AMPL ITUDE Pollution - Sebastian Walsh o6 Gallery Pop: Interview with Antlers Jack Gibbon - Emma Dauris 1o The Confession - Dan Packer 18 Good Intentions, Evil Urges: Examining Kony 2012 - Rich Purdon 22 Brainstorm Tie Dye - Paul Larsen & Emma Dauris 26 It’s Our Fracking Future - Kai Heron 38 Dollars & Diamonds - Paris Jean 42 BIG Videos: Interview with Joe Bolger - Emma Dauris 44 ‘A Few Chords And A Bromance’ - Lottie Taylor 54
Editorial - No3 Welcome to the first print edition of Amplitude! Just a few short months ago we were pixels on your screen and now we’re downloading to your hard drive and being printed into physical reality… For some of you this will come as no surprise – Amplitude was started to promote talent, good vibes and a positive attitude. In a word: energy. As many well-intentioned science teachers tried to pass on to me, energy is neither created nor destroyed, merely converted from one form to another. What we’ve aimed to do is find outstanding examples of young artists, writers, musicians and contributors to culture, transfer some of that creative energy into a magazine and pass it on to you. It’s now converted into a physical copy of Amplitude without any loss of energy, ready for you to share with someone else and inspire a new wave of talent to put more good vibes and positive attitudes back out there. Energy crisis? What energy crisis?
www.amplitudemag.tumblr.com firstname.lastname@example.org o3
A Founder & Creative Director Emma Dauris Executive Editor Rich Purdon Contributing Designer Wayne Blythe Writers Dan Packer Kai Heron Lottie Taylor Sebastian Walsh Contributing Writers Paris Jean Paul Larsen Cover Photography ÂŠTomio Newmilk Photography Gary Morrisroe Henry Broomfield Ollie Howard Simon Lythe Special Thanks Antlers Gallery Ben Lythe Jamie Coupe Jack Gibbon Joe Bolger Paul Larsen
issue No3 Pollution - Sebastian Walsh o6 Gallery Pop: Interview with Antlers Jack Gibbon - Emma Dauris 1o The Confession - Dan Packer 18 Good Intentions, Evil Urges: Examining Kony 2012 - Rich Purdon 22 Brainstorm Tie Dye - Paul Larsen & Emma Dauris 26 It’s Our Fracking Future - Kai Heron 38 Dollars & Diamonds - Paris Jean 42 BIG Videos: Interview with Joe Bolger Emma Dauris 44 ‘A Few Chords And A Bromance’ - Lottie Taylor 54
hese words YOU’RE reading are just contaminates on a page; the ink I used to originally write this was made with non-renewable human resources. So take what I say lightly if you like, just like any other words inscribed on any other page, and if you happen to disagree with what I talk about then I’m not asking you to eat my words, as they may cause; dizziness, headaches, damage to your body’s nervous system and an endless list of other side effects. I’m just asking you to read my thoughts with an open mind. I’d say pollution has occurred naturally since the evolution of mankind, we can ALL think of the phrase “back in the good old days” but pollution is rapidly increasing, evolving with humans, slowly suffocating all living creatures day by day...hour by hour...minute by minute.
By Sebastian Walsh
As a race we SUBCONSCIOUSLY strive to live as a typical American. A “chuck it away & buy a new one”, “ending is better than mending” mentality. Armchair leaders loaded with microwave meals and the latest fast cash “deals.” Living in our little box, our curtains and minds shut. Spiritually shut down. Never really knowing each other or questioning the horrid reality we really impose on one another. Something that tells the truth about a person is the rubbish in their bins that they put out for collection every week, also the materialistic things we gather around us, obsessively wallpapering our surroundings with soulless trash, blinding us further.
We have been conditioned to live this way from birth, from generation to generation. We remind ourselves, “it’s just normal” if fear creeps in or we begin to question life. We’re shown images of instability and disorder from all around the world to prevent chaos and destruction. A system within a system. A system for something as BEAUTIFUL as life itself. But we are all divine and should be free to develop uniquely and develop within our own infinite imagination of possibilities; instead most of us are quite happy to be programmed like robots. The term ignorance is bliss comes to mind. But look around and you will see it’s not working, this system is not meant to be. “The robots rebellion? With any system comes regularity... I would often walk past a quote that made me smile on the way to work. It was spray-painted by the train station which said “work, commute, work, and repeat”. When something I did every day was shown to me first hand like this, all I could do was smile as I knew already I could not escape this industrial world in my lifetime. Only it made me think about my children and their children’s children, what will they think of us...we can make change for all of us; now. We, the people have the real power. No matter what illusion is blinding us. Let’s not lose sight of the truth, in only a few generations the truth many of us have felt or are feeling from within, may be lost to this enigma. I bet by now you’ll be thinking; gosh this guy is cynical, but I’m actually not at all. I’m just like you, I live amongst this real, emotional and mental baggage, we, ourselves have chosen to carry, but let pile up anyway. It’s only when I come to write about it I truly see how sad it all is. We live in a materialistic world, forced to desire something that we wouldn’t know we needed if it was not forced upon us. So why are we shown and offered these things by the controlling hands if they know the damage it will do to us and our beautiful potential paradise? As a child I remember noticing an uprising of eco friendly/environmentally conscious PEOPLE and
I support it all. Only I sometimes think we need to take a step back and look at it literally through the corporation’s eyes. From the thrones of the people WHO have caused this to happen. Man corrupted by their greed and desire for power. But what good will it do, we would not give up the world around us for a clean and self sufficient one because we have been seduced and literally hypnotized into thinking this is as good as it gets. Well I’ll tell you now, no colour of a bin or plantation of trees within a concrete jungle will ever make it OK to have been conditioned all my life. Brainwashed by the mass media, and then peer pressured by one another. If the controlling forces decide what it is to be “normal” and then impose their creation through all types of media then we all aim to be what they tell us we SHOULD be. But isn’t it normal for every human being to be unique, different should be celebrated and not frowned upon. I recently read a book called “The Celestine Prophecy”. Now I’m no book critic but I would recommend this to every soul that like me is stuck playing the never-ending game of cat and mouse, read it and then just pass it onto a friend. SPREAD the knowledge. It tells a story of a world like ours only it speaks of a manuscript that has been lost throughout time, almost like the guide we should be shown from the start of our lives. It’s the education system which blinds us and from our parents, because they themselves had been taught this from birth. But the education system is for the system, not for our true benefit and spiritual growth. When you read the book you will learn more and more about this lost manuscript and with each page you get more and more of a taste for what it describes. We exist in a world of ENERGY... around us and within us; it explains and shows us how to manipulate this energy within ourselves for the good, and all you have to do is believe. I wouldn’t say I’m religious and that I’ll never worship a god, but instead maybe I think about why
there is so much symbolism about the sun within almost every religion. Its gives us light and then it takes it away only to come back over AND over again. This light it gives, is pure energy, energy that helps you grow your own food. It is the life force for our planet. ithout it no life would exist. So who’s to say that when we grow our own food we should nurture it and talk to it, watch it mature and grow, taking in all the sun’s energy, and yours, into its aura and then when you eat what you have created you will ABSORB this positive energy even more. Which will surely promote health, vitality and happiness more effectively than a processed burger.
