Lucy Orta and Hannah Hull

After my last tutorial I looked at the work of Lucy Orta, a Professor of Art and the Environment at London College of Fashion and currently the Chair of Art and the Environment at the University of the Arts London. She has a background in Fashion and design and as you can see from her website, was instrumental in the work HortiRecycling as below,

 All in One Basket (act I) in 1997, HortiRecycling Enterprise (act II)

 Drawing from the founding motto of the Secession “To every age its art and to art its freedom”, as well as the proximity of the fruit and vegetable Naschmarkt opposite the gallery, Lucy + Jorge Orta devised their first recycling enterprise.

Instead of discarding damaged fruit and vegetables, market vendors were given the artists’ Collect Units,  silkscreen-printed bags, to fill with rejected produce. These were then collected with the Processing Units, mobile kitchens with sinks, hotplates, and freezers. Ripe produce was cleaned, and cooked on location by famous chef. Delicacies were offered to the general public, in exchange for discussions about sustainable initiatives. 

Orta installed a fully-functioning kitchen, in the Gallery ,complete with a wooden winch reminiscent of the medieval pulley systems used to haul groceries in baskets to the upper floors of tall buildings. Market produce was sucessfully delivered to the gallery, cooked, bottled or frozen in dainty portions ready for distribution. This effective pilot action linked market and the gallery, art and life, building links with diverse communities across the city and demonstrating the power of socially engaged practice, to bring about change.

 There followed many different versions of The Meal, the most recent of these being


Date: 20.09 2015
Ref: 0600.39
Materials: Table set for 500 guests with two editions of Royal Limoges porcelain and a silk jacquard table runner
Dimensions: An open-air lunch in the city of Peterborough
Exhibition history: 2015 Cathedral Square, Peterborough, UK
Courtesy: Lucy + Jorge Orta, Metal Peterborough
On Sunday September 20, 2015 thousands of people descended on the town of Peterborough for an extraordinary public art event, ‘act 39’ of Lucy + Jorge Orta’s ongoing public art work, 70 x 7 The Meal.

An immense table setting for 500 guests adorned the Cathedral Square, to welcome in the harvest moon and take part in a revival of Peterborough’s 8000 year-old agricultural heritage. For this unique occasion, Lucy + Jorge designed a bespoke dinner service of commemorative limited edition Royal Limoges porcelain plates, a silk jacquard table runner woven with gold thread, and an offereing table complete with hundreds of loaves of bread and giant bread boards carved by residents of HMP (Peterborough).

 70 x 7 The Meal act XXXIX represents the artists’ first outdoor meal in the UK, in the on-going series of worldwide dining events that bring communities together to discuss issues related to food, its distribution and production. As with all ‘acts’, seven guests invited seven others, and so on, thereby creating a chain reaction that ensures a diverse mix of people are drawn together. Along side a public lottery, volunteers from Peterborough’s Soup Kitchen catered for hundreds of spontaneous guests. The Harvest food was prepared by renowned chef Lee Clarke, and sourced by Peterborough farmers, city allotments and community growing projects. Together with award-winning milliner Eloise Moody, five hundred loaves of bread were baked with provocative messages inside, to stimulate conversations between diners. 

The series of works are inspiring and tick so many participation and social engagement boxes that I feel uncomfortable critiquing them. They are beautiful in every sense of the word…from the way that the diners are selected, the Limoges porcelain and the table runner and loaves to the groups from the local soup kitchen volunteers and prison.

I think this is what I find difficult about it….the immaculate nature of the finished work and the amount of control needed to make everything work so well together.

This is yet another work that I admire for its results and scale of execution but find too polished, almost to be real.

It is Regal not Raw and gains so much from this elevated status of perfect dining and so the associated ritual and to some extent the  reversal of ritual which occurs within each piece is tremendous.

But I cannot imaging producing a work as perfect as this and nor would I want to.

Again I rely and enjoy chaos and happenstance.

The latter is in evidence here but is still controlled,  the coincidence of invitations is overridden to some extent by the messages for discussion within the loaves…( though whether people stuck to the topics for discussion I’m not sure..)

