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..



Tutorial with Jonathan Kearney: 4.3.2016

Dogs and owners (various)


On Friday 4.3.16 I had a tutorial with Jonathan which is key to my planning  for the final stages of the MA

On reflection these are the main themes:Structure, Decisions, Control

I wrote notes and questions before the tutorial just to  help me plan what I needed to discuss even though I didn’t get chance to talk over everything directly.

  • We started with a short discussion about my need to work differently from in the past – employing much more planned and structured methods for presentation even when this is informal.  I described how, though my presentation to Jonny Briggs in the tutorial was confused, something must have been evident in the images for him to pick up on some central themes ..of Truth and Fiction , in particular.This has given me hope!
    • This will help me keep on track and not get lost and confused
    •  It will also impact on my method and methodology for on -going work and execution of Final  Piece.
    • The increased formalised structure I need for my working process to be effective is actually a great opportunity  which fits in with my Methodology.
    • Despite working with chance, contingency and coincidence, these have to be allowed to arise  within a structure ( like John Cage’s control of chance)
    • The structure allows more possibilities for chaos  as well as being  a practical  necessity
    • I have to be the agent of the structure so that the issues I want to communicate in my work can then be allowed to surface.
    • I described it as dropping things into a pool and the ripples which arise.

Most of the Rest of the Tutorial was based around decisions I need to make.

  • I’ll be able to make these more easily as I work with small events before May.
  • I described how I had re-visited Jimmy Durham and his thoughts on the importance of Small Events.                                                                                                                                           see this link from his exhibition at the Serpentine.

They are based around

  •  Physical limitations of what I can carry up the hill i.e. not a generator
  •  Physical limitations of how often I go….and influences of weather etc.
  • My needs in terms of projection on-site and the practical issues around having no mains electricity.
  •  Experimenting with projection inside and outside the tent.
  • The limitations of Periscope
    • How to find a user during a broadcast if you are not a Follower
    • How an audience in an exhibition space can access a Live Broadcast
    • Whether or not this is necessary
    • Trying to get simultaneous translation of Live Chat …? via an app – Anchor?

I’ve since discovered that it is possible to search for specific users whilst they are actually Broadcasting using their Username   :  Periscope.tv/Username

  • Use of a Live Broadcast and my presence or absence in the Final Show
  • What form the Presence may take and possible readings of agent…?     Tracey Emin…Jonathan thought that providing some documentation linking the site would destroy and unwanted links…
  •  My control of the Audience, local and Global…how to advertise any of the events..numbers of Followers vs  nature of the audience
  • The acceptance of limitations of linear forms like
    • Storify ( which I will play with some meow just to see what can be done)
    •  video
  •  The relevance of my Tutorials with Rosie and Jonny to allow mw to see more clearly the key aspects of my work
  • The need to use social interaction  ( with ‘props’) to produce a non- linear narrative
  • The relevance of Magic Realism in literature and how that has influenced me re- the political element and the overt/ covert presentations of certain topics within the work
  • The use of a Title for a piece of work and its explicit nature..and  my relationship with that
    • A Title as a sign, a location and a point of departure.
  • My Elevator Pitch- “say what you want to in 30 seconds!” (also a reference to the elevator work in Oxford at the moment)

Coming together

  • I described how over the past few weeks I had come to understand the significance of previous experiments wrt the discoveries made through the writing of my Research Paper.
  • How projection into a small intimate populated space, remediation and community event could come together in a series of works and a  final piece with a site-specific location.

Future Work

  • How this revised and refined methodology may work for future projects at other distant locations .
  • How Funding could play a  part in the practical execution of such projects

We finished by discussing the Open Questions Experimental Tutorial

It is based on a technique of reaching consensus from within a group called  the Clearness Committee used buy the Quakers and hitter act of not voting as a non-violent act.

We had a brief chat about peace as a process not a goal, the work of John Walham in 1750’s North America and his action against racism.


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!

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.


Research Paper Tutorial with Gareth Polmeer 22.09.2015

I was really dreading this tutorial as I have been having real trouble structuring my Research Paper and also really trying to understand exactly what I am researching!

I had a very clear but very wide intention based on comparison but my research led me in directions I hadn’t expected…..and away from the safe ground of writers I knew and thought I wanted to ‘dig deeper’ into for this research.

Consequently, I’ve ended up with a lot of information and, because of the content and form it takes, no structure to hang it on.

I will write more in another post and expand on this, but basically I send Gareth a jumbled and extensive draft in a new framework….

The tutorial was so helpful as he managed to see through the mess to the new structure and visualise  the writing as moving out and back fro main internal reference point, like ripples.

I loved this metaphor and it fits so well with what I am feeling about the writing.

That he could see through the ‘junk’ helped me so much and has given me confidence to ‘firm it up’ in a way I feel happy with. He could see the process of writing was important as content.

