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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: February 4, 2011 @ 10:51 am

    If you only do one thing this weekend … get involved

    Laurence Mackin

    Get involved: Things are getting fierce political at the moment. No back is going unstabbed, no stunt unpulled, and no baby unkissed. There are several arts initiatives that are seeking to take advantage of the renewed sense of political responsibility so now could be the perfect time to get involved. UpStart is one such initiative. It’s a non-profit arts collective that “aims to put creativity at the centre of public consciousness during the Irish general election campaign in 2011”. The idea is to hold a vast exhibition using the spaces ordinarily taken up by political posters for works of art. It wants 500 submissions from writers, visual artists, photographers, painters and graphic artists to help put a bit of colour amid all those meaningful messages and grip-and-grin portraits. Click here for more details.

    Of course, if it’s cold hard cash you want, you could always get yourself the job as chief executive of the National Concert Hall, or something much more impressive – become a part-time puppeteer! Think of the business cards – genius.

    Take In: Visceral at Dublin’s Science Gallery does exactly what is says on the arty tin. The show features exhibits created using living tissue, from research laboratory SymbioticA. So far, so queasy. The idea, though, is that artists are using the tools of science and advanced technologies to explore their art and hopefully create works that cross a host of boundaries. And if you pop down tonight, it’s open till 8pm with tapas and drinks. We’re assured that none of the exhibits is enough to put you off your pinot grigio and plate of banderillas.

    Read: Fiction wise, I’ve just put David Vann’s Caribou Island to bed, and I’m only now getting around to Antony Beevor’s history of the Spanish Civil War. But for chinstroking attention-seeking while drinking black coffee at an outdoors table in my snuggest polo neck, there is no better man than Ben Ratliff’s Coltrane. Admittedly, I’ve only started it, but it’s cracking stuff already. Ratliff says this is no straightforward biography (there are quite a few of those on John Coltrane, and I do have a really good large format book on the recording of A Love Supreme) – rather, he is looking at the “story of a sound” and how Coltrane sought to finesse and refine his iconic, urgent sound. It traces his rise, and his continuing influence with a light if incredibly well informed touch. Non-jazzers or non-musicians should find it thorough and accessible to boot. Nice.

    So that’s our two cents for the weekend. Last night The Digital Socket Awards took place, where a bunch of music bloggers selected their favorite music in a range of categories – think of it as the Golden Globes to the Choice’s Oscar. Among the winners were The Ambience Affair and Souljacker for their video for Devil in the Detail – which uses no video cameras. Stop go motion in the woods with a touch of Don’t Look Now? Certainly madame. It looks, rather spectacularly, like this. Enjoy.
    YouTube Preview Image

    • Eoin says:

      If you’re only going to do one thing this weekend make sure you download the new Tourism Ireland video and post it on to all your friends and relations. It’s amazing and shows Ireland off for the beautiful country that it is. The more people that see it the better because it will give them a different view. There are so many negative pieces about Ireland on the internet and in the papers at the moment. We need the tourists to come back and see what we have here and what the Irish people are really like. YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOU IRELAND NEEDS YOU

    • Manaslu Horizon says:

      Ireland is never and will never be remembered for its politicians…….but its artists,musicians,scholars, storytellers &poets. ..We are a creative people and no amount of greedy politicians, bankers or property developers will EVER change that

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