After another successful Loose Lips day party in aid of the mental health charity, Headway East London, we decided to catch up with artsclub and chat about the exhibition, which is summarised below:
Artsclub will be curating an art exhibition entitled ‘Square Format: A Celebration of Art Contributions to Modern Day Club Culture’. It aims to immortalise contemporary rave art that has only existed in the digital sphere. In today’s scene, social media provides the space for the promotion of events and is the platform for the artwork that represents them. Once the event is over, an artist’s work is lost to the recesses of the internet; existing in the void, searchable but not present. The exhibition will celebrate this art by enlarging, printing and projecting it on the walls of Grow Tottenham. This allows the work to be appreciated in the same light as the physical rave art of old, enhancing one's perception and appreciation of it. The works will be available to buy through an auction on the day, with all profits going to Headway East London. They will be printed at 50cm x 50cm and framed.
Thanks for taking the time for this interview, how was your summer?
Thanks for the invite! It’s been good - very busy but very fun. We’ve thrown a few parties, made some new pals and our big finale to the Summer was the ‘Square Format’ exhibition last Saturday.
Tell us a bit about artsclub - how did the night come about and what were your intentions behind setting it up?
It all started when Jack and Joe were reunited after years apart. It was a poetic moment. We both wanted to put on parties and events in London that focused on merging the art and music worlds, so it all came from there. When artsclub was 6 months old, Jack and Joe met one day with the intention of telling one another that they wanted Jas to join the crew. She perfectly suited the vibe, sound and ethos of artsclub. What a shout that was! It’s been Good Vibes Only since.
Did you feel that London’s nightlife scene was perhaps lacking in this sense?
We didn’t know much about London’s nightlife at this point, having only just dipped our toes into it. We just knew that we wanted the space to appreciate and provide good music and good visuals. The rest would figure itself out.
What is the biggest challenge to starting up your own night?
Getting your first gig. It’s a complete leap of faith for a promoter to book someone they don’t know anything about. We are eternally grateful to Stuart at the Cause and Alex at Behind This Wall for believing in us to do our thing.
If you were to each pick a tune that defines the artsclub vibe, what would it be?
Joe: Disk - Hipon “I always end up slipping this infectious roller into my sets. It’s all about the bop.”
Jack: S. Moreira - Just a Little Beat “That perfect mix of beats, breaks and breezy samples. 100% groover material.”
Jas: Wilt - Do You Smoke “A bouncy bassline and a 303 - what more do you need?”
Your exhibition aimed to shine a light on the forgotten rave art that has only ever existed online, predominantly through Facebook events. What are your thoughts behind this concept, and what about it do you find so intriguing?
We were inspired by the ‘Sweet Harmony’ exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery that celebrates the rave scene of the 80’s and 90’s and the physical event artwork from that era. Despairingly we realised that in today’s scene online promo reigns supreme and an artist’s work, once the event has passed, is destined to the recesses of the internet. This gives the art a temporary state, only in the spotlight for a moment. We wanted to give the work a physicality by enlarging, printing and framing it for someone’s wall.
What would you say are some of the key ways in which social media has affected our approach to nightlife and organising parties?
It has enabled us to reach an audience that we would never have been able to otherwise, and made it easier to just ‘create’ an event at the drop of a hat. This spontaneous and relatively easy way to create an event means things happen a lot faster. It’s interesting to compare the methods of 20 years ago and now - before, you would rely on a flyer handed out on the night or a random phone call to a phone box along the m4 for the location of the after party spot. Now, you click ‘attending’ to receive a message or get an invitation. The medium is different but the concept hasn’t changed.
Is there anything in particular that you’re hoping people can take away from the exhibition?
We wanted people to stop and appreciate the work as they would a piece of art, rather than something to scroll past after 3 seconds. Our intention was to give a sense of permanence to the pieces, and give some very talented designers the chance to see their work on the wall!
What else have you guys got lined up?
We are joining our brothers in arms Heels and Souls at Pickle Factory on October 25th for their Halloween bonanza with Pender Street Steppers. We really rate the work they do and are very excited to be partying alongside them. After that in early December we are putting on another audio-visual phantasmagoria, so stay tuned for that one!