←- By the way everyone

2. Talking about talking

How we structure things, how can we work together

I moved all the exhibition blurb down to the bottom. It seems odd to begin everything with something I’ve cobbled together to present us to everyone else.

What’s the best way to respond to what someone has written in the ‘work proposed’ section? Should I make a proper edit, or change to ‘suggestion’ mode, or reference it in another part of the text to keep from cluttering it up?

Hm, not sure. I had thought of the whole doc as a place for discussion, so cluttering never occurred to me as being an issue. Also good to keep comments in sequence.

3. Interesting things

A place to post things that we like

I don’t go on the Internet; I am in the Internet and I am always online.

 : " I learned I was a sexual being through David Bowie's songs.”

Wandering in the open countryside of Peckham

Rye a few years later,  had one of his most famous visions: a 'tree full of angels, with bright angelic wings bespangling every bough like stars'. (James this is like the title of your art - Llew).

Future care, the small group that still live.

Please Relax a little. Sleep well.

Nic: An interesting essay on linear perspective and the emerging importance of vertical perspective in the development of the modern western world view:

Very interesting. Non-linear-perspective-based representation is still routinely referred to as unrefined or basic.

Duplicated houses side by side, video feed on the telly shows you sitting next to someone who isn’t there

This is cool.

“The discourse on art/life, on performance, performance art, those were topics I studied when I was younger: thinking about how technologies that we use are all social. They’re techno-social. We live in a techno-social culture. These technologies are also socially performed, and that means that there is this performative aspect on different sides. So for instance there is a corporate performance of cleanliness, and purity. And then there is the performance of everyday life that we’re all doing all the time with all of our technologies. So, we’re making them human, in the sense we are making them part of our lives.”

Nic: (From link above) This is a nice question: “A lot of people at first glance might look at your work and think that it has been completely usurped by machine language, by a kind of technological sensibility. And so, I am wondering in view of this convergence between human language and machine language the question then might become: where does the machine end and the artist begin.”

I also like this: “Maybe counter to the world that we live in today with our corporate environment, in which the technology companies encourage a fetish with the slick, clean design of technology. What you have done, is through the construction of a language and a world that you have created, you’ve attempted to break that down and show us what are relationship to technology could be...” 


Nic: A good read so far. I’ve just passed this paragraph:
What kind of person would you have to be to believe that your own Facebook presence was "authentic," truly capturing who you really are? Using Facebook is, in fact, less a matter of expressing oneself than consuming a raft of entertainment that posits the user as a certain type of consumer—you don't express who you already are, but learn who you are supposed to be based on your previous choices as reflected in the kind of data Facebook can factor into its algorithms.

“. Which is one of the ideas I’d like to play with in generating ‘portraits’ or profiles of the artists and audience. Having the real physical work and artists alongside portraits of automatically manufactured social network projection/reflections as contrasts.

4. CORRESPONDENCE, a discussion thereof

Katie: We make some incredible leaps in decoding what’s around us. To understand a kerb as a boundary, a fence, a set of instructions on how to behave, even a load of promises about what a person might expect to see and feel on either side, that takes a lifetime of schooling.

Incidentally, Prestamex is quite an interesting place. It used to be the American Express offices, and has that scummy old office feeling of a place that nobody’s bothered maintaining in a long time. Coffee stains on the carpet made by people who have long since quit. Its destiny is to become luxury flats and as it awaits the gutting and reconstruction a few arts organisations and charities have been granted temporary lodging there, like the hopeful plants and weeds that sprout between the ribs of a bit of old machinery left in the corner of a car park. Nic: Or the portraits in the windows of the abandoned building just down the road. I think they were put up around the time that the place had been squatted by people trying to protect the trees that had been growing around the building for a very long time. They were kicked out, the trees chopped down, and the building is still stands unused 8 years later ( I think the fences are higher though.