Also working with such large groups of people in an organising capacity is not something I would want to do at the moment.

I prefer a more personal and intimate approach to social engagement.

Hannah Hull’s practice  which is shown here does this I’m sure.I was reminded of this particular work when I went Bab’s funeral and joined in with the karaoke. See this post

Having met Hannah and participated in her workshops some time ago I know that her social vision shines through in her work  but that the relationships which develop through the research for and in the making of the work allow for discovery freely and that there are skills of careful facilitation  rather than overall design.

I guess in terms of hierarchical working it sits easier with me.

Though in Orta’s case I may be confusing an aesthetic of finished work with a different process which together subvert the usual status of a formal meal.

I’ve looked at the website  discovered this piece, The Laundry of Sorrows, which has the sensitivity and feeling of collaboration I would like to employ myself but still a great theatricality to it which I haven’t yet wanted to use in my work.



Tutorial with Jonathan Kearney 29.10.2015

My tutorial started with a brief review of my trip to Manchester/ Salford and some discussion about ritual, collective memory and elements of affect and placenot exactly a psychogeographic experience as there was ‘drifting’ within parameters of the prescribed event but certainly a degree of playfulness at times despite the reason for the visit. An interesting coexistence…

I chatted about how my perceptions of this sort have event have extended since discovering other considerations of ‘place’…. and how not all my thoughts and experiences could be expressed on my blog. When personal expression of thoughts may affect others some perspicacity and editing are necessary.

Luckily I had a short burst of temporary clarity last night and this morning before my tutorial so I was able to focus on a few ideas I may use to follow through and other considerations.

These have become clear though the work I did last year , in particular The Reading Room event and the process of writing my research paper as well as the content of it.

Time to focus down-

  1. The theme of broadcast from an agricultural and media point of view…(short discussion of underlying ideology of ‘We Plough the Fields and Scatter’…strangely the Jehova’s Witnesses came to the door around this time!…Hmmmm)
  2. Returning to Old Work and locations but seen in light of new perspectives and increased awareness of old perspectives
  3. Continuing with work from earlier in the MA.
  4. Making digital involvement more explicit or ubiquitous in the work ( actually I didn’t bring this up as a point but had it on my list and it was addressed anyway during the discussion.

Lessons learnt from past work –

  1. Risks of becoming too close for objectivity if working within communities ( this affects my ability to act autonomously as an artist,- my responsibility- not theirs, but a trap I easily fall into for reasons I won’t discuss in this brief ( -ish ) post.
  2. Layers of time/space and space/ time need to be extended beyond literal representations displayed through layering in 2 and 3D and even beyond filmic ( +/- performative ) understandings of 4D.
  3. The absolute imperative of Contingency which is not a part of for e.g. Shona Illingworth’s work…
  4. Understanding and planning for my own personal physical and cognitive limitations and their unpredictability and building that into my practice and display methodology.
  5. Only feeling able to address a local audience is ‘cutting off my nose to spite my face’. I will be able to address both a local and gallery ‘white space’ audience possibly simulatneously.

Jonathan’s responses were encouraging

  1. Revisiting old work can be positive – (  I will reassess  it in the light of new information – space)
  2. Restrictions and practicalities can lead to a positive way of working.I can adapt my methodology to document and display in a variety of areas whilst making the work and after the event. He suggested building a collection of small pieces of work over a period of time – which suits me and I guess I have worked this way before but without realising what I was doing!This is exactly the same as when I was doing my BA but now I understand it at a different level of consciousness…a bit like what happens in ‘therapy’ where you realise something that you have always known.. just at a different level …
  3. He introduced me to Periscope and Storify ( think he had mentioned Storify before… or someone did but for some reason…????…. I chose to ignore it… which may serve my purpose better than Twitter, Snapchat ( though I still like it’s temporary nature) and Vine – by building my documentation into my process. I steered away from this before after my tutorial at tutorial with Dave Charlesworth in March . He suggested I should work in film which could be projected bigger rather than mobile phone footage. He was right . I have developed… skill in this area and will use it too but  for longer static takes  for different approaches to the space. Jonathan discussed how most shots are 20 seconds long! This could be used to build up content. I guess I did a bit of this in Michaelmas last year..
  4. He pointed out that I do not need a large audience and that is true. Small actions are significant. I discussed how I want to act as a catalyst of action which becomes embodied in others as form of documentation. This documentation is then contingent in subsequent action and so in itself….
  5. He say that I need a way to provide visual access to my deeper thoughts… I can’t remember what he suggested regarding this as I interrupted with ideas about using performative writing… but we agreed that sometimes this can be a bit ‘navel gazing and  impenetrable’ ( though I find it opens doors of thought when I read for example Yve Lomax- even if I’m not sure what she is talking about…). I think that some of the text I have used has a performative quality so maybe stick to that…and use some of it as my own process of arriving at work… rather than being part of the work itself.