The same teaching can be generalized to almost anything. If we create enough positive energy IT will be enlightening so as a race we will be beautiful and untouchable, good will grow from good, and will surround us, connect, heal and protect us. I’ve just come back from Shambala festival, which boasts to be 99% eco friendly. Which these days is something amazing to be part of even if this was just for one weekend, when you see people in this free and natural environment. IT TO REINFORCE YOU TO THINK THAT THIS IS HOW WE WERE SUPPOSED TO BE LIVING.
Gallery Pop Interview with Antlersâ€™ Jack Gibbon
By Emma Dauris
month ago we interviewed Jack Gibbon, a Bristol based director who curated a gallery with a difference. Founded in 2010, the nomadic Antlers gallery ‘popped-up’ in trendy Clerkenwell to exhibit a wealth of young talent from the West Country. Amplitude caught up with Jack to find out how the show went, and what’s new for the future.
how it has gone in London. ‘Other Nature’ was received really well by the gallery visitors and it has been great to get such fresh reactions to the work. It was really interesting how differing the appreciation of the work was. New dialogues have given rise to reflection on where we sit in the contemporary art scene and market - which is all positive and great for informing our future plans. Such a relief that we sold well too. It is always nice to rehome the works and we met some great new clients and friends during the show.
AM: So congratulations on your first show here in London. Was your exhibition ‘Other Nature’ as you anticipated? JG: Thank you. Yep we are really happy with
AM: How will you continue to work with the artists you featured in this show? Will their be collaborative projects in the future?
artist that was new to Antlers in Other Nature was Jo Lathwood. She has now completed her Vitamin series of Bronze broccoli (which are amazing!) and we are really excited to be showing the complete set at the Affordable Art Fair Bristol later in May. AM: What are you presently up to? Do you have any plans to exhibit again in London soon?
JG: Well all the artists that we showed in London we have worked with before (except Jo) and have always planned to work with more in the future. We have just opened a duo show ‘Still Chaos’ which features new work by Helen Jones. Our next show will be a solo project by Anouk Mercier. We are very very excited by this project and the work Deliadore is a great indication of where Anouk’s work is progressing in her solo project. The only
JG: We are currently showing ‘Still Chaos’ a show inspired by the Romantic painters and photographic aesthetics. This opened yester-
AM: Has your nomadic gallery been successful outside Bristol and will you continue to exhibit work outside Bristol such as in London and in other cities? Â JG: Yep. totally up for this. I think that collaboration is key. Very much looking for other galleries with similar ideas to us who would be up for some collaborative action. Would be great to get some swaps going on with them coming to our gallery Philadelphia Street in return. Interested galleries - get in touch!!
day but is receiving great reviews so far. We are working on a project for Ilkely literature festival, our stand for the Affordable Art Fair Bristol and Anouk Mercierâ€™s solo project. On the side I am also curating on drawing through an Arts Council funded project working with artists with mental illness which should culminate in an exhibition soon so lots on. We have come away from the London project really positive and am keen to return sometime soon. We do love hosting shows in Bristol though and have some very interesting projects that we want to see through here before returning to London or other cities.
Still Chaos will be at 6 Philadelphia Street, Quakers Friars, Cabot Circus, Bristol 3 – 27 May 2012 Mon – Sat, 11 – 7, Sun 11 – 5
Photos courtesy of: Gary Morrisroe Deliadores Owl & Cats by Anouk Mercier
The Confession By Dan Packer
The last time I said the word twice aloud, a bowl of steaming apple pie smashed into my face. This happened just yesterday. The clocks in my house lie to me, though I don’t think they mean to, in fact, it’s probably all my fault. I’m supposed to look after them. I’m sure it’s my responsibility, but when you live a life out of sync, everything can become distorted. Everything is still out of sync for me. That’s life, Sarah always says. Time is ticking away and the precious moments are fading. ‘I just want to write a good story,’ I say. Sarah says, ‘You might want to use a better adjective than good then.’ I sit at the dinner table and realise how much I detest my family. I notice all the things my subconscious has kept hidden from me for thirty-years. My father sits at the head of the table with crusty fingers and a dying face, never looking at the shapeless woman he married – the one who pushed me into the world as I screamed. Next to my father sits my twenty-four year old sister, Amy, fiddling with her fourth engagement ring. I wonder whether to drown my face in the gravy dish, until I realise it’s probably shallow. The last thing I need is another failure in front of the family. Sarah, my fiancée, stares at me from across the table and I try to remember what I find attractive about her. My father fills his mouth and mumbles, ‘Are you still writing, Benedict?’ ‘Ben,’ I say. ‘What? Speak up boy.’ My mother takes his arm and he jolts. ‘He likes Ben,’ she whispers. ‘I didn’t name my only son Ben. He’s Benedict.’ I watch as my father fumbles with the knife and fork in front of him. The hands that once lifted me up to great heights and sat me upon strong shoulders now shake terribly. Parkinson’s disease, the doctors told my mother. 18
