Monthly Archives: June 2015

Fierce Festival: HFWAS & FIERCE: Disconnect + Fierce Program Launch Party ft CHRISTEENE & Boy With Wings (DJ set)| Friday 3 July

Home For Waifs & Strays & Fierce Festival combine forces for Digbeth 1st Friday, on July 3rd. Unit 9 Minerva Works.

Free * * * 6 – 9pm Disconnect (live performance & video) * * *  9 – late   CHRISTEENE + Boy With Wings (DJ set )


photo by Holly Revell

photo by Holly Revell

” A gender-blending booty-pounding perversion of punk dragged through a musical theatre gutter, commanded by CHRISTEENE: a human pissoir of foul hilarity and raw unabashed sexuality. In this furious ritual, CHRISTEENE is sacrifice, calling the world to bring their burning anger, their tawdry secrets, and their stained hopes to the front.”

CHRISTEENE “African Mayonnaise” from PJ Raval on Vimeo.


7 – 9pm Disconnect curated by Christopher Liam Oakes

Disconnect Poster

Disconnect Poster

Emerging artists present an evening of live performance and video exploring the effects of the digital age and disparity of the virtual facade. Disconnect responds to this new perception of the world, where subjects and systems crossover and disrupt one another into experiences both discordant and harmonious.

Using inventive spaces, ideals and representation are discussed and shaped into worlds that convey a perpetual realignment in our relationship to people and things, where humankind is isolated and superficial in a fast-changing mainstream culture.


Frederick Hubble

Frederick Hubble

Frederick Hubble

Frederick Hubble’s work confronts ideas of the gestural or the fragmentary, working often through a conceptual approach ideas can take shape freely, from something as simple as collecting morning dew, to carving a pair of skis.


Jack Marder

Jack Marder

Jack Marder


Jack Marder’s sculptural installations and video/performance based works address many cultural habits and contemporary behaviours such as indulgent internet use, voracious consumption and capitalist driven excess.


Emily Mulenga

Emily Mulenga (still)

Emily Mulenga (still)

Gym Class deals with the mediation and digitisation of the body and the use of technology to influence and regulate the IRL body; apps and other devices are used to digitalise bodily processes and log them as measurable data. The artist’s avatar, who is the main subject of the piece, embodies anxiety and the quest for perfection often embarked on in online spaces and in customisable video game characters.


Christopher Liam Oakes

Christopher Liam Oakes

Oakes creates machinima and video installations that aim to reveal how influential and defining digital media is in contemporary culture, with a focus on disrupting tropes and raising awareness to regressive representations in video games.


Nadine Paige Riley

Nadine Paige Riley

Nadine Paige Riley

‘Nadine Paige Riley’s practice is an exploration of living as a woman within 2015. Often emphasizing on her relationship with herself based on her gender, whilst seeking ways to fight against misogynistic and sexist attitudes suffered by women within contemporary society. Her work primarily has intentions to create awareness and discussion, and make the viewer reflect through processes where feminine empowerment is gained.

Graeme Rose's Blog: chun chun

Chung Ying actor Chun Chun describes the experience of collaborating with Jonathan Holloway and the UK team on Jekyll & Hyde. The show transfers to the Platform Theatre, London 28th July – 8th August 2015.

The Official Birmingham Hippodrome Blog: Birmingham born Drew McOnie on choreographing a new production of classic musical Oklahoma!

Here from 30 June to 4 July, a new Music & Lyrics production of feel good musical Oklahoma! has been choreographed by Birmingham born Drew McOnie. We chatted to Drew about his Brummie roots and the inspiration behind the boot stomping dances in Oklahoma! Tell us about Oklahoma! What inspired your choreography for this? Oklahoma! […]

mid * point: Many and Varied Artist Salon – Friday 3rd July – Digbeth, Birmingham

Calling anyone who works at and across the edges of traditional disciplines; anyone who makes their own tools, because nobody else has made them already; anyone who seeks out unconventional collaborators; anyone who typically Rs & Ds atypically.

Gets a bit lonely sometimes, doesn’t it?

We’re running a series of 5 Salons to help make things a bit more linked-up and sociable.

Taking place on the first Friday of the month, each co-curated with a local organisation, these events are specially put together for the people who don’t fit comfortably into the usual pigeon holes. We don’t mind if you identify as an artist, scientist, craftsperson, researcher, musician, maker, curator, academic, technologist […the list goes on…] – if you’re pushing at the edges of what that can mean then we’d like to hang out with you!

There’ll be invited speakers, a chance for practitioners to talk about / demo / playtest their work in progress to get constructive feedback, a chance to discuss opportunities for change and plenty of chances to chat to interesting people and seek out potential collaborators.

