St Georges Day #Crouch Hill #adisturbingpreoccupation

I’ve been planning an event on the Hill for May 1st for sometime, but wanted to try something prior to that.


I’d noticed that the number of ‘things going on’ locally for St Georges Day seems to be increasing every year.This could be an indication of increasing nationalism and reflect thoughts about immigration, identity, EU membership, devolution etc but I’ve interpreted some of it , certainly in this ‘neck of the woods’ , as a way that pubs and community venues can attract customers for  a ‘special event’- Another way of getting ‘bums on seats’- although obviously the political background impacts in how and when these events are selected. I noticed close by here in Banbury, Oxfordshire, UK were this Ska and Soul Charity night at a leisure centre, and a poster outside The  Horse and Jockey.  An interesting cultural fusion in a place where diversity is present but not evident. I was also interested in the relationship between the religious and secular origins  of celebration of a patron saint on a Saint’s Day and how the image of the flag has been appropriated over time. Attitudes recently have varied over time , as this article in The Week shows from 2015 and Telegraph 2012.

More recently as I edit this in June 2016, with the links between football and nationalism here in the Daily Mail and here in the Coventry Telegraph, How to add the flag to your Facebook…

The event investigates and remediates some of the music and writings associated with representations of the saint, the date, associations with the space of Crouch Hill as it is and as created, locally and globally .

Documenting the ephemeral…again

By this time Katch had stopped working and I still had my iPhone 4S so could only save the broadcasts by screen recording from the Periscope app on my desktop. Again, that ambiguity of desperately trying to save the footage, comments and hearts before the 24hours were up! Documenting the ephemeral. I justify it here as part of the research process, for analysis and assessment.

However, looking back on it is fascinating as it makes me a viewer and of course changes my relationship with the work.

Below is the selection of clips I made for possible inclusion in the Symposium video. There is  un- edited footage from screen recordings on YouTube here #adisturbingpreoccupation But I’m afraid I haven’t had chance to organise the playlists…..

I have listed the pieces further on in the text , with rationale for the choices and some brief analysis.


 Content and Analysis 

For the Broadcasts I used the #adisturbingpreoccupation #Crouch Hill – a reference to a the political/ activist content of the folk/punk songs and texts re-mediated in this publicly -used but privately owned space, the use of the tent and my own as an artist and individual.

The Re-mediated content  is excerpts from

  • Let England Shake – PJ Harvey 2011  ( lyrics here)   This song  evokes the spirit of 2010 and past and present conflicts in our collective memory.  It serves as a contrast to the stillness and stasis of the visible broadcast image of the countryside from the tent on Crouch Hill and a call for reflection and action. Her words below express something I feel when experiencing the ‘place’ and ‘space’ that is Crouch Hill in its position in the past, present and future global landscape for my ‘locale’.

PJ Harvey:”The record is dealing with a lot of things that are happening in the world right now– conflict, shifts in powhe change in society and in countries’ relations to each other. Although I sing specifically from the point of view of an Englishwoman in England, I hope that I’m addressing feelings that are much more universal. Hopefully, many people can relate to these sorts of feelings– the push and pull that you have with your country, the love and the disappointments. And the nature of conflict is timeless, this cycle of war that has been here since time began and will be here long after we’re gone. It’s something we all live with”

  • Kingdom Come – from Chapter One – The St George’s Cross – JG Ballard 2006 ( reviewed here in the Guardian) The action of reading this excerpt in this location and broadcasting it, links consumerism  with mobile technology; the ‘consumption’ of moving image, ‘shared’ experience; and the the hidden ideologies and histories associated with my broadcasting location.

In her introduction to Kingdom Come  Deborah Levy states that “it is a ‘sort of fairy tale  in which “more primitive world” is “biding its time”‘, where  Consumerism is turning  into ‘soft’ Fascism.

I included this piece to link St. George, Englishness and the politics of consumerism which exists just outside the frame of the Periscope broadcast…1.5 miles away in the Castle Quay Shopping Centre Banbury. This is built on the site of Banbury Castle, placed under siege in the English Civil War. William Waller apparently camped on Crouch Hill in 1644 during one siege.The poem by Rusher read in my  initial Broadcasts refers to that, here .

