Mapping Perception Redux

March 20, 2012 by · Comments Off on Mapping Perception Redux 

Ten years ago, in 2002, we completed a major 5 year collaboration between myself, filmmaker and artist Andrew Kötting and the neurologist Dr Mark Lythgoe. The project, Mapping Perception, had been an extraordinary journey for us exploring the membrane between our perceptions of ability and disability, through the prism of impaired brain function. Andrew’s daughter, Eden, who was born with a congenital syndrome called Joubert’s (which causes the cerebellum to remain underdeveloped) was both the inspiration for this project and its heart. For the project we produced a major site-specific installation, a 35mm 37 minute film and a publication and CD-Rom.

On Monday 19th March the BFI is to release a new DVD (which includes the Mapping Perception film as a special feature) of Andrew’s latest film, This Our Still Life – a portrait of Eden now grown into a young woman. We’re really excited that MP is present on the DVD as it will mean a whole new audience for the work and are teaming up with the BFI to provide 50 free copies of the Mapping Perception Book & CD-Rom for people ordering the DVD (more details / link to come).

Snout: A carnival of the everyday

November 7, 2009 by · Comments Off on Snout: A carnival of the everyday 

Orlagh and I are just finishing a short video, inspired by our Snout project, which will have its first outing at the upcoming Mobilefest Festival in Sao Paulo Brazil.  A single screen video work – it draws together line animation, visualisation of sensor data and video footage of a live event featuring European carnival characters  Mr Punch and The Plague Doctor as they cavort around London in costumes instrumented with environmental sensors.  It reminded me that Snout was featured in 2008 in  Zona 2; signs in the city, a supplement to the Italian architecture and design magazine Abitaire. So to accompany the video here is the short essay and my drawings from Zona about the project:

A theatre of the everyday

Carnival is a time when everyday life is suspended – a time when the fool becomes king for a day, when social hierarchies are inverted and the pavement becomes the stage, a time when everyone is equal. There is no audience at a carnival, only carnival-goers.

On 10 April 2007 the Snout ‘carnival’ performance and public forum (featuring Mr Punch and The Plague Doctor instrumented with environmental sensors) drew together artists, producers, performers and computer programmers to explore how wearable technologies with environmental sensors can combine with Internet sharing technologies to map the invisible gases in our everyday environment. The project by Proboscis, inIVA  and researchers from Birkbeck College also explored how communities can use this evidence to initiate local action.

For Proboscis public space is a focus for convening conversation and dialogue. It gives context to shared issues such as pollution, the environment, and our personal and communal relationships to them. In Snout, we sought to meld the problem of measuring pollution in public space with ways to begin a conversation between local people that can inspire a path to change; not just frighten people with statistics.

Our world is increasingly affected by human behaviour and industry – there is awareness of pollution in public spaces but we rarely have access to actual data. What is the local air quality of our street like? What ground toxins are present? The participatory sensing concept seeks to put the science and technologies of environmental sensing into the hands of local people to gather and visualise evidence about their environment.

We chose Mr Punch as an allegory of Western consumer culture. Punch is the fool, the trickster, an anti-authoritarian figure – challenging social structures, yet never taking responsibility for his actions. In the traditional Punch story – The Tragical Comedy, Comical Tragedy of Mr Punch, he defeats authority, but at the same time kills all the people close and dear to him. Ultimately he is left alone. We also chose the Plague Doctor because of his ambiguous relationship to technology. The doctor’s outfit is a kind of seventeenth century HazMat suit, but is he a real doctor or is he a quack hiding behind the cultural and hygienic prophylactic of the costume? With both the characters we are questioning the social and cultural role not only of technologies but also of those who use them, and why.

The data collected by the sensors in the Snout costumes are the ingredients for a feast of conversation; a recipe that includes various ingredients (sensor data, statistics culled from official websites and local knowledge shared by the community) to cook up local feasts of conversation. In addition to the data picked up by the sensors on the Snout costumes (carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, noise, solvent vapours etc), other sources were aggregated such as local health statistics, local education and the ‘deprivation’ index.

