Selecting Images

Just a short post to explain my reasons for selecting the images above for the chocolate wrappers.

I was going to select just a single image but had several printed, mainly to see which looked best on the tiny wrappers.It is impossible to visualise how powerful, or not, an image will be at this size and how it will be read. Logos are different because of their graphic clarity, but this sort of image was so small on the original wrappers that they were not legible at all. Turning the wrappers round and changing the usual layout made a huge difference., though they are still very small, 33 x 40mm for the images. The wrappers themselves are 40 x 78mm but have to include the ingredients inc: allergens and a link to my periscope stream ( I’ve not put this on the front and it is too long and my stream can be accessed via Twitter anyway.) Once I’d altered the image position I also had space to credit the people whose images I used...none of them were ‘my ‘images, although I did ‘take’ the solar grams…by positioning the cameras, I guess.

I showed the proofs to several people with varying interest in ‘art’ or visual material. I asked them to pick up the images that ‘drew them in’ in order of choice. I’ve done this before when having exhibition postcards printed, but this time there was no common choice. In fact every image was chosen the same number of times as a first choice…. So I decided to have 100 each of all the images. Together they produce a narrative showing the  location, something of my process, the link with geographical space with the Trig point, social space with the tea-pot, and time passing with the solar gram.

I realise that will not necessarily be how they are read,but there are linking  objects  within each….from trig point to tent to teapot etc . This provides and exciting way to exhibit a non- linear fragmented narrative of documentation of an action. Just what I’ve been searching for and generate a conversation which re-animates the original action in a different form.

I really do feel though, that I have to give credit to Felix Gonzales-Torres, as the display of sweets and their consumption is not an original idea.… his work  below) has a more simple and poignant  conceit.felix-gonzalez-torres

Untitled (Portrait of Ross in L.A.) (1991) by Felix Gonzalez-Torres at the Met Breuer. Photo by @julianasteiner




Creative Dementia Arts Conference 2016


This years conference was at St Hugh’s College, Oxford 14th and 15th April 2016.

My original proposal for this MA  ( as I remember it!) was  based on autobiographical and collective memory and I had some idea, I think, of linking my community -based work with my practice. I’ll explore how these links have developed and unravelled in another post but I’m including this resume of the conference to reference specific uses of digital technology and also a project I became aware of that I will follow up in the future, post-MA.

From a Networking Point of view the conference is always useful meeting with colleagues, Clare Carswell who is Lights Up Co-ordinator.

Lights up is a Monthly arts group for people with Dementia and their carers in West Oxfordshire. I have worked with the group on several occasions and work from the group was exhibited at an exhibition in January, curated and installed by Clare.

Hannah Cervenka ( who Co-ordinates Taking Part which helps to fund Community practice in the area) and Paula Bailey ( who I worked with on the Banbury Old Town Party community event for several years).  Both are Arts Development Officers for Cherwell District Council,  Karey Morley, who facilitates the ‘Times Gone By’ Reminiscence group at  Banbury Museum were also there and I had a great discussion about Community Practice with Pam Foley, sculptor amongst others.

Frames of Mind

The key elements of the Conference for me were the Workshop by Salmagundi Films , a not for profit arts organisation founded in 2004 by Zoe Flynn and Bo Chapman and based in Stratford, East London

Their workshop highlighted their use of iPads for people with dementia in care homes, framesofmind_300.png

“Frames Of Mind® (FOM) is our concept of using Stop Frame Animation as a therapeutic communication tool. With Animation anything can happen. It is a creative process which encourages the use of visual metaphors, to think outside the box, and this liberation from the ‘literal’ can enable participants to explore and communicate potentially difficult or sensitive issues.”

There is an article published in Dementia Care which gives further insight into their work.


I have tried to introduce Google Maps as a Reminiscence tool but have limited success. Working as a sole practitioner is  restrictive unless I work 1:1 or 1:2 which isn’t possible in the places where I work or with the groups that I facilitate, at the moment.

In the case of Frames of Mind there was funding to include Care staff in the project for training and supply of iPads to the homes for (in theory) a sustainable project. This goes back to the need discussed in a past post about working as an individual rather than a company…for funding and commissioning purposes.

For the future this may be the only way for me to go as a Community Artist……

We worked through the process of making a personal portrait and also saw how Stop Frame animation could used to make short autobiographical films for  people with dementia using personal objects or photos.

I don’t have an iPad but will invest in one, play around with the drawing apps and some stop-frame  and introduce the technology to some individuals and staff in the groups I work with. Too good an opportunity to miss. Again it will have to wait a little while.

