Illustrated Man- Ray Bradbury and projection

I’ve been reading the Illustrated Man- Ray Bradbury  sci- fi book.   I used to really enjoy Ray Bradbury, John Wyndham and all this..

Farenheit 451 interesting politically but also now re- digital reading etc….and the ‘destruction’ of the book….

Unlike Philip K Dick which seems prophetic, this book seems very sparse and  focusses  on living Mars after the destruction of the world!- Not jolly but interesting bearing in mind the news this week about ‘water’ on Mars…

As I was reading the initial description about the illustrations moving  across the subject’s body I thought of the work  projecting moving images on to a body 4- way projection – Slides and video

When I did that I realised that the reason was that I wanted people and ’embodiment ‘ to be at the centre of my practice , if not the theory behind it –  moment of realisation 

Now I’m wondering if I should look again at this projecting onto flesh….the body as a screen…..


Who was I when I made this work?

I was having a shower this morning when I remembered a comment Jonathan made regarding us reflecting on ‘who we were when we were making our work’… it came up again in the first of our chats of the term this week. It made me think about all the ‘me’s’ there are….

  • The botanist/ herbalist who still exists strongly but drifts in and out, emerging under certain circumstances and relationships, depending who I am with and in certain relatively specific locations.
  • The mother : a mutable role and identity, especially as my sons grow and mature into adults and our feelings and responsibilities change.
  • The sociable participant who wants to experience as much as possible ( within reason!) for as long as possible.
  • The solitary reflector
  •  The investigator
  •  and many more…

Being in the shower makes me reflect on sensory experience as I meditate on the feeling of the water, soap and warmth on my skin. All of us may experience some similar events but our personal experiences of them are different. In the shower is one of the many places that I am reminded that my experiences of water on my skin are different from the sensations produced some time ago. Also, I believe that I feel the same sensations in ways that other people do not. Sometimes, I do not feel the sensation of heat or ‘wetness’  at all. Or maybe it does not feel like heat…maybe cold..or nothing. However, if I think about it more , I have no idea how someone’s experiences heat to wetness. I only know that my sensations of these are different from before. What is heat/ wetness. Who am I when I am in the shower? I am reminded of Buddhist thought on ‘self’. Am I my sensations or the emotions and feelings they evoke? or the knowledge which my interpretation of them provide.

Buddhists do not believe that there is anything everlasting or unchangeable in human beings, no soul or self in which a stable sense of ‘I’ might anchor itself. The whole idea of ‘I’ is in fact a basically false one that tries to set itself up in an unstable and temporary collection of elements. Take the traditional analogy of a cart. A cart may be broken down into its basic components -axle, wheels, shafts, sides, etc. Then the cart is no more; all we have is a pile of components. In the same way ‘I’ am made up of various elements or aggregates: form , feeling-sensation ,perception  volitional mental activities , sense consciousness.

I have just started to read Visualising Feeling by Susan Best. This book discusses affect and feeling in art in the past 50 years. It starts by discussing the anti-aesthetic tradition and also concepts of spectator and experience. This was surprising to me for some reason as it took me back to the issues i was considering during my final year of BA but I had not somehow associated them directly with ‘affect’?? The book discusses the work primarily of two artists I have looked at previously ,in association with work I have made. Lygia Clark and Ana Mendieta as well as Eva Hesse and Theresa Hak Kyung Cha ( who I only became aware of when I originally referenced this book. Interestingly Clark violently disagreed with her positioning her work within performance art’…. because her work …… ‘rejects the idea of spectator’ seeing her work as ‘ existing in direct contact with the body of the participant beholders’ Yves- Alain Bois, Introduction to Lygia Clark,’Nostalgia of the body’, October 69 (1994), pp.87-88 in Visualising Feeling – Affect and the feminine Avant-Garde : Susan Best I feel this book will be of great significance to the ideas I am thinking about now, though still in relation to memory and time. Here also is a  COFA lecture by Susan Best on the same topic.

The book also mentioned Cecilia Vicuna so I have had a look at some of her works too In particular Red Coil which reminds me of some of my actions in the past .

This lead me back to Jimmie Durham, who was brought to my attention by Jonathan Kearney. Round in circles… I must be on the right track to something! I’m also thinking of other concepts of projection in psychotherapy etc which tie into these ideas of self and subject and spectator….. Next post should help a little with this…..

Things I may forget I have done!

Here’s a list of things I have been doing which do not yet ‘fit ‘ into directly into any work but are process and hopefully find a place somewhere at sometime.


Last night I created a Snapchat account.

