view counter

Here’s to a new year. Leslie Deere welcomes in 2018.

Image: Nashville International Airport [credit: Leland, Inc]

Originally from Tennessee, Leslie Deere is a London-based audio/visual artist working with a variety of media. Run-Riot invited Leslie to offer our readers some personal London culture tips for early 2018. But first, she shares an insightful anecdote of a christmas jetting from state to state across a divided US. Sound familiar?

20th December 2017
Here’s to a new year. Here’s to being two years past 2016, a really rough one for many folks - same goes for me. I went to the Jeremy Deller listening session for Wolfgang Tillmans' Playback Room at Tate Modern in March. At the end, he gave away silver bumper stickers that said ‘Fuck You 2016’ in a bold black font. I was first in the queue to get one and thanked him sincerely.  2017 seemed to be a year of transition, seeing many friends venture off down completely new paths. It feels like 2017 is when a new chapter began. It may not have been an easy opening act, but at least something shifted. A friend of mine who participates in AA once told me a phrase they use: ‘Nothing changes if nothing changes’. That’s how I feel about 2017. Here we are now looking at 2018. What does it have in store?

As I write, I’m on a plane heading out of NY where I saw some old friends and it was fun. One’s a femdom and photographer and the other is a professional dancer and stunt woman. I’m on a domestic flight going to the deep south to see my family for the holidays. Next to me in this row is a man and his wife on my right. To my left is the toilet, and when I say toilet I mean if the door is open, I’m literally staring down the bowl. I’ve never seen a seat next to the toilet like this, nor have I ever sat next to a man like this, but I know the type.

His arms are on the arm rests and that’s all there is to say about that.  Every time I accidentally brush him he noticeably adjusts himself and is clearly annoyed. His wife asked for gum from their carry on luggage. He got up and motioned me out of my seat. When he returned, I received a tap on my shoulder to alert me of his presence, that I needed to get up and let him through.

This guy has been eating peanut butter M&M’s, one of the large bags you get at Walmart during holiday season. The bag was in his lap. At one point his wife tried to pick it up to help herself and he loudly said “No”, and meant it. He ate some more, handed her the bag and then informed her he’d eaten them all and it was empty. She neatly folded the bag and tucked it into the back of the book she was reading and said nothing more. It was at this point I decided to make eye contact with him. He equally paused and stared me down too.

I don’t like this guy. I don’t know this guy. My friend Chloe would say, just listen to Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe through headphones and ignore it. Maybe she’s right.

29 December 2017
Just coming back to this after the holidays. This Christmas was one for the books. Did anyone else have an epic one? I had the worst fight of my entire life with my father about Chump (aka the 45th). I got aggressively accused of having an attitude about my country because I criticised our president’s behaviour. It was really upsetting and not the only flare up. I realised at a certain point that it wasn’t me bringing up the topic. What was happening was, I was being asked questions and when the response wasn’t what they wanted to hear, it was like a match to gasoline. In other words, I wasn’t instigating the conversation, but my presence alone was provocative. I somehow became a symbol for everything negative that this community of people blame Obama for, despite the fact that I don’t live in the US, he isn’t my responsibility and I’ve never said whether or not I voted for him.

In the middle of this situation I received a text from a good friend in London named Daniel. He told me about getting turfed out at Christmas by his brother-in-law over discussions that began with Brexit and moved on to Yorkshire, where Daniel was born and raised. The brother-in-law didn’t think Daniel had any right to discuss a place he no longer lived. Daniel loves Yorkshire. He often speaks of it with a heartfelt fondness. Thankfully he had a relative down the road, as he literally had to leave on foot with his bags and move on.

WTF is going on? Seriously. Merry Christmas. Fun times.

My holiday time did improve. Saw an old high school friend in Asheville, North Carolina. I’ve found these meet ups can be iffy. Sometimes it turns out the only thing people have in common is that they went to school together. But in this instance it was great and a nice break from family drama. Also drove to Nashville with my dad, hung out with my sisters, nieces, nephews and cousins. Things settled down and mellowed out. I’m writing now in a sunlit bedroom of my sister’s home in the Belmont neighbourhood of music city.

30 December 2017
I’m sitting at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge at Nashville International Airport.  The international bit in the title means two places in the Caribbean, two cities in Canada and one destination in Mexico. There’s a dude playing guitar and singing here. Currently he’s covering, Drunk on a Plane by Dierks Bentley. I had to Google that, but I have heard of the artist. That’s how I know that Dierks is pronounced Durks.

I’m heading to London and will spend new years there for the first time in a long time. I’ll see Daniel and my friend Rasha. Everyone always says New Years is a let down. A big build up to nothing. I tend to agree. I will say though that it does feel like a marker. It’s a point when, even if for no other reason than a number changes, we can think of our time as being something further and more progressed than it was before.

Here’s to progress. Here’s to positive change.

Happy New Year. Happy 2018.

As I leave Tootsie’s and head to the gate, the singer is playing Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville. I tip him a dollar and make my way to the plane. Next stop Chicago and then on to Heathrow.

A few culture tips. Early 2018, London

January 2018
Twisted Scripture
Limited Edition. Curated book of photography, text, and sounds.
More info:

19 January 2018
I am genderless like cacti and certain species of fish… | Beyond 2001: New Horizons
London College of Communication
Free but booking essential.
CRiSAP presents an event exploring Voice, Intelligent Machines and Identity.
More info:

21 January 2018
Tse Tse Fly present
Middle East live at The Others, Stoke Newington

Seth Ayyaz, Leslie Deere and Tonal Liberation Army with TTF curated experimental film and video. The evening will support five charities/organisations: Womankind Worldwide (women's rights), FORWARD UK (working against FGM, child marriage and obstetric fistula), Labour Behind the Label (supporting garment workers' rights), Amnesty International (human rights and justice) and Index On Censorship (supporting freedom of expression). £7 in advance / £10 on the door.  Email to be added to the £7 list and pay when you turn up.
More info: and

25 January 2018
Roger Eno with Dom Theobald and Andie Brown (solo) at Cafe Oto
Having begun his recording career by working on David Lynch's ‘Dune’ with his brother Brian, BAFTA nominated Roger Eno has heard his music appear in such films as Danny Boyle's multi award winning ‘Trainspotting’, Adrian Lynes ‘9 1/2 Weeks’ and John Maybury's ‘The Jacket’.
More info:

Throughout January
Graham Dunning & Leslie Deere
Cassette Release on Knoxville label Park 70
Also available on Bandcamp
More info: and
Spring 2018
Cassette Release
Mouth in Foot label
More info: and

12 May 2018
The Future Starts Here at the V&A
Exploring the power of design in shaping the world of tomorrow.
More info:

view counter