When my mother told me my father was ill, she read me a leaflet that said I had a fifty-percent chance of inheriting the disease. That one day I too could feel the shake. I didn’t have the heart to tell her she was reading about Huntington’s. I just let her read. It had been twenty-five years since my mother had read to me and I liked it. Anyway, I’m losing track. Let’s go back to the dinner table. I’m ignoring my fiancée. She stares at the lump of cold meat on her plate and I know she’s too afraid to tell my mother that she’s vegetarian. I should love her humble nature, but I don’t. Instead, it irritates me. It actually makes me love her less. Stand up for yourself, I think. Do something spontaneous for once in your life. We meet eyes and she frowns. It’s been two days since we last spoke. I’m actually surprised that she came to dinner, but then again, her humble nature doesn’t know how to refuse invitations. ‘Writing is for homosexuals,’ says Father. ‘Oscar Wilde was a homosexual, the filthy bugger. Doris, what other writers were queer?’ ‘I’m not sure, dear.’ ‘You’re not a faggot are you, Benedict?’ The tick and the tock are all that I’ve got. I realise if I sleep four hours a night, I can still rest my brain without losing too much of life. The amount of wasted time is ridiculous, absurd, uncouth, and though I try to fill my life, I seldom feel satisfied. I’ve been cursed since birth. No hope for me. I pick up my list of Things to Do Today and scan down the paper, stopping on the last task: Talk to Sarah! She storms out and I hear the door punish my house. I can’t tolerate aggression, it makes me livid. I pull the covers over my head and her hands clench the back of my neck. Her nails cling to my skin, stroking the small hairs, gracefully. She is perfection, the kind of girl a man dreams of sharing a night with, but never truly believes he ever will. I look down to the floor and see her stockings and garter belt flung delicately across the rug. A silk dress hangs on the wall. The nightstand houses lipstick and foundations amid a range of perfumes with names I recognise from attractive adverts and billboards. She is better than Sarah. She understands how to present herself. This girl is aware of every angle of her body and presents it to me as if I were staring at the cover of a magazine. My father complains about the homosexual community and their apparent inability to commit to society. I’m losing my mind. The pressure builds in my temple and I feel the weight of a million annoyances and frustrations crash down into my brain, and before I realise what has happened, I’m suddenly standing at the table with both fists in my food. There is a silence I simply can’t describe. Then, from nowhere, the silence breaks as Sarah stands and begins to shout 19
at me. I’ve never seen such emotion from her. I’m actually surprised by her confidence. My father starts to choke on what I can only guess is a large piece of beef. My mother cries. ‘How can you just sit there and ignore me?’ Sarah screams. ‘You sack of shit. You worthless prick. How dare you.’ ‘This isn’t about me,’ I say. ‘This is about good writing. It’s about the story.’ ‘I’ll tell you what it’s about,’ she yells. ‘It’s about your lack of awareness. Why can’t you just grow up and act like an adult for a change and take responsibility for our relationship?’ ‘Please, not at the table. Your father needs you,’ my mother cries. My father continues to choke. Sarah cries, ‘I’m tired of feeling irrelevant. You think I’m feeble.’ ‘You are pathetic,’ I yell. ‘You stopped making an effort in our relationship after what, week two? When did that happen? Nobody informed me my girlfriend was going to suddenly stop caring about being attractive. You used to wear nice underwear and dresses, now I’m lucky if you’re not wearing sweatpants twenty-four hours of the day. Why do you think I felt the need to sleep with someone else?’ Every eye in the room is fixed on me. ‘That’s right,’ I say. ‘I cheated on you.’ ‘You slept with someone else?’ Sarah asks. And for some unknown reason I say it. ‘Twice.’ I don’t see her lift the ceramic bowl of crushed apple, but I feel the impact. And my father collapses. I suppose I ought to share my confessions with you now. In truth, Sarah never threw an apple pie at my face. That is a tad dramatic. She actually slammed her napkin down and sobbed considerably. But that didn’t have the same effect did it? The idea of a moist apple pie created more of an image in your mind. You could picture the chunks of brown clinging to my face. I wanted something messy to illustrate her anger, which, of course, she never really exhibited. I made that up as well. I actually confessed my affair out of the sheer boredom of being forced to endure a dinner with my family. The affairs are true, but the details were slightly elaborate. The girl I slept with wasn’t good looking. I mean, she wasn’t ugly, but she wasn’t gorgeous. She was average and actually, now that I come to think about it, reminded me a lot of Sarah. There was no silk dress. It was actually a very fluffy and unattractive dressing gown. Oh, and the stockings and garter belt were merely white cotton briefs. I didn’t want you to feel like I’d cheat with just anybody, so I overstated. I wanted a glamorous and exotic affair, but I guess the sad fact is that life isn’t that perfect. My father didn’t collapse. Do you really think that if he’d been choking no one would have gone to his aid? Come on, I’m not that bad a son. There was never a list of Things to Do! I just like italics. I’m sorry for the overblown adverbs, particularly gracefully and delicately. 2o
There really is no excuse. I hope the sharper reader noticed my mistake. When I introduced my family I mentioned a sister sitting at the table, but then failed to mention her for the rest of the story. There was no subliminal meaning to that, just an honest mistake. I think I mentioned the engagement ring with the intention of developing some minor characterization, but never did. Iâ€™m sorry I embellished a little, but I donâ€™t have the time to tell the truth. The moments seem to fade a little more every day and I really am terrible at looking after my clocks. In truth, I just want to write a good story. Waitâ€Ś I just want to write a significant story. Thanks, Sarah.
