Final Analysis

This is an assimilation of thoughts accumulated and embodied during the last eight months. Hopefully a summary analysis which covers areas I have not necessarily included with each post.

It serves as analysis of the whole rather than each of the parts.

Deleuze and Guattari:

I suppose conventionally it is best to include reflections on the theory after each small part of the process but it seems I don’t work like that… preferring much more an organic unfolding. Although, I admit that my reading or, more specifically my intellectual understanding, of Deleuze and Guattari’s Thousand Plateaus is severely limited I am beginning to see my work in terms of these concepts of becoming , multiplicity, collective assemblages and immanence and maybe this is reflected in my reflective process and documentation of it.

To this end I can only reflect now that this part of the process has reach a surprisingly natural resolution…conveniently at the end of the course… ready for a new continuing beginning.

I have been trying to understand more deeply through praxis, some of the concepts uncovered during the writing of my research paper…and then subsequently during the resulting research process.The reflexivity of this process though well documented has been interesting as an affective experience as well as an intellectual one.

As mentioned previously, although the content of the paper was important to me in providing me with a wider context of analysis for past work and future process, it was the process of writing and paradoxically the “unfinishedness ” and performativity of submitted paper which has had the most significant impact.

This is an attempt to put into some sort of structure some of the thoughts and discoveries which I am now left with. It will be my next task to see more clearly the “nodes of intersection” which lie within to progress in order to move forwards with my process.

 I referred in  the post  The Affect of Philosophical theory in the exploration of non-linear narratives! to my difficulty with a crossover of language – many of the metaphors used by  Deleuze and Guattari  have not, in my case, clarified understanding but confused it. This is strange, as they embrace interdisciplinary thinking  which is something I seem to be drawn to. I am struggling to find my own “language” to enable full embodied clarification of these concepts. I have a superficial  intellectual  understanding but not yet that full and total coherence – there is still something standing in my way. I feel I have to experience  this  phenomenological understanding ( if that’s not a tautological statement..) before I can move on. Maybe that has happened now?
However, I do now recognise that my work operates and to some extent displays these concepts.

Rhizomatic Assemblage

It may be, however that Deleuze’s assemblage – actual agents of self organization of the process of stratification located simultaneously in the  intersection of contents and expression of a given stratum….. at the intersection of other structure into strata

A performative action by an agent  could be seen as an aspect of assemblage i.e. is what it does and how it functions rather than what it means and so could also be seen as  part of a process of simultanaeity occurring within the space or produced/ create by the assemblage.Or maybe I’m taking that idea a little too far…



Although aware of this concept of a partly erased parchment overwritten with fragments of the original still visible and its relationship to Freud’s mystic writing pad and human memory, and from de Quinceys point of view, the brain, I was not aware until writing the Research Paper of its use within archaeological and historical discourse.  Nor  Bailey’s extended discourse referencing time perspectivism, and so historical and historiological phenomena and events. This  has had a huge impact on my process particularly in combination Lefevbre and Massey’s perspectives on space/time.

It was only later ( December) that I began to understand its relevance in literary theory and literature and its use as metaphor for multilayering of texts over time . Also more significantly its relationship to intertextuality, which I hope has been one of the threads I have made  visible in my work, making manifest the distinctiveness of the texts, music action and events I have been re-mediating, but with the contamination of each by the other, then also made visible in the light of contemporary unfolding events.

de  Quincey’s figurative use of the word is also relevant as involuted structure of interwoven, competing and infiltrating texts (or in the case of my work, actions and remediations which formed this involution)

French literary theorist Gennette’s studies of poetics relate the concept of palimpsest to hypertext; a conclusion I reached independently when analyzing my practice  for the Symposium in June. i.e. literature (or possibly other forms in the case of my practice ) of the ‘second degree’ made up of hypertexts, which are derived from other forms by derivation, imitation or reference( re-mediation) 

Derrida describes the palimpsest as representing  a “non-contemporaneity with itself of the living present”: The present that the palimpsest projects,  constructed by the unintended presence of texts from the past and the possibility of the inscription of future texts. Therefore, the palimpsest “evidences the spectrality of any present moment which already contains with it (elements of) ‘past’, ‘present’ and ‘future’, which I have aimed to critique in my work ( and Research Paper).

Derrida’s discourse is possibly also evident in my use of strategies which try to make visible the blurry boundaries between disciplines.This could be perceived as an example of trace resulting from erasure ‘in the drive towards transparency.’

I’m also aware of  Derrida’s concept of Differance,  where writing always includes elements of previous texts and is impure; though without a full understanding of this difficult idea.

