I had a meeting with the Portico Library today and James brought to my attention one of their previous exhibition In So Many Words: Roget’s Thesaurus and the Power of Language.


“The Portico Library’s first Secretary, Peter Mark Roget, was a medical doctor, inventor, linguist and mathematician. His contribution to the English language is hard to overstate, with over 30 million copies of his eponymous Thesaurus empowering generations since its first publication in 1852. The Thesaurus was designed, in his words, “to facilitate the expression of ideas” and as such has played a significant part in our ability to communicate, and to negotiate the perils and possibilities of language. As part of the library’s 2018 Information is Power project, funded by The Zochonis Charitable Trust, three contemporary artists have created new works based on research into Roget’s legacy – the role of vocabulary in the 21st century; the power of words; the uses and abuses of text and speech.”


I have a copy of Roget’s Thesaurus in my studio on wheels (I defaced an old copy by screwing caster wheels onto the back so you can push the tome around).


Reading list: Social Science, Philosophy and Theology in Dialogue
A Relational Perspective Edited ByPierpaolo Donati, Antonio Malo, Giulio Maspero

First Published 2019
Imprint Routledge

This volume explores the potential of employing a relational paradigm for the purposes of interdisciplinary exchange. Bringing together scholars from the social sciences, philosophy and theology, it seeks to bridge the gap between subject areas by focusing on real phenomena.Although these phenomena are studied by different disciplines, the editors demonstrate that it is also possible to study them from a common relational perspective that connects the different languages, theories and perspectives which characterize each discipline, by going beyond their differences to the core of reality itself. As an experimental collection that highlights the potential that exists for cross-disciplinary work, this volume will appeal to scholars across a range of field concerned with critical realist approaches to research, collaborative work across subjects and the manner in which disciplines can offer one another new insights.


Conversational narcissism
Anita L. Vangelisti , Mark L. Knapp & John A. Daly
Pages 251-274 | Published online: 02 Jun 2009


Conversational narcissism is typified by an extreme self‐focusing in a conversation, to the exclusion of appropriate concerns for the other. Whether conceptualized as a conversational style, possessed to varying degrees by various individuals, or as a conversational feature associated with various situational demands, conversational narcissism has important implications for the structure, goals, and outcomes of conversation. Results of six studies reported here revealed that people had behavioral referents for the term “conversational narcissism” such as boasting, refocusing the topic of the conversation on the self, exaggerating hand and body movements, using a loud tone of voice, and “glazing over” when others speak. The behavior of individuals role‐playing narcissistic conversational behavior was consistent with the recalled referents. Further, people enacting narcissistic conversational behaviors were rated significantly lower on social attraction than people not acting narcissistic. While conversational narcissism is generally perceived as a negative social strategy, respondents reported a number of contexts in which focusing attention on the self (to the exclusion of the other) is an appropriate move. Taken together, the data suggest that conversational narcissism is determined interactively, by the needs and conversational goals of both participants.


I went to an artist development session run by Anna Turzynski at Compass Live Art in Leeds about Audience Care. Some key points to consider that I took away include:

  • How we communicate with a rapidly changing audience with new generations.
  • How to mitigate triggering audiences
  • Dialogue can mitigate isolation of negative experience (specifically talking to venue staff and bringing them up to speed with the work to perform a support act).
  • Audience and Artist Care Worksheets for every work with the following things to consider:
  1. Before the performance, what info does the audience need to arrive prepared?
  2. During the performance who/what looks after me?
  3. During the performance who/what looks after the audience?
  4. What do I do if I feel uncomfortable during the performance and want to stop?
  5. What does the audience do if they feel uncomfortable during the performance and want to stop?
  6. After the performance, what do I need to feel safe and happy?
  7. After the performance what do the audience need to feel safe and happy?
  8. How do I know if this will work?






I gave my Rubbish talk at Impressions Gallery Bradford in the gallery space where Mandy Barker’s show is on. The talk and ensuing dialogue was recorded and will be available on the website! The Rubbish Conversations after the slide presentation were the highlights for me and I think the audience too. It started as a fairly standard Q&A about some of the things I’d discussed but turned into a more general Rubbish Conversation from bins and recycling to capitalism and throwaway culture.

The feedback gathered by the team at Impressions was very positive:

“Very friendly and relaxing atmosphere. Waste art is something I know little about so the talk was really interesting.”

“Very much liked the presentation and post-talk discussion!”

And of the people who filled in questionnaires, everyone rated the event as Very Good (which is the top category)

Thanks so much to Angela and the team at Impressions for having me!