Final Show: #CrouchHillBanbury

Despite the recent Periscope app update which now allows permanent archive of Broadcasts with chat, I made the decision to allow auto-delete after 24 hours.

The ephemerality and impermanence is an essential component of my work and process, highlighting the concept of dynamic socially created space.

Traces of previous broadcasts are now no longer visible as they were previously

Paradoxically, the events below are heavily documented through Screen-shots from the Broadcasts, created within the 24 hrs before they became unavailable……

it’s really hard to let things go…especially when you need evidence of your process….


John Ruskin – Work:

15th July

I read aloud from John Ruskin’s lecture ‘ Work ‘ delivered at the Working Men’s Institute Camberwell in 1865,( which is now the South London Gallery……..?)

to link my location on Crouch Hill in Oxfordshire with Camberwell. This also served as a point for further reflections on work, labour, art and relative positions in contemporary society.

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There were 130 in the Lifestream audience at one point and generally retention was better with people usually sticking it out for a while on each brief Scope.I’m finding the stats interesting to analyse despite not searching for ‘Likes’.

I decided to leave the tent up for the duration of the Show, over the weekend and for the rest of the week until Tuesday evening.

I wrote a note to explain and left it in the tent. I left contact details as well, out of courtesy.

Often, teens camp-out and sometimes just leave the tents.

I didn’t want it to be damaged, removed, offend someone unnecessarily or occupied by another person!

Martin Fiennes – Broughton Castle:

16th July:

Martin’s parents are Lord and Lady Saye and Sele.

William FIENNES (1st Viscount Saye and Sele).The only son of Richard Fiennes, 7th Lord Saye and Sele, he was educated at New College, Oxford, and succeeded to his father’s lordship (barony) in 1613. English politician and promoter of colonization in America. He was a Puritan in religious sympathy and a leader in the House of Lords of the opposition to James I and Charles I.

I invited Martin to Crouch Hill, where he spoke of his visions for the preservation of areas of countryside, whilst accommodating the need for housing into the future. He also talked of  his imaginings of the Puritan and Royalist troops, noisily riding up and down past the foot of the Hill along what is now a busy B road, prior to the siege of Banbury Castle, and the Battle of Edge Hill in 1642.

It brought the past alive for a moment or two, and changed my visions of the present.

He was surprised and amused by the 249 viewers.

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Dozing in my Tent:

17th July

I just started to broadcast  and lay down in a warm tent for a doze…showed the sky to  over a hundred people…Strange, this periscope business…

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33 comments! and a surprising number of viewers.

also found a note when I opened the tent…. it said ‘PLEASE DON’T ‘

I wasn’t sure what they wanted me not to do?
Stay….? Go…?

Some dog-walkers came past and had a chat

Paul Mobbs (@ramblinactivist) :

17th July

I’d invited Paul to talk as he has a deep knowledge of the Quaker Civil War history of the area and an involvement in peace activism in contemporary conflict.

He forms a link from this final work to my initial investigations in Croughton , the Reading Room and RAF Croughton.

In fact, when he arrived he didn’t want to talk about those topics at all but lead a popular walk around the Hill discussing local geology and its implications.

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Edith Eisler, 

18th July

This was the anniversary of Edith’s death in 2011. A  violinist, teacher, noted musician and critic.This is  a recording of her playing Hindemith 

I told the story of how my father became friends with Edith and her family during WWII, following their movement from Vienna to Britain.

Also their subsequent correspondence whilst my father found and located in Japanese POW camp in the Far East, and following his release.

This family correspondence continued, even following my father’s death.

Her kindness has enabled me to pursue this Post-Graduate study.

(Along with a Vice- Chancellors Scholarship from The University of the Arts London).

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iChing and Philip K. Dick

19th July

I am interested in the link between subjective evaluation involved in Divination practice and ritual with the binary code which underlies all things digital.

See this article here in The Guardian

and this J Proteome Sci Comput Biol. 2012; 2012(1): 3. Published online 2012. doi: 10.7243/2050-2273-1-3

I had hoped to use yarrow stalks from the Hill but the season was late and there were few available.

I’d also thought of using Glo-sticks but their popularity at the Public View put paid to that…everyone wore them home..

So I used the cards I’d used in previous broadcasts.

The whole event became ludicrous…more so than other Scopes, as Tia and Purdy, the dogs belonging to my ‘assistant’ were in playful mood.

In the end one of the dogs, Purdy, selected one of the cards…

I read from Philip K Dick, the visionary writer, who cites the iChing in The Man in The High Castle.

His alternative outcome from WWII, and the implications, are  worth re- considering now, I believe. The sun set, the moon was almost full.

In total with Louise’s simultaneous broadcast of the event, there were over 750 viewers..


These were the cards selected.


Humbleness and sincerity when comprehending will increase knowledge.


Dense clouds suggest postponing the action till after the rain.


The steadfast and persistent traveller will have good luck.

Make of that, what you will….

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UAL Summer Show: Camberwell College of Arts, Wilson Road, London SE5 8LU

20th July

I went to the Final Crit with my cohort at Camberwell. Saw many of my colleagues and enjoyed seeing the Show.

It was odd walking into an exhibition containing my own work but where I had delegated set-up to colleagues. They had displayed many of the bowls around the building but as these are now empty they had been removed.

The last remaining had been give a plinth, two bowls placed one inside the other with a top light in a dark space. It looked tremendous! Donald Takeshita-Guy had been mainly responsible and is keen on developing his curation skills.