I’ve been thinking about these Time- Limited social media like Snapchat and Vine and wondering about using them to present my work when it is not appropriate for or not yet ready for use in some installation -type exhibition…

They may give a viewing space which suits as a virtual time- based interactive and ?’democratic’ space for short video and images.

I have yet to try it and have to work out how to video and photograph what I am doing in the studio for this platform as it will be different from putting it on my blog.

Documentation of my process is already proving very difficult as I don’t treacly have the technical knowhow or kit, time or space to set up cameras etc to document the stuff I am doing with various projectors in a dark small space in my studio….

I guess I’ll find a way which hopefully isn’t too formal as I don’t want to spend hours on the documentation instead of the work…unless that becomes the work….!!! back to where I started hey!


I’ve been using my phone to video random clips of things that I do, that are unwitnessed by others.. such as showering and sleeping.

This has something to do with  the fact that part of me doesn’t really  feel it is necessary to ‘display’ what I have done.. that once it is done it is done… and that is the work.

Privacy/ secret/ unnecessary/ sufficient action…. not sure anyway it ids about ..if no one sees it does it mean it hasn’t happened.. the old falling tree in the forest thing I guess.

Or maybe i’ll use these in some other combination a la Pippolltti Rist!!


I went to see Pipolotti Rist at Hauser and Wirth on Savile Row in London on Friday 9th.

I have lots of video of the incredible and wonderful immersive ( and I do really mean immersive) installation.

It was inspiring and totally relaxing and I realised that lying down in galleries has become ‘ en vogue’ after Marina Abramovic  at the Serpentine in the summer and now this.

It was interesting for me as there were random layered clips  of things like a lit gas ring and water pools on top of more continuing imagery of plants.. NETTLES!!! Hey! and  human skin

So it was relevant from several points of view.


The content of plants and nature reminded me of the video on The Salt Way from which I keep meaning to revisit and mess with 2008.

Mine is more still camera and sky but has some of the same feel.

Though not her trademark vibrant colour… but I wouldn’t want that.


The way the layering becomes like a painting… I’d discovered this when layering the slides etc myself but it felt really relevant in this exhibition.


The soundtrack.. which was very gentle mixed sounds including music.

I’ve been thinking more about sound but not wanting to include any extra electronics or music.

I had a brief exchange with Ed Kelly about mixing but have had to concentrate on on cables/ connections and other visual stuff first so `i feel I can actually have some of the right tools to hand an maybe even be able to use them…

The whole effect was very gently ‘triply’ in a nice way and the gallery full of young people who looked like art students!!! and wore students clothes instead of grey, black with sever hair cuts and smart coats!

This isn’t meant to be judgmental but I felt comfortable lying on the floor with these guys and ‘in the right place’.

It changed the way the Gallery staff behaved as well with them all smiley and friendly and sort of having fun.

Even at the gallery nest door but one the atmosphere of generosity and openness has spread… It was magical!


I covered my iPhone in salt crystals and played video o I made of walking along Salt Way on it and refilmed.

There is some distortion but I just wanted to see the effect.

I have not picked the best clip visually as I was walking and talking with a friend and some of the conversation was audible and personal.

I will have to sort other clips with good visuals too if I decide to use this.


I have been watching Black Mirror back episodes and spotting the Neuromancer references….

Listening to Charlie Brooker  is interesting as he talks about things that were fantasy becoming reality after he had made each episode.

I had just finished reading Neuromancer when the Korean/ Sony hacking debacle started.

It was as if they had read the book and Case was responsible…



Also I have been watching Homeland and loving the Titles!

Overlay of video and stills seems to be ‘the thing’ but I want to do it in real space/time with analogue and digital together.

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.


Overlay or continuum?

Just had this posted through as I draft my proposal.

I will try and see it on Friday when I go to the velodrome for Revolution.

Schizophrenia and Taiwan 2.0 

Jung’s Theory of Synchronicity, once more as my old Pa would have said.

I have been writing about the overlay of past history and contemporary technological presence in locations which are significant to me.

This is an example which hadn’t occurred to me.

Taiwan ( Formosa during WWII) was the place my father was held prisoner by the Japanese from 1942/3 to 1945.

Some years ago I met a Taiwanese student, aged around 20, as we were both waiting for a train with our bikes on an otherwise deserted rural  railway station in Warwickshire.

As we were chatting I mentioned my father’s time there.

She knew nothing about it. It was not part of her history.

Much of the equipment I use from day-to-day probably uses components made or assembled there.

Overlay or continuum?