Paul Caldwell on Writing for Artists

A couple of weeks ago, we were given a talk on Zoom by Paul Caldwell. He is a printmaker and lecturer at Camberwell with a wealth of experience in writing: reviews, articles, proposals and funding bids, catalogues and books. It is so refreshing to hear someone with real-life experience of writing as an artist in a wide field of activities, giving a concentrated and cogent summary of approaches that have proven to work. Not only that, but he also explained why they work. This was invaluable.

If you have read my posts, you will have found that at times I can be rather lengthy. This is not because I cannot write succinctly but because I have wanted to write a journal that when I read back I can understand its context and therefore means something to me so I can distinguish what is important from the confused and trivial.


Critical Evaluation

494 words out of a 500 maximum

At the beginning of the MA, I asked myself how I might synthesise the disparate elements of my practice into a cohesive whole? I approached this task with a willingness to experiment and break preconceptions by focussing on reflection, critical analysis, research and learning from others. The deepened knowledge and understanding gained has enabled me to identify the nature of my process and helped me develop a visible articulation of ideas.

Perhaps the most critical aspect of this process has been the blog journal. Daily writing with a reader in mind, has created a habitual space that fosters reflection and the development of skills towards a clarification of causes, thoughts and actions. It has become an invaluable living document with which I can build future projects as artist and also writer. As a result of the research statement, I am considering the possibility of a doctorate with a particular interest in the relationship between sound and sculpture in the context of thing theory and the living-presence response.

The restrictions brought about by coronavirus have made me consider the logistical and curatorial challenges posed by physical works. I have confronted this, finding new ways of proposing and reinterpreting such works where they cannot be physically present in a wide variety of ways using digital technology.

Working with others who often bring different paradigms but share a common interest in making art, has been a learning process in both critical thinking and communication skills. The web meetings and particularly the residencies have offered valuable opportunities for sharing, exchanging, collaborating, challenging and extending ideas and practices. The tutorials have fostered reflection and revealed new insights. Jonathan has a gift for constructively entering one’s process and has given incisive interventions that have helped to question and shape my practice in a holistic sense. Out of these encounters, new ideas have originated with the potential for deep development.

The journey I have undertaken is most clearly demonstrated in a juxtaposition of the presentations at the beginning, middle and end of the course. The transformation in clarity and articulation of my process, precipitating out in the final symposium video, is affirming and exciting. I started with vague loosely knitted ideas about myth, evolution and the role art might play in this arena. I have ended creating a coherent narrative in which my process has become a reification of these elements centred around the animal self, separated from but coexisting with the spiritual human being.

Finally, for an artist who’s primary interaction with his material is physical and sensual, navigating the digital ecology presents many challenges. I have developed a deeper understanding of my context in this rapidly changing world, and in doing so found new pathways and opportunities. I have emerged from this journey, with an enhanced ability to communicate a methodology and capable of delineating different trajectories from a flexible, coherent, and consistent core. I leave with a stronger, more authentic voice originating from within me in response to the world.

Show Installation Guide


A guide to setting up the installation with specific reference to the projected Camberwell College space. I think this guide is useful not only in demonstrating the resolved nature of the work but it also provides a curator’s guide for future shows and a useful point from which modifications could be made in the future.

Logistics and Packing

In the past, I have packed work to conservation level with custom made boxes. This facilitates storage and transport, allowing the stacking of cases. Although some works are robust enough to be just wrapped , What is the Difference (WITD) would need its own packing case.


This is clearly a matter of deciding once in the space. However, I have shown here possible arrangements in plan format.



The vitrine is made of acrylic sheets fitted loosely into a steel frame. The frame is made using straight and angle iron which are bolted together to form the fram into which the acrylic sheets are places. The sculptures sit on a hollow base which houses the audio equipment.


Each sculpture is hollow and has a means of inserting a speaker and wires. The audio equipment inside the forms is prepared before or after travelling in preparation for the instal.


