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Four weeks in to the Dead Hand Radio Hour. We've played mostly the same show each week, but with some changing sounds. I think tonight will be the last playthrough with the current tracklist. I'm enjoying spending time running the stream and hearing from folks who've tuned in.
I had been working on an interactive-theatre type show, which had a mini midlands tour over the last few months. We finished the last of the shows this weekend with the tech all finally working as we'd hoped.
I finished Brian Merchant's Blood in the Machine. A good history of Luddism. I've added it along with some of his sources to my /luddites page.
Some good local shows at the moment: a nice works in progress members exhibition at MPND, Loughborough where the works are assembled very nicely together and overlapping; and Joey Holder's Cryptid at Two Queens, which is really stunning and unnerving. The Virtual Textual exhibition continues at Phoenix, and I think there are a couple of events still coming up. I'm hoping to join the Wandering Workshop with v Buckenham's Downpour.
I've been trying to put plans together for a reading/coding group to go through Winnie Soon and Geoff Cox's Aesthetic Coding. It's likely to be in person mostly, but possibly a hybrid online element too. Fortnightly starting in January. If you're interested drop me a line.
Final link - there are a couple of sessions left in the Algorithmic Pattern Salon. Details here. Talks are recorded too, so worth checking back anyway. There is a nice variety in the things folks are presenting and the ways different disciplines/thinking weave together.
Started up a new (hopefully) regular Dead Hand radio show yesterday. We'll be playing out almost the same show at the same time next week, which is Tuesday 10-11 GMT. It has been fun thinking about how we can experiment with Dead Hand again. We're always talking about stuff, but it's been a while since we shared anything. Info for that is here.
A few folks had issues accessing the stream so I spent some time today trying to switch things across to a different machine and having a fresh look at the config. I've written a bit about that on the /stream page.
I think I've been thinking a bit about long projects recently, and certainly ways of building spaces/tools/routines that are sustainable for art making whilst fitting around other bits of life, and that are also less contingent on other bits of life (i.e. cheaper so not needing to be funded through regular work or arts funding rounds)... Anyway, maybe that's what reminded me of the film The Man With The Eye At The End Of His Finger by Guy Newmountain. Someone has posted it online, so you can watch it here. I screened it as a part of a local filmmakers event I used to run occassionally at Phoenix. It's a really astonishing work that was produced over 27 years, using the Comodore Amiga 1200 and the software, Deluxe Paint IV. I remember the audience at the screening being completely stunned by it. It's such an intense and extended engagement with a piece of software. The film itself is also filled with details from the artist's life. The protaganist meets many people and they are all based on friends of Newmountain. To a Leicester local, there will be other details that are familiar as well.
I hosted a second Ludd walk this past weekend as a closing event for my exhibition at Modern Painters New Decorators. It was a really nice event and I'm very grateful to everyone who showed up. This included local historian and blogger, Lynne Dyer, whose website I had used to form part of my research for the walk.
It has been a great experience working with MPND over the last year. They are a good bunch. On the day of the walk Josh and Josie were helping keep the group together as well as making notes and drawings. I'll share some more documentation of this when it's published.
There is also a recording of the talk I did, which can be accessed here. I'd actually suggest you check out this talk by artist Sheila Ghelani instead though. It was part of the same conversation as mine and very good!
A nice project has just been published by The Photographers Gallery. They are assembling a glossary. I was invited to invite someone to respond to one of the words and reached out to Dhruv Jani of Studio Oleomingus. He composed a beautiful response to the word History which can be read here.
A short post to note the next Counter Cloud Action Day, happening on 12th October.
It's been exciting following discussion for this and seeing the development of the web pages and web-to-print sections.
The multi-hosted call is available here- https://diagram.institute/12o/
The timing almost matched up for the second Ludd walk, but not quite. I'll be trying to be more off the cloud than usual and also asking folks I encounter what they think about it. Good luck to those hosting events and actions.
A few new pages up around the site - reminds me I should update the /tree.html page.
Carrier Bag Fictions opened a week and a bit ago. It was a really nice time. Lovely to see a lot of folks there (despite the crazy heat). MPND were also hosting a one-night installation of Ama Dogbe's Alien Invasion. This was a multi screen video game work, with some really nice design and great sound. I believe it will be hosted online at some point too.
It was very exciting to see folks interacting with the Carrier Bag Fictions works. It felt like it was kind of doing what I had hoped it might. It felt clearer than ever the distinction between the art objects/gesture space and the texts about the thing (here, Luddites). Although they push up against each other and overlap - have fuzzy edges. Maybe what I'm thinking about is the way an audience or reader is prepared for a thing - and the expectations they bring meet whatever is in the space. The gallery allows for the generative, collective reading and acting.
