Tuesday, 16 December 2014


A research day at NUA – some interesting thoughts and conversations were had – along with the opportunity to meet new staff members who could prove fruitful in terms of possible collaborative activity. I presented the work I’m involved in at Kings College within the robotics department. I had some good feedback and some supportive comments but the system meant that 4 people presented within a carousel structure – so I showed the work 4 times but never got to see the work of others which would of being more interesting that talking about myself (I didn’t think about this when I volunteered – also it would be useful to see everybody’s research strands so that we can get to talk and possibly work with each other – maybe next time.  

A trip to Coventry – it’s always a little odd going home – or to a place I grew up in – there is a lot of new building (on the space where my house was) but it was good to see the market still operating, unlike Sheffield’s 

Sunday, 14 December 2014


Then there was interstellar http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0816692/  – for me it was a slow burn and it wasn't until they got to Saturn and the conversation after that I really started to connect the dots and make sense of what is a truly intelligent film – the layers of meaning and truths... it makes me want to be able to see it again for the first time.  Here Lies Love http://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/here-lies-love - at the National Theatre was wonderful – glorious – not a fan of the musical but of David Byrne there was an element of being unsure but from walking into the space to the final in-joke around musical rebellion I loved every minute – there are some bonkers mad costume changes, great voices and visuals that question and play with the real, imagined and documented – it’s a must see.

Monday, 8 December 2014


An interesting weekend of films – Defenders of the Galaxy http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2015381/ – a bonkers mad experience – leave your brain at the door and enjoy. Starlet http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2035630/?ref_=nv_sr_1 – will it be ok or won’t it? a young woman surrounded by darkness in a messy world but quite wonderful and finally Nightcrawler http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2872718/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1 – what happens when you learn all you know off the internet oh yes and there’s the little issue of a morally corrupt society hell bend on exploiting the vulnerable! Meanwhile work at Norwich is winding down into Christmas with feedback tutorials and academics presenting their research. I’ve volunteered for this and will be exploring the robotics work with four 15 presentations back to back to a range my colleagues – sounds like fun - I can’t wait to get feedback.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014


Reflection on the 'robot' project whilst spending time in two material libraries today.
So what’s next?
“We don’t lose anything even if we fail”.
I was very taken by Thrish’s answer - to his approach – to his reasoning - to his engagement – to creative thinking with others.
This opportunity to work within King’s College has presented many possibilities – of which many require further research to fully engage in the benefits they offer.
The opportunity to engage in alternative ways of thinking is essential if ones practice is to grow and evolve. Otherwise we risk isolation – relegated to the role of creating expensive ‘baubles’ for collection. We have a more ‘useful’ role in society to take up. Our ability to think laterally, to problem solve creatively make us valuable. Our material knowledge and understanding is highly specialised and we can communicate concepts and emotions across language and cultural divides, globally we are essential.
I have felt valued and respected during this project but one starts out by trying to find a position of worth, of usefulness – What is my job? What is my point in being here? There is a sense of being slightly in the wilderness when attempting to explore ones value as a maker in a society underpinned by the search for the lowest common denominator and a love of
We have been making thinking opportunities. The process has enabled sessions where we have developed ways of working that enabled an understanding the problem and the solution at the same time – there was a sense of natural evolution – of working towards something intuitively – allowing space to reflect on activity – leading to possible direction – outcomes.
This cross fertilization must be used to address the misguided and in fact false categorization that separated science from art. I have found scientists to be open and transparent in many ways that makers are not. There is recognition of and a building on existing knowledge. This creates a sense of shared community – contributing and exchanging information towards a common good – that of gaining knowledge.

The connection to science thinking needs to be expanded to a larger number of people – this could be a limited exposure, although the 2-3 months timescale feels appropriate if there is the intention not to have a final outcome. For me it has acted as a kind of boost – an introduction to what I already did, an intervention of research that although connected to what was there has built or at the very least redirected a piece of my brain somewhere more interesting. I have been making tools for thinking and I intend to do so. 

Sunday, 30 November 2014


Another set of interesting texts to read from the MA Book Art Students – it really is a privilege to have access to such a range of interesting strands of research – this important opportunity enables me to feed this thinking back into the teaching I’m involved in both at Camberwell and Norwich. cross fertilization is the key. Titles to this year’s dissertations......
Eastern Art and Philosophies Influencing John Cage and Western art Influencing Huang Yongping Xu Bing: representing the characteristics of their time or acts of imitation
How book artists represent memory of a place and how these memories are translated to communicate with the readers
How do Kenneth Goldsmith and Simon Morris use compositional stratergies of copying to produce new works within the context of a digital age?
The Work of Seance: How materiality affects absence in translation in Anne Carson’s Nox and Christian Hawkeys’s Ventrakl.
Colour in the Book How colour contributes to the sequential flow, structure and meaning within in artist books.
Image: consciousness and bliss A play of Visual Perception and Meanings
How are different interpretations of place and memory reflected in the imagery, design and structure of two different artists’ books?

Meanwhile ... Godzilla – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0831387/ was most excellent – check out the sound track – the sounds are part electricity part pure fear and always ‘other’. The film is a great thrill seat of your pants experience with the action stopping not once in the entire film – something or someone is always moving or in jeopardy. On the work front – I’ve submitted some pieces for the proposed staff show at NUA titled in plain sight – should be interesting 

Wednesday, 26 November 2014


Managed to see the show at Raven Row - http://www.ravenrow.org/current/ – most excellent – looking at the work of KP Brehmer who found new ways to visualise global capitalism which are of increasing relevance today – an agent of social and political change the show explores ways of communicating data in indirect ways rather than an ‘information is beautiful’ way. As ever the space is the star and the incredibly detailed and professionally produced printed matter. Rise of the planet of the apes – is just that with guns and apes on horseback – it all felt a little unnecessary.

Friday, 21 November 2014


Just watched Under the Skin http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1441395/ - it’s what happens when a music video director gets to make a ‘science fiction’ feature film. There are some extra-ordinary moments - images and sequences that stay with you - specifically the walking backwards sinking sequence, the overlapping movements of people and the peeling skin in the forest but as a feature film it lacks .......something. The extras reveal an interesting sequence of images around the design of the poster.  2 days in the North working on hanging the show and assessment for the first cohort was a lot of serious fun. Sheffield was a shock - large significant buildings within the centre were boarded up, including a huge market space, although giant (slightly out of proportion) fountains/falling water construction outside the station was a bold attempt at a renewed civic pride thing.