Reading William Rusher #Crouch Hill

From 28th December to 18th January  I read aloud from the book  Crouch-Hill: A descriptive poem, with some account of the sieges of Banbury Castle, in the Reign of Charles the First, &c  from Crouch Hill and live streamed my readings.

Often I was alone during the reading and streamed myself but sometimes a friend ‘Scoped me reading, or took documentation images. I didn’t engage in conversation with the viewers but did engage with any passers by on the Hill, briefly explaining what I was doing.

There were very few passers-by as it was often fairly inclement weather as you can see from the images

28th December

On this first day of reading the friend who held my phone had not streamed before and held the phone horizontally, hence the first image. I try to give minimum instruction so that anyone who helps me feels able to choose the images they see and want to share with others- however- sometimes I fail to give basic instructions. The friend with me usually helps me whilst walking her dogs, so there is an informality to the action and sometimes the dogs take priority. You know what they say about working with dogs or children…….

The presence of my friend and her dogs is important in the work. Not just from a practical point of view. The Hill is now a place of contemporary ritual – daily dog walking – with a discreet community of mainly very local dog walkers. The dogs and their owners meet and interact as do any community…dipping-in and out, the owners sharing usually relatively superficial conversation but with some more personal content on a frequent and regular basis.For this first ‘Scope I also streamed our return from the top of the hill, down through the wood to the east of houses below.

From my research, it seems that walks are often popular with viewers, especially if dogs are involved..

29th December

I’d been saving broadcasts to my phone Camera Roll but the Chat and hearts ( which are given by viewers tapping the screen if they like what you’ve done) are not saved. My iPhone 4S doesn’t allow me to screen- record on to my Desktop so if I wanted to review the  comments etc. I had to access the broadcast before the 24 hours were up and screen record from my desktop. This is how I’d saved those of Ordnance Survey. which I accessed by signing into Periscope on my Desktop.

Both these blog posts and the all the Broadcasts  have also been  posted on my Twitter account @sangrownun since 31st October 2015

1st Jan 2016

P1040792This was a memorable Periscope session! It was New Years Day and, I felt, significant because of that. I had a total of 82 viewers and 16 Replay viewers for this post!

Me, standing alone in the field at the bottom of the Hill ( it was too wet to get up safely), reading aloud from under a big, black umbrella. It seemed to go down well with the viewers, as the hearts and the comments will testify.

Obviously, people around the world have new phones for Christmas and are very bored. The numbers of viewers are interesting and tempting to pursue… but I am not necessarily interested in viewer numbers or a large audience…nor do I want this to be too much a theatrical Performance… However, if I do not respond to the comments there is no possibility of interaction.And I can’t respond if I am reading the poem!

I had some ‘trolling’ which is relatively common but mild in my case I think. I have also discovered that many of my Followers, are in fact, female porn streamers… Their notifications come in the early hours and all have innocent female names! The content is is not so innocent and not to my taste , but blocking them is easy.

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4th Jan

10th Jan


Both these readings focussed less on the personal, rather romantic content of the Poem by Philip Rusher and more on the Puritan stronghold aspects of Banbury, the siege of Banbury Castle and the Battle of Edge Hill in the Civil War

The action of reading aloud, re animates and re-mediates the Historic events in the past through medium of  poetry written in 1789, through my physical body on the hill, through my voice as speech  continued through a digital network accessed by a hand-held communication device. It brings the past into the present through personal communication and story-telling.

17th January

During this post I finished reading the poem, just as one of my neighbours arrived at the top of the hill.  My battery had just run out and the broadcast ended. We chatted about simultaneity and the similar everyday actions of others in different loactions.

Te hill was popular that day as you can see, not just with dog walkers but viewers… 132 of them. Obviously, snow, dogs and reading aloud is a ‘draw’.

I experimented a little after the broadcasting with Google Translate, to read some of the chat.

I have tried to find an app that apparently simultaneously translates the chat so that I can reply to it…No success.This obviously affects the interactive nature of the broadcasts, in addition to the fact that I am reading and can’t watch the screen at the same time.


Keith: Life Model


Keith (2002)

Keith, who was a life-model in Oxford and Banbury for many years, died this week. He will be remembered by all art students who attended Oxford and Cherwell Valley College. I still have many drawings of Keith and a sculptural piece that originated in the drawings.

Thank you, Keith, for your stillness and composure.