Each sculpture has a speaker inside which is wired to a four-channel amplifier. This, in turn, is connected to an audio interface connected to a small NUC computer which controls the three-way channel using Reaper DAW software. By these means, each channel can be balanced with the others in situ in realtime to obtain the optimal listening conditions and adjusted to synchronise with one another. Once set up, the audio can be left running for the duration of the show and adjusted as needed. In order to do this, a screen needs to be connected which can then be removed once finished.

There are other means of doing this using Pure Data and a Raspberry Pi. This would be a useful system in cases where the work needs to be left running without expertise available to troubleshoot such as museums and commercial galleries. But since I would be present all the time at Camberwell, this solution is the one that presents fewest possibilities for technical hitches.



Logos is made of connecting parts and is around 4 metres long overall in length. This requires a robust and stable support. I did not want to place the sculpture on a plinth (although this is a possibility in some other context). The aim is to raise it to face level and having a sense of fragility without actually being unstable. I had considered suspension with wires but rejected the idea on account of the difficulty in keeping the joints stable and the problems that might be encountered in attaching the cables to stable supports in the gallery space.

I resolved this challenge by using small diameter piping and clamps, procuring a quantity to build a framework on which the sculpture could sit. Not having been able to finish the sculpture, I have not been able to design the support. However, I have experimented with the materials and found it capable of supporting large weights. By interlocking the pipes with clamps, the predesigned stable support can be built in situ.

The use of this material is also an aesthetic choice, constrasting with the porcelain and it would be used throughout the installation to support Enshrinement’s vitrine and WITD giving a unified, curated sense to the show.


The audio is divided in two parts: the low and high frequency elements.

Low Frequency

The low-frequency soundtrack is fed into two subwoofers placed overlooking the sculpture as sentinels. They are connected to an amplifier which is connected to an Arduino controller. A media player feeds into the controller and the volume of the soundtrack is regulated by a proximity meter. Volume increases and decreases depending on how close or far the person is in relation to the sensor. The sensor is placed close to the ‘head’ of the sculpture.

High Frequency

The high sibilant voice emanating from within the sculpture and heard through the front opening is delivered through a speaker embedded inside the large front cavity. (The location of this speaker will affect the quality of the sound. So far, it has not been possible to experiment with this because of the consequences of the lockdown documented elsewhere in this journal.) The audio setup is simpler in that it comprises a media player and small, two channel amplifier.

Additional and Optional Proposals

An original idea was to hang transluscent material on either side of Logos and project shadows on the fabric. This idea is better suited to a space where light levels can be controlled.

Additional sensors could be added to the installation to respond to viewers approaching from other directions, particularly with respect to touch.

What is the Difference?

This is the simplest piece: there is no audio and is supported by a single pipe. I have made a porcelain stand through which the pipe would run and be anchored inside the sculpture’s cavity.

Handling Pieces

This is a series of porcelain pieces that reach out to the public to be handled thereby engaging people with the material and its making.

An audience activity could be organised whereby a person makes a piece, leaving their mark. This would be added to a collection in the gallery which would grow over the period of the show.

Experimenting with Logos’ Internal Voice

The external sound is low frequency, so I thought that a relatively high-frequency voice like that of a female would contrast and stand out acoustically from the background sound, particularly when the latter increased in volume. An example of this would be the ‘everlasting’ in the Symposium 2 video


Why a single female voice?

I feel that it would be in keeping for me to record this as a female voice but using my own male voice plays with an ambivalence of timbre achieved by digital means. On a more technical level, I want the soft female voice to cut through the noise coming from the subwoofers.

Another alternative would be to give Logos manifold voices. The thing is to experiment with different combinations. It could be argued that a single voice would imply an individuality fostering a direct connection. On the other hand, many voices could signify a wider community/society, humanity even but lose on the way some of its intimacy. At least I have the option for either.