He also suggested I watched the latest Camberwell lecture by Lucy Orta about her social intervention/ participative work. Which I did…very interesting and a topic for another post later…

What is Neuromorphic Computing?

After our conversations in Liverpool and on-line chat I thought this may be of interest!
And a mention of Buckminster Fuller as well!

The Public Brain Journal

IBM's Synapse neuromorphic processor chip imbedded in a computer board. IBM’s Synapse “neuromorphic” processor chip imbedded in a computer board.

It might be worthwhile to take a moment and inspect your current understanding of how computers work…probably some combination of zeros and ones and a series of electrical components to move those binaries back and forth. You would be surprised to know how far you could get down the path of building a modern computer (at least on paper) with that rudimentary of an understanding. With an electrical engineer in tow, you could probably even build a primitive mainframe computer (the ticker-tape or punch card variety). Would it shock you if I said that nearly all of the advances since then have been either due to materials and manufacturing advances? Software has made interacting with this hardware much more comfortable and computers have gotten incredibly powerful in the past few decades but the underlying architecture has roughly maintained that “ticker-tape”…

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Barbara’s ( Babs ) Funeral

Practical work isn’t going well. Actually its not going at all….I needed time to recover after the Liverpool trip.. that was last weekend.

Then on Tuesday afternoon, after work, I headed up to Salford for my mother’s cousin’s funeral the following day. This was ‘quite a do’, as they say. I haven’t been to Manchester since 1983…. or there about, apart from to change trains once when I went to Huddersfield to see David Blackburn  at his studio.

I’ve been through on the train, of course, but latterly this was to go and clear out my parents house….almost 15 years ago now. So, not only a funeral but more than the usual associated ‘box of memories’ was opened.

I’ll have to regard this journey and the funeral etc as ‘ practice’ as although affected, I was doing that ‘observing thing’ that I think we all do….

So this was a day or more of taking part in a ritual process of autobiographical and collective memory with reference s to ‘place’ and ‘space’ if place and space are  defined by and created by  social relations .

The location was important as I haven’t been to Barbara’s house and Salford for over 30 years. Salford is NOT the same as the community will tell you. There are still lots of people  ‘Salford born and bred’. I think there’s a Facebook page too… but there is for everything isn’t there.

Key points of my visit from a memory/ performance/ritual  pov.

