Blind Ditch

Street LAB


Live art with a musical twist… rock up… join in… and show your appreciation through donations directly into the artists’ pockets!

A Curation, Live Art and Participatory project.

Find more videos, sounds and writing from Street LAB

So VERY excited. The whole city was alive that week and encountering the street art made that very real for me.

Audience Member

Asthma performing Get It Off Your Chest joined by Alistair Gentry. Photography by Benjamin J Borley

Street LAB (Live Art Busking) was a curatorial project that aimed to create a musical, experimental performance presence on the streets of Exeter. Developed for Art Week Exeter 2017, the project offered opportunities for publics to get involved in livening up our public places, in unpredictable and meaningful ways. 

Brilliant! Exeter as a cultural city…Didn’t expect to encounter it

Audience member

Jazz duo Neil Todd and Charlie Hearneshaw launching the street piano site on Exeter Quay

Blind Ditch worked with Exeter Phoenix to commission three participatory, live art works for street sites across Exeter. Alongside this we partnered with Music In Devon Initiative to broker sites for street pianos at Exeter Library, Guildhall Shopping Centre and on Exeter Quay next to the Spacex curated Makers of the Multiverse exhibition by Juneau Projects.

Unusual, unexpected, completely off-script of the daily experience. So generous of the performers and organisers.

Audience Member

Get It Off Your Chest by Asthma

Performance makers Alice Human and Hannah Sullivan performed Get it off your chest, experimenting with noise making as a way to vocalise political frustrations. Gathering a sound bin of discarded, accidental and overlooked stuff and sounds from Exeter’s streets…  audiences joined them for a musical dance jam of a performance, and to let out a collective scream.

Fun, chaotic, DIY… telling my story... a real tonic!

Audience member on Asthma

A five year old could do that by Alistair Gentry

Fun, unexpected, original… liberating

Audience member on Alistair Gentry

Criticisms such as “a five year old could do that” are often levelled at contemporary art, and especially performance artists. Almost anyone – including animals, like chimps and elephants – can make and share deliberate images, sounds and movements, but could a five year old actually make contemporary art? What defines the difference between art and non-art, especially for general and unspecialised audiences? And conversely, are the proverbially easy things that five year old’s do really so easy? Alistair Gentry found out by taking a toy piano to the streets and publicly learning music from scratch using a system designed for kindergarten children. This live art busking pitch was equally influenced by John Cage’s works for toy or prepared pianos, and by the most basic comedy tactic of a grown man playing a very small piano very badly. Read Alistair’s blog post.

Fun, inclusive, friendly

Audience member on Alistair Gentry

The Song Dispensary by Princessin Hans

The Song Dispensary – OMG, genius and unbelievably great. It was such a special thing to receive.

Audience member on The Song Dispensary

A trusted partner for your medical-musical needs! The Song Dispensary dispenses music like the chemist dispenses medicine. Sign up for your own personal consultation to decide what kind of song the alchemists can make that best suits your needs. Return a short time later to pick up your original song, performed for you live. As an audience member you can watch and listen as they compose and dispense their musical medicine. Every song will later go online at The Song Dispensary for you to listen to at home. In the interests of patient confidentiality the online version of your song will only be recognisable to you.

The song alchemists are Hans Kellett & Jörg Hochapfel from Berlin based punk chanson band Princessin Hans.

Humbling, evocative, wonderful...

Audience member on The Song Dispensary

Absolutely blimmin’ amazing! Innovative, friendly… very clever people

Audience member on The Song Dispensary

Project curated and produced by Paula Crutchlow. Project management and volunteer co-ordination by Kerrie Seymour.

Produced in partnership with Exeter Phoenix, Music In Devon Initiative and Art Week Exeter. Made possible by funding from Arts Council England Lottery Fund.