The hand- held quality of the iPad really helps make the experience intimate and personal. Much more so than a lap-top which  can  seem too threatening to much older people.

UAL and Dementia Research

In one of the (many) leaflets I picked up There was a call for Papers for the Royal Society for Public Health Conference in 2017 on the Arts and Dementia. For the therapeutic nature of the arts to be recognised and researched is  a huge leap. The Research is both Qualitative and Quantitative which means it  can be used to attract funding and help reduce other costs! Dr. Hannah Zeilig from London College of Fashion, UAL is one of the Organising Committee for the Conference.

Again something to Research when the MA is  completed  to  consolidate my personal and community practice.

Lewis Carroll, Time and Philosophy

Also on 21st March I read from Lewis Carrol’s Alice through the Looking Glass.

This book is already referenced in a previous post regarding the Johan Grimponprez exhibition.

It was the 151st Anniversary of the publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, so again a tenuous link for the date for a ‘Scope but I wanted to reference Lewis Carroll because

  • Deuleuze ( in his principle of horizontality) discussing  paradox and anachronism and Derrida wrt human written and spoken language both reference Lewis Carroll’s writings in their work 
  • To re-mediate some of Tenniel’s illustrations in this work. I’d referenced the Dodo as a link to fact and fiction; mutability and immutability in my BA dissertation and also there feels to be something of a ‘local’ association as I am placed fairly close to Oxford…. tenuous again
  • Carroll plays with and references time and space in his works and the non-linearity of the story-telling within the main narrative. How there is both logic and ambiguity existing together, with hidden and overlaid meanings. Essentially it was the line quoted in the clip here that really stuck in my memory.
  • The use of Portmanteau  (words) in his writing, where he combines words to produce new meaning... something  I am aiming to do in this work
  • My childhood memory of Alice and the consequences for how I now interpret the world.
  • How Alice has been absorbed into popular culture and remediated through cartoon and film

There may be other reference and links which I discussed on the Scopes but I can’t remember them…..

There are also ‘Scopes on Youtube

There was an interesting audience as you can see below, a combination of local and global .. some returned after disappearing when the planes flew over… see previous post.

William Morris Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 20.30.54

This clip was made for the Symposium  video but had to cut because of time…


I also love the fact that I am finishing off drafts of these posts and posting long after the event.. but they are being posted in my timeline on Twitter… NOW… so the whole time frame is mixed -up… inn anachronistic sort of a way 

or muxed-ip as my father used to say.

Gerard Byrne @ The Mead Gallery

This is a short review of  the event  Conversation with Gerard Byrne and the preview of 1/125 of a second his exhibition at Warwick Arts Centre.

This image below was taken from his exhibition at the Charles H Scott Gallery in Vancouver, Canada


but the layout was similar at the Mead, here.


The talk was useful but as I wasn’t really familiar with his work it was strange taking about pieces before seeing them.

He bases his work on place and the architectural features with their relationship to the culture at the time of building/ design.

He collages images and also spreads the resulting works over several monitors in the gallery adding a new layer of collage.

He states that he is looking for  complex encounter with the work and that it is not possible to see all the works in full on any one visit.

There was a ‘timetable’ of sequence of showings on the gallery wall…almost invisible and possibly written in pencil but it would be hard to plan a visit to watch a particular piece of work from that.

He described how our consumption of visual imagery is so effortless now through tv, video, Instagram…etc that he wanted the encounters to be ‘not effortless and not for consumption’

He explained how people’s relationships with images has changed since the growth of the internet and how we have reached ‘environmental saturation’.

He uses monitors to physically inhabit the space and bring in an awareness of the here and now.

Hie aims to create  a dialogical relationship with the work with almost theatrical timing. The configurations are created by collaboration with a software engineer who creates software specifically for the exhibitions.

This made name think back to our MA Group Skype chat the day before regarding the way that available Software affected creativity!

These ideas are very important for me in thinking about methods for display at the Final Show

There were several things that I felt applicable to my early efforts at film- making

