Welcome to the Black Dogs website. Black Dogs is an art collective formed in Leeds in 2003. Find out more about us by navigating the site using the links down the left-hand side of the screen.
Black Dogs Second Quarterly: Grim up North, Shit down South
The second in a series of publications for 2013, compiled by the London division of Black Dogs.
Grim up North, Shit down South is a collection of responses from Black Dogs and invited friends to reflect on the geographical movement of the group and the wider resonances and implications of what the ‘north-south divide’ means to us.
Full colour, 20-page tabloid-size newspaper with contributions from 22 artists.
Edition of 300
£5 (inc. P&P)
paypal or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
---May 2013 ----
1. The practice or principle of giving a group priority over each individual in it.
Black Dogs art collective wish to use the RadicalAesthetics/RadicalArt event ‘Art, Politics and the Pamphleteer’ on June 14th in Salford as an opportunity to facilitate a dialogue on the theme of ‘collectivism’.
Our proposed activity will take the form of a 20-minute slideshow containing up to 40 slides. Prior to the start of the slideshow a pamphlet will be distributed to each member of the audience. The pamphlet is designed to be read (silently) alongside the slideshow, with each page relating to a specific slide/image.
Black Dogs are inviting contributions to this exercise. Please send us a slide plus accompanying page (to be printed) that is either for or against collectivism (as defined above). Keep in mind the manner in which the audience will engage with your contribution and the amount of time they will spend with the slide and page (no more than 30 seconds).
Please send slides as (colour) jpegs in Powerpoint format (960 x 720 pixels) and pages as A5 black and white PDFs by 5pm Friday May 31st to email@example.com. Your contribution will then be considered for inclusion in the pamphlet and presentation and archived on our website.
------April 2013 -------
Thanks to everyone who came and looked at the Contraband window installation in Leeds as part of Divided We Fall festival, and to the office worker's across the road who helped to correct our French. Merci beaucoup comrades.
Contraband will be getting a second outing for Ante at Shipley Kirkgate Centre on Saturday May 5th. Details coming soon.
Black Dogs are brewing up a couple of exciting new projects and publications to go alongside our recently released 'Losing It/The Enemy' and 'Contraband' publications. One is called 'Grim Up North, Shit down South' courtesy of the London faction of BDs, and the other is provisionally entitled 'Dead End Town' emerging from Milton Keynes. We promise the one after that will be dead posi. Suggestions for happy titles welcome.
Black Dogs will be hawking our wares as part of the Amazing Grace street culture festival at Left Bank, Leeds on April 6th (details at http://www.leftbankleeds.org.uk/main/whatson.html) and then at the Victoria Baths Fanzine Fayre in Manchester on Saturday May 5th (details at http://networkedblogs.com/ITMXV).
We'll also be rolling out the 'How Long is A Piece of String?' subjective knowledge quiz, with a special radical politics and social movements theme, for PANDEMIC LEEDS Create Your Own World in on the 26th and 27th April at Holy Trinity Church, Leeds.
That's it for now, hope to see you out.
Black Dogs have made a publication of our Contraband project for the Leeds-based Divided We Fall festival that will be launched on Sunday 19th March at Village Books, Corn Exchange, Leeds 1pm - 4pm. There is also a window display of the publication at 10b St Paul's St that will be up for the duration of the festival. Go to http://dwf.uk.com/ for details.
'Have you ever attempted to bring a little joy, a sparkle of entertainment or a taste of home into the arid environment of the workplace only to have it taken away from you, banned, stolen, locked in your boss’ drawer for being fun, distracting, dangerous, or just too clever for its own good?
Black Dogs ‘Contraband’ presents a series of images and stories of items lost to the workplace: books, hooks and claws, pineapples, penknives and an ‘I am a Twat’ mug. Blurring the lines between the everyday and the fantastical, the real and the fictional, the historical and the speculative, Black Dogs ask: what naughtiness can be achieved by the most innocuous of means?'
Happy New Year Black Dogs friends!
This year is our 10th Anniversary. To kick things off we have a new publication and a launch in a new city for us; Huddersfield! Hope you can make it!
Losing It in the Pub: Publication Launch
Join art collective Black Dogs for an evening of story sharing, musical turns, participative fun and multiple-choice quizzes in celebration of the publication of the first Black Dogs Quarterly. This edition is on the theme of ‘Losing It/The Enemy’ so the launch event acts as a timely opportunity to exorcise the last remnants of the post festive blues and indulge in some ale-accompanied group therapy. Bring your related stories, anecdotes, poems or songs and our compere will find a place for it in our ‘losing it’ open mic. Copies of the Quarterly and past Black Dogs publications will be available to browse and buy.
