Thursday, March 02, 2006

Dear Reader,

Just to let you know, this blog only makes chronological sense if you read it from the bottom post up.

So, unless you're really into that film Memento, scroll down the page before you start reading any further.

But before you do, maybe read the next post first.

Coz it's quite topical, and may have lost some of it's edge by the time you get to it.


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

I'm sure I'm not the only person waiting with baited breath for the announcement of the Liberal Democrat leadership contest expected at 3pm today.

I'm especially excited as it will finally enable me to update my
innovative, albeit partially flawed, solution to the problem of declining rates of participation in voting amongst young people, Political Top Trumps:

I'm still a bit upset about Mark Oaten's unexpected departure from the leadership race.

He used to go to the same secondary school as me, although he rarely makes direct reference to it, claiming on his website
to having merely 'attended the main local Comprehensive School' in Watford.

The name of my former educational institution?

Queens' School

Insert your own gag here.

Anyway, my little brother met him once, and at no point did Mark Oaten ask him to defecate on his face.

So he's obviously got his coprophilia habit under control. What's so bad about a little bit of scatplay anyway?

Bumming was a taboo ten years ago, and now everybody's at it.

Even the straights.

I hope Mark Oaten decides to return to frontline politics soon.

As such, I've written him a Press Statement, y'know, to placate the tabloids:

"I was very interested in trying to experience first hand the daily prejudice still faced by Britons from Afro-Carribean backgrounds,
so in order to fully understand the ugliness of racism I decided to 'black-up'.

Unfortunately, I was all out of make-up so I asked a Polish ballet dancer to shit on my face."

I think it's a winner, no?

Alright, I'm just trying to provoke somebody to leave a comment below:

In other three-letter-long-news-organisation news:

BSN - British Satellite News - was one of the media outlets that came to meet me while I was living in my bomb shelter in the Great Eastern Hotel last July.

Richard Dedominici 'House Arrest' 2005

According to an article in The Guardian, BSN is a Foreign Office-funded fake news propoganda unit, that feeds positive British stories to Arabic news broadcasters.

However, they've subsequently printed a rebuttal from BSN Editor Mike Nolan.

So now I don't know what to think.

Interestingly, their interview with me was recorded a week before the London Bombings, but transmitted seven days after the attacks, which would have obviously altered the context somewhat.

Here's an abridged transcript; see if you can detect any hidden agenda:


Category: Culture

LONDON - 13 July 2005

One of London's leading hotels plays host to a most unusual art exhibition-
including a living "nuclear bunker" piece. Much of the other art works were
inspired by the style and shapes of hotels themselves.

BSN: 0528C
DATE SHOT: JUNE 30, 2005
TXN DATE: JULY 13, 2005

A major exhibition of work by some of East England's brightest emerging artists is on display at a somewhat unusual location. 'Stay' is a collection of site-specific pieces inspired by the secret life of a central London hotel.

'Stay' is a unique art exhibition. Inspired by the Great Eastern Hotel's impressive architecture and rich history as one of Victorian London's most opulent hotels during the golden age of the steam train, eleven artists from across the East of England have created a provocative mix of work using a variety of media, from projector film to wallpaper.

SOT: ENGLISH SPEECH: Lucy Lumb, Commissions East:
"The hotel has a really vibrant sort of range of guests, international visitors, people from all over the world and we are really hoping that the visual art on display here will show them the vibrancy of the scene and the talent in England, in London and from the east of England region where the artists are based."

Participating artist Richard Dedomenici has created a piece around the Protect and Survive campaign, which was launched by the British Government twenty-five years ago. The campaign gave advice to citizens on how to survive a nuclear attack. Richard has created a nuclear bunker in one of the hotel rooms following this advice, and will remain inside it until the end of the exhibition.

