Experimental Group Tutorial and Tutorial with Rosie Sherwood

Experimental Group Tutorial: 25.2.16

After my Group Tutorial fiasco presentation in the first week of the Low Res, I decided to prepare a selection of images to refer to and talk around in the Experimental Group Tutorial in the second week.

I had no idea about what format it would take so it was a daft idea really but the sudden realisation that I can’t do ‘these things’  things on the fly anymore made me need to plan, even for something I knew nothing about….interesting concept.

Jonathan described to us a way of encouraging personal reflection during this Tutorial.

Each of us in turn described a single question we had about our own work, arrived at through about 10 minutes of silent contemplation.

Then we explored this through members of our group asking only open questions about our question. Quite an interrogation, as it turned out.

I was in a group with Sharon and Philip, which I was happy about and felt comfortable with.I think this helped with the process, especially as it was the first time we’d tried it.

We were generally pretty good at regulating ourselves and each other regarding not commenting and not asking closed questions, so I felt the whole process was very useful…though not easy either as a questioner or as the one being questioned.

There were quite a few times when I was wriggling around in physical discomfort at the issues I was ‘forced’ to confront… barriers I was aware of and that I was party to in my own development.

At the end, when we had all had ‘a turn’, we had another reflection and chance to write down our conclusions.

My question was

How do I balance the local/social/political aspects of my work with any national/political  concerns without one overwhelming the other?..(particularly when working at certain sites)

I don’t remember the questions that I had most difficulty answering and didn’t write down lots of notes doing the process, partly because one member of the group was recording all the sessions but also because I didn’t want to stop the ‘flow’ of gradually realisation..

There were 2 key questions that I must still ponder upon..

Where am I a local?

What do I mean by external expectations?

These are key questions form the point of view of audience and participation/ collaboration.

One decision that I formed afterwards ( which is of course still open to change..)

To make choices of materials for inclusion in my work using a ‘chance’ system similar to the one used but John Cage – Philip mentioned Metamorphosis ( interesting as I have been researching the iChing for a while now).

This would remove personal choices and influence at any one time…

But there would be some structure within the categories of materials accummulated.

This idea of a paradoxical arrangement between structure and chance comes up again below

Tutorial with Rosie Sherwood : 1.2.16

She did the MA Book Arts at Camberwell some years ago and runs a publishing company.

We had a lecture on her work on a Live Stream.

Her work is  based on meta-comics…comics about the structure of comics.


Elbow Room – Rosie Sherwood
She Must – Rosie Sherwood

As a last minute thing I had the chance of a tutorial with Rosie Sherwood. I booked in because

  • Its always good to have another set of eyes to look at your work.
  • I’ve been thinking long and hard ( draft post…) about the non-linear narrative in my work and how to best represent that…struggling with Storify and video…. thinking about magic realism and how that works in literature to fracture narrative.
  •  I’d had a brief look at on-line comics some time ago and how they function with linear and non- linear narrative.
  • Ideas of truth and fiction
  • I like books and was considering going on a Book- making day course  next weekend.. just because.

The Tutorial was very enlightening and inspiring.

I’d already got the images below for her to look at whilst I described my work.

Almost instantly she saw ‘ a book’ in Ordnance Survey, which I hadn’t noticed… the laminations as pages.

How could I not have seen that!!

I was so excited that I talked too much and listened too little… but here below are some of the key nuggets for future use.

  • Comics are about Time and Space.
  • Rosie has investigated the comic format because of this relationship – especially with time
  • The comic explores the boundary between books and other genres
  • The panels offer a structure but also freedom
  • Although here is a linear format of panel, reading takes place across panels and ? ‘trips the structure’ into a non- linear narrative as the reader works across the structure.
  • The spaces below the panels are known as the gutter ( the white spaces). These operate between the creator and the comic and leave space for the imaginatio

She suggested that with any participative event that there maybe some opportunity for participants/ audience to feedback other than just through direct participation –

This maybe particularly relevant regarding the occurrence of coincidences…I guess it depends on whether or not I want these to be recorder or documented… or just assume they will happen and that I will be made aware of some of them through general conversation…

She suggested that I try working with Storify but just using images instead of using as a text-based platformand working with the layers of history in this way

Maybe I will use the images that I used in the short video but in Storify and see what happens then.

She also referenced Concrete poetry which I had explored a little but then discarded

Maybe time for a re-think

” Building Stories in a box”

This is something I did in my Foundation and often think about… making a structured no-linear narrative..

