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”

Elisabeth Price: A Restoration

Elisabeth Price’s work at the Ashmolean, A Restoration 


Image from Apollo International Art magazine April 1st 

To quote the Ashmolean Press Release she has

 created a new work in response to the collections and archives of the Ashmolean and Pitt Rivers museums, in partnership with the Ruskin School of Art, Oxford, where Price teaches. The new commission is a fifteen-minute, two-screen digital video which employs the museums’ photographic and graphic archives. It is a fiction, set to melody and percussion, which is narrated by a ‘chorus’ of museum administrators.

I went to view the work yesterday and, before I saw it, to a lecture which gave a deep insight into the way Price works, as well as this piece.

She described how the work considers the sense of refuge, and the damage and repair implicit in Museums…the later not generally considered by a visiting public, I guess.

She used existing historical material, books and publications, images from packaging, found imagery and extrapolates from archival material but their is no visible human action only occasionally the artist’s hands ( these often crop up in her work but I didn’t get the chance to ask why?)

I felt this piece was particularly relevant for me, although I always find her work interesting from the point of view of remediated material and use of text and voice.

Because of the source of the Commission ( £60,000 over 3 years) being the Ruskin School, The Ashmolean and the Pitt Rivers Museum it references archaeology and anthropology which link, albeit indirectly in content, back to my research.

Digital Space and Archival Space

She was extremely open in describing her working process and methodology and even used a screen recording of her Desktop files in Adobe Premier Pro to show how she organised her material in folders and how this and the layers within Premier Pro were interpreted by her as a collage.

As if some of her work is buried beneath layers of information, building and stacking as part of the process of making the Timeline.

She described the sense of excavating, building and narrating during the making and also within the technology itself and its use.

The  connections  between Digital Space and the Space of Archive.

She described how ideas of Labyrinth, Chorus and Storytelling recur in her work and  cited User Group Disco  and Sleep as an example of this.

She described how debris exists in digital systems of exchange such as Ebay as well as in Car Boot sales and describes the items as  Objects with Unreadable code’


She also described Theodore Adorno’s Whirlpool, (which I’ve researched briefly and he seems to use the concept fairly frequently with various associated meanings.)

Price sees it in a Vinyl record…an object which contains other objects, a spiral of sounds and melodies-a reiteration pf information’

She described , I think, at this point, the finding of a Crystal Gayle single which has been a reference in her work since, where the owner’s signature on the sleeve of the record added an ‘epilogue or supplement to the archive’

The ‘real’ archive space

She provided autobiographical references and links to records, their purchase and the collectivity and intimate relationships which resulted during her early years in Oxford and the music business..

She went on the describe how her casual work in the archives of the Bodleian, as a student, gave her access and insight into what she described as, Gothic, chaotic, mysterious and leaky space which was very different from the ideal library structure visible above.

Her Methodology – What she puts in and what she leaves out 

This section made a huge impression on me… for better or for worse….

Price explained how she refuses to or cannot work reductively.She claims that the aspiration to be concise,m in her opinion, can have damaging side-effects and that truly concise is good but a failure is not so good.

She tends to work with Saturation , full and coagulating ( I feel this is more like my way of working… but whereas her work comes across as multi-layered and considered I fear mine is often confusing.

So that she was not driven mad during her process  (and this surely gives clarity of a sort to her work) she uses Architectural structures to give a spatial configuration to her work.

[This made me consider a structure for my work on the Hill/ Something I had already discussed with Jonathan K. Structure to provide access and freedom rather than restriction.I though at the time of a Field Plan, similar to that used when I was a plant breeder, to provide a sequence and layout for the pieces…. but on consideration this may be too geographical 

Edit: April 2016 – I used a Calendrical Structure which fed into the concepts of Rituals and fixed time/dates.]

She also uses Storytelling to connect things together, related she feels to the spiral form of a record, a ‘radically accessible form’, which she described as ‘Promiscuous’.

i.e. as Google says:demonstrating or implying an unselective approach; indiscriminate or casual.
synonyms: indiscriminate, undiscriminating, unselective, random, irresponsible, haphazard, thoughtless, unthinking, unconsidered, casual, careless

I agree with this interpretation as defined- for me the story or narrative is embodied,  then remediated as retold verbally or otherwise, connecting people, place and events just such a manner, which renders it so powerful…and penetrating a meme but one that as Price describes, brings all sorts of things together, together.