Scripting Decisions

The scripting is another point of decision making. For now, I have opted for short phrases or words to beckon the person closer. These are perhaps more distinguishable from the surrounding environment and convey meaning more clearly than having to stand there listening to a long monologue. This is an area that offers a great deal of flexibility. Again, I lean towards a female voice, but it is not a deal-breaker. I also think that the higher frequencies contained in sibilance or whispering are directional, pointing directly to the sculpture as their source and cut through the omnidirectional sounds from the subwoofer low-frequency sounds.

The origins of the sounds

All the sounds in Logos are made using my voice. Firstly using my voice allows for a broad field of experimentation on altering sound which can be applied to other field and synthesised recording. Secondly, it is consistent with my idea of transformation. (Each step is like a mutation: I work heuristically until something works. This, however, differs from an evolutionary system in that it is wholely purpose-led. In the future, it would be interesting to look at generating sounds stochastically which then fall into niches, predetermined or not, that allows them to be saved and used. The criterion for choice could be many, aesthetic, content, fit for a purpose which the process is blind to. This reminds me of Latham’s work with computer-generated ‘life’.)

Altering sounds

The following samples were made by recording my voice, which is a baritone, and applying a number of filters in audacity to achieve the sought after effect, these were:

  • change pitch
  • reverb
  • echo
  • distortion hard limiter
  • Normaliser

Having applied the echo, some phonemes repeat in an unnatural fashion, a little like a stutter. I delete these out at points of zero amplitude.

Sample voices and words

The permutations are almost endless. The results can change meaning, context and response.

Limitations to these experiments what to do next

Without the completed sculpture, I am unable to experiment and test how its internal chamber might affect sound. And therefore these samples act only as an indication of how I would imagine the sounds to be.

The words, ‘come nearer, come near, don’t touch me’ are deliberately intructive. They are chosen for their relevant to still sculpture. They could change, evolve. With the use of various sensors, voices could be activated in response to different viewer actions or positions. For example, code could be applied to one voice that was activated to stepping away with words such as, ‘come back, don’t go, don’t leave’.

Thinking this through, this acoustic device could be applied to any still sculpture. Therein lies an interesting piece of research. From monolith to complex installation to screen, the conceptual device gives the work an agency that still, silent or ‘scripted narrative’ often do not have. It addresses the viewer directly and might give the semblance of a limited intersubjectivity even if the visitor knows it for what it is. This is an interesting exploration in itself which also leads to the use of AI. Now that could be an interesting collaboration with someone.


I have composed a sample simulation with the low sound destined for the subwoofer and the sibilant voice for the sculpture’s interior. It is a short, programmatic piece where the viewer is beckoned to approach, then move away a little before leaving altogether. The subwoofers can be head reacting to her proximity while the voice from within the sculpture speaks.

Installation simulation

To listen to the full effect please do so on ear or headphones. This last sample, if listened to on laptop or tablet speaker, demonstrates the difference between low and higher frequencies. The speakers on such devices are unable to deliver the low vibrations. This is what makes it possible to combine the two soundtrack types.

Why use use Audacity?

There are many DAWs and programmes for altering sound recordings and generating them from scratch: Cakewalk, Audition, Reaper, Ableton, etc. Each one offers a particular advantage. Audacity is the first programme I go to for two reasons: familiarity and directness. It was one of the first programmes I used, it is free, open-source and very flexible. What you can do with most other sound software you can do with Audacity. However, its disadvantages are various. It works with a destructive process, that is to say, you cannot go back to previous states once saved so you have to save versions as you go along. This makes for an untidy and complex file system. Another disadvantage is that the plugins available are not always very sophisticated which means you have to work harder to achieve a given aim. This is not altogether bad in itself, it makes me think about what I am doing. However, the finness of parameters is not always there. Although other software offers other things that Audacity cannot give, it is my first port of call whenever I work with a sound recording.


Although I have explored working binaurally and used it in an instance in the symposium video, there is not really a space for it in this installation: it could prove distracting. However, I look forward to employing this in purely acoustic work.

Low-Frequency Track for Logos

An ongoing experiment in low frequency for intergration with Logos.

