Noah’s Ark _ publication

Henningham Family Press have done a smashing job of producing a publication of this collaboration between myself and Sam Meech.  The book is handmade, and features a leather cover with a silver foil on the front and inside cover.

It is my first official publication, and I am really proud of it.

It retails at £16.50. You can get a copy off me for slightly cheaper. Please do.

 

Here are some excerpts…



 


 

 

 

 

Generous Illusions _ performance lecture

an extremely ambitious piece, delivered with a wonderful combination of confidence and sensitivity.” Paul Luckraft, Oxford Contemporary Art

A ‘performance lecture’ which I originally wrote as part of a residency at the Bluecoat
and performed with a voice-responsive visual by Scott Spencer and audio by Carl Brown.


The piece is an experiment in combining several modes of speech.
From the emotional response the time in which it was written,
to a discussion of the role of poetry in the fine arts.

Among other things, the text references the birth of my daughter, abstraction, adaptation,
and the freedom of the audience within performance.


It also features several poems, including Slow Magic and The Orphan.

The latest version includes an intro adapted from a John Le Carre novel:

“Are you familiar with this habit of speech? The times when we resort entirely to oblique allusion, offering a raw material which the consumer, not the purveyor, must refine.

I could still hear her voice. See the rows of little teeth like houses hanging in the rain; I tried to imagine my life without creativity. I realised that it was too late, as it always had been, because I had gone to it for the little it could give me, and it had taken the little I had. Like a doubting cleric, I felt that whatever my small heart contained was safely locked in the palace of my retreat; now it is gone.”

Here is a clip from the Liverpool performance

 

Knowledge Lives Everywhere _ at FACT

I was asked to create a new performance for the speech moment
at FACT’s ‘Knowledge Lives Everywhere’ exhibition.

The show was curated by the participation team, so I developed a little intervention
where visitors to the show got to craft my speech before I read it.
Visitors selected from a series of coloured cards, which had texts from different sources on.

Yellow was from Mike Stubb’s (Director of FACT) previous speech
Red was from philosophical texts by De Certeau, Foucault, Deleuze
Grey was from online searches, etc…

You can read the resulting text below, which I performed in an instinctive way,
manufacturing a sort of flow to an inherently nonsensical text,
with a disruptive vocal processing by Rob from Hive.

images © Minako Jackson from artinliverpool.com


(I hadn’t planned to be so colour coded with the exhibition branding, but it was a nice coincidence!)

The Text:

Hello

Welcome to FACT on this very special day as we celebrate

Knowledge Lives Everywhere!

For me this image symbolises the point at which I arrived

But how can this effect how we learn?

The product of a process of deviation from rule-governed and falsifiable practices, overflowing,

for FACT this project is hugely significant.

Such a notion is not a matter of opinion at all, but an idea pure and simple.

We have seen this over the years with ground breaking projects such as

Aesthetics examined in the logic of sensation,

and homes sheltering housing residents.

What does this mean now? It means

the object of a pure and unconditioned intellectual delight is the moral law.

Long before it was even a twinkle in an architect’s eye

unique projects and ideas have turned FACT into a playground of ideas –

the scientist and the common man come together

to lay the first foundations of all assurance on what is a matter of FACT.

This city is a fabulous place for creative collaboration.

Young people

over the course of the part 12 years

have been effected by chromatic vibration

sharing FACT through

the ability not to compare conceptions with the objects, but mearely with our faculties of recognition.

Men lack the knowledge and capacity to maintain their power,

within things cognisable of three kinds: matters of opinion, matters of faith, and matters of FACT.

I am delighted that you could be part of this historical occassion

where we will imagine and build models of our thoughts emotions and memories as playable systems

of privation, repression, eros and thantos,

representing this eco-system of

objects of an emperical knowledge that is at least intrinsically possible.

I should be glad then, if you would write to me and give me your views on this subject.

However, it wasn’t just the technology or aesthetic. One of the most significant things was that

guest artists, groups, visitors, and communities of interest could explore

how different pieces of the system interact with each other.

It’s that simple!

Artworks that celebrate creativity as

the metaphor of an eco-system

question the dominance of conceptual stability, organisation and unity.

Everywhere visitors get inspired by experiments

and learn that

this family resists modernisation

and technological breakthroughs, developed by video-sythesis and analogue keying.

Step inside.

Experts and their knowledge can never corrupt that love.

A living legacy.

Finally, I wanted to show you this image, which has inspired me personally:

the insinuation of the ordinary into established scientific fields

entering into everyday life and exerting influence on ordinary healthy intellegence,

an elastic fluid interpreting all other substances and completely permeating them.

Enjoy the exhibition, enjoy the city!

____________

The cards from the speech will go to Mike Stubbs, as a gift. The remaining cards will be used in the next performance.

Equinox _ with Andre Guedes

Andre Guedes is an artist from Lisbon.
He asked me to adapt a letter into a performance text.

The letter was originally a request to all tenents of the Bluecoat prior to refurbishment
which Andre found during his research in the organisation’s archive.

We kept the sinister and threatening undertones of the text,
transfering them into a more personal setting.

The result is an original and quite enigmatic text.

This is a technique I have used in other written work since,
including the adaptation of the Noah’s Ark story for film.

Equinox was performed by a dance pupil in Summer 2009
where the text was also available to take away.

We also adapted the artwork for an exhibition at Lost Soul and Stranger Service station,
showing it alongside a crushed brick from a ‘lost wing’ of the Bluecoat.

 

Here is the text:

Dear John,

I have to write this letter. I just do. Last night, we went out to the lake and threw stones into the black slick. We’re going to do it. Our fortunes have become distorted for now, and they will be obliterated completely before they are reassembled as anything a duck can land on. Of course, I said we should leave you be for a while, until January at least. But that’s the end. I won’t see you again after that, even if I want to.

Plans and preparations need to be made so we can get rid of you quickly and without too much fuss. Perhaps you can drop hints that you are too sad to carry on. Then all that’s left is to make sure you’re calm, and that you don’t ruin anything. It’s funny really – we will be the ones ruining something. But you can’t ruin that. Just make sure you take your stuff.

Dan has another place. I don’t know if I trust him so hurry and be quiet about it.

There is more news. This, too, will not come as news to you. There are meetings on these evenings, where you can speak and ask questions. I don’t know what you would ask. Maybe that could be your first question! I’m sorry, it’s horrible really. But perhaps it will clear your throat of the feeling of sickness.

Tuesday
Wednesday
Friday
Thursday
Wednesday

O, what a strange shape those disjointed days make.

Anyway, there will be the newspaper articles as well, saying that you have gone away. It’s part of our duty, we think. That will make it clear locally, at least, that you aren’t involved in anything.

Meantime there’s going to be a reading or a series of readings for us all, held by some of the boys. There are people that you like to speak with, even after all this. Maybe someone will sing.