Excerpt from The Caretaker (2018)
Full video 24min
Something to Remember You By (2019)
Melamine covered chipboard, carpet, PVC flooring, LED lighting, PVC model cake, polyethylene storage containers, radio and playlist:
Glad I Met Pat – Duke Jordan
Skylark – Marian McPartland
Like Someone In Love – Bill Evans Trio
The Lord’s Prayer – Chalmers ‘Spanky’ Alford
Something to Remember You By – Keith Jarrett
Say You’re Mine – Duke Pearson
Night Lights – Gerry Milligan
Lonely Woman – Horace Silver
Hymn to Freedom – Oscar Peterson Trio
Complete Elegance (2019)
Found paper in artist frame
27.8 x 21 cm
Found paper and photographs in artist frames
22.7 x 115.8 cm
Far And Near At Once (2019)
Found paper and photographs in artist frames
22.7 x 149.5 cm
PVC table and chairs, polyethylene cover, plastic plates, PVC model cake pieces
Installation in five parts:
Whenever I Feel Afraid, I Whistle a Happy Tune (2017)
Found pages, found photograph
28 x 125cm
Hello, How May I Help You? (2017)
Video on monitor, laminated chipboard
107 x 46 x 41 cm
I’ll Be Around (2017)
PVC, plate, ginger nuts packet, cups, laminated chipboard, radio playing playlist:
In Your Quiet Place – The New Gary Burton Quartet
I’ll Be Around – Marian McPartland
I Can’t Get Started – Jim Hall
Cry Me A River – Dexter Gordon
Round Midnight – Dorothy Ashby
When Your Lover Has Gone – Mary Osborne
I Want To Talk About You – Ryo Fukui
Skylark – Paul Desmond
Waltz For My Grandfather – Emily Remler
Song For Sarah – Tomasz Stanko Quartet
106 x 89 x 40 cm
I Can’t Get Started (2017)
Wooden tray, coffee cup, cafetiere, bowl, Special K, spoon, glass, PVC, curtains, lighting gel, radio and playlist:
Misty – Erroll Garner
After Glow – Attila Zoller
Dreams So Real – Gary Burton Quintet
I Can’t Get Started – Oscar Peterson
In Your Quiet Place – Keith Jarrett
Tenderly – Kenny Burrell
Turiya & Ramakrishna – Alice Coltrane
It Might As Well Be Spring – Bill Frisell & Fred Hersch
Waltz For A Lovely Wife – Gary Burton & Julian Lage
To A Wild Rose – Sonny Rollins
As Tears Go By – Joe Pass
Seeing is forgetting what you’re looking at or what it’s called or something (2017)
What Would It Be Without You (2017)
Melamine covered poly lumber, bowl, fork, wine glass, PVC, wine bottle, cork, FM- transmitter and radio receiving playlist:
I’m Your Pal – Gary Burton & Chick Corea
I Loves You Porgy – Keith Jarrett
Joan-Capetown Flower – Abdullah Ibrahim
What Would It Be Without You – Archie Shepp
Time – Clifford Brown & Max Roach
You Don’t Know What Love Is – Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers
The Peacocks – Bill Evans Trio & Stan Getz
Self Portrait In Three Colours – Charles Mingus
Daddycation – Food
From Now On – George Benson
Memories Of You – Thelonious Monk
Chutchie (dining room) (2017)
Marker pen on canvas. 40 x 30cm
Chutchie (bathroom 3) (2017)
Marker pen on canvas. 40 x 30 cm
Chutchie (thinking) (2017)
I don’t know when I first drew him but I remember tracing the shapes of his face onto a steamed up bus window sometime in 2003 or 4. I was on my way to Richmond Park during the winter months, my gaze clouded by a sheet of condensation as crisp as a leaf of A4. The dew collected on the tip of my finger as I drew one eye and then another, moisture pooling until its own weight grew too great and streamed down the length of the glass. The mouth was drawn closed and silent, hugged by its own cheeks. He looked at me and also out onto the streets, sharing my view of the world passing by. Getting off at my stop I left him there, to face new passengers long after I would have departed.