  • England in Ribbons – song by Chris Wood and Hugh Lupton 2006 (ref to  R3 Broadcast here) Broadcasting this song comments on and highlights the ambiguity, preconceptions of tradition and hidden beliefs; and the common connections between global mythologies, past and present  as well as the performativity and role- playing exisiting in conflict and politics. The clip shows my tent and also in the distance is RAF Croughton, not visible on the broadcast, but also pointed out later by Paul Mobbs, as the geodesic radar domes of the USAF communication station glistened in the sunlight at the end of the day

The song describes a traditional English mummers’ play, ( A folk play performed by  traditionally  male amateur actors. Two characters engage in  combat,  a hero, often and in this song, Saint George,  and his chief opponent, known as the Turkish Knight in southern England,  the loser being revived by a quick ‘Doctor’ who adminsters a ‘magic potion’ ).This references St. George, ritual and custom and so collective memory  with ideology and mythology  woven into the characters and performances which are still relevant today. According to legend, St George was a Roman soldier who ordered his death for failing to recant his Christian faith and became a Christian martyr.  He was brought up in Lydda or Lod in the Middle East Syria.

  • I am Albion  – 2015 poem by  Bob Hill, ‘local’ poet and writerI heard Bob read this poem some months ago and felt it described and addresses preconceptions of contemporary Englishness.Reading it out-loud animates it, although it is still powerful as ‘page-poetry’. I felt that broadcasting it via Periscope from the Hill, made both a statement and comment to any viewers whether local passers by, in the UK or further afield regarding notions of geography, social space, associated identities, communication and language, both written and spoken.
  • Another Imperial Day – New Model Army 2005 ( Lyrics here  Apart from the name of the band and its associations with Cromwell and the English Civil War and so a link to the Broadcast location, this particular song, despite being written and recorded a decade ago, still has contemporary resonances,with  immigration and migration, world conflict and nationalism and politics. Broadcasting this from a tent as a temporary, vulnerable residence;- a space with no clear inside and outside,  not fixed in time,  with multiple identities – references the main premises of Doreen Massey’s position regarding space and simulateneity with respect to the Calais  and other refugee camps and the social space created and destroyed there. EDIT and no longer mentioned… 12.06.16
  • The Book of Common Prayer 1552/1558 version – 5th Sunday in Advent, Collect, Epistle and Gospel ( Link here to a more recent version)  The language of the BOCP  permeates English culture and it has been used as a means of social and political control  since  Henry VIII’s rule to today. Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, created it as the authoritative manual of Christian worship throughout England with many revisions over time and throughout the world and past British Empire. It’s use was central  in the background to English Civil War and so contemporary ‘Britishness’.
  • Looking at headlines from international newspapers (23rd April  2015).  By including this action I was attempting to link my previous project at The Reading Room Croughton  + (other posts) , my Research Paper, past and present global and UK events with this event…. I’m not sure this worked at all as the connectivity was poor, the image quality too poor to see the text and there was no opportunity to explain to the viewers. This clip is also misleading as the dominant image is one of Kentucky fried Chicken… The edit was rather over literal reference to excessive consumerism and pervading American Culture… but, on reflection, I think it is distracting and easily misread. I could have edited it from the video but that would have given a misleading portrayal of the event….. of course the edits I have chosen are not impartial and not necessarily representative of that happened… highlighting the fact/fiction and self-reflexive ambiguity of any documentation
  • Reading from Siegfried Sassoon Diaries 1915-1918 –ed. Rupert Hart Davies 1983  [entries for 23rd April]  I wanted to re-mediate some autobiographical in addition to  collective memories and own this book. Sassoon’s memoirs and diaries have given us  eyewitness accounts from the poet’s embodied experiences of WWI as a British soldier, linking  the pasts of 1914-18 with 1642-1651. Unusually, I completed this action twice as during the first, even the large dual battery backup for my phone had run out of charge. A colleague Claire, arrived just after and so she Broadcast this from her phone and Periscope account… hence it being viewed more as a ‘performance’. As she had ownership of her broadcast and as a witness,  used the camera phone in a way I would not have…resulting in this clip. during the reading, both of us were deeply affected by the action. She was not able to interact with any audience as she was unable to access the ‘chat’.This again emphasised the distance between me as performer, and the viewers, which I felt strongly, unlike the previous broadcasts that day
  • Ederlezi – Goran Bregovic 1988   This references the overlay, fluidity and simultaneity of tradition and custom across cultures and time in a symbol of   ‘essentially Britishness’. Again this was broadcast by Claire and the viewers see me as ‘performer’ or protagonist, even though my action is slight and relatively passive.There are references through the link with Romany culture to the creation of ephemeral physical spaces of collective continuing social interaction, throughout history.“Ederlezi” is a popular Romany traditional folk song, named from a Spring festival which celebrates the return of spring; Ederlezi is the Romany name for the Feast of Saint George, celebrated on 6 May [ Juian Calendar – 23 April] approximately 40 days after the spring equinox. Turkish Hıdırellez, which also signals the beginning of spring, occurs on the same day.
  • Albion – Baby Shambles 2005  was included on the ‘playlist’ for this event as I felt the urban references contrasted with the rural landscape that viewers of the broadcast would see and with the experiences of anyone living in the locality of Crouch Hill, demonstrating the variety of ‘Englands’ that exist; that Place is variable.The song concerns the concept, landscape and life of Albion, a mythical England (or Great Britain). This clip was actually taken as video documentation  rather than a live stream as Claires’ connection also failed at this point. Ae the same moment Paul Mobbs ( freelance environmental investigator, activist, Quaker and local historian) and his son arrived unexpectedly on the Hill. I had previously approached him regarding some collaborative action for the project, but had not arranged this meeting and he was not aware of the event ( he does not own a mobile phone!) As Albion played out from the speaker, Paul spontaneously pointed out USAF Upper Heyford, RAF Croughton, Edge Hill and other landmarks are relevant to my research, as well as discussing possible  planning permission for residential building encroaching on the hillside. This coincidence was a perfect example of the contingency of working in a public space. With his arrival and departure, as with Claires’ and the other ( very was cold day) passers- by the space changed, as it did with each action; broadcast or not.To me this clip is highly affective, especially as it occurs towards the ‘end’ of the event…
  • This is England – The Clash 1985  (2010 World Cup version)  Again this was  video documentation rather than a broadcast but included for ‘completeness’. I wanted to include this song for the ‘punk ‘ relationship with folk tradition and Britishness.Also it references ‘Sheffield steel’  and  at the moment Tata steel is in the news. The only version available on iTunes was this one  2010 World Cup edition, with a St George’s flag on the album artwork. I placed the speaker on the Trig point as I wanted to  ‘strike camp’ with the soundtrack spreading as far as possible. I felt strangely moved by this process, despite only being there for half a day or so, I feel the documentation  has a poignancy to it as well. The space was undergoing yet another change. No one else witnessed this action, apart from Claire.

