I am lucky. By most standards very lucky. I am a full-time musician and artist and as such am living the dream. Yes, it’s often poorly paid and involves far more sales and admin type tasks than anyone likes to admit but I know I lead a charmed life. To some extent I do so because I am scratching an itch. I live through doing this stuff and I find not doing so for a prolonged period causes me to get like a stop-valve needs releasing.
For a long time now there has been certain background tension though, which stems from a sense that I am not giving enough back. Art is good. It enriches lives. It is often also radical and challenging. But with the broad political trajectory of the past few years and in particular very recent events that just didn’t seem like enough any more. So, for a while I have stopped making art to run this campaign: www.dancehowyoulike.co.uk
If I am honest, I didn’t plan to stop making art entirely while this 21 day campaign is running but it has proved far more all-consuming than I had envisaged. So far, it’s also failing pretty miserably. At the time of writing this the campaign has sold a total of 23 t-shirts. I paid £120 to have 20 t-shirts printed for the promotional activities, including the video below. At present, the charity donation will be around £100. MEH! Must try harder. It could only take one celebrity endorsement or some good press and away we go…but I have also decided that this first iteration of this project and that Dance How You Like will continue beyond this first 21 day campaign. I’ve learnt a lot, including that charity work is fraught with challenges and that you have to work your ass off because people just aren’t going to get to hear about it otherwise.
I will never run a vanity project, so I will quit this if/when the time is right to do so…or if I decide upon other ways to help make a difference. Dance How You Like exists to raise awareness of tolerance and integration issues in the UK – as well as money for Citizens UK. That’s it.
If any of this is making you think you could help an inexperienced soul in this world of fundraising, or maybe you just want to let people know about it, here is information on how you can support the project / get in touch: dancehowyoulike.co.uk/support.html
Oh and here’s that video I mentioned earlier…ENJOY!
I wrote this blog post in part to give myself permission to continue with the project and still avoid making any art for a bit. This may last the full 21 days of the initial campaign but I do have a couple of time-critical projects I will probably do some work on in that time. We’ll see. That itch is certainly getting itchier by the day!
The final blog post detailing our work creating Amplification. Now on show in Millennium Point, Birmingham.
Week commencing 25th May
What a week! A bit of a blur really but we got there in the end. In fact, we had the van packed with Amplification by the end of play on Wednesday.
As ever though there was a lot of admin and surrounding stuff to sort out ahead of the installation on Saturday. OH and then within an hour of it being installed, somebody broke it…so we arrived at 7:30am on Monday to fix and reinforce it; so it opened at 9am as planned.
The early opening was because we got it installed early and thought we’d just go for it! It provided a useful phase of beta testing…
Day by Day
Buying parts for final tweaks – such as silver piping, plinth, polish
Cutting and test fitting plinth
Final work on aesthetics and strengthening
One last test build
Packing up and loading into van
Signage and paperwork
Final nice-to-have tweaks to headset &c
Installation at Millennium point, with David
As I arrive home I get a call to say it has been broken so make plans to come in first thing on Monday
1st June May
Fixed and reinforced piece opens to the public at 9am – BINGO!
All that remains is for people to enjoy it and for us to do the documentation and rounding off…yay! Oh and any further maintenance of course ;)
Have a look/listen at Millennium Point, as part of All Ears.
Here is the fourth and penultimate weekly blog post detailing our progress creating Amplification.
Week commencing 18th May
Our penultimate week certainly had its ups and downs. Luckily our work on Saturday ended on a positive note.
Now we are into the phase of final tweaks – which always take ages – and nice-to-haves before pack down; ahead of installation at Millennium Point on Saturday. It’s going to be a exhilarating and tiring week. Let’s hope everything goes to plan…and then let’s hope people enjoy using it.
Day by Day
Day off; pondering
Plinth arrives – yay!
Setting out plinth and elements to go on it
More ordering of parts
Drilled lots of holes in the plinth – EEK!
Set stuff out on the plinth
MORE ordering of parts
Spent all day tweaking, hacking and installing our first proper test rig – and it failed. As a test that is pretty useful; just a tad demoralising
Going round trading estates buying parts to fix some of the issues we were experiencing
Bonus: found a great local micro-brewery on a trading estate ;)
Modified a few things and set up a test rig again. MUCH better. We even had it tested by some almost genuine punters; who loved it
Knackered and exhilarated; in equal measure.
To follow: Creating Amplification 5…the final week.