In some ways my use of unscripted speech, with a recitation of written text, in some of the work may be seen as  some level of investigation in reference to  Derrida’s discussion around the (lack of) distinction and binary opposition between speech and writing:  speech as  primary and more original versus the secondary representational status of writing. Though I do not pretend to fully understand this. Possibly through praxis I will be to.

In terms of my solitary actions and other remediations, I have aimed for the poetic  (from some of the streamed Broadcast comments  received, I achieved that to some xtent.)

I feel, but can’t yet fully understand intellectually, that the work crosses  boundaries into the poetic, but don’t fully understand the linguistic position of poetry.


Central to my practice a have been experiences and manifestations of paradox and conflict  which relate to Derrida’s concept  Pharmakon, as both poison and remedy.There is also the idea of the pharmakon of writing as remedy or  poison and its relationship to production of memory or remembrance which I have not investigated at all…..although indeterminacy and ambiguity are also evident in my work.

The vernacular

Through the use of vernacular aesthetic and language  with  loosely directed and unscripted intervention in a site-specific, relational, participative and collaborative process,  I hope I have evidenced what Derrida described as the lack of neutrality of everyday language, cultural traditions and presuppositions.

The work is a combination of lo-fi ( ‘Acorn antiques’, hand-made) aesthetic and low production values, in conjunction with cutting edge,  simultaneously evolving  yet everyday, communications technology .

This is in contrast to the high production values ( but retained accessibility) of the work displayed in the context of the exhibition space for the Summer Show

Un-finishedness, non-linear storytelling and archive

I wrote a rambling post about this in November

I hope my work as loosely directed, contingent unscripted events sits well within this framework which emerged more confidently from the process of writing my research paper. Rather than previous attempts at an intellectual understanding of the duration, presence and absence I started to see a place within multiplicity, strands and benjamin’s Arcade ~Projects-like ‘structure’ .

I hope I have consolidated my role as storyteller and trickster, if as  unreliable narrator within the performative aspects of the work. This is extended by understanding that Benjamin also understood ‘the story’ as afterlife; the story in the memory. My hope is for the story of an event ( or broadcast) on Crouch Hill or otherwise ; to act as ‘ transmission’, forming the embodied documentation, whilst also operating within the context of intertextuality.

Rebecca Schneider states that performance ‘remains differently’ when the considering Derridean archive, in a non‐binary, collaborative, mobile, interanimate, body-to body relationship, which I feel has a relationship to oral history which has echoes in my work.

Performative writing, which I used to a limited extent in my Research Paperoperates as a time-based documenting narrative with links to oral transmission.

I am aware there are similar links between the theatre, performance and language  that exist within the  liminal cultural rituals which have been examined throughout  my process, which I have yet to investigate.

Particularly wrt the practice of Performing the Archive, and area of performance/ Live Art  I am aware of but have not covered directly in this particular project.

I see this body of work, and future projects, as a discontinuous, fragmentary  process

Despite the video documentation pieces of the events working contrary to the conceit of ephemerality of the work, I hope that those also display some of these qualities.

There is an obvious ambiguous and conflicting relationship with archiving the ephemerality of any performative action which has been highlighted in my struggle between these two within my process.

I have also attempted to involve, through performative discourse, discussion on the differences between Proust and Sebold’s approaches to the phenomenology and embodiment of memory and its relationship to space and narrative.

Performativity and ritual

My process since the Research Paper has explored elements of ritual practice around archiving and memorialisation at specific locations, often within a calendrical structure, with a variety of  relationships to audience  and community.

They operate as both public and private and  are both inclusive and exclusive, in terms of location and community. I previously read Turner,  Rothenbuhler and Schechner and their discussions of ritual  function and operation within community,but now feel I need to re-read and analyse these works in terms of relational space and communications, overall performativity.

I interpret the actions/events within my process, not as performance, theatre or ritual  but  as relational, reflexive, directly- experienced relationships: even, paradoxically, when these are mediated through the technology of a mobile-phone live stream broadcast. There are, therefore, similar to those relationships arising from other forms of mediation such as gameplay or sharing across, between and within geographically local and global communities. These relationships often, again paradoxically, then highlight existing personal intimacy  or remoteness.

One of the areas I have not analysed fully yet is the variable relationships with viewer, audience and witness across the range of events and broadcasts  – from ritual to ‘performance’, to participative and collaborative experience – all operating within the context of location,  community or happen -upon passer-by , in both digital and  ‘physical spaces. I had never previously thought of the ‘space’ of  theatre or performance so deeply.  and have been playing with considerations of Brechtian and other aspects of theatre for future work particularly with the implicit reflexivity and reciprocity which `i am now aware of within some genres of theatre.

As a collection, the body of work explores the boundaries and structures of a range of digital local and global communities, communications and networks and uses relational aesthetics and the social space of interaction within performative action as a method.