Good Intentions, Evil Urges: Examining Kony 2012 By Rich Purdon
ecently some friends were having a discussion about the documentary highlighting the evils perpetrated by Joseph Kony, the Lord’s Resistance Army leader who is notorious for his forced recruitment of child soldiers and countless allegation of rape and murder in Uganda. I admitted I hadn’t followed it too closely, but I got the general sentiment. It’s not wrong, he is of course evil and should be stopped, but the danger with online campaigning is while it creates political pressure in a very short space of time, that pressure can subside just as quickly, especially with the attention span of the online community. And once everyone has lost interest it can be very hard to win back. The underlying problem with many of these campaigns is they use a careful combination of imagery and polemic to encourage the audience to take sides in an apparently black-and-white issue. In much the same way that, according to some political groups in the early 2000’s, if you didn’t support the war on terror and the invasion of Iraq then you were a terrorist, we are now moving dangerously close to a point where if you don’t support military intervention in Uganda, you support child abuse. The other danger to emotional campaigns like this is they encourage people to act viscerally rather than intellectually. Celebrities such as George Clooney and Angelina Jolie, laudably, speak out against these atrocities over images of war children and ‘gut thinking’ comes into
play, often with equally problematic consequences whether they are inspired by liberal or conservative ideology. According to revenuewatch.org, ‘Uganda is considered one of the fastest growing economies in Africa’ with the discovery of an estimated 2.4 billion recoverable barrels of oil. ‘Early extraction is projected at 4-5,000 barrels per day with production anticipated to begin by 2013. Experts say production will increase to 125,000 barrels per day or more and continue at the top rate for 15-20 years.’ Already this has dramatically reduced the need for imported crude oil from outside the country and allowed Uganda’s infrastructure to improve. As well as fossil fuels, there have also been other forms of revenue stream for Uganda in recent years. ‘In 2005, gold exports comprised nine percent of the country’s total exports … an unstable supply of electricity has hindered gold mining production potential in the past. For this reason, gold production between 2004 and 2005 dropped from 1,447 kilograms to 46 kilograms. Gold exports amounted to $122 million in 2006’. According to a USGS survey, ‘The Mineral Industry of Uganda’, the country did not report any gold production in 2009 and 2010. Exports… decreased to 918kg in 2010, from 931kg in 2009 and 6,937kg in 2006’. It is also worth noting that in 2010, Victoria Gold Star Ltd., of Russia, opened Uganda’s first gold refinery. At the time the BBC reported that rebel soldiers in neighbouring Democratic Republic
of Congo were suspected of smuggling gold out of the country when everything is reduced and exporting them through ‘non-conflict’ neighbours. to rubble. Countries like Uganda and the DRC have always been subject to There have been issues raised exploitation for their natural resources and there are often more that need addressing, the fideveloped countries and their businesses that are only too hap- nancial structure of Invisible py to make a quick profit at the expense of the most vulnerable Children Inc., as well as the members of society. accountability of a documenDocumentaries like Kony 2012 do much to draw attention to this, tary that advocates military but they also serve to undermine the positive work being car- action while also acknowlried out in these countries. At a recent press briefing in Uganda, edging that Kony may not Executive Director of Isis-Women’s International Cross-Cultur- even be in the country. For a al Exchange, Ruth Ojiambo, noted that the focus of the video region still recovering from posted on YouTube the Second Congo is to use the military War, known as Great option to capture the War of Africa, that The underlying LRA leader. lasted from 1998 to “The film is demean2003 and is the deadproblem with many ing the efforts of civil liest conflict since of these campaigns is society organization the WW2, claiming in Uganda which is an estimated 5.4 milthey use a not true. We have lion lives (including careful combination of done a lot in helpthe aftermath up to ing the war victims 2008), a softly-softly imagery and polemic to to resettle,” said Ojiapproach needs to be encourage the ambo. the way. Kony is a The women civil sowar criminal and as audience to take sides ciety organisations such should be arin an that denounced the rested to face trial Kony 2012 film inby an impartial force apparently cluded Isis-WICCE, such as the UN. The black-and-white Care, Teso Women DRC already has a Peace Activists force of 20,000 UN issue. (TEWPA), Akina troops from 30 difMama WA Africa ferent countries as and the Centre for part of its peacekeepDomestic Violence Prevention CEDOVIP. Again this is the prob- ing mission. A detachment lem with provoking the emotional response, it discourages the headed by a coalition leadmeasured research needed to find out what is being done and ership could surely pursue provide an insight that doesn’t lend itself to headlines due to its Kony and his soldiers across complexity. borders with less friction than The idea of bringing Kony to justice is a worthy one, and Rus- the Ugandan Army, which sell deserves some recognition for at least highlighting an impor- has a questionable reputatant subject for debate; no-one could have predicted the response tion when it comes to tactics once it was caught in the international storm that followed, least and discipline in the past, as of all Russell himself. The problem lies with the force of nature well as having to cross into that is the internet mob. Once emotions are inflamed and thought countries where they have suspended then it turns into a mosh pit of flailing that only ends recently fought themselves.
Ugandan leader Prime Minister Amama Mbabzi recently added his own video to YouTube during which he points out that neither the Ugandan Government, nor the CIA, believe Kony has operated in Uganda since 2006. Instead, like the civil leaders of the women’s groups, he notes that the country is gradually recovering after years of bitter warfare and refers to the Lonely Planet guide that listed it as the best place to visit in 2012. As with any complicated, protracted civil war and its aftermath, closer inspection reveals not a black and white truth, but many shades of grey. Is Joseph Kony evil? Undoubtedly. Should the US Army be mobilized to deal with him? Possibly not. The real question is: what does the future hold for Uganda? It’s doubtful that it is the land of milk and honey the Prime Minister would like you to believe, but there is a real opportunity to move forward, propelled by the discovery of the oil in 2006 and the financial boost that is enabling the country to become more self-sufficient and strengthen its own infrastructure. The danger, as seen in other countries with oil resources, and in Uganda with the manipulation of the gold trade, is that countries that suddenly discover huge wealth are incredibly vulnerable to abuse. The true lesson to be learned from the Kony 2012 documentary is that with situations as difficult as child abuse and as important as natural resources like oil and gold, it’s not enough to be morally outraged, you have to think about it as well.