Nic: A perspective of quantum mechanics and the Copenhagen interpretation that touches on some issues of representation and correspondence:

I suppose I take issue with his saying that light/matter IS one or other of a particle or a wave depending on what tools one uses to detect it. I would rather say that the thing being measured is neither of the two at any point, but only that we have a pair of useful models of behaviour when we manipulate it in different ways.


This is great. :)))

5. Work Proposed

With images and descriptions, and an idea of where you’d like them to go

To Be Silent / To Unsay


Selected photographs from ongoing blog documenting conversations carried out on public wall spaces. Probably shown as A2 prints hung from wire with bulldog clips, or hung along a wall perhaps

People with a certain sort of perceived control over an outdoor wall, such as a council employee or a building owner, come with tins of paint in daylight to cover over with unsteady rectangles the scrawled names or stylised tags that had been put there under cover of darkness. They don’t return the wall to its original colour or even render it featureless but something about the attempted right-angles, artless colour combinations and lack of identifiable authorship makes these rectangles easily readable as a mark of authority, neutral in the sense of ubiquity, so much a matter of course as to be a non-statement. These territorial pissings are made by a diverse body of people who we, passing the wall as we walk, internally grant the right to mark our public spaces simply by virtue of the language they have chosen.

So we like to go and paint squares on the wall at night. See what anyone’s going to do to cover that one up.

HELEN. ‘Numerex house’- I’ve created a map of the office floor influenced by architects’ drawings and blueprints. The map shows the layout of the office of a fictional company- Numerex- in 2004 and describes the characters and interactions of the people who work there. I’m interested in how the idea of ‘location’ includes more than physical geography and generally has an emotional, personal and political resonance too.

 By mapping a fictional company, I am asking the viewer to relate the physical space to an imagined world (described in hand written form) that also corresponds to a less than real virtual world also describing the space in digital second life. The physical, fictional and virtual worlds correspond yet collide, perhaps creating a completely new idea of this location at Prestamex House. Nb The image below is not yet finished.

I’d like to present it on a table that can be viewed from all sides. The map measures roughly 60X50  cms unmounted and unframed.

Tables are really white, 75cm x 125cm


SAM: I’m interested in this idea that something can be three-dimensional behind a flat screen. And that we can create objects within a virtual world without ever having to reach for the tool box – it’s quite a strange way of making where things can be deleted as easily as being created and seemingly ‘solid’ forms are like clay in your virtual hands.

So it’s making me think that if it already exists as a three-dimensional object in a virtual space, does it need to be 3D in the physical? Perhaps the object can be as flat as it actually is.

Below is what the object is when stripped down to something two – dimensional.

flat rock bottom less triangles2.png

Hey this is great! There’s some translucent fabric being sewn into screens that can be hung from the beams we’re putting up. We can’t mark them but a translucent screen suggests a sort of flattening, projection, an illusion of what might be on the other side. If you don’t make that, I will (RIP Tom Grimsey)

James: I’m into typography and so, working with ideas about asemic writing (, which tends to be calligraphic, I’ve developed an asemic typeface. I’ve then used (which generates true random numbers from atmospheric noise) to choose the order of the letters.

I’m interested in how people have traditionally used chaotic methods for divination, and how it’s a common human tendency to draw meaning from chaos. I think computers are a very interesting tool to work with randomness, so as opposed to working with tea leaves or dice or the i ching, one can use random number generators as a scrying bowl to reflect the mysteries of the universe ;)

I’m also very interested in the relationship between drawing, writing, words, thoughts and meaning. The work is an A0 poster - working version below

‘Ask the Angels’

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SAM: James I’ve never heard of asemic writing but I’m pleased you’ve introduced me! So from what I gather it sits somewhere between ‘understandable’ or legible writing and image? Does this mean the script above can be deciphered? Also I read this on wiki ‘True asemic writing occurs when the creator of the asemic piece cannot read their own asemic writing.’ So can you not read what you’ve made?

