Indeterminacy at the Cube Bristol March 2014 Live Feed

Indeterminacy By John Cage at the Cube, Bristol performed by Steve Beresford and Tanya Chen with Stewart Lee 22nd March 2014

Indeterminacy By John Cage at the Cube, Bristol performed by Steve Beresford, Tanya Chen with Stewart Lee 22nd March 2014

Indeterminacy By John Cage at the Cube, Bristol by Dan Pope

“John Cage’s Indeterminacy is a cardboard box filled with 90 cards containing 90 stories of different lengths, and a leaflet of instructions: “Read the stories aloud, with or without accompaniment, paced so that each takes one minute. A stop-watch or watch with a second hand will help keep time. Read all 90 stories in order or select a smaller number, using chance procedures or not.”

I found Indeterminacy engaging, diverting and, on occasion thanks to its dead-pan execution, quiet funny. But it was the inherent technical limitations of the Internet that gave this performance its extra unique dimension.

Every 20 seconds or so the live web link would cut out as the struggling signal huffed and buffered to keep up with demand. Hence the image froze and the audio ceased for another 10 seconds or so, thus creating an additional element of tension unfortunately not enjoyed by the audience in Bristol. With foresight Cage might have considered including this skittish behaviour himself as an extra random element. Nevertheless I remained dedicated and stuck with it to the end. Discouraged to the point of giving up on a piece of live performance art, the convenience of which is freely delivered to one’s home, would have been the height of rudeness, if not the act of a philistine.

So, eyes closed, I allowed myself to sink hypnotically into this aural fragmented world and drift aimlessly around my sub-conscious. Emotions stirred and memories rekindled and at times I was reminded of happier times from my childhood. Of watching strange films late into the night on BBC2 that seemingly went on for hours and carried one off into undocumented dream-like scenarios and rarely reaching any conclusion. The journey itself was the reward.

Often foreign, often free of tenable narrative, but always beguiling. Even at a tender age I was drawn to these surreal excursions. I was mindful too that foreign cinema was apt not to be coy in delivering full visceral scope to its tale. My own articulation at the time was wont to be less urbane. ‘Foreign films equal tits’, was probably the size of it. But with it came the appreciation of cinematography and film-making for art’s sake. Later, Moviedrome would further satisfy the craving for non-mainstream cinema. And hormones took care of the rest. To its credit then Indeterminacy had me wanting to revisit those half-remembered films from a forgotten age: Celine Et Julie Vont En Bateau (1974), And Soon the Darkness (1970), Endless Night (1972), Blow-Up (1966) and La cabina (1972).

And so it was that for around 40 minutes, Lee, sat at desk like a worn-down teacher on the last day of term, read aloud as a middle-aged couple looking like they’d been banished from a grow-ups dinner party did their best to undermine their benign sitter with ever-more incongruous interruptions. This might may sound as if I didn’t like it, but I did. I enjoyed it very much. Art should always take us on a journey to another place. As a result I enjoy most things that eschew the mainstream. Mind you I can’t resist the suggestion that Lee deserves another BAFTA just for reeling in the temptation to turn to his cohorts and bark, ‘I’m trying to read here, do you mind?’

Indeterminacy continues to tour the provinces.

Postscript
Incidentally, I chose Endless Night (1972).

Links
Cube, Bristol
John Cage
Steve Beresford and Tanya Chen (No website found, do you know of one?)
Stewart Lee
Indeterminacy at the Cube Bristol March 2014 – flickr set by Dan Pope
Indeterminacy (music)

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WebKit Opera: First Impressions

27th June 20013: IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR ALL OPERA BROWSER USERS
Opera breached, has code cert stolen, possibly spreads malware – advice on what to do
Attackers sign malware using crypto certificate stolen from Opera Software
Opera’s network hacked, code-signing certificate stolen, used to spread malware
Opera’s official statement raise more questions than it answers

So then Opera enters a dramatic new phase, but is a bright new dawn or is the sun about to set on a much loved friend?

