Self-development is a focus for me this month. I am working through The Chimp Paradox by Prof Steve Peters which has come recommended by 2 artists I’ve spoken with recently.  Finding it really helpful.  (Got it for Midwinter – I have wanted to read it for months).  I got a full sized tripod at last (gift from husband) and a DAB radio for my shed.  Over the last few months my shed has got more and more crowded, am sorting that out so I can move again in there.

I have a massive reading pile, re-visiting Jenny Holzer monograph.  Was just going to look at the pictures in it last night and got drawn in to an interview she had with Joan Simon sometime after 1990.  I’ve been interested in finding out the reading lists of Fine Art Masters programmes and find many have specific lists and one creates reading lists from staff writing on the programmes.    Jenny Holzer’s reading list from her time at The Whitney program (1977) is the most often discussed aspect of her time there – it was a prompt to her writing Truisms (from interview in Jenny Holzer book by Phaidon.  Apparently ‘The reading list was Ron Clark’s list, and it was important.’  I am curious as to what is on this reading list.

My most up to date way of explaining what I do is:

My practice explores the textual and physical world’s (separate and overlapping) realities.

I make art to trip myself up, like that jolt in a dream, while drifting off to sleep.

The Mobile Library Performance is the project which is all-consuming now, but I need to allow space for other work to germinate because I don’t want the project to stagnate – I need to keep up the momentum, but not only work on the mobile library project.

Within the next week I have meetings covering all groups involved and a funding application is due in by the weekend.  I need to consider whether I’d like to guide the music created for this or to leave this open to interpretation.
Receiving funding would be great, but I am planning the whole thing to be done on a shoe string and so funding would enhance it.
I want to write a piece to clarify the context I’m working in with this project-currently this is a wish and hasn’t got into reality yet.

Scratch card update:

(Living close to a local shop I frequently find discarded scratch cards. I started to collect these, shortly afterwards meeting a poet and mathematician who then wrote a poem about these discarded cards.)

I am considering ways to return the poem back into the physical landscape of the rubbish-strewn pavement (a performance of some kind).
I have noticed that slugs and snails eat the wax from scratch-cards as I often find the scratch panel chewed up in that slug and snail manner.  I have also noticed that I occasionally find cards with the ‘game’ unfinished.  Still plenty of room to win any amount (see photo).  One (yellow one) has been fully played and won £1 but has been thrown away anyway.  This is quite hard to understand why someone would discard a card with £1 unclaimed…

I could collaborate with snails on this one.

Scratching the void

By Martin Evans (

Three hundred million
Lucky Sevens printed.
Four foot wide rolls
tall as a company
a hundred and sixty strong.

John’s last pound
bought a number three from the shop
that had been two feet deep
on roll ninety one.

Outside, guarding,
a dog with its catch
hope fell to the pavement
with each fingernailed scratch
futile scrapings
to get at those numbers below.
An artwork of despair at
this milking parlour for
the hopeless.


The poem has 346 characters, including punctuation.  I could return the poem via live snails by writing the characters (or words..) onto the snail’s shells and then set them loose on the pavement (in suitable conditions, probably damp at least, don’t want them drying up).  I have been thinking I would most like to involve the wax and or the gastropods in some way.


I am working on getting parts of the text of Border Country by Raymond Williams (

) printed onto fabric tape, but also considering how this might work on the Mobile Library vehicle.  Spring action maybe so the tape reels back onto a spool, like a tape measure or dog lead.  Am currently simply working out how large the text needs to be. I would like the audience to be able to see the words, or at a distance, to at least see it as text.

So far I have tried printing out onto paper from my laser printer, onto ribbon with letter stamps manually.  I have recently been writing (blog like but it hasn’t been going online) on a typewriter regularly and have visions of a over-sized typewriter-like tape printing machine.  I would type as I usually would on the keyboard, but the output could be onto a strip of fabric tape.

I have found there is such a thing as a digital ribbon printer, a Phase II Digital Ribbon Printer – and trying to figure out why my immediate reaction is that it is too neat and cleanly printed!  The clean edges of the characters just grates on me – it creates too much distance between myself and the text.  With manual printing or handwriting the visible involvement of the hand means I feel a stronger connection to the words, as if they could have come direct from myself (along with errors in the process).

I am hunting online to try and find out first if anyone has made this kind of contraption I’m talking about. Printing machines need to be looked at again (these were involved in my dissertation 2 years ago, and print research has popped up many times since for various purposes).

Thinking about my material choice, I have been solely thinking of using fabric tape to print on. Why this and not pvc, elastic, rope, silicone?  Cotton tape would seem to work best for strength and for ease of rolling it back onto a spool.

More vital to all this now is my cribbing up on performance art as a medium with it being so new to me.  I have been watching how Cirque du Soleil use sets, props and costumes, and see I need to find performers who work in a way more linked in some way to my values and intentions for this piece.