Fierce Festival 2019 / Birmingham, UK / 15 – 20 October

Burningham’s Exploratory Interventions 19-21 April 2011

In continuation of Fierce Festival, Burningham took the lead to ensure the traces of the Festival and EXYZT remained present.

For three days from 19-21st April the EXYZT containers hosted a series of playful interventions and exploratory happenings that drew a wide spectrum of the community down to the EXYZT site to witness the evening’s events unfold.

The experimentations that took place exposed the audience to the intricacies of live audio visual tweakery, the delights of environmentally friendly transportation and an illustrative interpretation of what burns in the soul of Birmingham.

To following provides anecdotes of what occurred during Fierce’s miniature festival to experience what Burningham explored during those three days…



FreeCode/Free Jazz

After a last minute technical glitch the evening begun…

Featuring Laternist, Hello Cat Food, Chromatouch and Minuek.  This quadruplet has been experimenting with raw computer hardware individually for some time.  They recently formed as a cohort to explore the digital synthesis of noise and colour on a visual level by collaboratively creating alternative forms and rhythms.


The evening saw the first live performance as a collective who were complimented by the sounds from Andy Sax (recorded with plan b) who improvised a live saxophone performance that included an injection of musical tweakery and an audio that responded to the atmosphere and vibe within the space.

This performance enabled non programmers to become absorbed in the audio and visual elements from a group of individuals who have collectively transcended their developing experimentations.  The evening provoked a sense of intrigue and an exchange of dialogue between an audience that was exposed to the interactions and tools that are becoming instrumental for a new generation of artists.



At the Ride In

‘At the Ride In’ kicked off with some sharply demonstrated skills in the bike polo court which informally promoted the benefits of this alternative mode of transportation in a enjoyable and amusing manner.

The informal setting and fully accessible screening at the EXYZT containers welcomed all audiences from all walks of life into one space and encouraged people to drop in and out, exchange conversation and exercise their skills on the polo court.

“At The Ride In” provided gateway to the local art scene whilst encouraging more people to become involved in cycling.  As the sunlight began to fade behind Birmingham’s distinct skyline and the veggie sausages had been devoured, all gathered round the containers (on custom made EXYZT furniture no less) to experience the cycle-thru cinema which presented a series of short film screenings that included Bike Kill, Copenhagen Cycles, Vive Le Tour, What’s A Girl to Do and Red Light Go.

This event was constructed in collaboration with Community Interest Group Nimble.   Nimble aim to promote the arts and environmentally friendly activities to a broader audience and to communities that are not aware of what Birmingham has to offer.

The event truly succeeded in uniting likeminded individuals who either came as a keen cyclist, collectively shared an interest in becoming involved in cycling or people who were purely intrigued in this outdoor space.  Many people voiced their engagement and delight at experiencing the evening unfold…

‘When will the next event be’ were the audience’s parting words…




The evening witnessed three of the Midlands’s most prolific street artists AS1, Lisk and Tempo_33 illustrate their response to what burns in the soul of Birmingham on the EXYZT shipping containers.

In preparation each artist considered EXYZT’s observations in their process of ‘urban psychoanalysis’ and contemplated questionings such as … Does Birmingham have a multiple personality disorder?  Does the city have low self-esteem? In fact, what does actually burn in the heart of Burningham?

AS1 focused on the city’s Anglo Saxon heritage to create a visual interpretation that comprehends the city’s vulnerable identity and discourages those who might attempt to change the city’s damaged appearance.

Tempo_33 utilised the purity of typography to create his interpretation of Birmingham and the culture surrounding the creation of graffiti that has developed in recent years.  The work reflects on the commercialisation of Birmingham and the street art scene both on a local and international scale.  This piece proposes provocations towards the shift in graffiti art culture and how legalised graffiti is altering its fundamental ethos.  After his reverse composure of the word SUCKS I drew breath when the letter S was placed on the containers.

Paste artist, Lisk, has become identifiable through the distinctive robots that inhabit many spaces across the city.  This live performance witnessed Lisk meticulously compose his largest scaled paste to date and saw his robots finally completing their invasion of the city. The piece essentially explores concepts of identity and reclaiming ownership of the city.

It became clear as the evening developed that all three individuals were united within the defining colours of Burningham but differed in their perspectives of Birmingham and the creation of street art which highlighted the rich diversity of artists that are involved in this art form.

Whilst provoking how we respond and perceive the city of Birmingham the work created also explores how the culture of street art scene is shifting.  The project explores the introduction of legalised graffiti and how this has and continues to impact on the culture and perceptions surrounding the creation of street art.



In recent days the Burningham containers have been lifted into the air off Eastside Green and relocated on a new plot of land situated a few hundred metres away.  This site is set within a distinctively more urban setting that is situated on a raised plot of land on the corner of the Nikal Masshouse car park where Moor Street Ringway meets Chapel Street.

The events above present a small representation of how the EXYZT site can potentially be used.  The space aims to provide an environment for an ever changing programme of social and cultural activities to draw every part of Birmingham’s diverse community.  Please contact EXYZT/Fierce on if you are interested in using this public venue.