Blog Listings

Revolution in North Korea – North Korea’s marketisation talk review

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

First published on Northern Soul 22nd July 2013. Written by Alfred Searls

North Korea

Joseph Park is 31 years old, a defector from North Korea and a prophet of the revolution. In his former homeland the revolution in question is already under way and, to borrow Gil Scott-Heron’s memorable phrase, the revolution will not be televised because this time it’s going to be marketised. As Joseph tells it the whole process may well now be unstoppable. All this and virtually no one outside North Korea has even noticed it’s begun.

The MadLab Network Survey!

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

It’s summer, and the time of year that MadLab turns it’s eyes to self-reflection. This time, we’re developing a network diagram of the users, communities, organisations, companies and agencies that frequent our doors – not just of direct visitors, but the whole range of beneficiaries around MadLab. We’re planning to make this resource available on our website, but for now – we have to collect this information!

If you have a few minutes – please fill in our survey!

A first pass at a MadLab network map

BCS’s first-pass network map

Why are we doing this? Well, we know that MadLab is a critical crunch-point for Manchester’s digital and creative communities. We also know that lots of informal – and not-so-informal – relationships form here, which we’re curious about. It’s important for us in terms of us being able to assess our impact and reach, which is what we’re trying to paint a picture of. This isn’t the first time this has been tried – Chris at the BCS tried to map out the networks at MadLab, but it developed into too large a project to handle! We’re hoping to build on Chris’ work, not just at the relationships between group level, but also looking at key people and other agencies – in short…


MadLab Raspberry Pi + Scratch workshop in Korea

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

On a sunny Saturday on the 11th of May, MadLab was invited to speak and run a physical computing workshop for Anyang Public Art Project (APAP)’s Making Lab (만들자 연구실) in South Korea. It was a wonderful experience meeting people from the other side of the world who are into creative technologies as much as MadLab.APAP workshop

CRITshow: May 2013

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

The CRITshow event was the culmination of the Creative Whispers group project, in which each collaborator began by producing an item intended to represent their practice. These were brought along to each meeting (beginning December 2013) and passed on to a new artist. The task was to respond to each piece and bring it back the following month. The pattern repeated for 5 responses, with the intention being to discuss and review the outcomes in order to research the characteristics of practice and the effect of labelling work as the product of a particular discipline, though we also knew we would have some interesting pieces in their own right. The final responses were shared at our last meeting and some of those can be seen here. Creative Whispers was the first time we have either collaborated or shown work in what I am now coming to think of as more than just a networking group but actually something beginning to approach an arts collective. I normally try and keep my blog posts as neutral as possible out of respect for the fact that my views are not shared by everyone who attends our meetings. As the CRITshow day was much longer than our usual 2 hour slot however; I couldn’t possibly record enough notes to give everyone’s views an equal airing so in this instance I feel at liberty to make this a more personal reflection.


Oral history afternoon tea interviews

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Earlier this year we held an oral history afternoon tea, an event to share personal memories of the Northern Quarter with lashings of tea and scrumptious cake. The strangers who gathered become chatty over the refreshments, talking of personal stories and ones handed down through family lore. We held the discussion on the ground floor, where the topic of conversation jumped from Abraham Lincoln to the nascent African National Congress, American G.I.’s, seedy comic book stores, real silk, department stores and more.
getting to know each other