We’ve just published our latest entry in the City As Material series: ‘Professor Starling’s Thetford-London-Oxford Expedition’ – three books documenting the investigative excursions of Professor William Starling and his research team (Lisa Hirmer and Andrew Hunter of DodoLab, Josephine Mills of the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Lethbridge artist Leila Armstrong, and Giles Lane and Hazem Tagiuri of Proboscis) during his trip to the United Kingdom in Feburary, where he sought to examine the rapid disappearance of the European Starling in contrast to the continued expansion of its North American cousin.
The first volume, Perquisitions, contains descriptions of the various participants’ thoughts on the expedition and its rationale. Congeries showcases selected items and ideas collected during their travels, and the final volume, Speculations, offers reflections and fantastical musings on the material gathered and testimonies heard.
Purchase a limited edition copy complete with specially printed ribbon here.
Over the past few weeks we’ve been re-arranging the studio to create new work spaces (such as the fabbing corner for the Public Goods Lab) and have been sifting through our archive to make space. We’ve been culling the number of archive copies we keep of various publications, especially of our older works which means we can release them for sale. As such, we are now making the last 15 complete sets of COIL journal of the moving image available for sale at the super low price of £25 plus shipping.
COIL journal was a 10 issue part-work commissioning new writing, critique as well as artists projects about experimental film, video and the emerging electronic/digital art field between 1995 and 2000. Over 130 filmmakers, artists, writers, critics and others were commissioned for the series – each one invited to make their own intervention in the journal about moving image culture (rather than respond to editorial themes). The journal deliberately eschewed featuring the then-current ‘YBA’ group of artists, focusing on a mix of younger emerging talent with older mid-career artists – many of whom we’re less visible at the time. COIL is thus a snapshot of a fecund period during which the shift from analogue to digital technologies gathered pace and the changes in creative practices associated with these became more pronounced.
Material Conditions is a new series of eBooks created with bookleteer, asking professional creative practitioners to reflect on what the material conditions for their own practice are, especially now in relation to the climate of change and uncertainty brought about by the recession and public sector cuts.
It aims to explore what it means and takes to be a professional creative practitioner – from the personal to the social and political. How and why do people persist in pursuing such careers? How do they organise their everyday lives to support their practice? What kind of social, political, economic and cultural conditions are necessary to keep being creative? What are the bedrocks of inspiration that enable people to continue piloting their meandering courses through contemporary society and culture?
The first set of 8 commissioned eBooks, in a limited edition run of 50 copies printed via our Short Run Printing Service and bound with handmade wrappers, are as follows:
A Conversation Between Trees by Active Ingredient
The Show by Desperate Optimists
Making Do by Jane Prophet
Something More Than Just Survival by Janet Owen Driggs & Jules Rochielle
Remix Reconvex Reconvexo by Karla Brunet
He Who Sleeps Dines by London Fieldworks
Reflections on the city from a post-flaneur by Ruth Maclennan
Knowing Where You Are by Sarah Butler
Copies are available to order below.
The books are also available online as bookreader versions, as well as downloadable PDFs for readers to assemble into handmade booklets themselves, hosted on our archive of publications Diffusion – view and download the series here.
Material Conditions is part of Proboscis’ Public Goods programme – seeking to create a library of responses to these urgent questions that can inspire others in the process of developing their own everyday practices of creativity; that can guide those seeking meaning for their choices; that can set out positions for action around which people can rally.
Recently the Proboscis team have been working with the Centre for Applied Research in Educational Technologies (CARET) and Crucible at the University of Cambridge on a collaborative research project. As the artist for this project, my responsibility ranged from creating visual notations during discussion and brainstorming sessions to illustrating the outcomes of the teams’ reflections in the form of insights and observations. My work was incorporated into a set of books known as Agencies of Engagement.
Each book required a different approach to create a series of illustrations, to accompany the written narrative.
The very first being, visual notation. I used this in the early stages of the project to capture the different ideas discussed during brainstorming sessions. The challenge here was that the discussion was live, it was vital to listen carefully; picking out words to sketch as fast as possible and trying not to fall behind. The idea to this approach was to allow others to see the dialogue visually, the illustrations represented words, topics and how it connected with each other.