  • He likes to keep some elements of the making of the work visible such as microphones and actors reading scripts. He describes this as ‘breaking the suspension of disbelief’ and playing with it. I’ll remember that phrase for constructing a lack of immediacy…I have used this previously in what I have made and like to do this for different reasons…bring into play a feeling of a witness’ being there’ and watching the event , so an external  presence within the location.
  • He also uses historical textual sources, which is something I’ve been doing recently... though not posted anything about yet.
  • He even includes stills or long takes of pages of books and magazines in the videos.
  • He messes around with the timing and perception within work. In particular this is seen in He searches for the contrary of saved ( 2014) which uses footage of  Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. Here he runs clips backwards at high speed and includes the audio.This something I’d like to mess with.It has a strange dislocating but hypnotic effect.He talked also about ‘Confronting the Present  with the recent Past, to challenge the Present.’ He constantly works in a way contrary to the idea of an image “on line” at least I think that’s what he said…I can’t read my notes. Anyway he also uses no linear narrative.
  • One of the  pieces uses a slide projector with text and images on separate slides. Some of the slides are of pages from books, as I might already have mentioned.I timed the slides to see how long eachh was shown for to allow the text to be read. I reasoned that he’d already thought this through…. 5 seconds. Something to remember.

He spend a long time talking about a specially commissioned work for the Mead Film inside an Image which was created in and about the Biologist Museet in Stockholm which was the first natural history museum to use a diorama and taxidermies specimens of animals.I found this work was hypnotic and strangely, poignantly beautiful.

It seems to be filled on a continuous loop with no edits and he described that as being ‘interested in the idea of suspension, no rest, no point or counterpoint – breathless continuum ‘.

He used a suspended camera ( * Idea!!!)  to shoot the footage inside the Museum which is lit by natural light from skylights at the top. He saw this as like a film (from a camera) inside an image.

There is an audio track of live animal noises over the video over the taxidermy so the sound provides a dynamic active in conjunction with the inert and inactive visual.

From the point of view of analysis w.r.t. my own work He searches for the contrary of saved  ( a quote from Waiting for Godot) was the most useful and something I will reference.

I did catch some references in his work to the work of Niamh O’Malley who I saw at the Bluecoat in Liverpool. She is also based in Dublin so I’m sure there’s a link…

EDIT Yes They Have exhibited together!!! His Kodak Written Colour Filter System references her layered works…or vice versa….

It made me think of here double sided glass piece and possibly projecting on to this.. Something I have thought of before...(* Idea) but never done anything about..

Here is a still from the Lisson Gallery WebsiteBYRN140004-1




November 22nd: Drawing Weapons, Cut-up text

On Sunday 15th November I researched the flintlock and matchlock muskets and pistols I’d seen in the display about the Edge Hill battle and grabbed some low res photos from the internet. They are replicas for sale from Military Heritage .com

I also checked out the most commonly used weapons used by the British Army in conflict at the moment.

I came across the  L85a2 rifle , although there are a host of others on this British Army website for future reference –  Full details are available.

I wanted to draw images of these and leave them on the Red Road trail in Kineton see below for the rationale.

So I traced them on to tracing paper  and cut them  out. I made some Scopes of me doing the tracings. A rather literal reference to ‘Trace’ but it felt as if it may be effective in this context.


The Scoped streams  weren’t that popular.Very few viewers.

I can see from Twitter that I broadcast them at about 5.30pm UK Time ( 8 hrs later than the Twitter feed says…).There were lots of broadcasts at the time from Paris and Belgium as events unfolded.

#Musket doesn’t sound that enticing…. by comparison..if enticing is the right word.

Not click bait anyway.

I’m putting these videos  in the blog long after I made the drawings and now have Final Cut, so as practice and playing to learn bit more and become more confident, I’ve made these into a very short movie.

I’ve reduced each clip to 1 second for the stills and 1 1/2 secs for the Periscope clips, used the Combat video effect for all .

No transitions apart from a Cross fade at the end but played around with the Ken Burns quite a bit so that the detail of some weapons was highlighted or the viewer moves from the trigger to the end.

With each clip being just one second there is a sort of Shot-like feeling which happened by accident but I’ve emphasised I hope by using the Ken Burns in this was with an image which has some length. I actually enjoyed playing about with these. Now I understand a little more through watching the Essential Training on Lynda and just messing with other bits of vid.

Anyway the videos are  here below:

Not piece of work…. just an exercise and some documentation

Maybe though I’ll use some of these techniques again.

The audio of the radio programmes on this one includes the BBC World Service News that happened to be on the radio as I was working. It  is interesting and relevant from the global conflict contextual point of view. I may use this as material later.

I also spent some time cutting out small pieces of text from the newspapers reporting the Paris attacks.

The idea is to scatter these along the Red Road and the Civil War trail on another visit.

This will act in a similar way to Dadaist cut-ups and act as a local ‘anti-war’ action.

I’d played around with this idea of cut-ups previously  in The Reading Room Event see here  see the end of the post.

The tracings and the cut-ups will be visible and read by anyone walking the public right of way, whether they are local people out for a stroll or MOD personnel.

