21 Oct 2015

two days at SARU, Oxford.


visiting the kind and very welcoming folks at SARU (Sonic Arts Research Unit) at Oxford Brookes University over the period of 19th-20th October, I had to fight my cultural romanticism pretty hard - unlike the Southern pragmatics of my own university town, there were bicycles everywhere and everyone seemed to look like Morrissey, and I was rather beguiled, despite the discussions among my colleagues that the city was now so expensive, one could not afford to live there on an adjunct salary, even if one was teaching locally. after a morning at a local B&B, where over luke-warm filter coffee I watched great burly working class men from Scunthorpe crying on morning TV at the announcement that one of the last bastions of British Steel was cutting 1,200 jobs, I gave an artist talk and took five one-on-one half hour tutorials with students in the Masters' programme, many of whom were doing thoughtful and clever projects, and the time flew by in some lively and stimulating discussions.

The SARU programme is also an affiliate partner and former home of the Consumer Waste label, whose co-curator Samuel Rodgers was also one of the fine folks concurrently in Oxford whose hospitality made my stay so great. Needless to say, the opportunity to play in a spare room at the school with Sam was eagerly embraced by yours truly.

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