It worked really well


Later, Clara and I met with the collective of artists to talk about plans for our residency in Norway in 3 weeks time. Very exciting.

Little Venice Studio  with Clara Duran, Keir Williams,  Dave Meckin, Alice Helps, Joe Fairweather-Hole

and then…..NORWAY RESIDENCY and Neptune Developers Camp, Melbu, Nordland

Neptun Introduction

and as Manuel from MAFAD said

” So long and thanks for all the fish”

Its been amazing,  Thanks Jonathan K!

Continue reading “Final Show: #CrouchHillBanbury”

#CrouchHill Banbury #Public View #Camberwellual

Louise messaged me this photo of the yarrow emerging on the morning on the Public View…

Better late than never…YARROW

Some of the people who had been involved in the events, gathered over the evening at the summit.

Several of us were broadcasting the event via Periscope and others who had been involved but couldn’t be there in person ‘hopped on’…

Some people managed both- to be there at a distance and then join in person…


Some of the sharing paraphernalia…

People brought Champagne and flowers



The Covenant of Salt, ‘Twitter’ chocolates, and Mystic Writing pads were enjoyed by many… even those who claimed no artistic talent!

Games had unexpected winners..or no winners at all depending on the play.

People were Periscoping people Periscoping people Periscoping ………etc


Clara Duran was taking photos of the Summer Show in Camberwell at the same time, and watching proceedings on Periscope on Jonathan’s phone ( see later)

I hadn’t realised that they had also announced Clara and my Residency Award in Norway  at the award ceremony.


Here are images of some of the group’s work : Clara, Tristan ( our work has some similarities..) Pete ( who I have still never met!), Pascale, Donald, Yvonne and Sharon


Some examples of the simultaneous images taken and simultaneous events ( if the clocks on our phones and cameras and image files are to be believed ) in Camberwell and on Crouch Hill.









Below are some screen shots which show the involvement of the Periscope audience when I went to find Clare Carswell, who also took many of the documentation photos – Thanks Clare)

She had been following proceedings on the phone but then drove to the Hill to try to find us.

I had thought of putting up signs but it would have changed the event and the Happenstance element for people who hadn’t had direct invitations

Also it was fun to see people randomly wandering around, getting lost, finding each other, talking to strangers, and eventually finding us at the summit!


‘ I’ve never seen so many Lost People!’ – Thanks JimStr

People made it to the top, physically and via our Live streams.


Drawing time is Catherine Lette,  who was documenting her visit to the Summer Show Private View in Wilson Road, Camberwell and simultaneous experience of Crouch Hill, Public View and some of my work in the process

The Screen shots below are from my Stream


These are from Catherine’s @drawingtime phone and stream


These are from Sharon Bertram’s


Here’s an example of chat during the stream…Anything from dog snacks to Brexit

Which at least gives it some time-reference.

Importantly, people  visiting the Show did seem to be accessing the Periscope Broadcasts at least via the Twitter feed from the Username on the Chocolates!

[EDIT 21st July:  There were large numbers in the LiveStream Audience by the end of the Show – over 700 for the last broadcast ]


Finishing with some amusing screen shot showing middle-ages people whth Glo=Stick necklaces.

I’ll never forget wending our way down the Hill carrying the tent etc, winding through the woodland in the dusk, Glo-necklaces bobbing up and down in the distance…Sadly not on the Broadcast


The event went well with some good interaction and a reasonable audience in both ‘locations’, from 30- 159 on the stream…not that I’m counting! ( Ha!)



So now its the bit in between the submission and the Show

On Sunday 10th July, about lunchtime, I walked up the hill to leave some invitations to my  Public View on Thursday 14th on the Hill, which will take place at the same time as the Summer Show Private View at Wilson Road, Camberwell. I ‘Scoped on the way up and invited viewers to the event, too.

Whilst I was up there I met  a man walking his dogs, Bobby and Meg.

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 14.54.35

I invited him to the Public View, and explained about the project.

He explained that someone had told him about it being used as a practice range by the army – yet another history…

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 15.01.43

I put some invitations in a map holder and fastened them to the Trig Point with the chain and padlock I used for Ordnance Survey


By tea-time the following day, they had gone!

On Wednesday, 13th  I went to deliver some chocolates and invitations to Belflair and Banbury Print and Design. Rather late in the day….

Then later I read John Clare’s Enclosure from the field of barley below the Hill. It was the anniversary of his birth. For some reason I had my phone upside down…………..

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 16.01.46



Simultaneous Broadcasts

This is a short post about something that took a long time to make and a long time to look through the excessive documentation…. for just a few screen shots.

I wanted to push the idea of simultaneous broadcasting from the same site via Periscope. Providing, what I hoped were several witnesses to the same event… and play with that idea.

I invited 2 local amateur archaeologists and 2 friends. The theme for discussion was Hill forts… relating to the idea of Crouch Hill as a signalling post, using fires, to nearby  Iron Age Hill forts such as Rainsborough Camp, which features in my research paper. Th planned action would also  aim to illuminate the general militarisation of the area, now and in the past; the  ‘multi-dimensional layering’ of  action, social interaction, memory  and physical landscape…. so combining the ideas of simultaneity and palimipsest.

Veronica had researched hill-forts and was to discuss them with Claire and other on-stream viewers, whilst Louise, Chris and I Periscoped the conversations at the same time. However, Veronica was sick and could’t lead.

Claire brought  her local OS (Ordnance Survey) map (a good link to the Trig Point and geo-location ) using that as a guide, we discussed the local geography and historyand position of some nearby  hill forts and ancient landmarks We  tried to spot some of them in the distance and then drank elderflower cordial. We finished the broadcasts  by  all walking around the summit and showing the viewers the geographical context of the hill from all our points of view.