  • Being met at the station by Wayne. He used to visit my house when young so remembers my family and family home (very few people I know now can do this )
  • Talking about individual memories of our chldhoods. Lots of not quite shared recollections…fragments which almost fitted together and some ‘plasticity’.. A Piano in my bedroom! No. My grandma’s dark glasses…Yes… but I had forgotten.
  • Talking about my parents made them ‘present’ again… rather than just memories of my past they were also such a large part of Wayne’s but his recollections ‘ brought them back to life’!
  • Going to his house. Would I recognise anywhere… Did he still live in the tower block?
  • Tower blocks demolished. They were built in the 60’s/ early 70’s?
  • Scenes of Salford, see below. I bought my chips from this Takeaway. I had a tour round Salford to find a chippy open on a Tuesday night.
  • Going to Barbara’s house which has just been refurbished by the council. It has already had a new street name....why do they do that…?
  • Meeting Lorraine after many years and her daughters and discussing common memories
  • Sharing memories with Barbara’s neighbours even though we had never met before…to my recollection.
  • Ritual of flowers and hearse.Following to crematorium and service,
  • Agecroft Crematorium- certainly a Site of Memory ( Pierre Nora) – kept (just about) for restoration
  •  Individual touches of a common ritual...A solo acapella version of “I will always Love you”, “Simply the Best”, Balloons outside for Babs and her brother Peter.
  • Food, Prosecco and karaoake at the Wellington
  • ‘That’s life‘ and Andy Williams- ‘Can’t get used to losing you’
  • Bus to our Wayne’s in the rain.
  • Walk across the Red Rec to pick up the car
  • Back to Mancs and walking through Victoria Station ( memories of trips home to B’pool and visit by Angie..) the Arndale centre ( memories of the IRA Bomb ), Piccadilly Circus ( nights out and queuing for taxis in the early hours).

I was deeply aware of the strong  sense of community, which sounds patronising, but  was palpable.

It was comforting to all those present including me but associated with this there can be problems, as there are in Salford with family ties leading in some cases to problems which have been demonstrated over recent years.

The effects of repeated ‘re-generation’ of poor housing have really affected the people living here as can be seen in this report

in the Salford Star .

What I couldn’t understand was how some of the old terraces ( like the one Barbara managed to buy as a single parent in the 60’s) had been compulsorily purchase and the owners rehoused in council houses ( ditto) but some of them are still standing and in reasonable nick whereas the tower blocks which replaced them have now been demolished too….

I was distressed by what has happened to this ‘place’ and so also to the community, and the violence which now defines the area.

Rant over but travelling round in the car, by foot , on the bus and following the hearse… Doreen Massey and Lefevbre were echoing in my head.The website below was interesting too and has an interesting article about and this article about Archaeology and Place-Making

Worth another look.

Here are some photos and a couple of really crappy  phone videos… Well, I was in the pub at 3 o’clock in the afternoon… You’d expect it to be a bit wobbly.

I’m putting them here to remind myself of the event and the space created by Babs sudden absence.

That’s life: – tiny clip bad edit

Can’t get used to Losing You:


Science and Art Collaborations : Networks and Botany


We looked at a couple of things for our discussion with Ed Kelly on Thursday.

One was a TedTalk about network from a neuropsychologist ( ?) talking about the brain as a network, showing some illustrations and art work that had come from this idea. She is using these to think differently about her work. I enjoyed the lecture but had a couple of difficulties with it…

One was that I think it is easy to made work which is very literal about networks and this becomes illustrative and diagrammatic. Another from a personal pov as I find it hard to look at this subject objectively. I often think of my own brain as a failing network , especially when I am feeling fatigued or symptoms are overwhelming. When fatigue is really severe and I am struggling with various aspects of cognitive function it feels as if the Mac ‘spinning wheel of death’ is in my brain...and the screen is frozen... not a network analogy exactly but more a hardware problem.. I can just feel the messages not getting through… the struggle the impulses are having to make progress along the neurone and to the next synapse and junction on the network. Sometimes they stop there or arrive too late to be any use.

I guess I could examine this in my work but I don’t want to...not at the moment anyway. I’ did this drawing once fairly soon after diagnosis and it sort of shows a network but of nerve transmission within my body, mainly sensory  and therefore,  going into, not away from my brain….MS Resized PS

I want my work to be about something ‘outside ‘of me and  I’m afraid that I can’t think of brain function anymore without thinking of mine and the way it doesn’t always work.. and I have to put in a lot of ‘work’ ( actually the opposite…) to help it repair and form new networks. Up to the present day I am making enough new ones to function OK if very slowly sometimes and with lots of ‘wasted time’ in bed or just recovering.

I also think of networks as essentially involving people and ‘bodies’- an embodied social network and so this is more the line that I would take ( have taken but possibly not made sufficiently explicit) in my work. Networks of narrative and embodied documentation passing things on are central to what I think about in my work.

