Thursday, 3 March 2011


For a few years now I've been making work which takes from what you might call 'contemporary myths', what be I mean by that? Well in part it's an exploration of that hinterland that is imagination and also in part the result of watching too much television as a child. Especially the guilt of sci-fi shows and 'factual' shows like Arthur C Clarkes Mysterious World, ( ) these programmes help fill the world with strange histories, creatures and in the case of the forgotten Nigel Kneale series 'Kinvig' ( and of course Doctor Who these incredible things became connected to the everyday.

Of course this was all back in the early '80s, so flashfoward thirty years and I find myself on a Master's degree in Fine Art and struggling with what I was making. What I was making at the time where video pieces that where focused on empty spaces, both real and imagined, this was mostly a reflection of my state of mind rather than the pursuit of some pure critical theory, I am afraid. Then at some point I became interested in the invisible forces which exist within these 'empty' spaces, the path of light, the movement of atoms bouncing around and through. I started to explore these concepts by using the means at my disposal, which meant video and domestic materials such as Torches. In a series of performative videos I attempted to recreate what I imagined to be happening at some galactic level. ( )

I was exploring science through art, wasn't I?

No, I wasn't far from it, it was through the making of these pieces I realised that I didn't have enough understanding of the scientific concepts to make the pieces works; in a sense my science was fiction.

Previously I had confessed to be informed by authors such as Philip K Dick and the aforementioned TV space opera's, along with people with a certain mentally who could make experience based on little evidence and completely put themselves within, I hate to say it, a fantasy world. This is an ability of humankind to see patterns and make connections with very disparate things to give themselves to their imagination.

So this is how I came to create the Artistic Research and Special Experimentation Organisation it seemed the best framework to explore and to recreate the conditions in which these beliefs can arise. The creation of this organisation was also to allow the viewer to become part of the work and have and active role in the completion of the work, and be involved in the interpretation of the materials being presented to them. As for why I should choose to work with such exotic materials luckily I can reflect the sentiments of Susan Hiller that "this stuff has charisma" and that it is the artist prerogative to select the materials they work with, and thanks to the demeratialisation of the art object an art object made from physical materials can have the same weight as one made from an abstract idea.

And this seems to be what my work is fundamentally about (possibly) is the way ideas spread, become real as it where, whether these ideas come to us from books, TV, art or the sandwich boarded street preacher.

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