From herein I shall refer to Presto as Classic Opera and WebKit as, erm, ChromOpera? ChrOpera? ChOpera? COpera? I haven’t settled on an appropriate conjunction just yet.


View full size image. Opera Next v.15.0.1147.61

Observations on Opera Next version 15.0.1147.61
One aspect that I and I’m certain most users love about Classic Opera is in how customisable it is. ini files can be edited with speed and efficiency that brings a real sense of ownership to the experience.

WebKit uses SQLlite to store its user data so by using SQLite Database Browser I’ve been able to view and edit some files (see screenshot below). Crucially the Preferences file can be edited in a plain text editor, although only a few options have been added thus far, so there really isn’t much one can do to customise things just yet.


View full size image. SQLite Database Browser

Overview & Omissions
This is merely a cursory overview. A first impression review.

    Search: No edit options. Cannot Add or remove.
    Bookmarks: Not available.
    UserJS: Not available.
    UserCSS: Not available.
    Themes: No edit options. Cannot Add or remove.
    Toolbar: Not available.
    Passwwords: Import not available.
    Certificates: Import not available.
    Blocked Content/urlfilter: Not available.

source: Gary Walsh – WebKit Opera: First Impressions MyOpera Blog

Update:
Problems with Dragonfly [1] [2]

Opera Next Users Poll
Farewell Opera? Poll
Farewell Opera? Results

Further Reading:
Why Opera switching to Blink (WebKit) was the blunder of a century
Opera Next 15 Released! Opera Desktop Team Blog
SQLite Database Browser

Simon Munnery Review Black Cat Comedy 6th June

Black Cat Comedy presents Simon Munnery at the Wedgewood June 6th 2010

The Disclaimer

Warning! I am not a professional reviewer; This is perhaps not your typical review; Part review, scatty journal, photolog and reminiscences from days long gone. Like two weeks last Thursday. What a day. We shall never see it’s like again.

The Faffing Around Bit At The Beginning

A reviewer’s lot is not always a happy one. Long gone the days of complimentary tickets, free drinks and back stage shenanigans. These days we have PayPal. Not as exciting but very streamlined. Plus all those shady internet purchases conveniently obscured on one’s bank statement behind cryptic codes. Like spank1. Brilliant!

A reviewer gets no respect either. Only today, I was awoken by a gang of ants at the front door. There must be a designated collective noun for ants, but they looked like a gang to me, and what’s more they demanded entry. Effective immediately.

“Why’s that?”, I ask.
“Because you evicted us from our home, so now now we take yours. Ha!” Stated one of the taller ants with his chest all puffed out.
‘Oh God’, I thought, ‘Sarcastic ants. The worst kind.’
“That was no home”, I protested, stamping my foot to add greater resonance, and thereby killing three generations in the process. “That was our hydrangea bush that needed pruning. You shall not pass”, I adjoined firmly, just as several began climbing the inside of my trousers.

Unfortunately my lingual skills in Ant clearly need work, as they promptly invaded the lounge. True story. Some of it.

The Gig

Thankfully the comedy on offer at the itinerant Black Cat Comedy club was far better than the above introduction to this piece.

Recently moved to The Wedgewood Rooms, and still to settle on a new permanent venue, last minute compere Joe Wells did a fantastic job following regular MC Richard Brophy‘s car breaking down. Which was doubly unfortunate, as this was due to be his last night as regular Black Cat Comedy host, as he’s off back to his native home, New Zealand – having finally cleared his name. That last bit is a lie! So on behalf of all the Black Cat regulars, perhaps I can thank you on their behalf and wish you bon voyage, and well done for putting up with us Brits for so long with no visible signs of degradation. Following the links below to see more Richard Brophy.

Joe Wells openly admitted to being called in at the last minute, but clearly he’s one who feels comfortable when put on a stage, and manages successfully to take the audience along with him. We went everywhere with him. We even had to accompany him to the toilet. Which some of the women found a bit embarrassing.

