Saturday, 28 November 2015


spent a couple of hours draping the lazer cut bonded fabric over and on a mannequin - pinning it onto a 'body' really gives the idea of what it could be - it has started to look good and the cape is defiantly all go with a hood, just need to start cutting the pattern.
There's a very considered body of work that connects two libraries either side of the Thames - the work by Rick Myers links Somerset House and The Poetry library via the old Waterloo bridge, an experiment that Faraday was involved in is also thrown into the mix - worth a look/listen.

The yellowbluepink mist by Ann Veronica  Janssens at The Welcome Trust is quite disorienting - but  it also feels like a sort of comforting/fluffy white-out on top of a mountain in the Lake District.  After working at BAM I spent the evening at Central St Martin's 3D and XD open studios. I so love Art College, as both an idea and in reality. it was full of superb challenging work and the energy in the building was electric - so friendly conversations - so supportive of the work and the performances - it was excellent to be in a room with a beer in my hand with so many truly wonderfully bad haircuts and people looking gloriously fabulous. my people.

Thursday, 26 November 2015


really honoured to be invited to talk at being a man - BAM - the festival at the Southbank over the weekend which addresses the challenges and pressures of masculine identity in the 21st century. I am deep in the programme which also covers gangs, jihad, fatherhood, sex, pornography, and war. Anyway just to be on the same bill as the ultra cool and wonderful Akala has to be a good thing. I've seen him talk a TED day - he is breathtaking - listen to him. here's a link to my 'talk' for those who can't make it to London.

Friday, 20 November 2015


The Toshiba lecture at the Cathedral in Norwich last night was awesome with possibilities and yet also informed by the terror of every post apocalyptic film I have seen where the world is taken over by robots. There was a moment when the extraordinary machine being demonstrated very cutely clapped its 'hands' and the audience laughed at it and I thought - this is where after lulling us into a false sense of security a lazer beam extends from its 'head' and destroys us, thus starting its progression to world domination! But it didn't happen and I am mow on the train to Ipswich working on the presentation and workshop for Being A Man, on the way to see a dance/food/sound piece by Protein called May contain food - at the Dance House. This is after a day at NUA running a master class on bookness! I'm really looking forward to BAM next week at the Southbank - trying to work out a way to cram in 30 years of bookmaking and thinking into 2 hours with an added workshop is proving tricky! Ann Veronica Janssens, yellowbluepink at The Welcome trust is on the list of things to see on Friday after the session and I'll also get to attend a private view at CSM of the XD Fine Art Course.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015


just undertaken the first of two days - working in public -  at the castle museum - within their build your own exhibition. I'm looking at bringing together various strands of my recent practice - the smocking / book structures / robotics /nano technology around folding within the idea of creating spaces that move. The work begins to explore the virtual and physical interfacing through film and structure. It's an opportunity to play whilst talking to members of the public - so far really interesting conversations with a vet, an architect, a builder of yurts and a planner. Oh yes and a man who explained that a 4 year old could of done that (the rest of the exhibition) - he was disturbingly complimentary about my work!

Friday, 13 November 2015


in the air there is no internet! - on a flight back from Glasgow after attending and giving a paper at Futurescan3 - my first time in the city - my experience of Glasgow was a real mixture of civic pride and really really friendly people. The Civic Chambers are quite extraordinary and worth checking out - how much marble can one place contain and what wonderful ceilings. And then the food - recommend two fat ladies and The Hanoi Bike Shop  - two extremes of dining but both wonderful in their own way.
During Futurescan I was privileged to listen to a wide range of presentations - some links here to ones that were really excellent and will require more thinking - The quietly determined Reiko Sudo talking about the role of saying yes, Julie Ripley on the subculture of surfing as a role for growing both a multimillion industry and a way of life seeded with the Australian Government selling us 'australianess' a by-product being the hideous phrase 'going to uni! - ironically an indication of the downfall of education. Alison Mayne looking at the online world of isolated knitters and the issue of wellbeing - she also had the most excellent title 'Does anyone have a pattern for a sombrero to fit a crochet monkey?' and finally a 20 minute talk by Helen Burbridge about the join in a pattern between a sleeve and a body within a post war dress was captivating.