This was the first time viewers had  been given a guided tour!

Challenges and thoughts

I had 2 phones with me , so in theory, a total of  5 different ‘witness ‘ broadcasts, (with another participant viewing from the  via desktop app. )

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a signal on one phone and the others have very few followers. so chat was limited…I had 43 viewers and the others  a handful. I didn’t see much chat visible though apart from a few ( mild-ish) Trolls and could only see a handful of people hopping on…. not at all sure why that was…Generally no direct chat from me to the broadcast means very little from the network – unless people choose to  chat between themselves.

This is what I’d hoped for. Chat within and between broadcasts and our group on the Hill.

The bright sun meant that none of us could see the screens properly without covering up the phone( and the cameras!)

We spent a long time faffing setting up, using up our data and batteries, I got several back-up packs jus in case)  by which time most viewers had got bored and left, I think.

I could possibly have spent more time ‘training’ people to use Periscope and practising but I don’t like that idea of rehearsal and practice. The action and event is just something that happens… not theatre…the  faff was just part of the process and was streamed too, as it evolved.

Essentially, it was what it was,

At that time, in that place 

Although we didn’t create the sense of community and chat between Scopers I thought may occur,  we did broadcast 4 different witnessings of the same action.We’d all used the same # to make it easier for viewers to track us ( at least one viewer  did make the effort to find other Broadcasts).

The exercise didn’t really investigate  simultaneity in different locations as we were all in the same ‘spot’ … but was more an attempt to explore and play with the idea of performer/participant/ audience/ viewer/ witness/ collaborator and these roles.

I had the original idea from looking at Trish Browns’ Roof Piece ( 1979), although that is different.There are different performers in different locations, performing the same action, simultaneously. This has probably been created already via a broadcast channels such as Periscope. But for global performance  is a possibility for future development.


What we did do, was to record 4 different perspectives of the same action and relations within the space at the same time…and network them to a ( small) but global and local community.

See below  for 3 different shots of a passing dog-walker  (owner of Jasper; half-terrier, half- Springer) taken at,  more or less…, the same time.

He wasn’t really keen on joining the chat… more concerned that my temporary occupation may continue to permanence…

I’d also brought a game of ( chocolate ) chess as a reference to the history of social hierarchy and capture ‘layered’ and hidden within the space. It was so hot the chocolate melted, leaving a mess resembling a battlefield on the board….

May 1st 2016 #Crouch Hill #apreoccupation

Even before this MA I’d had an underlying desire to be at the top of Crouch Hill for May Morning! Many years ago, I’d heard Simon Pipe, a lover of ritual and founder of the local Hobby Horse festival, say that there had been a ritual horn blowing in(?) pagan times, and not forgotten it.

My research process seemed to have lead to this point and location, so I planned an event for May 1st 2016; conveniently, a Sunday. There are a multiplicity of rituals and attached meanings associated with 1st May described here in the Independent 2016 , Daily Mirror 2016  and The Guardian 2012 . Some traditional British folk-lore, similar customs in other nations, and political associations. The intention of the actions within this event are to make manifest some of the hidden ‘layers’ of embedded  but obscured or partially erased personal and locally collective meanings, whilst possibly uncovering cultural and social hegemonies and ideologies: building on previous research actions and events.

 Format for the Day

I continued to do this using a series of props and materials and ritual(istic) activities, starting the day with a solitary ritual at daybreak, followed by other events.

I had arranged for various contacts to, physically, come to the Hill throughout the day and participate. The people who were able to come on the day were a selection of those originally approached, coming at their convenience. Others approached could not come and may or may not participate at another time..

Several were to deliver and discuss topics relating to my research.

Others acted as observer/ participants/ witnesses   – asked to download the Periscope and Twitter  apps : broadcasting the same events from differing points of view.

All were sent short summaries of the ideas in my research paper ( as circulated to my on-line cohort for the research paper session) . I also talked to them briefly about Crouch Hill and practical plans for the day.- playings a loose directorial role.

Using TED Talks as a guide, I suggested that each of the contributors talked for 18 minutes (or less ) about Crouch Hill from their personal and professional perspective, without the content becoming an  academic discourse. Accessibility  and  audience was important.

I chose the TED Talk format because of their mission of ” Ideas Worth Spreading” which is key to the concept of “Broadcast” and the  metaphorical association with casting seed for germination.

TED is a global community, welcoming people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world. We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world.

Those who were able to come were:

  • A photographer/ sound- artist  (in Wales via mobile phone)  with an interest in time-based work and the environment.
  • An amateur local archaeologist/artist , with an interest in heritage who is researching another nearby site.
  • An anthropologist/ archaeologist who has lived with and researched  nomadic tribes
  • a senior town-planner, now working in the private residential planning sector in the UK but whose origins are Leningrad, Soviet Russia 
  • a local poet, with a particular literary interest in Proust, Sebald and Benjamin and a professional background working as a Civil Servant on policy for the Department of Health 
  • a textile artist with a professional background in theatre. (National and Royal Shakespeare Theatre) 
  • a support ‘tech’ to help carry things! and join in with the broadcast chat was unable to participate fully due to having to take her dog to the vet.
  • another support ‘observer/ witness’ was sick and unable to come on the day.

