The Reading Room : 10th visit Preparing for the Event on 18th July

28th June 2015:

By now I was really working up to the event At The Reading Room and had booked it for 18th July to co-incide with the MA Interim Show at Camberwell.

The idea was that I would show images at Camberwell but the actual event would be at the `reading Room.

This is because i have a problem with showing in an exhibition space and ‘audience’ i.e. who are the audience for my work….

I feel it is the people I have been working with in the community in Croughton, rather than the art school, London audience.

I was working on a series of things for the event.

  • People printing their own newspaper using a large roll of paper and linocut alphabet.
  • Dadaist style newspaper making using cut-up text and images for a range of newspapers from all over the world.
  • Newspapers from all over the world and  some from personal archive the be read in the Reading Room and prompt discussion of current affairs etc.
  • Alternative Playing Cards for Whist with images from newspapers
  • people bring slides and photographs of the Reading Room and other memorabilia
  • Showing of the film I was working on combining video of the Reading Room with reckon recordings of news particularly relating to issues i was thinking about wrt Croughton/ Broad band connection and RAF Croughton/ drones etc.
  •  Refreshments

I went to the Reading Room to work and use it as a studio in advance of the event and Jane and I distributed posters  and leaflets around the village to encourage people come.

On this day below couple of visitors from a neighbouring village dropped in. Both were artists.

You can see from the image that someone else thought about it… the camera was filming outside the building through the window.

I also wanted to check the Broadband signal as I wanted to set up a live feed on the day for participants from the MA Show.

Gigaclear have still not installed the new Fiberoptic Broadband which was promised.

So I think this will prove difficult but I want to try it as this is a main part of the work. The isolation of the Reading Room and what it has been in the context of contemporary communications and world events.There is no Phone signal for my network and even the analogue radio signal was dodgy. I listened to ‘Heart’ whilst I worked.

I cut up newspapers and made lino letters in anticipation.


The Reading Room, Newspaper performance, Gigaclear and the General Election.

9th May 2015: 

I forgot about this post. The General Election is over and the result was unexpected and decisive.

I had made another screen recording yesterday, the day after the General Election,and  captured the radio in the background and The World at One as a sound overlay to the video of my research into Gigaclear in Croughton as they are supposed to be doing the work now…


I’d also been looking at ‘Things to do with Newspapers’ that are relevant to my proposal and methodology.

It shows Gustav Metzger messing around with newspapers andI was thinking about the event at The Reading Room and what I might do… performance-wise.

I love his no nonsense approach and would like to do something like this but it will have to fit with the place and time….

The Reading Room Event: Last-minute set-up and Preparation


So, it’s been the longest time since a post at the time when I should have been posting almost daily! A lesson learnt there.

I’ve been and installed at Camberwell for the MA interim show and been to the PV. Detail of all that was involved to follow as I’ve been busy doing and reflecting ‘on-the-go’.

In a few hours I’ll be at The Reading Room hoping that some people will get in touch and that the phone signal  and Broadband will be sufficient to make contact and maybe even stream a Live Event via Google-Hangouts…

I think I’ve got it sort of sorted as much as I can before I get there….

Thanks to my elder son for the loan of his Chromebook, as my Macbook is too old an OS for Google hangouts!!

My younger son has also sent me some QRCodes for my Soundcloud stream  ( apparently I’m not computer literate, so I wouldn’t be able to follow his instructions in how to make them……!) so people can hear some of the recordings…

QR Code for Soundcloud for Reading Room QR Code for You Tube Chanel for Reading Room Participants

(Sorry Martin W if you listen to them… I know the quality leaves a lot to be desired..)

I have yet to go and pick up a package from the Post Office Sorting Office which I think is some newspapers that have been sent from Japan? Not sure if I’ll get there before I have to go to set up.

The cakes will be being made by Jane as I write. I can see her icing  them in her kitchen, in my mind’s eye. I really have no idea if anyone will come.

Nothing has been posted on the Croughton website but Jane has put something in the newsletter which is delivered by hand to every house, There are posters in the Co-op and pub and the bus shelter and I left leaflets out in the Co-op and the Reading Room too. Jane left some in the pub when she went to clean.

I’ve not posted the videos yet on YouTube but that is a ‘To do’… more of an archive than a piece of work.

I’ve just got to print out some H&S warnings for the linocut and some other info  to encourage on going contact.

I went over on Thursday morning to try the slide projector out in the small bar and also set out the materials. Richard has said that he will put to the tables and chairs this morning.IMG_2298

I’d better get on. Give me a call if you want to know what’s happening. 07956159954

The Reading Room – Background

Since the beginning of March I have been working on a project which has grown to be somewhat larger than I intended and has become an exploration for my practice as a whole.

During the Low Residency Tutorial with Dave Charlesworth, in particular,  it was clear that I needed to find a location  on which to base my process for future work.

I’m not sure what prompted the thought but I think it was the Digital Residents and Visitors talk on the Low Res.

I thought of this location also because I have been travelling to do some regular tuition work with a lovely family of home- educated children who live in the nearby village.

For me driving there was a bit of a ‘Journey down Memory Lane’, as for 10 years in my 20’s I worked close by on a farm site, my first ‘proper’ job after graduation.

Looking back it was pretty idyllic, strolling round fields all day listening to the skylarks and F1-11’s overhead and the occasional woodpecker ( and the crows!)

As I drove there I noticed the sign from Gigaclear, a promise to install ultra- high speed Broadband to the nearby villages.

I was struck by the fact that they still don’t have effective internet connections in these villages, only about 6 miles for the main town.

Also, that within a couple of miles or so there was RAF Croughton, a communications base used by the USAF.

Digital communications sent across the globe at superfast speeds. Some, reputedly involved in drone attacks and hacking of political leaders phones.

ThIs was made even more ? (not sure of the correct word here) incongruous / ironic, as it is going to double or more in size in the next few years.

At the beginning of March I made my first visit to Croughton, to investigate the village and it’s lack of Broadband/ proximity to some of the ‘Fastest Broadband in the West”!

I really need to look back over what I have been doing and am about to do to see where I go next as it feels as if a lot has happened in a short time.