Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Artifice - Online Magazine Of It's Own Making

4.5 million Facebook-likes is high praise indeed. That's how many people approve of The Artifice, a growing online magazine for broad sections of the arts including film, anime, manga and the comic-book.

A leisure resource first and foremost, there is plenty here to keep its massive audience entertained. Take a quick glance and you'll see that the magazine's strength is its focus on the anime, manga and comic genres. Titles range from 'The History of Comics: decade by decade' to 'The Modern Comic Convention Experience.' The film section is by far the largest with new articles posted every few days- see titles such as 'Silent Suspense: The Top 5 Forgotten Hitchcock Films.'

The magazine is built on the submissions of a large network of arts enthusiasts and is keen to garner academic opinion from students. If you have experience of writing for the web including keeping your own blog, this could be an opportunity to reach a larger number of people, or simply take part in an online collaborative project. The fact that the magazine has only just expanded its scope to include a section on games, literature and the arts could spell potential for high-calibre submissions. More information is here.

Friday, May 17, 2013

'Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures' on YouTube!

Last year's documentary film 'Room 237' in which director Rodney Ascher presented perceived meanings in Stanley Kubrick's film 'The Shining' reawakened interest in the man behind of some of the most psychologically-intense films ever made.

It seems little coincidence that only a few months later, 'Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures' can now be watched here on YouTube. Released in 2001, this film about Stanley Kubrick is directed by his long-time assistant Jan Harlan and features interviews of many actors from Kubrick's films as well as directors Speilberg and Scorsese. Tom Cruise narrates over a sequence of film-clips, pictures and home movies which offer rare glimpses into the life of the famously private Kubrick. 

The Library catalogue hold many titles by, and about, Kubrick which are searchable here. As well as holding his best-known films on DVD, the excellent 'Stanley Kubrick Archive' at the link through to the University of the Arts in London can be accessed here. The archive provides a unique insight into the film-making processes of Kubrick and is fantastic fodder for fans of the acclaimed and controversial film-director. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

FMinism - Radio 4's Feminist Collection

Delve into BBC Radio 4's digital archive to listen to their collection of programmes exploring feminst theory and its impact since the movement began. The Melvyn Bragg-fronted series 'In Our Time' charts the rise of feminism in the twentieth century and the life of writer Mary Wollstonecraft while historian Bettany Hughes explores the fall-out that led to post-feminist theories of thought. On a more leisurely note, Germaine Greer chooses her 'Desert Island Discs.'

With its accessible format, diverse content and popular critic-presenters, Radio 4 makes ease of learning a virtue. Once better known for the shipping forecast and series such as The Archers, the radio station's educational content now stands up as an excellent learning resource. Some programmes such as 'In Our Time' provide references to further reading material. This will undoubtedly be beneficial for anyone planning to following up their listening with more detailed study, in this case on the topic of feminist theory.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Discovery Guides

We've recently updated all our guides to make them easier to use and more helpful. You'll find guides to our collections (such as graphic novels or artists' books), finding aids and bibliographies (for particular research topics), info skills guides (for services such as Google and Wikipedia), and support guides in a brand new Discovery Guides section of our website. In addition we've developed new attractive branding to differentiate between different types of guide. Let us know what you think!

Artists' Books Visit from Otis College, Los Angeles

On Friday, we were thrilled to welcome Cathy Chambers from Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles to view the library's artist's books collection. Cathy is responsible for the artists' books collection at Otis College, an art school founded in 1918 which augmented its reputation in the 1950s with distinguished alumni such as Robert Irwin and Ken Price. We were interested to learn about courses offered by the college which  alongside the art school staples - architecture, digital media and fine arts - also include an option to study Toy Design and an elective on book-making.

With Cathy, we discussed the acquisition of our artist's books and the steady growth of the GSA Library collection. The visit was a great opportunity to share ideas of best practice when it comes to acquiring, storing and providing access to the artists' books. It was also a great excuse to revisit some of our favourite titles and muse over the merits of the book as an art object in its own right. 

To request a look at the artists' books collections before the library refurbishment begins in June, search the library catalogue by subject or artist name. In a lot of cases, it will be possible to refine your search to artist's books. Once you've identified the titles you're interested in, complete a form at the desk for staff to collect from the library's store. You'll be able to refer to the books in the library and take a few snaps of anything that  feeds your curiosity. 

Thursday, May 02, 2013

New Radicals - Summerhall TV

Summerhall, Edinburgh's newest and largest arts venue, are proudly promoting a television channel dedicated to "capturing the weird, radical and wonderful" on film. The idea of housing an eclectic collection of arts-dedicated films on one site is certainly innovative for an arts-centre only established in 2012 and already upping its game in the digital arena of arts coverage. Summerhall TV makes no compromises in its reporting of the visual arts, literature and cultural events.

The channel houses TV art-news - previews and reviews with artists, authors, curators and performers - and includes a strong historical element with more than two hundred interview clips going back over ten years. The Archive section is a strong educational resource, including longer programmes on art in Scotland, interviews with artists and authors, and (more peculiarly) coverage of the trades union movement stretching back to the 1970s. See also, the Face to Face Section under TV Series for the John Byrne event we blogged about back in March.

Summerhall occupies the former Royal School of Veterinary Studies in Edinburgh and is an interesting space for art exhibitions, talks and gigs. It's a recent addition to the list of Edinburgh Fringe Festival venues and is fast becoming a shiny beacon for all cultural goings-on, east of Glasgow. We absolutely recommend delving into the wealth of information on their website for more detail.