I looked again at the Whitechapel Book Networks which I bought some time ago and read the piece about Alan Kaprow’s work with Marta Minujin and Wolf Vostell. Simultaneity in Simultaneity (1966).I can’t find any images but this is from Marta Minjuin’s website. She’s still working today it seems..

This is her with Andy Warhol, more recently:

Marta Minujin e Andy Warhol - Foto: Acervo MALBA
Marta Minujin e Andy Warhol –
Foto: Acervo MALBA

Simultaneity in Simultaneity  October 13 and 24 1966 was the local episode of the international project Three Countries Happening,  between Minujín, Allan Kaprow (from New York), and  Wolf Vostell (from Berlin). Part of the happening consisted of three events in three cities at the same time. Minujín defined her happening as “environment signal”.

The first phase “Instantaneous Invasion”, consisted of an event to be simultaneously transmitted by radio, TV, telephone, and telegraph.

One hundred and twenty preselected people whos had been photographed, filmed and recorded in their homes, were “invaded” by media. During ten minutes, said Minujín, they were “captives of the communications media.

The second phase, “Enveloping Simultaneity”, Minujín invited sixty personalities from the cultural and journalistic world, whose were photographed and filmed, while they sat down in front of a TV set with a transistor radio.

When they went out, each was asked to give their opinion of the event and of the media in general. Eleven days later, the same sixty persons came back to the Institute. As they went to their corresponding seats, they watched themselves (their images, their gestures and movements) reflected on the screens of their TV sets and in slides which were proyected at the sides, while they listened to them own voices transmitted over the radio.

I was also reminded of a sentence from Liquid Times  by Zygmunt Bauman  p3 in which he states

That society is increasingly viewed and treated as a ‘network’ rather than a ‘structure’ ( let alone a solid ‘ totality’): it is perceived and treated as a matrix of random connections and disconnections and of an essentially infinite volume of possible permutations.

I can’t really comment further as I’m afraid I started to read the book on my way to the Funeral… see next post and didn’t get very far….

Another for the further reading..

At some point I’ll actually start to make some work… The Theory is taking over not the making… Not Good!


So the second lecture was very dense in content and involved a lot of work on Botanical specimens…some at RBG Kew With Rob Kesseler. HIs images are very evocative and especially his use of colour and I like the ceramics, although I do find his ‘ dinner parties ‘at the site where he took material from  a little too ‘token performance’ and not the same as for instance Rirkrit  Tiravanija though it is silly to make a comparison.

Kessler’s practice is not performative and the ‘ dinner parties’ are to use his ceramics and display them in use…not the work , itself. Remediating the images through performance but…because of my previous and some concurrent ‘paid’ work this botanical work was very much of interest ( and my previous work with the oral history project, Ethnomedica, at RBG Kew)

I thought though, how I would struggle to work as an artist working in this field. If I went back to work in a lab the way he did, I feel I would go back to ‘being a scientist’ and thinking in that way... a different way to use imagination and exploration. I would find it hard to do what I do as an artist in that environment. My way of thinking is very different in each capacity. I have only done one piece of work that was botanically related and that was ‘Wise or Wicked at Gunpowder Park.

I have though about incorporating plants as part of a reference to ‘place’ and these lectures reminded me of that…

This  was in my past Research Proposal and now it maybe time to bring it back in again…

Robinson in Ruins

I came across this in my final year of BA. I saw short excerpt but never went to the screening at the BFI as I didn’t really think it was relevant to my work at the time.

Jon Shapley mentioned it some weeks ago and also a few days later Gareth Polmeer.

I got the DVD a few weeks ago and watched it recently, after I’d submitted my research paper.

Another amazing coincidence (one of several which are cropping up with increasing frequency) is that Patrick Keiller was born in Blackpool !

The film is very complex and is only one part of an inter-institutional project  with Patrick Wright, Doreen Massey and Matthew Flintham. I  referenced Flintham’s PhD project , Parallel Landscapes, in my Research Paper. It focuses on militarised sites in the UK.

Doreen Massey discusses geography in a social/ esoteric ( not sure if I am using this word really correctly) and yet almost practical ( more common sense)  way.

