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VOID ONE // BRITISH LIBRARY_

I was always into artwork, but for a long time I worked in the events industry, specifically sound engineering, producing music, and ran a few labels along the way. One of those imprints was Beta Test Records.

Back in 2013 I was working closely with the now reformed UK Glitch Hop [UKGH] crew presenting regular radio podcasts and running awards for the wider Glitch Hop community. I got involved through running a Midlands based electronic label called Beta Birmingham.

Beta Birmingham had always been seen as a local thing, a platform for what were essentially my mates to promote their productions. It was also great for me as it forced me into working to self imposed deadlines, as I’d always struggled to finish my work. I produced all the branding and artwork for the releases, so it kept me up to date with my Photoshop skills. With 5 solid releases under it’s belt and with the new found links that had been forged through UKGH, I decided I wanted to fulfill a bucket list wish and get a vinyl printed.

The record would feature 8 tracks of UK based hip hop inspired electronica, with scratch samples from each of the tracks so you could juggle the tunes live. A battle wax road tested by 4 X DMC Champion Mr Switch, presented in a 300 copy limited edition 180g black vinyl with high gloss full colour artwork that I would produce alongside one of the tracks.

“Covering a spectrum of impeccably detailed Hip Hop inspired electronics, Chemical Coercion will satisfy the most hardened veteran future b-boys and 21st century turntable technicians.”

Beta Test Records – Chemical Coercion Blurb

One evening I received an email from the British Library Sound and Moving Image Catalogue requesting 2 physical copies of the release for submission to the catalogue. I thought nothing much of it. I tried a few times to contact the library to confirm they had received the vinyl over the years, as I’d heard nothing after the email, but it wasn’t until 7 years later that my interest was peaked again.

I decided one day to call them directly, were I was reminded of the online catalogue link. I’d checked this page a good few times, but this time it was actually there!

I think there’s something innate about wanting to leave a mark after your gone, so it’s pretty incredible to know my work is now part of the national archive. I haven’t even considered making music for over 5 years since getting the paint bug back, so this felt like a really nice way to underscore what was a huge part of my life for many years. Big love to everyone who supported the release, it’s still available on vinyl via the Beta Test Bandcamp below:

Void One_

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BBC CLICK // MASSIVE ATTACK_

Just before New Year 2019 I was invited down to the BBC Studios in London to create a piece of art for their tech based science show, Click Live. What I didn’t realise, was that I would also be making history! I wont go into too much detail, as much of the information about the project is contained within the program itself, but that day I would become the first person in the world to paint using synthetic DNA that contained stored data.

Massive Attack – Mezzanine

Massive Attack had commissioned a series of cans of spray paint containing this unique paint as part of their anniversary celebrations. My role within the show was to produce a piece of art using the DNA paint to help demonstrate potential uses for the technology in front of a live studio audience. I wanted to stay true to the initial concept artwork featuring the beetle, but with some simple details, like a helix, some DNA sequencing and a cracked microscope slide to add a graffiti stylisation in keeping with the theme of the piece. In total I only had about 3 hours to work on the painting, but thankfully it came together without too much drama.

Following on from the live show, I was interviewed in my studio space as part of a TV special that would further explore this incredible technology. Below are links to both the live show, and the special feature:

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DEATH FROM A DOVE_

On 16th April 2018 I set out to paste up a six metre by three metre painting on a billboard in the heart of Digbeth, Birmingham, UK. News events at the time have sparked controversy, and I’ve been working on a scaled up version of an exhibition piece from the same time last year with the Distorted Minds Crew featuring a suicide dove. It seemed like the perfect storm to get this piece up.

“You can’t lambaste a sovereign country as despotic whilst in every way acting like a tyrant yourself.”

There are a number of factors that have brought me to this point, but ultimately it boils down to a complete breakdown in trust with our government. Or moreover, the realisation that clich├ęs about bringing liberal democracy to the world and the abject failure of our foreign policy over the decades, are actually just a pretext for us as one of the largest arms manufacturers, to sell weapons to despotic regimes, to steal resources, to destabilise countries we consider a threat, and to posture on the world stage as though there were any semblance of the British Empire left.

Void One - Death From A Dove Billboard 2018

At the time of writing this we find ourselves caught in what appears to be a proxy war with Russia, railing against the use of chemical weapons with no clear evidence, compounded by the fact that we sold Assad the precursor chemicals he’s alleged to have used to produce sarin back in 2012. The OPCW completed a survey of the site we bombed in 2017 and declared it safe. Do we know something they don’t? Why wasn’t that shared and left to an independent body that was awarded the Nobel peace prize for their work in eradicating chemical weapons? Footage of the aftermath of our strikes clearly show there were no chemicals on site, else where are the hazmat suits? The breathing apparatus? I want any military action to follow clear evidence, not hyperbole and hearsay, else it sets a very dangerous precedent for the future. Have we learned nothing from Iraq?

Void One - Death From A Dove Billboard 2018

There’s been a complete disregard for international law and the convention that military action should follow a debate in parliament. Why were these air strikes conveniently pushed through whilst MP’s were on a break? Because ‘outsourcing’ decisions to a democratically elected body is no longer good enough, or worse, considered a hindrance? You can’t lambaste a sovereign country as despotic whilst in every way acting like a tyrant yourself.

Void One - Death From A Dove Billboard 2018

That Britain ought to stand against international war crimes is justified, but only when applied universally. Why is it acceptable to attack Syria under some pretence of moral duty, when in the same week journalists and civilians are being shot by snipers in the West Bank with not a word of condemnation from our government? When we sell billions in arms to Saudi Arabia whilst it’s widely known those weapons have been used for atrocities in Yemen? This government has blood on it’s hands and must be held accountable! When Theressa May’s husband stands to directly benefit from these strikes as a shareholder in Lockheed Martin, one of the worlds largest arms manufacturers, we should be very fucking alarmed!

https://www.rt.com/uk/424392-may-husbands-capital-group/

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-philip-may-amazon-starbucks-google-capital-group-philip-morris-a7133231.html

Theressa May has no parliamentary majority, and is now sabre rattling in an attempt to cover up her shambolic record on everything from health, crime, social care, welfare, Grenfell, Windrush, the list is endless. May’s dismissal of criticism as a desperate humanitarian effort flies in the face of fantasy. You have to build peace, and you can’t do that with explosives, especially if it’s because you just want to be seen to do something. When our foreign secretary admits that “air strikes will not turn the tide of the conflict”, what’s the point? Its funny we always have money for war, [6 million for 8 missiles!] but nurses have to use food banks and disabled people are killing themselves under the weight of being erroneously deemed fit to work.

Void One - Death From A Dove Billboard 2018
There’s something deeply disturbing going on in this country and it frustrates me to the point I feel I need to speak out. My work “Death From A Dove” satirises the oxymoron fighting for peace. It portrays the reality of a world where the concept of peace has been rendered a hollow platitude served up to justify war. The last green leaf has fallen from the laurels, withered in the mouth of a suicide dove pulling the pin on a grenade. It’s presented in prime sight as a crime site, because that’s how I feel about what’s happening. It all seems so brazen! For me, it captures the hypocrisy and sense of hopelessness that pervades the current political climate.

I’m by no means done with this concept…

Void One_