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Archive for the ‘The Steps Series’ Category

Dry January

Monday, January 4th, 2016


Happy New Year. Here at Cafe HQ much like the North of England and much of Scotland we are very keen on January being a dry month, but for a much more frivolous reason.

In 2012 we used bio-degradable paint to make three outdoor editions of The Steps Series – painting footsteps, hand prints and speech bubbles on pavements and paths to set out instructions for re-enacting miniature dramatic scenes. Indoors using vinyl the installation is a breeze, outdoors with paint it’s not, it’s a pain. In fact it is such a pain that we secretly agreed that we’d spare ourselves the grief and stick to indoor versions, but that was before… Continue reading “Dry January” »

Sizing Up Stratford

Thursday, October 1st, 2015


On Tuesday and Wednesday Craig and I had the pleasure of exploring sunny Stratford-upon-Avon with Simon Ford. Our mission, to plot and scheme for a forthcoming edition of The Steps Series. This twentieth edition of the series is scheduled to open in January 2016 and despite saying we’d never do another outdoor edition using paint this one will be outdoors and us paint. To be honest the chance of telling the Charles Dickens’ life story through the streets of this beautiful town was too much to resist. Continue reading “Sizing Up Stratford” »

St. George’s Steps

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

Photo Credit: Ming De Nasty.

Yesterday Saltley Academy started working with us on the latest edition of The Steps Series. St. George’s Steps is due for completion on 23rd April (naturally). It will look to dramatise seven moments in English history using vinyl footprints, handprints and speech bubbles to enable audiences to re-enact these scenes for themselves. The piece’s key theme is ‘British Values’. Continue reading “St. George’s Steps” »

Big Vinyl

Friday, April 25th, 2014


Our agent in Canada has sent through this image of Barbara Kruger’s installation Belief & Doubt at the Hirshhorn museum in Washington DC. Whilst most there were admiring the visual impact and processing the work’s conceptual dimensions our man was in industrial espionage mode: “how on earth have they applied these vast rolls of vinyl so flawlessly?” (see third photograph down).

We thought our vinyl application was good but now the bar has been raised significantly.

Extended Play

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

We’re delighted to announce that Symphony Hall have been so pleased with the public response to The Orchestra Dream that they are extending it’s run until 8th September. So it’s now going to be open ALL THROUGH THE SUMMER HOLIDAYS, which is great news.


Friday, May 24th, 2013


Having limbered up on Wednesday night we rocked up at Symphony Hall this morning to finish off the job only to find ourselves trumped. A team of guys with a giant cherry picker where busy applying a vast vinyl to the building’s vast front window – far more pressured than our small scale fiddling around.

Our job was strangely stress free. Being a treasure hunt rather than a conventional edition of the Steps Series means there are none of the complicated narrative or choreographic challenges, instead there are some of the most complicated and intricate vinyls we have ever delivered – miniature French Horn anyone?

Tuning Up

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013


Last week Craig and I undertook a site visit to Symphony Hall and plotted an orchestral treasure hunt adventure there. Simon Ford, who had been put on stand-by, undertook late night vigils creating detailed vinyl representations of a vast array of instruments. Early this week I did a late night shift cutting all the vinyl and ‘picking out’ the unwanted vinyl and tonight Craig, Denise and I started the sticking job. Continue reading “Tuning Up” »

1/20 Winners

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

Last night at the Dorchester Hotel. PRS for Music Foundation’s New Music 20×12 won the Concert Series and Festivals category of the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards. Which, as The Voyage was one of the twenty twelve minute long pieces which made up the series must make us 1/20 winners. Unfortunately we didn’t get to go to the Dorchester… Well done to the PRS team for pulling it all together.

Winners of the Audience and Engagement Category were The Philharmonia Orchestra for their Universe of Sound project, which arrives at the Birmingham Municipal Bank building on Broad Street on 25th May. Coincidently we have been commissioned by Symphony Hall to compliment Universe of Sound by installing The Orchestra Dream – a spin off from The Steps Series – in their foyer spaces.

Exodus Steps #4

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Exodus Steps is ready to open. We have walked members of the Skirball Cultural Center staff around, sent them files for replacement vinyl if it is needed. We have sent various scripts for what the front of house team can say when people ask them what it is and how it works.

We worked hard, had good fun in the midst of the slog and treated ourselves to a brief trip to Venice Beach when it was all over. A webpage now exists for the show here and there is a run down of the process I wrote for Skirball’s blog here. Today attention turned fully onto The Anatomy of Melancholy.

Exodus Steps #3

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

So it’s the morning of the last day installing Exodus Steps. We have been working long, long hours as our ambition for the show has grown to match the scale of the Skirball Cultural Center’s campus. Continue reading “Exodus Steps #3” »

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