Friday, 8 March 2013

NuSpeak issue 'The old west"

As my interest in NuSpeak issues dead ended within the Third Eye Centre archives, I simply went over to Edinburgh to the National Library of Scotland to see all of the issues. They were surprisingly diverse in appearance, some were almost entirely in comic form (one issue before that one offered £5 for every cartoon published) and others were works of art in themselves, such as the Edwin Morgan issue which the Glasgow School of Art has its own copy in their special collections library.

The second issue of NuSpeak has the heading on the front "The old west" and within its pages it contains a list of Tom McGrath's aims with the centre with 7 main points.

"But I can give some general indication as to what the policy of the new centre will be. What follows below is a set of notes, no more than that."

He goes on to say that the centre will attempt to represent all of the arts from having a gallery, a theater, showing films, and having poetry readings, but it also states that he wants the space to be able to host both happenings and rock concerts. The second point is specifically about the audience he wanted to form a centre where "many different sites of creative values and attitudes can be expressed." This is described as ranging from the conservative to the avant gard, from high-culture to pop and it is meant to "extend the interests of the audiences to fields beyond their usual interest."

The rest of what follows I'll type in verbatim as its wording is particularly interesting and as someone who is interested in what forms an institution takes on an 'educational' capacity (sometimes entirely formed by volunteers which is interesting for how common a practice this is). While being in school I find that it can be difficult to research current ongoing radical practices as the term tends to only be used when something is already over, as if nothing can be radical in the moment that it is occuring, only when we mourn its loss. It was mentioned to me that when the Third Eye Centre opened there were those that reminisced that things were much better when the centre was based in 5 Blythswood Square, and it seems that these kinds of nostalgic comparisons are bound to go on until the end of time.

Numbers 1 and 2 were summarised in the paragraph above, here is the rest:

"3. As far as possible, within the scope of its budget, the centre will try to bring creative people to Glasgow from other parts of the world, so that everyone in the city, but particularly the artists, can have a direct experience of what is happening elsewhere.

4. Locally it is hoped that the centre will be a meeting place where a wide range of people can feel at ease and find something to their interest. (In other words I hope it won't be dominated by one clique or another.) There will be some kind of restaurant and coffee shop and, depending on building space, a selling area offering a wide-range of things not previously available in Glasgow. (That sounds ominous!)

5. As well as presenting exhibitions brought in from the outside of the city, or from the past (or the future), the centre will do as much as possible to help artists working in Glasgow at the moment. (For artists also read writers, musicians etc.)

6. As well as encouraging and representing these people who are already known or regard themselves as artists, the centre will attempt to show and encourage the creativity of 'ordinary people' of the city. This will be done via 'people-centred' shows where an exhibition (or concert or debate or whatever) wil be based around what people are already interested in in their daily lives or are already producing.

7. The centre will also try to help encourage and give expression to what I call the 'new age' culture - meditation, vegetarianism, geodesic domes etc.

Phew! As you can see, it's a big job and I've probably missed out the half of it. The main underlying aims are to break down cultural barriers and to encourage creativity at every level. - Tom McGrath"

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