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”


James Bridle lecture at the Whitechapel Gallery

I went to this lecture SYSTEMS LITERACY by James Bridle  because I’d come across his work on Drones when I was researching for the Reading Room project.

He also coined the term New Aesthetic  link to a Wiki but I expect he wrote it anyway so thats OK...Also I remember (!)  a chat session we had on the MA course about literacy and its meaning.

The lecture  was associated with the Electronic Superhighway exhibition at the Whitechapel which I will blog about separately.


He is one of the artists I should look deeper into their work as there are several overlaps of thought from the p.o.v. of warfare, space and hidden ideologies, but I find  his website  so full of information it is hard  for me to assimilate.

(There is a subtle irony here associated with the name of his website .. I assume this is related to the content for him … but for me an my recent personal experience it has a different resonance!)

I decided that If I took the trek it would be worth it to understand more about his underlying thinking.

It was worth it. I did observe though that I was the  oldest  in the audience by 10-15 years until another ( 60 +) woman came in just before the start. The audience was about 50:50 split gender wise which I thought was interesting.

It is going to hard to convey everything from the lecture here so I will just write some “Soundbites” I apologise if some of them are misinterpretations!!! These notes are more for me than for any other audience.

It is very fragmented with some key illustrations being missed out for ‘brevity’ but these are the things that stuck.

He was joined by friends and colleagues Tom Armitage, ex- games designer – analogue and computer; and Georgina Voss and here 

Does the Network have agency?

There is increasing use of holograms at airports for e.g.. to meet greet and warn, and at a US border, a digital interface which  senses from skin heat and pupil dilation etc  whether people are telling the truth…These are to be used on some European Borders.

He highlighted the politics embedded within these machines.

Drones  were developed specifically to survey and target within civilian areas.

Despite their ubiquitous use now, this ideology embedded in warfare exists within them, their use and operations. The link between Code and Law

‘Citizenship is  the right to have rights’ Hannah Arendt said.

He explained an example of how if someone’s Citizenship is removed, the UK government has no responsibility if this person is killed in another country

The hologram he has exhibited in Electronic Superhighway is Homo Sacer, which represents the power of something that yells at you but you cannot answer back.

His opinion is that art now misses the interaction generated by the Systems Literacy of the internet.

He cites JODIE  and explains how is possible to access the code and frameworks in this work and so  find out what constructed the image.

BUT the observer would have to do  it,so it is a work both of literal and action. Both are needed…

Viewing sources is a REVOLUTIONARY ACTION… but he said … we live in Counter-revolutionary times.

So is this artwork made to dazzle or to teach stuff?

He believes that though not necessarily didactic or polemical it must share in the literacy.

He talked of the failure of metaphor in the transition for example from Books to e books where the things we enjoy most about our interaction with the objects had been left out

( I wonder whether they were just too difficult to developing the timeframe and the market was responding to demand first and foremost with a development for reading documents in Word…)

He talked briefly about LambdaMOO, an online community of the variety called a MOO [ A MOO (MUD, object-oriented) is a text-based online virtual reality system to which multiple users (players) are connected at the same time.] It is the oldest MOO today.

Piracy and how it related to books and web material and the locations regarding the availability of the books. How far they are from the place of publication.

Then he moved on to discuss how Fundamentalisms of all sorts flourish in the environments of huge amounts of information such as the internet and that

“the lessons the internet is trying to teach us can be misunderstood”

– this implies that the internet has a life of its own but I guess he was meaning the life imbued in it from us -the users, creators and our interactions.

“The internet is not a medium but a context”

he explains that the network is the internet AND US- and so is akin to speech, music and writing not painting etc. It is an UNCONSCIOUSLY generated system and we are using it UNCONSCIOUSLY  everyday.

I’d actually disagree that this applies to all people.

Some of the people I encounter in my work do not even have access to email! Yep it is true.

Some of them are very wary of the underlying ideologies even if they are not really able to describe   what it is they are vary of. They feel it implicitly, as it is a different system and language, which they have difficulty understanding. and I don’t mean code.

I may be missing the point here, but maybe those who have embraced fully all the opportunities are those who no longer see the ‘bigger picture’ and that a level of internet ‘innocence’ also brings with it some caution, which is often ridiculed…! They are right to be cautious…as they do not have and are unlikely because of their social position or/and age gain the literacy to fully engage in the way described…

his final message was that

” We must understand it as we too are crucial parts”  I agree.Writer and Researcher Georgina Voss @gsvo


described Miscellaneous Symbols involved in aviation mapping as Complex Systems.