The next series of illustrations was aimed to capture the moment of an activity, it was placed in the book describing the project’s progress (Project Account). The sketches consisted of members taking part in a workshop, it was illustrated by using the photographs taken during the session as the foundation and creating a detailed line drawing on top to accompany the detailed nature of the Project Account book.
The most challenging of them all was for the book, Drawing Insight, this book consisted of the teams’ insights and observations. The illustrations were quite conceptual, and although accompanied with captions the representations of these illustrations needed to be obvious to the reader. Thus being a very iterative process and required a lot of patience, I would often talk to the team to define the meaning behind captions to develop sketches to reflect it and then after a thorough review sketches would be tweaked, polished and re-polished until we felt that they had captured the right feeling.
The illustrations used in the Method Stack book, took on the same principle as the Project Account but with less detail. The aim to this approach was to simply suggest and spark ideas in relation to the thorough explanation to each engagement method, by keeping it as simple line drawings it becomes easier for the reader to fill in the blanks with their own creativity.
Finally, Catalysing Agency had a combination of both visual notations from an audio recording from the Catalyst Reflection Meeting and conceptual illustrations like those used in Drawing Insight.
This was my first research project with Proboscis, it was a very intricate one and no doubt the experience I gained from this will be invaluable. Learning about the different methods of engaging with participants of this project and putting them into practice, and deciphering complex findings into a visual to give an insight to others were the main lessons learnt throughout this project, it emphasised the importance of dialogue and communication.
Agencies of Engagement has enabled me to explore and refine my skills in terms of the different approaches to creative thinking. It wasn’t as simple as sketch what you see; there were multiple layers of things to consider – meanings, perception and how the illustrations were to be perceived. Not only was I able to hone my artistic skills in my comfort zone of conceptual illustrations, I was able to explore new techniques such as visual notations in a live situation and both styles of line art for Project Account and Method Stack.
I’ve received my own copy of the finished publication and am overwhelmed with pride, the team did an amazing job and I look forward to participating in more projects like this.
Agencies of Engagement is a new 4 volume publication created by Proboscis as part of a research collaboration with the Centre for Applied Research in Educational Technology and the Crucible Network at the University of Cambridge. The project explored the nature of groups and group behaviours within the context of the university’s communities and the design of software platforms for collaboration.
The books are designed to act as a creative thinking and doing tool – documenting and sharing the processes, tools, methods, insights, observations and recommendations from the project. They are offered as a ‘public good’ for others to learn from, adopt and adapt.
Download, print out and make up the set for yourself on Diffusion or read the online versions.
“Trundling along our everyday routes through the city, our minds often consumed by thoughts of work and daydreams, our surroundings become all too familiar; a grid which we traverse on set rails, eyes downcast, something purely to be suffered until we reach our destination.
Surrender to the city’s own pace – immobile and immemorial – delve into dark corners and gaze upwards at spires; abandon the city as a stale platform for living, and seize it as material to inspire. Through shared excursions and experiences, playfully exploring our city, we come together to create. Open to all with no set ambitions, join us to collaboratively produce publications which showcase and investigate the city we inhabit.”
The City As Material set contains the 10 books commissioned and produced as part of last Autumn’s City As Material series of urban explorations and collaborative bookmaking. Printed using bookleteer‘s Short Run Printing Service, the set is limited to 50 slipcase-bound, individually numbered copies. It includes:
- City As Material: An Overview
- An Unbooklet of Disappropriation
- Ebb and Flow
- Ancient Lights, City Shadows
- Sonic Geographies
- The 2nd Book of Urizen by Tim Wright
- River – Gap by Ben Eastop
- Skylines & Sightlines by Simon Pope
- Deep City by Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino
We have just received the first bound copy of our publication for With Our Ears to the Ground; a project by Proboscis commissioned by Green Heart Partnership with Hertfordshire County Council to explore peoples ideas about community. The project focused on four very different types of community in order to get a broad range of opinions across the county.