Since then, my thoughts would turn to him in those idle moments: Long journeys, phone calls on hold, sitting and doodling with pen and paper. A circle appeared, a boundary against other marks on the page, separating his vulnerable features from the confusion of his surroundings. In 2006 a friend named him Chutchie* and in 2007 or 8 he turned up with arms and legs, leaning up against a wall, hands in pockets while whistling a tune and taking 5, or 10.
* It was pointed out to me some years later that his name shared a similarity to a scene from the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, although with a different spelling of the word:
You’re my little chu-chi face
My coo-chi, coo-chi, woo-chi little chu-chi face
Every time I look at you I sigh
And you’re my little teddy bear
Whatever you may ask becomes my happy task
I only live to serve you
I never will divine what magic made you mine
I only know I don’t deserve you
You’re my little chu-chi face
Strangers’ Guide to Home Territories
60 c-prints on Fuji Crystal Archive photo paper, perfect bound in screen-printed PVC jacket.
Published with Motto Books and Supportico Lopez
Edition of 250
By The Boundary (2016)
Video on TV with 3-channel audio, garage door, cardboard boxes, FM transmitter, radio
13 min 18 sec
340 x 260 x 260cm
If Everything has a Place then Place too has a Place VIII (2013)
Window insulation film. 197 x 68 cm
Strangers Guide To Home Territories (2016)
Printed paper on cardboard in acrylic frame
162 x 88 cm
Strangers Guide To Home Territories II (2016)
Printed paper on cardboard in acrylic frame
162 x 88 cm
My puffy morning face cushions the small indented buttons that are my eyes, like those of an old pink armchair and remain this way until the introduction of coffee restores and dilates them. I’m standing half-dressed in a T-shirt like some obscene cartoon character, all cold feet on the tiles wishing I had put my dressing gown on before going to the kitchen or that I even owned a pair of slippers.
Each day is full of choice and choice should not lead to repetition, but even choices once seemingly easy become hard. Indecision mounts to higher levels that cascade over me ever more slowly. For example, the choice of breakfast is the small freedom of eating something within the parameters of convention and within the limitations of what is in the house. If I have milk I won’t leave the house today. If I don’t have milk I will venture out across the street, but I will put this off for as long as possible so that breakfast occurs at lunch and lunch occurs at dinner.
Afterwards I will drink coffee until the day is full of promise and potential and I can focus, and then drink more until my head is electric and I can’t. I will move my laptop to the living room and open tabs to the point of drowning and the frequent extended breaks to the toilet with my phone will be curtailed by the sensation of my legs going numb as the soft alarm to return.
An increasing amount of regular days are morphing into these indulgent Sundays, or lazy days, where the mental calisthenics of thinking-in-circles is the only strenuous activity I will see before the day is done. But I choose what I eat and what I drink and what music soundtracks my day even though these choices eat up a large portion of the day. If I’m lucky I’ll select a longer record to listen to, one whose side seems endless. Otherwise I will hit play on the same side 4 or 5 times in a row without changing it. Jazz seems more sympathetic to repeat listens and it takes longer for the melodies to become familiar and lodged in my mind.
I will also procrastinate on my guitar, though I’m not very good and certainly can’t play Jazz save for a studied note-for-note rendition of So What?, and learning an improvised melody seems like the antithesis of Jazz anyway, like that of setting in stone a statue of someone who was walking and free. And I don’t think Miles was thinking of the pavement as he laid the slabs in the wake of his step. The recording is just one of many performances, but has become the reference for all future performances. Similarly, taking a photograph will over time replace the memories surrounding the event, and soon you will remember only in relation to that document.
However, there are of course our earliest memories that go undocumented, and though they are rendered foggy and confused we can still recall them, even if we don’t know their significance of being recorded in the first place.
One of my earliest memories is of seeing a pair of sheepskin-lined boots in a cupboard that had wooden slats like those of an airing cupboard.
I have another early memory that is most likely not a real memory, but the memory of an early dream I had. It takes place in the old house in which I was born, and unlike instances in which you dream of the familiar such being in your house and you wake up and realise it was not really your house at all, this was my house and I’ve tripped down a set of carpeted stairs and I’m never landing, never getting to the end, and in order to reach the bottom I have to first travel halfway down the steps and then I have to travel halfway of the remaining half, and halfway of that half and so on. The divisions of space getting infinitesimally smaller until I am hovering above the beige carpet at night, looking down at my pyjama top touching the floor that I know I won’t.
