For a time, this was an allowable method of attempting to staunch the flow of disappearances. But it soon extended much further than one shelf of the ‘D’ sequence. In fact within a year everything was gone. This is the story of that encroaching nothing.   So what happened next? Add to the collaborative story with the next steps. Answers on a postcard to: Paradise Circus C/O Jon Hickman, B322 Baker Building, BCU City North Campus, Perry Barr, B42 2SU Try Touchnote as a quick and cool way of sending them.

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Discovering The Towers and Turrets of Birmingham On my regular rambles through Moseley it’s hard not to be impressed by the sheer number of towers, turrets and fortifications on the large houses here. These were once the homes of wealthy professionals and their design and decoration is intended to suggest the nobility of medieval times. A man’s home is his castle – it’s an ancient sentiment that in its earliest form predates even castles (from the Roman philosopher Cicero). Adding a tower and decorative crenellations to your home provides prestige and sense of security. I wish I lived in one, and that’s the point. I became interested in the language of the towers: the distinction between towers and turrets, and the world of associated features. These include belvederes, gazebos, kiosks, pagodas, orioles, domes and follies. Birmingham has two very famous towers: the Tolkien-inspiring Waterworks tower and the …

Tower records Read more »

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Birmingham, like any city of a reasonable size, is a bit odd. This is to be expected because when you have a million people interacting with each other, sharing their ideas and opinions through words and actions, things get messy. In all my years of thinking-about-Birmingham I’ve often wondered how anyone can honestly say this city has a single fixed identity. At the very least it’s two cities, north and south, but it’s way more complex than that. Perhaps it’s the echoes of villages the Birmingham suburban sprawled consumed that keep things distinct, giving the likes of Edgbaston and Erdington a sense of identity even though you can’t really tell where they begin and end on the 11 bus. For a city so worshipful of motorised mobility people really do have a focussed sense of place, be it their 19th century terrace or post-war estate. And then …

Power and the city Read more »

Going Through Hell is Mike Skinner’s first single from his last album as The Streets. It’s an oddly poetic title that has a lot of resonances, including echoes of the Greek myth Orpheus when our titular hero walked through hell to return his wife, Eurydice, to the Land of the Living. It wouldn’t surprise me if this was completely intentional, Mike Skinner strikes me as a smart guy. The image of a Greek hero is also apt, an all-conquering hero after many trials and tests returning home but finding this his hardest test yet is an old rote. It was, after all and as he kept reminding us the last time he would be performing in his home city. And I don’t use the word ‘hero’ lightly. The gig tonight was a story of someone facing adversity, and overcoming it with aplomb. The adversity being the crowd. …

Skinner in the Underworld Read more »

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So I spoke to the Editor* about what to write about this week and he gave me this, probably to wind me up, which suggests that ten people are responsible for most of the graffiti in Brum. I knew my feelings on graff have been documented ad nauseum in other places. Also I find the weary ‘is it art?’ argument nonsensical and unhelpful and am at loathe to drag it out one more time. So, for once, I thought it would be good to give someone active in that world a chance to reply. The guy I spoke to didn’t want to be named so I haven’t. What do you think of the thought that there only ten people responsible for the graffiti in Birmingham? I doubt the council see it like this to be honest, I can imagine they have a wanted list a lot longer. …

Tag nuts Read more »

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I want to talk about Birmingham’s bid for Britain’s City of Culture. Now this shouldn’t be confused for the European City of Culture bid, which if won brings money, tourists and actual prestige, That’s going to the South Hampshire region in 2022 which by then, if Internet idiots are to be believed, we will all be destroyed by an alignment of planets as predicted by the Mayans*. No this is the British city of culture, a knock off basically. So if Birmingham is successful what would we actually win? Well, potentially holding the Brit awards and the Turner prize, although not even that is not definite. And I’m not sure how this would be that even be beneficial. Do we want the Turner prize? Recently it’s turned into an attention grabbing oddity choosing deliberately challenging pieces for the sole reason of angering Sun readers and inciting headlines. …

Big City Culture Read more »

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Day One (24hrs)  18th Sept 2009 starting 7pm. Inspired by the statement below, the PhD show’s mythological think-tank investigation, conducted by Harry Palmer, seeks to discover the relationship between the banana plantation and lost civilisation concerning the Hawaiian Mauna Loa tribesmen and women. Mythological hoaxes have been reported suggesting that banana worship and ecological disaster were aligned to the Indian rope trick in which the Darknosis Scientific team sought to define and clarify on their 1917 expedition to this Pacific Ocean Island. Previous investigations lead by Japanese scientists in 1994. Statement by Edward Percival N. Spoonhandle – geologist prior to the 1917 expedition: ‘Painting, drawing – that is, the process of meditation and the ability of transmutational story telling, time and space alteration – seen and heard through the senses – is a primitive and ancient instinct. I do believe that the Mauna Loa cave painters and …

Harry Palmer: Darknosis scientific think-tank laboratory investigations at the PhD show. Read more »

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I don’t wear perfume. The idea of applying pollutant glue that ‘sticks’ to my skin doesn’t appeal to me. Nonetheless, I do wear some medical non-chalk talc that works well for what it needs to do – preventing body odour and sweat from presenting an unpleasant reaction on skin and in public. Equally, my non-chalk-talc doesn’t present a potential heath hazard as traditional talcs do. Chalk, I believe, once inhaled, sits on the lungs…not good! So why do I whiff like a scented women (or man, I’m unsure) when out and about and not wearing perfume? Just the other day, I was popping home when I noted that once more a perfume scented fragrance was on my hands, around my coat and spread across my jacket. Unclear exactly how this happened, I reasoned to think that I had been in contact with another person or a series …

Harry Palmer: Purfume and Swine flu – a connection, a solution Read more »

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The Eccentric City thanks the Summer Edition 2009, Dublin, Ireland for a wonderful event and visit. Last weekend (July 4th 2009), myself and co-founder/publisher of The Eccentric City, visited The Summer Edition 2009: An Artist’s book, Comic and Zine Fair in Dublin, Ireland. We had no idea how large and how diverse this fair was going to be. Having had a brief correspondence with the organisers, it was clear that they were arranging an important event and one that we identified with. Importantly, Summer Edition 2009 was an opportunity to raise the profile of many independent artists working in Ireland and not just within Dublin itself. Many zine publishers alongside a large collection of comic makers attended and shared their work at Filmbase, Temple Bar. It was the first art and zine premier event to occur in Dublin. Small and discrete magazines as well as art catalogues …

Harry Palmer: The Summer Edition 2009 Read more »

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