Maybe I could investigate this…if not for this work… in the future…

As I write this I am thinking about the memory boxes that are used in Reminiscence workshops with people with dementia!


Maybe use all these ideas together!!!

She gave me the following references

The Unwritten – Mike Carey

Understanding Comics – Scott McCloud ( which is written as a comic)

Artists as Cartographers – Walking and mapping by Karen O’Rourke ( which I took out of the library some time ago… should re- read now I know why I’m getting it out!)

I may have lost a Post-it and if so this Post will be updated…again!


At All Times and in All Places

A Further Edit of At All Times and in All Places

Which incorporates a ( small) action  which took place at the time the UK Parliament voted for airstrikes on Syria on 2nd December 2015. The action and making of the object placed is also documented in this post 2nd December 2015- spaces in production

It includes on-line sources documenting events immediately leading up to, following and occurring at the same time as the vote and includes action documented via a simultaneous Periscope broadcast and is intended to illustrate unfolding events and simultaneity for example the San Bernardino attacks .

Original of At All Times and in All Places


I’ve been playing with Vine quite a lot lately.

Not at all competently, as you can see,

Many of my posts need rotating and editing see here but I can’t do that…Yet!

There are some of Ed Kelly’s Sound workshop during the Low Res which I did when I reached the limit of my understanding and attention and one of  DG interacting with the exhibit at South London Gallery.

Childish I know … but that’s what I love about Vine.

And the HOURS I could spend on it if I …had the hours!

I did make a few  of Vines of a Periscoped dice throwing action on Crouch Hill, which you can scroll through and find…and I’ve embedded the  one which works best here :

Dice-Rolling on Crouch Hill Periscope stream Vined

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 17.50.04


This seemed appropriate as a Ritual action on continual repeat..

I liked that…

There’s also a couple of my son faffing with some music ( sorry Ferg) and few Liked re-Vines with Cory and Aaron… daft but make me chortle in that bloke humour sort of way ( I try to ignore the sexism…same as always..and look to the banality only) and then in the middle of the banal is the beautifully crafted and the political satirical.

Wondering if this is a way to re- broadcast my Periscope stream from the saved Camera Roll.

Why would I want to…. is it appropriate..when should I do it if I do.

For the Dice Rolling it seems appropriate.

I’ll re think for each action I guess.

I did feel it was appropriate for the action of at all times and in all places but only the laying down of the piece itself.

I can’t edit Vine on my phone (Old 4S and it won’t let me do lots of things…the apps have moved fast …can’t get the updates) so despite spending hours on a demo of iExplorer I couldn’t get the clip I’d made into the App on my phone

(UPDATE  4th MAY – I’ve got a new SE and now can’t get it to find the vid…not trying any more..till next time..)

Anyway I made this  clip and put it on Vimeo.

Maybe it’ll make it’s way to Vine eventually…defeats the object of timeliness really but Hey Ho…

One interesting thing about Vine from a personal POV is that it pleased me when one of Ferg’s Vine friends, ( met in real life and time through Vine) then went to Paris to a meeting of Viners and met the Real ( yes, the Real) Cory!

Somehow in a sad, sad way I felt ‘connected’ to the Youth of Today……and it was a good feeling……….

 UPDATE- 4th May- maybe I should reconsider Vining my Periscope streams… especially since the demise of Katch …..

Tutorial 18.02.2016

On Thursday 18th February I had a group tutorial with Jonny Briggs and several other 1st and 2nd year students on the Low Residency.

Unlike the Research Discussion I had not really prepared for this at all before the Low Res. and planned just to use the post I had used for the discussion to introduce my work.

I’d also taken along the replacement piece of work I made for Ordnance Survey.

My intention was to highlight the underlying political slant in my work which was not discussed in the Reseach Discussion, to try to make a decision about how overt to make it in a final piece.

It keeps being at the centre of the work I make at the moment and has been lurking in other works so I decided that I needed to discuss this.

However, after an initial introduction I really started to lose the plot with my presentation, partly I think because I left really limited for time.

I got very confused with my descriptions  of  core concepts and of the work.

And  I couldn’t find work on the Blog…because of connection problems…. anyway I got hot and bothered and gave a poor and confused introduction to my work for someone so close to the end of the game!

What was amazing though, was how Jonny Briggs saw through the confusion to some of the issues I had addressed in my Dissertation for my BA and which are still central to my thoughts..