Brainstorm Tie Dye By Paul Larsen & Emma Dauris
aul Larsen is a fabric artist from Seattle, Washington who has redefined the craft of tie-dyeing. His extraordinary and beautiful images have taken years of skill and graft to perfect. His techniques are secret but his inspirations can be found in the patterns of butterflies and leaves, mathematical geometry equations, Arabic architecture and Tsmishian artwork. Here is an artist who has introduced me to AJ Fosik, Alex Grey, and H.R Giger and now I introduce you to Paul Larsen. ED
the early 1990’s. The art that I make is my own take on a traditional Japanese dyeing technique called Shibori (as well as a bunch of other stuff I’ve picked up over the years). What I do is similar to both Batik and stencilling in that part of the fabric is covered or “resisted” while other parts are dyed or colored I learned to tie dye from friends. I would make and sell the standard rainbow swirls and similar designs in high school. Later, in college, I took a class called, “Fabric Surface Design” where I was first introduced to Shibori and immersion dying (where you dye fabric in a big pot on the stove). Around the same time,
I’ve been making tie dyes since 1987. I’ve been practicing my current technique since
I met a guy at a Grateful Dead concert who used Cotter Pins to make tie dyed t-shirts (Cotter Pins are the pins you stick through an axle in order to keep a wheel on). We traded folding techniques. I found an antique car parts shop and bought a bunch of large cotter pins. All of these influences came together in my first single color mandala. It wasn’t much. I was pretty under-whelmed. At some point though, I had a “moment of clarity” where I realized that the mistakes I’d made were really cool and actually far more interesting than my other rainbow pieces. Since then, I’ve worked to develop my technique. The result is what
you see. I’m still learning and growing as an artist. I have more ideas than lifetime left in which to try them. I like the intersection of history, psychology and art. The art of so called “primitive” cultures is a huge influence on my work. The piercer and performance artist, Fakir Musafar talked about different cultures using the same symbols in their tattooing. I love that idea. We’re all drinking from the same well (Jung’s Collective Unconscious). The things I use in my work create images that remind me of symbols from various cultures and religions.
There’s also a fictitious aspect like, they could be symbols of another culture (maybe one we have not uncovered yet).
it with another circle. Just something anyone would do naturally. Psychologically, what I’m going for is similar to a Rorschach Inkblot Test. Different people see different things in my work. For me, personally, there is an aspect of birth and death (and rebirth) in Mandalas. They’re the image of the birth canal we pass through (while being born) and the tunnel people describe in Near Death Experiences. As I mentioned before, I feel that I’m drawing from our Collective Unconscious. Carl Jung was really into Mandalas. For Jung, reaching the centre of the
Historically speaking, traditional Japanese Shibori has been around for hundreds of years. Many cultures have traditional dying methods. Coloring cloth has probably been around since someone stained the front of their tunic with something they were eating. I take elements of these traditional forms of dyeing and add my own touches. Mandalas are probably one of the earliest forms of art. First there was drawing a circle, then there was surrounding
Mandala was the whole process of becoming an individual. I learned all of this long after I started making them. Artistically, I’m trying to bring some design to my work. I’m trying to do certain things on purpose to create an effect. Design, to me, is a secret code that lets other people (who also know about design) know what I’m doing. I’ve always loved, “inside information,” such as knowing how to say hello to someone in their own language. With my work, though, there is a point where I surrender all control. I bind the fabric tightly and I know, to a point, what will happen but then physics takes over.
Miniscule changes in heat, humidity, pH and, even the gradient where the fabric is lying all create effects. I do what I do and then, hand the piece to the universe. Most of the time I like what I get back, sometimes I don’t. I learned to be an artist long after I began tie dying. I was an Art History minor in college and, learned a lot there but, they kind of assume that you know most of the terms and techniques by the time you get there. Back in school, the other artists I was around would suddenly stop and go, “Oooh!” They’d run and get a welder because they’d stumbled upon some great idea or composition hidden
in a pile of rusty tractor parts stolen from a farm in the middle of the night that they just had to weld in place lest it be lost or forgotten about. I was always like, “how’d they see that?” It was because they knew what to look for. Artistic things would happen when I would make tie dyes but only much later did I start thinking and seeing as an artist. Everything is art when you know what art is. It’s the same with the color wheel. It’s no coincidence that some people’s colour choices really grab you and other people’s just don’t. My work has been described as “Tribal.” I agree with this. I regard the people who dig 36
my stuff as being, “of my tribe.” One of the best parts about making art is immediately having something in common with the people who like it. Some things that I like that influence my work are, psychology, nature, dreams, trance states, Hieroglyphics, secret codes, “primitive” cultures, ancient religions, lost civilizations, science fiction, conspiracy theories, crop circles, architecture and other artists. In the future, I plan to start incorporating more elements of collage in my pieces. I want to experiment with iron on transfers, stencils and, other fabric surface art. I moved to Dallas, TX
recently in order to have better space in which to create. I figured that when it’s 102 degrees out, I’ll be motivated to stay inside and work on pieces. It feels like I could go off in a hundred different directions and spend the rest of my life on any one. It’s a little daunting but, it also feels good. I have to write down my ideas to try to sort them all out. I look forward to evolving and changing. I love it when my life requires a lot of verbs. I’m still only at the foot of the mountain. PL
It’s Our F ra c k i n g F ut u re
By Kai Heron
y generation, those who were born in the mid to late 80’s and early 90’s, have had their births coincide with a rise in debate around climate change and our ever dwindling fossil fuel resources. We have seen recycling shift from something that was still vaguely outlandish, to a regular household occurrence. We have witnessed oil crises, fuel price hikes, ever more inventive means of energy extraction in the face of limited resources and we have seen climate change and fossil fuels become central topics in electoral and international politics. These creeping changes have been a constant background noise in the day-to-day lives of many since the 80’s, when scientists first showed concerns about global warming and our limited fossil fuel supplies. We have heard evidence form scientists prophesising the dangers of a global temperature rise of just a few centigrade, including severe weather systems, draughts, crop failure and disease and we have also heard from climate change deniers, those who argue that climate change is a natural event that mankind holds no responsibility for.
