Sunday, 8 December 2013

Other Room Performance

performing a twenty minute extract of an ongoing text piece White Noise accompanied by a video, as part of an experimental poetry night, in Manchester at the Other Room
see the video at the link below:

The constraint is to write the adverts while watching television in an evening. As the speed of the speech moves faster than the speed of the writing, the original sense is broken and new narratives begin to be formed.

poster, photograph from the performance, and an extract of the text:

...I want my phone call when he arrives the connection escapes me thirteen pounds a month and tweeters one hundred minutes from the fastest for free we make you a promise across the country from just twenty pounds the biggest what year is it quickly thanks goodness there is still time now we fight back he’s everywhere I never sat in a more depressing room wow new series check in at nine just million customers I don’t have to worry about my moustache coming through smooth sexy legs upper lip hair we are so confident and get this with a money back guarantee so pick up the phone and get rushed to your home today if you need quick cash right now Rimmel London’s mascara for lashes at rockin value get favourite family films called buckle up kids guaranteed family entertainment no-one brings you the time of reckoning we restore former glory we are one this exclusive feet down with Flora you could brightening up come on slow coach so hurry you don’t want thirty years since the last controversial truth it will be interesting to see survival of the fastest people try to compare insurance I will give you as many toys as please give meerkat toys phones for you probably not I shave my legs oh not at all but I’m an estate agent do I get an upgrade four years is a long time a lot can happen but no matter where it takes you any package across our range turn onto four seven TV that’s everyone’s been talking about people never sat in a more depressing room wow new series check in at nine lets just million customers iron your fathers pants everything is perfect thank-you the big fish always know who little fish are full application I know what I’m feeling like who was it this time I’m glad they don’t know about this place the award winning safety together sometimes saying sorry is enough you keep one hundred percent find out now the award winning show ahead of its time action based on the cult hit movie and a third of my wife’s stealth and concealment are absolutely don’t you just hate it when it buffers and this symbols appears that’s better super fast broadband the health lottery we already you could be the next give it a try it could change your life with Duracell power-check now BB these two letter are going to change your life hydrates perfect skin who takes care of the perfect matt finish entitled to make a claim tell me within minutes whether I’ve got Wonga dot com straight talking money without the drama claim discount and what’s more if you’ve earned seventy five percent you’ll keep when you’re unwell if you’ve suffered due to win or loose the break-dancing crew they’re celebrating fifty pounds cash-back  sign up now and we’ll do you proud up to three times per hour for the whole family of Wickes there are now even more red pencil prices on electrical equipment beat it by ten percent this is a moment tonight is the night best join trust our experts we’ll find ways bright financial future a hotel with separate beds no way this one is perfect is there a pool at the best price so you’re talking to your friends can’t a quiet night at the direct to VIP access sure this actually necessary we have winners every day with peoples’ postcode lottery before midnight they’re screaming everywhere all the internet you’ll ever need searchers and tweeters get your search online a world where everything starts at the beginning of the universe mad pilots as they battle basic equipment brand new series the clues will be clearer the new afternoon line up and it buffers ah that’s better you can say buy all at half price check it out online amazing acts like my self for all people who like attitude here on one new channel tonight typical the face with a crush scenes of animal butchery will love moving here for a flourishing countryside oh look what is she wearing lets see have you got plenty sometimes the dating site better than e-harmony review your matches find out how to make your favourite snacks River Cottage veg and cancer Carol from Macmillan telling the kids gave me a lot of advice I know the Macmillan team free I feel love a certain kind tomorrow will be like today bread is not broken I don’t care I really think I should be off now once you try it you have to have it together in electric dreams blue plus price promise I don’t want to scare anyone there’s more to life than looks we’ve still got kitchen come fill my little world right up create the perfect space for you whatever a city break means we could make it happen never stop we’ll make a grown man cry there’s a place new in one corner with over thirty million products you’ll always find what you want again ha ha funny...

Monday, 2 December 2013

Performing at The Other Room

Looking forward to performing at the Other Room in Manchester on Wednesday night - 4th December - follow the link below:

Below is a sneak preview of a few stills from the video that will accompany the reading of White Noise, an ongoing text work.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Visiting Shandy Hall (Laurence Sterne Trust) with the Guerrilla Writers

After Pavel Buchler's instruction for the Guerrilla Writers to write the Blank Page, we visited Shandy Hall which is where The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman was written by Laurence Sterne. 