The ideas of Truth and Fiction.

He directed me to works by Bloomberg and Chanarin in particular Dodo.

This is remarkable as I had spent a while researching the Dodo in the Museum of Natural History in Oxford!

Again… What goes round comes round.. but differently.

The actual work they have produced is initially not visually similar to mine but the references are… so I will look more closely

He also recommended  Andrew Lacon who is discussing his work below.

It relates to archive and references within it although it is based on sculpture and photography.

When I heard him talk about Reference Works it fits with the way my mind has been travelling since I came back from the first part of the Low Res…

The ideas of Truth and fiction and the benefits of confusion and what Jonathan highlighted in the Research discussion …. Paradox..

I should be able to work with these ideas and with the ideas of reference and archive; possibly embracing confusion will take me back to non-linearity and feel comfortable with it.

I’m going to look more closely at the performative and  I started thinking of Connotations and Hayley Newman again.

Also about ways of introducing things into the environment but impermanently as I have done before,  but extending it.

In fact, although I wanted to cry during the tutorial as my memory let me down at a key moment, the confusion that resulted was valuable.

Key Ideas were still visible in it and I have left me with a direction to re-write my Proposal for the next couple of months.

Thanks Jonny.

The benefit of being in a group tutorial meant we could see others’ work.

I was very impressed with the subtle but significant, gentle deepening of Trystan  Williams work and of Natalie Jaekle , beautiful and sensitive with a great use of the sketchbook on her blog.


The Inoperative Community and Allan Kaprow ‘Hello’

The Inoperative Community at Raven Row 

This is an exhibition of experimental narrative film and video  made since 1968  addressing ideas of community and the changing nature of social relations. It reflects the overlapping and entangled histories of  cinema, video and television. They all describe the destruction of community, the limits of activism and leftish subcultures. All of them use narrative to explore these issues.

Because there is fifty hours of material, any visitor can only  see a fraction of the works, but can make connections can be made between the works.
it was fascinating just wandering from room to room, staying sometimes ( rarely) for a complete work but just ‘browsing’ and not feeling as is this was a ‘bad thing to do’.

A bit like watching Periscope Streams! I couldn’t really do it justice as I had to move on to the Lecture at Whitechapel. I had no idea there would be so much. There were timetables so you could check what you were actually seeing and schedule in other visits.

I loved the confusing, fragmentary nature of the total summary narrative that you are left with, and the remnants of the powerful individual storylines from the individual works . Interesting.

I particularly enjoyed Luke Fowler,  Johan Grimonprez,

 Anne Charlotte Robinson Selections from 5 year Diary 

anne charlotte robertson-1.d5bd935c7d9790f28b78aa1058d3b5dc

and Lav Diaz Melancholia ( 2008)


 Electronic Superhighway

I visited this exhibition after seeing The Inoperative Community and going to the James Bridle Lecture. Trying to squeeze far too much into my time. By the time I got to this exhibition I hadn’t got time before it closed to look closely at everything, and Boy! was there a lot to look at! I browsed around and ended up making Vines of bits of Naim June Paik’s work Internet Dream and some of the other works….but even managed to get those on the wrong axis, I was so tired….interesting though

Also good to see Lynn Hershman Leeson, whose work I saw at Modern Art Oxford in Summer 2015 and Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T)  John Cage and Robert Rauschenberg.

 Here’s a review of the whole show from The Guardian

Allan Kaprow Hello 

Of all the works in this significant and somewhat overwhelming exhibition I kept returning to this., Allan Kaprow Hello. Probably because of the elements of human interaction.
Kaprow created  this interactive video happening in 1969 for The Medium Is the Medium, an  experimental television program with five television cameras and twenty-seven monitors connecting  four remote locations over a closed-circuit television network.
Groups of people in the various locations  were given instructions to say on camera, for example “Hello, I see you”  seeing their own or a friend’s image. Kaprow acted as a director in the studio, the picture suddenly switching randomly so that there was not only the process of communication , randomness and chance,
Kaprow  was interested in the idea of  ‘communications media as non-communications‘, the most important message  being the idea of “oneself in connection with someone else”.  Hello  was a the disruptive way that technology mediates interaction by  metaphorically short-circuiting the television network,  and  demonstrating the connections made between actual people. Kaprow did suggest a global form of Hello, interconnecting continents, languages, and cultures in one huge sociological mix, much as Periscope operates today  demonstrating contemporary simultaneity.

