This year’s Story of London Festival will be arriving before we know it during the first week in October from the 1st through the 10th. As part of the festival, Arcola will be hosting Future Arcola Open Day, a FREE event at our future home on October 2nd. We want you to explore the building in its current state and tell you about our future plans so you can participate if you are interested. This will be an afternoon filled with innovative discussion, learning about the Dalston community, and plenty of entertainment. Make sure you check this event out as Arcola opens up its new location to the community and public for the first time!
A theatre hand-built entirely from salvaged material is being constructed in an abandoned playground in Southwark.
The 120-seat Jellyfish Theatre will be the venue for the Oikos Project, which aims to “explore how a new sustainable society can flourish in a world altered by climate change”. To that end, two new plays have been commissioned and will be performed this autumn: Simon Wu’s OIKOS and Kay Adshead’s Protozoa.
The idea for the project came from Topher Campbell of The Red Room, and work to build the theatre began during the London Festival of Architecture earlier this summer. Constructed from scraps begged and borrowed from building sites, struck theatrical sets, and fruit ‘n veg palettes taken from New Covent Garden Market, the theatre has taken shape slowly over the past eight weeks, with the build completed by volunteers guided by German husband-and-wife architects Martin Kaltwasser and Folke Köbberling in a vaguely improvisational manner.
It will be used to host talks and workshops before the plays begin, and the whole thing will be taken down by mid-October, leaving little in its trace. Cedric Price would have been proud.
The Jellyfish Theatre, Marlborough Playground, 11 – 25 Union Street, London SE1 1LB. For more information visit the Oikos Project website.
OR2 is a combination shading device and solar-powered chandelier designed by London-based Orproject. The structure’s purpose is twofold: it acts as a source of shade during the day, and it turns into a dazzling chandelier at night, dispersing light collected by photovoltaic cells hours before.
The pink-tinted structure was built as part of the London Festival of Architecture in June 2010. The work is a follow-up project to the OR single-surface solar roof structure. OR2 is translucent while in the shade, but it quickly fills in with color when exposed to sunlight.
According to the designers, OR and OR2 are the first structures to use photo-reactive technology at an architectural scale. The designers explain, “The beauty of OR2 is its constant interaction with the elements, at each moment of the day OR’s appearance is unique.”
Orproject is a London based architecture and design practice set up in 2006 by Francesco Brenta, Christoph Klemmt and Laura Micalizzi. Their work explores advanced geometries with an ecologic agenda, the integration of natural elements into the design results in an eco-narrative unfolding into the three dimensional space. Past projects range from experimental small scale installations to large real estate developments.
Today, 4 May, is the final day of Slow Down London – a ten-day festival to get people to slooooow dowwwnnnnn. Personally, I walk fast, talk fast and do stuff fast, but that’s because I love things that are intense – but that is not truly at odds with the premise of Slow Down London, which is a good one:
The point is to consciously and deliberately appreciate stuff – all stuff. From our bodies, minds, creativity, each other, life itself, the world around us and establish a deeper appreciation of time itself.
And it got me thinking. … doing things well requires rigour and thought and that takes time… But political, social and environmental changes happen relatively fast and need practical responses.
So here is a problem that faces me and probably you too: how do we as individuals and a society get a strong balance between this point ‘to slow things down so you can do them well’ and the political point ‘philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways, the point, however, is to change it?’*
The arts need to consider this as much as ever before – perhaps more. How can the soft skills and soft power of the arts be shared more widely and do they have practical application? What do the arts do well? What could the arts do better? For example, should visual art be more democratic and what would cultural democracy look like?
It’s not a problem if you missed the Slow Down London festival – because it is a campaign that highlights that London is full of brilliant slow things…
The Slow Down London campaign will hold a festival (24 April – 4 May 2009) offering activities and inspiration, through working with a range of partners. It will give Londoners a chance to explore slow music and arts, to try meditation and yoga, to sample slow food and crafts, to discover ’slow travel’ in our own city, to debate ideas about time and pace, and to find our own ways to challenge the cult of speed and to appreciate the world around us. You can view the full event programme here: slow-down-london-events-programme
* I heard this Marx quote again yesterday, when my iPod shuffled to an old version of the BBCs In Our Time (2005) featuring Karl Marx as winning the ‘greatest philosopher’ vote, here’s the link.