I got out to Tramway to see the Turner Prize - I really enjoyed the playfulness of Nicole Wermers with her the ceramic advertising stubs and chairs wearing fur were excellent - but I really loved the work of Bonnie Camplin - the work was a number of videos of people who have conspiracy theory at their core - often they had engaged with alternative ways of thinking including training to become super soldiers by the illuminate. The room was also full of printed matter and these books in some way substantiated these claims or at least explored and presented the opportunity to consider the 'truth' of their claims - you could photocopy anything and take it away with you - my favourite publication was The Psychic Energy Workbook where I could work on my psychic self defence skills.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015


a great day of presentations at the Nano event for the Cambridge festival of imagination. our team decided to have questions within the presentation which led to us reading out a set of questions - it went very well and the questions led to more questions which was the point of the whole issue for me. enabling a rethinking of my practice. here's a link to the presentation - and here's the script.
1             When discussing nano does understanding falter because it's smaller than I can represent with my own body?
1 - Does having to conceive of something as an idea in my mind limit my understanding of it?
2 - Do we need to train our brains to become better at discussing and understanding things that we can’t see?
3 - are really small things just very frightening?
2             what is the purpose of the experiment?
1 - Do we create knowledge or is it all out there waiting to be discovered?
2 - Does the concept of a failed experiment actually exist?  How can I use this idea with the students I teach?
3 - Is there is such a thing as a stupid experiment where no knowledge is created?
3             How are artists and scientists bound by givens in their perception of the world?
1 - Are scientists trying to work with physical things that exist but can't be seen and artist's trying to make physical things based on concepts that can't be seen?
2 - On the whole, do givens help or hinder progress in science?
3 - Is it true to say givens are more common place in science than in art?
4             what is the relationship between perception and belief?
1 - To build a foundation to work on do scientists have to believe in the existence of phenomena they cannot see to develop a practice? what is the role of belief?
2 - What is the role of perception?
3 - If there is strong evidence for a phenomena can it still be considered ‘beliefs’?
5             What is the role of intention?
1 - What is the role of trust in the creative process?
2 - Can chance encounters occur in both cases?
3 - Can science or art be done without the intention to do so? Does this make them different?
6             can babies do science?
1 - can one just start doing science without knowledge?
2 - can one just start doing art without knowledge?
3 - what is the role of post rational thought within progress?
7             Is there a personal language of science?
1 - art is concerned with creating an individual, personal language  - does science need to have a shared language to progress? - or is it all a universal language?
2 - Mathematics is often described as the language of the universe, how does this differ to a personal language in science?
3 - when we share words do we really understand each other?
8             Do we have a certain perception convention within particular fields?
1 - Coming into contact with the language of science and thinking has introduced new phrases to my own practice and enabled me to rethink ones I thought I understood - how will I use this?
2 - to what extent does this shared language within fields help or hinder progress?
3 - Does all the science within a particular field have the same language?
9             what makes an outcome an outcome?
1 - How do we perceive an outcome?
2 - when do we know when to stop?
3 - is reflective thinking just post rational cover up?
10           how can something that is so wrong be so right?
1 - what is the importance of closed minds?
2 - Is it really true that if you don't know how it works it's not science?
3 - What has bad science got to teach good art?
11           Does science need to start with the knowledge of many?
1 - where does art begin and science end?
2 - does 'the community' endorse which knowledge is valued?
3 - Can new science or art be achieved without the knowledge of many? 
12           There is a wider audience for the outcomes of what can be made from science but do scientists have an audience other than themselves to enable them to think and deduct?
1 - is science too closed to be understood by the general public?
2 - Are we just selfish beings who want to feel like we have a meaning or purpose?
3 - is art too easy to dismiss? is art too closed to be understood by the general public?
13           Are there parallels between the craft skills of art and those of science?
1– Does the knowledge of how to do things - the skill and craft of making enable scientists to make?  2 - Can art be created without the acquisition of skills?
3 - is there a craft to thinking?
14           How do the clothes we work in support thinking?
1 - can ritual and uniform create a heightened awareness of one's activity?
2 - does uniform constrict creativity and result in increased conformity to established ideas?
3 - How do the spaces we work in support thinking?
15           Everything we see may not be there or at least not as we think it is - where is our starting point?
1 - Bottom-up or top-down? When is either more appropriate and how do we know?
2 - where do we go for the answers?
3 - how do the tools we use to see alter our perspective on what we see?
16           Is there a shelf-life on what is true?
1 - How do we work with truths?
2 - truth is an expensive word, can we use it with any certainty
3 - how do we know?
17           What is the role of ‘external forces’ on creativity?
1 –Does the engagement of art and science with business support or mold what the work becomes and where it goes.
2 - Does this then start to define what is researched or made and eventually defines what art or science is?
3 - has the learning outcome destroyed creativity in education?
18           What makes something meaningful?
1 - Is art a way of making sense of the world?  
2 - Is science a way of making sense of the world?
3 - are we all just making tools for thinking?
19           What should I work on next?
1 - How do I know what to do next? How do I know what is right?
2- Is the process of deciding what to do next on the whole more regimented in science than in art?
3 - Does it all depend on what everyone else is doing?
20           This needs a question here
the evening was about the intense experience of watching FK Alexander: NO WHERE // NOW HERE' 90 minutes exploring excess, loss, and change - brutally forceful. Teaching this week at NUA has seen the briefing of body - a project - we will see what happens. Already looking forward to Deborah Pearson at battersea arts centre before going on to spill - there's also a list of visual art that needs to be seen - starting with the Curve at the Barbican.