Aviation mapping is cartography for the sky and she described how it developed from people looking up at the sky from the ground, then balloonists looking down from the sky at the ground and mapping that, through to electronic classifications mapping things that were’t visible to maps of just the airspace with no ground references.

Here main message was that Complex Systems are not just lots of small things together.I think the analogy was something like.Lots of ducks together don’t make a horse!??

Complex products systems  are the  high technology capital goods which underpin the provision of services and manufacturing the technological backbone o f the modern economy.

Hobday, Rush and Tidd.( 2007 ) see this paper here 

These systems are layered in a hierarchy , like a Russian egg, one inside the other.. so where do we fit in that.

She mentions how this can be seen as a Butterfly Effect but this idea is too linear and ignores multiplicity.

I was glad she mentioned that.. this is how I think of Simultaneity, action and agency and  I try to demonstrate that through my work…

She spoke very, very quickly and so confused rather than clarified I felt but I think I got the gist….

Technologist Tom Armitage

Unknown-7talked about how Games are in our imagination and are systemic media..made from rules and systems.e.g chess is based on conflict, Mancala a metaphor for agriculture and seed sowing.

He states that Alan Kay  ( see this TED talk about ideas )thought it to be like reading and writing, and that criticism is also a form of literacy.

So systems need Automation, regulation and rules.. Such systems may be a form, Usb, containers or a Battleship game on paper.

Basically a thing is not just a thing but part of something larger.

Stating the obvious really but then I guess we all miss the room that the elephant is in as well as the elephant!….and this is sometimes what if eel and know but do not express explicitly  in my work! The system I have recognised… I assume it will be recognised already…

So the significance of the system is Disposition or a tendency to act in a learned way….. it needs a player in the system.  Play is our verb for interrogation of a system… we test the ‘play’ in it.

When we play we come across frictional points in ‘the game’ where things don’t necessarily work…

These become our opportunities for making changes

So maybe we should not try to make things seamless!

Hmm this started to sound like an esoteric self- help book! but I know what he means…

He showed the work by Caleb Larson A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter  about provenance in an Ebay age.

In the end, people are at the bottom of the system and as mentioned before… everything happens at once, there is no single Malevolent Butterfly.

It is like building Minecraft inside Minecraft!

He cited Nyman Game Theory ?  and the Cybernetics Group of the 1950’s

The aesthetics of the system area important for the engagement…

i.e. The art is the action and the interaction of curation for example he sees as part of the system. Criticism is also a form of interacting with the system.

Bridle I think summarised by stating that The Internet is illuminating pre-existing structures  bout is not yet changing society only an instrument of reflection of things that were/ are ? not accessible.

We have yet to find metaphors to understand it

Personally I wonder whether we already have the metaphors hidden in our culture and used differently or rathe perceived differently as we see them in our own time… I wonder if they are already in the non-linear structure of our fiction and myth. I can’t elaborate and give example of this here because I’m tired but will work on this further. 

The spatialiatsion of the internet raises questions about What is Art?

He finished mentioning Lived Experience ,Unknowing and how Aesthetics signify and the Sublime nature of the interne

Finishing with:

The internet is an inherently generative medium ( context!)

We are in the very early 21st century and most of this has happened in the late 20th.

We are at the beginning and so to understand out position in the system is essential

Generally a great talk and very full of energy and it was so Young! just like this!

These notes are for me to refer back to…


The Gift: Pascale gets her cakes!

On 31st October I had an email from Pascale. Her Banbury Cakes ( an exchange for the Bahrain newspaper she sent as a contribution  to  the Reading Room Event ) had finally arrived!

Along with a book recommended by Jonathan….

What would Marcel Mauss make of that! I read his anthropological ‘ The Gift’ several years ago  and had a look at the outline of this one to check-out the differences

To some extent, though I haven’t read the whole book, it seems that Mauss’s is based on anthropological observations but Hyde’s based on the mythology and meanings associated with the transition and exchange.

I’ll have to get a copy and read more..

What I did find interesting in that irritating ( but Useful) way that the Amazon algorithms have of telling you what you may like, I saw a couple of other books one by Hyde but also others on The Trickster and also Synchronicity.