Get your (free!) tickets for the July Salon at Eventbrite here

Here’s our schedule for the afternoon:

1-1:45 – Informal arrivals and chat; bring your own lunch or grab something from The Bond’s cafe. We’ve a few people who have highlighted they’ve got nut allergies, so we’d really appreciate it if you could avoid bringing peanuts.
1:45 – 3:30pm – A hello from us, then presentations from our co-curator and guest speaker
3:30 – 3:50 – Break – we’ll provide tea/coffee/cake/fruit
3:50 – 4:20 – Group activity
4:20 – 4:50 – Work in Progress sessions – practitioners seek input on current projects
4:50 – 5pm – Close – parish notices etc (tell us about interesting things that are happening).

After a Many & Varied afternoon, you’ll be in exactly the right place to then go on to enjoy Digbeth First Friday: exhibitions, late-night openings, special events, culture in unexpected spaces, live music, street food and more. The Bond will host poetry and spoken word night ‘Loud Mouth’.

July Salon:

Brian Degger

This month’s Salon is co-curated with Karen Newman, Director of Birmingham Open Media, and features a presentation from Brian Degger ( @DrBrian)

Brian Degger is an art and science practitioner with a PhD in Molecular Biotechnology. In collaboration with artists and technologists, he uses various methodologies to explore diverse research areas such as bacterial cultivation and fermentation, accessible science technology, aquatic ecologies and open source science. In his home town of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne with a small group of geeks, Brian set up Newcastle Maker Space, a place for creative use of technology.

He will bring some of the things he is making to show and tell.

Birmingham Open Media are developing an open lab space that is available for use for photography and/or biological projects. Karen will introduce the resource and talk about the biohacking projects that inspire her.

Work in Progress; what are you working on?

A core part of the Salons is giving people a chance to talk about, demo and ask questions of the projects they’re working on at the moment. That means you! How can a room full of curious, intelligent people help you move forward?

Jenny Duffin and Pete Ashton from Birmingham Camera Obscura will be talking about the latest iteration of their camera obscura on the eve of its debut at CoCoMad.

Katie Day from The Other Way Works will be asking for volunteers to help play-test an early prototype of their new card-game-meets-interactive-soundscape that will form a key part of their site-specific performance Black Tonic. See for some early experiments.

Artist Nikki Pugh will have some spatially-aware paper pods from the Where the Sky Widens project with her, and would like to scratch at questions around emotional connections to place, relationships to technology and thinking at the pace of PVA glue.

Image: Mark Rhodes

mid * point: The Play House theatre in education – casting call

The Play House is looking to broaden its pool of freelance performers/facilitators for its touring schools work. We are interested in meeting a range of people with experience of working with children or in theatre in education, and in particular will be looking to cast the following roles:

– Young non white male, playing age early twenties

– Young white male, playing age early twenties

– Fluent speakers of languages other than English, in particular, a language that is not common to Birmingham

The Play House creates exciting theatre and drama to stimulate the learning of children and young people. We are best known for our Language Alive touring programmes for primary schools. Since 1986, we have built a reputation for delivering high quality, engaging work supported by comprehensive and practical resources for teachers, with meaningful participation at the heart of everything we do. For more information on our current and forthcoming programme, please go to our

Please send a CV and a short description on why you are interested in working with us, especially with regards to our participatory approach to

If you are selected, you will be invited to an interview/audition in Birmingham. Deadline for applications 12 noon Friday 10th July 2015.

Feel free to pass this on to anyone you think may be interested.

mid * point: Talking Birds still need your votes in the Tech4Good awards!

As we shared last week, Talking Birds is hoping midpoint colleagues will support them by voting in the Tech4Good Awards at BEFORE NEXT TUESDAY 30th JUNE to help them win the People’s Award for its pioneering invention – The Difference Engine – which makes live performances more accessible for deaf and disabled people, through captions and audio description (and more!), broadcast to mobile devices: smartphones and tablets.

And if you have already voted online (thank you!), could we ask you tweet to using the hashtag #T4GTalkingBirds e.g. “I support #T4GTalkingBirds in the @Tech4GoodAwards and I think you should too!”  All uses of the hashtag count as votes, and the judges will be monitoring sharing on other social media too, so please share away!

And if you’ve already done that (thank you, thank you!), how about nudging a friend, relative or neighbour to do the same? we heard last week we were in the top five, and there are only a few days to go – with your help we might just do it!

We’re sorry to go on about it (after this week we’ll stop – honest!), but we really think that with your help we can start a revolution in access.

Thanks to all our supporters – it is very much appreciated.

mid * point: The Drum FILM

The Drum 4REEL presents
Film at The Drum
Tickets: £4 Standard, 4 for £12

The Stuart Hall Project
4REEL is The Drum’s unique audience development programme of screenings, panel discussions and one off events, taking place throughout 2015. Funded through the Film Audience Network, a ground-breaking initiative developed by the British Film Institute to enable organisations and film experts in the independent cultural exhibition sector to work in partnership to boost film audiences across the UK, particularly in the areas of specialised and independent British film.