I’m really excited to see the final version and especially happy with the middle tracing paper insert of scenes and people Orlagh and I encountered during the project. The book draws together the multiple layers of ideas and experiences we found across the different communities we met in Watford, Stevenage, North Herts and Broxbourne and it is designed to reflect the many ideas and voices we encountered. It is organised in the six themes of Transport, Movement, Listening, Community, Getting Involved and Perceptions the emerged during the project. The book contains drawings, photographs, quotes and writings. It can be read in any direction and you can interweave the pages of the three sections as you read, to find new perspectives.
The With Our Ears to the Ground book, will go to selected libraries in Hertfordshire. The publication draws together the multiple layers of ideas and experiences we found across different communities and it is designed to reflect those ideas and voices.
We have a small number of copies please contact us if you would like to acquire one.
We have also published the main chapters as Diffusion eBooks – books to download print and make up published using Bookleteer. Booklets to make, carry in your pocket, browse in your own time, rather than read on screen. You can download them here.
We have been working on Ears to the Ground for around 3 months now and the phase of being out there talking to people and doing activities is almost over with our energy now being focused into how to condense over 200 voices and quotes into a small publication. We’ve been roving around Hertfordshire meeting young and old, talking to them in groups, in their homes, at events. As well as the many people and groups we have met we have; set up a stall in Watford Market to talk to market goers, set up outside Broxbourne Station to speak to commuters, set up a map outside Stevenage Job Centre and annotated it with post it notes of comments from Centre users and ran a drawing workshop with a youth group. We’ve taken our anarchaeology approach of using informal and creative approaches to excavate layers of meaning and understanding. I’ve enjoyed all the people we met who have been so generous, and as I go through the hours of recorded audio two of my favourite quotes so far have been from the Meriden Comunity Centre Community Bar on the Meriden estate in north Watford, and the list of what young people saw around their Neighbourhood in the Chells area of Stevenage.
In the Meriden community bar we asked: How long have you been here?
1962 I moved onto this estate.
I was going to say half past seven.
I’ve been a member of this club for years since it first opened.
I’ve been here so long I’ve worn a hole in the carpet.
You certainly don’t get any trouble in here fighting or all that, its just all mates really I suppose
Like a big extended family
We come down here to insult each other
Don’t know what we’d do without it, we’d sit indoors and watch telly.
We’re all living round here so we don’t need to drive.
The atmosphere, you know, you come in and you know you’re not going to get into any trouble.
And in Chells Manor Community Center we went for a walk with the youth group and after making a large drawing we asked: What did you see and draw?
I saw a fox
I saw the pub, shops, chip shop
I saw, a cat , a man smoking
I saw a tree and a road and an aeroplane
I saw a red flower, a broken glass
I saw myself
I saw a load of people at the youth club
I saw my house
apparently we saw a train going up a tree
I never saw two men shooting each other
I saw darren
I saw houses, dogs,
I saw the green, football, cricket, cycling down fairlands
The book will be published in December.
Produced by Haring Woods Associates
Editor: Celia Makin-Bell
Concept and design: Proboscis
Illustration: Matt Huynh
Graphic Design: Carmen Vela Maldonado
An artists’ book by Rob Kesseler accompanying his commission for Folkestone Library and Museum for Navigating History.
Paperback 48 pages, 4 colour throughout ISBN: 1 901540 36 7
Published October 2004
Price £10.00 – Buy Online
An 80 page book and CD-ROM accompanying the film and installation, the book contains illustrated texts by Janna Levin, Giles Lane, Mark Lythgoe, Andrew & Eden Kotting and Toby McMillan and contributions from scientists at the Institute of Child Health and the University of Washington.
