The Art and Writing of David & Ping Henningham
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The2009calendar was just put on sale as is now sold out. I think that took about 10 days? Well done Sarah, Michael and Natalia, that was a great project to be involved in. First of all it looks amazing, but also a lot of people took part.

So on the 1st Jan a year-long exhibition begins for those lucky enough to have bought one. 

www.the2009calendar.com 

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www.universettee.com

November 30th, 2008 | Posted by David in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

You may have noticed that the web presence of Janice’s Universettee suffered a hiatus when her sub-let site on ye olde shytstem website became defunct. Now she’s back in her own place HERE.

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Remember…what exactly?

November 11th, 2008 | Posted by David in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Today we quite rightly remember the Great War, but two developments this year I find quite disturbing. Everyone on the radio this year seems to feel obliged to say something like “and of course we remember today the thousands of men and women serving now in Afghanistan and Iraq…” and this is usually supplemented by something to do with how, and I quote the bishop of the armed forces, “they are serving for the same reasons, to protect our rights and freedoms…”

I thought that what we remembered on this day was the complete waste of life that the Great War was; the culmination of years of European strutting and political backside sniffing, empire building, and technology idolatry. What we remember is that thousands of young men looking for glory or an excursion from the valley were sent to meaningless deaths.

If this is the case, then we can look at today’s similarly meaningless platitudes in several ways.

1) The bishop is correct, they did go for the same reasons, but these reasons were wasteful of human life, not to ‘protect us’.

2) The bishop is correct; we should have looked back on the Great War on behalf of the present day army, but not when they are already deployed and it happens to be 11/11. We should have looked back on the Great War and not sent these people in the first place

3) The bishop is correct; there is a connection between these deployments, but not because they are fighting for freedom, but because these wars found their genesis in the disgusting behaviour of the ‘great powers’ as they scavenged the corpse of the Ottoman Empire and took a ruler to the rest of the world.

All this comes back to the point that these are meaningless platitudes. We annually wheel out all three of our WW1 veterans without thinking ‘Oh look, these young men could even have been alive today. That’s how much life they were robbed of’. We ponder war without really thinking anything at all. The paradox is that we remember the dead {not glorious; just dead} who serve us even now as a warning, with an empty state ceremony, empty because they want to shirk responsibility for the fact they still do the same. We as citizens all admire and treasure our veterans and mourn their loss, we really do. It is the unreformed State that keeps reminding us to ‘remember’. This year I think they are the ones who should be told to remember. The guns did not ‘fall silent’, they just waited for the next time. The dead did not ‘fall’, they were blown to pieces. They didn’t fight for queen and country or the rolling hills or any other cliche; they fought for their lives and the lives of their friends once the adventure turned to nightmare.  

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Wedgywood is 100

October 2nd, 2008 | Posted by David in Live Shows - (0 Comments)

The following link takes you to a film explaining and showing the ambience of the thing we popped our heads up in last night in Knightsbridge at the Shytstem’s request.


It was rather like being on an early channel 4 programme. And yes, that IS a compliment in my book. We had a great time.

I think the main criticism that might be levelled at the body of work we sampled last night is the lack of direction. Where the hell is it all going? What does it achieve? But I think this would miss a couple of things. On mass these films imply a reaction against a certain demand for purpose and efficiency in life that marginalises a good many people. And what do people really mean when they ask these questions except ‘why doesn’t this make any money’. There’s never been a better time to point out what a dangerous fantasy all that wealth creation is. Secondly Eddie Farrell summed it up perfectly at the end when he said “If you work with people instead of sitting in a room by yourself you learn a lot more”. These films are a humble request for people to spend time with people. Well done guys!

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H-hC & HFP audience video

September 24th, 2008 | Posted by David in Live Shows - (2 Comments)

A kind member of the audience had posted a video of what they saw at the event in the Foundry recently. I really like the way they’ve managed to get in the explanation of the whole event AND credits to everybody in the band.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjrjZt5E4X8

We also have some footage that we will edit and release later.

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Like a street party for the soul…

September 17th, 2008 | Posted by David in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

I must admit that deep down, or even not that deep down, I quite enjoy a big bank going down. As a friend put it in the pub last night, there’s something about a man in a thousand pound suit carrying a cardboard box away from his desk that brings a smile to the face {newspaper caption on one of these described the contents of the box as ‘his’ possessions. They’ll be lucky, his face said one thing… ‘I’ve been a’looting in accounting’}.