HELEN: I guesS if you use the same sign over and over you are likely to attribute some kind of meaning to it in partly subconsciously and it would become emergent (readable) language eventually…?

SAM: Yea that’s what I thought. When something is set out like this it has a real sense of familiarity and begs to be deciphered.

James: It’s totally unreadable, as in I constructed a meaningless alphabet and a set of rules as to how to put it together, then used randomness to actually put it together. But it’s meant to look like a real form of writing! I get what you mean Sam, I keep trying to read it.

ghtertt klimp rambarr thekdo heurty hettyr jssshe sooo eej?

Graham: makes me think of Matt Dalby’s visual poem boxes


Nic: I am interested in exploring the idea of the automated curation of reality we experience based on the personal information we share, and the self image we project to the world via the internet. I intend to take the text and images that the individual artists in the exhibition submit (via artist statements and this document), and submit them to key-word and sentiment analysis algorithms. These key-words, phrases and sentiments will be fed into internet search engines to harvest related data and images from which to either construct virtual portraits of the artists or to generate the identities of entirely new artists or exhibitions. I won’t be sure what form these will take until I harvest the data, or how they’ll be displayed.

A second idea I’ve been playing with builds off of the first, which is to have a tablet-stand at which visitors to the gallery can enter personal information like their age, sex, and subjects of interest (possibility to link in w/ social media accounts?). This data will be matched to the profiles of artists. Internally, the matches will be ranked, and used to create a personalised guide to the exhibition. The guide (top down map?) will exaggerate aspects of the exhibition that match the profile of the user and diminish those that don’t, perhaps displaying imaginary walls blocking off access to the lowest ranking matches, or warping space to reduce their presence to an unintelligible collection of pixels. This one’s gonna be a bit trickier to execute so yeah, tentative.

25/1/15, Nic: So the latest plan is to focus on the second idea - take info on members of the public and (in the background) ‘rank’ their matches to the various artists on the show (based on sex, age, issues of interest, social media sites). Again, the ranking will be used to generate and present the user with a map or brochure of the space that will guide them through the exhibition. It must not be explicit that the the end product is algorithmically tailored to the user’s data (though it will be fairly obvious). terminal.jpeg

Users will interact with a terminal application ideally running on an old-style CRT and keyboard machine like the one on the left, to match the clapped-out office feel of the space. A prompt on the screen will ask the user to enter their personal information based on some fictitious motivation like personal security or administration access. After they are finished they will be told to stand next the printer to await the printing of their brochure.

A map of the space will be generated using the Gastner/Newman algorithm to create visuals something like these maps of brazil, in which the size of a region on the map does not correspond to the physical area of that region, but rather to some piece of statistical data (e.g. population, or in my case ‘percentage match with the artist’). There’s something about these types of maps which appeals to me in this context - a sort of brutal, visceral, but ultimately mechanical reimagining of reality to serve the ends of the

As I mentioned before, the lowest ranking artist-matches will be shrunk to a few pixels, but should still be visible: I was thinking about referencing them in the legend or text as glitches or defects in the program, but I think I’d prefer if it was left to the visitor to interpret.

In order for this to work well I need lots of information about the artists, the more the better, so if you (the artists) can point me to as much of your web-presence as you are comfortable with then I would really appreciate that. I’ll send an e-mail out about that soon.

JANE: My thought is that I’d like to appropriate the conversations we have in this document to create a short text for performance that will first be performed at the private view & then will repeat as a video throughout the duration of the exhibit (I am imagining I will extend and revise the ‘performance’ each day to address the new material/ideas/etc which accumulate in the space). The video would be screened in a loop in both spaces, after the original performance (which I think would be quite short...five minutes perhaps)

Key to this for me is ‘stealing’ fragments of ideas and sentences from our conversations here. So, I would like it if everyone acknowledged* that I was going to paraphase and plagiarize their words. OR borrow, if that feels less aggressive.

