Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Axiom Arts

copyright image shared for educational purposes, international fair use policy

The Axiom Center for the Alternate Arts, previous known as The Center, 57-59 Winchecombe Street, Cheltenham, UK was shut down at the turn of the millenium after three decades of keeping an authentic seventies new age movement alive in the heart of the Midlands of Britain. Situated in a big old Mill building on three levels, it was a haven and very much loved. Its closure is something most of its regulars will probably never recover from. Places like this happen only once in every three or more generations. I was lucky to have been a small part of it.

The Center consisted of and combined the following;
Art Galleries, Art Studio, Workshops, Vegan Cafe, Bar, Nightclub, Private Music Studio, Trust Library, Children's Indoor Play Area, Occasional Flea Market,

You could get a cup of tea there for 25p. Its clientele were essentially single parents, artists, poets, musicians, underground scene, street people, collectively unified under the umbrella term 'hippies'. Straight society hated it. Its purity was so powerful that it took them thirty years to close it down, somehow it survived the cull of the eighties.

13 years later and I am making good on a promise I made in the hot shadows of the dancefloor, a shouted conversation by young excited creatives coming of age; to create a digital version of the Axiom environment. Back then there was no SecondLife. Only 1 in fifty people had their own internet access and a mobile phone. There was no such thing as wifi. The technological revolution came swiftly and it ended an era. Between 1997 and 1998 we all went from laughing at the minority of yuppies with portable phones permanently stuck to their hands, to not being able to live without them. Mobile phones that is, not yuppies. The culture changed dramatically from learning to listen to our inner selves to be able to accurately locate a person anywhere in town and a community who were spiritually advanced enough to be living that way.

There exist very few photographs of the Axiom in internetland as it was in its heyday. A part of its energy is the magick which can only happen when no technology is around. A very big part of the ethos of the late 1990s Axiom people was to 'keep things off the internet' and to live as far as possible without technology; an ethos influenced partly by different subcultures which sought to live without money and/or had none anyway. And partly, mostly; with respect of permacultural transition and with the spiritual beliefs of indigenous peoples. The important things are those which money cannot buy.

It seems we gave up on that. We had no choice, faced with insurmountable odds. The technocracy won. There are, at least there were at the time, those who would consider a cyber version of the Axiom to be a blasphemy against all that which it stood for. Archaic Revivalism as lifestyle and skills set for development of spiritually capable human beings. The machine represented slavery, environmental pollution and reliance on devices to achieve what our teachers showed us we are capable of doing naturally with a little effort. Its domination represents the end to that effort, the end to the achievement of that ability. The extra-sensory ability develops from what is now an obsolete lifestyle, at the cost of exploitation of natural resources. The mainstream chose a different direction of evolutionary progress which the hippies have had to assimilate as a art of the greater picture. All part of Gaia's agenda.

Axiom Art Center SL build

I will keep this going for as long as I can afford to fund an appropriately sized parcel in SecondLife. Donations truly welcome. It is fifteen years since I was there and I was not privy to see inside every room. This combined with the necessity to reduce prim count for SL (geek talk; in non-internet language that means 'insufficient memory to add more objects'), plus the time it takes to construct even basic items in 3D has forced compromises between the cyber-rendition and the original building.

I have tried wherever possible to keep the original character of the building as I knew it in the late nineties shortly before it was closed. From photographs on the internet as well as memory of how the space felt to be in. This nostalgic historic archive of a 3D version of the very much loved Axiom building and scene. 


After deliberating, it was finally decided that in all probability, if given an infinite budget, the restoration of the Axiom in real life would feature things which can so easily be achieved in cyberspace, it would be foolish not to make the best of all worlds.

Maintaining the original character of the site and making the build as as close to exact replica of the real building as possible, is still very much the intention. In true keeping with the ethos of permaculture and urban renewal, involving philosophies and techniques appearing increasingly in the real world, it has been decided to alter the digital version from the real version by adding a roof garden to an otherwise boring architectural dead space. It is something that a lot of 'the Axiom people' wishfully joked about on more than one occasion.

Some other features have also been modernized, such as the kitchen, basement space and to allow light into otherwise unnecessarily gloomy pokey corners.

"The scale of objects in SL is different from Real Life. Even if you create your avatar to be similar to your actual height, you would still find that objects done on the same scale would feel too small and buildings too claustrophobic. Therefore, many things are built 1/3 to 1/2 again as big as they would be in reality. For example, I find it hard to maneuver in an SL building with walls shorter than 5m." Bob Sutor 

Axiom SL Build, proposed Permanent Exhibitions:


-Demise of Naivety & Aspirant 
(retro of Axiom as Art Centre & associated philosophies)

-The Gathering of the Tribes (End of Millennium in Fashion & Subculture) 


Exhibition Space for 2D Paintings & 3D sculpture

Rolling Review (interesting arts blogs found around the web)

Workshop space:
      sessions and lessons in; yoga, astrology, theater, shamanism, dance, storytelling, &etc 

Vegan Cafe & Chill Out Environment

Flea Market in the Courtyard (Babbage's Brilliant Bargains)

Night Club Events (for dj's with Nicecast or equivalent)

Live Jam Sessions (through SL voice audio feed)

If you are interested in becoming involved in any of this, please IM me (snakeappletree) in the grid. 

Update Nov 2015
Axiom Arts build is currently on haitus until it finds a new suitable location. It will return!

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