Watch this space. The art machine that is The Avant is underway again, scheduled this year for July 9th – 18th. The credit crunch has done untold damage to the already meagre Irish arts infrastructure (by European standards), but drops in rent charges, and a new interest in certain governmental quarters (Limerick being the shining example) in the DIY cultural revitalisation of disused spaces, has brought about some interesting changes in the urban artistic climate. Small city-centre, artist-run spaces are mushrooming this year, Cork City seeing the very welcome appearance of Cork Contemporary Projects’ ‘The Space’ on the South Mall, and the Basement Project Space on Pope’s Quay, to name but two. Avant diplomats, trained for seven years at Sciences Po, will soon be fanning out across the city to meet with these sturdy pioneers. In addition, lecturer at Limerick College of Art David Brancaleone has initiated a project with students under the title ‘Art in the Making’ that, in association with the Crawford Art College, and the ubiquitous Dobz, should manifest itself as part of this year’s Avant events. With plans for SoundEye XIV being put into action (the board joined this year by Default publications’ Jimmy Cummins and Rachel Warriner), and Sonic Vigil again in the offing, things are shaping up for a busy summer.