Consumerism drives a headlong scramble of production, underpinned our concept of individual freedom and choice. Our desire to have technologies which ‘free’ us, enable greater communication and ability to travel are also ones which contribute to accelerating ecological damage. The technologies we manipulate to help us make sense of these issues are also part of the problem. The question then becomes, how do we take responsibility for the impact of our desires upon the environments we live in, and their effects on the environments of others? How can we shift our perceptions of what can happen on the street, in public space, to create the context to begin conversations?

Topographies and Tales

August 3, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

A film by Alice Angus and Joyce Majiski using music, oral recordings, drawing, animation and storytelling to playfully unearth local and personal stories, memories and myths against a picture of how concepts of space and environment are shaped by ideas of belonging and home. A personal exploration of the intimate way people form relationships with their environments, Topographies and Tales takes a journey through the myths and perceptions the filmmakers encountered on their travels in the west of Scotland and the Yukon.

Topographies and Tales is part of Alice’s long term collaboration with Canadian artist Joyce Majiski. They began a collaboration in 2003 which took them to Ivvavik National Park in the Canadian Arctic, Glenmore Lodge in the Cairngorm Mountains, Scotland, the Klondike Institute for Art and Culture in Dawson City, Canada, Joyce’s Tuktu Studio in Whitehorse and the Proboscis Studio in London.

Topographies and Tales, 12.52min 2009 from Proboscis on Vimeo.

Topographies & Tales

November 3, 2008 by · 2 Comments 

Topographies & Tales is about the relationship between people, language, identity and place, revealing personal stories against the larger picture of how our concept of space and environment is shaped by “belonging” and “nationhood”, and how boundaries, barriers and borders come to be formed.

It has included short films, essays, nine Diffusion eBooks, a Creative Lab in London and events in Dawson City, Canada and is underpinning a new body of work exploring peoples relationship to water called At The Waters Edge.

Topographies and Tales is based around a body of work that Alice Angus has been creating in collaboration with Joyce Majiski exploring the perceptions of landscape and of the North.  It is driven by interests in ideas of proximity and remoteness, technology and presence, and the concept of ‘wilderness’ against the lived experience of a place. The works are a personal exploration of the intimate way people form relationships with their environments. They are underpinned by an exploration of how the technologies of travel and communication impact on a sense of time, from the coming of the railroad to the ‘new’ world of data and communications: our perceptions of geography are affected not just by knowledge, but by the way it is mediated. Beginning in the winter of 2001 Alice took the railroad across Canada, from east to west, against the historic flow, creating the film, Near Real Time. Then, in 2003, Alice participated in the first Parks Canada residency in Ivvavik National Park in the Northern Yukon. She began a collaboration there with guide Joyce Majiski which took them to Glenmore Lodge in the Cairngorms, Scotland in 2004 and Klondike Institute for Art and Culture in Dawson City, Canada in 2005 for their short film Topographies and Tales 2009.


Topographies and Tales 2009 (12.52 min)
Topographies and Tales, 2009 (excerpts 5.30min)

Using music, oral recordings, drawing, animation and storytelling to playfully unearth local and personal stories, memories and myths against a picture of how concepts of space and environment are shaped by ideas of belonging and home. A personal exploration of the intimate way people form relationships with their environments combining animation and live documentary footage, Topographies and Tales takes a meandering journey through the myths and perceptions the filmmakers encountered on their journeys in the west of Scotland and the Yukon.

Near Real Time: Sketch of a Journey, 2002 (4min)
In the winter of 2001 Alice took the railroad across Canada, from east to west, against the historic flow.

Near Real Time By Alice Angus, following the railroad East to West across Canada
Landscapes in Dialogue by Alice Angus, thoughts inspired by the Artists in the Park residency, Ivvavik National Park, Yukon

A Diffusion eBook series, Topographies and Tales, contains nine eBooks by Alice Angus and Joyce Majiski created as a result of the project.

At The Waters Edge with Joyce Majiski and Alice Angus
The first in a new a series of eBooks growing out of Topographies and Tales. At The Waters Edge are water based investigations exploring different perspectives of what it means to care for the environment and how it can affect the way in which water environments are managed and cared for.