To document- or not document?

These broadcasts wer not automatically on Katch so I made the decision to screen record after, as mentioned earlier, the documentation then exists and is edited into another piece of work, the video. I have done this consciously and edited according to the conceit of the work.I am still struggling with how this changes the action, if it does, but fell I ned to look at what I have done at this stage for analysis as well as assessment. I was surprised by how deeply affected I was watching the footage, and differently from during the action…

Technical issues:

I had problems with connectivity, both for the broadcast and also of the music.

I’d made downloaded several tracks from various sources onto another phone and Bluetooth- ed them across so that the soundtrack is embedded in the landscape and is the action in many cases. Just me, in the tent and the music…. and viewers

I had difficulties seeing the screen on my phone whilst broadcasting, sometimes using a tripod or phone holder, which meant

  • I couldn’t see the comments to read them and respond to them because the tripod was in the way
  • Often they were unreadable because of glare even though the sun wasn’t shining.
  •  I was reading from text so couldn’t reply to viewers comments
  •  The connection was poor and this affected stream quality in some cases and viewer retention
  • This was a more performative action than previously, less interactive by intention, though I did try to explain the relevance of each piece before the broadcast.
  • Despite a large dual battery backup pack for the phone and the bluetooth speaker I ran out of charge
  • Before the end of the event, colleague, Claire’s phone lost connectivity… so not way of broadcasting….. still that was only part of the action, after all…
  • EDIT : I didn’t screen record the comments or hearts as I forgot that these are only accessible  when using Chrome as the browser for the  Periscope app and at this stage I couldn’t screen record from my phone.I suspect because I wasn’t able to respond the comments would be minimal… but a shame never the less..A bit of a paradox…temporally speaking……

Each piece was broadcast separately but with the same hashtag #Crouch Hill #adisturbingpreoccupation which, along with the title was long and caused some issues when having to re-start the broadcast when the connection went.

