Posted by: noelwilliams | September 19, 2013

Bizarre Ideas

Sheffield University hosts an annual Ideas Bazaar. It aims to bring academics and community artists together, to come up with creative links between the two. It’s a fun event, well managed by the university, including such incidental delights as Speed Dating (for creative partnerships, not any other kind) and Communicating through Music. The bulk of the day is something like an intellectual and artistic tabletop sale, with people laying out their creative wares in booths exposed to the view of all and sundry for comment, connection and collaboration.

We met many interesting people at the Antiphon desk, all of whom were open, friendly and communicative, even though there was probably quite a lot of hidden shyness drifting around, too. But to get the best from such events you have to pretend you’re someone else, someone who naturally gets on with the whole world, who is not self-conscious or worried that their interests are weird or pointless from other people’s viewpoints, and who have something they think is worth offering that others can latch on to.

Which we have, of course. Antiphon is already quite a bit more successful than many other online magazines (not that we’re counting, naturally) and we’re pretty ambitious for our work, too. What we were looking for was an artist who might inject some visual dynamism into the mag. Our ideas have been well received so far, but we’re the first to admit we have no artistic training (since my Art O level in 1968) and rely pretty much on instinct and personal preference. If we’re going to get another eight issues of beautiful presentation; if we’re going to fill our Exhibition Space (you must’ve seen it? tucked away in the corner of the magazine site?) with the exciting, the stimulating or perhaps just the simply unusual; if we’re going to take the step we keep talking about of building a new small press around Antiphon for e-books and paper collections, we need someone with great visual ideas that we can react to and use.

We met, amongst others, a dancer who is interpreting The Wasteland, a maker of violin bows who is looking for new materials, a metallurgical engineer who is using 3d printing of metal parts, an artist working in 3D who wants to use that 3D printing to realise scientific concepts, someone interested in (I think) the make-up of bones, an organiser of concerts, a museum director, a film-maker looking for subjects, directors of community arts organisations, and even a couple of poets. Not that many visual artists, though.

So, if you’ve any ideas for images that Antiphon could use, or even create, let us know.



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