“I keep remembering this strange little story I heard in Sunday school when I was about the size of a fire hydrant. It takes place in China or Korea or someplace like that. It seems there was this old farmer outside a village in the hill country who worked his farm with only his son and his beloved horse. One day the horse, who was not only beloved but vital to the labour-intensive work on the farm, picked the lock on his corral or whatever and ran off into the hills. All the old farmer’s friends came around to exclaim what bad luck this was. The farmer only shrugged and said, “Good luck, bad luck, who knows?” A couple of days later the beloved horse returned from the hills in the company of a whole priceless herd of wild horses, and the farmer’s friends all come around to congratulate him on what good luck the horse’s escape turned out to be. “Good luck, bad luck, who knows?” is all the farmer says in reply, shrugging. The farmer now strikes me as a bit Yiddish-sounding for an old Chinese farmer, but this is how I remember it. But so the farmer and his son set about breaking the wild horses, and one of the horses bucks the son off his back with such wild force that the son breaks his leg. And here come the friends to commiserate with the farmer and curse the bad luck that had ever brought these accursed wild horses on to his farm. The old farmer just shrugs and says: “Good luck, bad luck, who knows?” A few days later the Imperial Sino-Korean Army or something like that comes marching through the village, conscripting every able-bodied male between 10 and 60 for cannon-fodder for some hideously bloody conflict that’s apparently brewing, but when they see the son’s broken leg, they let him off on some sort of feudal 4-F, and instead of getting shanghaied the son stays on the farm with the old farmer. Good luck? Bad luck? (David Foster Wallace)”


Hi Martin,

Hope all’s well with you.

Thank you very much for taking the time to apply to our Art and Anthropology seminar.

We found your ideas very interesting, but sadly will not be able to host your presentation on this occasion. We have a limited time frame over the afternoon, and had to select a range of speakers whose work would complement each other’s. However, if you would be interested in coming to the seminar as a delegate, then we would be very pleased to have you along.

Thanks again, and best wishes.

Phil Owen and Matt Webber.



Thank you for your recent proposal for the FON Air Radio Micro-Commissions 2012/13.

We had an unprecedented response to the call and have found the selection process particularly challenging with many high – quality applications having to be reluctantly declined.

Unfortunately you have not been successful this time but we are grateful for the interest you have shown and hope that you will consider applying for further opportunities with us when they arise.

Best wishes,



Dear Martin,

Thank you for your application to perform at DRUNKEN NIGHTS. We had an overwhelming response to the opportunity, with 117 proposals and just 19 performance slots. Unfortunately, on this occasion we have not chosen your work to be part of the project.

We would like to assure you that a great deal of consideration went into the selection process, which took several days. Given the large number of applicants, we are unable to provide individual feedback for those not selected. However, here is some general feedback for all applicants:

The successful works responded clearly to the pub-based brief, i.e. the form, style and content was informed by pub traditions, architecture and entertainment. In many cases, artists wrote clearly about how they were inspired to make work for pubs, but were less effective in putting across what the performance would actually be. In addition, we favoured artists who we believed showed potential for future development, mentoring and support. Finally, the final programme was selected to present an interesting mix of work on each night, and we were faced with some very difficult decisions.

We are sorry to write to you with disappointing news, but we hope that it will not put you off applying for future Drunken Chorus projects.