The following diary excerpts, emails, texts and transcripts will record my extraordinary experiences as I prepare some sort of work for the next Whitstable Biennale in 2010. At the point of writing I have very little idea of what I will do. All the records are exactly contemporary and given from the standpoint and within the range of knowledge of those who gave them.


The Pearl Fisher is complete. The last ten posts which include a description of my experiences at the Whitstable Biennale (apart from one which mysteriously disappeared) are available now at

A complete transcript with some bonus material will soon be published in novella form. (well, within a year)

Thanks for reading and a special thanks for everyone who put up with my exagerations slurs and downright lies.

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Tuesday, 15 June 2010


“Baudelaire did not come to Brussels until 1864, when he was already ruined, financially and physically. He was miserably poor. His work had failed to gain proper recognition… His publisher had gone bankrupt. He was slowly dying of syphilis.” Christopher Isherwood, September, 1946

I have just finished reading “My Heart Laid Bare” Baudelaire’s writings during his, seemingly miserable stay in Brussels. He reveals himself somewhat as a nineteenth century Jeremy Clarkson perhaps with a dash of Sean Connery thrown in. Quite often he admonishes himself for lack of work. It is in the throes of this sentiment that I feel more kinship with the man (rather than the women thrashing and Belgian hating). I really must apply myself more diligently. More than four films lie half done on camera or computer. Hundreds of little gold dying spacemen are yet to appear, and in truth may never appear. I am also as yet (still?) undecided what to show in Southend and I am barely beginning to think about my forthcoming residency in August. I fear I will not attain the crypt before sunset! Or is it sunrise? It all depends on one’s perspective.


Back in Ipswich and the everyday toil of work. Chance to go through my emails and specifically to deal with a request from the redoubtable Mr Bracey who had sent me the following message clearly typed in haste.

“hi Alex,
hope all is well and Wynstable is all going well.
just thought i would say that i am really pleased you are all booked in for august, i am gettign really excited about you coming.
I was also wondering if you were planning on keeping one of your famous blogs when you are up. I ahve jsut had a meeting with AND festival adn they are keen on there being some form of ‘viral’ type things that lead up to the festival adn i thought of your blogs without mentioning it at the meeting of course!).
also i am not sure if you know but we have a definte title for the show it is now
UnSpooling – artists &cinema
best wishes,

I had, only a day before, been speaking to my companion of my desire to never write another blog again. I replied in the affirmative suggesting the title “Never Say Never Again”


Monday, 14 June 2010

In my bath

Lying in my bath, my companion washing my hair. I thought I would like to write something about having a thought at that moment, a sort of eureka. I thought it could form some sort of moment of realisation such as when Van Helsing’s eyes fall on the closed curtains in Castle Dracula. However, lying in my bath, I soon realised I would not have such a thought and without the thought there was not much point in writing about the moment.


A few days ago I was delighted to find this (below) in my inbox. Actually what I found was a jumble of images and words which I have painstakingly restored to what I hope was it’s original state.


You are invited to attend the opening of the 5TH WHITSTABLE BIENNALE 2010

The 5th Whitstable Biennale will open on Saturday 19 June 2010 on Whitstable’s main beach at 12 noon. The Biennale has commissioned major new works, all of which explore different aspects of performance and film. For two weeks the seaside town of Whitstable will be transformed into a centre for contemporary art.

See the Whitstable Biennale 2010 calendar online for the main festival programme.
Special performances and talks on Saturday June 19 2010:


Main launch on the beach, with Whitstable Brewery Ale, at the Biennale HQ next to the Royal Native Oyster Stores, Horsebridge Rd CT5 1BU.


UR-NOW: The Ruins of the Contemporary
Talk at the Sea Cadets Hall by Brian Dillon with some of the
artists from the film programme he has curated for this year’s festival


67 Made in Heaven
Luciennne Cole choreographs a performance at the Oxford Bingo Hall


Social History and Telling Tales
Karen Mirza & Ruth Beale host a screening of vintage films with local historian and collector Tony Blake at the Sea Cadets Hall

Whitstable Biennale full programme details :