The images and text forming part of a visible layer of evidence of past and present action within the locale and globally.

People will have to stoop and look closely to see what the images are and read the new messages create by chance form the Cut-Ups.

At least, that’s the plan.

I broadcast several long scopes (The Twitter messages  from the Scopes saying that they were made on 20th November at about 12.30pm, with the time adjustment) when I was making the cut-ups. I’ve hastily chopped them up to preserve the key process rather than the whole Scopes which involve me dropping the phone, getting, sitting down etc.

Interestingly these are OK viewing for Scopers I feel but as Documentation here …not so good.. It’s long anyway.

I’ve included some stats and had lots of viewers  for this activity, below

What is interesting about the Viewers is the breadth of the nationalities and locations.

I saved these videos to Phone Camera Roll  and that’s handy .

Though you don’t get the chat visible or the Hearts that people send..not visible on my list but evident on my  camera role….possibly low signal???

The final image shows some of the cut up text and gives an idea of what may happen when it is scattered or ‘Broadcast’ as they say about seed.

There is an idea here about scattering the ‘seeds’ of (?) entrenched ideology set within the text, font and therefore narrative  of the newspapers

and also about this ideology being embedded within the soil and the memory.

It reminds me of Pierre Nora’s thought on how the collapse of rural society has affected philosophical thinking and his ideas of a memory ‘rooted in the soil’

The proliferation of memoirs, genealogies, and autobiographies by ordinary individuals, to Nora, is the inevitable result of the transition from rural to industrial societies. Traditionally, memory in rural France rested with the soil. With the decline of rural life, memory was traced more to the self, and to psychology, hence the growing individualism and individuation of historical memories. (Nora, 11)

From History and Historical Memory an Introduction

or alternatively the broadcasting of political and religious messages ( such as what goes on across the borders of North/South Korea)

The term ‘Broadcast’ was used historically in farming  when the seed was scattered by hand and then machine… rather than the mechanised seed drill used now, where the implement cuts into the soil and the seed are dropped into the slot which is left.

EDIT : January 2016  See also this post A further video combining  the broadcasts, documentation videos and stills.Protected: ‘Re-visited’: November 22nd: Drawing Weapons and cut-up text

See also this post Broadcast Balloons where I wrote about it in more detail.

The Affect of Philosophical theory in the exploration of non-linear narratives!

This post is rather a confusing mix about non-linearity and how to present it .

EDIT  March 5th : I’ve been thinking more about this after my Tutorial with Rosie Sherwood when we talked about  non- linearity in comic books, Structure vs non- structure,… the gutter…as a space for the imagination... and how she saw Ordnance Survey installation as a book


This is a ( becoming) long post which hopefully covers the main points of what I’ve been thinking about recently.

I’ve been going out and about, looking at sites/ making and placing things and doing some fairly casual streaming which I’ll cover in other posts but an example here

Global Thoughts on ‘Guy Fawkes (Bonfire) Night’ and another Crouch Hill Scope,

One of the key concerns that has come out of the process of writing the research paper and its conclusions has been my tendency to and desire to continue to use non-linear narrative in my process and ‘finished’work, whatever that is…..

I’ve been really wrestling with these complex ideas and going round in circles/ getting tied in knots but by discussing things verbally and scouting around on- line.I  realise this is how I approach things generally, in my practice and in my life as a whole.

I spoke about it to Gareth Polmeer when I was writing my paper…We discussed whether the paper would be finished by the deadline…Personally I felt it was.. though not in a formal academic sense.That’s sort of the point…No beginning…no end.

Personal experience and how it has impacted on my praxis….

This same sort of struggle is occurring in my cognitive experience. I’m constantly frustrated at the moment by my difficulties with information processing and memory. To this end I have an appointment with my neuropsychologist at the end of January. Its taken a few months to come around but that’s useful, as actually I am clearer now about the nature of the ‘problems’ and how to describe them to him.

I love in many ways how this effect/ symptom has highlighted what I believe is one of the essential conceits of my practice HOWEVER to demonstrate this visually  and avoid incomprehensibility is difficult.

I struggle more and more with organising the work I make and remembering what I have done or thought!!!

Relevant Philosophy and feelings?

From a philosophical point of view I’ve always been a bit ‘sniffy’ about Deleuze and Guattari’s rhizome...Not because I don’t agree with the concept but because I think ‘ Of Course!’… ‘what’s new’…it seems common sense to me…

and also because I get unreasonably cross with the use of botanical and wider biological metaphors… it crosses an academic boundary which I find difficult. ( Yet I enjoy this boundary crossing usually…?) I feel their  interpretations are not necessarily scientifically  accurate  or fully understood and it bugs me…despite the fact that I know thats not the f***ing point.