I hope this will be evident in my work, in a non-linear form with non-architectural or geographic/ cartographic structure.

The result in Price’s case is a Hypnotic Double Screen video.

She describes : A reckless and dangerous restoration with love,commitment and a libidinal drive with moments of intoxication.

She finished her lecture by saying that ( I think, if my notes are correct)  that it is not necessary to restore.

That it is, in fact, an affront to do so.

 That we must live with this damage.

A powerful contemplation to end with.


I asked if Copyright was a problem, using found material in her work…especially in view of our recent lecture etc.

She answered simply ‘Yes’! and that she didn’t own the Copyright to the Crystal Gayle material that she uses so much in her work ( Though not in this piece!)

She also described how she uses the synthesised voice to provide an affectless narrative by using text to voice software…Claro read or similar I guess.

Something to play with in the future….

She also said that making the video ( 3 years work) meant that she was in a darkened room and was now taking a break and painting…feeling the joy of a drop of paint on the end of a brush!

This lecture was key to the acknowledgement of Saturation and as she said…putting it all in.

I decided to go for it, layers and all even if there was no linear or three dimensional structure….and risk confusion as the result if I made the themes too implicit.

Experimental Group Tutorial and Tutorial with Rosie Sherwood

Experimental Group Tutorial: 25.2.16

After my Group Tutorial fiasco presentation in the first week of the Low Res, I decided to prepare a selection of images to refer to and talk around in the Experimental Group Tutorial in the second week.

I had no idea about what format it would take so it was a daft idea really but the sudden realisation that I can’t do ‘these things’  things on the fly anymore made me need to plan, even for something I knew nothing about….interesting concept.

Jonathan described to us a way of encouraging personal reflection during this Tutorial.

Each of us in turn described a single question we had about our own work, arrived at through about 10 minutes of silent contemplation.

Then we explored this through members of our group asking only open questions about our question. Quite an interrogation, as it turned out.

I was in a group with Sharon and Philip, which I was happy about and felt comfortable with.I think this helped with the process, especially as it was the first time we’d tried it.

We were generally pretty good at regulating ourselves and each other regarding not commenting and not asking closed questions, so I felt the whole process was very useful…though not easy either as a questioner or as the one being questioned.

There were quite a few times when I was wriggling around in physical discomfort at the issues I was ‘forced’ to confront… barriers I was aware of and that I was party to in my own development.

At the end, when we had all had ‘a turn’, we had another reflection and chance to write down our conclusions.

My question was

How do I balance the local/social/political aspects of my work with any national/political  concerns without one overwhelming the other?..(particularly when working at certain sites)

I don’t remember the questions that I had most difficulty answering and didn’t write down lots of notes doing the process, partly because one member of the group was recording all the sessions but also because I didn’t want to stop the ‘flow’ of gradually realisation..

There were 2 key questions that I must still ponder upon..

Where am I a local?

What do I mean by external expectations?

These are key questions form the point of view of audience and participation/ collaboration.

One decision that I formed afterwards ( which is of course still open to change..)

To make choices of materials for inclusion in my work using a ‘chance’ system similar to the one used but John Cage – Philip mentioned Metamorphosis ( interesting as I have been researching the iChing for a while now).

This would remove personal choices and influence at any one time…

But there would be some structure within the categories of materials accummulated.

This idea of a paradoxical arrangement between structure and chance comes up again below

Tutorial with Rosie Sherwood : 1.2.16

She did the MA Book Arts at Camberwell some years ago and runs a publishing company.

We had a lecture on her work on a Live Stream.

Her work is  based on meta-comics…comics about the structure of comics.


Elbow Room – Rosie Sherwood
She Must – Rosie Sherwood

As a last minute thing I had the chance of a tutorial with Rosie Sherwood. I booked in because

  • Its always good to have another set of eyes to look at your work.
  • I’ve been thinking long and hard ( draft post…) about the non-linear narrative in my work and how to best represent that…struggling with Storify and video…. thinking about magic realism and how that works in literature to fracture narrative.
  •  I’d had a brief look at on-line comics some time ago and how they function with linear and non- linear narrative.
  • Ideas of truth and fiction
  • I like books and was considering going on a Book- making day course  next weekend.. just because.

The Tutorial was very enlightening and inspiring.

I’d already got the images below for her to look at whilst I described my work.

Almost instantly she saw ‘ a book’ in Ordnance Survey, which I hadn’t noticed… the laminations as pages.

