A selected chronology of thoughts on people, space and the things in between


In the final of my three years of doing Art and Design at A-level, I found my groove working with installations. I remember a hut I constructed on and around the railings at the top of the stairs to the department office, where you had to weave yourself through small openings before clambering into a small chamber with a computer running a sort of hyper-linked labyrinth of loosely associated words and images.

Another vivid memory is of being hidden behind a curtain in a blacked-out teaching hut, waiting for the right moment to connect the wires to the car battery and start the projection screen rotating.

An outdoor piece involved the construction and installation of periscopes around the college campus, revealing new views over roofs and around corners. Nice moments of interaction with people at either end.


I’ve recently come to think of the pervasive games work I do – and the way that I do it, and the why that I do it – as being an expanded mode of installation art. The key concerns around affecting perception of space are still there, just I’m now planning around a much more complex and dynamic system. More variables. More risk. More interesting?


Through involvement with the fizzPOP hackerspace, I’ve been thinking about more traditional formats of installation again, this time using sensors to make the spaces responsive to the people within them.

A new year’s project is going to involve using a violin to ‘play’ graphics via movement on a macro and micro scale, but in my mind’s eye I can also see some of Atsuo Okamoto‘s stone carvings theramin’d up in a dark barn somewhere. A solitary experience. You interacting with the mass of the stone without touching it.


Orchestra Platform by Pete Ashton on Flickr

'Orchestra Platform' by Pete Ashton on Flickr

Last night I went to see took part in Birmingham Opera Company‘s production of Othello. It was marvellous and impressive in so many different ways (Pete’s index of reviews) but the thing that really struck me was the way in which, in a space that was empty bar for the orchestra’s platform, the audience was moved around to effectively create different sets and scenes. From being penned in shoulder-to-shoulder with a few other hundred people looking up at the actors above through to sitting against the walls watching Desdemona across a vacuum of red carpet.

The way so many of us were were all steered so effectively by cues visual, audible and physical was masterful. There’s something here that fits in with the thread of installation thinkings. Massively multi-player installation perhaps?

Othello from urban_loiterer on Flickr

'Othello' from urban_loiterer on Flickr

Othello from urban_loiterer on Flickr

'Othello' from urban_loiterer on Flickr