On saturday we had a visit by Bulgarian-based artists Diana Ivanova and Babak Salari, accompanied by their publisher, Manno,from publishers Janet 45, to launch their new book about their ‘My Street’ project in Cuba. They talked about the project, and how they had travelled around Cuba, collecting stories from people about their street, and asking them to take photographs with cameras they provided. The resultant book contains some very beautiful and moving stories, accompanied by some great pictures (and available from the Edge, price £9). A fantastic project, by some great people – after the seminar Brendan Jackson had kindly provided huge pots of great chilli, so we all sat around the table and ate together, ending the night round the Edge piano, singing Bulgarian folk songs. Edge seminars aren’t just boring talks, they’re an experience in themselves, see you at the next one?
This weekend at the Edge, the wonderful Fizzpop are holding two days of workshops and circuit-mashing mayhem. On Saturday, Nikki Pugh is hosting a day of Useless Machine construction – no matter what level of hacking, from beginners up, this looks like a fun workshop. Bring a soldering iron if you have one. On Sunday there’s a visit by US hacking guru, Mitch Altman – inventor of the TV-B-Gone, brain machines, etc – who’ll be disseminating his hacking wisdom in a hands-on way – essential for all with even a slightly well-developed geek gland. Much more info available, here at Fizzpop.
And on Friday we had our first Happy Artist social club of the year. As usual it was a hoot, with a great mix of tunes from DJ Soesmix Edan and Mr Lord Reverend Dj Ipod, and an appearance by Mollie Dean, singing some of her own songs (she’s still at school!). Happy Artist is a joyous celebration, a place where you can really let your hair down and a place where the concept of ‘cool’ is completely banned. My face always hurts the next day from smiling too much (and my legs, my back, my arms – and sometimes my head – but it’s worth it). Happy Artist is on the last Friday of every month (barring clashes with other events).
Finally, we’d like to remind you that we are always open to hosting new events and projects here at the Edge. So if you have a project, or an idea that needs a home, get in touch and we’ll see what we can do. We are particularly interested in work in the fields of hybrid arts, time-based and performance, participation and intervention. Whether it is a funded or supported project or totally DIY, if it works for us, we can usually find a way to make it work for you. If you think you have anything suitable, get in contact.
Finally, finally, we’ve hooked up with the ‘We Are Eastside’ group – even though I don’t think we’re quite in Eastside, does anyone know for sure? Anyways, the idea is to provide a bit more connectivity between ‘cultural operators’ in the Digbeth area, which would be no bad thing. So for a one-stop shop about what’s going on generally in the Digbeth area go to the We Are Digbeth (my preferred title) site for more information. Of course, we also recommend Nicky Getgood’s Digbeth is Good website for a resident’s eye view of the culture of Digbeth.