How could I not have seen that!!

I was so excited that I talked too much and listened too little… but here below are some of the key nuggets for future use.

  • Comics are about Time and Space.
  • Rosie has investigated the comic format because of this relationship – especially with time
  • The comic explores the boundary between books and other genres
  • The panels offer a structure but also freedom
  • Although here is a linear format of panel, reading takes place across panels and ? ‘trips the structure’ into a non- linear narrative as the reader works across the structure.
  • The spaces below the panels are known as the gutter ( the white spaces). These operate between the creator and the comic and leave space for the imaginatio

She suggested that with any participative event that there maybe some opportunity for participants/ audience to feedback other than just through direct participation –

This maybe particularly relevant regarding the occurrence of coincidences…I guess it depends on whether or not I want these to be recorder or documented… or just assume they will happen and that I will be made aware of some of them through general conversation…

She suggested that I try working with Storify but just using images instead of using as a text-based platformand working with the layers of history in this way

Maybe I will use the images that I used in the short video but in Storify and see what happens then.

She also referenced Concrete poetry which I had explored a little but then discarded

Maybe time for a re-think

” Building Stories in a box”

This is something I did in my Foundation and often think about… making a structured no-linear narrative..

Maybe I could investigate this…if not for this work… in the future…

As I write this I am thinking about the memory boxes that are used in Reminiscence workshops with people with dementia!


Maybe use all these ideas together!!!

She gave me the following references

The Unwritten – Mike Carey

Understanding Comics – Scott McCloud ( which is written as a comic)

Artists as Cartographers – Walking and mapping by Karen O’Rourke ( which I took out of the library some time ago… should re- read now I know why I’m getting it out!)

I may have lost a Post-it and if so this Post will be updated…again!

Notes for Research Discussion Thursday 11th February 2016

 The start of my Research and Practice last year

Autobiographical memory, Collective memory (Halbwachs) and the concept of Archive ( Derrida)

With performative aspects based on ritual practice ( Turner and Rothenbuhler) and personal and collective mythology.

Development of Practice

Layered projections and investigations of Immediacy/ Remediation as a process,

Initial exploration of  ‘The Reading Room’  thinking about archiving, witnessing and documentation; and then remediation of ‘events’ through conversation, news reporting,  and links with digital networks  i.e. dissemination.


which explores the collective memory and ritual action within a rural village community space and their relationship to global networks and systems, including nearby RAF Croughton, a USAF Communications Base.

I also set up a ‘re-enactment’ of the Reading Room in an Open Event, where I furnished the room with newspapers from global locations collected over the period of my visual research, held participative activities using print and newspaper text and  re-mediated the video by playing it back to the group who featured in it, and other participants;


A Live Stream and mobile phone communication was set up to link with the Interim Exhibition but wasn’t possible as there was still no BroadBand  or mobile phone signal in the building or in the immediate area.

The coincidences and contingency (and re- mediation through participation) which occurred within the video footage and the live event were central to my methodology.

Research Paper 

My Research Paper developed from further investigation of this location but lead me into unknown territory through deeper research into the archaeology, history and contemporary activities  within the Reading Room, RAF Croughton and the surrounding area.

I was confronted with concepts of Space that I hadn’t encountered previously.

My investigation became cross-disciplinary, (archaeology, geography, philosophy) with somewhat similar concepts being expressed differently in each.

The research paper developed initially from the concept of an archaeological palimpsest.

I found the structure and format of the paper almost impossible to fit into a formal academic structure but this informed my thinking about the content, the process of writing and my practice.

They all became one.

After completing the research paper I looked back over my work of the last 10 years beginning  to re-assess my past work in the light of this appreciation of space, and then to make recent  work including 2nd December 2015 – spaces in production

this video

and  Ordnance Survey.

I do this by

  • visiting places
  • investigating them as spaces, their ‘layered’ historical and present action,
  • making something,
  • placing what I have made in the location,
  • broadcasting all these actions via Periscope
  • experimenting with making video from documentation images and appropriated images from web media sources.


I request that the The Research Discussion on Thursday afternoon will be in the following format ( All timings are approximate!):

Please read the linked notes before the session


  • Bailey’s concept of palimpsest and time perspectivism (for 10 minutes). Bailey Summary
  • Doreen Massey’s thoughts on space (for 10 minutes.)Doreen Massey Summary and this interview on video if you have the time to watch.Even the first few minutes are useful 
  • Lefrevbre’s Production of Space- Social Space ( much simplified)  (for 10 minutes) Lefebvre Summary

How does Bailey’s paper relate to the others through understandings of a material (and temporal ) record within the landscape of human action,  the production of a social space through time and geographical space, and Massey’s thoughts on simultaneity?  (for 25 minutes).