I was feeling a bit ‘off’ ( ? tummy bug) so lay in bed for a bit…then….

Other things started to make sense and I think I am getting somewhere with my updated proposal…

Science and Art Collaborations : Networks and Botany


We looked at a couple of things for our discussion with Ed Kelly on Thursday.

One was a TedTalk about network from a neuropsychologist ( ?) talking about the brain as a network, showing some illustrations and art work that had come from this idea. She is using these to think differently about her work. I enjoyed the lecture but had a couple of difficulties with it…

One was that I think it is easy to made work which is very literal about networks and this becomes illustrative and diagrammatic. Another from a personal pov as I find it hard to look at this subject objectively. I often think of my own brain as a failing network , especially when I am feeling fatigued or symptoms are overwhelming. When fatigue is really severe and I am struggling with various aspects of cognitive function it feels as if the Mac ‘spinning wheel of death’ is in my brain...and the screen is frozen... not a network analogy exactly but more a hardware problem.. I can just feel the messages not getting through… the struggle the impulses are having to make progress along the neurone and to the next synapse and junction on the network. Sometimes they stop there or arrive too late to be any use.

I guess I could examine this in my work but I don’t want to...not at the moment anyway. I’ did this drawing once fairly soon after diagnosis and it sort of shows a network but of nerve transmission within my body, mainly sensory  and therefore,  going into, not away from my brain….MS Resized PS

I want my work to be about something ‘outside ‘of me and  I’m afraid that I can’t think of brain function anymore without thinking of mine and the way it doesn’t always work.. and I have to put in a lot of ‘work’ ( actually the opposite…) to help it repair and form new networks. Up to the present day I am making enough new ones to function OK if very slowly sometimes and with lots of ‘wasted time’ in bed or just recovering.

I also think of networks as essentially involving people and ‘bodies’- an embodied social network and so this is more the line that I would take ( have taken but possibly not made sufficiently explicit) in my work. Networks of narrative and embodied documentation passing things on are central to what I think about in my work.

I looked again at the Whitechapel Book Networks which I bought some time ago and read the piece about Alan Kaprow’s work with Marta Minujin and Wolf Vostell. Simultaneity in Simultaneity (1966).I can’t find any images but this is from Marta Minjuin’s website. She’s still working today it seems..

This is her with Andy Warhol, more recently:

Marta Minujin e Andy Warhol - Foto: Acervo MALBA
Marta Minujin e Andy Warhol –
Foto: Acervo MALBA

Simultaneity in Simultaneity  October 13 and 24 1966 was the local episode of the international project Three Countries Happening,  between Minujín, Allan Kaprow (from New York), and  Wolf Vostell (from Berlin). Part of the happening consisted of three events in three cities at the same time. Minujín defined her happening as “environment signal”.

The first phase “Instantaneous Invasion”, consisted of an event to be simultaneously transmitted by radio, TV, telephone, and telegraph.

One hundred and twenty preselected people whos had been photographed, filmed and recorded in their homes, were “invaded” by media. During ten minutes, said Minujín, they were “captives of the communications media.

The second phase, “Enveloping Simultaneity”, Minujín invited sixty personalities from the cultural and journalistic world, whose were photographed and filmed, while they sat down in front of a TV set with a transistor radio.

When they went out, each was asked to give their opinion of the event and of the media in general. Eleven days later, the same sixty persons came back to the Institute. As they went to their corresponding seats, they watched themselves (their images, their gestures and movements) reflected on the screens of their TV sets and in slides which were proyected at the sides, while they listened to them own voices transmitted over the radio.

I was also reminded of a sentence from Liquid Times  by Zygmunt Bauman  p3 in which he states

That society is increasingly viewed and treated as a ‘network’ rather than a ‘structure’ ( let alone a solid ‘ totality’): it is perceived and treated as a matrix of random connections and disconnections and of an essentially infinite volume of possible permutations.

I can’t really comment further as I’m afraid I started to read the book on my way to the Funeral… see next post and didn’t get very far….

Another for the further reading..

At some point I’ll actually start to make some work… The Theory is taking over not the making… Not Good!


So the second lecture was very dense in content and involved a lot of work on Botanical specimens…some at RBG Kew With Rob Kesseler. HIs images are very evocative and especially his use of colour and I like the ceramics, although I do find his ‘ dinner parties ‘at the site where he took material from  a little too ‘token performance’ and not the same as for instance Rirkrit  Tiravanija though it is silly to make a comparison.