We discussed what I am not writing about and how to explain that. To but a boundary ( appropriate) around the discussion and now I feel confident to do that.

So Head Down and ‘dig in’. I was at the horrid, panic, going -round -in circles stage, but now I have found direction I feel so much more confident.

It may not be the most academic  and argued research but I hope it will be ‘ well negotiated’ and feel it sits well with my practice.

It will be ‘MINE’ and somehow that feels important! He referenced Walter Benjamin’s Arcadia but I don’t think I’ll look at that closely now!!! Though I did read and try to digest ‘The Work of Art…..AMR‘ Too many temptations there, but it will be worth examining in terms of style….

Also, Robinson in Ruins Patrick Keiller which I had discussed with Jon Shapley a couple of weeks ago and saw in 2011 with Jon Seth’s 4D group. Robinson in Ruins, I can’t really remember detail so have ordered it and will watch again.

Anyway, this tutorial has set my mind racing but towards consolidation which is the main thing. I know I’m far behind where I hoped to be but, you know what, I don’t mind….the places I’ve been to on the way have made it worth while.

I’ll Crack On!Thanks Gareth!

Images for Emily Allchurch: Tutorials and Talk

Emily Allchurch is a UK artist, living and working in London. She works with complex detailed digital collages often landscapes which are back lit in light boxes. She has recently exhibited at the Manchester Art Gallery: In The Footsteps of a Master. She will be talking to us online students and those in London about Tokyo Story which references Hiroshige.

I hope to have a tutorial with her to discuss her choice to use backlit images, the Light Box and what this brings to her work.

Also, what led her to this choice for display.

I would like to discuss this with respect to displaying  layers and detail in images.

The images below are stills from some video.

I wonder how these would differ backlit rather than printed, projected or displayed on a flat screen.Frame-22-06-2015-09-18-58


Tutorial 9th June 2015- Jonathan Kearney

On Tuesday 9th June 2015 I had a tutorial with Jonathan.

We discussed the following :

1. Interim Show possibilities

I tried to describe how my work was going and what I hoped to do for the Interim Show if there was space.

I found this rather difficult as I am not that clear about what I actually want to do at the Reading Room for the event…

Though I did mention that it will involve using the altered playing cards in a  game and probably making  and throwing paper planes out of newspapers  and just letting people look at newspapers from other countries ( altered or not altered)

I described how I wanted to be able to carry out something…possibly quite a small action at a distance from my home of  the location but with something present in the studio at Camberwell that would initiate ( or not) some contact from an audience there.

So, Maybe a QR code or just a phone number with a simple image, maybe so that people could contact me directly and talk/email/text/ Snapchat whatever about the project.

Of course, I may not actually be there doing anything when they called….. although I will be there as much as I can during the opening.

I was rather vague about this and its ‘smallness’ and thought of it as an experiment to try this ‘distance exhibiting’ for the following year.

Jonathan was encouraging and although he wanted to know what I wanted to do and my vagueness was a concern.. he did say that many years ago he had carried out similar things from Shanghai to Liverpool, where he just went into a cafe and asked people if they wanted to talk to people in the other city ( I hope I have got this right!).

He suggested I write 2 sentences of text to explain clearly what I was thinking about, to display this along with an image 

He suggested that rather than being an experiment for display next year that this was actually part of my existing work and I agree.

I had thought in those terms but not expressed it as such.

Quite a subtle but important difference I feel.

So the challenge is to come up with those two sentences.

Installing for the show should not be a problem if I am unable to get there, though I would like to be involved if possible.

He agreed that I can send images and text for display.

2: Video

I  said that I want the Reading Room project to show an objective point of view or rather just present material and let a judgement be formed.

I didn’t really express myself properly or fully ( regarding the similarities between the communities).

I have explained the locations and situations before, verbally, although they are not recorded on the Blog.

Jonathan asked about the present situation regarding people from the location being aware of the situation.

I explained briefly .

Then I showed a clip of the video material I am working on. RR 5 D Y 2nd shortened for tutorial 9.6.15

We both agreed that at first the video I have appropriated is possibly too powerful for the piece and means that the work loses objectivity.

Then that actually it is just news…

It is just very powerful.

It was useful to chat about the issues around it and  how it links with my proposal for my written research.

Printing and letterpress

I asked if I could access the Letterpress workshop to make posters for the Reading Room event but it will be taken up with final year students now so I will just cut out some letters from cardboard and ink up / print at home, Jonathan made the comment that this may fit the aesthetic but I’m not sure if I agree…

 Dates for Research Paper hand in

I also asked about accommodated assessment for my written research paper as I am concerned about the weather getting warmer and me being reduced to a non- functioning state…

He said that I would be better just working towards the existing deadline.

That it is better to keep on course with dates and that mark -wise it should not affect things too much..

I am still apprehensive but it may work as I acknowledge that I can be obsessive about writing!

Evidence here!

A very useful Tutorial!