I've been working on planning the walk at the end of October. I should have a page up about that soon.
I finally have a rig set up for doing a Dead Hand stream mixing the VLF stuff with Dead Hand pieces and other recordings. I'll be doing a test stream tomorrow (Wednesday 20th ~9pm).
I'm really happy to share that details of my exhibition with Modern Painters New Decorators are now online here. The show is called Carrier Bag Fictions and opens on 9th* September. MPND have written up a nice description about it so I won't post much more here. Slightly nervous to be referencing Le Guin so directly, but I think it makes sense. We're hoping to have another Ludd walk as well, probably as a closing event.
It has been nice and also quite strange to be thinking about work for an exhibition. I don't usually think of myself as having a practice as such any more - but being able to have space to think about the things in this way and trying to make some objects or gestures for a particular place and in dialogue with the MPND team has been very good.
In my research I've been exploring this idea of the hobbyist and what that might mean in the context of an arts practice. It is a malleable and often pejorative term, like Luddite. But similarly I think it can be turned to interesting, productive (towards refusal/resistance) ends. Preparing these works, as the install dates draw closer, I've been thinking more about this time as hobbyist.
I'm also in the middle of a few weeks helping teach on a kids film camp. I've always enjoyed the process of filmmaking. It's very interesting to see young folks navigate the collaborative process of developing an idea and shooting scenes. I'd like to find a way of making the webring/low tech workshops as collaborative, and physically present in space.
Finally - a good podcast episode I enjoyed recently linking Buddhism and Marxism, Upstream w/Breht O'Shea. Some very Luddite adjacent thinking in here.
edit - date of exhibition opening changed
Quite a gap since my last post as I've been fortunate enough to work on a couple of nice tech jobs, (including a week of technician training with CVAN EM) and also took a trip to explore Northern Portugal.
Everest Pipkin's Fragment Ecologies, which is open at Phoenix until 17 September, was a real joy to work on. I don't really imagine I'll work on something like that again. Everest's work has been so important to me over the last few years and it was very special to be able to be part of the team building the exhibition. I worked closely with Gino Attood. I used to be lucky enough to work regularly with Gino on things but it had been a while so it was great to be back with him. He's incredibly generous with artists and I enjoy seeing him work and always learn a bunch. Hopefully we'll do more stuff together going forward.
An interview with Everest was published just before the show opened which can be read on Hyperallergic here.
Attempting to adjust to looking at screens again - I just posted the previously mentioned entry on a piece of meteorite I was gifted. It's here.
Whilst in Portugal we visited the Côa Valley Archaeological Park and saw some of the paleolithic rock art. I think I'll make a page about that somewhere too. The deep time of the meteorites and the rock art connects with the radio, very low frequency stuff I've been thinking about, and through to the present use of technology. Or at least the way I enjoy thinking about it all, it does.
Some cool birds we think we saw:
- Griffon Vulture
- Bonnelli's Eagle
- Golden Eagle
- Egyptian Vulture
- Booted Eagle
- Golden Oriole
Ok, so continued from the last post - the funding application was rejected. So, it'll be a smaller event than hoped.
I'm going to rant about UK arts funding for a bit here, so skip if you like.
After a nine week wait, after logging into the arcane web interface I opened the letter that a lot of folks will have received today saying that my project isn't being funded. They include a line of feedback and in this case I hadn't In this case the feedback was that "Further detail on how your project contributes to the Outcomes and Investment Principles of Let’s Create, including further exploration of the impact and reach of your project, could have strengthened your application." This is the impact and reach of the project I'm yet to do, and which is designed to engage and interact with people in the process of its creation and exhibition and the events alongside it. But ok.
This system of funding is horrible. If the application had been successful it would have been equivalent to a minimum wage job for a couple of months. During which time I'd presumably be preparing the next application or booking in more pieces of work cast-off from other successful applications (i.e. tech work, assisting, workshops etc.) But it would have been just enough to work on it properly, which is something I wanted to do, and think would have been a good thing for the community there and other folks who might have been able to engage with it.
The last few months the project with MPND has been in stasis, waiting to hear what would happen, and now things will be a bit rushed and less ambitious than I'd hoped. I'll draw much more on in-kind support and family and friends that is already so erased from formal arts funding. On paper the budget from MPND, which is partly ACE funded equates to about a weeks work - according to the AN rates of pay, which are often cited in applications. This isn't unusual, probably the norm, at least here in the midlands. It's also an incredibly unrealistic way of accounting for the time you spend with ideas as an artist.