I asked all to download the Periscope and Twitter apps where possible : broadcasting the same events from differing points of view and acting as witnesses as well as  participants

Daybreak Horn and Bonfire 

I reached the summit at about 5.30am, having spoken to participant collaborator, Martin W in Mid-Wales  at 5.18 as I left. He often gets up for May Day Morning at his house in Mid-Wales and we’d agreed that we would see the sunrise ‘together’. On the summit there was thick frost and it felt more like January than May. I turned to look for the rising sun and it was visible  above the Trig Point as I looked east. Just visible between the unusually, still leafless trees. I sounded a battery bicycle horn,  (an autobiographical reference) three times at approx 05.36am BST, the official time of sunrise…..but maybe I was a few minutes late….. and then started to make a ‘Beltane’ bonfire.Frame-17-06-2016-12-14-37

Martin W was at the top of his local hill (Trembyd), with the “landed festival” in the Wye valley below (Midpoint of sunrise 05.45 BST ) and attempt at simultaneity but he has no smartphone and so no archived Periscope chat to prove it!…. Just his photo below.Beltane_2016_0

Bonfire and music

The bonfire was created from cassette tapes, recorded from the radio without even using an external mic, by my father many years ago. I  tracked down digital versions of the content on iTunes and mixed them in Garageband.

Selecting the clips to use and then overlaying the tracks was interesting.

I haven’t worked in Garageband that much before. I considered using Audacity but wanted to make a fairly quick piece and despite the sessions I’d had , didn’t really feel confident using it for mixing. (Ha !) Sound quality did not have to be that good. All I wanted to do was play the mix track from my old phone via a Bluetooth speaker as before. The music was intended to be, like the action, pretty raw and unfinished… not high production.

In the end the mix took 3 days or more …..Finding exactly the same music by the same orchestras and string quartets where possible, ( he’d recorded these pieces because they were hard to find on vinyl…. mostly not run of the mill stuff) downloading it, selecting the clips, overlaying with just enough space between tracks  so the segue’d in without being too contrived….making things appear chaotic can be so time consuming…… Quite the opposite of my supposed  methodology, the continual contrast and paradox between the obsessive archiving, editing and remediation of the material and the ephemerality of the event. This almost acts as a commentary on the contemporary obsessiveness with archive and memory which contrasts with the intransigence of life…. if this isn’t too much of a cliche!

I tried to upload the mix on to Soundcloud but it was rejected due to Copyright 

SoundCloud :Hi OldRh,Our automatic content protection system has detected that your track:“Mix Of Analogue Music For May Day 6 – 30 04 2016, 13.46” may contain the following copyrighted content: “String Quartet No. 2 in A Minor, Op. 13: Adagio non lento” by Alban Berg Quartett owned by Warner Classics. As a result, your track has been removed from your profile for the time being.

But here it is in Clyp in full

The aim was that as the cassettes burned the music sounded as if it was emanating from each clip that caught fire….as the fire spread…. so the music ebbed and flowed with the flames.


 Audience  and Analysis ( Daybreak and Bonfire) 

Was I doing this for a Periscope audience…at 5.30 in the morning…UK time…..?

I realised when I chose the tapes as material, that I was carrying this ritual for myself. My father died 16 years ago and I have kept the tapes to use in work. I wanted to hear the music on those tapes…. to bring it, briefly and temporarily, alive. The last track, playing as the embers smoke, is John Taverner’s Eternal Memory for Cello and String Orchestra played by the Royal Philharmonic

May Day Morning, with the association with passing of old life to new, seemed a good time to use them. A rather literal, symbolic personal ritual.

For the Broadcasts I used the #apreoccupation #Crouch Hill – a reference to a hesitant, playful activism in a public but privately owned space, the use of the tent and my own as an artist and individual.

[I discovered that it is not common land at the summit but still privately owned with public access/ rights of way)… though no designated Public Footpath.]

There were 3 live viewers and 3 Replay for the horn blowing and up to 17 for the last of 3 Live Broadcasts of the bonfire. I had to stream in 3 steps because of the different view points.. using the top of the Trig Point as a support for the 1st, longer distance, and use of a tripod for the second, close up. This part of the process felt rather contrived because of the use of the various bits of albeit low tech ‘stuff’.

I made the decision to go up the Hill alone, which meant that it broadcasting would have been practically very difficult without using tripods and holders.

I did try lighting the matches and holding the phone, but it wasn’t easy. Not holding the phone or being able to look at it meant that I couldn’t chat to the viewers but this action was most definitely a solitary ritual, with observers rather than participants. Despite some technical hitches with the rather intermittent Bluetoothing of the music, which is all part of my rather ad hoc approach to the action, and adds to the contingency  at the time of enactment ( in contrast to the preparation!),  the ritual was moving, significant  and affective to perform. Had also taken the plunge and upgraded to a new iPhone SE, as I really needed to improve the quality of the stream.

The video documentation on Youtube demonstrates this…


I made the decision again to  keep recordings of this event, purely for the purpose of refection and analysis ( or at least that’s what I tell myself!)….  a paradox of ephemerality and archiving.…It is now possible, with my iPhone SE to save a screen recording, complete with chat as text and hearts, direct from phone to Desktop, which is much quicker and simpler than via the Desktop App…. too easy……The compulsion to Save.


After the bonfire I walked home down the Hill, rested and had breakfast, saved the screen recordings and made further preparations  for a  trip up the Hill with anthropologist/archaeologist, Damon Dennis.

