november 2016 : the first period of filming capturing the museum’s model railway, ground floor public activity and behind the scenes looks at the stores and the social club used by the electricity board during their residency in the building, ending in the 1970’s

may  – september 2017 : the second tranche is filmed.  post production takes until january 18.

january 2018 : questions set in november 17 are answered and the second tranche is submitted to doc fest 18.

march 18 : filming in the nearly decanted museum.

july 18 : filming in the empty spaces of the building.

november 18 : present shimmering place to the mina symposium, melbourne, australia.

march 2019 : begin tranche 3 (t3) filming onsite and offsite.

august 2019 : first prototype.

september 2019 : first prototype with hardware shared in co production meeting.



the metaphoric white wash has been applied to the metaphoric canvas – the time has been reached where the research i’ve done is trimmed and backed up to create a space in which the work can continue.

all of the recent months orbiting conversations kind of resolved themselves on tuesday – thank you sue ball for your continued support and understanding – i’m so pleased you are the producer for the arts and heritage programme at the museum of making at derby silk mill.



since our tuesday conversation a feeling of vulnerability has emerged for me – in connection to sharing the proposed footage with the main building contractor for their sign off.  intellectually i know it’ll all be ok – at other levels there are concerns.

so ignoring the concerns – i’ve come up with a plan for how to begin this next phase of the process and i feel really energised again when i think about it all.

where the intention sits now has renewed foundation.  all in all what i’ve been carrying around has started to find place where it’s all comfortable and meaningful.



tidying up all the research files has been very cathartic, way more than i would have expected it to be.  even in the digital domain its possible to create and make a mess !  tidying up has certainly helped my moral and motivation – i know where everything is now !

the presentation environment is nearing being fully resolved.  i have to admit i didn’t expect it to be so involved and i can say now that it’ll be evolved from where it had got to in the arts and heritage meetings and i’ll happily talk through all thats gone on if you would like to know more.

there’s a buzz in my fingers as i anticipate the coming days, weeks and months.





the weather got the better of us yesterday – the latest co pro meeting cancelled as the weather closed in on derby and derbyshire.  a week ago the derwent was so high the ground floor of the mill became victim to water ingress – a once in 15 year occurrence.

on site yesterday i experienced how cold and harsh a place the site is and still the work continues.  i caught up with the recent work on the third floor and stories of the flood last friday.

in amongst all the building works and weather conditions are the people who make the museum of making.  all as important as each other as they all have their part to play – if one of them didn’t do what they did the project would be worse off because of it.

one of the aspects of the project i would have talked about last night is why is this an artist project – i’m still asking questions of myself and the work – still i search for a title.

since september the experience of being on site has evolved for me.  i’ve got to know a little those regularly working on site – those who want to talk and those who don’t.   as an artist on site i’m now starting to migrate more to those who show interest and wanting to engage – those who see value in what they are doing relative to the on going history of the building.  some talk of bringing their grand children to the museum when it’s open.

reflecting upon my experience yesterday i’m reminded about how the building needs people and people need the building.  my work will need people to complete the intention and its this intention that continues to circle and be reiterated.  at the meeting last night i was planning on speaking and recording myself to help me gain more insight into the research i’ve been doing so far.


“there are lots of things to do in life”

jorge lorenzo 2019.


reflecting this morning about the recent months – i’ve been drawn into exchanges that have diluted me away from investigating the core intention.  i’ve had to get involved as the matters directly have impact upon the work being shown in the museum upon opening, this has been about the content and the viewing environment.  i look forward to the rescheduled arts and heritage meeting where i am happy to say more about this.

outside the clouds are starting to clear and a #bluesky starts to emerge.  the ongoing filming continues and we move one day at a time towards seeing for ourselves the finished museum of making – making for ourselves in the museum of making.