In the midst of this public discourse, Britain
has tuned to hydraulic fracturing – or fracking, a means of fossil fuel gas extraction in an attempt to decrease the rising cost of fuel. Frack works by pumping high volumes of water, sand and chemicals deep underground to break shale rock apart and release methane gas. Fracking has been underway in the US for a decade now and has been highly effective in dropping the spiking price of natural gas and currently accounts for 25% of the countries gas supply. Those in favour of bringing fracking to Britain argue it will make way for a new era of cheaper energy and is far less visually intrusive than wind farms or above ground fuel mines. However, these benefits come at a cost. Fracking has been condemned by environmentalists for continuing our reliance on fossil fuels and for the risks involved in extraction. In Wyoming and Pennsylvania, where shale mining is widespread, there have been examples of aquifers being ruptured by the below ground explosions involved. Drinking water was found to contain radioactive isotopes, benzene, toluene, ethylenzene and xylene – known carcinogens and acidifiers. There is also evidence also sug-
gests airborne carcinogens are emitted in the nearby area. Despite these concerns, communities have found themselves powerless to speak out against the arrivisme of the large corporations responsible. Further compounding the communities worries, the US Government’s Environmental Protection Agency warned that water supplies contaminated by fracking are “typically too expensive to remediate or restore”. The backlash against these discoveries was understandably immense and has caught public and media attention. Mat Damon is set to star in a film against fracking and the documentary, Gasland, highlighting the pollution caused by fracking in Pennsylvania, was nominated for an Oscar. But still the highly lucrative shale mining industry continues. The UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change, who are responsible for the introduction of fracking to the UK, have stated that there is little chance of such a catastrophe in Britain - but then similar assurances were made in Wyoming and Pennsylvania a decade ago. The DECC’s mollifications are of little solace to those in Lancashire, where fracking is already underway and fears of ruptured aquifers run high among the community. The UK had its own warning of the dangers inherent in fracking, when a well just outside of Blackpool caused earthquakes measuring 2.3 and 1.5 on the Richter scale. The Department of Energy and Climate Change issued a further report arguing that there is scant danger from these ‘controlled’ detonations and that they are a routine part of the fracking process. But is there really such a thing as a controlled earthquake? Reports from members of nearby communities describe new cracks appearing in houses and doors that no longer shut as a result of these quakes. The biggest problem with fracking though, is not the obvious dangers present in carrying out a process that is not yet fully understood or researched. Studies made thus far have found that fracking does indeed cause above and below ground pollution - but at a level not much higher than more conventional oil and gas operations. The real problem with fracking is that it reeks of desperation. The act of drilling as far as 3km underground, before drilling horizontally into shale rock and pumping the ground full of water, sand and chemical lubricants to release methane gas is ingenious. But it is ingenuity pointed in the wrong direction. We are truly scraping the barrel of the earth’s fossil fuel reserves and the resourcefulness involved could be put to better use in the renewable energy industry. When David Cameron was elected, he promised his Conservative government would be the ‘greenest government ever’. The introduction of fracking, rather than increasing investment in renewable energy sources, appears to suggest the contrary. In the recent Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) Event, Cameron acknowledged that rising gas prices, rather than green policies, are the leading cause of the energy bill hikes recently faced by British consumers. This ran counter to previous claims that green energy investment was sending the monthly price of household energy soaring and goes a long way towards explaining the decision to follow the US and introduce shale mines to the UK.
However, the CEM was attended by ministers from 23 different countries and was an ideal opportunity to show British commitment to renewable energy and a move away from fossil fuel dependency. The UK is uniquely situated in a position to invest heavily in environmental energy; the North Sea holds potentially limitless opportunities as a wind farm and as a source of marine energy. With these resources, Britain could pave the way in renewable, home sourced energy for the future but instead, our ministers continue to flirt with short sighted, slipshod energy fixes such as shale mining and fossil fuel investment, overlooking the longterm environmental, consumer and economic gains to be reaped from investing early in renewable energy. Maria van der Hoeven, executive director of the International Energy Agency warns that “under current policies we estimate energy use and CO2 emissions will increase by a third by 2020, and almost double by 2050. This would probably send global temperatures at least 6C higher within this century” a warning that is in stark contrast to the Climate Change Act that commits the UK to reducing carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 – which even if achieved only lessens and does not prevent the chances of the global climate increasing by 2C this century. Introducing fracking to the UK further undermines such cavalier preventative measures; shale mining is deeply inconsistent with the aim of tackling climate change and diverts investment from renewable energy sources. Admittedly, renewable energy technology needs to become more affordable but this could easily be accomplished. As it stands, the government continues to indirectly subsidise fossil fuel in the UK through the use of VAT breaks that amounted to around £3.36bn in 2010. These tax breaks only increase the price gap between fossil and renewable energy sources. A change of policy to cease these breaks would be a significant step in the right direction. Our government is understandably in a difficult position, having to avoid fuel hikes and create
green energy opportunities, but they appear to have concluded that it is better to be seen to be acting through rhetoric and CEM events, rather than to act decisively and reallocate subsidies. The ridiculousness of such a system seems obvious to those not invested but inescapable to those who are. Sadly, our government appears to suffer from severe myopia and the introduction of fracking to the UK continues. Despite the obvious long-term benefits of green energy investment, despite surveys suggesting that over 67% of the UK are against further mines and despite the fact that France and Bulgaria have already made the process illegal. Tara Choudhury , an eleven year old school girl from Lancashire, gained attention on both sides of the Atlantic when she made a video illustrating the dangers of hydraulic fracturing and won the opportunity to speak to MEP’s as a part of a ‘Have your Say on Sustainability’ competition. To counteract such negative press in the US, the shale mine industry has once again shown its ingenious and clandestine nature by creating a colouring book issued in schools. Calgary’s Talisman Energy concocted their own mascot – a ‘Fracosaurus’ who introduces himself to children, perhaps rather mendaciously with the words; “Hello, my name is Talisman Terry, your friendly Fracosaurus. I am here to teach you about a clean energy source called Natural Gas, found right here in the Twin Tiers!” – The irony of having a dinosaur as a fossil fuel mascot is not to be overlooked. This past month, we have been told that water shortages are endemic in the UK with hosepipe bans widespread. It is completely incomprehensible, therefore, that this announcement by the Department of Energy and Climate Change should coincide with their go-ahead for hydraulic fracturing that uses on average 7-11 million litres of water per well, rendering this water highly toxic. In the short term these wells may bring a sharp decline in gas prices, making the average consumer better off, but the longterm outlook is not as rosy. Like so many ad-
monitions, the danger is that the risks involved in shale mining and fossil fuel dependency will float just under the pubic awareness, buried by more topical and salient issues. But shale mining and other fossil fuel extraction measures are an insidious and latent danger that we and future generations will have to face. It is better, cheaper and far more effective to act now. The problem is, as environmentalist Paul Gilding recently pointed out at TED, that we only tend to decisively act after a crisis. This human trait can be seen in how decisively America acted after the attack of Pearl Harbour – taking only four days to ban car production and redirect the auto-industry, or how when a person is told that they have a serious illness, lifestyle changes that were previously impossible suddenly seem effortless. It is easy to argue that the environmental crises are already upon us. This past decade we have seen an influx in severe weather patterns, draughts, food shortages and agricultural collapse. We have had the hottest decade on record for the third decade in a row and we have had endless warnings that our oil and gas reserves will run out in the next forty years. Now is not the time to point our ingenuity towards rinsing the earth of fossil fuel supplies, now is the time to invest in our future through renewable energy sources. We are currently on a course that will bring about the end of fossil fuel. Sadly, this isn’t by choice, but by utter depletion of resources. Before we get there, we are set to see just how bad our reliance on fossil fuel will be for the environment and ourselves in the coming years. It is perhaps too late to completely stop the damage done, but it is not too late to lessen the blow. We can make a difference by voicing our concerns wherever possible, by being more environmentally aware and by taking a long-term and abstemious view to our use of fossil energy. In the modern world, the individual can often find themselves feeling insignificant and powerless – but it only takes a brief look at history to see that this is not the case. Time and time again, individuals have been the motivators of great change. It’s time that we acted to say no to fracking, no to further fossil fuel investment and no to the immoderate use of natural resources. There is no economic of technological boundary in the way, only the refocusing of our ingenuity.
