About Me

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If you like short, fiery, red haired East Londoners who now reside in Norwich that have a penchant for video games, board games and filmmaking then you've come to the right place, my friend. I write a fortnightly column about video games for Forces of Geek and I write, direct, edit and film with Cheesemint Productions, my production company. You can search for us on YouTube, you know how the Internet works, right? This blog, Excuse Me While I Geek Out is a place to collect my column pieces for Forces Of Geek and anything I've written for other websites and publications as well as being a place to write about all things geek. My other blog, For All Or None is a cathartic activity dedicated to my mental health and I write openly and honestly about deeply personal psychological issues that effect me. It's an mental outlet so doesn't necessarily require readers especially as it will no doubt be full of grammatical errors, nonsense and spelling mistakes.

She appears composed, so she is, I suppose

Hi there,

Welcome to this unorganised collection of my writings, thoughts, creative notes and ramblings. It may not be coherent and at times may be a little hard to follow. Such is the nature of language and I'm not writing for anyone else, just myself, in an attempt to organise my thoughts and to aid me with my creative work but please feel free to peruse and comment if you wish to do so.



Tuesday, 7 July 2009

The Painting Game

I never posted this when I should have last Thursday! It is the result of playing The Painting Game, also referred to as The Game...

Basically, it is a collective art activity, a kind of communal creativity...where each person involved takes turns to make a mark on the canvas until the collective come to a mutual agreement that it is finished.

The Game has helped me to realise some important things about my own creative practice but I think it can also potentially aid others by offering a way into art.

Some questions it raised for me were:

How might collaboration aid my own creative practice?
Is there such thing as a collective consciousness?
What would happen if I tried to repeat this exercise?
What might occur by demonstrating this method to others?

These are all things I wish to look at in more detail, however, I'm currently still working on the write-up so will add more at a later date. For now, here are some of the images from the first game...We did two watercolour pieces and an acrylic:

Anthony Gormley's One & Other (Fourth Plinth)

Yesterday,(6th July 2009) the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square was taken over by living sculptures. Every hour, there would be a new person able to occupy the blank space on top of the plinth in any way they liked - within the law of course! Anthony Gormley the artist behind the Angel of the North is the man responsible for this living sculpture/monument.

"Through elevation onto the plinth, and removal from the common ground, the body becomes a metaphor, a symbol… In the context of Trafalgar Square with its military, valedictory and male historical statues to specific individuals, this elevation of everyday life to the position formerly occupied by monumental art allows us to reflect on the diversity, vulnerability and particularity of the individual in contemporary society. It could be tragic but it could also be funny"
Anthony Gormley

Every hour for 24 hours for 100 days, there will be a new person "installed". This is show the diversity of the everyday person in Britain. I love this idea for the sole reason that it is about occupying space. A space which usually contains nothing. It fits in loosely with my research into blankness. Occupying the plinth would be like making your mark on a canvas. It is a variation of a blank canvas in a different form - a sculptoral form, using the personality of the individual to convey an idea in much the same way as a painting often contains an aspect of the painters personality.

Gormley with a model of the plinth.

Having seen some of the coverage in the media and being so intrigued by the idea of occupying yet another blank canvas, I have just applied to be part of it as a participant! In total, there are 2400 spaces, each allocated one hour. There are over 20,000 applicants so obviously I might not be chosen as it is drawn at random and there are more applicants than spaces avaliable. Despite the fact that my particular project on blank spaces and the blank canvas is coming to an end I think that my application to be part of Gormley's art is a way of extendng my pratice and also continuing to explore my relationship to my art and to blank spaces. Also, the chance to be a living monument would be amazing!

Gormley with some of the participants.

There is a live stream of participants here: One & Other
It will be running up until October and the live stream will be uninterrupted!

Sunday, 5 July 2009

"Long Live the Immaterial!"

I taketh a break and something amazing doth happen! Went to see a friend after work, as opposed to coming straight home to get my art on, as it were, and she had recently stumbled across the French artist, Yves Klein. This man was a genius! I'm so pleased to discover a new artist! Best feeling ever, akin to discovering a new band! Sadly he died at the age of 34.

His work is varied but he focused on the immaterial/material and also the "void". Exciting stuff considering both these things link in with my own current practice!

The particular piece that intrigues me is The Specialization of Sensibility in the Raw Material State into Stabilized Pictorial Sensibility, The Void or Le Vide (April, 1958). Klein cleared a gallery space of everything leaving only an empty cabinet. Painted the whole room white, EVERYTHING; walls, floors, the cabinet and ceilings! He then conceived an elaborate plan before the opening. He sent out blue invites (relating to his previous work), painted the gallery window blue and hung a curtain in the lobby, you've guessed it; a blue curtain. The entrance even had guards watching over it! All of the details were fine tuned, he even served blue cocktails.

He made 3000 people queue outside the gallery only to be welcomed into a blank, empty space! I love this!

Klein was a very interesting character, I mean, look at him!

He even wrote up a manifesto stating his intentions; one such line in the manifesto about the "immaterial" made me laugh:

"Having rejected nothingness, I discovered the void. The meaning of the immaterial pictorial zones, extracted from the depth of the void which by that time was of a very material order. Finding it unacceptable to sell these immaterial zones for money, I insisted in exchange for the highest quality of the immaterial, the highest quality of material payment — a bar of pure gold. Incredible as it may seem, I have actually sold a number of these pictorial immaterial states".

Absence was of great interest to Klein, for him, the void is a neutral state of consciousness where one is supposedly able to become aware of one's own sensibilities (I suppose, much like Kant's Pure Thought in the Critique of Pure Judgement?). The void is a "place" where one can see reality as opposed to mere representation. He often created work that although were recognised forms of art also lacked "something" integral. Books sans words. Paintings sans images. Compositions sans composition! Klein named his created absences as "zones of immaterial pictorial sensibility". Thus, the audience of Klein's work could be described as not only simultaneously understanding an idea but simultaneously feeling an idea!

I thought it might be nice to end this blog entry with a flash of Klein Blue!

Wednesday, 1 July 2009


Panic! I missed the word "Panic" from my last post...oh, and "Anxiety". For some reason I woke up and HAD to jot these down. So, I thought I'd also update my blog too...getting obsessed? Me? Never! ;)