SmashfestUK! Deptford’s FREE annual Science, Engineering & Arts Festival

SmashFestUK’s “Supervolcano” is on during half term next week, and I’m hosting an immersive experience for children, live from the crater of a volcano that has erupted Deptford!

I am glad to say this is now Deptfords FREE annual Science, Engineering & Arts Festival

Kindly pass the word round, this is all about the fun of science, technology, engineering, maths, and medicine – yes rather educational, but for SCIENCE!

Date: 13th – 17th Feb 2017

Place: Albany Theater Deptford, London

Back Where I Need To Be…

As a child I listened to Yellow Magic Orchestra’s Firecracker. It was my first real introduction of computer generated music – raw, harsh, monotonous, yet alive, and full of joy.

Ever since I’ve followed the career of Ryuichi Sakamoto in his various incarnations. I even remixed of one of his tracks, a long long time ago.

While I don’t do classical music, I’m more of a jazz man, Ryuichi’s work has always touched something in me.

Blu has moments of Miles Davis’ “Solea”, the big sweeping strings of Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, even an air of Spaghetti Western.

Alchemistry…

I have just sent the 7th graphic novel in the Clockwork Watch series to Corey my editor.

The hope is that we have it ready for launch at the 2017 San Diego Comic Convention.

The new chapter “Evolution”, tells the story of Saccadius the bogeyman of the whole story. It’s different, darker, and has a semi-gothic touch.

We Are From Dust

Art can change lives. I’ve witnessed it happen, in fact I am living proof.

So, after 18 years as a volunteer, captain, guide, and participant at Burning Man, I formed We Are From Dust, a nonprofit dedicated to exploring the impact of art on our sense of identity.

I’m fortunate to have a team that shares this vision, and we’re in the process of creating our first immersive and participatory art exhibition.

It’s Been One Of Those Years…

I haven’t had much time to blog lately, my latest project has taken heaps of my time. Not just that, I guess, but also some personal stuff, the type of stuff that deflates morale, saps energy, makes a person paranoid.

First the personal stuff. I’ve always had a fear of death. It’s something I’ve only disclosed to a few close friends, some have even tried to help me work through it. Just before summer I had the misfortune of finding one of my most loved relatives slumped in a chair – cold, lifeless and dead.

Coming face to face with death is something I still haven’t been able to reconcile. It’s like I’ve stashed the experience somewhere deep in my mind, in the hope that I never remember it. So far, no one has bothered to ask how I’ve coped, or even how the whole episode has affected me, so I guess it’s a stiff upper lip situation, which is how things have been for the past 8 months…

Professionally, I have set up We Are From Dust (WAF Dust), a nonprofit arts organization dedicated to proliferating interactive, participatory artwork in public spaces and private exhibitions that not only transform the way people engage with art, but changes how they consider their daily lives.

Although WAF Dust is deeply inspired by the artworks created in Black Rock City, we are independent of the Burning Man organisation, in fact I have stepped away from all roles and connections with BMOrg, where I have volunteered for the  past 18 years. More about that soon, but – check out our website.

I’ve decided to keep a little journal about our progress, and the affect this adventure is having on me. The story more or less starts here, because I’ve decided not to bore you with details of the many ways that certain people have tried railroading WAF Dust. It’s so surprising how people you hope will support you, end up being the very people to continuously throw banana skins in your path.

No names will be mentioned, but I will share all the highs and lows of the adventure.

Happy reading, it’s going to be a rollercoaster, and I intend riding it to the very end.

Are We There Yet? No Saccadius, Not Quite.

 

A Crosspost From Clockwork Watch:

Well, almost, in fact we are at the penultimate stage of the adventure. It should really be the end, but as things have developed over the past 5-years, we’ve adapted to the fluid nature of our interactive / participatory narrative, which in other words means – you – the audience – have been in the driving seat for most of the ride, and you’ve changed the original story… a dream come true.

Our team created an engaging story that the audience were at liberty to tweak, change, and co-create, but as time progressed I noticed we had overlooked one of the special elements that bridged the divide between the graphic novels and the immersive events –  Saccadius – a character created on-the-fly by my friend – Paul Giffney.

For the past five years, Saccadius’ character has only appeared at our live events, and in the online world, but he has yet to appear in any of the books.

In 2010, when I announced that I was developing a Transmedia concept called Clockwork Watch, Paul contacted me and introduced me to his alter ego. From the outset I knew Saccadius was going to be a key player at our live events, but hadn’t quite worked out how to introduce him into the bigger story.

When we launched at Tomorrow’s World… Today! (2012), Saccadius was on stage to introduce the first Clockwork prototype to our audience. Later that same year, he ended up barricaded in a tent by protesters and trade unionists at the Advancement of Sciences Roadshow (Latitude 2012), he uncovered the hidden science laboratory at the Make Believe Festival (2013), he conducted the tours at the Queens Steampunk Soiree  (2014), and he explored the depths of Saccadius’  multiple-personality disorder at The Asylum (2015).

So, last year I decided to dedicate the final chapter of this story to Saccadius, the amazing character Paul created and grew in the world of Clockwork Watch.

The book is called The Alchemists’ Story, and the first few pages will be included in Countenance, which is out this summer. And before you yell… Yes, I know. When we started out, I promised three books, that grew to six, and now we have the seven.

Here’s to you Paul for  all the joy, fun, and laughter you’ve brought into my world since we first met in 2009. Paul got married over the weekend, and the whole team wish you and Phil the very best the world has to offer.

And with that, no more talk about this special treat until 2017.

Y

P.S. I hear you ask, “wasn’t there meant to be a film?” That dream is still alive, in fact someone has advised me to adapt the film script to a series of graphic novels. Only time will tell.

That Feeling…

Woke up this morning with the familiar feeling that it is almost crunch time. With several spinning plates, and loose ends, one can only dread the potential for slippage, but I guess this is why we do what we do…

Onwards and forwards, welcome to my world.

Dare we dream?

It’s All Gone To Dust…

It’s March, and I am only just about surfacing for 2016, a belated Happy New Year!

Late in 2015, my friends Billy and Ana Sirr invited  Claire and I to the Venice Biennale. It was suppose to be one of those fun-filled weekends, full of food, drink, tomfoolery, and quality time with some of the finest people on the planet, but it fired up my creative juices, and reawakened the final part of a quest that started in 2001.

The outcome is a new not-for-profit called We Are From Dust, which aims to commission and curate transformative art created by the BRC diaspora to exhibit at the Biennale. That’s the background, the future is being written right here…