My aim is to produce a low-frequency sound that does not interfere with other sounds by reducing the detail of content but keeping it rich in texture.

A prime concern is to create a physical response without discomfort. It is very easy to produce nausea with low frequencies as it can disturb the balance organs in the ears. This ethical consideration is part of the installation’s risk assessment

The track is twenty three-and-a-half minutes long and looped. The following are brief samples taken from the same area of the track demonstrating some of the steps taken to reach the final mix.

I started with a basic sound generated with the voice projected into one of the sculpture’s (Logos) forms. The file was stretched, lowered the pitch and reverbed trying not to lose texture.

A lot of parameters and steps are involved in this process and experimenting with respective levels of gain is an important aspect of the work.

Original mastered track

I then produced a duplicate track and reduced the pitch to around 68 Hz.

Track with pitch shift to 68 Hz

I also applied a 3 Hz shift between the left and the right channels to create an almost imperceptible pulse.

I tried one at 20Hz but the level of discomfort was far too noticeable. It also did not create the relatively smooth texture I was looking for.

Track with pitch shift to 20Hz

The plan is to send the left and right channels each to one of two subwoofers so that they subtlely interact with one another.

The idea is for the sound to increase as the viewer approaches the work, not too much so as to create alarm or discomfort, but enough to act as a form of membrane barrier working against the softer sounds emanating from the sculpture itself.

I mixed duplicate tracks, balanced the levels of the original so that they are barely audible but add texture to the sound.

I compressed the files quite heavily to even out natural fluctuation in the voice and render smooth the proximity sensor-activated volume changes. The tracks were normalised to -3 dB

Final mix down

This final sample simulates a visitor approaching the sculpture, moving away a little return again before leaving the sensor field.

Exhibition simulation

Finally, the track is put onto a media player hooked up to the Arduino coupled with the sensor. I explored doing this during Unit 1 last year.

What I would have like to have done but did not

This is a ‘what could have gone better’ sort of analysis… but it is not. It is more of a future plan of action.

Tantalus, seen below in what appears to be an Italian painting of the C16th, was punished by Zeus for various evil doings with eternal temptation without satisfaction. Fortunately, I have not been cursed by a similar fate during the MA. The course has offered more opportunities than I could have possibly availed myself. As in life, art is as much about what you leave out as what you put in, arguably more so, and so it has been with the MA. Below is a, by no means exhaustive, list of some of the things that I have had to let pass perhaps for another day.

  • Bronze casting at the foundry
  • Digital printing
  • Working at the resistant material workshop both for fabrication and computer CAD laser and router cutting.
  • Done more 3D rendering
  • 3D scanning – photogrammetry

The first three would have required me to stay in London for a prolonged period of time. I have had the experience of working in external facilities and know it can be slow. I would have fabricated cases, stands and who knows what else with ease. But this would have taken my time from developing work.

I decided to leave the digital printing to one side because I make the objects much more quickly by hand. It would be interesting to use other materials, say transparent or soft one ones, however, at the moment this presents itself more as a commercial option: repeatability, and novel materials moving away from the core idea.

The bronze casting, or with some other metal such as cast iron, would have been my dream. But again, this is not directly relevant to the work itself. Metal casting is often a commercial option because it is about durability and replicability with an aura of rarity and status. Once again, this could be done in the future and is not directly pertinent to the work.

I tried 3D rendering on Blender, and a few other programmes. I found it somewhat frustrating because there is so much to learn, and no matter how much time I would have spent on this, the results, in the end, would have been, as far as my work is concerned, more about presentation online and less about the material essence of the idea. I will have more time, later on, to work with this.

3D scanning is something I will definitely work with in the future, whether with a scanner or using photogrammetry. I think this offers a lot in the area of imaging my work and building on it in both two and three dimensions. It also feeds into casting. There are a lot of companies out there that will cast from a scan or a 3D rendering for that matter. The advantages of this over working with clay, stone, and other traditional materials is again that of replicability and the ability to build forms that are impossible to make otherwise. But then I would be entering a domain that lies outside my current work – I keep an open mind.

