Monday, 3 May 2010

Lumpenbal in Manchester this Thursday to launch UNIVERSAL EAR

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IN BRIEF! A costume ball at a beautiful art cafe, for which you will be expected to dress-down in the rags of the broke... be you a --





etc etc.

There will be a reception during which your photo-portrait will be taken, and tea & cake will be available from the cafe whilst you take to your tables to gossip about the other guests. Then speeches & awards & an introduction to our project UNIVERSAL EAR. Finally, dancing to live music from across the history & the future of the world. (And then, pub).

Be there, or be written out of history.


For the hardy of concentration:

During the month of May, L’Institute Zoom will recreate the lost adventure serial UNIVERSAL EAR on an open set in the Nexus Art Café studio. Having foolishly squandered our resources on opulent Manc musicals and dazzling sci-fi sitcoms, there is nothing left in the kitty, so what better way to launch the production of UNIVERSAL EAR than with a grand rag ball?

Come and celebrate our collective faded glory by dressing up in the most downwardly-mobile of fashions: tramp chic, forgotten frocks, moth-nipped tuxes, and accessories born of folly. Bring obsolete possessions and broken things to donate to the production. Wear your emotions boldly, they’re the last thing you will own.

The evening will be comprised of four key Lumpenbal rituals:

Die Gaeste werden kategorisiert (THE TINNING OF THE GUESTS)

In which, on your arrival, your costume will be catalogued photographically. No further photography will be permitted during the evening, although illustrative sketches, collage, crochet etc. will be encouraged.

Die besetzung der Huetten (THE OCCUPATION OF HUTS)

As the guests continue to arrive, you will make your way through to the ballroom, where you can find a table and convert it into a dwelling place for the evening. Perhaps you will have brought boxes, planks or umbrellas, in which case you can truly seal off your temporary home from the covetous gaze of others; or perhaps just a handful of unwanted objects with which to mark your territory. Freeze-dried music from across the history of the world will be piped in; tea and cake will be available from the café. Mingle with your fellow outcasts, then scurry back to your hut to gossip over their choice of costume (or cake).

Das Sprechen der Worte (THE SAYING OF WORDS)

Messrs Cole and Lockwood of the UNIVERSAL EAR production team will introduce you to their industrious intentions for the weeks ahead; explain a little of the story behind their forgotten epic; and detail ways in which you might get involved with or actively ignore their endeavours. A brief survey of donations will be carried out.
The movie starlet Tuesday Betts will then crown the Belle or Beau of the Ball, who will be rewarded with a contract to star in an episode of UNIVERSAL EAR. (The contract is compulsory and unpaid).

Der Tanz der gebrochenden Gegenstaende (THE DANCE OF THE BROKEN THINGS)

Please take to the floor as the Institute’s house band performs compulsively danceable interpretations of the most obscure music ever known – or unknown – to humankind. Be pitiful, be fabulous, reconsider the mechanical possibilities of the human body. You will forever be remembered as one of the Broken Things.


The Institute has been uprooted from its sprawling studio home, and is out of money following the decadent filmmaking excesses of the past six years, so – reader - why not take this moment to have a look at some of the articles and objects you have acquired and expired, reimagine them as fine and ragged ball costumes, and donate whatever is left (be it CLOTHING, DECOR, TECHNOLOGY, or THINGS) to our production team at the Nexus Art Café studio?

In order to prehabilitate the lost adventure serial UNIVERSAL EAR, economic pressures require us to REPERCEIVE the stuff we are offered, paint it, turn it several degrees to the left and call it something else. As such, we can use anything that you have no further use for, be it:



Cardboard boxes


Sporting apparatus

Cooking implements

Garden ephemera



Musical instruments




Broken things


And anything else that will fit.

Please bring it along to the Lumpenbal or at your leisure during May.

Entrance to the Lumpenbal is FREE, with a suggested donation of £2 (no-one will be watching if you choose to sneak in).
For those who wish to wind down with something stronger, we will move en masse (and in ballwear) to a nearby public house following the close of the ball at around 10pm.

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