The title references the ‘loading’ and associations/ intentions/ perceptions relating to the use of a tent pitched in an undesignated location, my artistic and academic pre-occupation with Crouch Hill and my temporary intermittent ‘ownership’ of the space, which seemed pertinent to this event on this day in 2016 and the global network space in which it existed. Associations I am aware of are listed below…

  • Traditional ‘family’ rural  camping holidays often at Bank Holidays associated with religious festivals
  • Refugee camps and migrating peoples
  • Nomadic cultures, homelessness and transience
  • The Occupy movement
  • Military associations
  • Environmental and other activist groups
  • Music festivals
  • Camp outs -small(ish)  gatherings with music and alcohol +,  a phenomenon of ‘teen culture’ locally particularly on Crouch Hill in the warmer weather.
  • Scout, Guide and Woodcraft-type Youth camps
  • Circus

Creative Dementia Arts Conference 2016


This years conference was at St Hugh’s College, Oxford 14th and 15th April 2016.

My original proposal for this MA  ( as I remember it!) was  based on autobiographical and collective memory and I had some idea, I think, of linking my community -based work with my practice. I’ll explore how these links have developed and unravelled in another post but I’m including this resume of the conference to reference specific uses of digital technology and also a project I became aware of that I will follow up in the future, post-MA.

From a Networking Point of view the conference is always useful meeting with colleagues, Clare Carswell who is Lights Up Co-ordinator.

Lights up is a Monthly arts group for people with Dementia and their carers in West Oxfordshire. I have worked with the group on several occasions and work from the group was exhibited at an exhibition in January, curated and installed by Clare.

Hannah Cervenka ( who Co-ordinates Taking Part which helps to fund Community practice in the area) and Paula Bailey ( who I worked with on the Banbury Old Town Party community event for several years).  Both are Arts Development Officers for Cherwell District Council,  Karey Morley, who facilitates the ‘Times Gone By’ Reminiscence group at  Banbury Museum were also there and I had a great discussion about Community Practice with Pam Foley, sculptor amongst others.

Frames of Mind

The key elements of the Conference for me were the Workshop by Salmagundi Films , a not for profit arts organisation founded in 2004 by Zoe Flynn and Bo Chapman and based in Stratford, East London

Their workshop highlighted their use of iPads for people with dementia in care homes, framesofmind_300.png

“Frames Of Mind® (FOM) is our concept of using Stop Frame Animation as a therapeutic communication tool. With Animation anything can happen. It is a creative process which encourages the use of visual metaphors, to think outside the box, and this liberation from the ‘literal’ can enable participants to explore and communicate potentially difficult or sensitive issues.”

There is an article published in Dementia Care which gives further insight into their work.


I have tried to introduce Google Maps as a Reminiscence tool but have limited success. Working as a sole practitioner is  restrictive unless I work 1:1 or 1:2 which isn’t possible in the places where I work or with the groups that I facilitate, at the moment.

In the case of Frames of Mind there was funding to include Care staff in the project for training and supply of iPads to the homes for (in theory) a sustainable project. This goes back to the need discussed in a past post about working as an individual rather than a company…for funding and commissioning purposes.

For the future this may be the only way for me to go as a Community Artist……

We worked through the process of making a personal portrait and also saw how Stop Frame animation could used to make short autobiographical films for  people with dementia using personal objects or photos.

I don’t have an iPad but will invest in one, play around with the drawing apps and some stop-frame  and introduce the technology to some individuals and staff in the groups I work with. Too good an opportunity to miss. Again it will have to wait a little while.

The hand- held quality of the iPad really helps make the experience intimate and personal. Much more so than a lap-top which  can  seem too threatening to much older people.

UAL and Dementia Research

In one of the (many) leaflets I picked up There was a call for Papers for the Royal Society for Public Health Conference in 2017 on the Arts and Dementia. For the therapeutic nature of the arts to be recognised and researched is  a huge leap. The Research is both Qualitative and Quantitative which means it  can be used to attract funding and help reduce other costs! Dr. Hannah Zeilig from London College of Fashion, UAL is one of the Organising Committee for the Conference.