This is a video with a text a constructed out of an email exchange, for a sense of what I sound like:

I am interested in how exchange/collaborations construct space & how our ideas accumulate between us & our passed back & forth. I want to use the performance to consider the relationship between temporary space making in a physical building & space making in a digital site.

* Nic: Borrow sort of implies you’ll give it back :) I think I’m alright with this, but at the same time I’m not really sure I actually know what it means on a practical level. I understand you’re going to talk about things in a video, maybe bringing a cohesive narrative to the things we’re discussing here… But ‘stealing’ or ‘plagiarising’ implies that you are making un-warranted gains by doing so, or perhaps more literally that you are taking away something that we won’t be able to get back.



Nic: (I think the following diverges somewhat from the social media aspect, but I went ahead anyway): I think I’ve just had a bee in my bonnet about the use of the words ‘stealing’ and ‘theft’ when it comes to intellectual property for a while. If a person steals your bike, you can no longer make use of it. If someone copies your music or uses your idea, they now have it, but so do you. So that’s a well known argument, which usually proceeds with the caveat that of course there are still ways in which organisations can be harmed by copying, but that kinda rubs me the wrong way too. A quote from Robert Heinlein:

"There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute or common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back."

I would rather say that it’s not the act of copying an idea or a piece of data that’s criminal, or wrong, but taking away someone’s opportunity to get a grant, a new job, a commission, which would otherwise have gone to the originator of the idea. The bullshit thing about that is it’s all based on a sort of artificial economics. Our economy is designed around scarcity, and where scarcity doesn’t exist, it has to be created and enforced - which is what copyright etc. is all about. In a different way the importance of this artificial scarcity is also how the majority of us can justify to ourselves that so many are living in abject poverty whilst the rest of us live in relative luxury. So yeah, I’ve been trying to shoehorn this essay into the subject for a while, and this is probably going to be my best opportunity ^_^ (Bertrand Russell on the unfulfilled promise of the industrial revolution): .

But yeah, if I had to summarise, I’d say I prefer ‘appropriate’. :)


On the same subject, I like your video. It reminds me of discussions we had at one of my creative communities (the Build Brighton Hackspace). Katie wrote an article on the space and asked a bunch of us how we felt about skill sharing and idea swapping, about openly talking in a public space about inventions, ideas and skills that could be seen as valuable commodities. One response was that “There are more projects and ideas floating around than there are hours in the day, so there’s no need to be guarded”, that is, that so many of us are so busy putting so many of our ideas and skills into practice (or even just trying to get by), that we’re happy to set free those ideas that we’ll never get a chance to bring to life, to see if they can’t find themselves another way to grow.

I think you could also say though (if you were feeling cynically business-like), that you’re sort of ‘cashing in’ ideas for social credit. It’s a self-endorsement potentially worth a lot in the attention economy, where audiences are becoming increasingly capable of filtering out traditional advertising tricks. That credit can enhance your standing within the community, or open doors to collaborations and work, particularly given the incomplete nature of the ideas that tend to get shared. The risk of ‘not getting credit’ is kind of offset by the relatively low personal value of surplus/incomplete/as-yet-non-functional ideas.

Katie: I think it’s interesting Nic that your own project involves a degree of appropriation. Stealing. It’s not our ideas or the things that we value being pinched when something like Facebook or Gmail studies our habits and sells what they find - it’s something we never knew had value, and that if anything elicits a stronger response of outrage.

Miki - (updating this as ideas bubble up)

I’m going to be doing a live stream of myself for a day.

hopefully the work will -

expose self consciousness. testing the strain of constant exposure. allowing for spontaneity. highlighting the need to be seen. playing between the mundane and performative. *

Jacob: Changed my idea slightly, could i use both those 5m gaps between podiums?

Alex G: My aim is to present an object and an advertisement for it alongside. In a similar way to how you might find a steamcleaner advertised in Homebase. It will hopefully be a satirical perspective on desire for products and objects and how these desires are communicated.



