The White Building

Hover over the black capital letters of THE WHITE BUILDING on their website and it transforms into a conquettish HI THERE. Such playful, whimsical use of coding/CSS is, perhaps, inevitable of the Hackney Wick building that is known, particularly in glitch-kitsch enthusiast circles, as “London’s centre for art, technology and sustainability.” Run by SPACE Studios, the building runs a unique residential program involving artists from the famed James Bridle, who instigated the movement of the New Aesthetic, to Jesse Darling, John Rafman and the duo Kyoung Kim and Daniel Rourke who run the fantastic GLTI.CH Karaoke project.

It’s inspiring and refreshing to know that London still has innovative artistic hubs: more than a simple gallery or exhibition space, The White Building is a carefully curated space for cultural phenomena. From residency studios to event spaces and CRATE Brewery & Pizzeria, The White Building combines everything us humans need from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – food, drink and a roof over our heads – and turns it into a post-internet sanctuary where anything and everything can happen.

The building itself was born as a section of the Clarnico Sweet factory and ended its lease of life as a print works. David Kohn Architects has rebirthed the location as a “space for creativity, built by and for local people, resonating with its historical context” even as the work that goes on within often strives towards the technology of the future. They’ve hosted seminars, talks on bio-aesthetics, eco-futurism and dystopia, discussed the untangling of the digital future and advanced awareness of Paranormal Activity – an introduction to anomalistic psychology. It’s undeniably a pavilion of art, education and the future of big ideas.

What does the future hold? Temporary Sculptures by Klas Eriksson, an art installation and collective performance spanning geographical locations around the world will be ushered in on the 22nd of February, and James Bridle will be giving a lecture On the Rainbow Plane on the 26th of February, “investigating the relationships between the public understanding of technology and networks, and the classification of people and things performed by technologies. He will explore the embdedded politics, from the technological gaze to data shadows, immigration, deportation, and rendition.” Definitely a talk not to be missed.

Even more excitingly, curator and writer Omar Kholeif has edited a new book entitled You Are Here: Art After the Internet, published by Cornerhouse, which arose out of a year-long residency at The White Building and claims to be the “first major publication to critically explore both the effects and affects that the Internet has had on contemporary artistic practices… Responding to an era that has increasingly chosen to dub itself as ‘post-internet’, this collective text traces a potted narrative exploring the relationship of the Internet to art practices from the early millennium to the present day.” If you’re interested, The Creator’s Project has written an in-depth interview with Kholeif in regards to the book and our post-internet relationship with the aesthetics of today.

To keep up to date with The White Building’s activities, follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Time to Get Better Clothing with Margate’s Alex Foster

This week I was charmed by Margate’s very own Alex Foster and his eclectic and humorous graphic illustrations. Working with print, designing editorial wonders or making the bride smile with adorable wedding invites, Foster’s got it covered alright. Wait, did I forget to say the boy does zines too? Fresh out of Middlesex university, this young spud of a graduate has not only focused his attention on his studies but worked with a variety of clients too with projects from widely distributed magazines to an upcoming children’s book.

Not only that but the wizard has thrown his talent and know-how into his illustration cauldron, boiled it down and poured what was left over some pretty, awesome t-shirts and merchandise too, giving birth to his latest project, Get Better Clothing.

After two sell-out collections under his belt, summer 2013 brings a collection with inspiration drawn from Foster’s childhood toys and nature, bringing fun and naivety to the brand. Designs include playful cowboys and indians battling it out on mountains whilst tattooed bears show off their ink all available from the beginning of August. Foster makes sure Get Better Clothing is as eco-friendly as it can be too, using water-based inks, organic bamboo based t-shirts, paper packaging and recycling where ever possible.

So now, not only can you appreciate the boy’s immense talent as is but you can kit your wardrobe out with it as well – from a fashion girl’s point of view that’s a win win. I also like to think of him as a bit of a social media hussy treating his beloved clothing child to it’s very own blog, Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter.

Go on, eye up Foster’s illustrations at his official website over here, you know you want to. Or if you really, truly want to go the extra mile and have a face-to-face perve on it then head on down to Margate’s Harbour Arm Gallery where Foster will be showcasing illustrations relating to his seaside hometown in exhibition ‘Coming Home‘. Of course, if you hadn’t guessed it, the exhibition is run by the man himself showcasing talent from some of London’s top illustration and sculpture students and graduates following the theme of hometowns from sunny seasides to cool California, wherever that artist calls home. It will be running from 24th-30th July. 

Also exhibiting in ‘Coming Home’ are: Chris Alton, Chloë Greenfield, Mark Holihan, Eileen Kai Hing Kwan, Amy Stevens, Liz Tweedale, Maddy Vian and Dawn Williams.

 

 

ALEX FOSTER OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GET BETTER CLOTHING OFFICIAL WEBSITE