Memories of the Future. The Analogue Meets Digital Event of the Year
Things have moved on apace since I last interviewed Kirsty Fox. ‘Memories of the Future’ is actually happening, with the grand opening on the 8 October. Nottingham is buzzing with anticipation. This is the first of a two part post on the event.
This is a massive project to take on board and when I last interviewed you I did wonder how you were going to pull it all together, because at that point you didn’t have any funding. How did you get funding for the event?
We finally managed to secure a grant from ‘Un Ltd for Social Entrepreneurs’ and we are classed as a social enterprise. It’s only a small grant, so a lot of the events are being run on costs, with people donating their time for free. So the whole event is being done very professionally, but with a DIY ethos – it’s very much about everyone pitching in, sharing and helping each other out.
Are all the people, who are going to be at the event, there as a result of a request for submissions?
We did an open call, but a lot of the people who are actually involved in the event came in because of word-of-mouth. There was also stuff that I’ve just heard about, so I contacted them to see if they were interested in doing something for ‘Memories of the Future’.
Give me an idea of what’s going to be happening at ‘Memories of the Future’.
The opening day is going to be relatively laid-back to get things going. The opening the shop and the exhibition is at 11 AM. There’s going to be a two seat cinema showing a show reel of local filmmakers work as well as all the photography, illustrations, books and music.
Let’s run through some of the events that are taking place in ‘Memories of the Future’.
Tuesday 8 October ‘Make Your Own Damn Zine’ with FourBeatWalk.
FourBeatWalk, are local zine making collective. We have ‘Make Your Own Damn Zine’ packs that people are going to use as part of the workshop. Kate of FourBeatWalk is going to talk people through different ideas to practically produce their own zines. The idea is that people go away, work on their zine for the week and then we’re going to have a zine swap shop on the Saturday afternoon. We’re also going to be making a limited edition ‘Memories of the Future’ zine. This will be printed goodie bags, in which you’ll have postcards, photographs and all sorts of other treats.
Wednesday 9 October. Afternoon Tea with Babes in the Wood.
Babes in the Wood are based between Nottingham and Exeter. I met them through The Hive (which I talked about my last interview). Hannah and Tom are a fashion and music label hybrid. Their work leans towards various aspects of digital, though they also plan to produce vinyl in the future. Some of their artists will be doing a live performance of glitchy, haunting electronica. They have a really interesting folklore that they’ve created around their label and the things they put on their website. It relates to a lot of classic fairy tales and stories. They have a mascot which is a giant hare called ‘Myst’ who will also be joining us.
James is a writer and Paul is a creative technologist. They’ve worked on a couple of projects together, like the Alan Sillitoe Trail app, which was for the space.org, as part of the memorial work that was done last year. They are currently working on a multi-platform graphic novel called ‘Dawn of the Unread’. It looks at the idea of the death of books and has a humorous zombie theme. It’s about local famous writers like Lord Byron, who come back from the dead. So they’ll be talking about how writers can work creatively with new technology, and how the collaborative relationship works. Then there’s a drop-in workshop, so if people want to ask questions they can have a chat with them.
Local charity Double Impact are going to take over the shop for the afternoon from 2 to 4pm. Two of the poets who do Speech Therapy (a regular spoken word night at Hotel Deux), Miggy Angel and Georgia Brown, are going to do a spoken word workshop on techniques of presenting your work verbally and developing the confidence to stand up and do performance poetry or prose.
Double Impact – who work with those recovering from drug and alcohol abuse – will also be there, screening a short film about the work they do and discussing some of the creative projects they have planned in Nottingham.
Thursday 10 October. LVIV/KBZ.
This is a really exciting event we’ve got going on at Screen 22. This has already sold out as it’s a tiny cinema and the tickets went very quickly. LVIV are an experimental guitar trio, who are signed to Lowpoint Records, which is a local label. They are going to be doing a live show and Kneel Before Zod are going to be doing some visuals for them. Then Kneel Before Zod are showing a cult classic film called ‘Phase IV’, which is a science-fiction film about ants taking over. It’s very late 70s and flopped on its release, but has since gained a huge fanbase. It’s by a director called Saul Bass, who is best known for his design work on films for Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick.
Friday 11 October ‘The Future of DIY’ – Independent Music Panel Discussion. 6pm.
This is a panel discussion about small record labels working with both analogue and digital media, and the ‘ecosystem’ with local record stores and music programmers. Joey Bell will be representing great work of Nottingham gem The Music Exchange, Ste Allen is an experienced music programmer (and formerly ran Dealmaker Records), plus we have Matt Newnham from Gringo Records. Gringo Records has been going for 16 years now. It’s been run purely on passion and integrity for some time. This year has finally seen moderate financial reward with the success of ‘Hookworms’ who have really taken off. So, Matt is a seasoned veteran of what DIY is all about.
Leicester Lo-Fi are a photography collective based in Leicester. The Photo Parlour are based in Derby and have a darkroom and studio, which you can hire. They’re both doing collective pinhole workshops to show you how to build your own pinhole camera and learn exposure times. They’re going to then send people out to take images and then develop them using darkroom techniques. So people can go home with their own pinhole images and a homemade camera.
Sat 12 October 3.30 to 5pm. Afghan Box Camera Portraits.
The Afghan box camera or Kamra-e-Faoree is almost a forgotten object. It’s been rediscovered, because they’re still used on the streets of Afghanistan to take portraits for driving licences and things like that. It’s a camera and darkroom in one, but it’s quite a slow, physical process to get the picture (unlike a Polaroid which is instant). Lester Lo-fi have built their own version, so they’re going to be doing demonstrations and you can get your portrait taken with your favourite bit of analogue material (like a vinyl record, VHS or a book, for example). This will be in The Music Exchange which supports Framework Housing Association, so any profits from the portraits will go to Framework.
Are you going to be covering the events digitally?
Yes as much as possible, where it is practical to do so. Much of the digital aspect of the show is through our website and social media, and we hope to develop this as the event progresses. We’ll be recording videos of things that are going on, particularly the DIY record label panel discussion, which we’ll be posting as a webinar. It’s great to have this physical manifestation of analogue/digital in everything we’re doing that week, but we really want to expose as much as possible to a greater audience. We’re all about sharing knowledge for the greater good in the independent sector and digital mediums serve a fine resource for this.