Screenshot 2015-01-10 19.34.10.png

Actual gameplay footage

6m! Might dominate the space a bit to use both… (see pic) (ignore the stuff on the floor, that’s going)


Sam: what is that stuff on the floor? its looks cool hah

Katie: It’s a bunch of recycled vinyl posters chopped up to make floor tiles. Trouble is, the many and various sources mean that the tiles say stuff like ‘Hackney Borough Council’ and ‘Watch out for cyclists!’ and ‘ATOS’ and ‘Promised yourself you will get fit in 2013?’. They’re not really fixed to the floor and move about quite a lot so they’re coming up for the show. Unless anyone takes a particular liking to them.

Oh I see, I know exactly what you mean. We had a load of them at uni.

Llew Watkins

Listen now, I’m going to make some sculpture that tells a story.

I am inspired by the images and text etc. that everybody has been exchanging.

I make awkward floor pieces in response to the context - Prestamex House in this case - and my own psychological processes and relationships at that/this point in time. Layering also a fictional narrative revealed in the work thru text, image etc.

A year or so ago  I made a work called Future care, the space we were working in got shut down prematurely and I am interested in revisiting part of the narrative structure of that piece that is still unresolved.

These are some colours I like atm:

Nice shades.

Alexander and Anthony:

We would like to propose an assemblage of small interventions to the space and the surrounding context.


This partly consists of two small projections side by side.


The first projection is found footage taken from a Travelodge advertisement showing a family renting a room for a night and encountering this minimal generic environment for the first time. Interacting with a remote control, a light switch and a tap.


The second projection is a live reenactment of the same advertisement. Shot from the 6th floor of Prestamex House, the footage will show the exterior of our rented room on the North face of the adjacent Travelodge. The reenactment will be played out through similar means as a lumiere play, taking its lighting cues from the actors in the advertisement.


We would like to project this on a sheet of frosted Perspex propped up by items from our room (towel, soap, remote control etc.)


Ideally we would like some floor space for this to happen, preferably with a line of sight to the tripod/camera pointed out the window towards the Travelodge.

Here’s some of our previous work -

Awesome. You need a projector?

6. Physical Show

Prestamex House is located near Preston Park in Brighton. The show will be held on the top floor of what was once an office block, and still holds something of that atmosphere. The space is divided by regularly-spaced pillars between which wires can be stretched or screens erected, giving the space something of a modular structure.

Below is a plan. We can collaborate on it here

I’ve added in the power points and mini-pillars, and marked where we’re putting more beams up next week

kHelen: Can you tell me whether we are allowed to hang images at Prestamex? Basically, I'm working out whether I need to frame my piece or not?

Katie: Yes, we are. We will have 4 beams between free-floating pillars from which to hang whatever we like, though we have a grand total of one wall so far as it's mostly all glass. There are also a bunch of tables.

Helen: It would be great if i could have a table and be near either a window or an electricity point where i can plug a light in. The map is in pencil and fairly pale so needs to be well lit. Ideally it would he good to be able to walk around the table so if i need to plug a lamp in, wilL duct tape be ok to secure any wirings to the floor?

Do you have your own lights? There are a few there but super-powerful ones. Duct tape will do just fine. I’ll try to get the power points marked on the map today.

Helen: Sorry not in green! Yes, Clare said she'd lend me her lamp.

Have been thinking about printing this document on one long roll of A4-width paper. Thoughts?

Also looking at producing a newspaper-style booklet with floor plan and everybody’s info in, as well as matt black vinyl stickers of names on the nearest pillars.

We can use these:

Useful stuff:

Tables 75cm x 125 cm, about 8 of them

Very strong lights, need plinths or putting up on walls, and plugs attaching

We can have fabric screens hanging from any of the beams we like

Sam: Do we have any equipment available, like projectors? Or would we need to provide all these? I’m thinking of live streaming something either projected within the space or to be seen online.