Kessler’s practice is not performative and the ‘ dinner parties’ are to use his ceramics and display them in use…not the work , itself. Remediating the images through performance but…because of my previous and some concurrent ‘paid’ work this botanical work was very much of interest ( and my previous work with the oral history project, Ethnomedica, at RBG Kew)

I thought though, how I would struggle to work as an artist working in this field. If I went back to work in a lab the way he did, I feel I would go back to ‘being a scientist’ and thinking in that way... a different way to use imagination and exploration. I would find it hard to do what I do as an artist in that environment. My way of thinking is very different in each capacity. I have only done one piece of work that was botanically related and that was ‘Wise or Wicked at Gunpowder Park.

I have though about incorporating plants as part of a reference to ‘place’ and these lectures reminded me of that…

This  was in my past Research Proposal and now it maybe time to bring it back in again…

Strategies, Tactics and everyday life

Yesterday’s group discussion was based around The Practice of Everyday (media) Life – by Lev Manovich (2007).

One of the topics is the difference between strategies and tactics and how these may have changed or reversed roles in our digital lives.

I found this discussion very difficult and I’m not sure why?

This topic made me think of the Salt Way bridle – path near my house where I have made work which is an ‘ official right-of-way crossing two B-roads. It is an ancient footpath and runs next to Crouch Hill where I have also made work.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA A neighbourly ritual ( 2009)

I often work around this area as it is physically close and has an interesting history from Anglo- Saxon times and possibly before.

Must research this at the museum as there is not a lot here on-line.

Anyway the network of paths made by walkers from the main road and paved ares reminded me of the discussaion.

 People have found their own ways up and down the hll.

 Some have become used by most people and are now rights of way but others just appear and disappear.

Tactics becoming embedded in the landscape but not officially mapped and others transient yet leaving ( temporary ) traces.The same with Prenteg in Gwynedd where common land is criss-crossed by ways that people have walked for centuries, often crosssing other people’s property or land.

I spoke to the Land Registry once who found it fascinating, but a nightmare to work with.

Land boundaries move in the same way with small pieces being absorbed  form common or other land over time.

Its not the same here where everyone is more boundary and path obedient (?) but there they are aware of the paths but don’t necessarily keep to them. No CCTV and sometimes no Google Maps either…..

 Anyway, one of the points of this post was to highlight how somw of the conversation about conversations leapt into life.

Last night at Buddhist Meditation in the Friend’s Meeting House in Banbury, a discussion started  about connections through Social Media even if you aren’t on them.


Friend’s Meeting House Banbury by Marjory Lester

Claire had been contacted by an old friend who had seen her on Facebook in someone’s post.

 Helen then said that she’d seen the image too as she is FB friends with the sam person as she knows all the same people ( has never met J who made the post, even though they live within a few miles of each other).

 She had then followed the link from the person she has never met (J) to C’s website and seen an image of herself with me that she didn’t know existed.

 Keeping up?

Discussion about Social Media and other ‘Over- Arching Social Implications (of Drones) ( Lecture by Paul Mobbs in  a previous post also at FMH sometime ago) and how our actions are mapped without us knowing.

Then this morning I follow a Linked- in message from Sharon Woodward and link to this project ( which is FAB by the way)

There I saw Louis, Helen’s son !

He had taken part in this project during the summer, though I hadn’t realised what they’d been making…..

Certainly examples of conversations verbal and non- verbal via digital media.

Remember this ( another note to self)

I was aware during our Skype chat yesterday of the comparative silence whilst everybody chatting loudly via text and the recording of that textually, the only noise was ‘tapping’ on my phone and the hum of my Time Capsule.

Pascale mentioned the sound of the Iman calling to prayer outside in Beirut and Jonathan said how interesting he found the background noise in a Skype call he had had with her sometime ago.

He also mentioned that Go Pro cameras over- record every 10 minutes or so, deleting and recording at the some time…interesting from the pov of forgotten and deleted memories which keeps re-surfacing for me.

Makes me think of my  Time- Capsule which is now full and deleting old files as it backs-up new ones….I can hear it doing it and it makes me feel very uncomfortable…..

There is something here about sound…

Martin may pop in later today so will talk to him..He has sent me an email which I’d like to reproduce here.

Will ask him,

Re: Derek Jarman…………………………