At Zephyr Bar, King Street, Huddersfield, HD1 2PZ. Weds 30th January. 6pm – Late. Free entry.
A few Black Dogs doings before the year is out:
We're happy to be presenting a new project in Birmingham as part of Winterreise alongside Cathy Wade and Paul Newman, Extra Special People, and K4 Architects.
Here's the skinny:
Black Dogs – Poles
Art collective Black Dogs presents a two-part installation reflecting on the complex and messy dynamics of the festive period. In part one, the audience are invited to navigate the Garden of Unwanted Gifts, a graveyard of all the presents that were ‘not quite right’, accompanied by signs and anecdotes that explain the reason for their redundancy. Those that endure the journey are rewarded with part two; a short sharp shock of intensified Christmas spirit that distils the sugary warmth of time spent celebrating with friends and family. The subject matter has been informed by a public call for anecdotes and stories on gifts and journeys. The audience are invited to contribute their own tales at the end of the experience. Whilst Black Dogs are sceptical of the idea that there is any one true meaning to the festive period, we hope this installation brings you a step closer to finding your own.
Friday 14th December 17.00-23.00 / Saturday 15th December 12.00-18.00, Minerva Works @Warwick Bar, Fazeley Street, Birmingham B5 5RS.
We'll also be doing a sampler of the Black Dogs ‘How Long is a Piece of String?' quiz at Bradford Cultural Forum's Midwinter Masquerade at Delius Arts and Cultural Centre, Great Horton Rd, Bradford on Thursday 11th December http://www.artworkscreative.org.uk/our-venue/whats-on/events/ and then the full thing (venue willing) as part of No Hands club night in Bradford on Friday December 28th.
Lastly the first installment of the Black Dogs Quarterly - a series of themed publications - is being collated and produced by the 'Huddersifeld Cell' and will be out early next year. Watch this space.
Hope to see you out and about!
'How Long is a Piece of String' strikes again
Join us for Black Dogs’ ‘How Long is a Piece of String?’: The Pub Quiz where Wikipedia and Google mean nothing and subjectivity rules.
Divided into a number of themed rounds and utilising the latest in shonky technology, artist collective Black Dogs test out a pub quiz with a twist, posing pertinent puzzlers like ‘What is the deepest emotion?’, ‘What are the top ten things on toast?’, ‘Who has the best moustache in rock’ and ‘What does the future smell like?’ Win points be guessing the correct answer or come up with a better one to beat the Black Dogs panel.
At The Sparrow, North Parade, Bradford
Starts at 4pm and goes on til 6pm. Prizes to be won.
**** Please note, there are limited spaces for participants in the quiz: just four teams of up to four people. If you would like to register in advance to guarantee a place please email firstname.lastname@example.org. You will be allocated to a table at the event. Thanks ****
------11 July 2012-------
Our next event is the 'How Long is a Piece of String' quiz with live music from Nope. At Wharf Chambers, Leeds on Tuesday 24th July.
Sick to the back teeth of facts?
Bored to tears by rational knowledge?
Couldn’t care less about right or wrong?
Then join us for the pilot of Black Dogs’ ‘How Long is a Piece of String?’: The Quiz where Wikipedia and Google mean nothing and subjectivity rules.
Divided into a number of themed rounds and utilising the latest in shonky technology, artist collective Black Dogs test out a pub quiz with a twist, posing pertinent puzzlers like ‘What is the deepest emotion?’, ‘What are the top ten things on toast?’, ‘Who has the best moustache in rock’ and ‘What does the future smell like?’ The correct answer gets two points but the best gets three, and everyone’s a winner, apart from those that aren’t.
Held at your favourite co-operatively run members club and ethical venue Wharf Chambers with live entertainment from psychedelic rock foursome Nope www.justsaynope.co.uk the night promises to be brain-itching chuckler.
Starts at 8pm with music at 10pm. £3 entry with prizes to be won.
**** Please note, there are limited spaces for participants in the quiz: just six teams of up to six people. If you would like to register your team in advance to guarantee a place please email email@example.com. Audience spots are unlimited. Thanks ****
Wharf Chambers Co-operative Club is a members’ club, and you need to be a member, or a guest of a member, in order to attend. To join, please visit wharfchambers.org. Membership costs £1 and requires a minimum of 48 hours to take effect.
We finally got a mailing list button sorted so you can now Subscribe to our newsletter. As social media sites get more bogged down with advertising and the like you know it's the right move!
