Friday, 28 September 2007


By an stroke of bad fortune my internet is down, so posting may become a bit irregular for the next week until BT deliver a replacement for the Home Hub. It mysteriously packed in last night, and right now I'm sat typing in the college.

Here's the schedule for a night of fun and games:
6pm Tea at the Parlour with the Generator commitee and artists Robert Orchardson and Sarah Tripp.
7pm Pick up the mighty Savier from Dundee station.
7.30pm Me and the mighty Savier attend the gallery opening at Generator Projects.
9.30 pm Get set up at the Function Suite.
10pm NEON starts.
03.30am NEON finishes, and an after-party goes on until who knows when.

All that's left for me to do is head down to Tesco to buy a big haul of refreshments for later. Here's hoping the evening turns out a success.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007


Spent the past few days covering the art college and the west end with posters for Friday's NEON shebang. Finished work for the weekend too.

That beautiful Dior Homme jacket went for more than I can afford. Really the Scottish Arts Council ought to give me funding to wear it... I would look that debonair. Bah!

Tuesday, 25 September 2007


A simple change of style can make you feel so completely reinvented. I'm feeling that way today. Had my hair cut short, and it's time to drag out clumsy metaphors involving butterflies and swans.

Need to put together a decent wardrobe for the new season too, and there's a fair few eBay auctions I'm currently keeping an eye on. Chief among them is a gorgeous Dior Homme jacket, from Hedi Slimane's final collection, that will surely prove beyond my slender means. Still, a boy can dream...

Sunday, 23 September 2007


The festival in Arbroath was a welcome change of scene, a little stately home with lots of opulent decor and various performances going on throughout the day. Highlight for me was the performance of Norman Shaw's noise act Nob, who managed to clear half the room with their intense sounds. Very glad to have got a lift back to Dundee, rather than stay there and camp out for Sunday's events. It pissed it down last night.

A busy schedule of flyering up ahead in anticipation of Friday's big event. That and more mind-numbing overtime at the bank.

Saturday, 22 September 2007

words mouth smoke

Will be on the bus to sunny Arbroath later today for the Your Words And My Mouth live arts festival. Can't really be bothered sacrificing the only day off work, but then lots of my friends are going and I really should. My brother will be at the Leeds game this afternoon so I can always phone for an update on the score.

Anyone with a smoking fetish ought to enjoy these shots of tragic Eurosleaze starlet Soledad Miranda savouring a deep inhalation.

Friday, 21 September 2007


Press release I'd written for the forthcoming Generator show:

Generator Projects is pleased to present a joint exhibition featuring Robert Orchardson and Sarah Tripp. Using a diverse range of media, each artist has produced work that suggests a form of narrative. They describe events taking place on a scale that ranges from the domestic to the cosmic. These scattered threads may well be woven together to create a form of meta-narrative, an observation of the present developing into a hypothesis for the future.

Sarah Tripp’s practice incorporates film-making, graphic design and story telling. Consistent throughout is a desire to engage with the world and to reinvent it as a system of poetic correspondences. For the exhibition at Generator Projects she has produced a book titled The Best Mistake, a collection of stories and photographs created over the previous six months.

Robert Orchardson’s sculptural installations are located in a state of in-between, both in time and in space. Working from a disparate collection of fragments, these objects aim to reconfigure their raw material into something approaching the extraordinary. Connections are made between modernist design and the supposed futures of science fiction, with new potentials being imagined for received wisdoms. This ambiguity invites us to ask what kind of world it is that we find ourselves in here, now.

Thursday, 20 September 2007


Back to the grind for yet more overtime. Not very much to report just now, simply because my life is a monotonous parade of call centre shift work. Still, onwards and upwards...

Wednesday, 19 September 2007


Finished the poster for next week's event, looking forward to it a great deal.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Riccardo Cioni

Wow, just listening to the greatest thing I've heard in a long time. Riccardo Ciano, an Italian DJ who drunkenly sings along to most of the tracks, doing a set recorded sometime in 1982.