Dressing gown, metal alloy
Glazed ceramic. 15 x 10 x 14 cm
You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To
Wooden tray, ceramic, glass, resin, Cheerios, spoon, curtains, lighting gel, FM transmitter and radio receiving playlist:
Windows of the World – Pete Jolly
In Love in Vain – Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock & Jack Dejohnette
Lonely Woman – Pat Metheny
The Changing World – George Benson
Haunted Heart – Bill Evans Trio
Christmas Time is Here – Vince Guaraldi
Sweet Slumber – Grant Green
I Hear a Rhapsody – Bill Evans & Jim Hall
James – Pat Metheny Group
Days of Wine and Roses – Wes Montgomery
You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To – Art Pepper
How Deep Is The Ocean? – Bill Evans Trio
Someone to Watch Over Me – Keith Jarrett
Chutchie (bathroom 2)
Pen on canvas. 30 x 40 cm
Chutchie (get up / go to bed)
Pen on canvas. 30 x 40 cm
Shirt, metal alloy. 80 x 20 x 15 cm
Holding Pattern II (2015)
Nickel plated PVC spinning on motor, melamine-faced chipboard. 120 x 80 x 32 cm
Reclaimed carpet, wooden platform, 2′ HD video
Whatever Happened to Mixed Media? (2015)
Aluminium shelf, shoeboxes, personal effects
The Way She Looked Like a Stranger (2015)
3’10” DVD on CRT television, melamine chipboard
5’10” Single channel video
‘Noclip’ is a cheat command[i] used in many ‘first-person shooter’[ii] games popularised by ID Software’s Doom, Quake, and Duke Nukem series. Originally designed to aid the actual development of the game world, noclip can also be used when playing the game itself. Noclip (short for ‘no clipping’) turns off the collision-detection used in the game engine[iii], which means that the player’s character can pass through walls, floors and ceilings. The character’s movements are not ‘clipped’ by physical constraints and no longer does their environment confine them. Virtually speaking, walls and objects in games have no ‘substance’ unless in-game physics is being applied to them.
Noclip can conflict with the actual running of the game also. For instance, in the MS-DOS registered 1.3D version of Duke Nukem 3D (1996) having noclip mode on and walking outside of the game map causes death, and if the player has ‘god mode’[iv] activated the game will be left in an infinite loop. In the first Doom game (1993) it was understood that the character’s viewpoint would be entirely constructed within the confines of the game. Enabling noclip meant that players found the void outside of the game map existing as a disorientating ‘hall of mirrors’, an endless cycle of the last frame drawn on screen.
Of course the game’s enemies can’t interact with the player’s character while in noclip mode, and when the character is outside of the confines of the map the enemies don’t register their presence; going about their programmed sequences until new data, i.e. the player’s movement within the confines of the map sends off reactions in the enemies’ artificial intelligence (AI).
By the time of 1999’s Quake III the game engine had advanced significantly with the AI of the computer-controlled enemies highly praised upon the game’s release. These enemies could calculate and learn through new ‘reinforced learning’ movements[v] that help them kill and avoid being killed.
In June 2013 a story appeared on the Internet that a server had been left with a multiplayer game of Quake III running for 4 years unattended. No human-controlled player had been inside of the confines of the map for this entire time and the computer-controlled players or ‘bots’[vi] had apparently learned over time that the best way to avoid being killed was to not try to kill each other in the first place. Reportedly the person who had set up this multiplayer game came back to find a peaceful game world with rooms of bots idly standing around not engaging.
However, this was most likely due to a programming limitation that is most evident in the max file-size limits. The game simply wasn’t designed to run indefinitely and the lookup tables (as with many in-game variables) have hard limits on their maximum space allocated.
This was also evident by the bots’ behaviour. The fact that they stood still shows that they had gotten stuck in a specific loop and were unable to move, most likely due to an overflow. As soon as a player’s character entered the confines of the map the bots began parsing based on the new object data and all of the values crashed, causing the game engine to stop.