I rely on other folks successful applications for most of my paid work now (possibly some that my own application was competing with) and it feels incredibly precarious. Trying to follow my own practice through those routes increasingly feels far more harmful than good. And this is all with the generous support of the DYCP (developing your creative practice) grant that I did receive, am thankful for, and gave me enough of a buffer to really develop my practice for a few months. It has done that, for sure, but within these months I've also been unsuccessful in several applications that would have continued that development.
None of this detail above is unusual or unexpected. The ACE letter ends with the platitudes that it doesn't mean the idea wasn't worthy of funding, but that they don't have the funds, and they have to make decisions about the combinations of what gets funded.
So it goes. I'm looking forward to doing what I can with MPND. They're a really good, supportive and caring space that I'm lucky to have been invited to spend time with.
I hosted a couple of workshops this past weekend with Modern Painters New Decorators. These mark the beginnings of an exploration of the Luddite history in Loughborough. In the Autumn I'll be presenting a small exhibition of works. The scale is dependent on an ACE application - but I'm hopeful we'll be able to run some more workshop sessions and a walk as well.
I was interested in finding out what the young people knew about the Luddites already and how they felt about the digital technologies they use in their daily lives.
I will be trying to think about how to tell the story of the Luddite raid on Heathcoat's Mill and connect the Luddite resistance to the present moment. In this workshop we made some small zines using pieces of Luddite letters, old computer magazines and technical drawings of looms to explore some of these ideas.
For the family workshop session we tied together a net, inspired by the collective practices of quilt making and particularly, Lygia Clark’s Rede de elásticos (1974). It provided a nice 'weaving' together of the histories of computing, textiles, automation and the social realities of networks today.
Published a new web ring page; loom cat. I still plan to formally write-up some of the workshops I've run in the past to make it easier to suggest them to folks in the future, and the webring workshop is a format I enjoy a lot.
To populate the web ring beyond this site, I made a quick page on the Avantwhatever server to place some of the ASCII cellular automata I've been drawing. It has been nice to get back to thinking about some drawings. I'm doing so in hopeful preparation for a small exhibition with Modern Painters New Decorators in the Autumn.
I was at Two Queens last week, and helped hoist some solar panels up to the roof. The panels are part of an exhibition by Sean Roy Parker that opens there this Friday. It looks like it will be a nice time exploring permaculture and low-tech resourcefulness. Details are here.
A couple weeks back I helped with Christopher Samuel's new exhibition at Attenborough Arts Centre. It runs until 16/7 and includes the Archive of the Unseen piece which I've written about here before, along with some new audio recordings, and really nice drawings.
A surprise part of the install process was working alongside meteorite expert and artist, Graham Ensor. He even gifted me a piece of one. Making a page for that is close to next on my list so expect it sometime soon.
I configured an Icecast server for streaming audio. It's live as I write - streaming low noise and distortion from the little SDR dongle/antenna I have. The stream link and some details about the setup are posted here.
I've been adding a few pages across the site and documenting some things I've been meaning to get to for a while. This includes a tree view of the whole site for quick reference of what pages actually exist. Also. the silly video I made for the Two Queens Two Screens event is now linked on /machinima.
Implemented a version of Everest Pipkin's screenshot garden today. It's here.
I'm enjoying browsing the Solar Protocol exhibition. It includes work by some of my favourite folks. honor ash writes about expiring data. Marloes de Valk compiles an ecofeminist dictionary. And Everest Pipkin creates an beautiful text-based point and click adventure thing which I'm currently enjoying too much to peek ahead at the rest of the exhibition.
The tabletop sale was good. It was nice to share some (mostly by now quite old) stuff that I had, that hadn't really been shared much before. I was pleased with how the print 'n' play zines turned out. I'll get them posted up soon. Got Grits was popular with folks and the scale of Car Game seemed to amuse some. They're all fun and silly things and it was nice to see people enjoying them - though I did spot some ammendments I need to make to the Pizza x Rat rules. The zines are also now all in the Leicester Zine Library which is very nice too.
I've been preparing a couple of things for the Two Queens tabletop sale (22/4) and Two Screens moving image night (28/4). I'll have a few prints and zine versions of all my print n' play games. I'll upload these here and/or itch afterwards. For the moving image night I'm hoping to screen a machinima piece I made which has been kind of on my mind to have a go at for years (which is you wouldn't be able to tell from watching it...)
Another thing I wanted to write about somewhere but for now will mention here- is general epub first aid. I was tracking down some more obscure references in the last week and came across the kind of strangely formatted epub that sometimes appears. It contained strange broken gif files, every page was formated as a table etc. So I opened it up in Calibre's Editor mode and started slowly removing the extraneous stuff and repairing it. Beginning this process actually revealed that an essay I hadn't been able to find anywhere was included in the collection. It hadn't shown up in searching the libraries/databases and the broken state of the collection had meant the entire text of that particular essay was cropped from view.