friday lunchtime and an opportunity to catch my breath after two highly charged weeks.  throughout them i’ve received help, support and good vibes from sue ball, the museum of making’s arts and heritage producer.  sue acts as a buffer zone to the rest of the project and i need to publicly thank sue for the recent baring with while i work through recent events.

these events are pivotal around the recent co production meeting.  i’ve heard full time members of the museum staff talk about their experiences of the challenging (at times) nature of working this way.

for me the challenges are taking time to process and arrive at a means of employing the learning i have made.



the iterative nature of the process we’re involved with means that for each time we take stock of where this project is there are many new questions.  these wander into questioning aspects that for me already felt like they had been answered.

in the last week i’ve been through something akin to getting back into the saddle of a horse that threw me off.

this experience even extended to the nature of filming on site at the mill.  i’ll not fully divulge what threw me – it’s an internal matter that as an artist on site i am aware of yet still needs to be addressed.



while i’ve been working through various things i’ve also been in lengthy discussions with sue about the nature of the installation in the museum.

the placing of a work in a museum is a new experience and a lot different from the placing in a white cube.   there are oh so many considerations and interested parties.  what i’m holding onto is that everyone involved wants the best for the work so when ideas about its presentation emerge – outside of where i currently think about the work –  i examine the idea and go with the flow by testing and checking in with the idea.



summing it all up.  i went into the co pro meeting pretty sure where i was within the realisation of the work.  afterwards i felt like the whole thing had been shaken and the less well attached pieces had come adrift.  in looking to replace them within the work, there are opportunities to take stock and wonder if there might be another way to do this.  it’s tested my resilience.  i am beginning now to feel back on it and i look to what i now go onto to do to make the work stronger.

between you and me i’m daunted at the moment of the amount of work it feels like there is to do now.  my immediate plan is to test out latest ideas for the core concept of the work and look to once tested, implement them and create a third prototype.

reflecting on the co pro process – i’ve opened myself up to experience and be part of it.  in time i hope that wobbles of late make large benefits in the long term.  this will be realised as i put the work in in the next couple of months.

i fill my lungs and prepare to make the next step.


get yourself a piece of paper and something to make a mark on that paper.

place the paper down on a flat firm surface.

draw a four sided shape.

place the mark making item next to the shape.

look at your shape.


  1. get yourself a piece of paper and something to make a mark on that paper.
  2. place the paper down on a flat firm surface.
  3. draw a shape.
  4. place the mark making item next to the shape.
  5. look at your shape.


  • get yourself a piece of paper and something to make a mark on that paper.
  • place the paper down on a flat firm surface.
  • draw a shape.
  • place the mark making item next to the shape.
  • look at your shape.




the shape represents the creative space i have to work in currently.  where i’m working is bound by co-production and i use the word bound carefully because all of those involved in that process have an influence on the shape – it’ll be interesting to compare all the shapes when next we meet to co produce.

this week has seen a co production meeting where i’ve shared the first prototype in the first prototype hardware.  the hardware choices are constrained by budget.  budget is king – both for hardware and software production.



i’m gently working up to share and reflect about the co production meeting from a personal and honest perspective.

attending the arts and heritage group meetings either as a participant or as an artist is always an enlightening and deeply challenging experience.  look at your shape on the page for a moment … this week the co production aspect of the meeting has left me asking fundamental questions … like am i working on the whole page or within the bounds of the drawn shape.


i ask that question here as the other evening there was reiteration of questions that are fundamental to the work i’m making.  for those of you external to this process that might sound harsh, far from it.  the process of human centred design / co-pro sets a safe space in which to operate – so those taking part aren’t threatened and are posed difficult challenging questions with the intention to test out the basis of the idea.

for my part as the artist making the work that was under scrutiny the space was safe and hearing the questions was ok.

what happens outside the meeting is now what i’ll share.



firstly i’ll share that i have had to reach a decision about how i share with you about my processing of all the iterations of ideas and positions of the shared prototype.

the day after i took to sharing the very personal reflections with a member of the group – this has cleared enough energy for me to further reflect about it here.

