So, we have some news for you – last month we appointed a new associate artist to join the Hothouse team. His name is Sam Steer and he is an animator, illustrator and musician. You can check out more about him here. The Albany has also appointed a new project manager for Hothouse, Chris Williams. As well as working with us on Hothouse Chris has his own performance company called Drunken Chorus which is worth a look.
We are busy working behind the scenes figuring out the upcoming Hothouse programme for the year ahead. We’re planning an exciting and varied programme of performances, workshops and interventions led by us, Bernadette Russell, Trikhon Theatre and Sam Steer, all focused around the theme of ‘The Future of Deptford’. We are getting there and will let you all know as soon as possible…
In fact there is one such event coming up in less than 2 weeks. In keeping with the futuristic/sci-fi theme, on Friday 29th April at 7pm Uninvited Guests will be introducing the classic film Forbidden Planet, which is screened as part of New Cross and Deptford Free Film Festival
The film is a sort of a sci-fi adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest and was one of the inspirations for Uninvited Guests recent take on Shakespeare, This Last Tempest, which was at Battersea Arts Centre last month. And of course this month marks the 4ooth anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. After the screening there will be an electronic DJ set from local musician Toby Harrison, who will be responding to the film’s seminal electronic soundtrack by Bebe and Louis Barron. Here is a photo of Bebe in action:
Oh and there will also be a pop up bar!This will be at the front foyer of the Lounge and is completely free (Except for the paying bar of course.) See you there.
This last month we have been thinking a lot about what the future will be like in 100, or 150 years from now. We’ve been in residency at artdepot, in their Creation Space, as part of This Nation’s Theatre, and have been doing closely related research. We have been asking people of different ages what messages they would send to people living in 2166 (a time when no-one on the planet today will be alive), and asking them to describe North London in the future. It seems that people are generally quite pessimistic about the future, describing a mostly dystopian vision (I wonder if the people of Deptford will also?) Global warming was a big issue that concerned quite a few people we talked to. This is what a man called Tony told me he thought London would be like in 150 years from now as he looked out from the top of arts depot:
“I can see something that reminds me of that phrase from Shakespeare – ‘a blasted heath’. Everything has been burnt to a cinder, and around there are no proper buildings left except this one. And this one has been scorched as well by the raging fires from the conflagration of a couple of years ago when everything got so over heated that all these fires occurred spontaneously, like years ago in places like Australia. Since we’ve been getting hotter and hotter its happened here too.
All the building have just metal frames left, there is little concrete, all the windows have gone, and people have tried boarding them up to secure them. There are lots of people marauding around, you have to be very careful. We have wild animals running around that could go for you, like bears, they are back, after being wiped out in years gone by. Life is difficult.
The few people that have survived, of course the population has been dropping for years because people aren’t reproducing properly, the people who are left are living like the so-called cave men of the past with little facilities. All the mechanical apparatus of life in the past has been destroyed. There is no electricity, no piped water. We rely on a well here to get our water.
We were mad not to heed the warnings from those people from a couple hundred years ago about global warming. It got to a point where it couldn’t be reversed, and it sped up and here we are. The temperature outside is 44 degrees.”
Well I hope for one that this isn’t a picture of the future. But I guess it could be when I think about our lack of action when it comes to global warming and the way we treat the planet. I didn’t intend for this to be political, but in some ways how can we talk about the future without bringing in politics. We can’t talk about the future without commenting on how we live right now. And perhaps by reflecting on how we live today it will have a positive impact on tomorrow. Although it seems at whatever point in history we are, we somehow always imagine a future with fancy advanced gadgets where the impossible seems possible. When we asked teenagers what their vision of the future would be like, it seems they are definitely influenced by science fiction. They described flying cars, evil robots, improved hover boards and a world where technology has taken over.
Referring back to our showing of the film Forbidden Planet, and science fiction in general, what’s interesting is how it explores the potential consequences of scientific and other innovations on people’s lives. We recently came across a French artist called Jean-Marc Côte who around the time of 1900 depicted what life may look like in 2000. The images were printed and enclosed in cigarette and cigar boxes and then later turned into postcards. Lots of the ideas involve mechanized devices, flying or a combination of the two. Although interestingly there are none of space travel
If you fancy it check out his other paintings as there are lots more. Some even involve people interacting with marine life in interesting ways….anyway, think that’s all for now.
Jess (Uninvited Guests)