It is sad when people lose their jobs, so it isn’t that which stimulates the mirth, it’s the suit rather than the man. A friend on the bus was remembering when her friends in New York told her she was crazy to work in the arts as they’d got a job for life at Lehman Bros… It’s the hubris.

What can we glean from this;

1) This is a chance to imagine the replacement of Capitalism with something better, ranging from better, non-fraudulent Capitalism to things other than Capitalism. The argument that nothing else works is harder to maintain when employees are literally walking about the Wharf saying “It’s terrible. It’s death. It’s a massive earthquake. Everything’s finished up!” {actually academics predict that these latest events are not very likely to have much effect on the UK economy}.

2) One person who observed that these banks rely upon ridiculous financial breaks in the good times {compared to small businesses} so why should we help them now was told that we shouldn’t apply a moral position to this, that these banks are too big to fail. He actually hadn’t applied a moral position at all, he’d applied logic. These characters are essentially holding a double ransom; restrict our growth in any way during a boom we’ll take our business elsewhere, and if we go bust we’ll take your economy with us. If this is going to be the state of affairs then we should make the liability penal. If you get to a certain size and fail to use the boom the avoid such a collapse then you’re incompetent behind the wheel. Put them in prison for financial vandalism. What is the crime of robbing a bank compared to the crime of collapsing an old one? 

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News from Gent…

September 8th, 2008 | Posted by David in Live Shows - (1 Comments)

We just got back from our performance with Matt, Tomma, Shila and David as Inter Inter Inter at de Bijloke in Gent. We had the most amazing time. First of all we can’t resist praising highly Tomma and Kristoff {sorry if that’s wrong; I never saw your name written down!} and their two great boys for putting us up and feeding us and being such generous hosts. The theme continues with the music centre de Bijloke. The staff were amazing and attentive, we never went hungry and thirsty, and the director of the centre was very generous with his time and interest. The building is amazing, very beautiful, and all the needs of the performers have been met really well. It is also worth noting that the building doesn’t give the impression of any area being off limits. The backstage area is integrated so subtly that it feels like a really non-hierarchical space. Compare that to a rock venue and the subtle-as-a-train-wreck mystique they try and build up around acts and their sudden appearance on-stage, and you really see the maturity of the building.

Gent, which is beautiful, is also striking in its lack of self-conciousness. It does not feel provincial in the way English cities and towns do. I can’t really understand why English, and even Scottish cities, can’t escape the comparison with London at every turn. Gent just assumes that great art can and will happen there. And why not?

The show itself went really well. You can see a clip here of one of the acts.

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The performance was continuous, with Ping* and myself printing at the anatomy theatre benches as the audience entered; we printed tasks relating to the music. As there were four acts {two pieces repeated} we printed in four colours cyan magenta yellow and black. These add together when printed on top of each other to make a full-colour image. We took the theme of the antique anatomy theatre we were in to allude to an anatomy lesson. The music, the pictures, the performance, and indeed the whole world is made of bits and pieces joined together.

Following the music we bound the book in the bar as a concertina, eventually about 17m long, and got two volunteers to sit on the book as it dried. A professional bookbinder who happenned to be in the audience joined in the making, which was a delightful and unexpected bonus! Further pictures will be posted once we have recovered our strength!

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All the presidential candidates in the USA are now having to consider exactly when to arrive in New Orleans. This is a tricky one, because the only logical answer is: never. Why do the people there need their future president {whoever that may be} to personally supply them with bottled water and blankets? Some may reply; ‘but they need to see the situation on the ground’. But why? Has their chain of command and intelligence gathering apparatus become atrophied? 

This situation would remind anyone who has heard of it of the Soviet propaganda film where Stalin is strolling down a country lane and spots a farmer bent over his broken tractor. Stalin approaches and scrutinises the inner workings of the machine and promptly fixes it with his bare hands. The man of steel to the rescue. But as Zizek points out, just how ineffectual must the State have become when you need the premier to go around fixing every little broken tractor personally? Are we going to phone citizens advice and find Obama, McCain and all the others clamouring on the other side? “Your recycling is collected every Thursday!”, “remember to use the correct coloured bags!”