I might write a bit more about the tools I've been using for this kind of thing, but the primary one is Calibre. It is a really joyful thing for organising a library, editing metadata and editing epubs.
8th March Ludd Walk took place and was a good time. Will be thinking about how it all went, but definitely planning to do another. Probably in the summer!
It was exciting to participate in the cloud strike. Others on the walk had prepared much better than me, and seemed to be making it through the day more effectively off-cloud. Being in a physical space with others it was easier to notice the moments when we'd be reaching for the cloud and think about evasion.
I met with the team at MPND today in preparation for some work later in the year. I facilitated a small webring exercise which was a nice moment of collective writing and publishing.
I've also added a small page with some notes about low-res video streaming stuff I've been thinking about: /webcam
I've published the new wikilike version of this website.
I'm planning to spend some time over the next few weeks tidying it up and creating pages. I hope it encourages me to write up more pages on different things - but we'll see.
The prompt to publish was the need to share details of a Ludd Walk I'm hosting on 8th March as part of the International Trans*Feminist Digital Depletion Strike.
The page is available here.
Also encouraging in the writing of these pages over the last few weeks was reading Everest's recent post about their own website writing process, which you can read here. Everest also hosted a recent Screenwalks which I listened to as I took a long s-bahn towards Transmediale. The recording is available here. It's nice to see that Screenwalks is back to their fortnightly schedule. They have such a great archive of talks now - well worth a deep dive.
Last week we finished the install of the first exhibition in the new gallery space at Phoenix. It's a nice exhibition with work by good pals: Object Memory.
I'm now fully freelance - it seemed like the best way of making time for my research project. But it is strange. I'm part way through re-building the website and it will include a page about creative tech stuff I can do.
Avantwhatever residencies are already a couple of weeks in and it's nice to be meeting regularly again.
I participated in this workshop/newspaper-writing event, Minor Tech which was good. I took along a VLF antenna and did a bad demonstration. The paper we published can be found here!.
And also this week I helped Tom build a website for the Small File Photo Festival. The festival runs this Saturday with workshops and talks and will be a good time if you can make it.
Whilst in at the Minor Tech workshop, we attended Tung-Hui Hu speaking at The Photographers' Gallery about his latest book, Digital Lethargy. It was really good. Here's a link to him talking about the same book with Kate Crawford.
Have been feeling a strange sense of drifting the last few weeks, as the online-social spaces I visit have been growing busier. I need to remind myself that I like the slow movement, and that's fine there too. Lurking.
I've been thinking about two works that I think are always on the edges of my thinking:
The slow motion walking as participation and resistance within a protest of Cuban artist, Raychel Carrion's Fallas de Origen and the necessary dancing, movement, holding of space within Egyptian artist Hassan Khan's Jewel.
At my day-job we supported Everest Pipkin to release their new work, The Barnacle Goose Experiment. It's available here and is really beautiful.
Avantwhatever has opened up for a new round of server residencies. I'm now acting as a caretaker, and am so happy to be able to continue spending time with the folks there. The callout can be found here.
I've been listening to the VLF receiver when possible. A storm passed over last weekend and it was possible to watch the lightning through the window and hear it simultaneously through the receiver. This morning I captured the whines of a garbage truck manouvering outside.
The receiver will be displayed as aprt of Two Queens members show in November.
Preparing to begin uni research (pending a successful proposal) I've been trying to understand more about the processes involved in PCB manufacturing. Routing lines in KiCAD looks like a good time.
I think I'll re-build this website pretty soon. In the meantime, I made a mini projects page to link things, and removed the main page links to the fiction stuff. I think the resources section is probably quite outdated now as well.
I visited the Poetry Games exhibition at National Poetry Library last week. It's open until January and has some really good work included. A visit is recommended if you're in London.
Strange day between a couple of different things. Trying to quiet the usual demons.
I picked up my attempts to get DokuWiki running from my home server - and actually got past the problem I'd had before. I just got lucky unpicking the several parts of the error - to the point that I must have fixed each part in the right order.
So, I do have a wiki running now. There are some strange permission issues persisting but mostly it's done. I'm not sure what I'll be using it for but it's a step towards a kind of self-hosted note system (possibly with multiple users) that I wanted to get to.
Next I continued work on a friend's project that involves Raspberry Pi, Python and Arduino all working together nicely. I made some progress, but it is exhausting trying to brute force solve every step.