Becoming a Creative Dementia Arts Professional

This Creative Dementia Arts Network Training Day wasn’t brilliant timing, as I really wanted to concentrate on the Final Show but I felt I couldn’t afford to miss it. I’d already passed -by any involvement with the Flourish mentoring Programme. Clare Carswell was there from Lights Up, who I’ve worked with in the past see below and several other community artists I know who work with people with dementia.DSC_4280 copy.jpg

It was a really valuable day  including roundtable sessions on Evaluation in Arts and Dementia Projects with Dr Kate Hamblin from the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, and Funding and Opportunities from Maria Parsons CDAN CEO.

I also went along to a session with poet, John Killick of  Dementia Positive, which proved extremely useful as we had a fascinating discussion about the difference between reading aloud,  printed text, handwritten text, storytelling and how he creates his poems from fragments of conversation.

He also talked about the experience of FLOW, a psychological notion  which  Mihaly Csiksgentmihalyi  describes as the  creative moment when a person is completely involved in an activity for its own sake, see this TED Talk

Genius : Anjali Dance Company

I was invited by Nicole Thomson to the presentation of the results of Anjali’s R&D Residency with Gary Clarke, based on the life of Beethoven.

I’ve been aware of Anjali since its inception over 20 years ago and have helped out in the office on a voluntary basis from time to time.

I seem to have conversations with Nicole and other dance practitioners which have a common understanding based on spatial relations, I think…

I’ll be seeing Nicole again soon to progress some ideas.


Random String, Coventry 10.06.16

This event Random String Symposium , a Symposium on post-digital creativity, organised by Ludic Rooms based in Coventry felt without doubt one of the most relevant and moving events I have been to. I really feel part of this network and way of working.

That’s quite a statement, but for a symposium about digital technology in the arts the discussions and presentations were always centred around people and relationships.

Random String were started in 2014 as an attempt to challenge the otherness of ‘digital art’.

Three key themes were examined across the programme;

How can introducing interactive and networked technologies throughout the creative process enable a more meaningful relationship with audiences? How can technology foster interaction between people, rather than just interaction with the artwork itself?

What do networked and interactive technologies mean for the ownership of artworks and performances? Who is the author when co-creating, sharing and making work interactively? Do technologies enable new kinds of audience agency? How does the use of creative technologies redefine the notion of participatory arts practice?

Can technologies be a democratising force in the arts world? Can technology redefine the arts establishment, challenge our models of power and distribution, build new audience and enable new ways of working?

The whole day really explored the concept of Nicolas Bourriaud’s relational aesthetics  but incorporating the digital as a rational and interactive medium and tool, rather than standing outside of , opposite to or next to’ it’.

This is a quick post, so no detail except to mention the amazing Dom Breadmore @predacomdom, Knowle West Media Arts and Melissa Mean @MelissaMean, Juneau Projects @juneauprojects and Pete Ashton @peteashton who really ‘spoke to me ‘.

A quote ” the focus for the event is interactive/networked tech and that any discussions of power need to be framed within the context audience and artistic agency”

Dom Breadmore 23rd April 2016 11.17am

and a video should say most of what I felt… this made me and other cry….am my original Proposal question concerned how digital technology could generate affect… or something like that…Here’s the answer….


Tutorial 27.05.2016


This image is relevant….all will be revealed!

In my tutorial with Jonathan we covered lots of ground. I  put forward my ideas for Live stream during the show and how I would make sure there was something for viewers to see during the PV.

In preparing for the tutorial I’d realised that it had been difficult for me to make decisions that were solely for my practice, future professional practice as well as the final exhibition, and to leave aside more personal desires….as below..

Yet another conflict and ambiguity that seems to have pervaded  my work throughout the MA.

Getting used to organising an exhibition without being present may well be the way I have to work in the future .

The opportunity to organise set up/install  on-line and at a distance is providing me with just such an opportunity…Even if I’d really love to be there, involved with a team, and seeing everyone face to face.

In some ways it seems a sacrifice not to be involved in this way…but essential for my work, now and in the future.

So, we discussed the matter of delegation and distant, loose direction and how my practice so far had engaged with these techniques of working in participative and collaborative practice….and how exactly this would work for the Show.

I put forward ideas for how the audiences would access my stream, when the streams would be and some of the content on the various dates; especially a performative exchange for the PV night.

Also, how different audiences would be notified or made aware of the actions and events during the week of the Show.

I explained some of the links and associations which are important  for the final pieces and how I see them working together.

Jonathan was more than supportive and I was very over excited really as, for once, things seem to be reaching some point of resolution at about the right time….