Short Break to look at blogs and video links  ( for 10-15mins)   Discussion within  the group  will continue.

Are these themes visible  in my work and if so where or where not.?

What other themes are visible ?

General Feedback and any other comments general on work and working process.

( 15 minutes)

Key Artists and works:

 Allan Kaprow and Fluxus

Ann Hamilton

 Joan Jonas 


Redacted Vocabulary and thoughts for the future

I really struggle with the vocabulary of what I do now .. art/ social science and critical thinking come hard to me…unlike biological language which I absorbed over a long period of my development and feel intrinsic to my understanding of some systems.

I struggle with Deleuze and Guattari’s principle of rhizome..not the concept itself but the description….to some extent a challenge of what I understand about rhizomatic roots as a botanist .. see this post The Affect of Philosophical theory in the exploration of non-linear narratives!

Some important new to me terminology here

Redaction is a form of editing in which multiple source texts are combined (redacted) and altered slightly to make a single document. Often this is a method of collecting a series of writings on a similar theme and creating a definitive and coherent work.

It is also used to mean the censorship of documents before publication by removing or obscuring it, while still making it clear that the information has been removed, for example by blacking it out, or by replacing it with a note. ( another quick Wiki reference confession)


This is the sort of the process I am using to assemble material which I then remediate through the work I make and as part of that work through social media Periscope …..…a sort of time space /collage maybe or an assemblage

Ideas for the future: include ? Events at my house and in other locations.

I found these images of Jenny Holzers  Redaction Paintings at acca Melbourne in 2010

She said in the interview “I use everything”..………projections


Key Points Reflection and Procedure

It’s been some time now since the end of Unit 1 and our assessment and feedback.

After leaving some space and starting to make new work this term, several things stand out as being most valuable from writing the Research Paper and experimenting last year.

  • The research paper highlighted concerns which existed strongly in my past practice  but I have other theorists to these explore 

I’ve probably written this before but am doing it again to emphasise. I read this quote today wrt my other ‘work’. It is particularly relevant here.

 ” We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” 

T.S.Eliot (from The Four Quartets)

  • I am also trying hard to focus down on conclusions drawn from my research paper.

From the Abstract:

Collective events, individual action and embedded practice act through embodied memory and both material and immaterial remains, as manifestations of previous actions and relations.

These act reflexively in a continuing atemporal narrative process of actions, events, interrelations and subjective experience.

So I am exploring through my practice issues of duration and temporality, social space and geographical location, action to highlight ‘a simultanaeity of stories’ ( D. Massey ), impermanence and fluidity as below :

I am noting down my Aims and Objectives again from my updated proposal and plan to refer to these when Reflecting on and Analysing my work:


To combine the use of digital technology with performative action, social relations, objects and images to communicate ‘a simultanaeity of stories’ ( D. Massey ), impermanence and fluidity.
To bring together local and global public audiences at the time of making and afterwards.


To present work as action or intervention which provokes thought or affect in a contigent audience
To demonstrate temporal co-existence and the intersection of underlying traditional and contemporary.
To explore ways of creating an experience which ‘spreads’ beyond a direct audience; either physically or digitally to other communities, local and global.
To create action and intervention that is ‘gently ‘ political and subversive but which may also employ humour .

In Unit 1 I used the blog as a personal journal of fairly relevant material and documentation but with no clear objective more from the point of view of exploration.

My practice tends to lack clarity in intention and some of this is the core to my work I feel.

I do not want to to be didactic and positively encourage coincidence and open interpretation, happenstance etc.

I have been encouraged away from the literal but realise that this often obscures any message I may have.

I really need at this stage in the MA to work out the parameters for any message- for it will never be linear- but cannot continue to be so vague.

I must work in a much more structured way.

Variations in my ability from day-to-day and hour to hour mean this is even more important.