I have her book For Space’ but really need to read it several times. It has changed my ideas of  ‘space’ completely  and is more accessible than Levefbre.( is that saying much?)

Included w ith the DVD of R in R  is a copy of Massey’s paper Landscape/ space/politics which I looked at briefly for my research paper. It  will need a closer read.

Patrick Keiller describes his work as being about ‘dwelling’, a settled agricultural past, its relationship to the English landscape and the development  of capitalism

There are so many points for discussion in the film but I’ll just highlight the things than are most relevant for me…. apart of course from the ones I’ve forgotten…

  • It is filmed in analogue film rather than digital
  • Keller uses a static camera and long takes with a combination of scenes in the mid- distance and close-ups.
  • Often, nothing much happens. There is the narration but it is sparse and slow.
  • There are elements of ‘myth’ regarding the content of the narration and the supposed character who has made the film.
  • It is filmed around the countryside of Oxfordshire and some is actually fairly close to my home! but not Croughton
  • It refers to RAF Upper Heyford and RAF Barford which are military bases associated with RAF Croughton.
  • It focusses on botanical elements as well as landscape and action, and dwelling within it and buildings.
  • The narration and the visual content move from subject to subject with the two not necessarily instantly recognised as related –a fragmentation
  • There are references and quotations within the narration …scattered.
  • It has an almost documentary format but elements of myth are juxtaposed .

In some ways I do wish I had seen this before I had written the paper as I may have extended the performative quality of the paper to echo this work.

There are many elements that I have included in my paper but, and I don’t know whether it is wise to admit it, I was not aware of this content and format before writing.

Also although here are so many similarities, I am actually thinking about very different things from Mr. Keiller…. or at least I think I am….?

For him the politics are paramount. For me, the politics are important but with a small ‘p’…I think..

Though in the past people have commented that my work is more political than I realise…

I started out thinking about collective memory but also ideology and the mythological associations of those.

I guess that’s pretty political…and once you start to talk about history whether personal or collective then there is a political element to that too.

EDIT November 2015:I looked at this as well The Robinson Institute, exhibition at the Tate 2012


I found this quote but now I’m not sure where…The Mission Statement from the Institute : aims to promote political and economic change by developing the transformative potential of images of landscape


Control vs Contingency ?

FACT Liverpool  is a friendly and helpful art-space we visited on the Liverpool Trip Day 2 They combine art and creative technology : a cinema, exhibition space and cafe, with a hackspace with stuff like a 3 D printer, other art materials and resident artists. They hold children’s workshops, events and academic seminars.

On their events programme is a workshop by a sound artist I had forgotten ( appropriate!) abouImogen Stidworthy, Her work is about language a prompt to look at it again…

and this, about language after a stroke.

The main exhibition here was Lesions in the Landscape  by Shona Illingworth whose work I have interested in before.

It has background of detailed research in to memory studies is a collaborative project with a neuropsychologist, Martin A Conway who I think she worked with in her project Balnkiel which I wrote about here 

University of Kent- Lesions in the Landscape

There were 3 large screens and immersive sound from a large number of speakers which apparently were placed with great precision to give the effect of sound which moved all the time around the space. There were also maps, GPS print outs and 3D- printed lesions from inside the brain of the person, Claire, whose amnesia is at the centre of the project.

The link above  shows  the points of reference  from the projects point of view.

See also the video

I just found the strangest of coincidences!... her father The Blind Watchmaker (in her work of the same name) was born in the same place as me! Thornton-Cleveleys in Lancashire…

Lesions in the Landscape is described as the examination of amnesia from an individual and social point of view. It is based on the experience of a woman living with amnesia and interlinks this with with an exploration of the island of St Kilda in the Outer Hebrides which was compulsorily evacuated ? to make way for an MOD station.

There was also an Amnesia Museum with archive maps,  photographs and sound work from EEG and Senscam images  with  neurological diagrams.

You could also wear a Senscam and navigate around a space.

The brochure states

 How do our individual and collective memories influence our understanding of society?