Again something to Research when the MA is  completed  to  consolidate my personal and community practice.

Digital Media Workshop at OVADA

Introduction to Digital Media for Artists- Ovada 

Ovada studios Oxford held  a Digital Media for Artists Workshop a couple of weeks ago in association with Magdalen Road Art Studios Oxford.

I haven’t managed to get to many of the events here recently  and have had still not managed to get to Magdalen Road  for a look around but thought this made be useful.

The Presentation  It All Works Together ,which is available on pdf here DigitalWorkshop  was by Katie Taylor, Studio Manager at MR and mainly about Twitter, how to use  Hashtags and direct messaging, how often and what to Tweet (and what not to Tweet), what to include on a professional profile and what to save for personal feeds. How it is best to link accounts etc.

It was fairly basic but there were some useful tips for me and it was good to catch up with colleagues, both painters,  afterwards and discuss whether they thought Social Media havre a role in their practice as promotion tool. We mulled over thoughts about digital social space and the real thing, how they operate, where they are, who they are, what they do etc and what they mean for my practice.We have very different perspectives and that’s always useful to thrash out!


One thing that was useful though thinking more about ‘how it all works together’ and so I’ve spent quite a while on updating and bringing some uniformity to my various Social Media Platforms to provide more consistency throughout. Its difficult with having different ‘hats’ for different jobs… my own personal practice, Community -based work, herbalist practice etc with various websites and links associated and often conflicting to some extent in content. At least now everything relating to my MA practice has the same image, I hope, and is linked visually as well as in contact. I’ve also tidied up my YouTube channel and Vimeo account and added some content on my profiles, descriptions of videos etc. to make a process easier to follow, I hope.

It was somewhat ironic that I’d come aware of  with Katie  some time ago through a ‘real social network’. A friend sat next to her at another friend’s  birthday party, got chatting, thought I may be interested in her work and we exchanged emails. As it goes we never met up, both busy… but here we were at a meeting about social media….

I had a chat with her afterwards about my use of Periscope and she asked me to visit her and mull over my experiences and insights in the near future. So that’s a prompt.

Magdalen Road is another option for involvement when I finish the MA

Unfortunately I can’t be involved beforehand but I can ‘watch and learn’, see what they are doing via Twitter and do more when the time comes.

A useful and pleasant evening.

Sharing memories of Santillana del Mar

Connectivity: Problems and solutions

I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to sort out the poor connectivity and pixelation problems with my Broadcasts.

Increasingly , people are hopping on and then dropping out. Although audience numbers as viewers on the scopes are not the reason for the work, it does mean that it is rendering the broadcasts ineffective, even if there are no viewers for other reasons… I appreciate that viewers are not enjoying the experience of the broadcasts and that the remediation is incomplete and inefficient.

I’ve investigated getting a new phone as mine is an iPhone 4S, reconditioned. I’ve  tried using a Vodafone SIM as this phone is unlocked, (Louise’s  Android works well on Vodaphone from this location) but with limited improvement

A new phone will have to wait a while until other avenues have been investigated, as I have a contract which is only due for renewal in July and the early upgrade fees are too high for me to afford.

After I’d broadcast as below I spent some more time in the tent playing around with my son’s Chromebook laptop which has 3G to see if I could get any sort of signal at all. I was hoping for a future event on May 1st to interview some people via Skype or replay some video material, show images and text from a laptop via Periscope for discussion. However no signal was available and as my phone signal ( 3 or vodaphone) is not so strong or reliable I could’t use either as hotspot.

I was playing around in the tent with two laptops, three phones and 2 SIMs when a couple came past walking their dog. I explained what I was doing in the tent with photographs, slides, laptops, miniature clogs etc  and why……They understood and were interested. Their  son is an art student at Kingston School of Art….

Sharing the memories

After having the conversation with Andrea from Asturias during the Yes and No game, about Santillana del Mar. I arranged a time when we could meet via Periscope to show here some of my ‘memorabilia’! Photographs, maps, slides, souvenirs and postcards …all shown via Periscope.

