The Thought Experiment

The Brief

Journey - Process - Play - Surprise - Risk - Documentation; as a fine artist the module should be fairly intuitive for me, or so i have been told!

This blog should become a repository for me to dip in and out of, i am determined to throw myself wholeheartedly into the process.

Our thoughts make us who we are, for this experiment to work we need to test ideas through practical means, not to think about an outcome or destination but to concentrate on the journey. This is to stimulate divergent thinking and learn through doing rather than theorizing. Instigating dialogues with tutors and peers across the fields with lateral creative thinking or non prescribed thought. This is a conduit or fire starter, i should follow my whims, be spontaneous but research thoroughly and record diligently.

Alphaville Revisited

The induction for the MA was in Swansea, one of the few times i have ventured into an urban environment since the start of the pandemic. The (post) modern buildings reminded me of the film by Jean Luc Godard, i had to watch it again...

At the Institute of General Semantics, 'The Central Memory' resides, this is the basis of the 'Logic of Alpha 60'.

"No one has ever lived in the past. No one will ever live in the future. The present is the form of all life, It is a possession that no force can take away from us"

"Time is like a circle spinning infinitely the declining arc is the past. And the inclining arc is the future. That’s all there is to say. Unless words change their meanings and meanings change their words."

It is widely known that Greenaway was heavily influenced by Godard.

A Bigger Bang

The VUE or Violent Unknown Event as put by Peter Greenaway in his film 'The Falls' 1980, reminds me of the cosmological theory of the 'big bang' and how Dr Brian Cox smiles while describing the end of time (if that concept actually exists); the universe reduced to cooling photons.

Considering then that all art is ultimately temporal, as indeed is everything else, it's really just a question of (possibly) time. Strangely my watch stopped working this week, i have bought a new one to try and keep up...

If you keep asking 'why', eventually the answer will be the same; 'don’t know', things can only be described 'how'.

Research Primer

The task 'to identify an artist/designer/practitioner/performer outside your own practice or interest, whose work engages in some way with ‘everyday life’, has brought me to encounter the work of Andy Goldsworthy.

I had been watching the 'Early Films of Peter Greenaway' and was taken with the film 'Vertical Features Remake' which examines vertical features to break the horizontals that go to make up landscapes. This kind of tied in with my earlier 'Beach Construction' (see below in 'Background'), which consisted of found objects arranged within the landscape.

Rather fortuitously, my daughter Hazel who is embarking on a two year diploma in sustainable design, was simultaneously tasked with exploring Goldsworthy's work and after looking at a few examples of his land sculptures online together, we fashioned the 'Beach Doodle' (pictured left) as an interrogation of similar media.

Sculpture of this nature has been outside my own practice up until most recently and i would argue that where i live, found and natural objects do make up 'everyday life'.

I have now searched the UWTSD library resource and have found that there are a number of books on Goldsworthy available. I plan to visit the library at my earliest convenience and select several of these for my research.

Hello and welcome to the show!

The 'Thought Experiment' is about to commence, please take your seats, fasten safety belts, extinguish all cigarettes, remove false teeth and turn off your phones. Thank you.

On behalf of the Agency for Clarification of Reality

(Formerly Department for Counter Propaganda)


The following posts are the final extensions from the conclusion of the Liminal Limbo project which is my precursor to the masters degree.

Regression and some obscure films have become the major influence for finding a way forward...

I found myself absent mindedly toying with items on the beach; a feather, some bits of wood, twigs and stones. Before i knew it i had fashioned a kind of ship like structure. I had rather enjoyed the creative process and took a 'pinhole' photo of it with the app on my phone, i am glad i did.

Later that week i completed 'Interaction of Colour' by Albers which was of much benefit. In one of the last chapters he highlights the earliest creative expression in very young children, that is actually in three dimensions, before they can grasp a crayon. This brought me back to my beach construction, i realised that this was not only an unconscious maquette but also a method of stripping back my practice even further in order to proceed.

The Experiential Combination i made from source material took another turn i had not previously tried; i used my drawings as films. The concertina unravels combining some areas and forcing boundaries in others. The gridded sketches blend, fading in and out of each other.

This is something i subsequently noticed Peter Greenaway had exploited in his early films for example 'A Walk Through H', which comprises 92 hand drawn maps.

Greenaway composes absurd pseudo intellectual spoofs, that are at the same time compelling and amusing but also contain some deeper seriousness or mythology.

This combination is taken from 'The Falls,' 1980, concerning the Violent Unknown Event or VUE, thank you Peter Greenaway!