I would also have liked to have made a book. This can come later. It is not something that can be rushed while formulating ideas. I see it more as documenting a period or body of work. I am not quite at that point yet.

These are just a few of the things that I would have liked to have done but did not. I will soon have the time to do some of them and others as I have outlined in the post Formulation of future plans to continue my personal and professional development. I am sure there are more things I could mention but it is better for me to give time to those with which I am currently engaged.

Creativity and Life Cycles of Artists

I read this paper (see below) with interest because it has given me a different insight into the way I work.

Ginsburgh and Weyers propose that conceptual artists achieve career success earlier than, what they call, experimental artists. This is an interesting idea in itself and concurs with much of what I think and articulates my position as artist with a degree of clarity. However, there are many caveats to what they say arising out of their definitions and more importantly, their methodology.

I will not go into the details here but just outline the thesis. Artists who draw are conceptual because they work out the mechanics of what they do before doing it. Artists who work directly with the material experiment as they do so. This in itself is very reductive and they apply their thesis to painters only. These assumptions are based on theoretical ideas that bear little or no relation to reality. The paper limits itself to considering dead artists for whom documentation has survived and divides them according to a very limited list of methodologies. The second assumption is made on whether artists are successful early on or later in life. The researchers base this on written records of sales and critical attention. The end result is that the mean difference between early and late success is a matter of only a few years. This is all well and good, but artistic outcomes cannot be quantified in the way they are in this paper. Alas, this is the bane of academic research in the arts that seeks notice from what is essentially a science-based paradigm orientated audience. However, I do agree with the final conclusion, with which they sweep aside all the shortcomings of the study: that artists are neither wholely experimental nor wholely conceptual and that they may be both at the same time or flip between the two modes throughout their career.

What I do find interesting, though, is that such a distinction is made in the first place and that the principle descriptions of methodologies seem to stand regardless of what the data suggests in given cases. A primarily conceptual artist does something with a largely predetermined purpose, often in response to external demands – [which may be hidden in the subtext of the practice]. This means that a) the outcome is defined by that purpose, as the best fit for the job b) the outcome is not necessarily personal c) consequently it does not matter whether the work is done by the artist or someone else or in collaboration. In the first instance, the idea takes precedence over the making. The consequence is that there is a tendency for the conceptual artist to become a designer and loses an element of authorship in exchange for a wider and more accessible market.

The experimental artist, on the other hand, blooms later because the internal goal or purpose to the work may be less well defined at the start. It takes longer to work out what those are and express them. Work is often left unfinished as each work is often seen as a transitory state to something else, a preparation for the next rather than being a finished project in itself often with external specifications. Therefore the outcome is seen as more personal with a more restricted market/audience.

These two views are obviously extreme ends of a spectrum but they have helped me articulate what I am about much more clearly under these terms. It surprises me that I turn out to be an experimental artist, elaborating ideas as I work but who needs to plan because of technical challenges. The ideas emerge out of reflection on what I have done, rather than being thesis or purpose led. But once a thesis has been established, the work continues to largely conform to what has emerged and it can be difficult to move out of a given trajectory. That is why it is important to experiment and let go and ‘start again’. All this is highly personal and does not easily conform to external demands such as commissions, curated call outs, etc. But now that my ideas are much more readily accessible to me, I am able to frame them in terms that can be interpreted in contexts other than my own. For instance, the project proposal can be seen as a response to the Anthropocene and isolation. These are not ideas that were uppermost in my mind but undoubtedly bubbled under the surface in some other guise.

This goes to show, that quantifying qualitative things, does not necessarily of itself give an accurate picture of how things really are. However, in the process of identifying and defining elements and their interactions, a notional clarity can ignite thoughts that give rise to insights that were not there before. Things in the real world are too complex to summarise in a few tables and graphs, but they do add to awareness if not immediate knowledge about certain phenomena.