Also, is there any wifi in the space?

There is wi-fi. If you need a projector or similar you need to let me know ASAP so I can try to arrange it.

I’m thinking of having green-screen sculptures that can be seen on a screen / projector (I’m now thinking more towards a screen, referencing the nature of an office space). Throughout the PV I can have a live stream of these so that the viewers can see the green-screen effect happening live. But I can’t leave my laptop in the space the whole week, so for the rest of the exhibition it may just be a recording of the PV or just a good quality video on a screen (via DVD player). I can’t think how I can have a live stream green-screen throughout the whole show without using a laptop so I think that’s the only option.

I’m looking into this one.

With so much equipment around, we’ll need one person on the door downstairs and one person in the exhibition space all the time the show’s on. I’m happy to be there for most of it but will need another body. It would be great if any Brighton residents could contribute a half day somewhere along the line, just putting that out there early.

Alexander and Anthony: We would both be up for invigilating the show during the week

I think I’ll use one of those tables and subtly have a display monitor on their, as though it’s a part of the office.

Alex G: I’d be very happy help out on the 9th. Also I am bringing my own screen & media player. I would like to use one of those tables if thats okay as well.

I think I’d like to install my tv into one of the pillars if that is okay?

Into like, drill in and attach it? That’ll be fine.

Alexander and Anthony: We were wondering if it would be at all possible to remove the carpet tiles in a small area (measuring approx 2m x 1m), we would be able to reinstall them afterwards?

Probably fine, yeah

7. Virtual Show

The virtual show is at Get in there, have a play.

There is a limit on the number of ‘prims’ that we can have - objects are sometimes made out of one polyhedron, or sometimes out of loads. We’re limited on the number of polyhedra and will have to work around it a little.


If you visit, you can download the viewer, choose a totally awful avatar and explore. This isn't great visual quality but is the least unbearable tutorial I've found for building objects in Second Life, which is pretty straightforward once you've got the hang of it. If you type 'sandbox' into the address bar in the viewer you can find a place to have a play without annoying anyone.

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 There are some bubbles in the sky now, fyi…

I was thinking meteors, maybe I should make them bigger..

I stuck some cubes in them, which made me laugh. But then they disappeared. So now there are just cubes in the sky.

8. Private View

We’ll start off at Prestamex House from 3-6pm, you’re welcome to bring whoeve you choose within reason. I’ll provide a few bottles of home-made ginger wine and the usual Private View nibbles. After that we’ll go over to the Joker for some live music and possibly Graham and Rowan’s performance (tbc)

Whats within reason? I could probably bring 10 ISH if not more….. should I also provide a classy wine box or something? When i say classy,i dont really mean classy….

Haha! Ten, or more is totally fine - tons of space - and I don’t see what harm having more un-classy wine could possibly do.

9. General chit-chat

For anything that doesn’t come under anything else

1. Intro



CORRESPONDENCE is an exhibition taking place across real and virtual platforms, exploring how new technologies can promote the accessibility of the arts and change our idea of a public space.

A group of artists are working together to make an exhibition at Prestamex House which will be mirrored by a virtual version in Second Life. This version, which can be explored online, will work in parallel but need not be constrained by the laws of physical reality; the real exhibition will also appear on the internet in a second iteration relayed back by a roaming spybot. Echoing and complementing one another, the various versions of the show each have properties that the other lacks.

When exchange happens virtually, something physical still traverses the distance; our minds construct connections and worlds of meaning from the physical reality that we perceive. This group of artists will be exploring ideas of exchange, collaboration and representation, and their planning and discussion of the theme will itself be an integral part of the show.

We invite you to investigate these territories with us, either in the reclaimed office space that is the hub of the show, or online at

Supported by IdeasTap and Artwerx

Prestamex House

171-173 Preston Road

Brighton BN1 6BN

10-6pm daily, 5th-9th February

Free entry – Visitors will be asked to sign in on arrival





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