The Guerrilla Writers reading Chapter thirty eight which contains the blank page

Video made in response to a drawn instruction given by Julie (Guerrilla Writer)

Using The Blank Page for interpretations of the Widow Wadman -

Some ideas I am currently working on:

Widow Wadman
Writers invisible description omits woman, while allowing desiring males a nymph.
Wondering incessantly delays objective writing, when all distractions multiply affirming noise.
White illusion delivers obsessive witness, worldly actions detach mechanical awareness necessary.

Using the connotations of the word concupiscence, from the previous chapter during a discussion regarding the widow:

Images collaged taken from a google search for desirable women from 2013 and from 1759 - note the similarity in poses, allowing for easy collage

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Decoding Grantchester Meadows for A.L.L.

Rachel Smith and Bryan Eccleshall are Sheffield based artists engaged with ideas of language, process, and translation. Both artists have made work in public during residencies, while also exhibiting and publishing in more traditional ways. Decoding Grantchester Meadows is their first direct collaboration, though they have worked together as part of the Sheffield Guerrilla Writing collective.

In 1969 Roger Waters wrote the song Grantchester Meadows and it appeared on Pink Floyd’s Ummagumma LP. Rachel Smith and Bryan Eccleshall have turned a PDF file of the song’s lyrics into its underlying code. This has been processed by changing the extension of the file name from .pdf to .txt. When this re-named file is opened, it is a large document of numbers, letters and symbols rather than a small document with a few lines of comprehensible text. You can do this with jpegs as well, but if it’s a big file, don’t be surprised if your computer freezes. Do it at your own risk. 

This publication accompanies the film Decoding Grantchester Meadows. In the film Smith and Eccleshall read out the underlying ASCII code, in a vareity of locations including the Orchard Tea Garden and Grantchester Meadows in Cambridge. This taps into the spirit of experimentation present elsewhere on the Pink Floyd album as well as the crossover between conceptual writing and art.

‘...every image or bit of text on the Internet not only has its specific, unique place but also its unique time of appearance. Here, we do not refer so much to the digital image or text file itself, but rather to the digital data that remains identical through the process of its reproduction and distribution. But the image file is not an image–the image file is invisible. The digital image is an effect of the visualisation of the invisible image file, of the invisible digital data. Accordingly, a digital image cannot be merely copied (as an analog, mechanically reproducible image can) but always only newly staged or performed. Thus the image begins to function like a piece of music, whose score, quite obviously, is not identical to the piece–the score being inaudible, silent. One can therefore argue that digitalization turns visual arts into performing arts...’

Boris Groys. Monday Begins On Saturday. Bergen Assembly 2013, pp59–64. Sternberg Press, Berlin

The film and publication will be available during art:language:location festival in Cambridge during October

If you want to see an extract of the film follow the url:

Monday, 16 September 2013

Out of Context: In Response

Having curated the BSA members exhibition Out of Context, using the methodology of constraint grown from my art practice. I wanted to extend the idea of context into another form. There had always been an intention to produce a publication to document the exhibition and applying my art practice methods to the job of curating seemed to point a way forward in determining how the publication could be structured. Within this publication I have worked with selected artists, asking each to respond to pre-determined artworks in the exhibition, in a way that reflects an element of their practice. They were restricted to a square format. In this way new artworks have been created which reflect a reaction or a reply, rather than a mere document of the exhibition. 

The Publication:

Out of Context: In Response

This publication presents a set of artworks created in response to the first members exhibition at Bank Street Arts - Out of Context. 

Each selected artist has responded to a number of individual artworks. Every artwork in the exhibition has been documented. 

Responding artists were required to acknowledge and reflect existing artworks in a manner that conformed to an element of their individual practice.

Details of the original artworks within the exhibition can be found on the internet – there is a direct link and QR code within the book.

Available at

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Out of Context members exhibition at BSA

This exhibition was open to members of Bank Street Arts. The restriction for members was a maximum number of submissions - three per member - with a guarantee of at least one submission being accepted. The other restriction was size; one metre wide for wall work and one metre square for floor based work. 

For my own curatorial strategy, I worked with both the constraints set by Bank Street Arts and systems which I employ within my own art practice. The gallery spaces were pre-measured in order to calculate the number of artworks that would fit on each wall, according to the metre wide restriction, giving the maximum number of submissions I could accept. A set of random, arbitrary and mathematical systems were used to pre-determine the positioning of the work in each gallery. In this way I sought to reflect the methodology of my own art practice, as well as embracing the potentially random and eclectic mix of members’ work. Twenty seven members contributed thirty four artworks, with perhaps the only common thread being conbributors’ membership  of the centre.

