Sources have uncovered photographic evidence - below - that Arts Council England's plans for a brand new 'Capture' organisation to handle the complex, time consuming and utterly incomprehensible plan to develop 'dance and the moving image' were written on the back of a matchbox, or technically the front of it since some idiot could have put the slide in upside down because they thought it was 'funny!' (ACE Chief Exec. Peter Hewitt has been known for pulling that kind of high jinks in the past).
The image - replete with actual matches to illustrate scale - shows the plan is written on an official ACE matchbox and confirms the veracity of an earlier document we recieved via email from an anonymous source detailing the funding giants plans to deal with their complete inability to document complex projects.
The memo (ACE-WDKWWFD-01) titled 'Cover Up - How to deal with the fact we don't know what we're f*cking doing' detailed how ACE would write all of its plans on the back of matchbox's and if the bad folks came a calling, ie: Article19 or the the DCMS, they could just set fire to the offending records with the built in self combustible device that was part of every document! They also concluded that such an approach would save a lot of space in the office.
ACE had told government inspectors that the plan had been shelved following objections from the fire dept. about the risk of keeping 24,000 boxes of matches in such a confined space.
A DCMS (Department for Culture Media and Sport) directive had also instructed that all ACE employees should be restricted from using any potentially harmful objects like knives, pens, pencils and inflatable bananas! This has caused much consternation amongst ACE scribes as they were forced to issue press releases written in crayon!
Details of the complex 'Capture' plan are clearly visible in the image. The first step is 'get applications' followed by the fairly obvious 'give money' part, so far so predictable, then it all starts get a little bit tricky for the good folks in ACE towers.
Apparently there will be a two pronged attack to deal with both good and bad results. Inevitably, if all goes well then ACE simply 'takes credit' as illustrated by the complex flow chart on the matchbox.
If it all goes tits-up/pear shaped/to hell in a hand cart (delete as applicable to your particular religious, gender, social sensibilities) then it's all hands to the pumps.
First of all they will 'deny all nowledge (sic)' and then begin turning on 'voice mail' across their network and finally, the ultimate source of frustration for those contacting ACE by email, the dreaded 'Out of Office Autoreply'(OoOAR) or the 'we're actually here but sipping peach snaps at Browns is preferable to dealing with smelly artists reply' as one wag has dubbed it!
This automated firewall of silence is put in place until the furore dies down and everybody has gone home to catch up on their email (by now filled with OoOAR) and have a nice lie down.
A government working group looking into ACE's use of voice mail and OoOAR in October 2005 concluded that 98% of all calls made to ACE resulted in the standard voice mail response. The committee of MP's doubted very much that ACE employees spent that much time 'on another call' and if they were 'away from their desk' what the hell were they up to?
The Capture project itself will be run, allegedly, by a company called Portland Green. They should not be confused with popular children's show Portland Bill because they have nothing to do with the Lighthouse [on] Guillemot Rock, they are nowhere near the shores of McGuillycuddy, and they don't have a theme song that's anywhere near as catchy as;
"Oh come with me, to the golden sea while the weathers calm and still, and we'll have some fun and laughter, with the adventures of Portland Bill". (they don't write em like that anymore! Ed!)
One commentator has told us that the project would almost certainly be better run by a stop-frame animation lighthouse keeper than the Portland Green 'team'. Portland Green refused to comment on whether or not they were considering hiring any staff that were 'stop-motion' but employees living in lighthouses were more than welcome to apply for positions.
One further controversial item is the scribbled note to the left of the image detailing the apparent contact details for a 'crack dealer'.
Whether or not this is someone who deals in illicit drugs or the supply of imperfections in smooth concrete and plaster surfaces was unclear. Calls to the number went straight to voicemail - the person was apparently on another call or away from their desk! - and no reply was received at the time of writing.
A government report early last year concluded that Arts Council employees should probably refrain from smoking crack during working hours and most other times if they could possibly avoid it.
Using LSD throughout the day was strongly recommended however as it was thought this might help them come up with a coherent plan or two.
ACE declined to comment on the crack issue!