Topographies and Tales website.

Team: Alice Angus, Giles Lane, Orlagh Woods (2004-09).

Mapping Perception

November 3, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Mapping Perception was a four year collaboration between Giles Lane, curator and producer, Andrew Kötting, the acclaimed director of Gallivant and This Filthy Earth, and Mark Lythgoe, neurophysiologist at the Institute of Child Health, London with the participation of Eden Kötting.

Mapping Perception examined the limits of human perception through an investigation of impaired brain function, making visible the connections between scientific and artistic explorations of the human condition, probing the thin membrane between the able and the disabled.

At the heart of the project is Eden, Andrew’s daughter. She was born at Guy’s Hospital, London, in 1988 with a rare genetic disorder – Joubert Syndrome – causing cereberal vermis hypoplasia and several other neurological complications. Eden participated in the project as both a catalyst and a cypher for a more general investigation into how we see the world and perceive difference.

Mapping Perception has four main outcomes:

  • a 37 minute 35mm film
  • an immersive & environmental sensory installation
  • a book & CD-ROM (buy online)
  • a website

Project Website

Team: Giles Lane, Andrew Kötting, Mark Lythgoe, Alice Angus, Catherine Williams

Funded by Sciart Consortium (Production Award), Film Council (National Lottery Award), London Production Fund, Caloutse Gulbenkian Foundation and South East Arts.

COIL journal of the moving image

November 3, 2008 by · 5 Comments 

COIL was a 10 issue journal published between 1995 and 2000 which explored experimental moving image and electronic/digital media created by artists. Founded and edited by Giles Lane, the journal did not theme issues nor did it include an editorial; contributors were invited to ‘intervene’ – to use it as a creative space for exploring different ideas, new creative practices or to offer critiques of contemporary practices. Seeking to publish new voices as well as more established artists (often ignored by the bubble of the yBA BritArt phenomenon), COIL provided a unique platform for artists and documented an alternative vision of practices in the late 1990s. Over 80 different writers were commissioned and published for the journal.

Artist’s projects were commissioned that offered contributors the opportunity to translate their moving image or digital practices to the space of the book. In all 37 projects were commissioned specially for the journal.

COIL was supported throughout its 5 year history by the Arts Council of England’s Film & Video Dept (David Curtis & Gary Thomas), as well as receiving occasional support from Channel 4 TV and the London Film & Video Development Agency.

Buy back issues Online


May 9, 2008 by · 1 Comment 

Materializing Data, Embodying Climate Change 
Proboscis is a partner in a 3 year AHRC-funded research project in collaboration with Prof. Tom Corby (Central St Martins, UAL); Prof. George Roussos (Birkbeck UoL) & Dr Louise Sime (NERC British Antarctic Survey). Devising and exploring the potential for Empathic Encounters with complex interconnected climate data sets to make abstract data and concepts more meaningful and tangible to the general public.
Begun 2019 | Ongoing

Single Digital Presence
Proboscis was commissioned by the British Library to devise and facilitate a series of workshops with library users across the UK as part of a user-centred design engagement process for the Single Digital Presence project, exploring the needs and desires of public library users for digital services.
Begun & Completed 2018

City Of Refuge
A collaboration with the London School of Economics (Media & Communications) on a series of workshops with refugees and their local supporters in three cities: London, Athens & Berlin. The project sought to gain insights into experiences of migration in these three places and to examine the role of digital communication in the making of cities of refuge.
Begun 2018 | Completed 2019

A collaboration with the University of Oxford (Human Centred Computing), Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute (Nottingham) & University of Edinburgh (Informatics) to devise a Fairness Toolkit exploring bias, trust & fairness in algorithms deployed in social media and other key platforms.
Begun 2016 | Completed 2018

TK Reite Notebooks
A collaboration with Professor James Leach (UWA/CNRS) working with local people in Reite village, Rai Coast Papua New Guinea to co-design new shareable ways to record and share their local environmental and cultural knowledge.
Begun 2015 | Ongoing