I contacted her via Twitter @andrepr3 along with some of the other people who’d been in the chat and were interested in coming along.  I ‘ve posted the link here  to the messages rather than a screen shot. When I realised that she wasn’t able to make the Broadcast as she was playing football somewhere else at the time I posted some of the images on Twitter as well, scanned for the original slides and photographs.

I spent a very long time trying to find replacement bulbs both in local shops and on-line, for the hand-held Boots 2000 35mm battery Slide viewer that you can just see in the clip  and is like this one here...if it still is on Ebay! but in the end, no success… I tried to hold the slides up to the phone camera and into the sun…. but of course it was useless… that was the point of the exercise really! A fascinating analogue/ digital juxtaposition though in what I hope was a humorously nostalgic action.

I had hoped to project some of the slides by saving the digital images to my phone and projecting from a battery powered Pico projector but sadly the tent isn’t dark enough ( I did try this earlier on when I first used the tent.

There is of course no power source for a mains projector.Using a generator would not be practical in this location and also makes the whole event too semi-permanent and controlled.

Above is a short edit of the broadcast saved to Katch with the Tweets on either side.

I made the video for the Final Symposium video but had to cut it because of time.

As I upload it it will be posted to Twitter via YouTube.

The edited version of this post will also be posted on Twitter… both  somewhat out of the timeframe…as I am finally posting from a draft in June!


An example of continuing re-mediation of archive and memory over time, temporality of space, networks of social space, linked to mapped space and simultaneity in action. Along with the ritual of sharing and rendition of analogue images via a digital live stream network and this again, this blog.

There is also a re-animation of embodied memory through the action of sharing of the images and my story-telling as I shared my memories and ‘re-lived’ the trip myself.



Questioning the i Ching- games without frontiers continued

Following the trials in the studio I took the games up the Hill.

I tried unsuccessfully to play Mancala  with my ‘scoping technician, dog walker and friend Louise but the signal was poor, so not much  chat, and the dogs kept jumping on me… so we abandoned after 6 minutes.

I Ching

Louise went home and I stayed to read the i Ching. That wasn’t ‘ successful’ from the point of  view of interaction  either… but as an event and series of actions was done, it happened.

I used the i Ching because strange associations I found with digital ‘roots’, and my practice.

I’ll summarise as follows:

  • The links between the iChing and binary code described in this piece in the Guardian by Damien Walters and also this Wikipage which shows the list of 64 iChing Hexagrams and their Unicode character codes… so there is another link here between contemporary and ancient writing of text and the writing of code…somehow a link with contemporary linguistics………
  • Reading Philip K Dick’s novel  recently – The Man in the High Castle, which investigates a world where Germany and Japan won WW 2 and America is occupied by the Axis forces. In this, the ancient Chinese oracle is consulted to make moral decisions. I’m interested in the boundaries between rationalism, empiricism and mysticism and where they are positioned in different cultures…historically and in the present.
  • Although I used cards for the divination here, traditionally Yarrow stalks are used. As a practising herbalist, I use Yarrow as a tool and medium, and some of the plant grows on the Hill. I hope to do further work with it when the plant has regrown in the spring. There is a link between the set, my ‘other’ practise, distant cultures, ritual practice of investigation into the future and distortions of time and the alternative realities of science fiction.

More Yes and No : closed questions about Time and Space

At the beginning of April I managed to repeat the Yes and No game, but up the Hill.

I don’t usually like repletion and rehearsal of an event within my work ( the rituals and traditions have their own system of repetition and aside of that) However,  goes ( and the icing) are repeated ritual practices, so this felt comfortable within the conceit of the work.

The questions, this time, are about Time and Space, introducing some of the issues I had been considering in my Research Paper.

Again, the Yes and No had a large number of participants, with lots of chat,between viewers and myself.

One viewer was from a place I visited many years ago on a memorable cycling trip to Northern Spain.

I promised to search out my photos and memorabilia of the trip and show her them in a subsequent broadcast,which we arranged during the chat.

Also, and this wasn’t the first time, someone asked if I was from Blackpool ( as they were)… this is a reference to my Username…san(d) grown from the sand

Links with site, personal autobiographical memory, present experience really did lead to a very intimate exchange and ,for me at least, feeling son attachment to the viewersand followers… at least during and shortly after the Scope.

Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 12.45.14Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 12.37.44

Proposal Update

I’ve finally written up some of the many things I’ve been working on and thinking about in an updated version of my Proposal.

This continues with work I’m doing now and will continue during the Final Show but I’ve only really worked in some basic thoughts for the next month or two.

I’ve got a note-book or two on the go, with more details in, as a working document but basically it’s a time to Test, Review and Refine.

My main difficulty at the moment is my poor old phone which has no disc space left despite deleting everything possible and  my Periscope broadcasts are pixelated.

Odd that anyone watches at all…more of this later..

New phone in the offing I think.

The proposal also includes a lot of references to other artists that I should continue to look at as I review what I am doing…

One of the most interesting references is this below

Anyway the updated proposal is here

Games without frontiers?

From the 28th March 2016 my broadcasts took a superficially less serious turn. I’ve played around with the idea of board-games and what they represent in past work, looked a little at Game Theory, made some  games: some to be played and others where participation was questionable. I’ve not looked at video-games really apart from possible links with contemporary combat training for drone flights etc. as I’m need some serious collaborative input to engage with this for a making point of view…

In the context of my work now I plan to use board-games as a playful way of possibly highlighting underlying current and past cultural ideologies and events which have some relevance to the location of Crouch Hill.

They also have a ritual framework embedded within the game play and also within the customs around which individual groups, families and communities play the games…(i.e. ‘ We always play a game of ‘Risk’ on Christmas Day’…..)

There is a gentle reference to simultaneity here too .. all of us playing the same game at the same time…similar to Video Games…. but with the analogue reference.

In some ways its is my reference to Harun Farocki’s large-scale video installation Parallel I-IV (2012-2014) at the Whitechapel Gallery

So on 28th March, which was a Bank Holiday for Easter Monday here in the UK, I played some games with Periscope viewers.

I wasn’t up the Hill as it was pouring with rain I think…or some other practical reason…I just wanted to test the practicality of playing a game via Live Stream, so I played The Yes and No Game and Mancala.


Hers’s a section of quotes from the Yes and No which in retrospect was probably the most popular of all my Scopes with and audience of 67 and 391 comments with 125 Hearts according to the Katch Sstats. I imagine this is because I was talking directly to the viewers, asking them questions and the game is strongly but simply competitive. I also included shots of my cat and my studio so it was very personal and intimate. I really enjoyed myself and so…. it seems did they. I seems to attract a few Followers on the one and did explain about some of my Scope for the future… so had some very interesting conversation.

I asked questions  from the cards included in the game but chose the cards relating to Britain, specifically and politics, customs etc  rather than for  e.g. entertainment.

It was interesting how everyone within the chat stayed for over 50 minutes and the interactions between them. Some obviously new each other already…..I can’t remember anyone ‘shared ‘the scope and invited their friends and followers formal or it jut evolved… I was too busy playing the game!

The purpose of this particular game was to explore the interaction whilst playing a game that may allow people’s personal thoughts to emerge and have some fun.So some elements of the ‘ludic’… spontaneous fun and playfulness

I apologise for the format below but it is taken from an Excel Spread sheet and I had some difficulties formatting it for here and still make it visible ..

You are losing
Let’s play the game
Well some one has to
 Always a chef born in Dundee      and grew up in Kenya
Yes well you could ask questions about fashion drinking and dance MAKES sense
Will the May 1st event be on scope I seem to remember a song about BAMBURY CROSS
U SAY U are not a historian but u are a great story teller I am sorry I must turn in but I will
Follow you
Take care

The second game I played was Mancala .. but this seemed very strange to play on my own.. but then on behalf of others….Unsurprisingly this had fewer takers! I was watching Youtube videos of how to play at the same time…. lots of variations.on a theme. The reason I chose Mancala as a conduit though was because of its ancient ( there is discussion about whether it is as old as [agricultural] civilisation itself) and wide cultural history  and its role as a ‘sowing’ game and ‘count and capture’ according to game play theory. Variants are popular in Africa, the Caribbean and US but not so popular in Europe apart form the Balkans and Greece ( this is a Wiki reference though…)

In a very simple way and possibly over literal, I was referring to  seed sowing and broadcast… seeding and spreading of ideas and possession/ territory whilst engaging with a global network which was relatively speaking …( apart from access to the technology and signal of course) without boundaries.