Written by
The Isle of the Dead: the Jumper

The Isle of the Dead: the Jumper

Mentioned in Ballard’s The Crystal World and strongly hinted at in Nabokov’s Despair, I’ve always loved Arnold Böcklin’s The Isle of the Dead.

Here’s a version…

And now I have the jumper. I am the Isle of the Dead – a veritable picture of goth in mohair-blend by Coach. I’ve not loved an item of clothing as much as this since my Hi-Tec Nationals, circa 1985. Listen to some Rachmaninov and stare at the fine mohair blend – of death…

Hen Ogledd – Mogic

Hen Ogledd – Mogic

Thanks to CS, I got along to Platform to see Hen Ogledd, my new favourite band, who like eye imagery as much as ‘eye’ do (I know!) and who’s new LP Mogic is, like, totally that. I’m trying to use a lyric in my PhD write-up. Let’s see if I can squeeze it in… The tunes are on Spotify and you can watch videos on that YouTube that they have nowadays, so I hear…

Review of Platform gig is here.

More on Hen Ogledd’s Mogic from The Quietus here.

Buy Mogic here.

More on Platform here.

What is ‘the quiet life’ anyway?

What is ‘the quiet life’ anyway?

Well, it certainly involved re-watching Stalker on DVD while reading Geoff Dyer’s Zona. If you thought Stalker was a little swift at times, you know on the speedy side, then I recommend using some of your precious time in this intertextual flip-flop. I managed to stretch things out for an entire Sunday…

The quite quiet life also involves reading, glowering near or pouring a red wine while casting long, suspicious sideways glances at the following…




The other week I went, in the ever-excellent company of UoC Institute of the Arts students, to see the latest at the Modern from Jeremy Deller. It’s fantastic. Of course I liked it – I’m a teacher 4 days most weeks, but it was also great to remember the pre-phone costume and spirit of the late 80s/early 90s. A wee bit later I was heading to Mad Dog, somewhere near a motorbike showroom on the clyde… Get along to Everybody in the Place…

Eye am, in fact, living – just not posting…

Eye am, in fact, living – just not posting…

…I appear increasingly less interested in blogging it would seem. Though I’m sure it’s just a phase, no doubt connected to a recent desire to shun devices in favour of, well, the quiet life.

In a short blast of posts today, I’ll catch up by broadcasting some items of interest and others of note. Consider this, as I write…


The Influencing Machine – The Reader – You need a copy of this

Get yourself an early Christmas present and enjoy this exceptional reader which supports and develops themes of The Influencing Machine. In fact, get yourself six copies, as images from my website are wrapping the inside covers in six different ways. I’ve only seen a couple of preview copies, and it looks like it might be the last word in all things bot vs hand.

The Publication addresses the exhibition’s various questions, extending its focus to historical continuities and social contexts, with contributions by Geoffrey C. Bowker and Susan Leigh Star, Simone Brown, Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, Kashmir Hill, Lilly Irani, Lee Mackinnon, Tahani Nadim, Lucy Suchman, Cher Tan, and Neli Wagner.


The Influencing Machine at nGbK, Berlin – an update

The Influencing Machine at nGbK, Berlin – an update

Get along to this brilliant show if you’re in Berlin… Such great work, so perfectly installed – thank you to everyone at nGbK and the curatorial team of The Influencing Machine. What a belter to be involved with.

neue Gesellschaft
für bildende Kunst


The Influencing Machine

Saturday, 01 December 2018 — Sunday, 20 January 2019

Adress: nGbK, Oranienstraße 25, 10999 Berlin
Open: Daily 12:00-19:00, Wed-Fri 12:00-20:00

Entry: free
Organized by: neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst

(The exhibition is closed on 24, 25, 26 and 31 Dec 2018 as well as on 1 Jan 2019)

Artists: Anna Bromley, Kajsa Dahlberg, Egemen Demirci, Fabien Giraud & Raphaël Siboni, Fokus Grupa, Eva & Franco Mattes, Mimi Onouha & Mother Cyborg, Sascha Pohflepp & Chris Woebken, Tactical Tech, Jane Topping, Sarah Tripp, Clement Valla, Laura Yuile

Bots (from robot and Czech robota, socage, forced labor) are inconspicuous computer programs that perform tasks automatically.

Bots manipulate the masses, turn fake news into facts, supersede human labour, colonise our objects and lead us into temptation: Based on digital code, bots perform thousands of minute routines which supplement and at times displace human agency and labour, thus shaping virtual and analog structures. They are often given human features––names, voices, bodies on occasion. Yet even when remaining invisible, they are increasingly becoming part of our everyday.

The Influencing Machine examines these diffusions and formations. Clustered around a series of famous bots, the exhibition assembles contemporary artistic positions examining the automation and datafication of our life worlds and work environments. Here, bots are understood as socio-technical phenomena; their efficacies requiring and provoking novel and manifold relations and imaginations:

How do bots and data form politics? In what ways do they transform political orderings of participation, accountability and knowledge? Why do racist or sexist logics reproduce and intensify on digital platforms, social networks, and data-driven expert systems? What does it mean for the value of labour and, more generally, human agency if transactions, communication, and decisions are increasingly carried out by fully automated devices? Which cultural imaginations shape the design and function of human-machine interfaces?

The exhibition provides insights into the socio-material ecologies of this new influencing machine and seeks to problematize the figure of the bot beyond the dominant narratives of society and technology.

nGbK project group: Vladimir Čajkovac, Kristina Kramer, Bettina Lehmann, Sophie Macpherson, Tahani Nadim, Neli Wagner

Supported by the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, the Institute for European Ethnology, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage(CARMAH) – especially Tahani Nadim, Juniorprofessor for Socio-cultural Anthropology and head of the Department Humanities of nature (MfN)



  The Influencing Machine
ISBN: 978-3-938515-74-7

Further Dates

30Friday, 30. November 2018, 19h
Opening: Exhibition
8Saturday, 08. December 2018, 16h
Guided tour: in the exhibition with the curators
13Thursday, 13. December 2018, 19h
Book launch: The Influencing Machine
29Saturday, 29. December 2018, 16h
Guided tour: in the exhibition with the curators
12Saturday, 12. January 2019, 16h
Guided tour: in the exhibition with the curators
19Saturday, 19. January 2019, 16h
Series of events: Bots and Politics
20Sunday, 20. January 2019, 16h
Series of events: Bots and Labour

Sue Zuki & Amor LP launch at The Blue Arrow

Thanks to a Vernon tip off, I saw a great set by Sue Zuki, my new favourite band. Listen to Boring af and more here, and be not bored.

Sue was supporting Amor’s LP launch. Sinking into a Miracle had some early smooth, silky, yacht moments which were a little Beloved and a little Blue Nile. Phenomenal drumming – something that takes more than two weeks to perfect, I’d say.

Newspaper or (Memoirs of a Spacewoman)

Here’s the front page of Alex Hetherington’s Newspaper or (Memoirs of a Spacewoman), written in response to Peter (2014). It’s not a collaboration, this is all Alex, but I wrote a bit of text and choose the images. Contact Alex if you’re after hard copy…

All these images by Alex Hetherington.



She Was a Visitor – No.35 Project with Alex Hetherington

She Was a Visitor – No.35 Project with Alex Hetherington

Thank you to everyone who came along to She Was a Visitor, the last No. 35 project by Alex Hetherington. Alex used my work and imagery as a jumping off point, writing and designing a gorgeous text which was launched (in very limited edition) while we played around with, 

watched Peter, nou and Disaggregated Industries.

More on Alex’s work here.