Ritual and space  

Damon talked about May Day as a ritual in different cultures attracting questions regarding the practices he described. I was able to see the chat this time, as I was in the tent. We also discussed my thoughts of ritual within space, positioned as I was within my ‘green tent, at that time; in that place’. At least one dog walker passed by. I was unaware of any other. We talked for around 50 minutes… I was unaware of the time passing. I was trying hard to recall  Levis Strauss, Marcel Mauss, Victor Turner and  Eric Rothenbhuler’s key thoughts on ritual and ritual process- liminality, rites of passage, exchange, performativity  etc  and put it into some personal context for that moment, in that space,but found it very difficult …. I could not assimilate….or dissemninate…

Here’s a Wiki link… for summary and simplicity …any inaccuracies are fitting within the conceit of this project… and an edited clip

Archaeology, landscape and memory

Claire talked about the phenomenology of the landscape and the work of Christopher Tilley, personal recollections and coincidence...the book mark in the text she chose was a childhood birthday card, sent by an aunt who used to take Claire’s brother to Crouch Hill for picnic and some of the local history from her own research …Claire’s broadcast the sun- glare  made it  more or less impossible. Still a reasonable audience though.

Damon and her led a short Urban Dig, looking at recent archaeological ‘finds’ at the summit, again with great participation from the viewers.

I went back down the hill to greet Irina whilst Louise broadcast, explained and answered questions as Claire continued her dig.

Irina brought printouts of images and imagery as flags to serve as  prompts to her personal memories of May Day Parade in ‘70’s Soviet Leningrad with her mother. She showed images relating to the history and collective memories embedded within it. Then I sat in my tent, with her outside in the sunshine, so that we could chat with some of the viewers. By ‘coincidence’ one was a Russian who planned to play football in a nearby  (500km away) town. Ira chatted in Russian, discussing their support of local teams.

I took the viewers on a short tour around the landscape and discussed the site and context.Through the trees, walking the narrow path to the summit appeared more participants .


Three other participants joined us; Damon and Claire left. I set out the Monopoly and replenished the refreshments. I had brought a teapot with cups, saucers and ‘tray cloth’ along with biscuits and fruit… to ‘make an occasion of it.’ I laid out an old London Monopoly board and everyone set up a game. This was a fairly simple link to an underlying capitalism within British culture but also to the distress and discomfort felt by many people living close to the Hill, as large new residential estates are being built by property developers within a quarter of a mile. The boundary  which runs next to the Hill, an ancient trackway, has been broken, with the Hill ( and town)  becoming surrounded by new developments.Although playing the game uses strategy and tactics, there is also chance ( throwing of the dice, content of Chance cards) and community ( Community Chest cards, Jail, utilities and transport), plus the need for selection of a token of personal representation.

I was aware that Monopoly was possibly difficult to access in Ira’s USSR. Monopoly was apparently created in 1903, before the Great Depression, by American anti- capitalist Lizzie J. Magie Phillips. She created the game as an educational tool to illustrate the negative aspects of concentrating land in private monopolies although the myth is that it was invented by game-designer, Charles Darrow. Magie Phillips was feminist, writer and poet, on themes of justice and inequality. I have heard the view that Monopoly was indeed a feminist game, as it gave women a chance to ‘have  control over their own money’.

During the playing of the game and the chat between players, viewers and myself.. many of these political and cultural issues were illuminated,  through the conversation and behaviour of the group. I was aware of the perfomativity of the game-play and the ritual behaviour both within and without the game itself

A New Folklore

Originally, Frances had discussed the possibility of bringing some personal objects for autobiographical reflection, however, when she arrived she had some props to demonstrate a May Day ritual she had extrapolated from the internet. A humorous but critical  juxtaposition of old and new, with some adaptations and confusion as the May blossom was not in flower. All the trees were about 4 weeks behind the usual flowering times.

The manner in which she guided me and the viewers through the ritual process really engaged the audience in the participation, performance and creation of the ritual with some shared conversation about the creation of contemporary folklore and myth; and the role of the Internet ( and Wikipedia) in that creation.

Pagan Poem and Proust

I spent some time in early March discussing Benjamin’s The Arcades Project with Martin and its relevance to my Research Paper and process, as an example of  fragmentation and unfinished work and palimpsest  multi-layering. I’d also  listened to his thoughts on Proust and memory, as part of a Memorials Moving and Invisible   , a walk near Edgehill Battlefield site and MOD Kineton. I had heard his Poetry at Beatnik Boulevard .

I’d  expected  him to talk  about Proust, especially as Crouch Hill is covered with hawthorn ( May) and Proust often refers to  it, along with metaphors for  memory. However, when he spoke on the broadcast he read a poem and then talked more about the notion of voluntary and involuntary memory and it’s relationship to physicality, sensation of movement and placement of a part of the body, to the  feel  of an object.

We went back to the Monopoly game, only to find he had been sent to jail in his absence.

Together we packed up and walked through the trees and down the Hill.

 Analysis Summary

The summit of the hill, and the surroundings developed and became ‘other’ as the various activities and actions during the day unfolded and as it was linked and merged with other global spaces through the Broadcasting network. Local visitors also folded in and out of the space during the day as differing relations were produced. The proportion of my directorial control vs contingency worked well, for the collaborative pieces brought and broadcast by the participants and the dipping in and out of viewers’ chat in the Broadcasts.The planning time seemed to have been sufficient and the spontaneity ‘sufficient’ as participants often surprised me with their contributions. The main themes of my Research Paper were made manifest, even if there was level of complexity which led to partial obscuring. This is what I am keen to achieve as it references ‘ palimpsest-ness’ within becoming action  and over time, but it is getting the balance right that  is possibly tricky  from the point of view of an audience….even though different audiences interpret differently.