This crass totemic approach to politics belongs only in a dictatorship. What is a democratic country doing with a personality cult contest? A bigger issue is the absurd idea that everybody can only do their job as a representative. A BLACK president, at last a fair deal for black america. And he’s YOUNG and McCain is OLD. But that means he has EXPERIENCE. But that means he could be corrupt so he has a running mate with NO EXPERIENCE. And she is a WOMAN. The idea that anyone cannot perceive the fair thing to do for everyone suggests the fair thing is somehow hard to figure out. The idea that you leader has to be the same as you belies not only common sense but restricts your freedom. It says you are not a free individual, this status is first modified by your colour, gender, age…

I suggest if you put your faith in a ‘young’ ‘black’ president you’ll just witness how quickly he can become old and white. Or how quickly a female political outsider can become a corrupt old man. If you are part of an agenda; that agenda could have a life beyond its main characters, who incidentally, could be anyone at all. 

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Henningham Family Press is doing live printing and book binding in Ghent (Belgium, for those of you who, like me, lack geographical know-where) as part of the New Music/Dance/Printing troupe INTER INTER INTER! This is part of the de Bijloke music festival. They wrote an intro to the event but in case your Dutch is a little rusty, I have babelfished it for you below:

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Bijlokestival: InterInterInter (1 set 1)

Music, dancing, performance, boekdrukken

InterinterInter bring a surprising mix of dancing, performance, music and boekdrukken in 3 sets. Set 1 and 2 is repeated and set three will continue in the foyer. Nieuwsgierigen can examine in advance the small film of InterInter on youtube. Vorspiel

“THIS SESSION IS VOLZET, RESERVES FOR A LATER SESSION
OR YOU VENTURE CHANCE ON A ZITJE ON 6 SEPTEMBER!

18u – 18.30
InterInterInter (1)
Music, dancing, performance, boekdrukken
Set 1. ‘ Vorspiel ’
David Helbich

It is continued When is a by Not a by? (set 2) in the auditorium for 19u

Haha. The set 2 is “When is a Door not a Door?” by the way. It’s by the wonderful Matthew Schlomwitz who got us into this whole live printing let’s-make-a-book-in-a-night type gig in the first place with the Rational Rec night we did with them. If you are thinking of coming, or if Ghent is a little far for you to travel, maybe you would enjoy a brief taster/reminder of what was like last time?
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Tomatoes, beetles & tattoos – hooray for diversity!

August 18th, 2008 | Posted by mrs ping in Uncategorized - (2 Comments)

I just wanted to share a picture of my tomato harvest.

tomatoes.jpg

The little ones are Moneymakers, the yellow ones are Golden Sunrise, the stripey ones are Tigerella, the normal looking ones are Gardener’s Delight. I also have giant pumpkin looking ones which are called Marmande, but they weren’t ready yet when I took the photo. They are all delicious and taste subtly different. If you post me a self-addressed box, I will post you a sample. Teehee.

My potatoes are also pretty much ready. I just need a sunny day to harvest them. They are Desiree (normal, red skinned), Pink Fir Apple (bobbly, a bit like ginger in shape) and Salad Blue (purple on the outside and inside!). I like to remember that potatoes come in all shapes and colours too.

I was also sent a list of 17 beans for 17 bean soup the other day. I had never even thought of all the different kinds of beans there must be in the world!

Musing on the idea that there is an incredible diversity of species for most things, I thought this quote,

“The biologist JBS Haldane was supposedly asked once if he could say anything about God from his study of nature. Haldane replied He must have an inordinate fondness for beetles.”

And the website where I found that quote also had another mini cosmos of diverse beings on it – the Science Tattoo Emporium. A place where scientists who have got tattoos to do with science can send in photos and explainations. You’ve gotta see this. I’ve never really liked tattoes very much as most modern, western designs I’ve come across seemed very whimiscal to me, the lack of content seemingly unsuitable for such a permanent medium. But these have made me change my mind. Some are the best tattoos I’ve ever seen. “Fitting the Foundations of Mathematics On One Arm.” Now that’s a tattoo you could think about for a while.

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