Prose Poems

This is a small collection of seven prose poems written during the MA period. I think that some work better than others but I have posted them all because they have in common the fact that they have their origins in reflections during work or thinking about those things that motivate it.

One I idea is for them some to accompany an eventual show, either in printed form or as recorded narrations. As scripts, they may need some work and their function would be to add another layer without explicating: to prise open a way for the viewer to enter, participate and add their own story.


Close my eyes, and I see my parents, grandparents, great grandparents and so it goes on with the people that came before me. As time goes back they become strangers. What lives they led, what thoughts they held, and the world they saw is as much a part of me as it is not. Much the same and so very different, time tracks back tracing humanity to earlier times when there were no wheels and horses had yet to be ridden. The dawn of our time is still an unimaginable distance away from now and yet I go back further. As I think of ancestral forms on hot plains and cool dangerous places, the primitive becomes me, what I am now. Polar jungles and salty seas grow around me where I swim and swelter under an unfaltering sun. Yet I am still there, a small part of me survives the odds of existing. An unimaginable self that still dwells in me, that single creature twisting against its fate, giving birth again and again. I cannot any longer think but feel the cold water against my outer surface as my existence becomes slender. The slight trace of what I would become fading in the darkness, diluted in those moonlit nights when the tide throws me against the furrowed rocks and yet, I am still here. My possibility becomes lessened with every turning of the sun and each generation sheds a part of me as time recedes and me with it and still, I am present. I no longer feel but my instinct is still to move with the light and smell the water for traces that are unknown to me. The silt is the dread I cannot know and now all sense of life slowly sloughs off and still the insensate part of me is here. The dim light of life is gently, slowly snuffed out in my thoughts.


The worn graphite pencil glides to and fro searching form, trying to enter the flat surface bounded by the small parcel of paper. Changing faces, it deftly leaves a trace that grows careful not to mark the paper indelibly with a false word. Thought is suspended in the uncertainty of emergence, I keep quiet and let the form tell me what to do. I am in its embrace, as the pewter carbon slates off the point until, it asks me, what shall I do next? We are now partners in shaping this tiny world. For now it must be all the world, no distraction except for breath. Time does not count in this place, movement reckons change: too much and life is extinguished, too little and we are left wondering what if. Imperfections must be left behind; corrections will unravel all that has been done as lines coalesce into form, light and shade becoming sensible with words of recognition. And so the meaning passes onto me as I hear the other’s voice grow faint in this world. My hope is that it waits for me in the next.

Moon Walk

The moon broke free last night. Leaving the earth she hurtled towards the sun leaving pieces of her behind as trees reached out to pull her back by her wake and got their fingers scorched by the sun who gloated and slunk behind a blackened horizon.

Finding herself free of all things, the moon lost interest and decided to drift, like a lover, content with her waxing belly, as men sent shiny rockets full of tiny people vertically, past the trees and past the moon, their roars swallowed by the immense distance, turned to comets. The earth in its shyness turned over and waited for the grubs to wake the soil.


You divide me, so that I might know which way is light and when to face away. You give me one side and so another that I might know which way to turn and with this gift: a centre for the back and forth, a dim picture of the world so smell and distance no longer the only place where I am and I am hollow: forced to follow hunger for the other and that drives and bestows dull fear that moves me to and fro along the edge. I pierce the horizon and still must eat and hide but as a growing pain that weighs on my breath, pushes from outside my skin, I leave my mother’s liquid, sprout and walk about, deeper into different worlds and lift above and shovel earth yet this journey that has no end; always changing and with this change a distant sense of wanting always with me takes another’s shape, now warm, with me rejoining that which cleaved before me long ago and as it does so my sight turns inwards. Inside the world shapes new forms, and places I cannot see or touch but know that they are there. I feel the cold and heat and sweat and become knowing of a fear that no longer makes me run but ask for reason. Yet I continue, tear and gnaw, be ripped apart in turn until I grasp that stone or stick or clench my fist and strike with all my life imbued over countless ages, countless times, and scream and shout. And in that moment call and word is formed together with the why as I see my neighbour die. And now I make, and history with it on walls and rocks and trees to tell of my death and how my birth was done, and the reason why, we all must die.

