Blast Theory is an artists’ group that was founded in London in 1991. There are three artists Matt Adams, Ju Row Farr and Nick Tandavanitj. They are supported by a team led by Business Director – Kirsty Jennings and Administrator – Dan Lamont. Blast Theory has a group of Associate Artists’ who we have regularly worked with over more than 10 years.

We have had a board of trustees since 1994 and we regularly collaborate with a range of people from software developers to musicians. There is also usually a volunteer working with Blast Theory for nine months of the year.

The name Blast Theory comes from Wyndham Lewis’s Vorticist manifesto, BLAST, which was published in 1914.

We started making work in 1991.

We were a group of creative people who worked in the Renoir Cinema in London and went clubbing a lot and saw a lot of art, dance, music cinema and theatre. We liked the excitement of going to events at unusual locations, the thrill of waiting for something unknown to unfold, of being with our friends and with strangers in environments which were a heady mix of music, sweaty dancing bodies and projected visuals. These experiences felt vital and the combination of elements intoxicating and alive. At the same time we liked the production values of theatre and dance, the possibilities of high quality work produced where every inch and moment was considered and crafted for maximum audience engagement and impact. But we didn’t feel these forms were talking to us about what was going on for us and our peer group, in a wider context.

We had no intention of some kind of long running career as artists. We got together because we felt an urgency, an deep desire to make something that sat in the middle of what mattered to us in life. And we felt that other people wanted this too.

We found an article in The Guardian about a killing at a mobile shop in Northern Ireland. It was described in such a way that we could imagine it immediately as a reconstruction, the 2 girls, the 3 gunmen, what was said.

We invited 10 people to our house which included a DJ, a writer, a film maker, a performer and an installation artist. We talked to them about the article and said we wanted to make something about this and were they interested to be involved in it with us. This led to Gunmen Kill Three at the Union Chapel in Islington in London. There were 8 of us in the work and 8 people operating the work. It was a club, that changed into a promenade performance and then back into a club at the end.

We work with a wide variety of people, from performers and production managers, through to coders and musicians.

The best way to find out about these opportunities is to sign up to our email newsletter or to check on our website. We have an ongoing volunteer programme. You can volunteer with us for between 1-3 months and call outs for this happen in the summer each year.

You can subscribe to our email newsletter here.

Yes you can.

We are always on the look out for people who would like to be more involved in our projects and there are many opportunities to be involved in tests, feedback, discussions and showings.

If you’re interested in helping us out you’ll need to become one of Our Friends Electric, this is our membership group and once you’ve signed up you have the option to become a beta tester. As well as getting access to exclusive material you’ll also be the first to know about any opportunities we have for taking part in our work.

Primarily, we offer mentoring to people who take part in Blast Theory’s residency programme at 20 Wellington Road.  This runs for 9 months a year, is open to artists, scientists, writers, researchers, software/hardware developers to name a few and you can apply in the summer – look out for this in our news and in our email newsletter.

We receive a large number of requests to mentor artists and advise on projects which we are not always able to meet.

Subscribe to our email newsletter here

To discuss mentoring opportunities please call Dan Lamont on +441273413455

We don’t take interns but instead we run a volunteer programme. This is an opportunity for those embarking on a career in the arts to have first-hand experience of working with an artists company.

Our programme covers a wide range of activity including office administration, project management, database management, touring, archiving, marketing and publicity. At times you will also be required to assist the artists on creative project development and realisation. An important aspect of the volunteer programme is developing networks and new contacts and our staff are happy to provide advice on career directions and options.

We’ve got full details on our website here where you can find our more information about the application process and read testimonials from our previous volunteers.

 

DVD’s of most of our projects and some other items can be bought through our shop.

At the studios we run a number of events over the year. These include:

  • Preview presentations of our new work, tests for projects in development and talks about Blast Theory’s work.
  • Special events and seminars that we host including Act Otherwise – a yearly conference on different issues relevant to contemporary practice. Artists’, scientists’, professionals and experts in the field are invited from around the world to discuss the ideas in order to push the critical debate further to the wider public.
  • Talks, workshops and works-in-progress by artists’ in our residency programme.

You can take part in these events by subscribing to our mailing list.

Blast Theory receives funding from a variety of sources including commissions for new work, fees for touring and presenting work, fees for educational work, mentoring and consultancy, and through UK and EU research programmes.

Blast Theory also receives funding from Arts Council England as a National Portfolio Organisation.

Blast Theory does consultancy work in a range of capacities.  This depends on needs, fit of the work, timing and budget. To discuss consultancy opportunities please call Kirsty Jennings on +44 1273 413 455.