Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Fanzine convention, with Dave Haslam

Victoria Baths Fanzine Convention May 14 — stalls, speakers, film screening, tours, food, workshops

The first ever fanzine convention to be held in the beautiful setting of Victoria Baths will explore the past, present and future of self-publishing through stalls featuring self-published books and zines to browse, talks, a film showing and workshops.

Manchester's opulent Edwardian water palace, which opened to the public in 1906 and closed in 1993, will be packed with events as part of the Future Everything festival.

To have a stall on the day, either as an individual zine or group of friends, costs £10. Apply by emailing Facebook event here.

All events in the building are free to enter, although donations are welcomed. Read more about the building at

Poster by Kate Prior.

What's on

A screening of $100 Dollars and a T-Shirt, a documentary about fanzines in Portland, USA and the famous Portland Zine Symposium, will introduce what zines are and who makes them.

DJ and writer Dave Haslam will explore the legacy of post-punk fanzines, including his own publication Debris (1983-1989) which ran to 19 issues and was called the "the best fanzine in the world" by the NME. Debris featured everything from interviews with Sonic Youth and the Fall to authors Raymond Carver, Tony Harrison and Hubert Selby Jr to a 70 year old barber and the woman who ran the local launderette.

Alex Zamora of London-based Fever Zine, and contemporary Manchester zine makers Vapid Kitten, who produce an edition for Kindle, will explain how zines are adapting for the digital age, and consider what lies in store for the medium in the future.

Visitors will be invited to create their own response to the building and its stories on the day by making their own zines drawn from what’s going on in the building during Future Everything as well as using material reproduced from the archive at Victoria Baths. This includes hundreds of memories donated by people who used the building before it closed, from reminiscences by children from nearby schools who were so keen to swim they rushed there in their lunch hours to vivid recollections of scary swimming teachers and post-swim Bovril to old ladies nostalgic about meeting their husbands at the dances that were held at the Baths when the gala pool was covered over in the winter. Artefacts also include swimming shields and certificates, as well as material relating to the Channel Swimmer Sunny Lowry who trained at Victoria Baths.

Workshops are likely to include linocutting led by Lauren Velvick and a demonstration of a letterpress led by artist Amy Pennington. Tours of the building will be on offer.

Vegan food will be available from Deerly Beloved bakery who are coming to visit all the way from Norwich.

In advance of the Fanzine Convention, on Sunday 1st May, Tess Lomas and Alison Kershaw of Pool Arts will re-visit the 2003 classic but rare fanzine "The Vicky" for one more issue. Become an instant "The Vicky" Journalist and file your report on the day's happenings. No experience required just willingness to get stuck in! The new issue will be available at the Fanzine Convention on 14th May!

Elsewhere in the building

Also in the building will be a HANDMADE event and two artists in residence: Antony Hall from the Owl Project and Yu-Chen Wang from the Chinese Arts Centre, who will make an installation and performance.

Physical Oscillators at VB arts

Sunday 1st May 12-4, Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th May 10-4

Artist and local resident Antony Hall will make use of the magnificent and newly refurbished Gala Poolto develop a new work on a grand scale, involving local young people and students in its construction.

He will be creating an installation continuing his research into physical oscillators to generate sound and visible patterns in a new kinetic artwork, created within the space of a now empty swimming pool. The project will use pendulums and the gyroscopic action of motors and fans to create a sensory walk-through environment reflecting the behavior of small swimming or flying insects.

The residency culminates in a demonstration and exhibit at Future Everything Handmade event.

Antony first explored VB arts (Victoria Baths) as an MA student and has gone on to develop a practice that examines the boundaries of art and science.

A multidisciplinary artist who investigates biological and physical phenomenon; the behaviour of liquid or animals, and the physicality of sound, he is interested in how we interface with science & technology; visually, physically and ideologically; and how these interactions effect us creatively and socially.

He is a founding member of the 'Owl Project' who with north east based producer and musician Ed Carter have been selected as the north east winner of a £500,000 commission for Artists Taking the Lead, one of the major projects for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

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