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Film // Festival success for LCC staff

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Still from ’72-82′, William Raban.

Three members of LCC staff, William Raban, David Knight and Brad Butler, have recently been featured in film festivals around London, balancing their roles as academics and active practitioners.

Professor of Film William Raban had ’72-82′, his latest film, selected by 2014′s London Film Festival (LFF). ’72-82′ explores the first ten years of groundbreaking London arts organisation Acme Studios and their critical work in housing some of the most renowned artists of our time, such as Richard Deacon and Anthony Whishaw.

Despite having more than 50 films under his belt, William describes the making of ’72-82′ as a “completely new experience”, as it solely uses archival visual materials to revisit the formative years of the organisation.

In addition to screenings at the BFI and Acme Studios, the feature-length documentary will also be screened at LCC’s Inside Out Festival, where William is in conversation with acclaimed sculptor, the two-time Turner Prize-nominated Richard Wilson.

David Knight’s work as Senior Lecturer on BA (Hons) Film and Television at LCC has taken him beyond teaching, as he enjoys success as Director of Photography on ‘The Quiet Hour’, which was nominated for Best UK Feature Film at the 22nd Raindance Film Festival.

“It is hugely satisfying to bring my professional practice back to the classroom. Working at features level brings into play a whole new set of skills to disseminate through workshops at LCC,” said David.

Recently appointed LCC Research Fellow Brad Butler continues the trend with a screening of his short film, ‘The Unreliable Narrator, at this year’s LFF.

Read profiles of William Raban, David Knight and Brad Butler

Read about BA (Hons) Film and Television

Read about Brad Butler’s work at the Hayward Gallery

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Journalism Guest Speaker Review // BBC News and the Digital Future

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Robin Pembrooke described how BBC journalism is adapting to the digital era

As LCC’s Journalism Guest Speaker talks return for 2014-15, first-year BA (Hons) Journalism student Dylan Taylor reports on the first event in the series.

For the first of these guest lectures on Tuesday 14 October, we were joined by the BBC’s Head of Product for Online News and Weather Robin Pembrooke.

Pembrooke’s visit to LCC comes at an interesting and challenging time for the BBC. The corporation is attempting to advance its news content online, whilst also trying to strike a balance between appealing to consumers both young and old.

It was interesting to hear how the BBC was trying to appeal to the somewhat under-represented demographic of 16-24 year olds, regarding online news.

So how does the oldest and most recognisable broadcaster in the UK go about the digital transformation of its news content? The answer, according to Pembrooke, lies in a more personalised relationship between the news and the audience.

We were given an exciting sneak preview of the BBC’s brand new app, which would allow users to customise their own news content by choosing which areas they wanted their news from and which specific journalists they wanted to read content from.

With the app enabling the BBC to have an enhanced web presence, we were told that the launch of new digital programmes such as this did not come without its problems. It was interesting to find out that the average age of someone looking at the BBC’s homepage was 48.

Pembrooke informed us that most people of this age were very sceptical about any kind of change to an already successful online news platform. Any process that involved change of this nature would have to be a gradual process to keep consumers of all ages interested in the BBC’s news content.

For us aspiring journalists, it was intriguing to hear that the BBC was looking to allow its journalists to publish content on the go, without having to wait for the traditional news slots on television to broadcast the content first.

With the BBC’s tagging and curation now powering their storytelling, Pembrooke encouraged us to have a look at the BBC’s Chartbeat data-monitoring website.

This type of information wasn’t just for the “nerds” though. By monitoring what people were reading, Pembrooke told us that journalists would have a better understanding of what people were looking at regularly and therefore what people were more likely to view in the future.

As a final piece of advice, Pembrooke encouraged us to tweet and promote our own content effectively as in the case of Laura Kuenssberg.

Currently working for the BBC’s Newsnight programme, Kuenssberg is incredibly effective at promoting teaser content online, to get the public interested in what will be on the programme that night.

With many of us creating our own blogs and content throughout our studies, it was inspiring to hear how effectively promoting our own content could help us all up our profiles in a competitive journalistic environment.