(Adapted from: Kristine Stiles and Edward A. Shanken , MISSING IN ACTION: AGENCY AND MEANING IN INTERACTIVE ART) and Gene Youngblood: EXPANDED CINEMA, 1970, [PDF /4.6 Mb] pp.343-344



Allan Kaprow, Hello, 1969 Filmstill | ©


Hello Allan Kaprow 1969, 4:23 min, b&w, sound

No single malevolent butterfly – Throwing dice, Chaos Theory and Coincidence

“No single malevolent butterfly ” George Voss and Tom Armitage

After yesterday’s discussion I emailed this quote  from and article in February’s Art Monthly by Rob le Frenais, in which he was discussing the book by Catherine Elwes : Installation and the Moving Image, who apparently starts it with a paradox…


The quote is from Robert Smithson-

The existence of the artist in time is worth as much as any finished object.

Yesterday, directly after the Skype I went for a short walk up Crouch Hill, no phone, no camera, just a walk and a chat with a pal.When I got home I needed to get some cash and a as it was such a beautiful chilly day I got my bike out and rode to the Co-op. I haven’t ridden it for months and was enjoying that feeling of connectivity I get when I’m on the bike, and thinking about moving through space…. when I saw in the sharp, strong, low light someone I’d been meaning to contact for months! I contacted him when I was researching the Reading Room and RAF Croughton.

Because I was on my bike I just stopped and shouted “Paul”!

If I’d been in the car I would have driven straight past…..

We had a long chat about Crouch Hill and its contemporary and historical significance as…..by coincidence… that is just where he was going….and I discussed a future possible project with him…as you do… on the pavement….then I went to the shop and he climbed the hill.

This morning I got an email… with this link

I hadn’t realised  before our conversation that he observed many of things I had been observing regarding the Hill… many be we are the beginning of a critical mass.

I got another message at the same time….from the family I worked with whose father worked at the base! Yet more synchronicity.

This and the combination of seeing on the news about the observation of gravitational ripple made me spend a few minutes this morning thinking ago ‘chaos theory’ even more and how scientists actually think it has an effect…on the weather.

Another coincidence as we spent a long while chatting about the unpredictability of the weather especially in Canada during the Skype Chat.

I decided to go up the hill again this morning ( still feeling good and making the most!), took a couple of dice that we used to use playing games with the lads, and an old wooden shaker that belonged to my grandmother. When I got there, atop the hill in the bright spring sunshine I rolled the dice and made a few Vines and a Scope.

I still haven’t faffed enough to be able to down or upload to or from Vine but this is the Scope.

There is a link, perhaps, between the action of throwing as a simple action and the randomness of the dice ( not explained that very well)

One of the things discussed in Chaos theory, I understand, is how the rolling of the dice is  affected by the ways that all surrounding phenomena impact on each dice as it rolls; especially  the weather and gravity.

A suitable action for the day I thought..

The Scopes shown both Screen recordings of plays from Periscope via Twitter and also from  Katch.me  via Twitter via Periscope…..

Katch.me archives the recordings, other wise they disappear within 24 hours. It also gives the Stats., hearts and comments.

Also, This preview shows how unpredictability and order fit together in a system in Chaos Theory




Answers to questions in the Research Discussion

I’ll start this post by answering some of the questions which I left unanswered in yesterday’s Research Discussion Skype Chat ( which was extremely helpful and thanks to my colleagues in Canada, Bahrain, Romania and London for all their questions and comments)

I find it too easy to get caught up in one line of thinking and typing during the chat , so I missed some of the key questions. My apologies but here are some further thoughts.

 Jonathan Kearney :  so Rhiannon, if the ‘material record of global history is a palimpsest that stretches across the whole surface of the earth’— then your art, your ‘job’ has been simply uncovering that in one small intersection point?

Me :   I suppose that could be true.  I think though that as well as uncovering an intersection there is a ( possibly symbolic) action  which is demonstrating the power of individual agency a in both a global and local context and the networks that hold it together

Jonathan Kearney : Rhiannon, so the ‘agency’ you are using, is uncovering the past — to shape the future — all done in the present?

 Me : More than that I hope ultimately. The agency of making, and placement and the act of doing also-

Fuller answer  – Re the future- I am not necessarily making my action(s) to directly effect change in the future in any direction ( I don’t think – that  would be  a Grandiose Delusion! though there is some idea of action as a catalyst )  but rather as a demonstration of symbolism of agency, and also the extra directional agent of critical mass.