“An exemplary undertaking of great precision and reach”
Gareth Evans, Artists Newsletter, February 2003
Book edited by Giles Lane & Katrina Jungnickel with Mark Lythgoe
Designed by Allyson Waller
CD-ROM edited by Alice Angus
Designed by Nima Falatoori, NMoDesign
Paperback 80 pages, 180 colour images ISBN: 1 901540 21 9
Published October 2002
Price £12.00 – Buy Online
- Tina Keane
- Tony Hill
- Sarah Miles
- Nelson Henricks
- Suky Best
- Sylvere Lotringer –Hammer on the Head: the Last Interview of David Wojnarovicz
- A L Rees – Unwinding COIL… a personal selection of films & videos
- Nikos Papastergiadis – After Amnesia: on Juan Davila
- Miroslaw Rogala – I Wanted to Touch the Words: 3 projects
- Nicky Hamlyn – FILM VIDEO TV: on David Hall, David Larcher & Guy Sherwin
- Barbara London – dot.jp: a curator’s tour of japan
- Edwin Carels – Crossing Parallels: The Brothers Quay
- Laura Mulvey – Death 24 times a second: the still image in film
- Nick Norton – The Search for K: Orson Welles and Kafka
- John Latham – Whatever Happened… art, time & dimensionality
- Charlie Gere – John Cage’s Early Warning System
- Stuart Morgan – Interview with Bill Viola
- Nicky Coutts – Jan Fabre and insects in art
- Gilles Lazare – An Endless Insurrection: Gordon Matta-Clark, Ron Athey & sacred economy
- Adrien Sina – Social corpus, d(t)oxic landscapes – Mutant flesh, clinical identity
- Devin & Marsha Orgeron – An interview with Isaac Julien
edited by Giles Lane
issue designed by Richard Bonner-Morgan cover images: Nick Norton
published December 2000
- Susan Collins
- Brigid McLeer
- Hans Schierl
- Dryden Goodwin
- Joshua Oppenheimer & Christine Cynn – people who die in closets
- Jesse Lerner & Rita Gonzalez – Volkswagen Chakra: Mexican Experimental Cincema
- Winfried Pauleit – appointment, disappointment, missed appointment: The film still
- Chris Byrne – Analogue To Digital Conversion: Linking Video Art and the Web
- Emina Kurtagic – Lisl Ponger: The Art of Transience
- Sarah Turner – CUT
- Laura Malacart – Journey into no-woman’s land: Ulrike Ottinger’s, Ticket of No Return
- Naomi Salaman – Still Dancing: Duane Hanson
edited by Giles Lane
issue designed by Richard Bonner-Morgan cover image: Lisl Ponger
Published June 1999
A collection of writings by the internationally renowned artist and educator focusing on the magic, spectral aspect of photography and the moving image. Ghost Stories presents new versions of texts written between 1983 and 1998 and published in a wide range of magazines, exhibition catalogues and books, as well as presenting a number of previously unpublished works.
Stylistically diverse – ranging from academic to journalistic, from critical interpretation to poetic speculation – the book charts the development of key critical approaches and cumulatively presents an unorthodox intellectual and aesthetic position.
Pavel Büchler is Research Professor in Art and Design at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Selected for the American Center for Design’s 23rd Design 100 Show: Not Yet the Periphery
- Willie Doherty
- Rory Hamilton
- ISO/Toni Davidson
- Sera Furneaux
- Matthew Dalziel & Louise Scullion
- Johnny de Philo [Sue Golding] – Blood Poetics
- Anonymous – The Entrapment [illustrated by Dave McKean]
- Sandra Lahire – The Fairies Banquet: on Sarah Pucill
- Regina Cornwell – Critic to Artists: Q&A – The Computer and Art-making
- Nelly Voorhuis – Artfilm and Video in the Arena of Art Exhibitions
- Chris Darke –Profession: Reporter, on John Sargeant’s The Blue Summer
- Sally Stafford – Guilt, the Confessional and 1940s Woman’s Film
edited by Giles Lane
issue designed by Richard Bonner-Morgan & Simon Emery cover images: Sara Roberts
published September 1998
- Jaki Irvine
- Pervaiz Khan & Felix de Rooy
- Andrew Stones
- Marcelyn Gow
- Maria Walsh – Beyond the Lighthouse: a Reflection on two films by Tacita Dean