We have a few projects on the boil at the moment:
Plans for a second instalment of Contraband in a city centre location in Leeds for the Divided We Fall festival 13 - 26 August, 2012.
Ideas for expanding Black Dogs FM into a touring project of misrepresented (UK) towns.
A regular journal and or magazine to sell at all the ace book/zine fayres we seem to be invited to at the mo!
A proposal for Ways of Looking photography festival in Bradford in 2013 (that's thinking ahead) exploring the Goitside area of Bradford.
------- unNEWS --------
Thanks for all the submissions we received for the Black Dogs FM project. We're currently compiling a playlist for the day which is Saturday 26th May, 10am - 5pm at Hand Made in Bradford, 1 Tyrell St, Bradford. We'll also be arranging some kind of live/participatory stuff in the space too. The installation is part of Bradford Threadfest a free cross-city live music event running 24th - 27th May, 2012. Check it out.
Also, Black Dogs will have a stall at the Victoria Baths Fanzine Convention, Manchester on Saturday May 19th. It looks cracking and info can be found by looking here.
------- NOT VERY NEW NEWS --------
Hi friends of Black Dogs, please see below for a call for audio submissions for an event we're taking part in in Bradford, in May 2012. Please feel free to spread and share the word.
DIY art collective Black Dogs are asking for submissions of 3-minute (max) long audio pieces to become part of a 16-hour long ‘radio broadcast’ in the ‘Handmade in Bradford’ unit (Bradford) last weekend of May. The space in which the recordings will be played is a former Virgin Megastore/Zavvi and we will be playing back the audio as if it were the In Store radio over the course of the weekend. We welcome a range of submissions including songs/music, field recordings, interviews, plays, spoken word and so forth responding to the theme of Commercial Break. Original work authored by the submitter or non-copyrighted material is preferred. Audio should be sent as an mp3 file to Black Dogs firstname.lastname@example.org by 5pm Monday May 7th.
Also, we will be taking part in a great sounding event called Ante on May 5th and 6th in Shipley, Bradford. Details and website info below:
Ante is a free weekend event in Shipley, Bradford coinciding with May Day and building on the history of that day as a moment of social struggle and change. Focusing on the meeting point of politics and culture - and the politics of cultural production - Ante (from the Latin ‘before’) is ‘about the person we were until we became buried by work (or increasingly, ‘no work’), by shopping, debts, television and the all the worries and stresses and strains of modern life … It’s a day when we remind ourselves that a life always promised for tomorrow is a life robbed of today.’
Comprising of an exhibition, book fair, gig and a programme of workshops, Ante includes submissions from local and international contributors including Leeds Surrealist Group, Black Dogs, Chto Delat?, Ultimate Holding Company, Loosely Bound, Ricky Adam, Salford Zine Library, The Print Project, Seth Tobocman and many more.
5th/6th May, 2012, 11am onwards at the Kirkgate Centre, Kirkgate, Shipley BD18 3EH. Admission: free.
----- NEWISH NEWS -----
Black Dogs have been using early 2012 as a period of collective self-development, with a number of group presentations, trips away, workshops and open ended projects in a more-or-less informal peer-learning programme. This has also seen the formation of a Black Dogs 'South' faction as there are a number of us living and working far away from Leeds. Similarly, Black Dogs 'North' are turning our attentions Bradford-way as our once-Leeds confined members gravitate there.
We do have some public-facing activity in the pipeline, however. We will be present at the 'Handmade in Bradford' launch on Saturday March 24th for the Loosely Bound Zine Extravaganza. We are also developing something to coincide with Bradford Threadfest May 25/26/27 in the same space.
More news as it comes. For now, please check out the Merzbarn Residency documentation and remember that our latest publications including the 'Next To Nothing' Fifth Almanac are still available to buy from our online shop.
------- OLD NEWS --------
The +44 141 Gallery is pleased present 'Next to Nothing: On the Price of Nothing and the Value of Everything'; a show by Black Dogs.
DIY art collective Black Dogs presents the second instalment of their Next to Nothing publication and exhibition, the first outing of which took place in an empty shop unit in Leeds in October this year with contributions from over thirty individuals and collectives. The contributors occupy various positions in relation to the label ‘artist’; raising questions about when something is art, who can make it and what the worth of calling it art is anyway.
Next to Nothing results from a series of collective meetings and conversations around notions of value. What is the radical potential of thrift and an economical approach? When and why is something cheap? What does it mean to be not-for-profit or operate in a non-capitalist fashion? How do we value our time and how does this find expression through the things we do or make? When are we working and when do we play?
Projects include: looted shop fronts, sculpture made from cheap materials and consumables, incidental knowledge, unmasked secrets of visual merchandising, a freely assembled and playable Arcade Machine, traces of ‘everyday resistance’ at work, meticulously faked money, things made in sheds, bong poems, burnt books and much more in the way of writing, hand printing, diagrams, photography, objects, music and performance.
The works, discussions and exhibition are documented, extended and unpicked in the Next to Nothing publication that will be available to browse and take away. Neither the exhibition nor publication are intended as conclusions but, rather, markers of a collective interrogation of how we value our activity and the cost of living.
Next To Nothing opens on Friday 11th November at 7pm. All are welcome and refreshments will be available. There will be an after party (8pm til 12am) featuring performances and music of the live and pre-recorded variety. The exhibition continues until 2nd December.
MORE DETAILS at www.swg3.tv
19:00 — 22:00
Join us for the after party in SWG3 for live music and performances. 20.00-0.00/01.00
(in no particular order)
A Rose Wine tasting
A Competition on Abbott's Dream Machine
A Charity Shop DJ set
A Youtube DJing set with projections
A pub quiz on incidental knowledge
A performance by Black Dogs Ensemble - improv by cretins
A performance by The One Ensemble - (http://vimeo.com/28683394)
A performance by Kirtsie Penman - unaccompanied folk song singer
A performance by Sarah Kenchington - music on home-made instruments
12.11.11 — 02.12.11
Weds — Sat
12:00 — 18:00
+44 141 Gallery
100 Eastvale Pl.
+44 141 357 7246
------- OLDER NEWS --------
Black Dogs presents
A night of improvised music, art and general dog play.
Sunday 24 July 2011
19.00 - 23.00
42 St Pancras Way
Join us on the final night of the festival to enjoy an evening of wholesomely bizarre and entertaining music, performance and artists' film selected and presented by art collective Black Dogs. Featuring performances from Sly and the Family Drone, The Black Dogs Ensemble, the Peter J Taylor Guitar Orchestra and others, Black Dogs will celebrate and conclude the cultural adventure through Camden of Mr Eks and The Camden Players in a suitably reflective and mysterious manner.
------ EVEN OLDER NEWS ----------
Black Dogs are currently exhibiting the Audio Almanac as part of 'Performativity', an exhibition exploring the relationship between live art and its documentation curated by Details on Request. The exhibition runs from 28.05.11 - 12.06.11, 10.30am - 5.30pm and is at The Officers Club, 35-36 Stall Street, Bath, Avon, BA1 1QG. More info at www.detailsonrequest.blogspot.com.
Other things in the Black Dogs pipe include some happening at SUPERNORMAL festival 19 - 21 August at Braziers Park, Oxfordshire. More info here.
Also we are currently devising a group show to take place in Leeds later in the year with around 40 contributors; watch this space for more details.
------ OLDERER NEWS ----------
A brief note to say that Black Dogs will have a stall at the Leeds Alternative Comic Fair held at Nation of Shopkeepers in Leeds on Saturday March 19th. Details here.
Also Andy has an exhibition in Holbeck, Leeds entitled A Serious Waste of Time: (Non-works in Progress) running from 17th March - 26th March. Details can be found in the 'current' section of http://andyabbott.co.uk/.
----- ELDEST NEWS -----------
Happy 2011 Black Dogs-curious folk. The start of the year has been a bit of a slow one for the dogs after an indulgent and party-hard end to last year culminating in the MK2morrow exhibition at MK Gallery. All of last year's activity, including that show, are now archived on this website. Currently we are working up a proposal for an exhibition in Glasgow, scheming ways to distribute the Audio Almanac more widely and working up some ambitious plans for 2011.
In the near future our 'House That Black Dogs Built' publication (details below) will hopefully be making an appearance as part of the Merzman festival in Manchester, Salford, Cumbria, Liverpool and Bury from Feb to May 11. More details as we know them.
Last we've tweaked the 'about' section of the website to be more representative of the collective as it is in 2011. If you want to know more about the collective our latest publication might be the place to start!
Black Dogs latest publication is the third of the printed 'Almanacs'; this one conceived, generated and manufactured in less than a fortnight.
The House That Black Dogs Built comprises 36 pages of collective reflection and illustration chewing over the idea of what Black Dogs is to provide a snapshot of current thought and activity. See the publications section for details. Available for just £3 postage paid from the Black Dogs shop.
Click here for info about the Recently Released Audio Almanac
We have also added a shop section to the website so that you can purchase Black Dogs things from the comfort of your computer desk.
You can contact us by sending an email to
blackdogsleeds [at] yahoo [dot] com