But certainly to uncover the past and make it momentarily present in the (visual?) imagination. At that one moment the openness of the future – all the other possibilities ( especially because they are also made manifest through using Periscope…the  global possibilities are so very  present)- is more ‘visible’ if only from the point of view of awareness rather than image.

In the actions, themselves, I am working with imagination rather than direct visual imagery.

Internal imagery.

Another paradox…see later…if I want to make all that stuff  visible in a piece of work…documentation…

Jonathan Kearney : Yvonne, yes I guess recycling might have become a ritual — in the habitual act aspect of ritual — a useful ritual that creates the conceptual and philosophical space the understand how the small action of recycling 1 plastic bottle challenges the larger act of buying bottled water in the first place for example?

Me : Yes, Y and J, there is difference between a habitual act and a ritual but for some people maybe this is a symbolic act of ritual, of small to greater and communal power,  if not of marking time …. a move towards the hope of critical mass of change and hopefully a ripple effect.

Although from an environmental and sustainability point of view it is paradoxical( that word again)


Peter Mansell : mmmm Jonathan makes a v interesting point Rhi – does the form of your work (performance, video) work against the subject matter because it is by its nature temporary and narrative (linear)?

Me : I’m not sure if I saw Jonathan’s point… but if you mean that in the theory I am talking about continuation and in my practice, what I do is temporary….? I think that performance ( as in individual action of any sort) continues in the changes it effects ( how ever tiny) and in the experience of those who witness it or the changes it has effected…so it has a temporal permanence…

The material remains will degrade but slower and still continue.

Both are temporary and persisting.

The narrative is a more difficult challenge as the narrative I seek to afdddress is non- linear and I believe my action to be non- linear, However , the means of representing through image based documentation is always, no matter how I try, linear….or with over riding visual linear operations which is what we see first.

I have been look ing at ways of trying to address this and at the moment an looking into fiction writing ( and fictional film)… for ideas !…

but then of course the writing and the reading of the book when we do it has a  linear temporality .. even if the content leads us to a personal experience which is not!

Peter Mansell :  If I recall you had a technical problem did you?

Me :Yep! Several and on several occasions….I like to think of this as being part of the contingency – led methodology, but it is bloody frustrating. Though if I am philosophical it always leads to new thoughts…..

 Peter Mansell : The form of your work Rhi appears anti aesthetic and uncontrived (although it is contrived of course). Is there any reason behind that approach?

Me : There are several reasons.

  • I do not want a pleasing aesthetic to confuse reading of the work. Sometimes I go too far the other way though….
  • Also an anti-aesthetic is part of an effort to separate from the ‘precious object’ idea of art consumerism and the idea of ‘relic’ and ‘icon’, though again this is another paradox….
  •  Also as the actions I want to highlight are those of the Everyday., where moments of beauty, poignancy, violence, dirt, rubbish etc just arise.
  • I try to alter nothing in the environments in which I work and choose compositions etc for reasons of information ( though obviously there is an overlap here…)
  •  and of course, simply by being there,  something has changed……

Me : There is a Harun Faroki piece in the Electronic Superhighway exhibition that says it is about simultaneity. He uses 4 huge screens all at the same time .They are so PRESENT  The screens!

Extra point : I do realise that this work was about Gaming so the screens are an important part of the contextual element of the work

Yvonne Opalinski : Yup, and if what we do is meant to convey some meaning or communicate then how we execute is so important … your work keeps referring back to narrative and its importance

Me : Yes Y but I am wrestling with linearity!

Jonathan Kearney :  Rhiannon I suspect however you present your work there will be an element of compromise related to the concept — but maybe you shouldn’t fear that — it is a reality and something you can work with or against

Me : I agree but I really enjoy the challenge of exploring other options… and what I discover in the process.

 Jonathan Kearney :  Rhiannon – paradox is at the heart of this – there it is again – involve others but avoid sense of theatre — this is the interesting thing in the work — negotiating these paradoxes — it will make for a compromised presentation but an exciting one at the same time

Me : Yes I hope to involve others but act as a link between them and aPeriscope audience.

There is a theatre term for this type of ‘aside’ which breaks the suspension of belief and brings back immediacy… the same as I was working with in my filming.

It is ‘real’ not theatre and performance in the sense that all life is performance….( S. peare…!)

I want to bring that action back to the ‘Now’ whatever that is…