The experimentation with multiple broadcasters didn’t work so well as some contributors were unable to come or download the app. However, I already have so much film it is hard to analyse and I really feel it is not a priority at the moment. This may change and I have got screen recorded documentation to be able to do that.

Viewer interaction could be better and in future I may buy a screen hood to help with sun glare.

The contributors seems pleased to work in this way and the event flowed naturally. There are  questions about the role of performance, ritual and the separation of the performer(s)  from the audience, witnessing  and the reflexivity of those relationships in this work which  always crop up.Compared with the St George’s Day event, this was both intimate and connected and felt truly ‘shared’ across all networks.

Egg Rolling: Easter Day

Here are a couple of clips from the Periscoped Egg rolling.

I made these for the Symposium in June but decided to put them in here instead of other stills as they

  • Took a long time to make
  • show some of the essentials of the event… the humour and some of the action

However they don’t show the links and references that underpin the event and locate it on Crouch Hill and near Banbury. I talked about these to some extent whilst we were ‘Scoping so they are available on my Youtube Channel if anyone cares enough to search through all the uploads!

I’m editing this post in June and just almost laughing outlaid at the excessive documentation of this supposed ephemeral event. Essentially, of course, I’ve done this for corse documentation and assessment but then even  this becomes a piece of work…

And it is useful/ essential to look back at the comments and analyse them and the audience.

Reflect on my style of video-making, position of phone camera and its relevance in my practice…

Even if it does just lead to the confirmation of my desire for a handmade, everyday, haphazard aesthetic.

Especially at this stage in my work……1 month to go!

The first is a longer clip which tries to show all the chat for the ‘Scope, its funny and links to viewers who came in to watch other events.There were several references to my location which is shown on the stream, and landmarks which people can see as they drive by Banbury on the motorway.Plus happy Easter wishes. Not a huge audience but  a good balance of audience chat and participation and just watching ‘a performance’ action.

I reduced this down to the bare minimum ( two invisible middle- aged women throwing eggs and a dog chasing after them…..)

but then even this clip was cut from the Final Symposium video…

References include:

Rolling Cadbury eggs…originally a Quaker firm, Cadbury’s though chocolate was an alternative to alcohol.

Banbury, is known as a Puritan, Quaker town, still with an active Quaker presence in the town and the surrounding villages.Now one of the main employers in the town is Mondelez and American company who bought out Cadbury, recently.

Cadbury were originally responsible for Bournville Garden village, Birmingham, a new concept of social housing. So there are links there with Social Space, urban environments and flexible ideas of geography and place

as well as collective memory of the people of the area… everyone talks about the ‘Birds’ or coffee factory

There was a contemporary link too as there was controversy over the fact that the word Easter was no longer used on the eggs… Here  I also included some discussion of Easter and the moveable date, The Book of Common Prayer (links with the Church of England  and underlying, hidden history, historiography and ideology), Easter in other nations occurring simultaneously and ritual processes, celebrations also occurring at this time.

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.


Ordnance Survey, site specific- thoughts and a short discussion about time and space

A few days ago, I went up nearby Crouch Hill, in a high wind, and installed this work.



It brings together some of the ideas about the site:

 Past History 

  • as a beacon where signals were transmitted to Rainsborough Camp (an Iron-age hill fort near RAF Croughton mentioned in my Research Paper) and Arberry Hill * ,
  • stories about William Waller camping at its  base during the English Civil War,  
  • myths about its  Civil War role and the military significance of Trig points and  Ordnance Survey maps,
  • Pagan May morning rituals of horn blowing;

through to its role today as a site of contemporary ritual

  • a place for families to walk to,
  • a local daily dog- walking route
  • the site of teen campouts in the summer
  • local sledging venue,
  • A significant local landmark visible for several miles around

* the new housing estate close by has also been named Arbery Hill and of course that’s what comes up when Googled!! Lots of Taylor Wimpey homes. How ‘space’ and ‘history’ change….! and

*near Daventry, I thought but there is a nearer one not far from Croughton so that seems more likely.

The text used on the installation and some of the the maps are here, below:

Ordnance Survey

Crouch Hill

Crouch Hill 2 

Triangulation station

William Waller

William Waller 2

I used sections of OS maps from a range of editions over the last 30 years and variable grid sizes. I cut out sections where there was a military installation, whether Iron  Age or more recent.

They show a remarkable ‘evolution’ of the areas  ( how the military installations were represented on the maps over time ) and the overlay of the Battle site at Edge Hill and MOD Kineton and just how the military  presence has been so present in this such a central part of the country.

Not all the map sections are here. Just a selection.

Crouch Hill

Edgehill battle site 1970’s map

Edgehill Battle site with MOD Kineton 

Rainsborough camp and Croughton 1970’s map

Rainsborough Camp and Croughton – more recent map showing wireless station

I made a point of getting it completed and installing it on the 5th December as traditionally there is a 50 mile 24 hour hike called the Tour-de-Trigs in the area, and they  often use Crouch Hill, another ritual function. In fact in the past before the bushes grew I could see the beacon/ bonfire they built on the top to welcome the weary walkers, from my bedroom window. This walk has a ritual aspect to it for the participants, who are both local and come from farther afield…occasionally outside the UK. In fact it has almost a pilgrimage quality to it, if you listen to some of the participants stories, as it involves a high level of endurance for what is a ‘low-level’walk, and has an almost mystical quality.

There is short piece on the use of ‘ Trig Points’ –Triangulation stations on the Tour website and a document here which is only from Wiki. which describes their link with military mapping.

