Monday, 29 December 2014


I’ve just spent 4 straight hours in the company of Brothers: a tale of two sons - - if you are interested in engaging in the game don’t look at the wiki page as part of the experience of game playing is obviously not knowing what is coming – not plot spoiling doesn't appear to be part of the game playing community - anyway the landscape is sublime, the narrative very moving and the dynamics of the playing fairly unique in my experience of gaming (not huge) – you are left with the feeling of a profound sense of loss – this might be my first empathic gaming experience.
meanwhile - some films watched over the break – so far

The Equalizer – Denzel – the man with a past – he plays the isolated-lost-loner-character well with the twist of extraordinary fighting skills and empathy – predictable but fun. 
Get Santa – well if I was 6 I might find it wonderful and Jim Broadbent is a glorious ‘gansta santa’ but.......I'm not 6. 
Boxtrolls yes it’s all good with some very clever animation backed up with a strong script. 
Toy Story That Time Forgot - toy story short – lots of knowing fun – it takes us from the moment ‘the gang’ are joined to Bonnie with some great 'in jokes'. 
What we do in the shadows – a laugh out loud mockumentary about vampires in new Zealand. 
Eagle v Shark more ‘indi-fare’ from new Zealand – a cast of outcasts – tragic-comic with the funniest attack on a disabled person I have ever seen! 
Batman - – its difficult to beat Jack Nicholson being Jack when he’s on form! But talk about slow.......and the dated clothes ....shoulder pads wtf were we thinking. 
The Interview - – not as bad as I thought it would be but a film that offends everybody – is that a good thing? 
Chico and Rita beautiful drawings with a great dream America sequence underpinned with a narrative that takes in a slice of Jazz history.  
Blue valentine another tragic wandering around Gosling film, a film about loss, loss of love, 1 hour and 20 mins – seems longer.  
Darkman - ludicrous plot, special effects, acting and overall concept ..........don’t even start about the science - but in its own way its charmingly odd.

Saturday, 27 December 2014


as part of the squeeze
fold bend and expand - Structural Memory in Deformable Objects
project I’ve
been involved in over the past 2 months
I’ve made a film. It shows some
of the over 180 sculptural forms and how they move when manipulated. filming by
Bob editing by Jim

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  – 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 - 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 – a bonkers mad experience – leave your brain at the door and enjoy. Starlet – will it be ok or won’t it? a young woman surrounded by darkness in a messy world but quite wonderful and finally Nightcrawler – 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.