2010 started as the year that my anti-Bansky rant was distributed around London in The Blog Paper and continued with getting very pleasantly freaked out by Ron Mueck's Wild Man at Manchester Art Gallery, discovering Liverpool's Culturepool, becoming reacquainted with an old friend at the A Foundation through to my first ever Liverpool Biennial, which began in August with Laura Belém's Temple of a Thousand Bells.
It will also be the year that technology and art finally coalesced - at least for me - and ended a history of uneasy tolerance and awkward plundering. In October I was enchanted by Rafeal Lozano-Hemmer’s installation Pulse Room (2006) at Manchester Art Gallery. I didn’t know it then, but Lozano-Hemmer’s work shares many of the delicious tensions and delights with earlier digital art pioneer Nam June Paik, as I found in December at Tate Liverpool and FACT.
Recorders: Rafael Lozano-Hemmer from Manchester Art Gallery on Vimeo.
In October I did not want Slung Low Theatre’s almost unimpeachable Anthology at the Everyman to end. Brilliant in both conception and execution, I doubt I will ever forget the experience of standing in some university gardens just off Hope Street, holding a feather, in a sudden downpour, watching Eileen O’Brien tell her character’s heart breaking story. Yes, I shed a tear or two.
Honestly, I felt utterly bereft after my last one and envy those who got to experience them all. Short, often sharp, bite sized ghost stories, the experience was somehow more like a radio play than anything else and yet so much more.
Although there were plenty of main stream cinematic treats this year - Scott Pilgrim, Another Year, The Illusionist - I need to maintain my status as a bit of an intellectual snob. My film of 2010 is Skelletons, a very British supernatural comedy that really did deserve to be a box-office hit. A cute, quirky and yet fairly psychologically dark film, the evidently low budget effects added to the charm and never once detracted from an adorably loopy high-concept storyline and well realised adorable characteris. Love Film/Amazon it now, bitches!
Unquestionably my musical crush of the year is Janelle Monae. What make could you want from a beautiful, talented musician who crafts perfect pop albums drawing heavily from a spectrum of sci-fi, pop culture and high brow sources... that most importantly makes you want to dance round the office like a sexy robot loon. *Sigh* If you need more convincing, listen to The Archandroid on Spotify.
Honourable mention also has to go to Quatuor Ebène and their incredible album of film music Fiction (also available on Spotify).
It might have started in 2008, but with fucking bed bugs Isabella Rossellini’s Green Porno and Seduce Me series came to everyone’s attention this year. Add to that a demented interview in Vanity Fair, where the interviewer seems to basically plead with Isabella to say she wants to shag animals, and my meme for the year is set.