I'm a conceptual artist and my practice investigates problems of
modern philosophy of the mind in a postmodern social setting. Communication
games/happenings in real social spaces and shared virtual spaces,
in which collaborators create language networks for end users to
interact with, have been the two methods I have deployed the most
in recent years.
Having written that admittedly quite wanky opening couple of sentences,
it's important to admit that I'm a long way from being an academic.
I get most of my ideas from misinterpreting 'beginners guides to...'
type books on various philosophers and snippets of Bertram Russells
'History of Western Philosophy' which my mate found amongst other
things in a suitcase mysteriously left behind by the previous occupants
of his flat...
In 'History of Western Philosophy' Bertram Russell once wrote of
the much more famous Hegel, explaining that in his early adulthood
he had a mystical experience of the fundamental oneness of the world
around us. Hegel spent the rest of his life trying to represent
and understand this in much more tangible terms.
I'm beginning to feel a bit like that as I had a bit of a mystical
experience in a night club once (not a drugs experience, just too
much chemically beer), which I have come to understand as the basis
for most of my artwork since. Unfortunately my similarity with the
german genius ends around about there.
Here's some quotes about that experience from a story I wrote.
"I had a similar experience to this in the basement of
Silks nightclub back home in York years ago......"
"...But that moment I was so low that it felt like I
faded down and I could see other peoples' worlds projecting beyond
their bodies. I could see/imagine that woman's worklife and home
life and ideas and memories of all the different parts of her life
and mind projecting out beyond the walls we were in, like constellations
mapping out her consciousness. I could 'see' the consciousness constellations
of anyone I focused on. With each new persons' constellations interpolating
simultaneously with the rest. It was the nearest thing I've had
to a spiritual experience, barely awake, my mind so drunk and low
I couldn't raise it to think."
During my degree, I explored this phenomenon (of simultaneously
coexistent consciousness' in social spaces) with sculptural games
and happenings. Creating malleable environments from household objects
that became the medium through which opposing wills competed to
have things their way.
This work culminated in an event where I hired a van and transported
20 or so peoples' household furniture and belongings to my house
and invited the participants to work together or against each other
to arrange the house as they saw fit.
Since then I have focused less on the conflict that comes with different
people trying to effect the shared physical spaces they are in,
and more on trying to develop new ways of communicating that are
more representative of the fact that each of us can understand.
For example, the same greeting or conversation, in terms of an entirely
different private & sealed personal galaxy of references (memories/ideas/emotions
So taking the idea that 'language is the mirror of the mind' and
jumping to the conclusion that, more specifically, your language
is the mirror of your mind and my language is the mirror of mine,
I have spent the past five years developing 'Flunstellas' (an amalgam
These are disembodied personal networks or constellations of language
that float around social spaces.
They can be made physically and simply stuck around places with
Blu-tac (as with the TweePrototype project) or rendered to appear
in interactive digital spaces (as with the Flunstellas & Bluescreen
Although sometimes its been necessary to experiment on my own, the
most important aspect of Flunstellas is that they interpolate with
other peoples' Flunstellas simultaneously in the same space.
I have distributed these projects in CD-rom format for sale in shops
& for free with Nerve magazine.
‘Left Right of Centre’ - Static Gallery, Liverpool
Drawlab group exhibition - St Helen’s World of Glass (Sept
TweePrototype cd-rom (Sept 2002).
Cocktail sticks cd-rom(Sept 2003).
Bluescreen cd-rom (Sept 2003).
Flunstellas cd-rom, 2000 copies distributed free with NERVE magazine.
3D_AZ cd-rom (Dec 2004).
“Why don't you?” cd-rom (June 2005).
flunstellas.org website launch (Nov 2006)
I have been working with SOLA arts (a community arts organisation
that works with refugees and asylum seekers) to make 'boxroom',
which is a new collaboration project.
Boxroom was exhibited at the National portrait gallery in 2006 and
will be available as an interactive download in March 2007. This
will be launched alongside another Flunstellas project 'PPAAARRRTTTYYY'.
'PPPAAARRRTTTYYY' and 'Boxroom' will be distributed from www.flunstellas.org
from March 2007. Launch events will be confirmed nearer the time.