Saturday, 10 October 2015


My experience of Nano Technology has led me to clean rooms - How does the oppressive otherness of the clean room enable free thought? I thought that maybe I could explore this with creative capes! - but have started off smaller - how can ritual and uniform make one hyper conscious of one's actions and thoughts within an art education context? 
ok another reason why both studying an art subject is so wonderfully expansive and that my job is so great - my favourite conversation this week......  discussing the role and position of British folk customs, the characters and their costumes, for a Research Report led to talking about English traditional music, thinking about folk music and its roots in notions of tradition. Now consider ....if there were a group of individuals who thought that the ideas behind the BMP, NF, EDL, UKIP etc were a good thing and these individuals wanted to explore and celebrate their version of what it is to be English - Englishness etc but they also liked folk music. What would they be called? What would be the name of their band? - yes we came up with the answer - Fascist Folk -  this could be both a group and a genre. A bit like Minimal Gothic - an architectural genre for the guilty who like to think they want a sparse, functional space but harbour a rapt obsession about Cath Kitson. And then... a quick Google search of my new idea - Fascist Folk takes you to straight to Neo-folk....oh well.

Saturday, 3 October 2015


a good week on the teaching front - the learning agreement presentations with year 3 at NUA were excellent - fantastic energy, potentially there is a really wide range of work that challenges the idea of textile design and ambitious all encompassing projects.  it promises to be an exciting year. camberwell was all about deconstruction, book structures and reflective thinking - a link to the bookness presentation here.
CONCEAL | REVEAL at the dance house in Ipswich was a marvel of restraint precision - the Russel Maliphant Company presented Broken Fall, a piece I've seen with the BalletBoyz - it really is such a fractured, clipped piece with trust and weight at the centre. The other pieces were a lighting joy by Michael Hulls with serious collaborative thought going into the relationship between movement and light - I thought about book relationships and an element of a workshop I run that I now realise is really about dance.

working on a presentation for NUA about home and came across some devastating gifs of buildings falling down, well being blown up - it's going to be fun!

Friday, 25 September 2015


after the break from teaching and a summer focusing on nano technology, rethinking my role in education and family it was strangely warming to be back. A hectic week of dealing with the nervous and the strong-willed - NUA is all about learning agreements and the close future of leaving for the 'real world' - the what next. Camberwell saw a great day with symposium 1 where the students share their past and consider the future while we project our roles and consider how we think they will engage with the course we have built. As ever I am struck by the wonderful place that art school is and the wide ranging conversations that can happen if we let the systems that are put in place fade to the background and we focus on the role of serious play.  
meanwhile the date is set and the invitation is out – the Nano Art collaboration I’ve been involved in will be presented at the Cambridge Festival of Ideas - Saturday 31 October: 2:00pm - 4:30pm at the Wolfson Lecture Theatre, Department of Chemistry, Lensfield Road, Cambridge. come along - if anything else it will be a journey into the unknown with some extraordinary pictures! and finally - I know that I'm a little late but managed to catch up with Boyhood - a truly heart moving story - somehow about getting through it, this life, in some way......whatever that means 

Saturday, 19 September 2015


So on the plane back from Venice - the Biennale was wondrous as ever with the Arsenale a more focused experience. I have a new set of images that will furnish new presentations at NUA and Camberwell. My head is full of images and moments that will keep me thinking for some time - the pavilion covered in tyres, the rebuilding of a familiar space as an interventionist minimal architectural event, Canada's 'shop', the sci-fi image of future space possibilities, being held hostage in a virtual reality studio, the violence of the South African pavilion leading to the idea of Goya making work from edited found CCTV footage of fighting and sexual activity in clubs, the many themes of oppression explored including the lost hope of the environment and private homosexual acts made public, a giant Russian fighter pilots head, terrorist breast feeding, hope in Latvian garages, a choir of engine noises in a novelty fun ride, a sad fair ride, Dellar's 'factory records' jukebox, the idea of flowers silently witnessing massive socio-political events, a room of staircases, windows of rain, a factory workers 'opera' in Beijing, a room of corn, the negative space of an imaginary building, an anchor the size of a car embedded in broken sheet glass, a room of shredded money, a room of blue sand, the loss of people and their languages, a room of dirt, flags their meaning obscured, crafts used to say 'something', a room of broken glass, games without rules, a book of photographic memories I tore open, the Olympic torch running in a Brazilian prison, a naked red woman dancing in an office, a bullet caught, a room of knives, mapping connections, documenting hope, Umberto Eco seeking out a book from a book lined labyrinth and getting me to think about memory - what is a list?

But my highlights have to be 5 film pieces all embedded within installations. Martyr construction by Theaster Gates destruction, desecration and hope, the silence of existing systems watching helplessly while new beginnings from the past are reenacted. Factory of the Sun by Hito Steyerl set within a 'virtual motion capture studio' itself shown in a motion capture studio it stunningly explores notions of truth that supports and surrounds our understanding of the world. Ashes by Steve McQueen just tragically sad - reading about its conception helps a little, NoNoseKnows by Mika Rottenberg my WTF moment - work undertaken by women, natural order undermined by capitalist pointlessness, truly odd and finally the haunting Never Say Goodbye by WuTien-Chang beautiful, magic, the presentation of a nostalgic future.

Sunday, 13 September 2015


a cracking evening at the New Wolsey on thursday night - I must recommend Antarctica by Chris Dobrowolski  the live art piece deconstructs the idea of an art school lecture which focuses on a trip to Antarctic - and explores areas of truth and the real  - thoughts after the show swirl around whether the whole piece was an elaborate hoax. If you get a chance I would recommend delving into the meta world of the ladybird book - its a wonderful sequence in the piece.

just finished collaborating/directing the latest film around the folding pieces I'm developing - the work uses more sophisticated software to explore layers and time within the pieces. The sound comes from some work I did with for an interactive commission published as a CD-ROM it is part of INSITE, it was a collection of digital artworks commissioned by Suffolk County Council. A link to a film still from the project

Tuesday, 8 September 2015


really excited to have spent the afternoon buying tickets after getting hold of the Spill festival booklet - my highlight has to be Heather Cassils although the performance will be a world premier of Inextinguishable fire - I think the images created during the performance of becoming an image are truly magnificent. It looks like I might be giving a talk as part of Being a Man at the South Bank in London

Meanwhile the new Textile Design Course technical workshop spaces at Norwich University of the Arts look excellent - looking forward to working in them with the students in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, 3 September 2015


working on a range of laser cut textile pieces - these are one of the strands of work that have become outcomes whilst working on the nano technology project in Cambridge. meanwhile experiencing something change around you can be a very raw experience - it feels as if there are stages of grief to move through - the Kübler-Ross model lays it out as denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. It's been insightful to watch the overwhelming series The Newsroom. although the program has its problems it presents the experience of change and the how the various characters deal with it - watching Sam Winston playing Charlie Skinner move through the deconstruction of what news is or could/should be was informing but painful - it was a shame he had to die but then maybe that just has to happen.