Words by Dylan Taylor

Read about BA (Hons) Journalism

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BA (Hons) Journalism at LCC launches brand new magazine designed by Scott King

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Artefact’s first cover star is model and actress Lily Cole

October sees the launch of Artefact, a 52-page A3 magazine produced by students on the third year of LCC’s BA (Hons) Journalism course.

The first issue contains features on ketamine abuse, sugar daddies, the fashion muse Isabella Blow and the couchsurfing phenomenon, as well as reviews of music, films and games.

After this initial issue, the magazine will appear, free of charge, four times a year in the autumn and spring terms. Written and edited by student journalists, it replaces Arts London News, the newspaper produced by students on the course for many years.

Simon Hinde, Programme Director of Journalism and Publishing at LCC, explains:

“I felt it was time to move on from the ALN format and produce a magazine that gives students the opportunity to produce work that they are passionate about and to present that in a quality publication that they’re proud of and can show to future employers.

“LCC has an amazing heritage and culture of art and design and I want Artefact to be part of that tradition.”

As well as being distributed in UAL’s Colleges, Artefact will be available in shops, bars and cafes around London.

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‘Seen on Campus’ profiles students’ sense of style

The magazine was designed by Scott King, UAL’s Chair of Visual Communication. Scott brought to the project his experience of working as Art Director of i-D and Creative Director of Sleazenation magazines.

Through his contacts in the worlds of art and photography, Scott persuaded the likes of Jeremy Deller, Linder Sterling and Juergen Teller to allow their work to be used to illustrate the students’ journalism.

“Scott’s worked incredibly hard on this over the last few months and I’m massively grateful to him,” said Simon Hinde. “We’ve created the basis of a great magazine and the students are already working hard on the next issue.”

Read more about BA (Hons) Journalism

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LCC Research Fellow Brad Butler exhibits at Hayward Gallery

Image: Film still from work by Brad Butler and Karen Mirza

Image: Film still from work by Brad Butler and Karen Mirza

Two films by Brad Butler, a London College of Communication (LCC) Research Fellow, feature in Hayward Gallery exhibition MIRRORCITY, open now until Sunday 4 January 2015.

MIRRORCITY explores the effect the digital revolution has had on our experiences. It includes recent work and new commissions by emerging and established London-based artists who seek to address the challenges, conditions and consequences of living in a digital age.

Brad completed a PhD at LCC under supervisor William Raban and has since become a Post Doctoral Research Fellow at the College.

Brad and his creative partner Karen Mirza have been shortlisted for the sixth Artes Mundi Prize, the UK’s biggest contemporary art prize, and will exhibit with other shortlisted artists in Cardiff from 24 October 2014 until 22 February 2015.

UAL Research caught up with Brad to find out more about his current projects.

Tell us about the work you are showing in MIRRORCITY.

I am showing a new work, ‘Everything for Everyone and Nothing for Us’, alongside an existing work, ‘Hold your Ground’. Shown side by side, these two films speak to each other, though there’s a slight awkwardness about their conversation. They are both about languages of protest, and the relationship of the body to protest.

‘Everything for Everyone and Nothing for Us’ is set in a TV studio, where a protester-in-training listens to audio extracts from a political speech by Margaret Thatcher. Having absorbed the sounds, the protester uses movement to exorcise Thatcher’s voice, retraining the body to resist capitalism.

In ‘Hold Your Ground’, the same protester struggles to turn utterances into speech. Her efforts are interrupted by archive footage of protests in Egypt, Northern Ireland and London. Eventually, she manages to pronounce four phonetic phrases reconstructed from Arabic, meaning ‘hold your ground’, ‘Egyptians’, ‘homeland’ (of the earth, of the Nile) and ‘strike’.

The title of ‘Hold Your Ground’ is taken from the pamphlet How To Protest Intelligently. ‘Everything for Everyone and Nothing for Us’ echoes the slogan of the Mexican Zapatista liberation movement, which began its struggle against neoliberalism, exploitation and racist oppression in 1994.