I’ll  post more details but there will be no specific timetable…just something every 24 hours to ensure at least one lifestream is accessible via Twitter/ Periscope every day of the Show.

I’ve really tried to cut down on any excess for the show as there is so much layering, fragmentation and ‘stuff’ in my work I need some clarity.

I mentioned to Jonathan about my Geocache thoughts…which I’ve decided to put on hold… they are not for now but another piece of work for the future… and he agreed.

I also discussed some of my thoughts about reciprocality, participation, collaboration and audience.

We’d had a talk the previous day by Charlotte Webb about her PhD and it set me thinking about future study….whether my practice is more suited to research in other disciplinary areas…

I shared a few thoughts with Jonathan about this too..


Public transport, ideas worth spreading and ‘differance’

Communication and networking

Part One

I’d planned to go to London to a gig, and planned to combine it with a trip into College and also the library at CSM. I realised the morning that I was being way too ambitious and left in time to get to Marylebone, have a leisurely lunch with our Skype chat,and then get to the library.

For months I’ve been writing random thoughts and ideas that come at 4 am etc down on post-its but hadn’t done anything with them.

On the journey down I listed them all on sheets of A4, hand written. I love working on quiet trains…very conducive to clarity.

As I wrote, I screwed up each idea and made a pile. I had a paper bag with me…also with ideas scribbled on, and just before the end of the journey, tidied them up by putting them in the bag.

Then I was reminded of the concepts of dissemination, broadcasting  and the TED mission of ‘ideas worth spreading’. 

I had a sudden desire to throw the brightly coloured scraps with my ideas on all around Marylebone station and let them blow and settle where they may, be picked up and read or discarded…

If I hadn’t had overdue library books to return and tickets for the gig I may have done just that…. but I was sensible for a change, and just tore a hole in the bottom of the bag so occasionally the ‘ideas’ dropped out as I walked along. Some had fallen on the train floor , so I left them there.

I went to the station toilet, left some there

and then to  Gino’s Cafe  where I continued working and attempted, unsuccessfully, to join  the MAFAD Skype chat.

Part Two

I worked in the cafe for a couple of hours of more, eating and drinking and one of the waiters asked what I was doing. When I explained, he told me the following phrase “in bocca al lupo!” – “into the mouth of the wolf!”. The reply should be “crepi lupo!” or  “crepi!” – “may the wolf die!” so that I could overcome the beast! He wrote down my Twitter username and blog details, though, stupidly, I didn’t take his so don’t know if he Follows.

I went back to the station toilet – the ‘ideas’ had been removed… so I  left some more.

Whilst waiting at themes stop for the 205, a kind woman noticed that I had a hole in the paper-bag. She drew  my attention to it and I explained what I was doing and why. She told me a story about how she once found a painted canvas by a bin in Aldwych. There was email address on it , so she got in touch. The artist  ( a student) replied saying that it had been left  as part of their work… so she understood my action.

She read the post-it which had fallen on the floor. It had 4 words on it.

‘That’s what I should do with my life’ – she said.….and we got on the bus.

It made me feel rather uncomfortable, reminding me of a piece of work I made some years ago around divination.

Part Three

The 205 was packed and the woman, a little younger than me who sat next to me, asked my advice about bus routes. Being a bit of a bus-route geek I was more than happy to discuss and encourage the download of CityMapper. We stuck up conversation and my assortment of bags and bits of paper intrigued her. She was linguist and so the conversation easily extended to Derrida. I’ve been trying to understand more deeply  the concepts of differance, deconstruction, the relationship between text and speech and how these may be operating within my methodology and ‘finished’ works.She is also a painter, so we discussed the Final Show and I asked if she would mind the possibility of participating. She kindly gave me her contact details, as Juliet Hendersonwhich I scribbled down on one of my many sheets. I got of the bus at Kings Cross, dropping post-its as I went. She went on to Angel, I think. I spent a while in the library, then made my way to the Roundhouse, Camden…..spreading ideas as I went.


This day became, unintentionally, an illuminated illustration of my continuing practice of contingent action, as the  participation in a dynamic becoming of spaces of interrelations – all of it happening because of a rather ‘daft’ action’ and an openness to conversation – on everyones part.

I almost forgot, I went on to the gig and, sitting at the top of the Roundhouse, had something of an epiphany. Ridiculous really, but I’ve never noticed before the extent of reciprocity between audience and performer at a gig. Maybe it was because I was in an iconic venue, watching  a band that really moved me, with a friend from a previous life… or what…

I realised that by ‘sharing’ their talents they weren’t just showing off … the reflexive relationship was so obvious. It was like those therapy moments… something I’ve always known- only now I  knew it differently. It made me determined to re-assess and investigate that audience/ participant/performer relationship within my work, even further in the future.


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.