Things I am involved with

Grinning near some cats

GoMA commissioned the always delightful Alan Dimmick to take some snaps of me. Here they are…

8×6 Launch of Anderson Gallery, Carpenter’s Wharf

8×6 Launch of Anderson Gallery, Carpenter’s Wharf

Thanks to Alexander James Pollard for inviting me to exhibit at the launch of Anderson Gallery, Carpenter’s Wharf, London alongside a vast guest list which includes Phyllida Barlow and Keith Tyson. Thanks too to fellow exhibitor Laura Yuile who organised essential paraphernalia – we last showed together at The Influencing Machine, nGbK, Berlin in 2019.

Opening night, fingers crossed, is 6-9pm 23 April 2020. The show runs until 18 May. More on the Anderson Gallery here.

A Thing What I Wrote (2020)

A Thing What I Wrote (2020)

The Peter & nou Handbook: A Field Guide to a Speculative Practice (So Far) (2020)

Delivered to the University of Cumbria Research Office in a suitcase at 3.30pm on Thursday 27th February 2020. Then Professor Robert Williams and family took me out for a pint. Now I have no idea what to do with myself…

Domestic Bliss – GoMA, Glasgow

Domestic Bliss – GoMA, Glasgow


Pop into Domestic Bliss up in Gallery 4 of GoMA when you are passing. Katie Bruce’s exhibition makes the space seem like new. My work, based on the life of Carson McCullers and from my solo show They are the We of Me (GoMA, 2006) gets to hang out with works by Jacqueline Donachie and Jo Spence, with personal fav. Kate Davis not far off…

From GoMA website:

Domestic Bliss
8 March 2019 (Preview 7 March 5 – 8pm)

Domestic Bliss presents works from Glasgow Museums’ collection reflecting on this building’s history as a former house, Royal Exchange and civic space. Observing how artists work with fine art, design and craft practices alongside social and political changes, this show explores domestic labour and feminism, public and private space, intimate relationships and historical narratives. We live in a consumerist world where home interior, lifestyle magazines and social media present flawless examples for us to emulate in our own lives. What happens if we question what is seen as ‘domestic bliss’, and whose stories are hidden or revealed?

‘I want to make something that lives with the eye as a beautiful piece of art, but on closer inspection, a polemic or an ideology will come out of it’. Grayson Perry

Opening up the gallery space for the first time in a number of years Domestic Blissexperiments with domestic design and traditional museum displays. Works cluster together around themes, they are curious and ask questions about their role in public collections and what histories are hidden or revealed. Included in the exhibition are portraits of intimacy, domesticity and important stories from our collection. However, within this, questions are also asked about the relationship between the artist/maker, the sitter and the audience. These include questions around gaze, authorship and exploitation of marginalised lives that are more prevalent now in our current climate of social media thus creating a discourse on class, values, intersectionality, and documentary media.

Domestic Bliss began with the curator Katie Bruce interested in the work Untitled (Yellow Foot Sofa) by Nicola L (1937 – 2018), acquired in 1990 for Glasgow Museum’s collection, and thinking about the history of the building as home, exchange, library and museum.  The exhibition includes works from the fine art and decorative art collections that have never been shown at GoMA before alongside new acquisitions from Anne Collier and Siân Robinson Davies with more recently-displayed works such as Growing up as Boy by Grayson Perry,  Ice Cream Paperweight (Brown) by Scott Myles and Home Ornaments by Daphne Wright.

At the centre of the show is a reading table, which also functions as an event space responding to themes within the exhibition. Commissions from Camara Taylor and Mandy McIntosh include events that will begin to question the ‘domestic bliss’ the title of this exhibition alludes to. These and the public programme of discussions, talks and readings will inform display changes to the exhibition in the future.

Jane Evelyn Atwood, Chris Bramble, Thomas J Clapperton, Emmanuel Cooper, Anne Collier, Kate Davis, Jacqueline Donachie, Nick Evans, Alasdair Gray, Ilana Halperin, Jessie M King, Nicola L, Oscar Marzaroli, Mandy McIntosh and the Feegie Needlers, Scott Myles, Grayson Perry, Niki de Saint Phalle, Siân Robinson Davies, Jo Spence, Ettore Sottsass, Joel Sternfeld, Camara Taylor, Jane Topping, Hanneline Visnes, Nick Waplington, Daphne Wright.

From The Skinny’s Review:

For Domestic Bliss, the Gallery of Modern Art furnishes its top floor gallery full of works from Glasgow’s renowned civic art collection that touch on homelife and domesticity.

In a wide format photograph from Nick Waplington across the back wall, a recent mother tilts the new baby’s head as it vomits, with the frame of the photography taking in the entirety of the small living room’s details, as a frank and exceptional insight into private family life.

There are also drawings of Jane Topping’s own studio wall with fragments of research on the playwright Carson McCullers, particularly a period when McCullers left her husband to live in a queer commune of sorts in the 40s. They show sketches of intimate photos along with quotidian itemised lists (‘cigarettes, dirty plate, war news…’) and poetic annotations or quotations: ‘choice’, ‘Plus, I crave’.

Like the photo of Jacqueline Donachie’s own hectic studio wall, there’s an analogy subtly drawn between the artist’s desk and the build-up of things and papers familiar from well-used coffee tables or fridge doors, and the fortuitous connections and gatherings that might take place there.

Documentary photography takes on a poignant bent in the work of Jane Evelyn Wood, who provides a disarmingly intimate record of Jean Louis, a French man dying of Aids, in his final months. The photos of him passionately kissing, then shaving in the mirror are warm, close-up, inviting and vulnerable.

As well as moments of tenderness, there are the sumptuous perfume bottles designed by Niki de Sant Phalle, and the eccentrically colourful and elegantly formed vases and glasses of Ettore Sottsass.

Entering and exiting, there’s what sounds like the noise of a basin of dishes in water, or the rhythmic rumble of a washing machine. It’s Ilana Halperin’s recording of melting ice crystals in an Icelandic lagoon. At once, the familiar everyday humdrum is made sparkling, and connected global rhythms and radical shifts.

Adam Benmakhlouf 2019

Domestic Bliss, at Gallery of Modern Art until 31 Dec


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

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.


Artist Talk – Moving Mountains Art in the Environment – Millom Palladium

Artist Talk – Moving Mountains Art in the Environment – Millom Palladium

Thank you to Moving Mountains artist and curator Irene Rogen, Phil of the vital Signal Film and Media, Frank (not Santa), Mary (who hung out with Norman Nicholson when she was a child!) and everyone who turned out of my talk in Millom the other week. Drinks were served and badges worn.

Jane Topping, Newspaper or (Memoirs of a Spacewoman) – A No. 35 Project – Opens 12-6pm 8th Dec. 2018

Jane Topping, Newspaper or (Memoirs of a Spacewoman) – A No. 35 Project – Opens 12-6pm 8th Dec. 2018

Consider yourself officially invited to Newspaper, a collaboration with Alex Hetherington – the last of his innovative No.35 projects in Stirling and a celebration of the entire series of shows, performances and films:
More on Alex and his numerous projects here: