Undercurrents 44 February-March 1981
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1 Eddies – News from everywhere
7 What’s When and What’s What
9 Cruising with Uncle Sam – Harry Hamill: The further adventures of Atwitch
10 Own Goal – John Fletcher: Will the Army play the War Game?
11 Pen Pushing – Dave Pearson: Community publishing in Peckham
13 4th World – Peter Culshaw: First encounter of a decentralist kind
14 The Unkindest Cut – Lou Ernest: The Arts Council Axe
15 Proletarian Notes – David Evans: The Federation wants you
16 Radios in Motion – Fin Fahey: A London open radio campaign revealed
18 Wireless World – Jim Beatson: Radio freedom in Australia and Italy
19 Flying Post – Nigel Pollitt & Anna Searl: Exeter community paper
20 Moving Stories – Simon Usher: Treasonable film plots
23 TV Games – Nick Hanna: Small screen censorship
24 Pinewood Babylon – Interview with Derek Jarman
28 Northern Lights – Alison Joseph: Media groups in the north
29 Jetstream – RAIN: A non-polluting woodstove
30 Ruff Tuff – Heathcote Williams: The inside story of a squatters estate agency
34 Shabby Solars – Nigel Dudley: How to spot the AT cowboys
35 The Undercurrents Review of Books
43 Letters – Your chance to get back at us
47 Back Numbers
Published every two months by Undercurrents Ltd., 27 Clerkenwell Close, London EC1R OAT. Full details of editorial meetings, distribution, etc. are on p. 48. ISSN 0306 2392
Undercurrents has always tried to present ways of using technology rather than being used by it. As they affect virtually everyone, it may be that alternative approaches to the media are significant and useful to more people than the usual AT bag of windmills, wood burners, etc., which in this country at least remain the preserve of a privileged and mostly rural minority. We are trying to develop a Digger approach to the media: they should be a common treasury for all and not the private property of a ruling priesthood. Anything from stapling together a broadsheet or fanzine to making a record independently helps to loosen their stranglehold.
While many of the straight media, such as record and book publishers, are going broke, laying off their workers, etc., video equipment, CB rigs, cable TV and other hardware are getting steadily cheaper and more accessible. So this is a good time for smallscale low budget operations which can pick up new ideas much faster than the slowmoving dinosaur corporations. Radical ideas are often filtered through a ‘journalistic’ perspective or diluted in ‘balanced’ discussion programmes; inspiration and enthusiasm (except the plastic DJ variety) have no place. To work for TV you have to be vetted to see if you are the right ‘material’; to watch BBC you’d think the only vets were in Yorkshire.
Most of this issue is descriptive or theoretical, but we’ll be running more practical pieces in future issues to debunk the mystique of media technology; as Marshal McLuhan put it: “Education is the only civil defence against media fallout”.
Peter Culshaw • Simon Woodhead