I decided not to reference this  in the work as I was thinking about the site as a space of action, historical and present, more temporal : geographical  and having links with the Ordnance and Mapping but other references besides. I didn’t want the military aspect to be the main focus, just part of the story. The Title directs us to these associations anyway. Further reference would hide the other;

FURTHER EDIT : In some ways  my  aim was to demonstrate what this paper Sebold as Rhizomatic Assemblage describes as Deleuze and Guattari’s assemblage

“a never-complete performative act of assemblage which brings together diverse genres, times and spaces in a network of intersecting lines: ‘a map, not a tracing’”

POST SCRIPT  I’m adding this section in January as I look back over the work,read Massey again and realise that I have fallen completely into the trap that she talks about.

Thinking more about Time than Space because of the interpretation of geographical space as a surface! Despite recognising simultaneity , this core concept is so unground that it is essential popping -up and overtaking my thoughts- more on the development of this work in a later post )

The Trig points are used as way markers by walkers, marking map reference points.It explains how they are becoming obsolete with the use of GPS ( a link with  global communications and simultaneity) But in many places the metal plate is being retained and becoming part of the‘ Heritage of the Hills’

I really like this phrase…it links with the ideas of memorialisation and Pierre Nora’s sites of memory’ explored in my research paper and how we like the idea of fixing place, which Doreen Massey talks about.

Crouch Hill  summit  and Trig Point being the  place where people stop and chat, have ‘a breather’ and let the dogs have a sociable play around.

Installing was actually quite difficult as I fixed the laminates on when I was on the hill to get the spacings right and it was so bloody windy.

I was Scoping the installation process too. 71  Live viewers in total. So the Global aspect of this exciting. I do not chat to the audience when Scoping and am usually alone so can’t respond to their questions...and at this stage want to just carry out my action with no interaction ….( a bit theatrical…distance between me and the audience despite our proximity via the broadcast. I’ve never thought about the pace of performance in the theatre…. another consideration.)

or see them as the saved video roll doesn’t save the chat (or the hearts which are sent when people like what you do!)

I solved the second issue  by re-filming the Replay which is available for 24 hrs after. I dd this on my camera from my Desktop and didn’t use a tripod as the weather was filthy and I couldn’t get to the studio to get it.

I got some wobbly documentation but saw some of the chat.

The list of viewers showed a multi-national audience from Russian and Turkish ( they are great periscope users), Spanish, ? American and some Middle Eastern although it is impossible to see where they are watching from.

This is just from the Script on the Scope summary.

 An update 

I installed on Saturday 5th December at lunchtime.

By Tuesday 8th someone had been and taken all the laminations!

They had not blown off in the wind as the keyring were also missing. Only the chain and padlock were there…….

A friend told me she’d  noticed this but I took these images much later, just before Christmas.

The weather has been filthy and climbing the hill to the top very slippery and precarious.


“It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards”

Whilst updating my Proposal and thinking about how the process of writing my Research Paper will impact on my practice, I started to consider working on the following  themes. I’ll do this when I have  completed  work at the Edgehill battlefield site/ MOD Kineton:

  • A project on Crouch Hill based around the Trig Point-as a location it has layers of history and geographical and community significance. Also it is physically close to my home, a shortish walk, making it a practical place for me to work. I would also be able to enlist the help of friends with carrying equipment and other technical help. This would be less possible with other more distant locations.
  • I would base it around a live stream with some interaction on the site and possibly some live news feed or images added later.
  • I’d use performative action and performative writing in some way during the Live stream and interaction
  • I’m also interested in the literary concept of Portmanteau words, as below, and using the concept in a performative way.

I’ve been looking at the work of Belgian artist JOHAN GRIMONPREZ, who’s film montage work  Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y  a fake documentary about a hi-jacking was made in 1997 and seems to be  almost a premonition of 9-11.

There’s clip of it here

Grimonprez work acknowledges unseen events which can’t  be documented  and so  the potential impossibility of documenting any historical fact. His  first large-scale retroperspective of Grimonprez in  Belgium was  “It’s a Poor Sort of Memory that Only Works Backwards”.

I found the title fascinating as I recognised it as a quote from Alice through the Looking Glass. and know that Lewis Carroll’s Alice Works examine the themes of Space/ Time and Fact/ Fiction. She tells the White Queen that “I can’t remember things before they have happened” , and that is the Queen’s reply.

Unknown-8Whilst re- reading some of Through the Looking Glass and researching a little about Lewis Carroll , I became aware of his use of Portmanteau words like “slithe”  meaning lithe and slimy.  They are words which linguistically  blend or fuse words, parts of multiple words, or their phones (sounds), and their meanings  to  combine them into a new word-  so smog is a blend of smoke and fog.

 I really like this idea of fusion of ideas and ending up with something which is ‘nonsensical’ but  means something new.

Somehow, I’d like to use this idea in some performative way especially as it links with Carroll’s ideas of time and space and simultaneity and also is referenced by Jung when discussing Synchronicity and meaningful co-incidences (Tarnas, Richard (2006). Cosmos and Psyche. New York: Penguin Group. p. 50. ISBN 0-670-03292-1.) Most appropriate for my proposed work.

Generic mid winter fest and contemporary Collective ritual

My practice has a strong association with ritual practice , whether that is a community and widely observed festival or more everyday performance and action.

As we move into winter the festivals involving some sort of ‘bringing light into darkness’  emerge.

I’m not going to use this post to analyse the various origins, pagan and otherwise, of all the festivals but just to highlight the associations with memory, personal and collective which these apparently ‘celebrate.