Ancestral II

I am what I was. And with each generation follows the shedding of some part unable to survive so that I become again and again. The smell, the tides, night and day I crawl and sleep and rise and fall in the silt. I am what they once were, a forgotten memory. They lie under the skin, waiting for a time when what I was might become what I will be. For in all that is contained within my self, is a constant dying and rebirth each time unknowing of the other. Each time I become what I was and a little bit more.

Dissecting Logos

The word is shaped as I work

Action and thought flow into one another and take form transcending the word as it approaches its own making. Speaking it dissects its anatomy but only once the task is completed, exposed to close scrutiny. Then, mind and eye, memory and knowing become its making and fill the sentient void. 

The rigid form from fluid matter is hard to coax as a single moment; the process slow and deliberate, tricks and turns. A morsel of the conscious mind passes through and changes, as change must come from passing. Observed, there will be no certainty.

The Gut

An umbilical to the most distant cousins came as a gossamer sack. I could not move with food just floating about inside me, subject to the vagaries of diffusion, how could I. A second opening appeared, like an eye on the world, the sac stretched and narrowed bathing food in acids and enzymes squirted into a sphinctered environment. Enough energy was assured so I could cease my sessile existence and developing kinetic strategies left behind the ceaseless rocking of the waves. Hunter, prey, grazer, became the hidden rules of day and night in a circadian rhythm of fear. This is what I am in its most fundamental form, keeping entropy at bay.

The nervous system, servant to this messy kitchen, reached round its synaptic fingers, holding the tactics of feeding in its grasp and throwing open a blind race towards sentience. Sight, sound, smell, taste, touch conjured constellations of qualia igniting engines of thought. The self became inevitable. Traversing the threshold of knowledge I left behind the crawling and slavering of my infancy on slimy slopes where hope and fear could not be understood, and produced a soul self built, a DIY god that lives within me, another symbiont sharing a body with countless others, keeping at bay the chaos of imagining.


The symposium video is an important milestone. It has led to so many things. One of them is the realisation, or should I say, the clarification of what a performance might be. Early in the course, I had thought of dancing with some sort of bronze piece giving it the illusion of weightlessness. This was all well and good, but to what end, how did it integrate with the other ideas in my project proposal?

A year and a half later, through sublimation and sublation, I ‘intuitively’ arrived at using a piece of Logos as an echo chamber for breath chanting. This was no accident or a moment of desperation as to what to do. It was a galvanising instance of synthesis that had gestated over a period from well before when the post Sound from Far and Within was written. And with this, I have another addition to my practice that integrates fully with its other elements. What are those? anthropology, ritual, sound, sculpture, atavism, language…

The Raum Gallery: Between Spaces

Between Spaces

RAUM – (the German word for space), is described by Martin Heidegger as ‘a happening, a talking place‘. In ‘Building Dwelling Thinking‘, Heidegger states that, ‘only something that is itself a location can make space for a site. The location is not already there before the bridge is. Therefore a space is something that has been spaced or made room for’.

Donald TakGuy organised a popup show at his online gallery, The Raum Gallery. This is an interesting experiment in relatively impromptu exhibitions, although getting a number of people to show their work and organising their curation always comes with a hidden extension to what might have been thought a relatively quick exercise. I was pleased to be able to take part in this, even in the midst of developing work of other kinds. The experience helped view some past work in a new light in the context of ideas I have been gathering in thoughts since the lockdown began. Several of the images showing in the Raum led to ideas such as The Future and the Past in One Place and contributed in no small way to Experimental Form. Thank you, Don.

Showing work that is made for physical viewing, recontextualised through a virtual exhibition using documentary imagery, opens up a new way of working, Diversification within a cohesive conceptual methodology is something new to me. It is an exciting moment in the development of my practice.