Petty but true and rather Binary of me I know….what ambiguity is this… thinking one thing and feeling another… As a botanist I understand the Rhizome and the Arboreal in terms of apical meristem / xylem and phloem and the physically tangible if organic.

D& G’s use of the same terminology grates unreasonably and the differing interpretations serve to confuse not clarify for me. So it’s a language problem for me, I guess, not a philosophical one…

Derrida  ‘feels’ fine to me with his thinking around  archive and Pharmakon poison/cure  etc….which I understand in a sensory and intellectual way.

I had avoided reading D&G for the above reason which is pretty daft!!!

Also I don’t want to read at the moment as I will get caught up in it again and need to make…so have watched some lectures including this series

 The first lecture  highlights the concepts of Connection- any point can connect to any other point to form Multiplicities and then larger Assemblages. I started to think about assemblages of social spaces and how this fits with Doreen Massey and Lefevbres thinking… I’ll cogitate on that one.

Also a little about heterogeneity and deterritorialiazation/territorialization described as per Wiki ( !) :

This means the removal of cultural subjects and objects from a certain location in space and time. It implies that certain cultural aspects tend to transcend specific territorial boundaries in a world that consists of things fundamentally in motion.

The lecture describes things from an ‘evolutionary ‘ viewpoint and again there I start to misinterpret because of the language used..and my prior understanding of the terminology gets in the way. I can almost feel it, physically…

However, then the lecture describes

  • cartography as being unfinished and tracing as a’finished’ overlay


  • the elimination of the subject ( of enunciation)  and instead collective assemblages of enunciation.

This makes far more sense to me and also makes sense of what I did when writing my Research Paper and what I am trying to do in my making.

I’ve been reading and watching examples of non-linear narrative as in

1000 and One Nights , Memento

and this analysis of Memento and Switching 

I watched  Flight Paths – by Kate Pullinger, Chris Joseph and participants

which combines hand written text, sound, still images and  movies to create a very  affective narrative apparently using coding and an api

It make me wonder how I could be able to  include live feed from periscope on a storytelling platform and whether this is worth investigating. My lack of technical knowledge restricts me, but maybe I could access some through Oxford Hackspace?...

I discovered sites for Structure and coding  to build non-linear narratives on the web like this :

 Pixel Fablea collection of interactive African children’s stories of love, science, revenge, and magic

I have to decide whether this is the way I want to go, or whether I can get over the difficulty another way.

I looked at other ways of digital storytelling  such as  Frank Chimero- The Web Grain ,as well as Storify, which Jonathan suggested, and other platforms.

Chimero describes on his site how David Hockney used the edges of Polaroid photographs non-edges and other photographic images in his exploration of time/space and non-linearity in The Scrabble Game (1983)


Memento analysis

Here is a video about how Christopher Nolan and his brother ” Tell the story backwards” in Memento.

They use repetition and internal echoes,  with objectivity  in B&W as documentary.  The chronology is forwards but as it progresses objectivity become more subjective..subjectivity  indicated using colour.Eventually start the viewer and protagonist start to question this and it becomes less subjective.

Scenes start to meet in the middle of the movie, but the audience are denied the knowledge that the protagonist is denied….. which leads to tension between the subjective way in which we have to experience the world and faith in objective view- more comfortable.

So the movie is powerful because it alternates between belief and disbelief. At the end the objective and subjective meet. It is still subjective but with enough objective information to question it. He also uses Polaroid images but by reversing the play so the image fades away…

Some very interesting techniques of Film-making and it is helpful to think about the various ways of mixing, blending and alternating past and present to create the non-linearity.



Maya Deren

I’ve just opened a package from Jason  ‘ Don’t Have Nightmares’ from the FAD on-line gang and he has sent me some mags of old Movie Maker from 1966 and 1975 that he found in a charity shop. Pics inserted when I get chance.

I’ve just flicked through in a break from writing the Research Paper and seen a re-print of an article by Maya Deren…..!!!!!!! How cool is that?

I looked at some of her work AGAIN at the beginning of the course ( did I blog post that???) but its a reminder to look again….again….Thanks Jason!

Back to the RP on this most amazing of autumn days. My favourite time of year reminding me of days drilling wheat  till the sun goes down and that amazing scent of earth as you move across it, freshly turned. I want to ride my bike ..and go for a walk… never mind… the Research Paper calls.

Thanks again Jason!

 [EDIT : JUNE 2015]