And the last few hours I finished assembling a new VLF receiver - more carefully made than the last, so should be easier to take out and get some good recordings. Nathan has already started crafting some wonderful stuff with the recordings I've been sending his way - so looks like we'll continue to Dead Hand along that way.
A sawtooth passing of minor-achievements and failure.
I've just published a page on a project I was working on during the residency, which can be found at /forest.html.
Also - built a very quick VLF receiver today. It is suprisingly effective - picking up interesting hums, pops and tones from things around the house - and like the AM receiver I made a few months back, picking up broadcasts from the nearby transmitter very clearly. Would like to take it out of the city and make some recordings.
Excited to share that the although the official residency period with avantwhatever.net has now passed, both myself and fellow resident, Rory, will be continuing to reside there. My local server is running now - but missing a few bits I'd like to sort out to make it stable enough that others can visit.
I visited Chris Samuel's The Archive of an Unseen at the Wellcome Collection last week. I was lucky to help Chris work on this, and it's incredible to see it realised.
And - the new Dead Hand is out now -here.
It has been a minute. The server with avantwhatever.net is going really well. It has been a great opportunity to spend some more focussed time within the server system, and be able to talk about it with the other users of the space. I will miss our weekly calls. I've been writing a lot of things on a subdomain there, motes.avantwhatever.net.
Working on some bits for a new dead hand release by Nathan. Included adapting my flat sketch tool to include music notation...
I have been continuing to spend as much time as possible reading and writing for my uni course. This also linked to a workshop I ran a couple of weeks ago at Vivid Projects with members of their Black Hole Club. This was a good opportunity to test some of the things I'd been thinking about - and felt like a great day.
This Friday I'm showing the google maps film I made last year, with Nathan, at a Two Queens event, Two Screens. Looks like it will be a good time.
Some time since my last update. I've been working on the same things, and reading a lot - but the day job has been busier and more distracting for a while.
I am really excited to be taking part in a server residency with avantwhatever.net. I'm not too sure what the outcomes will be at this stage, but meeting the team, Ben, Patrick, Bec and fellow resident Rory has been great.
First version of nightwalk webring published. I'm hoping to use this in a couple of workshops - so it was a good chance to refamiliarise myself with the code and check things worked as I expected. I'll announce the webring in some places soon and am inviting folks to join.
I'll give it a couple of days though, as I would like to at least catch it at the night time hours.
I've written a bit about the webring at /nightwalk.html but it is essentially just a webring that is only visible to visitors at certain times. In this case- between midnight and 3am.
Refreshed pages across the site - so things might be broken.
The CSNI related pages are now accessible from the sitemap.
The drone jam entry is accessible at bruise.in/drone.html or itch.io/twisted-wire.
Lot's to continue working on.
Small updates to /reading also.
I've been spending time building small AM radio receivers. It's something I've wanted to try for a while - but hadn't known where to start. I'm writing something up regarding this as part of dr((((((o))))))ne jam.
Collected Poems will be exhibited at GLOAM, Sheffield from today through May 8th. It's part of a Two Queens re-exhibition of the members' show. The poems are existing here as a slightly different version though, without drawings as this is what GLOAM requested - but there are some new poems added in.
Big gap in the log.
In the background I've been building some online documentation of my research project for CSNI.
/csni is the link. It's very loose at the moment and mostly a sketching out of ideas. But I am enjoying it immensely.
The new dead hand piece, Walking backwards to see you is now up at bandcamp.
I've added an archive page here to start linking back to some older projects. First up is eyes, which was another collaboration with Nathan from last year.
A few small updates across the site. I've abandoned the md->html approach for the most part and am just merrily writing things out as html.
I'm very pleased to share that I'm now developing the Careful Networks project as part of an MRes at the Centre for the Study of the Networked Image.
The research produced at and around CSNI is incredible, and I am looking forward to seeing how this shapes the project.
Read about CSNI here.
Now with RSS. Perhaps. I was prompted to look at this more closely having only recently watched The Internet's Own Boy.
Constant, a film by Sasha Litvintseva and Beny Wagner is screening at several festivals, now. Nathan and I (mostly Nathan) did some dead hand work on the sound. We will be releasing some of these as a small collection soon. It was a really inspiring process and fascinating window into the practices of Sasha and Beny. Screening info here.
The site is now moved over and seems to be working. I'm excited to have some new pages to tend to, which I had been hoping to implement for some time. I'd like to look again at mirroring this to gemini or parts of it anyway. I still have my page on the brilliant flounder.online but have been absent from it for a while.
I’m beginning to re-assemble the website into something a bit more manageable and flexible. I’ve moved the hosting to Greenhost.
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