Since the launch of 4REEL, The Drum has partnered with a number of organisations, since the project launch in March 2015 including 4WardEver Film Club, providing monthly screenings and discussions focusing on issues of social justice. Our collaboration with Birmingham Jazz during the FlatPack Film Festival, treated our audience  to a screening of the archival documentary The Colony, with a live jazz score. 4REEL also screened the seminal film Handsworth Songs, in the lead up toBirmingham Opera Company’s latest production The Ice Break. 4REEL was also a key partner of Come the Revolution, a collective of curators, programmers and creatives from Bristol and Birmingham committed to exploring and challenging black life, experience and cultural expression through cinema.

The coming months promise to offer an exciting range of film, discussions and one off events.

What’s On:
The Stuart Hall Project

Tues 30 Jun
Doors 7pm, Show 7:30pm

Concerning Violence
Thu 9 Jul
Doors 7pm, Show 7:30pm

Histories Revisted: The Films of Jeannette Ehlers
Thu 16 Jul
Doors 7pm, show 7:30pm

A Depzman Story
Fri 24 Jul
Doors 6:30pm, Show 7pm

mid * point: GAP in the Market

The GAP in the Market is a tightly-packed (quite literally!) programme of workshops, exhibitions, screenings, performances, talks and tours – from craftivism and cultural resistance to play readings, clay mapping and the much loved Great Brum Grub Crawl. All this squeezed into a tiny, collectively-created arts space in a Bull Ring Indoor Market stall in Birmingham!

The programme has been curated and co-ordinated by The GAP Arts Project, a team of highly motivated and talented young creatives. Our aim is to offer young people, artists, participants and public audiences an eclectic mix of social activities as opportunities to create, share, learn, listen, play and engage together.

 Please check out the programme here: 

We are particularly interested in hearing from drama workers or students with an interest in the play readings of Edward Bond’s The Sea and The Fire Raisers by Max Frisch.

For more info contact: The GAP Arts Project on 07533456387 or email


mid * point: Fierce Festival Announcement

Fierce Festival press announcement: 

Fierce returns for 2015! Headline events announced

  • Fierce Festival returns, 7-11 October 2015
  • Eight UK premieres, ground-breaking live art, music, dance, installation and the infamous Fierce parties
  • Highlights include Sleep with a Curator at Eastside Projects and a huge performance art party on Saturday night
  • The last Festival for Directors Laura McDermott and Harun Morrison 


An ambitious eight UK premieres will be presented in Birmingham during one weekend as part of Fierce Festival 2015.

Fierce returns to the city from 7-11 October 2015 with a mix of live art, music, dance, installation and the infamous Fierce parties.

Fierce Festival 2015 will be the last Festival for its current Directors Laura McDermott and Harun Morrison, who have been at the helm since 2009.

A highlight of the weekend is Sleep with a Curator at Eastside Projects, where audiences are invited to bring a sleeping bag and spend a night in the Digbeth gallery before enjoying a communal breakfast. Curator Gavin Wade will join in the sleepover, reading a selection of bedtime stories and cooking bacon pancakes in the morning.

The weekend is marked with eight UK premieres by artists from across the world – from Brazil and Canada to Belgium and Germany. Simone Aughterlony will present Supernatural, a dance piece exploring gender roles that has been well received at festivals in Europe and the USA, and is hotly anticipated in the UK.

In Happiness Forgets, performer Season Butler will re-enact the opening sequence of all seven series of 1990s TV classic The Cosby Show, which feature the Huxtable family doing a series of dance moves.

Music forms an important part of Fierce 2015. The DJ Who Gave Away Too Much Information sees the Canadian company PME-ART sharing personal stories connected to their vinyl collection during a ‘listening party’ at COW Vintage clothing store in Digbeth.

Fierce would not be Fierce without its infamous parties. For 2015, DJs and performers Anklepants, Gazelle Twin, Sarah Farina and Miguel Gutierrez’s Deep Aerobics will perform into the early hours on Friday and Saturday nights, complete with animatronic masks, neon sports wear, face-paint and lots of dry ice.

This will be the last Fierce Festival for Directors Laura McDermott and Harun Morrison, who will leave the organisation in autumn 2015 to pursue new creative projects. Since their appointment in 2009, McDermott and Morrison have filled the city with performances, including in Edible Eastside, an urban allotment in Digbeth, and last year in the beautiful Moseley Road Baths. The new Director of Fierce will be appointed later this year.

Please see details and sample images attached. Tickets go on sale Wednesday 1 July

Further details will be released during the summer.