Creative Securities
A collaboration with Professor Lizzie Coles-Kemp (Information Security Group at Royal Holloway University of London) to document the grassroots-based security methods and tools the group has been developing as part of several research projects.
Begun 2016 | Completed 2018

Proboscis ran a series of free public “Pop Up Publishing” workshops in libraries in Brent, Islington and Hounslow for the Librarypress project (funded by ACE), introducing members of the public to bookleteer and the concept of “hybrid publishing on demand”. We also ran two one-day Professional Development Masterclasses for professional library staff from ten London Library services (Brent, Camden, Hackney, Harrow, Hounslow, Islington, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton & Southwark).
Begun 2014 | Completed 2015

TBI Rehabilitation Tool
Proboscis consulted on strategies for engagement and user experience design for the Movement Science Research Group at Oxford Brookes University incorporating patient perspective into the development of a “Rehabilitation Tool” for survivors of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) to share data on their ongoing experiences of rehabilitation. Part of a Europe-wide research project, CENTER_TBI.
Begun & Completed 2014

the Periodical 
A monthly selection of one or more publications that have been created and shared on bookleteer were printed and posted to subscribers. It was an eclectic and often eccentric way of building a community of writers and readers around bookleteer and the Diffusion eBook format, inspired by 17th Century pamphleteering.
Begun 2012 | Completed 2015

Indigenous Public Authoring
A collaboration with Professor James Leach (UWA/CNRS) working with local people in Reite village, Rai Coast Papua New Guinea to co-design new shareable ways to record and share their local environmental and cultural knowledge.
Begun 2012 | Completed 2013

Hidden Families
A collaboration with ISG at Royal Holloway University of London, Freya Stang, NEPACS and Action for Prisoners Families to document and share the experiences of families visiting relatives in prison.
Begun 2012 | Completed 2013

An Art + Industry commission as part of Anglia Ruskin University’s Visualise programme to work with Philips Research UK exploring new ways to engage people with biosensor data to promote wellbeing and healthy life choices.
Begun & Completed 2012

Pallion Ideas Exchange
A collaborative community co-design project in partnership with the Information Security Group at Royal Holloway University of London and Pallion Action Group in Sunderland to assist in creating a grassroots knowledge network.
Begun & Completed 2012

A commission to create a site-specific artwork on Hive Beach, Dorset (on the “Jurassic Coast”) as part of the Cultural Olympiad connecting human time with geological time.
Begun 2011 | Completed 2012

Fabric Design
Experiments with drawing and digital printing of fabrics.
Begun 2010 | Ongoing

Public Goods Lab
Our in-house R&D creative technology initiative.
Begun 2011 | Completed 2012

Public Goods
Our programme of projects focusing on making and sharing tangible representations of the intangible things we value most about the places and communities we belong to, such as stories, skills, games, songs, techniques, memories, local lore and experiential knowledge of local environment and ecology.
Begun 2011 | Ongoing

Agencies of Engagement
A collaborative research project with CARET & Crucible at the University of Cambridge investigating groupwork and collaborative practices in the university community to support software development of a collaboration platform.
Begun & Completed 2011

City As Material
A series of one day events in London combining urban exploration and collaborative publishing with bookleteer. 5 collaborative eBooks published and 4 eBooks commissioned from invited guests : Tim Wright, Ben Eastop, Simon Pope & Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino
View the eBooks here
Begun & Completed 2010

Safe Planet
A commission to co-design and develop the artistic identity for a major global awareness campaign about Persistent Organic Pollutants for the United Nations Environment Programme.
Begun & Completed 2010

Proboscis is a creative partner in the Graffito project, supported by the Horizons Digital Economy Research Institute, developing a collaborative drawing platform for smartphones and tablets.
Begun & Completed 2010

As It Comes
A commission from the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce to create a series of artistic works by Alice Angus about the independent traders of Lancaster and the culture of local trade.
Begun & Completed 2010

Birmingham Total Place
A commission for the Birmingham Total Place project to document the experiences of families receiving “Early Intervention” from social services and to communicate this in a novel way to policymakers and senior management.
Begun & Completed 2010