I am going to try change the way that I post my reflections and analysis to this end.This means

  • I will limit my ‘Categories ‘ to help me concentrate on key issues and not waffle. EDIT June 2016: In fact I have increased my categories as I found them very restrictive but used key headings for the purpose of accessibility for my own reflections and assessment 
  • Because of the locations I’ve been investigating and some of my refections I’ve decided to change the visibility of some of my posts.EDIT June 2016 : I’ve made several videos Public and allowed embedding but then kept the posts Password Protected.
  • I’ve also realised that I  have become re-active rather than pro-active over the last…..years for a variety of reasons. This is inevitably part of my work, and I do not want to change that. EDIT June 2016 : I think this has changed and I have taken more control over the origin of my work if not the contingent activity within it 
  • BUT one of my tasks for this Unit is to reduce distraction and focus on the essentials I want to demonstrate. Not easy for me. ‘


‘Say what you want to say plainly and then take responsibility for it’

Ai Weiwei

My work may have layers of meaning but I really need to trust that the layers and ripples can echo out from simple action… after all that is what I am saying anyway…!

I needed to write this post as a short Affirmation/ Confirmation to return to throughout this final Unit.

14th November 2015 : waking up.

When I woke the next morning……having not seen any news the evening

before……I looked at on my phone straight away as I usually do.

I felt my actions the day before 13th November and  13th November continued were somehow prescient.

‘The Paris attacks’.

I haven’t got screen shots of those images as I was too shocked and concerned for people I knew of who lived in the area or were visiting.

This image here, now all too familiar.Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 09.32.52

and these from the Guardian,  images of many of the Front Pages of newspapers from around the world.

The shock changed into something else…..a feeling that as I was walking, thinking and acting so other actions were taking place simultaneously, elsewhere.

As mentioned in my previous post I’d been thinking about weaponry/ munitions, the actions performed  and the ritualistic nature of  their use in the  17th century ( and before) and in the present day before visiting Kineton, because of its association with storage of ammunition over many years.

The fact that these actions are played out globally not locally, in several places at one time but the ‘placement’ of these essential objects of this particular ritual are centred on this one location: one with such historic significance in the development of British politics and social history because it’s association with the start of the English Civil War.  See from this quote below from Caroline Wyatt in the Daily Telegraph 12th August 2012

The level of stocks held by the MoD only becomes clear when we visit Europe’s biggest ammunition depot, as we track the bullet on its journey from the factory. The depot lies in the tranquil countryside of Warwickshire, where Lieutenant Colonel Simon Hirst, the head of establishment for Defence Munitions Kineton, looks after several square miles of ammunition stores. Security is tight for the £2 billion of ammunition kept here.
“We are capable of storing about 50,000 pallets of ammunition,” he says, gesturing at row upon row of tidy boxes, stacked tightly from floor to ceiling in one of Kineton’s many warehouses. “We’ve been supporting defence since 1942, from operations such as Bosnia, Kosovo, the Gulf and more recently Afghanistan, as well as the campaign in Libya.”
From Kineton, the ammunition destined for Helmand goes to RAF Brize Norton, where it is flown to Afghanistan in a huge RAF C17 aircraft, landing at Camp Bastion, the UK logistics hub in Helmand.

My visit to the sited memorial  the previous day, hearing the distant deep explosions, somehow ‘sensing’ the history of past events from a psychogeographical point of view ,seeing the museum displays of  flintlock pistols, pikes and other weaponry and then the unfolding of events in Paris…..all these things reinforced the theories discussed in my Research Paper  see for Bibliography citations below.

From the Abstract:

Collective events, individual action and embedded practice act through embodied memory and both material and immaterial remains, as manifestations of previous actions and relations. These act reflexively in a continuing atemporal narrative process of actions, events, interrelations and subjective experience.

Temporal boundaries between present and past are arbitrary; the boundary is an ‘illusory’ horizon similar to the perceived physicality of the visual horizon.

Doreen Massey states:

‘space is always under construction, a product of relations between, relations embedded in material practices in the process of being made, never closed or finished.’(Massey, 2005 p9)

Lefebvre’s ideas on space regard places of social space as combined, superimposed and colliding; the local never absorbed regionally, nationally or globally (Lefebvre, 1991 p 88). He states that nothing disappears completely, earlier actions remain to underpin what follows; not just traces, memories or relics are left behind, instead, preconditions of social space endure and remaining real within that space (Lefebvre, 1991 p229).


Collective events, individual actions and embedded practice act through embodied memory and both material and immaterial remains – manifestations of previous actions and relations reflexively producing interrelations which occur within and between the communities ( locally and globally ).

