Guts Up Chuck is a publication produced through a collaboration between writer Beth Bramich and design studio Design Print Bind. Pairing 24 short, queasy texts on subjects including acid reflux, nausea and anxiety with experimental, gestural monoprints, the publication gazes down at an unruly body and tries to make sense of it through moments of detachment and drift, sudden awareness, vulnerability, limitation and possibility; to find empathy for what is partially known, understood, felt.
A hundred years or so before my mother’s mother prepared to move her family from Myanmar to Calcutta, India, and then some years later on to Birmingham, my father’s ancestors travelled on convict ships to Australia. I write this to position myself in relation to Australia: Myanmar and Australia hold a special place in my imagination as countries where people somewhat like me lead radically different lives.
I arrived in Melbourne on 25 January, the day before Australia Day, a public holiday commemorating the 1788 arrival of the first fleet of British ships. This is a controversial celebration, which, despite being tied to centuries-old colonialisation, has only been a national public holiday for 30 years. Speaking to people born in Australia and to immigrants, I came to understand that a vocal community thinks that the holiday should instead mark a different moment in the country’s history, for example the day that indigenous Australians gained rights through the Racial Discrimination Act of 1975.
Sophie Chapman + Kerri Jefferis write manifestos. They write in marker pen on walls and on sugar paper sheets, all caps: statements, questions, quotes. They also write rules, for each other and other people, provocations and terms of engagement. There are schedules too, and to-do lists and in-jokes and scores. It’s a part of externalising their process — a necessary one when working together as a pair or in larger groups — and it significantly shapes what is to come. These texts and diagrams are preparatory materials, scores for activity, but sometimes after the fact, they are one of just a small physical trace of actions that involve a handful to a hundred or more people.
hmn is a quarterly sound-based test centre organised by artist Anne Tallentire and writer Chris Fite-Wassilak. This roaming event series, running since February 2015, is an intimate and unique platform for artists, thinkers and workers from a range of backgrounds to present new work. Conceived as an alternative space for testing ‘what sound is and can be’, each edition takes up residence for an evening in venues such as libraries and community centres across London. In a recent conversation with Beth Bramich, Tallentire and Fite-Wassilak discuss the project’s intentions and outcomes, and its ongoing development.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it feels like peoples’ voices have been getting louder recently. There’s an urgency bubbling, a building hum, occasionally erupting into shouts and sobs, a startling squall. In a time of social division, there are also movements to form communities and to lend our voices to causes, to find better ways to communicate and to prevent the mental anguish of isolation. The premise of Emma Smith’s exhibition ‘Euphonia’ is that through speech we are constantly making music together, and that this collective action is important for social connection. This music is made not just through song, but in our everyday social interactions, our voices unconsciously hitting complementary notes, our speech patterns merging with others’ rhythms, becoming more harmonious as we bond.
‘Knotted Mass II’ is an artist’s book developed from Holly Slingsby’s 2016 performance of the same name at The Bower’s pop-up project, Finishing Touch, London. This work evolved from her research into the language of hair in the narratives of pop-cultural and mythical figures. It took place by candlelight, drawing from a rich selection of images, where hair is both subject and object, exploring its significance in popular culture, history, mythology and religion. ‘Knotted Mass II’ includes texts and images from the performance, new drawings, photographic documentation, and a specially commissioned text by Beth Bramich.
Flat Time House is hosting The Bad Vibes Club in 2017–18. The Bad Vibes Club is a forum for research into negative states. Whilst at Flat Time House, Beth Bramich and Matthew de Kersaint Giraudeau will host 6 months of reading groups, a number of live events, and the launch of a new publication in June 2018. Please come along! All welcome, if you haven’t managed to make the reading groups before, now is a great time to start.