i glance at the shape i drew a few minutes ago.  it is symbolic of what i went through yesterday – needing to apply myself to get myself back into a space where i knew where i am.

in drawing the shape a fresh i have included different ideas within it.  yes, the meeting the other evening posed some many questions that i have had to dig deep to find the answers within me.

the ideas behind what is driving what i am doing have evolved.  the user interface will evolve, the way i work on site will evolve – has evolved.

take your mark making item and go over the lines of the shape you drew.








looks stronger ?

feels stronger ?


after some rest, i’ll be back into practice

and application of what i have learnt.


within all the research and trying out of ideas there needs to be points of focus – usually a meeting.  there’s been one recently – a design meeting and for it i pulled all the disparate pieces of together to create the first prototype.  i’m pleased to bring back from the meeting and subsequent discussion many positive things.  we’re on track.

the day before the prototype meeting i’d been onsite at the mill.  there are many many more people on site now as the mechanical and electrical work gains pace.

let me take you on a quick tour of some of the building as it was monday 19th august 2019.

the ground floor floor of the italian mill.  this part of the work came as a bit of a surprise to me as most of what happens does.  there’s so much happening all at once there’s no time for briefings – it’s quicker for me to go and see where it’s all at.  the steel work is for a new floor suspended above the old one.


bricks coming out of the building have been cleaned and reused internally.  the man in the photo is one i’ve spoken to several times now and i realise today i’ve not asked him his name yet.  conversations on site need to be kept to a minimum because those working on site are focussed – in the zone of what needs doing.


the rear lift is being upgraded so it complies with current safety measures.  much other work is happening around it as the electrics and heating are being run around the building.


in workshop 3 the preparations are going on to accept the machinery.  the workshops will be the first part of the museum to reopen and be used to create furniture for the museum.


onto the first floor.


the radiators for the heating system are going onto the walls.  i spoke to the two guys doing the work and like almost everyone else i speak to onsite are so behind the idea of a work that describes the making of the museum of making.  i say almost everyone as there are some who are shy to talk – choosing to remain in the zone of work.



one of the most focussed group of people are those involved in the restoration of the mill’s metal window frames.   on site today i managed to capture a description of their process without too much external noise.  they were feeling optimistic as they believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel appearing !



the civic hall is emerging.  the steel work is up and one of the major attractions has been placed within the steel work.  the next works to happen are the installation of the mezzanine floor and the roof going on.

back in march i was told the site would get busier and at the time i wasn’t able to imagine how busy it would get.

as the spaces become finished the amount going on will continue to increase.    the design team are in their blocks waiting to move in to install their work with the collections team poised to begin the recant of the collections.


during the afternoon of 19.8.19 we met in the co pro hub to explore the space navigation of the second floor.


being in the mill and the co pro sessions i experience some of the intensity of the process to realise the museum of making.   at the time i don’t know it’s intense as i’m right within it.   being away from the intensity makes me realise it’s there.

within my chats with site manage mark i talk about intensity and he reflects that he and the rest of the team are living within it almost all of the time.  i continue to research if there’s a way in which to include that intensity within the overall work.   however what i see from the rushes is the mindfulness of process.


in a previous post i’ve mentioned how i’m reading an essay from a collection of essays by australian academics and artists.  this came in handy when reviewing the design meeting with sue.  we’ve started talking about how the visitor experience of the work will be a lean forward experience.

when we watch a linear film or documentary we press start and lean back to watch it.  with the non linear form we invite the visitor to lean forward to keep their experience going.  this notion sits well with the research i’ve been doing into arcade game buttons and joystick for controlling the work.


so all in all i’m feeling good about where i am at the moment.  with the working prototype i have something to refine and to start to work into.  my post production process now has a little more definition and i can start to turn my attention to the physical hardware of the work to inform the user interface proportions.

work continues and i’m looking forward to the next point of focus.