Why did you choose LCC for your PhD studies, and how did you find the experience?

I chose LCC based on the supervisors primarily. William Raban and Elizabeth Edwards understood my project and process. It was, for me, a perfect match of expertise and timing, and before I knew it I was in the programme supported by LCC’s Research department to find funding.

From there it was a great experience and formative for my work. While academia may not suit every praxis, it proved to be a chance for me to go deeper in a supported semi-autonomous way.

The links later on to a post-doctorate have felt natural. So far I have been encouraged and I feel I fit. Basically, over the last 19 years of being an artist I have worked out the hard way how important it is to work with the right people. Even great ideas will become exhausting if that is not a priority.

Brad Butler talks about his research at LCC's Graduate School Festival, May 2014. Image © Lewis Bush.

Brad Butler talks about his research at LCC’s Graduate School Festival, May 2014. Image © Lewis Bush.

Read the original interview in full on the UAL Research pages

Read Brad’s Research profile

Read more about Research at LCC

The post LCC Research Fellow Brad Butler exhibits at Hayward Gallery appeared first on London College of Communication Blog.

Making comedy from tragedy // Inspirational story behind LCC alumna’s prize-winning designs

'Desktop Fireworks', Tomomi Sayuda, 2014.

‘Desktop Fireworks’, Tomomi Sayuda, 2014.

Tomomi Sayuda, an LCC BA (Hons) Graphic and Media Design (then Design for Interaction and Moving Image pathway) alumna, has just won first prize in the digital design category at the Ideastap Graduate Awards. Tomomi, who recently graduated from MA Product Design at the Royal College of Art, won for her fun piece ‘Desktop Fireworks’.

'Desktop Fireworks', Tomomi Sayuda, 2014.

‘Desktop Fireworks’, Tomomi Sayuda, 2014.

‘Desktop Fireworks’ is made up of seemingly plain, practical office stationery. However, beyond providing a place to store your pens, this stationery serves an altogether bigger purpose. On the activation of an extremely tempting big red button your mug becomes a disco ball, your monitor becomes a glitter cannon, and your drawers full of miscellaneous clips, elastic bands and blue-tack become a bubble machine!

On winning the first prize for her fun piece Tomomi states, “I am very proud to win such an honourable prize.”

'Desktop Fireworks', Tomomi Sayuda, 2014.

‘Desktop Fireworks’, Tomomi Sayuda, 2014.

Whilst the purpose of this piece and indeed all of Tomomi’s work is to make people smile, there is a personal tragedy that motivates her practice. When she was only eleven, Tomomi’s father, Kenichi Sayuda, committed suicide aged thirty-seven, due to extreme stress at work.

She explains “Since my father’s death I have become obsessed with finding solutions to stress, especially in the work-place. I have found that the most effective stress relief often comes from laughter. My work uses comedy, and creates a positive and surprising solution to a serious problem.”

'The Mask of Soul', Tomomi Sayuda, 2014.

‘The Mask of Soul’, Tomomi Sayuda, 2014.

Tomomi’s work has recently garnered press attention from the likes of Creative Review and The Sunday Times, and this week the BBC did a feature on her recent project ‘The Mask of Soul’.

Tomomi explains, “The mask gives its wearer the strength to be able to express themselves in public. It hides the speakers’ identity and the microphone picks up the speaker’s voice and in turn projects it loudly through the speaker on the top of the head-piece. Part of the project is a game in which people are invited to compete in shouting the loudest insults at each other. I was inspired to create ‘The Mask of Soul’ after having experienced a ‘karaoke box’. This unusual space allows its occupant to reduce stress through the almost primal release of energy!”

'The Mask of Soul', Tomomi Sayuda, 2014.

‘The Mask of Soul’, Tomomi Sayuda, 2014.

Read more about BA (Hons) Graphic and Media Design.

Read more about BA (Hons) Design for Interaction and Moving Image.

Visit Tomomi’s website.

Watch the BBC’s coverage of ‘The Mask of Soul’.

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