Rather than being distinct, they are interwoven and accumulated in a continuing process of interrelations and material remains occurring within a durational present free from temporal boundaries. Subjective experience, individual small actions and larger events contribute to a narrative and constructed environment with equivalent significance in a cumulative continuum.


Barbara’s ( Babs ) Funeral

Practical work isn’t going well. Actually its not going at all….I needed time to recover after the Liverpool trip.. that was last weekend.

Then on Tuesday afternoon, after work, I headed up to Salford for my mother’s cousin’s funeral the following day. This was ‘quite a do’, as they say. I haven’t been to Manchester since 1983…. or there about, apart from to change trains once when I went to Huddersfield to see David Blackburn  at his studio.

I’ve been through on the train, of course, but latterly this was to go and clear out my parents house….almost 15 years ago now. So, not only a funeral but more than the usual associated ‘box of memories’ was opened.

I’ll have to regard this journey and the funeral etc as ‘ practice’ as although affected, I was doing that ‘observing thing’ that I think we all do….

So this was a day or more of taking part in a ritual process of autobiographical and collective memory with reference s to ‘place’ and ‘space’ if place and space are  defined by and created by  social relations .

The location was important as I haven’t been to Barbara’s house and Salford for over 30 years. Salford is NOT the same as the community will tell you. There are still lots of people  ‘Salford born and bred’. I think there’s a Facebook page too… but there is for everything isn’t there.

Key points of my visit from a memory/ performance/ritual  pov.

  • Being met at the station by Wayne. He used to visit my house when young so remembers my family and family home (very few people I know now can do this )
  • Talking about individual memories of our chldhoods. Lots of not quite shared recollections…fragments which almost fitted together and some ‘plasticity’.. A Piano in my bedroom! No. My grandma’s dark glasses…Yes… but I had forgotten.
  • Talking about my parents made them ‘present’ again… rather than just memories of my past they were also such a large part of Wayne’s but his recollections ‘ brought them back to life’!
  • Going to his house. Would I recognise anywhere… Did he still live in the tower block?
  • Tower blocks demolished. They were built in the 60’s/ early 70’s?
  • Scenes of Salford, see below. I bought my chips from this Takeaway. I had a tour round Salford to find a chippy open on a Tuesday night.
  • Going to Barbara’s house which has just been refurbished by the council. It has already had a new street name....why do they do that…?
  • Meeting Lorraine after many years and her daughters and discussing common memories
  • Sharing memories with Barbara’s neighbours even though we had never met before…to my recollection.
  • Ritual of flowers and hearse.Following to crematorium and service,
  • Agecroft Crematorium- certainly a Site of Memory ( Pierre Nora) – kept (just about) for restoration
  •  Individual touches of a common ritual...A solo acapella version of “I will always Love you”, “Simply the Best”, Balloons outside for Babs and her brother Peter.
  • Food, Prosecco and karaoake at the Wellington
  • ‘That’s life‘ and Andy Williams- ‘Can’t get used to losing you’
  • Bus to our Wayne’s in the rain.
  • Walk across the Red Rec to pick up the car
  • Back to Mancs and walking through Victoria Station ( memories of trips home to B’pool and visit by Angie..) the Arndale centre ( memories of the IRA Bomb ), Piccadilly Circus ( nights out and queuing for taxis in the early hours).

I was deeply aware of the strong  sense of community, which sounds patronising, but  was palpable.

It was comforting to all those present including me but associated with this there can be problems, as there are in Salford with family ties leading in some cases to problems which have been demonstrated over recent years.

The effects of repeated ‘re-generation’ of poor housing have really affected the people living here as can be seen in this report

in the Salford Star .

What I couldn’t understand was how some of the old terraces ( like the one Barbara managed to buy as a single parent in the 60’s) had been compulsorily purchase and the owners rehoused in council houses ( ditto) but some of them are still standing and in reasonable nick whereas the tower blocks which replaced them have now been demolished too….

I was distressed by what has happened to this ‘place’ and so also to the community, and the violence which now defines the area.

Rant over but travelling round in the car, by foot , on the bus and following the hearse… Doreen Massey and Lefevbre were echoing in my head.The website below was interesting too and has an interesting article about and this article about Archaeology and Place-Making

Worth another look.

Here are some photos and a couple of really crappy  phone videos… Well, I was in the pub at 3 o’clock in the afternoon… You’d expect it to be a bit wobbly.

I’m putting them here to remind myself of the event and the space created by Babs sudden absence.

