January, 2016

pulse – Picture Window

Have a look at Picture Window’s installation for PULSE – A Legacy 2014 project for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

My contribution was a film, last seen in The Women, Patricia Fleming Projects – spot a corner of it here (at 01:02 mins) and below on the right, helpfully obscured by GCC road signage, darnit.PULSE_projections_web_res_July_2014_13


Speaking from the past…

Here’s what I was banging on about in 2007. A bit on the vague side, but the heart’s in the right place I think.

MAP Magazine – Residency

A concerned friend reminded me that ‘you’re no inventin’ a new form’. Poppycock!

Jane Topping, 'Article I', 2007, oil and photograph on board

Jane Topping, ‘Article I’, 2007, oil and photograph on board

Futureways – Rita Mcbride

Thanks to a clever ‘santa’, I’ve been loving early bedtime with Futureways and Heartways – edited by Rita McBride51PxeIfMCvL._SX320_BO1,204,203,200_ 1551521601_Heartways

“Futureways is a unique collaboration between the Whitney Museum of American Art, Printed Matter, Inc., and Arsenal Pulp Press. Futureways is a faux science fiction “novel”; each chapter is written by a different contributor, all of whom create fantastic stories that simultaneously work within and outside the genre.

Futureways is the story of an art exhibition in the distant future, the biennale of a future civilization. With humour and imagination, each chapter deals with the transport of art objects to the venue of the biennale, a task difficult enough in the modern era but even more tenuous in the imagined futures of the writers. Throughout it all, art, fiction, and the act of imagination are taken to task, resulting in a book that is both satirical and forward-thinking.

Conceived by internationally acclaimed artist Rita McBride, Futureways is the second book in the Ways Series. Subsequent titles include Crimeways and Myways, which include more than fifty different contributions by artists, architects, writers, journalists, scientists, curators, and critics who exploit and decipher genre writing with an entertaining and refreshing collective structure.

Futureways contributors include:
Laura Cottingham, Nick Crowe, Aline Duriaud, Nalo Hopkinson, Nico Israel, Matthew Licht, Peter Maass, Rita McBride, Glen Rubsamen, David Schafer, Mark von Schlegell, Rutger Wolfson, and Alexandre Melo (Brad Cherry, trans.)” – from Arsenal Pulp Press website.


“The ones who are the real danger, are the self-contained types, like you.”

Trailer here. Out 18th March!

Ever wanted something more?

HR_0430_tiff.tif high-rise-movie-poster


Melissa Mathison

I made a film which was named after Melissa, a screen writer and an ex-wife of Harrison Ford. No idea what it’ll mean now – but thank you Melissa. Watch it here and re-assess… Vicki and Alex, Like the Clouds: Melissa Edit

Melissa Mathison (June 3, 1950 – November 4, 2015)

Melissa Mathison (June 3, 1950 – November 4, 2015)


Film Criticism – more film theory for free

Film Criticism celebrates its 40th anniversary issue with a move to an open access format, under the new editorship of Joseph Tompkins, who, to mark this welcome shift, has commissioned lots of scholars to meditate on the ever mutating space of film criticism.

Still hungry for knowledge?imgres



Film-Philosophy, long-standing, always fully open access academic journal dedicated to the engagement between film studies and philosophy, is now published by Edinburgh University Press and remains completely open access

– grow your filmbrain for free…ua6XX8d

Nothing compares to the first time getting shot at

Rachel Lowther

Reid Gallery
16 Jan-20 Mar 2016

Preview: Friday 15 Jan, 6-8pm

For her specially commissioned exhibition artist Rachel Lowther draws on contemporary conflicts and research she was invited to undertake into the GSA Archives and Collections’ World War I holdings. How can (or even should) art respond to bodies torn apart, flesh and bone melted by white phosphorus, children tortured or bombed as they play on a beach, families dreaming of drones and letters from grieving parents?

During WWI Fra Newbery, GSA Director at the time, wrote: “The brightest colours that Art can assume at the present time, not only fail to attract attention, but like a gaily dressed woman at a funeral, mankind wonders that she show herself at all!”

Lowther has used her research to inspire a new body of work for the Reid Gallery, including sculpture, film and embroideries that explore the human impulse for fighting and violence. Lowther questions the comfortable position of making art in a world that is anything but comfortable – the exhibition’s title a quote from a British soldier serving in Afghanistan in 2010.

Lowther has made her first complete sculptures of the human figure – measured, considered and modeled in clay over weeks, and transformed in minutes with a pickaxe handle. With the help of artist and filmmaker, Anne-Marie Copestake, the attacks have been captured in short films.

Rachel Lowther’s archival research and exhibition have been commissioned by The Glasgow School of Art, with support from Museums Galleries Scotland WWI Fund.

A concurrent exhibition in the Reid Ground Floor Corridor, From the service of Venus to the worship of Mars, curated by Lowther, will feature some of the material from GSA Archives & Collections WWI Holdings which the artist found during her research.


From the service of Venus to the worship of Mars
Reid Ground Floor Corridor
16 Jan – 28 Feb 2016

So commented Glasgow School of Art’s Director, Francis H. Newbery, about the ability of the “Artistic temperament” to adapt to the circumstances of the First World War. The 1914-18 period saw huge changes at Glasgow School of Art as the School came to terms with human losses, wartime shortages and the question of how an art school and its personnel could best support the war effort.

This exhibition shows a selection of letters and ephemera held in the GSA’s archives and used by artist Rachel Lowther in the development of new work for her exhibition Nothing compares to the first time getting shot at showing at GSA’s Reid Gallery from 16 January-20 March 2016.  It showcases the variety of activities and experiences of the School’s students and staff at home and abroad and reveals how the war impacted on them individually and on the School as a whole.

GSA’s Archives and Collections are open to visitor by appointment. For further information see

Currently based in Glasgow, Rachel Lowther studied at Chelsea School of Art, London, the Staedelschule, Frankfurt, and Hunter College, NYC. She spent 14 years in NYC showing and curating exhbitions internationally, as well as assisting Jeff Koons and Matthew Barney and creating a permanent diorama for the American Museum of Natural History, New York, among other projects. She has most liked showing her work at Participant Inc, NYC, Thread Waxing Space, NYC, Momenta Art, Brooklyn, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Maschenmode/Guido Baudach, Berlin, The Sculpture Center, New York, The National Portrait Gallery, London, a hen house in Frankfurt and in demonstrations on the streets of Glasgow. In 2014, she created an exhibtion for Glasgow International with Kerry Stewart, Georgina Starr and Ana Genoves in the village hall, Uplawmoor, East Renfrewshire. She is one third of DEATHANDDADA (with Amalia Theodorakopoulos and Fritz Welch), a Glasgow-based artist-run alternative space that was active in Glasgow and abroad from 2010-2013.  

(From the GSA website)


Small but perfectly formed, Bang! was a Neil Bickerton and Owen Piper production. Neil’s poem about rats was there – I’d been waiting for its debut. 12510491_10156459300170154_2414828270323414898_n

David Bowie

It’s not the best quality photo of David, but I’ve always had a soft spot for it. New category of post created for this one. Number 1 on The List since 1990.

8 Lessons David Bowie taught us