Audiences often expectantly enter a gallery space looking for the curatorial text or concept of the exhibit; each artwork providing a narrative for the next. Here the artworks stand individually and are curated using an arbitrary methodology. Using these systems is an attempt to resist and question our human desire to seek for patterns in order to find meaning or sense.

Here is a map of the exhibition which runs into September - see more details at

Monday, 10 June 2013

Reviews of Where is the Work

Read Helen Cocker's reviews of the Where is the Work? exhibition


or Read an Extract from the article:

...Across the room, lines of writing creep over the windows. Their author Rachel Smith warns me of their latent power to infinitely expand. The marks, containing definitions of definitions, seek to explain away the meaning behind meaning itself and in so doing position a unique mixture of banal words beside wondrous phrases. Punctuated by the semi-colon this work has no foreseeable end. It is process which exemplifies the ambition of the artist: to create ad infinitum. With no full stops the work threatens to outlive its creator, ploughing on relentlessly. In fact the idiom to plough on links Smith’s work to the interests of a text by Jacques Derrida found in his 1967 book ‘Of Grammatology’. Derrida writes on a matter he terms “writing by furrows”, a furrow being the line the ploughman traces with ox and plough. Arriving at the end of each furrow the ploughman does not return to the point of departure, but rather proceeds in an economical fashion by turning ox and plough round to continue in the opposite direction. Derrida notes that such writing, conducted to the turn of the ox (boustrophedon), was later abandoned (by the Greeks for example) in favour of the hand. For, arguably, it is easier to read by furrows than write by them.
The distinction made between reading and writing dictates a large portion of Smith’s own work. Marks made across the windows delineate the deterioration of each furrow as it suffers under the manual labour of the hand, gaining signs of fatigue at each line’s end. But the visual economy of reading is equally overwhelmed. Faced with a sea of language the reader must choose to select portions of the text at random, focusing not on the order of words but on their visual potency as a whole. Respite points within the text usually offered by full stops are entirely lacking. A strange metamorphosis takes place; punctuation leaves the terrain of the written word and finds its home in the author who, only upon ceasing to be, provides the final act of execution that is the full stop.
Returning to the opening question Where is the work? I find myself in a factory once again, a line of constant production before me and yet no final product in sight. Smith’s writing confronts the expectation that an artwork is ever truly complete...


Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Durational Drawing for Where is the Work? Exhibition

putting up the MA Exhibition Where is the Work?

where is the work?

Where is the Work?

In museums and other cultural institutions the finished art object is seen as the work. In the gallery, the text next to the object shown explains both process and concept; but all the viewer ‘sees’ is the final work.

Where is the Work? asks the viewer to consider a space in which process holds as much value as any traditional idea of the completed artwork.
Where is the Work?

Preview - Friday 7th June 6:00pm to 9:00pm (S1 Basement, all welcome)

Exhibitions open to public - Saturday 8th June to Saturday 15th June
Free entry 10:00am - 4:00pm, Monday to Saturday

For the duration of the exhibition  a happening will occur daily, at approximately 12:30pm in S1 Basement.

Exhibition Venues:

AGC Gallery
Eyre Lane, (corner of Froggat Lane and Eyre Lane) Sheffield, S1 2LQ

S1 Basement
120 Trafalgar Street, (corner of Trafalgar Street and Milton Street) Sheffield, S1 4JT


Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Twelve poster publication

I have been involved in the Twelve publication curated and developed by Bryan Eccleshall - posters are for sale £6 (plus p&p)

See the main blog here:

The poster was launched at the Leeds Artist Bookfair on the Guerrilla Writers stall - see blog here:

This poster has been the impetus to start a new piece of work to collect and archive found bookmarks which is currently ongoing

To see the rest of the twelve images go to

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Bank Street Arts Exhibition continues until 16 Feb

I have finished working live in the gallery, but have today moved the exhibition into gallery 2 at Bank Street until the 16 February

The daily email's opened on a blackberry device drawing is complete for January, but still ongoing for the rest of the year- so I will complete 12 drawings in a calendar format

The mobius twitter strip is just beginning to wear into holes where I have been typing - o's are the first letter to fall out - the paper is also ripped in places due to having to fight with the typewriter to keep the paper central - this will be potentially ongoing