 Shona Illingworth’s new multi-screen installation reveals the devastating effects of amnesia on one woman and the parallels with the evacuation of St Kilda in 1930.

The culmination of a three-year research project in collaboration with neuropsychologists Martin A Conway and Catherine Loveday, the exhibition examines the implications of memory loss on identity, space and the capacity to imagine the future.


There is something I find difficult about her work and I don’t know what it is.

It was very powerful and moving; very affective.

Filmed in black and white, from a boat I think sometimes and sometimes from the air tracking people moving across the landscape of St Kilda with torches.I really enjoyed watching it and it is very well made, carefully crafted. There are cinematographers, sound recorders and others involved.

So what is it I don’t like that makes me feel uncomfortable about her work?

I felt it with Balnakiel too……..

The only thing I can think is that there is  too much production.

Clare, the patient,  was taken to St Kilda… I somehow feel  uncomfortable with that… the   ethics…a patient being used in the art work… I guess she was happy to do it and I have ‘used’ people for my work so why do I object?

Illingworth’s work  has many resonances with  to the issues covered in my Research Paper…. even down to the alluded to MOD links she has in this work and which are obviously part of the work in Balknakiel….

BUT I can just imagine a whole team of people and Clare going to St Kilda…
Is it because the work moves me but in a detached and impersonal way because of the ‘production’?

True enough there is a beauty in the work and the images are raw but it doesn’t feel raw…

 UPDATE: 25th October: I was in the shower yesterday when I thought! Contingency and Control!

I like to work with contingent situations and see what happens whereas Shona Illingworth’s work is very well controlled from the POV of the filming and introduction of the subject, Claire.

This review from Disability Arts Online does describe her as an active collaborator.

I think that’s it…..I prefer to be in a place and then do something, film something , from what arises. I like the ‘subjects’ to have as much control as possible…

I will ponder some more but for now just put in some links to some of the neurology drawings by the neuropsych which I really do love! There were plenty more on another page which I now can’t find… lesson learnt in keeping a Bilbiography.


Whilst looking for these links which may be useful to me, (and to Sarah Robinson, Fellow student, whose blog is here)

 I Found THIS below about the visual matrix method  of researching shared experience.

It was described to me by Susie Mellor, a hugely helpful and knowledgeable volunteer at FACT.

This, The Visual Matrix Method, was something ( or at least it sounds like what she described) that the staff and volunteers took part in after having watched Shona Illingworth’s work….

Susie was also interested in my Research Paper so I emailed her a copy…..

Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research

Volume 16, No. 3, Art. 6 – September 2015

The Visual Matrix Method: Imagery and Affect in a Group-Based Research Setting

Lynn Froggett, Julian Manley & Alastair Roy


The visual matrix is a method for researching shared experience, stimulated by sensory material relevant to a research question. It is led by imagery, visualization and affect, which in the matrix take precedence over discourse. The method enables the symbolization of imaginative and emotional material, which might not otherwise be articulated and allows “unthought” dimensions of experience to emerge into consciousness in a participatory setting.

We describe the process of the matrix with reference to the study “Public Art and Civic Engagement” (FROGGETT, MANLEY, ROY, PRIOR & DOHERTY, 2014) in which it was developed and tested. Subsequently, examples of its use in other contexts are provided. Both the matrix and post-matrix discussions are described, as is the interpretive process that follows.

Theoretical sources are highlighted: its origins in social dreaming; the atemporal, associative nature of the thinking during and after the matrix which we describe through the Deleuzian idea of the rhizome; and the hermeneutic analysis which draws from object relations theory and the Lorenzerian tradition of scenic understanding.

The matrix has been conceptualized as a “scenic rhizome” to account for its distinctive quality and hybrid origins in research practice. The scenic rhizome operates as a “third” between participants and the “objects” of contemplation. We suggest that some of the drawbacks of other group-based methods are avoided in the visual matrix—namely the tendency for inter-personal dynamics to dominate the event.

Key words: visual matrix; association; scenic; rhizome; methodology; affect; images; psychosocial; social dreaming