Our new free web-based self-publishing service for creating & sharing Diffusion eBooks and StoryCubes.
Launched 2009 | Ongoing

With Our Ears to the Ground
A commission from Green Heart Partnership to engage with 4 different geographic communities in Hertfordshire and explore people’s ideas about community.
Begun 2009 | Completed 2010

Proboscis is continuing our collaboration with DodoLab (a project supported by University of Waterloo and the Musagetes Foundation) first initiated at the 5th World Environmental Education Congress in Montreal, Canada May 10th-14th 2009.
Begun 2009 | Completed 2012

Sensory Threads
Proboscis is developing a new mobile participatory sensing project with researchers from the Centre for Digital Music at Queen Mary University of London; Pervasive Computing Lab at Birkbeck College, Mixed Reality Lab at University of Nottingham; and the School of Management at University of Southampton.
Begun 2008 | Completed 2009

Sutton Grapevine
A commission by ADeC (Arts Development East Cambridgeshire) to create a space where local residents of Sutton-in-the-isle near Ely, new and longstanding, can have the room to explore place and identity through creative activity.
Begun 2008 | Completed 2009

Being In Common
Being in Common invites people to expand and alter their understanding of ‘common space’ and is inspired by the close connection between the histories of enclosure, surveying and gunpowder that coincide in Gunpowder Park. A commission by Haring Woods Associates / Landscape+Arts Network Services at Gunpowder Park as part of the Art of Common Space programme.
Begun 2008 | Completed 2009

Perception Peterborough
Proboscis was commissioned (with strategic consultants Haring Woods Associates) to develop the creative vision for the growth for the City of Peterborough, an ambitious £1bn development plan over the next 15-20 years. Through an anarchaeological investigation of the city, its environment and inhabitants, Proboscis devised and facilitated a series of workshops and distributable works that contributed to a major regeneration strategy.
Begun & Completed 2008

Proboscis was invited by the British Council to design a framework for a series of collaborations and residencies with organisations in East Asia, as part of their Creative Cities programme. Lattice is a framework for Proboscis to work collaboratively with different partners in the region to engage local communities in developing their own tools and techniques for public authoring, anarchaeology and cultures of listening. The initial project Lattice:Sydney is hosted by ICE (Information & Cultural Exchange) in Western Sydney during 2008.
Begun 2007 | Completed 2008

Experiencing Democracy
A week long Social Tapestries workshop with Year 4 students at the Jenny Hammond Primary School in Waltham Forest investigating children’s experiences of democracy and democratic behaviour. Developed and delivered with Loren Chasse.
Download the learning diary eBook (A4); final Group eBook (A4) and project report (A4)
Begun 2007 | Completed 2007

Snout was a Social Tapestries collaboration between inIVA, Proboscis and researchers from Birkbeck College exploring relationships between the body, community and the environment. It built on our previous collaboration on Feral Robots to investigate how data can be collected from environmental sensors as part of popular social and cultural activities. Two carnival costumes instrumented with environmental sensors were created and a mock carnival held in Shoreditch, east London in April 2007.
Begun 2006 | Completed 2007

Conversations and Connections
Proboscis collaborated on an 18 month Social Tapestries project with community development consultancy, Local Level and Havelock Independent Residents Organisation to explore how public authoring concepts and tools could be used by residents of a low income social housing neighbourhood (in Southall, West London) to map and share local knowledge leading to an improvement in services from the local authority and housing agency. The project was funded through an Innovations grant from the Democratic Engagement branch of the Electoral Policy Division of the Ministry of Justice.
Download the Evaluation Report
Begun 2005 | Completed 2007

Everyday Archaeology
A week long Social Tapestries workshop with Year 4 students at the Jenny Hammond Primary School in Waltham Forest exploring the local environment and the children’s relationship to it. Developed and delivered with Loren Chasse.
Download the Activity & Impact Report
Begun 2006 | Completed 2006

Robotic Feral Public Authoring
A Social Tapestries collaboration with Birkbeck College and Natalie Jeremijenko to adapt toy robots with GPS positioning, environmental sensors and wireless data upload to Urban Tapestries. The prototypes were built for and tested in London Fields with the help of local people, and presented publicly at the Science Museum London.
Download the Cultural Snapshot
Begun 2005 | Completed 2006