An extract from
Dollars & Diamonds By Paris Jean
I had not seen Bobette for a few days, so I decided to go and pay her a surprise visit. And being as it was such a nice day, I knew that China would certainly welcome a sunny day out. And it was good that we didn’t have long to wait before an open - top bus was to appear. ‘Perfect’ I thought , so whilst waiting in the queue I now began to picture China and myself on the soon - to - be luxury ride whilst a group of Japanese tourists in front of us excitedly rushed on with their state - of - the - art mega zoom cameras. “That will be £8” beamed the driver. “What! That’s expensive to just go to the Marina” I gasped. “Not when it’s for people that want to have the luxury of wind blowing through their hair, so if you want that, then you’re going to have to pay extra” snapped the ‘ hurry up, this drive is boring enough without you now giving me grief driver.’ “Well, I’m definitely one of those, so count me in” I gleamed. The driver sighed whilst nodding his head as he took my money and gave me the VIP ticket. China then gave him a warning growl... The driver grinned at China’s efforts and muttered “Yeh, Right” under his breath. “C’mon Chi, take no notice of the grumpy man” I told my protective bag with a heartbeat as I kissed his little designer head. The Japs had hogged all of the front seats, so we settled for a private back one. I then made myself comfy, lit a cigarette and sat back to people watch, and amongst the many streams of people, there were even more Japanese tourists. I carried on to watch this souvenir - obsessed race as one of them began to take a photo of a tree. I then watched in amazement as another one of them excitedly gathered a group of his very - willing friends to stand in front of the tree so that the thrilled photographer could take a group picture. But my biggest amusement of the day was when a seagull suddenly landed on the seat next to me. 42
“ Hi there, my little sea urchin” I whispered to the feathered passenger who was now greedily eyeing up the fish salad that I had bought before catching the bus, which I was now about to tuck into. “Well, you’re a health conscious one” I said to the well-mannered gull, as his eyes stayed locked on to my hand as he remained not moving a feather whilst he just sat watching motionless. As our journey continued, he remained to be motionless and behave like a stuffed toy whilst being transfixed. I ignored him and carried on with my lunch. That was until I made a start on my fish. Then all hell broke loose, because with a flapping of wings and a long yellow beak rudely opening, the now not so angelic looking bird began to plead for my fish just like a chick would do to its parent bird when wanting to be fed. “My you’re spoilt” I told the no longer polite acting gull. But I am not one to deny anyone of a bite to eat, so I couldn’t help but honour its wishes. So holding out my tray of food like it was his plate, I allowed the rude gull to help itself. “Sorry I don’t have any salt and pepper for you”. I told the food thief. Whilst the cheeky bird continued with its feast I couldn’t help but notice its unusual marking, for it had a bright red circle on its beak. I didn’t know if it was a birth defect or what, but it certainly did stand out. I continued to watch as it selfishly kept on tucking into my lunch with not a single thought to even leave me a cherry tomato, it ate everything, even the lettuce, and then saving the best till last, the cheeky bird then grabbed the whole fish with one snatch and took off. China suddenly sat up to watch as the naughty bird now began to hover in a circle. Then using the back of the bus for the start of its runway, it began to wildly flap it’s wings, and then with wings down and in the right gear, the naughty gull then flew the length of the bus at full speed, and in the process sent many a startled passenger to duck out of its way. Then as it approached the Japs, it made a point of dropping some shit on them as if to say ‘ here’s a souvenir for you’ I couldn’t help but beak into a laugh for the Japs did not thank the gull for its gift, but instead screamed and hollowed in a language that only they could understand. We had now arrived at the Marina, so I quickly jumped off. The walk to Bobettes from the bus stop was not far, so I was soon pressing her buzzer and keeping all fingers crossed that she was in.
Interview with Joe Bolger By Emma Dauris
Joe Bolger is a twenty year old TV & film student studying at Southampton university. Currently working with Lakosa, an UK producer, his video visual art is fast becoming popular amongst the bass scene. The following images are screen shots from his video â€˜Absolutelyâ€™ by 3hrs. We select only a few from this gorgeous video and catch up with Joe in a quick interview.
AM: What’s the BIG idea behind BIG Videos?
Mobile Disco videos are sick. I never plan a video just go with what I think compliments the song.
JB: Ha ha well the name is a bit of a joke between my friends and I ended up sticking with it. I’m trying to make videos that draw people into a tune, using digital film; trying to create animation and stories with lights. I use all my own video and reuse footage, for example I have a video file from when I was 15 that is full of all of my videos. I think the lo-fi aspect adds warmth and I enjoy using video from meaningful times or places.
