezines.blogspot.co.uk/

DIY Cultures Fair, Shorditch London, UK, 7th April 2013.
http://diycultures.tumblr.com/

Worked, finished, published. Doh!

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It’s been a long time coming but I have finally made a book of “World X”, and the day after delivering my first batches to the bookshops, I spotted a typo. Oh well, I’ll claim the first 20 are collector’s items.

It feels like I have been living with this for a long time and I’m glad it’s out there now and I can move on. Rather like my first Hard Shoulder CD back in 2000, I feel like a psychological barrier has been overcome and I can publish other stuff that has never made it to print.

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World X – A Speculative History – Version T-minus X & Version XX

It’s available from, like, actual shops as of yesterday. Currently, that is The Old Sweet Shop, Nether Edge Road, Sheffield S7, and Rare & Racy, Devonshire Street, Sheffield S3 7SG.
http://www.theoldsweetshopsheffield.co.uk/
http://rareandracy.co.uk/ (under construction)

There is a PDF online here.

Hard Shoulder and The Soft Machine

Broken down on the road to nowhere, getting nowhere fast.
I’ll take the high road, you take the low road, I’ll get nowhere last.
Richard Bolam, 199-something

I would recommend a retrospective to anyone. Not just artists, everyone. A review of your work and life so far. I also recommend that you do it yourself, not just in the punk DIY sense, but because you can choose to leave out details that are of no interest to anyone, and events that you would rather not revisit.

Disingenuous maybe, but there’s plenty I read in “William Burroughs: El Hombre Invisible”, the biography by Barry Miles (1992), that I would rather not have known. As I recall one TV critic wrote about Magnus Magnusson’s series revealing the truth behind certain popular myths, “turning charming legend into boring fact” [citation needed].
http://www.randomhouse.co.uk/editions/william-burroughs-el-hombre-invisible/9780753507070

I think it’s quite common for artists to quickly leave things behind and move onto their next project. Here is a CD of musc I made in 2000 under one of my many alter-egos, Hard Shoulder. It’s called “Take That and Shove It” after that seminal boy-band offering “Take That and Party” (1992) and is a milestone from my nihilistic period. Listening to it now, I still really like two of the tracks and would like to re-record them. For completeness I’ve published all four on Soundcloud and there is a PDF of the catalogue entry for it here. This touches on a time in my life I would rather not repeat, and there are details and events that will be forever suppressed. Writer Anthony Burgess (1917 – 1993) was infamous for getting details about his life incorrect in his two-volume autobiography [citation needed]. He claimed that it was more “accurate” to relate those events as he remembered them, not necessarily as they happened.

This 2008 Guardian article still refers to “A Clockwork Orange” (Stanley Kubrik, 1971) as still being banned but I’ve seen it several times on terrestrial TV in recent years and I bought the book years before that. I couldn’t believe my glassies, maybe it was written by some starry old veck.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2008/jun/10/anthonyburgess

The truth is overrated, memory is unreliable and some things are better left behind. The CD pictured here is no longer readable and I had to retrieve the music from an old archive. However, something inside required me to scan the actual CD, not just any CD. I’m happy to play fast and loose with some things, but not everything.

“For a creative writer possession of the “truth” is less important than emotional sincerity.” George Orwell (1903 – 1950)

Sniffin’ Pritt

Home taping is still in music

In 1976 I was 12, and consequently too young for Punk. However, at 14 I was just the right age for the so-called New Wave which, to me, was the more experimental elements including Throbbing Gristle, Killing Joke, Theatre of Hate, The Human League, Crass, Bauhaus ad Cabaret Voltaire.

Living in a dormitory village in South Yorkshire, my youth was hardly urban and my only exposure to anything remotely “alternative” was the John Peel show on BBC Radio 1. In those days the Peel show was broadcast Monday to Thursday 10pm to midnight, and I used to listen to every minute. I was living no more than 15 miles away from Sheffield, although it might as well been Mars as I had no prospect of getting involved. However, that didn’t stop me from making music and art and stuff.

Also, whilst I was by no means radicalised by the anarchist politics of Crass, listening to their records and reading their sleeve notes at least introduced me to ideas that were absent from The Mike Yarwood Show. The most valuable thing that I gained from that period is the DIY ethic, and the awareness that the world, even then, had developed technologies that could be pressed into creative uses not necessarily imagined by their inventors. Photocopiers and cassette tape recorders were the weapons of choice in those days for duplication and distribution, although it was still a slow and painful process.

It seems we have come to an interesting time, when technology exceeds our expectations. Production, distribution and communication technologies are widely available.

However, one song remains the same. If you want to make anything happen, you still have to do-it-yourself.