- Kevin Henderson – The Hunters in the Snow
- Francis McKee – Between the Lines: Valerie Mrejen’s words and pictures
- Anna Maris – Pelle Wichmann: Northern Exposure
- Katrina McPherson – Video Dance: sketches on process and structure
- Andrew Poppy – Six Happy Ideas, or Killing the Vision Kid
- Sean Cubitt – Abandoned Projects in the Pursuit of Beauty
edited by Giles Lane
issue designed by Damian Jaques cover image: Katrina McPherson
published May 1998
- Lyndal Jones
- John Stezaker
- Jon Thomson & Alison Craighead
- Breda Beban & Hrvoje Horvatic
- Ian Hunt – Okinawa Replay: Chris Marker’s “Level Five”
- Charles Esche – Collision Discourse: On Roderick Buchanan
- Virginie DuPray – Auto-bio-video: Lydie Jean-dit-Panell
- Mark Lewis – Upside Down Touch of Evil
- Nicola Coutts – Microcosmos; creature myths, converse
- Rob Stone – TightShoes and the Jump Cut: Walter’s Embrace
- Gilles Lazare – Jacob’s Ladder
edited by Giles Lane
issue designed by Damian Jaques cover images: Lydie Jean-dit-Panell
published September 1997
- Clio Barnard
- Judith Goddard
- Steve Farrer
- Graham Ellard & Stephen Johnstone
- Critical Art Ensemble – Eugenic Visions
- Pavel Büchler – A Shadow of the Crowd
- Lisa Blackman – Harwood: Rehearsal of Memory
- Declan Sheehan – Father Massissi, meet Baron Samedi
- Stuart Morgan – Buried Alive: Steve Farrer
- Douglas Ord – Watch/ed and Measure/d: on David Rokeby
- Jon A. Wagner – Tragic Realism, or This Order of Rage
- Lily deRais – The Mutilated Body and the Unbroken Shadow
edited by Giles Lane
issue designed by Damian Jaques cover image: from Orson Welles‘ Macbeth
published January 1997
- Simon Robertshaw
- Marion Kalmus
- Sharon Morris
- Sean Cubitt – The Splendour and Death of the CD-ROM
- Marcelyn Gow – The Vitreous Chamber
- Rob Gawthrop – Written Work Consisting of Title as Text…
- Lowena Faull – Mnemoteknics
- Steve Hawley – John Baird: The Man With the Flower in his Mouth
- Glyn Davis – The Active Gayz: Ethnographically Reconstituting Spectatorship
- Chrissie Iles – Untitled/Luminous Structures
- Denise Robinson – From a Conversation with Susan Hiller
- Brandon LaBelle – Phantom Memory
edited by Giles Lane
issue designed by Damian Jaques cover image: Marion Kalmus
published June 1996
- Helen Sear
- Rita Keegan
- Andrew Kötting
- Anne Tallentire
- Stuart Morgan – Bill Viola: Video as Meditation
- Kathleen Pirrie Adams – Obscure Objects and Space Oddities: Fetish and Queerness in the Films of Tanya Syed
- Mark Lythgoe – Images of the Mind
- William Firebrace – Treptow
- Gad Hollander – The Preparation: A Writer’s Occupation Before/After Writing
- Marina Grzinic – Identity Re-read, Re-worked, Re-coded by New Media and Technology
- Laura Hudson – Promiscuous 8
- Clement Page – Matthew Barney: Masculinity at the Margins
- Anna Maris – Angry Kids and Body Projections: A Look at the New Generation of Bristol Animation
edited by Giles Lane
issue designed by Damian Jaques cover images: Mark Waller
published November 1995
- Jayne Parker
- Simon Lewandowski
- Victoria Mapplebeck
- Stef Zelinskij
- Atif Ghani – A New Cultural Politics of Difference
- Brandon LaBelle – The Poetics of Blue (Derek Jarman)
- Mark Cousins – Danger and Safety
- Jamie Wagg – History Painting
- Eugene Finn – Silence and Darkness South of the Border: High Boot Benny
- Kathleen Rogers – Psi-Net
- Marion Reichert – The Third Mind of Technology
- Gina Czarnecki – Authenticity of the Image
- Wayne Sleeth – The Perpetual Minute: the films of Rebecca Horn
- Christopher Maris – Kino Schmino: the VGIK film school in Moscow
- Emina Kurtagic – Is it Alchemy, a Dream or a Wish to Escape?
- Giles Lane – Jeux des Anges/Bovisa: an inventory of confluence and representation
edited by Giles Lane
issue designed by Damian Jaques cover images: Victoria Mapplebeck and Alnoor Dewshi
published March 1995