Sleeve Notes Session with Roy Davis (2009). Cover art by Shelli Graham
Sleeve Notes Session with Brian Duffy (2009). Cover art by Shelli Graham
Sleeve Notes Session with Jim Simpson (2009). Cover art by Shelli Graham
Sleeve Notes Session with John Lupton (2009). Cover art by Shelli Graham

Sleeve Notes, 2009 - 10

Trevor Pitt


Sleeve Notes Go Viral, launch event

Vivid, Birmingham, UK

27 March - 27 April 2010

During the summer of 2009, Trevor Pitt took a subjective journey through his formative years in Birmingham (1971- 1999), examining the spaces where popular culture fraternizes with the canonical world of art. Using the pod at VIVID as a project space, Pitt embarked upon a cartographic venture in which he traced his flirtations with pop, punk, film, art and cultural theory, and charted his personal trajectory from council estate suedehead to disco speed freak, via Hawkwind and Althusser.

Joining Trevor on this journey have been individuals who played a significant, often underground role in shaping the music, fashion, and club scenes during this period. Pitt met with the founder of Big Bear Records, a label that grew out of Simpson's production company which steered Black Sabbath through the first three albums of their career; Brian Duffy, award winning sound artist and creator of The Modified Toy Orchestra; Roy Davis, member of 80s metal band Shy and owner of Madhouse Rehearsals and adjoining venue The Asylum; and John Lupton (aka "Gay John") who ran the notorious Kipper Club in the 1980s which saw performances by his band Gay John and The Dogettes. Through intimate 1-1 chats, they mapped the scenes and wrote the Sleeve Notes to their own lives.

Sleeve notes, the writings found inserted into the packaging of many vinyl records, gave those curious enough to investigate the influences of their favourite bands a pathway to a parallel universe - a world inhabited by visual artists, poets, philosophers, and writers whom they might not have otherwise encountered. On 18 September 2009, Pitt invited members of the public to VIVID to write their own sleeve notes.

Fast forward to spring 2010 and Pitt is back at VIVID to launch the second phase of Sleeve Notes, supported by Hello Digital. Starting with a tweet, Pitt looks at how social media can proliferate information and widen participation in events which would otherwise stay ‘underground'. Using Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, SMS, and email, Pitt will create a platform for collective memory and discussion, unearthing remnants from Birmingham's cultural underground.

Whether you have followed Pitt's journey online or not, join us at VIVID on Saturday 27th March, 3-5 PM, where digital meets analogue as artist Shelli Graham uncovers artefacts made in response to the Sleeve Notes Sessions, 2009. 


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