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Variant 7 Winter 1998/99
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Tales of the Great Unwashed - Ian Brotherhood
A masterful satire on the pomposity and plagiarism of a particular Scottish writer - here as 'Bill Mantovani'. This episode spirals inward until the entire pub is stolen - on the way throwing out metaphors damning the attempts to portray members of Scottish culture as if they were specimens.
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Politics of Friendship - Ewan Morrison
Morrison reviews the latest writings of Jaques Derrida.
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Creative Music in a Plain Brown Box - David Thompson
A short review of an underground music outlet which seeks to by-pass the hype and marketing all too redolent of the mass-market music companies.
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Good News: The Glasgow University Media Group - William Clark & IanBrotherhood
This takes the form of an introduction and short history of the Glasgow Media Group followed by an interview with Greg Philo, one of the main instigators of the research group since the mid-seventies. The interview touched on the 'cultural compliance' of sociology and its failure to address social realities.
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Siting Belfast: Context, Audience & the Symbolic Economy of the City - Maeve Connolly
Taking redevelopment as an attempt to promote an idealised version of a city - and something of a hidden agenda - Connolly assesses a site specific art project.
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Comic & Zine Reviews - Mark Pawson
Pawson reviews a number of hard to get comics somewhat in the tradition/genre of the American Underground of the sixties - most of which chart new territory in graphic art with great humour and energy.
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Another Story of Art Development - Marhsall Anderson
Anderson presents a detailed history of the development of Dundee Contemporary Arts. He traces the origins of the proposal as an artists resource and its 'highjacking' as an adjunct to corporate inward investment and self interest.
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EV+A - Orla Ryan
Ryan reviews one of Ireland's more adventurous and on-going public art projects, giving detailed analysis of several exhibits and an insight into the aims and objectives of the project.
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Volcano! - Stefan Szczelkun
London's widespread and highly adventurous underground film festival. Volcano draws together a range of smaller independent groups into a celebration of the medium and the community.
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Photographs from an undeclared war - Terry Delaney
This is an expanded review of Astrid Prole's book of photographs, which document her involvement with the German political group the RAF. Delaney delves into the period with compassion, revealing the fractures within the society and suggesting a picture of a quasi-civil war. The article is heavily illustrated.
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Ripples in the Vacuum: experimental electronic music and audio arts at ISEA98 - Alice Angus
A review of the experimental sound works of the International Symposia on Electronic Art.
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Alternative, Mainstream, Mainstream Alternatives: The Viability of theartist-led initiative - Round table discussion
A widespread discussion on recent developments in the Temple Bar area of Dublin. The discussion presents several different and contrasting voices.
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'I was a ball of nerves and sleepless paranoia...' - William Clark
This is a overview of the work of Hunter S. Thompson in the context of Terry Gilliam's film of his most famous book, 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas'. It touches on the American 'counter culture' and Thompson's socio-political and investigative journalism.
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New Labour, the Media and the British Secret State - Robin Ramsay
An in-depth and valuable insight into the relationship between the present government and the secret state they find themselves 'masters' of. The article re-traces the history of the infamous 'Zinoviev Letter' of the twenties and the revisionist tendencies it has inspired in the mainstream press.
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