Topographies and Tales
Topographies & Tales is about the relationship between people, language, identity and place, revealing small local stories against the larger picture of how our concept of space and environment is shaped by “belonging” and “nationhood”, and how boundaries, barriers and borders come to be formed. Proboscis collaborated with and supported residencies in the UK for two artists to create new works with us – Joyce Majiski (Canada) & Loren Chasse (USA).
Begun 2004 | Completed 2007

Social Tapestries
Social Tapestries was a research programme developing experimental uses of public authoring to demonstrate the social and cultural benefits of local knowledge sharing enabled by new mobile technologies. These playful and challenging experiments built upon the Urban Tapestries framework and software platform developed by Proboscis and its partners. Through collaborations and partnerships with other civil society organisations we addressed education, social housing, community arts and local government. Projects include: Experiencing Democracy, SnoutConversations and ConnectionsEveryday ArchaeologySt Marks and Robotic Feral Public Authoring.
Begun 2004 | Completed 2009

Navigating History
A collaboration with curator Deborah Smith commissioning 11 artists’ projects in local libraries and local history collections in the South East region of England. This unique project built on the Topologies research and created dynamic new relationships between local people, the artworks and the collections.
Begun 2003 | Completed 2005

Urban Tapestries
Proboscis created and developed this groundbreaking project exploring mobile technologies, mapping and public authoring  in partnership with the London School of Economics, Hewlett Packard Research Labs and Orange with Ordnance Survey and France Telecom R&D. The initial prototype (for PDA and WiFi) had a public trial in London in December 2003, the second prototype (for Symbian mobile phone and GPRS) was given a field trial in June 2004.
Download the Report: Public Authoring, Space & Mobility
Begun 2002 | Completed 2004

StoryCubes are a tactile thinking and storytelling tool for exploring relationships and narratives. Each face of the cube can illustrate or describe an idea, a thing or an action, placed together it is possible to build up multiple narratives or explore the relationships between them in a novel three-dimensional way. StoryCubes are part of the Diffusion Shareables concept and can be created using the Diffusion Generator, as well as purchased as packs for creative projects, brainstorming and workshops. Proboscis also offers a personalised StoryCube printing service.
Begun 2002 | Ongoing

Landscape and Identity; Language and Territory
Liquid Geography questioned and explored contemporary perceptions of geography, territory and landscape, at a point in time when understandings of place and space are being redefined. The initial strand of this research was Landscape & Identity; Language & Territory, a collaboration between Proboscis, MEDIA@LSE and inIVA. Two Creative Labs will be held on March 22nd and June 14th 2002 exploring how new technologies can be used in innovative ways to transform our knowledge of other societies and cultures and act as enabling tools providing a catalyst for the development of new ideas. A series of DIFFUSION eBooks were commissioned as pilots for future experiments in knowledge creation and dissemination.
Begun 2001 | Completed 2002

Sonic Geographies
Sonic Geographies takes sound as the entry point for excavating and mapping urban experience and invisible infrastructures of the city. A series of experiments and sketches were developed that operated as maps and journeys but also as highly personal renderings of sonic experience – sounds of the personal world in conversation with sounds of the city.
Begun 2002 | Completed 2003

Private Reveries, Public Spaces
Proboscis commissioned 14 proposals from leading artists and designers addressing the theme of converging media technologies (internet, radio, interactive television, wireless telecommunications etc) and their social and cultural impact on the shifting relationship between private and public spaces. Three of the proposals were selected by a panel of judges to be developed into ‘conceptual prototypes’ for presentation to the public, peers, academia and industry as online demonstrations and at an event at the London School of Economics on June 25th 2002.
Begun 2001 | Completed 2002

Peer2Peer was an informal network of people interested in developing collaborations and practical solutions for potential partnerships across the arts, industry and academia. The Network consists of individual artists and designers and people from academia, industry, public funding agencies, private foundations and government. Proboscis initiated the network and hosted a number of meetings and events in partnership with the LSE, RCA, Iniva and others.
Begun 2001 | Completed 2003