Describing himself as a Marxist Comedian, he’s neither political ranter or self-righteous. Deserves to be seen performing a gig of his own I’d suggest. Based on tonight’s hastily prepared appearance, I’d mark him down as far above average. Despite his youthful appearance, already possessing confidence and his own style. Definitely not one of the have-a-go stand ups, or, part of the rent-a-careerist-comedian mob that seem to proliferate the scene. Comedy should never been seen as a career choice. Joe Wells is worth keeping an eye on. Why not try these dates? 17th June – Oi Oi Comedy, London. 2nd July – Marxism Festival 2010, London. 15th July – Foolhardy Comedy, Brixton. 29th July – Downstairs at the Kings Head, London.

To think of Simon Munnery as a stalwart of British comedy, sounds rather disingenuous, as if he’s something that ought to be removed by precision laser work. Beginning as a staff writer for NME, he created the character Alan Parker Urban Warrior, caricature of a naive and youthful political activist. But rather than embarking on a recapitulation of his potted history, visit Wikipedia instead. Later.

Smartly suited Munnery performed two sets tonight and held us in various states guttural laughter, perplexity and bewilderment. No characters tonight, just pure unadulterated Munnery. Among the double helping of stories, jokes, sketches, songs and poems were, If London Could Speak, The Aubergine Sketch, Venn Diagram, The Real-Life Confessions Of Sherlock Holmes, and the wonderful Richard Dawkins’ Fingerbob Puppet!

Not the ‘bang ’em out, joke after joke’ comedian as you should doubtless already know, but more performer or perhaps even wandering minstrel. Taking you on a singular journey through his life and casual observations. But it is his strong visual writing style that he truly shines. His strange meandering journeys through worlds that exist only in his mind, made real through attention to detail and sheer energy. Father of three and no longer a spring chicken, he’s lost nothing of his ability to engage and connect with his audience, and many wanabee-trainee-comics should have been here tonight to see how it should be done. Making it look all so deceptively easy.

Usually friendly and quite charming, he did walk off the stage at one point, and face to face with this reviewer threaten to, “Rip your nuts off”, followed quickly by the reassuring and pseudo-confidential, “Not really”. All in aid of his superlative If London Could Speak routine.

It’s no use trying to explain Simon Munnery to you, otherwise there would be no reason for him to exist. Go and see Simon Munnery on tour.

Simon Munnery should be on everyone’s Must Not Miss list. So here’s a few of his upcoming gigs:

23rd June – Opera House, Jersey
24th June – 1 Mighty Craic, The Washington, Hampstead
25th June – Glastonbury Festival Cabaret Tent
2nd July – Inter Gender Wrestling, Tate Modern

It’s an indictment that shows how bland mainstream society and the media is, always has been perhaps, when has to resort to watching one of the best comedians this country has ever produced, on YouTube only. Mind you, the best work is usually to be found outside of the mainstream. Maybe that’s the way it should be, but it’s poorly paid for those who deliver the best.

Next Black Cat Comedy night is to be confirmed, but you must not miss it so follow on facebook.

Simon Munnery Gig Photos At Flickr

Black Cat Comedy presents Simon Munnery at the Wedgewood June 6th 2010Black Cat Comedy presents Simon Munnery at the Wedgewood June 6th 2010
Higher quality versions at flickr

Also

Go Faster Stripe are selling the excellent Simon Munnery live DVD Hello for only ten nicker. Worth every penny.

And don’t forget. Support Live Entertainment!

The Links

Simon Munnery gig photos at flickr
Black Cat Comedy@ facebook
Black Cat Comedys website
Simon Munnery’s website
Simon Munnery @ facebook
Simon Munnery @ flickr
Simon Munnery (League Against Tedium)
Simon Munnery @ YouTube
Simon Munnery (New Statesman archive)
Richard Brophy’s website
Joe Wells’ website
Joe Wells @ facebook
The Wedgewood Rooms
Go Faster Stripe