What Can We Do Before The Revolution?

Occupy London, St Paul's Cathedral 2011 / Photo: Alice Woods
          Occupy London, St Paul’s Cathedral 2011. Photo: Alice Woods

Are we on the brink of revolution? We know Russell Brand would like one but since the financial crisis of 2008, we have seen only limited reform and not enough people held to account for the elaborate Ponzi scheme that represents our global financial market place. An attempt to cap banker bonuses in Europe is being thwarted by sneaky reconstructions of pay packets, and practically no efforts have been made to address the lack of transparent and quality financial services for those in the lower income brackets. The news that the U.S. Postal Service might start to offer financial services could help to address some of these issues (see the recently released Providing Non-Bank Financial Services for the Underserved) but it is far from a sure thing. In other areas a small increase in Worker Cooperatives and Unionisation is all good news, but what simple things can we do to slow the spinning wheel of capitalism?

1. Don’t agree with the practices of the ‘too-big-to-fail’ banks? Move your money elsewhere. Switch to a credit union or a mutual; because they are owned by their members they are not under the same pressure to produce profits for anxious shareholders meaning they are inclined to take less risks therefore keeping our money safer. You can search for UK Credit Unions here. Nationwide, Yorkshire, Coventry & Leeds Building Societies are the main mutuals that offer current accounts but it is worth checking in your local area to see what is on offer.

2. Support local business. In comparison to chain stores, locally-owned businesses recirculate wealth into the local economy increasing prosperity in the community. A market place of many small businesses is an effective way to keep prices low and competitive, ensuring against the monopolisation of large brands. Local business links the surrounding area in a interconnected web of economic and social relationships, often supporting local causes and helping to keep town centres vibrant.

3. Only buy what you need, not what large corporations want you to buy. If Tesco are forcing you to buy a 3-pack of leeks when you only need 1 don’t shop there. Instead visit your local grocer or market and avoid prepackaged food which is invariably in the wrong quantities and produces excess food and packaging waste.

4. Is something bothering you? Chances are it’s bothering someone else too, maybe you local transport system isn’t good enough, perhaps funding has been cut from a local arts centre, or your university isn’t paying its staff a living wage. Rally support and put pressure on the people at the top, if enough people are involved and passionate about the issue, change can be made. Remember, there are more of us than them. 

N.B. This is an interesting resource of various studies that look of the impact of large retail chains v.s. independent stores.

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USB-SHUFFLE-SHOW

USB Shuffle Show

USB-SHUFFLE-SHOW (TWO)

HOW MANY MEGABYTES DOES AN ARTPIECE CONSIST OF? HOW MUCH “FREE SPACE“ DOES A USB-DEVICE PROVIDE? IS A USB-STICK A PLACE OF CULTURE? IS IT AN EXHIBITION SPACE? ARE MULTIPLE USB-STICKS AN EXHIBITION – OR EVEN AN ART FAIR?

THE SECOND EDITION WILL TAKE PLACE:

FROM JANUARY 24TH TO 26TH 2014
AT INSTITUT FÜR ALLES MÖGLICHE / ABTEILUNG FÜR ALLES ANDERE
ACKERSTR. 18, BERLIN-MITTE
AS PART OF THE TRANSMEDIALE VORSPIEL 2014

OPENING: JANUARY 24TH / 7 – 10 PM
HOURS: JANUARY 25TH / 3 – 8 PM AND 26TH / 2 – 6 PM

MORE INFO: http://usb.i-a-m.tk/

Gameboy Color (Limited Edition Hardback)

Hi there 🙂 I have just finished a new interactive work to be shown at the HYPE exhibition at Chelsea College of Art and Design in London, during freshers week. The show runs from 23rd – 28th September and the opening event is actually on the last night on the 27th from 5:30 – 8:30pm! Hope to see some of you there 😀

Gameboy Color (Limited Edition Hardback) 2

Gameboy Color (Limited Edition Hardback)
Hardback Book, MaKey MaKey Microprocessor, Computer, Graphite, Wiring Components

Stemming from research into how technologies define society I am creating a series of pieces which mix technological devices from different eras. In this interactive installation the audience can use a book to control a computer. When the printed word became common place the world changed drastically just as it did with the introduction of the computer and the internet. In this work the viewer can use a preceding technology to control a new one and the book becomes an input device into its technological successor. All new technologies absorb elements of the old allowing the user to experience something familiar before grasping new functionalities and uses. Here the book acts as a gamepad controller and emulates that of the 1998 Nintendo Gameboy Color, so if you are a child of the nineties you can experience the nostalgia of Mario, Kirby & Pokemon in a whole new way.

This work is made using a MaKey MaKey, an Arduino based microprocessor, specifically designed for altering computer inputs.

 

Gameboy Color (Limited Edition Hardback) is an Interactive Installation by Alice Woods

WeAreNotListening – The Redesign & The Art Hackathon Showcase!

For the Art Hackathon Showcase we undertook a complete redesign due to the dangerous and potentially flammable nature of our original device! The heating element was replaced by a miniature shredder and the structure of the machine was reduced, formalised and made into one complete object. The night was a massive success with hundreds of people texting in to get things off their chest from within the event, and from afar where people were watching on the live stream. Keep your eyes peeled at http://www.wearenotlistening.com for further info on when the machine is next being exhibited, for now I’ll leave you with a photo and video round-up of the final project:

9527043838_a315e82b2f_b Some last minute tinkering (Photo: Paul Clarke http://www.paulclarke.com)

9524476677_46fea14e34_bThe texts are coming in! (Photo: Paul Clarke http://www.paulclarke.com)

This was our original design and pitch at the end of the hackathon weekend:

And this is the final WeAreNotListening installation in action:

DSC_1803

Bye for now 🙂 Look out on the 3beards YouTube site for more info on the Art Hackathon plus highlights from the opening night at The South Place Hotel.