You can download it here.

And check out his website, an awesome example of the kind of anti-design that I'm so hot for.

Monday, 17 September 2007


Brain is getting frazzled. Sometimes, when a mood is particularly black, there is a funny compulsion to type the word 'dead' into the keyboard. This would just be to see the shape of the black letters illuminated against a bright white screen. Sometimes another funny compulsion will take hold, an urge to cry out the word 'glass' like a Tourette's sufferer, or sometimes other more random words that have no relevance to any coherent train of thought.

Sunday, 16 September 2007


Although I've been keeping this blog for a couple of years now, it does have one function that hasn't really been exploited enough. There is potential for this to act as a kind of online scrapbook, compiling half-formed ideas and putting them out into the ether. Now the course is finished, and the mind can wander while I fulfill trivial obligations for the bank, I'm free to think about things and maybe even create something for the first time in ages. Could it be possible? We'll see...

A few such things: I never watch TV very much, but a couple of Channel 4 documentaries are interesting. One a crudely exploitative programme made in the 90s about celebrity stalkers, with interviewees (obviously suffering mental health problems) fixated on low-rent figures like Mike Read and Sam Fox.

Another documentary was on last year, the best thing I've seen in age
s, following London 'cleaners' going about their business. Their grim specialization was in cleaning up after people who had died with no friends or family to recover the body. The corpses had often laid there rotting for weeks. The 'highlight' was the house of one young man who had spent months collecting his faeces, storing it in carefully folded scraps of newspaper piled as high as the ceiling. The smell must have been overwhelming, and even just to see it was quite intense. Like the ultimate surrealist installation.

Another appropriate reference would be the work of American outsider artist Henry Darger, though the monographs are all out of print and command high prices. There's one that can be ordered from the US costing about $100, maybe for when I've done enough overtime. There is an affordable documentary available on DVD I think.

The writing of Peter Sotos, an
d pornography in general. Susan Sontag's brilliant essay is there to provide intellectual justification, as if any is really needed.

Wasn't there a CD out a while back of letters that lonely perverts had written to page 3 models, explaining in lumpen prose their seedy fantasies? Narrated by actors of course, sadly.

I'd mined a similar seam in the Olympia drawings I
did for the Embassy gallery a couple of years back, and also 'The Devil In Miss Broon' piece written for Yuck 'n Yum.

So there's a few things, and they do add up to something or other I'm sure.


Interesting aesthetic finds.... follow this link, and there's a great database of hundreds of screenshots from the ZX Spectrum home computer.

Another day at the bank awaits. Need to start looking for a proper job. Working too much overtime right now to have a proper crack at it, but maybe next week. MAP magazine is offering an internship, but it's unpaid and my mum advises things like that are for posh kids with rich parents.

Saturday, 15 September 2007

brief encounter

Suffering the effects of a ruinous hangover this morning.

"Are you drunk?" says she. "No" says I.

A lie of course, but how else is one meant to approach a fragrant young thing at the bar and try to strike up a conversation?
Beats me, anyway.

Friday, 14 September 2007


Just time to steal a quick post before I prepare myself for an evening packed with fun and frivolity; once work's done at 7.30 it'll be over to the DCA for the opening of the Johanna Billing show, then heading round to the Art Bar where NEON will bring untold disco pleasure from 9pm.

Thursday, 13 September 2007


I'm excited to announce that we've a fantastic guest booked to play the forthcoming NEON event at the City Function Suite on the 28th. Savier recently opened for the legendary noise act Whitehouse in Edinburgh the other week; soon he'll be bringing his own unique sounds to the dancefloors of Dundee.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

old rope

Turns out to have been a decent haul from those records I put up for auction. Pick of the bunch was a risible piece of trendy electro-house tat, sold to some hairdresser or other for Italo-esque amounts.