AM: Have you VJ’d live at gigs? If not do you intend to move into live performance? JB: Not as of yet but talking to a night called Hazy about VJ’ing. I practice on an APC40 at home. AM: Will your work cross genres or will you continue to produce work for artists from the bass genre?
AM: Could you explain a little about your concept and where you’d like to take your idea next?
JB:100% hoping to make videos for other genres, especially grime would love to work for Butterz, although I think the more ambient videos work better with my style, though its always fun to try new things.
JB: The second video I ever made (Glimpses Of Paranoia) was a project with a friend, he made the music and we both went out to film/edit so we didn’t really have a ‘concept’ that I followed too strictly, just go out and film!
AM: One last question, your YouTube channel is titled ‘MrPhosphene’. Why did you choose that name? JB: Phosphenes are connected with optic nerves; induced by sound they seem to give flashes of light even when no light enters the eye; I think this relates to my style of video.
AM: Your work is very stylized, could you explain where you draw inspiration for your concepts? JB: Thank you, Harry Smith’s early abstractions are something I watch regularly and the Simian
“A Few Chords And A Bromance” By Lottie Taylor
n an interview with two rising solo artists, I found out how much Blighty’s unsigned musicians have to offer. It’s inspiring to see how passionate and motivated these two college students are about their own music and the interview genuinely made me want to go out and sing to the hills … for everyone’s comfort I think I’ll just leave that to both Ben Lythe & Jamie Coupe.
he boys took a few minutes out of some hardcore revision to talk to me about banging pianos, a blossoming bromance and putting yourself out there.
Amplitude: OK so I’ll just shoot a few general really easy questions at you, just try and be relaxed, chilled and funny… Ben: I can’t be funny. Jamie: No I think we can so do that...*A sideways glance indicates that they possibly can’t do that* AM: What fascinates you in the music world? J: I love the people and I loveB: MONEY!...*Jamie looks at him disgracefully* J: It’s everything I love the whole package. B: I love what you can do with an instrument…not in a sick way; just playing. AM: OK so what’s your biggest achievement within music? B: Probably here playing with Jamie for a competition (Steadman Cup College Competition), *Jamie blushes.* No that was the best, it was really good. J: I think I’ll have to go with that one as well, it was our first competition together and people received it pretty well. Also my Center Parcs show; it was the biggest audience I’ve played to. I think it was about 400 people? People came up to me afterwards and it was just insane. AM: When did you first know you wanted to go into music? B: Since I was little, probably round 5. My dad always played music and I’d just walk up to the piano and give it a big bang, obviously sounding awful but since then I’ve kept that passion and I will keep that passion. J: Mines a bit different, about 5 years ago in music class we had to sing so I just ended up doing it …I started enjoying it, not too many people went out crying and screaming so I think it went well. From then I’ve been playing when I can. 56
On Benâ€™s iPod: Mix tape ~Jamie Cullum Lonely avenue ~ Ray Charles Lullaby ~ Tim Minchin
On Jamieâ€™s iPod: Boiled frogs ~ Alex is on fire Deliver me ~ Parkway drive Fragile Bird ~ City and Color
Photos courtesy of: Ollie Howard Simon Lythe Henry Broomfield
AM: What’s your favourite song to play?
B: The album is coming this summer and that’s the main thing, with my songs on. I cover so many songs because that’s jazz; you take a song and flip it on its head.
J: ‘Hallelujah’ with Ben or ‘Golden’ (Jamie’s original) because recently people have been singing back the lyrics, my lyrics. Which is wow, it’s crazy?! B: Best song… not sure, ‘Hallelujah’ was really good and my own song ‘He’ll prove them wrong’ which is a new one I’ve written. It’s a good way of remembering how I felt at that point in time.
AM: Who is your biggest inspiration? J: My biggest inspiration would have to be Dallas Green from ‘City and Color’ and James from ‘Deaf Havana’, the things he comes up with, the songs he writes are perfect. B: I think the biggest inspiration for me has got to be Jamie Cullum due to his jazz piano playing and the passion he has. And Paul McCartney; I was a little weirdo listening to ‘The Beatles’ when everyone else was listening to ‘Busted’ and ‘S Club 7’
AM: How do you know when a song you’ve written is good enough to be aired? B: When you first play someone a song and it sticks in their head, also you can kind of hear it can’t you? When the melody fits and the chords are good it kinda just clicks. J: It’s a mixture of two things, first of all you don’t know. People could hate what you’ve done. And second you’ve got to sit back and say “did I just write that?” Do shows and just put it out there I guess.
AM: What would you say to your ten year old self now then? B: Never give up. Just keep going you’ll get there some day … *Ben contemplates his cliché answer* COME ON, PASSION! J: Carry on practicing, make friends and make music.
AM: Jamie your titles are quite strong, was the majority of song writing low points in your life?
AM: So what do you hope your 20 year old self is doing?
J: I’ve mentioned this before; I’m not an unhappy person. When I think of songs they tend to be about love or some other strong emotion because you don’t document nicer emotions. When you’re sad you go write a song... When you’re happy you just enjoy your life
J: Oh, can I say take over the world? No, every show I want to have a new fan or something like that, someone else to say, OK who is that guy? B: I don’t know, God I just hope I’m still playing music, so long as I’m playing music I’m happy, that’s the main thing.
AM: And Ben you cover a lot of songs but don’t really write many? Note to self: do not ever, EVER say to an artist they don’t write their own stuff. Ben’s face just said it all. J: Disagreement AM: Are there are loads? Where are they? B: I do write a bit. J: There’s a whole album…
A Ben Lythe http://www.youtube.com/user/Benlythemusic/videos Gary Morrisroe http://www.garymorrisroephotography.co.uk/ Jack Gibbon http://www.antlersgallery.com/ http://www.facebook.com/ events/307803055956355/ Jamie Coupe ht t p : / / w w w . yo ut u b e . c o m / u s e r / j a m i e coupe64/videos Joe Bolger http://vimeo.com/bigvideos Paris Jean http://parisjeansbooks.net/index.htm Paul Larsen https://www.facebook.com/pages/Paul-Larsen-Brainstorm-Tie-Dye/201931839842098 Tomio Newmilk http://terrort.tumblr.com/
ÂŠ 2012 Amplitude