[i] Cheating in video games involves a video game player using non-standard methods for creating an advantage beyond normal gameplay, usually to make the game easier. Cheats may be activated from within the game itself (a cheat code implemented by the original game developers). Cheating in video games has existed for almost their entire history. The first cheat codes were put in place for play testing purposes. Playtesters had to rigorously test the mechanics of a game and introduced cheat codes, such as ‘noclip’) to make this process easier.
[ii] First-person shooters are a type of three-dimensional shooter game, featuring a first-person point of view with which the player sees the action through the eyes of the player’s character. They are unlike third-person shooters, in which the player can see (usually from behind) the character they are controlling.
[iii] A game engine is a software framework designed for the creation and development of video games. The core functionality typically provided by a game engine includes amongst other things: a rendering engine for 2D or 3D graphics, a physics engine for calculating collision detection between objects and structures in the game, artificial intelligence and memory management.
[iv] ‘God mode’ is a cheat that makes the player’s character invulnerable.
[v] Reinforcement Learning is a machine learning framework that prescribes how bots should act in an environment in order to maximize future cumulative reward. The learning is achieved over time, with the computer learning from playing against human players. These learned behavioural actions are saved in the game’s engine.
[vi] In video games, a bot is a computer-controlled player most commonly used in online multiplayer deathmatches of first-person shooter games. Human players may play against other human players and/or bots i.e. ‘against the computer’.
Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Untitled (1991), Billboard, dimensions vary with installation.
One day after work I saw this poster on a billboard. It caught my eye straight away and I thought how great it would be in our bedroom. I had forgotten about it but when I passed it a few days again I thought I must call the poster agency to ask whether I could order one. The lady on the phone was very friendly and said that this would be possible. When I asked about the price she said that I could have one for free but that they are always grateful for sweets. So that’s how it came home with me and now it decorates the wall in our bedroom. I am planning to mount it on a canvas panel. This is an example that unmade beds can be quite artful.
I’m sat on a burgundy bench in the lobby of a Chinese restaurant and I’m starting to recognise the music playing softly in the background. What is it? I know this. Is this Tears in Heaven? A twangy stringed violin of some description plays the vocal melody, and I quietly sing along, going in and out with the new phrasing. It’s mostly there but it’s cloaked in an arrangement of traditional sounding instruments at a much slower tempo. I think about what had to happen for it to reach me here and now. I wonder if it was resting in a songbook that someone had and if it was given much thought as to what the song is about. Either way it seems an odd accompaniment while people eat their food. I think about Eric Clapton and the occasions he inevitably hears his own song in situations much like this.
I take in my surroundings and feel like I’m not really in the restaurant, but sort of in limbo between the front door and the counter – there’s seating in the back somewhere. My eyes are drawn to a brightly illuminated fish tank. Inside is pretty minimal; just a couple of fantails looking like they’re having difficulty deciding which direction to go in and a very typical looking sea shell used as fish furniture. I think a little about what creature would have grown this shell and I can’t decide as it sits divorced on the gravel and then I think of a hermit crab shuffling along wearing it.
I realise I’m still singing. Attributing this to a mixture of nervous energy somewhere between hunger and boredom I internalise the singing and switch to imagining a drum track along to the song. I used to play the drums and I still feel like mentally I’m in top form but in reality I haven’t played more than a handful of times in nearly a decade now. I see my drums each time I visit my parents. They’re there sitting in their cases stacked higher than the armchair that hides them in what is no longer my bedroom but now the spare guest room. The few times I have sat down behind a kit, I’ve found I couldn’t express what I was thinking and it was frustrating to be witness to such disparity between mind and body.
I took lessons when I was starting out and once when my usual teacher was absent there was a different guy who by way of introduction asked me to play a straight 4/4 beat. He listened while I stayed on the same basic pattern awaiting instruction or sign to stop. After a while he interrupted and showed me a few pointers on accentuating a thing here and there, to lean on certain beat and add a few ghost notes. Again, after a while of the endless loop he stopped me and played it back to me his way and told me add a bit of soul and that this time I needed to ‘really feel it’.