SoMa – Social Matrices
In 1999/2000 Proboscis began to re-orient itself as a creative studio with a strong emphasis on research. Over the next 18 months we developed close partnerships with Professor Roger Silverstone at the London School of Economics and the School of Communications at the Royal College of Art. Our collaborative research programme, SoMa was launched in April 2001 as a ‘think tank for culture’ – a think, make and do environment for transdisciplinary collaborations.
Begun 2001 | Completed 2006

Mapping Perception
A collaboration between Giles Lane, curator and producer, Andrew Kötting, the acclaimed director of This Filthy Earth,Gallivant and Smart Alek, and Mark Lythgoe, neurophysiologist at the Institute of Child Health, London.
The project looked at the perceptions of impaired brain function to further understand the mind and body interaction and our relationship with its abnormality. It made visible connections between scientific and artistic explorations of the human condition, probing the thin membrane between the able and the disabled.
Begun 1998 | Completed 2002.

Diffusion is a downloadable hybrid digital/material book format, developed by Proboscis in 1999/2000. Since the publication of the first series of Diffusion eBooks, Performance Notations, in September 2000, Proboscis has continued to use the format for commissioning new creative publications, as well as adapting and developing the format for uses in other fields and projects. The design schematics were first published in 2002, and since 2003 Proboscis has been developing the Diffusion Generator – an online application allowing people without design skills to publish Diffusion eBooks of their own.
Begun 1999 | Ongoing

Topologies was a research and feasibility study to investigate creating an initiative which could challenge existing definitions of public art. By commissioning and disseminating public artworks through the UK Public Library system, and using visual, aural and tactile media to investigate and represent abstract spaces and concepts, the works would form part of a wider attempt to broaden the audience for contemporary conceptual artwork. Topologies aimed to change both the context and the way in which people encounter art, aiming to introduce concepts of process-based art practices (as distinct from object-based works) to diverse and new audiences, and move the experience of encountering public (or conceptual) art away from a ‘viewer’ experience to that of a user.
The Research Report is available to download as a PDF file here.
Begun 1999 | Completed 2000

COIL journal of the moving image
Proboscis’ founding project, COIL was a 10 issue experimental publication that explored the practice of, and commissioned, artists film, moving image and new media works between 1995 and 2000. Over 140 artists, writers and others were published in the journal.
Begun 1994 | Completed 2000

Mapping Perception Book & CD-ROM

October 15, 2002 by · 1 Comment 

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

COIL journal double issue 9-10

December 1, 2000 by · Comments Off on COIL journal double issue 9-10 


  • 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 – 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
December 2000

Buy Online

COIL journal issue 8

June 15, 1999 by · Comments Off on COIL journal issue 8 


  • 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

Buy Online

Ghost Stories by Pavel Büchler

March 15, 1999 by · Comments Off on Ghost Stories by Pavel Büchler 

Stray Thoughts on Photography and Film

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.

Edited by Giles Lane & Brandon LaBelle
Designed by Louise Sandhaus
Published March 1999
Paperback 132 pages, b&w images isbn: 1 901540 07 3
Price £9.99 – Buy Online

Selected for the American Center for Design’s 23rd Design 100 Show: Not Yet the Periphery

COIL journal issue 7

September 15, 1998 by · Comments Off on COIL journal issue 7 


  • 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

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COIL journal issue 6

May 17, 1998 by · Comments Off on COIL journal issue 6 


  • 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

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COIL journal issue 5

September 15, 1997 by · Comments Off on COIL journal issue 5 


  • 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

COIL journal issue 4

January 15, 1997 by · Comments Off on COIL journal issue 4 


  • 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 WellesMacbeth
published January 1997

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COIL journal issue 3

June 15, 1996 by · Comments Off on COIL journal issue 3 


  • 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

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COIL journal issue 2

November 30, 1995 by · Comments Off on COIL journal issue 2 


  • 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

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COIL journal issue 1

March 15, 1995 by · Comments Off on COIL journal issue 1 


  • 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