That’s life: – tiny clip bad edit

Can’t get used to Losing You:


The Reading Room Event :even Further reflections’Community Participative Action Research Project’

At the risk of boring everyone even myself, I must post this further analysis and reflection on the Reading Room Event.

When I exhibited the leaflets, flyers and posters at the Interim Show I had to describe the medium for the work….I struggled with this and then  composed this phrase

‘Community Participative Action Research Project’ ( sic ) as I felt it described what I had done to some extent.

  •  I had worked with a community
  • The community were involved through participation
  • The project involved me performing ‘actions’, witnessing and analysing the actions of others and provoking actions within the community
  • I has employed this method of researching this part of my MA
  • I was also researching and analysing this methodology for researching for the MA
  •  It was a medium- term project (something I was doing before doing something else) – though ‘finishing’ with a single event

However, I decide to ‘Google’ this description before I asked for it to be printed on the exhibition labels….. just to see if the description had been used before…..

This is what I found…….There was a Wiki description of PAR,( below) which apparently already existed before I coined the phrase….always best to check!

If I’m honest , although I think my work fits the general description of PAR when it comes to the tenets it falls short.

In the end I did this work for me , so there was a high degree of Artistic Autonomy rather than agency  in the community involvement and to some extent, although I was interested in their comments and their thoughts I was to some extent ‘using them’ for my own work.

They had not invited me there and although I contributed by paying rent on the Reading Room I may not have given them anything back.

I cannot assume that what I did was ‘good ‘for the community.

After all it was my research for my project. So questions of authenticity arise.

I was authentic, I hope ,in the conversations I had with the community about why I was there and why I was interested i.e the contrast between the Reading Room and RAF Croughton and the comparisons of the technologies ’embodied with them’.

But I did not highlight my concerns over fro e.g. drone strikes.

What is interesting is how MY thoughts came to change during the time that I was working there…

How I saw the people at RAF Croughton was individuals rather than as a ‘group’.

Some of this was due to the individuals I met there and also through other independent freelance tuition work which I’d been                                                                                            doing in the area with a family who had connections with the base.

I’ve underlined the tenets that do apply, to a greater or lesser extent but actually as far as community participation in the true sense of the word, they did participate by coming to the event…. ( a few of them) and by allowing me to film etc but this is not real participation and certainly not true .collaboration

 It was more me that participated in their world.

Anyway, this below may be useful and also this link to FORUM: Qualitative Social Research, a Journal article which describes more about Participatory Research as a methodology.

It is very interesting and I’ll have to consider it in detail if I decide to continue with this methodology, so I really know what it is that I am doing…...

I guess what’s also interesting for me is the fact that this research as my practice actually became part of my research for the Research Paper.

For me they are one and the same…almost indistinguishable….except that the written paper is in a textual and ‘formal medium…whereas any work I have produced and may produce in the future is just in a different medium.


Forum for Qualitative Social Research

Participatory action research (PAR) is an approach to research in communities that emphasizes participation and action. It seeks to understand the world by trying to change it, collaboratively and following reflection. PAR emphasizes collective inquiry and experimentation grounded in experience and social history. Within a PAR process, “communities of inquiry and action evolve and address questions and issues that are significant for those who participate as co-researchers”.[1] PAR contrasts with many research methods, which emphasize disinterested researchers and reproducibility of findings.

PAR practitioners make a concerted effort to integrate three basic aspects of their work: participation (life in society and democracy), action (engagement with experience and history), and research (soundness in thought and the growth of knowledge).[2] “Action unites, organically, with research” and collective processes of self-investigation.[3]

The way each component is actually understood and the relative emphasis it receives varies nonetheless from one PAR theory and practice to another. This means that PAR is not a monolithic body of ideas and methods but rather a pluralistic orientation to knowledge making and social change.[4][5][6]16 Tenets of Participatory Action Research

Robin McTaggart (1989)

The 16 tenets of Participatory Action Research outlined in this short note were presented to the 3er Encuentro Mundial Investigacion Participatva (The Third World Encounter on Participatory Research), Managua, Nicaragua, September 3 – 9, 1989. They represent an important reflection and distillation of the praxis of participatory action research, by one of its leading practitioners, during the 1980s. The Caledonia Centre for Social Development, as part of its on-going work in the field of participatory development, wishes to make these tenets accessible to a new generation of social activists and to re-stimulate older practitioners.
See Also:

