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Variant 2 Spring 1997
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This contained a short editorial introducing newcomers to the magazine and used two of the articles as editorial comment.


The Lottery in Babylon - Leigh French
An analysis of the changes in Lottery funding and the public funding of the arts generally - exploring its likely effects, directions and bureaucratic procedures.
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Bad News - Pavel Büchler
Büchler presents a cogent and damning indictment of the small-mindedness of Scottish artistic culture.
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Roman Signer - Oliver Sumner
Sumner reviews the absurdist Swiss artist's photographic and performance, work which toured Britain.
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Towards the Festival Format - Jason E Bowman
Bowman participated in the 'Root' festival and here outlines his thoughts on the intentions behind the festival, offering constructive criticism which blends personal and professional insights into the festival format.
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A Touch of Evil - Francis McKee
Drawing on diverse sources: Ballard, Dawkins, Foster and adopting a sociological approach McKee explored the iconography of evil, its media landscape - contrasting mass media and artistic approaches and their sometimes conflicting and/or suppressed stand-points.
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Sharsted Self-Build - Stefan Szczelkun
A short social history of the first shared ownership self-build in London - Szczelkun relates the tale of what it took to build his own house.
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Mondo Mythopoesis - Stewart Home
Home cuts through the maze of international underground avant-garde developments stemming from an anarchist approach and leading to invented cultural institutions as a form of art work.
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Tales of the Great Unwashed - Ian Brotherhood
The first installment of the cult serialised works of fiction - the Great Unwashed was to become Variant's 'virtual pub'. The story is an allegory of recent news events and satirises pre-conceived notions of contemporary Scottish fiction.
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Under the Central Belt - John Beagles
Beagles provides his own idiosyncratic but highly relevant and easily readable critique of recent developments in Scotland's Central Belt contemporary art centres.
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Representing Desire in Post Modernity - Paula Smithard & David Burrows
A complex and highly intellectual study of The Chapman Brothers sculpture and Larry Clark's film Kids. It contrasts the works in the light of the work of Jean-Francois Lyotard.
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On the National Review of Live Art - Michael Donaghy
An amusing and thought provoking review of the NRLA. It relates the true tale of the organiser's attempts to ban Donaghy from writing his review by refusing him entry into the events. It also includes a fascinating comparative analysis of the aims of the NRLA and the findings of the 10th Cracow meeting.
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Of Hype and Hearsay - Peter Suchin
A review of the Life/Live exhibition in Paris - which featured the much hyped 'yBa' and included Variant itself. Suchin is highly critical of the intentions of the exhibition's organisers.
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Manifesto - Sarah Tripp
This is actually a collage of other manifestos (from vastly differing viewpoints) presented in manifesto format.
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"And the Judges said..." - James Kelman
In a long and studied article, which is inspiringly lucid and cogent, Kelman outlines his own cultural developments and parallels them with institutional cultural failures in Scotland.
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New Visions - William Clark & Chris Byrne
Overview of the New Visions festival of film, video and new media. Clark focuses on events and the background of the festival with Byrne reviewing single screen video work.
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Clicking in - Robert H King
King reviews the new technology section of the New Visions interactive gallery.
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The Antithetical Meaning of Primal Guitars - Ben Watson
Watson paraphrases Freud's 'The Antithetical Sense of Primal Words' to review a performance by the group Descension.
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What Story

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