SOT: ENGLISH SPEECH: Richard Dedomenici, Artist:
"The hotel has been very accommodating. Obviously there have been negotiations -- some of them have been quite fraught -- but overall I think we managed to reach consensus and that's the main thing really. So I'm very pleased because I think that what I have constructed is safe and durable and hopefully some of the other hotel guests may deem it worthwhile doing in their own rooms!"

'Stay' is on at the Great Eastern Hotel in London until mid-July.

What I particularly liked about Good Night And Good Luck was that it was set almost entirely within the CBS New York Headquarters.

I spent a morning in the CBS New York Headquarters once.

There was a lovely view.

No sign of George though.
I performed my lecture Embracing Failure at Camberwell College yesterday, which is noteworthy because one of the case studies mentioned within the lecture is about how in 1997 I applied to do a graphic design degree at Camberwell College but they said no.

(They did offer me a place on the metalwork course instead, but I declined.)

Afterwards I went to see Good Night And Good Luck starring gorgeous George Clooney.

Apparently the story is an analogy for what's happening in the world today.

Namely, George is comparing MacCarthyism to the government's smoking ban.

Which I think is a bit overblown.

Rebecca Shatwell, Media Arts Officer for Arts Council England, North East, has send me some pictures of Red Elastic Bands from her office:

Thanks Rebecca.

If anyone else wants to email me photographs of their Red Elastic Band collection, contact

Franko B doesn't talk much about his youth, and I think I've discovered why.

I put it to you that in 1984 Franko B represented Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest:

He's the one on the left

He was known as 'Franco Battiato' back then, and had considerably more hair and fewer tatoos, but I still stand by my theory.

Look at all these Red Elastic Bands I found on the way to Colchester Arts Centre on Sunday morning:

They came up looking lovely with a bit of soap from the gentlemen's toilets.

I showed them to Anthony, who said that the energy used to wash them outweighs any savings made by sending them back to the Royal Mail.

I replied that 'soap from the gentleman's toilets' was a euphemism.

During my stay in Colchester, sustenance was provided for the artists in the form of Mick The Hippy's legendary Chilli. Mick the Hippy works for the Art Centre, although he was once almost poached by the band Ash, who were playing at Colchester Arts Centre and enyoyed his Chilli so much that they asked him if he'd go on tour with them.

Mick the Hippy said no.

And thank God.

It tastes so good.

Unfortunately I've had the ingredients analysed, and have some worrying news for vegetarians:

Thanks Mr Heston, but I'll take my chances.
I did a couple of performances at Full Bleed too, during which I unveiled a new innovation from Richard Dedomenici Products:

Potato Ketchup:
The Second Ketchup.
I went to Colchester for a few days last week to present some work at Full Bleed, two nights of music, and art timed to coincide with Franko B's one-week-long winter school at Colchester Arts Centre.

Seperated at Birth? Director Anthony Roberts and Franko B

As someone who has been exposed to dangerously high doses of live-art over the past month, I'd assumed that little could surprise me, but I saw two performances at Colchester that did just that.

First was Hugh O' Donnell from Belfast, who swore loudly into a bucket of water before dropping his trousers to reveal a blue painted arse. He climbed onto a table full of cheese sandwiches, and said "this is for the working class". He then proceeded to insert the cheese sandwiches into his anus. I counted sixteen, although I may have missed a few because many people in front of me were literally jumping out of their seats in bewilderment.

(Most of the crowd had only come for the music, and obviously had no means of interpreting such unexpected imagery.)

Next up was Justice Yeldham
from Australia who was making music by screaming onto a large piece of broken glass fitted with highly sensitive contact microphones (a set-up he later told me was called 'The Dynamic Ribbon Device').

The white noise generated was accompanied by screams from the audience as he bit into the window and spat blood and glass from the stage. He ended by smashing his head through the window, and I had an excellent view of this because by this point many members of the audience had left.

It was refreshing to see such visceral work being presented to a crowd of live-art novices.

I can't help but feel that neither piece would be allowed at the National Review of Live Art if it remains at the Tramway.

Which is reason in itself for going back to the Arches.