Freeze and Rewind

The last time London’s economy nose-dived it took some dire ’80’s art down with it, making way for the alternative gallery scene, the fledging YBA movement and, ultimately, the part they played in the Cool Britannia revolution that dominated nineties pop culture. Was it all just a domino effect brought on by a knee-jerk reaction…

Computer Love?

Recession, what recession? That’s what resourceful, internet savvy musicians are saying as a digital cottage industry begins to supplant the major record labels. Daniel Tapper is our guide to the online trend-bucking. Things are terrible. You are worried about your job, if you are lucky enough to have one. Your 2:1 in Fine Art has…

Intimate Strangers

Howard Dyke and Geraldine Swayne first met in 2008, when they were asked to co-curate Fresh Air Machine at the Calvert 22 space in Shoreditch. Dyke had just sublet his studio to make some money and Swayne had been kicked out of hers, so the pair asked Nonna Materkova, who owns the gallery, if they…

The Orton Diaries

She’s won a BRIT Award, worked with everyone from William Orbit to Emmylou Harris and seen her marriages of acoustic troubadour intimacy and downbeat dance bequeath a whole new genre, ‘folktronica’. With her 1996 Trailer Park debut due for re-release, Beth Orton takes a glance over her back pages and looks forward to some bold new musical challenges.…

Lost and Found

Final Spin This winter saw the sad demise of a particularly lovely and fecund independent; Spinney Records is shedding its leaves for the last time. Spinney was the love labour of one Paul ‘Boots’ Lambden — previously co-founder of the gloriously idiosyncratic Trunk label, and a champion of the neglected classics of Britain’s great folk…

Cindy Sherman

With a career spanning three decades, Cindy Sherman still has her finger on the button. Working alone using herself as model, director and photographer, her portraits continue to offer a new, ambiguous twist on media representations of women. Andrew Davies looks at some of the many faces of this contemporary art A-lister, assesses how her subjects are ageing with their…

The Sinister Cat

Keiron Phelan salutes Tim Ten Yen, the all-singing, all-dancing ‘Salaryman’ and hero of the world’s unlikeliest cool genre: karaoke pop. The last time I saw a performer swimming as deliberately against the tide as Tim Ten Yen was circa 1980, when I witnessed a performance by one Ziggy Heroe (a Yorkshire David Bowie ‘interpreter’, later…

Parallel Lines

It was the era of Greenham Common, the miners’ strike and venal Yuppies in pastel sports cars busily privatising everything; all of it soundtracked by absurd pop puppets proffering rolled-up jacket sleeves, peroxide mullets and blithe complicity with Thatcherite dogma. Yet even as the ’80s musical mainstream surrendered to ostentation and bombast, under-nourished youths with…

Still Life in Real Time

From grainy scenes of nineteenth century mill workers to the latest YouTube upload, the moving image has long hovered between the realms of leisure entertainment, social science and art. Jamie Holman unpicks a century’s worth of definitions and ruminates on the futures of the artist’s film.  In 1994, approximately 800 film negatives — a treasure…

Intimate Strangers

Stuart Cumberland and Phillip Allen first met in the early ’90s. They were introduced to one another by Jake Miller before his East End gallery space, The Approach, had opened. They instantly hit it off and, as Stuart remarks, “If I didn’t know Phil I’d want to meet him…” Stuart Cumberland: What are your eight desert…