Participatory Action Research

is an approach to improving social practice by changing it
is contingent on authentic participation
is collaborative
establishes self-critical communities
is a systematic learning process
involves people in theorising about their practices
requires that people put their practices, ideas and assumptions about institutions to the test
involves keeping records
requires participants to objectify their own experiences
is a political process
involves making critical analyses
starts small
starts with small cycles
starts with small groups
allows and requires participants to build records
allows and requires participants to give a reasoned justification of their social (educational) work to others
Source and Further Information

These participatory action research tenets are published on page 79 of Everyday Evaluation on the Run, Yoland Wadsworth, (2nd Edition), Allen and Unwin, Australia, 1997

For a fuller description and elaboration of Robin McTaggart’s approach to Participatory Action Research readers are advised to consult The Action Research Planner, Stephen Kemmis and Robin McTaggart (Eds), 3rd Edition, Deakin University, Victoria, Australia, 1988.

Robin McTaggart, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria 3217, Australia,

Fax (61) 52 442 777.

1. a b c Reason, P. and Bradbury, H. (2008) (eds) The Sage Handbook of Action Research: Participative Inquiry and Practice. Sage, CA. ISBN 978-1412920292.
2. a b c d e f g h i Chevalier, J.M. and Buckles, D.J. (2013) Participatory Action Research: Theory and Methods for Engaged Inquiry, Routledge UK. ISBN 978-0415540315.
3.a b Rahman, Md. A. (2008) “Some Trends in the Praxis of Participatory Action Research”, in P. Reason and H. Bradbury (eds) The SAGE Handbook of Action Research. Sage, London, pp. 49–62.
4. Chambers, R. (2008) “PRA, PLA and Pluralism: Practice and Theory”, in The Sage Handbook of Action Research: Participative Inquiry and Practice. Reason, P. and H. Bradbury (eds). Sage, pp. 297–318.
5. Allen, W.J. (2001) Working Together for Environmental Management: The Role of Information Sharing and Collaborative Learning. PhD Thesis, Massey University, Auckland, NZ.
6.Camic, C. and Joas, H. (2003) The Dialogical Turn: New Roles for Sociology in the Postdisciplinary Age. Rowman & Littlefield, Maryland. ISBN 978-0742527102.
7. Lewin, K. (1946) “Action Research and Minority Problems”, Journal of Social Issues, vol 2, no 4, pp. 34–46.

Research Paper Tutorial with Gareth Polmeer 22.09.2015

I was really dreading this tutorial as I have been having real trouble structuring my Research Paper and also really trying to understand exactly what I am researching!

I had a very clear but very wide intention based on comparison but my research led me in directions I hadn’t expected…..and away from the safe ground of writers I knew and thought I wanted to ‘dig deeper’ into for this research.

Consequently, I’ve ended up with a lot of information and, because of the content and form it takes, no structure to hang it on.

I will write more in another post and expand on this, but basically I send Gareth a jumbled and extensive draft in a new framework….

The tutorial was so helpful as he managed to see through the mess to the new structure and visualise  the writing as moving out and back fro main internal reference point, like ripples.

I loved this metaphor and it fits so well with what I am feeling about the writing.

That he could see through the ‘junk’ helped me so much and has given me confidence to ‘firm it up’ in a way I feel happy with. He could see the process of writing was important as content.

We discussed what I am not writing about and how to explain that. To but a boundary ( appropriate) around the discussion and now I feel confident to do that.

So Head Down and ‘dig in’. I was at the horrid, panic, going -round -in circles stage, but now I have found direction I feel so much more confident.

It may not be the most academic  and argued research but I hope it will be ‘ well negotiated’ and feel it sits well with my practice.

It will be ‘MINE’ and somehow that feels important! He referenced Walter Benjamin’s Arcadia but I don’t think I’ll look at that closely now!!! Though I did read and try to digest ‘The Work of Art…..AMR‘ Too many temptations there, but it will be worth examining in terms of style….

Also, Robinson in Ruins Patrick Keiller which I had discussed with Jon Shapley a couple of weeks ago and saw in 2011 with Jon Seth’s 4D group. Robinson in Ruins, I can’t really remember detail so have ordered it and will watch again.

Anyway, this tutorial has set my mind racing but towards consolidation which is the main thing. I know I’m far behind where I hoped to be but, you know what, I don’t mind….the places I’ve been to on the way have made it worth while.

I’ll Crack On!Thanks Gareth!