Hallowe’en or Samhain is one that I have always enjoyed.

Since childhood I’ve made a lantern out of a turnip ( I’m from Lancashire!) and have strong memories of carrying one on string to the bus-stop and then to my grandma’s where I stayed the night in a bitterly cold room ( no central heating in those days…) covered by several eiderdowns, one a memorable satin-finish paisley pattern. Later apple- bobbing ,hair combing in the dark and seeing your future husband (!)  in the mirror behind you’!

What’s especially odd is that I remember joining the local Methodist Sunday School because they had such good social events from an astounding Harvest festival where the church was decorated  with Real Produce, not tins of stuff, but sheaves of corn and specially shaped loaves of bread, fruit and flowers. The scent of chrysanthemums comes back as I write…They also had a fab Hallowe’en party.I won a competition, I recall, dressed as a black cat, but there were witches a plenty. I doubt that many churches celebrate this festival now… This was before it became a fully fledged ‘Trick or Treat’ import from America and an opportunity to sell pumpkins..

I was always told, by my parents, about its association with memory of the dead and spirit- visitations and so its associations with the Pagan, Samhain.

This link  is quite entertaining and fairly informative.

What I find interesting is that cultures world-wide celebrate this day as a ‘Day-of-the-Dead” in different ways but a similar theme. Some from a mix of Catholicism and Pagan then exported and tied with local belief such as the Mexican and Aztec goddess belief  Not only have the beliefs and rituals  syncretised  but they are becoming, as generally, ‘things’ are’ more mobile and fluid.An essential part of ritual practice, I seem to remember from Victor Turner et al, is that the sites and more importantly , the dates, or periods of the practice are fixed. So despite Hallowe’en and Bonfire night being so close together , ‘in my day’ there were no fireworks until the 5th November and no Dressing-up as witches on the 5th November!

Now it seems that the Generic winter festival seems to extend from Hallowe’en ( with Fireworks beginning often before!) to sometime after New Year  ( even possibly beyond 12th Night!!! my God!) when the fireworks finally run out…..The festivals and accompanying memorialisation have more than syncretised.

I won’t start to unpick the social reasons for this, though it may have to do generally with the tendency  for ‘merge’ and the way that time  is no longer  fixed, with iPlayer and multichannel, Listen again, podcasts etc. so that there is less of this fixed collective activity generally.

Rather than get embroiled in such Social Analysis, which I may do another time…This post is really about the fact that I visited Crouch Hill on Hallowe’en and made  a series of Periscope Broadcasts. They were my first use of Periscope apart from one short trial when I downloaded the app. I did 5 Live broadcasts all together, varying length  from 2 minutes to a couple of longer ones of around 30 minutes at the end. They were mostly shared via my Twitter account  as you can see from this Screen shot

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The Third broadcast was deleted from my Twitter feed.This was because, unexpectedly, as twilight fell (the most potent time for the barrier between the past and the present to dissolve – already at its thinnest at Hallowe’en- hence the spirit access…) , a colleague of mine, coincidentally, arrived at the summit where I was ‘Scoping, with her dog.She was cautious about her voice and our conversation being Broadcast and so I deleted the stream  and the Replay facility and we ‘checked’ the topics of our conversation cautiously

Here are is the list of Broadcasts I did on that day.


Below are the Videos of the first two ‘Scopes which saved to my video roll.

I deleted the third, for the reasons given above, and I think the 4th didn’t save as my battery failed and this means it doesn’t get saved to the video roll….I didn’t realise this until some ‘scopes later..

Shame really as it was a long Scope of 30 mins or so with me falling over ( twice) and dropping my phone, as I made my way down the hill, in the mud in the dusk, holding my phone and my stick, and my camera… Possibly not that sensible really…

I’ve made the first Scope Private as I met a family on the hill and although I explained what I was doing,and they were fine with the ‘Scope, I  don’t feel comfortable with having  a video accessible on-line ( Child Protection and all that..)

Password is available for viewing at my discretion.. EDIT APRIL 2016- I changed my mind and the privacy Settings as you can see..)

and here are some stills from the first Scope

The second scope is on Vimeo  here

Whilst I was Scoping I was also filming with my camera. Here are some stills from the camera footage I shot too , in several different takes.

Some Analysis

As usual I have chosen, mostly to use a pre- existing structure on which to rest the camera, so that it ‘becomes’ part of the environment – in this case the top of the Trig Point- so it is as if the structure is watching its environment..I did this a lot in the Reading Room. Using the tables, window sills  and serving hatch as support.

I really like this as a way of filming as it adds an element of ‘watchfulness’ I feel and, although I have some control over the composition, it is limited by the position and the environment and structure itself and more part of it, yet still an observer.

I have kept in the movements I make of the camera when adjusting its position, as if it is ‘ settling itself in’ before it starts to watch….

I will use these to make another piece later as things develop, possibly for re-Scoping..

They are available on my YouTube Channel here, with one edit only, where I have deleted any identifying conversation with my colleague as mentioned above.

Below are some stills just to show the basic aesthetic Essentially I was just hanging around the hill at a potent time of collective ritual with specific reference to memory, and experiencing whatever   past and contemporary ritual happens in this place.( walking  to the top! where there is a Trig Point)

Dusk gradually falling( time of day) – North

Colour in the evening sun (? atmosphere/ aesthetic of the place) – East

Sun descending – West



Hawthorn, a plant with an important place in ritual, superstition and social action, see this article and

My final walk up to the summit at dusk.