Work's been fairly painless tonight, and there's only two more shifts before a weekend kicks off that glitters with promise.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

repeat to fade

Third day in a row of hardcore full-time call centre drudgery. Encouragingly enough, I'm now past the half-way mark. And I did after all pass the MDes course last week. Surely this state of affairs can't go on forever... can it?

When you have to repeat the same small number of words many thousands of times, how do you stop yourself going insane? All you can really do is vary the inflection of the sentence slightly, from one call to the next. Drag the pauses out, then compact the words together, modify the phrasing, vary the pronunciation, almost imperceptively so... all the while admiring the Sam Fox flyer on the desk before me, thinking damn, that's good....

Monday, 10 September 2007

strip poker

Invigilating at the college, and I'm using the time constructively by writing up a press release for the forthcoming Generator show.

Also designed a flyer for Friday's
NEON that I'm very pleased with... from the opening screen of Samantha Fox Strip Poker on the ZX Spectrum.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

give me a lot of music

Spent another sunny Sunday trapped in the bank, and of course it was crushingly mundane. Mind you, one advantage of this kind of work is that you really don’t take anything home with you. Once a shift is done, it seems to erase itself from the memory like a quick going over with a screen wipe. Some people must surely lose years living this way.

Tonight meanwhile I’m thrilled to have won a record on eBay that I’ve been after for at least a couple of years. B Rose – Hey DJ (Give Me A Lot Of Music) really is the stuff that Italo disco dreams are made of.

Saturday, 8 September 2007

champions of Europe

Any readers of this blog in its previous Myspace incarnation will be familiar with my despairing over the endless crisis at Leeds United.

Well, credit where its due. Leeds may have started the season with a 15-point deduction, but that's already been recovered thanks to a 100% run of 5 victories. If this form continues for another three years we'll be back to our rightful place.

the line

There's a great column in today's paper by
Charlie Brooker on comics.

I too taught myself to draw by copying the characters, and became a skilled draftsman. The artist I liked best was Tom Paterson, who used to have lots of self-referential gags in his strips; "talented duck brought in to add interest to an extremely dull picture", that kind of thing. In fact he probably just lives round the corner, this being Dundee and all.

Today will be my last day off before an epic six day ordeal of call-centre overtime. Why not join me for a week of posts delivered straight from the front line of 21st century service
hell? I can guarantee a feast of anguish, self-loathing and self-pity. Not to be missed!

Friday, 7 September 2007

ideal home

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Today it's been my great pleasure to finally take delivery of a beautiful print that Val Norris produced for the Generator.
It really ought to set the living room off a treat.

Thursday, 6 September 2007

To the throne of chaos

Back in art school I was very much in thrall to the work of the American artist
Mike Kelley. I was always desperate to hear his 70s proto-industrial group Destroy All Monsters, but their 3CD boxset was rare as hens' teeth.

Now my friend Ryan has made me aware that
it's all online, so I'm ready to get lost in noise.

old blood

This is an uneasy, purgatorial place to be in for the moment. The course is done, I’ve another feather in my cap, but I'm stuck working overtime in a hellish call centre until something better might be found.

The days off have been spent posting a few unwanted records on eBay, mostly music affiliated with fleeting trends such as ‘Electro-house’ and the ‘punk-funk’ revival of a few years ago. Time was when those of us doing NEON had more faith that the zeitgeist might throw up something interesting, but the records of 20+ years ago are the ones that sound more exciting to these modern ears. There’s a chance some necrophile trawling the graveyards of recent history might just feel like splashing out.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

one, two

This is the new location of my blog. I've been keeping the one on Myspace going for about two years now, but for various reasons I've moved to these pages instead.

Take a look around... much nicer, don't you think? More roomy, a pleasing layout, nicer people....

Now the course has finished, and until I find a "proper job", I ought to have more time to post on here. You might have noticed the Myspace blog was getting more regular anyway. I enjoy writing, and I want to get better at it. This is good practice.