PRACTITIONER: John Smith, The Girl Chewing Gum, 1976

John Smith is a video installation artist –unpredictable and unselfconscious, with “The Girl Chewing Gum” acknowledged as one of the most important avant-garde films of the 20th century. He captures the humour, complexity and mundanity of life in the UK.

Even the name “John Smith”, a common placeholder name, suggests a triumphant, British ordinariness. John for a very long time was the most common name for men in English speaking countries, first popularized with John the Baptist taken, whilst Smith was, and still is, the most common surname, as it was a profession in every country. Thus it stands to reason that John Smith is a good generic name, meant to be average or common – a name usually taken up wishing to blend in, a combination that was so common as to be virtually anonymous.

(Placeholder names – words that can refer to objects/ people whose names are temporarily forgetten, irrelevant, or unknown in the context in which they are being discussed)

Thus the name itself interests me as there begins a trail of thought regarding the genuinity of the name – a pseudonym? (Fictitious name – could be considered for the title?)


  • The camera follows pedestrians, cars and birds
  • Narrator seems to instruct the objects
  • Inspired by how directors give instructions to the actors
  • Takes place on a busy London Street: Dalston junction of east London England 


Ideas of control and faith – Smith takes the role of the director, having total liberty of constant narration of the film, and builds the film as he wants it in a strict sense. In a way his role is like a dictatorship, directing the world – or scene – the exact way he wants it – the exact movement in front of his camera, of what he wants his “cast” to do and where to go. With time as he moves his camera around he demands increasing control over theenvironment and obedience from his subjects, not only the people but cars, trucks, birds, clocks and buildings. The viewer is left to contemplate the possibility ofeveryday life as a staged reality.

At the beginning I actually believed things were happening in response to Smith's instructions – and I began to fantasize of a production of such a great scale. However as his directions turned to order the big hand of a clock to move at the rate of one revolution per hour and the smaller hand to move at the rate of one revolution every twelve hours, then forwarding his directions to the birds and trucks - I finally got the joke, and his expression of a directors desire to control everything that he sees through his camera. His 'direction' here is practically his ideal working situation, in a perfect world everything would be just as he wants it to be; but in reality, the only way that could be achieved is by narrating over a film he has already shot.

I found this film to be very interesting and clever, the humour and simplicity playing quite a crucial role in my love for it. I liked how the viewer was first deceived into the director’s plans, the exact direction of every movement, every glance in sight, every action – the cautiousness of crossing the road- makes me notice even the smallest of details that we do everyday. However I did think that the length could be been reduced, as the idea began to wear out towards the end, although this may have been the goal - for the laughs to be worn out after the same thing repeating over and over again, representative of a creator’s creative frustration of things that never go exactly how it was mentally envisioned. Perhaps a deeper thought of the whether artists can ever really put their true vision into the minds and eyes of others.

 I have previously noted on the uniformity identified whilst observing people collectively. To build on my interest of working in moving image, I could edit a film, not do a voiceover like Smith, but to look over all the footage I have yet and identify the repetition and patterns of movement across different individuals, to emphasize the smallest of details that usually pass unseen.

‘…Smith embraced the ‘spectre of narrative’ (suppressed by structural film), to play word against picture and chance against order. Sharp and direct, the film anticipates the more elaborate scenarios to come; witty, many-layered, punning, but also seriously and poetically haunted by drama’s ineradicable ghost.’ - A.L. Rees, A Directory of British Film & Video Artists, 1995 (John Smith Films)

Smith filmed a new version in the same Dalston location called The Man Phoning Mum, as part of his 2011 exhibition unusual Red cardigan.

PRACTITIONER: John Smith, The Girl Chewing Gum, 1976


Sophie Calle is a conceptual artist, working in photographs and performances, in which she uses multi-media combining text, image and installations. Allude to journalism, anthropology and psychoanalysis, as well as to literature, the diary and the photo novel.


  • Absence of others, own existence plays an important role in her works
  • wrestles with modes of perception and identification
  • portraying life in all its diversity
  • handing over all the problems and questions to the viewer, this closes the loop back to life itself – to find the answer
  • Poised between private and collective experience


  • documents social interactions that require a pact of complete trust  life, everything we know is a belief, we allow ourselves to trust the information we are told and given, we trust the workings of society and the mechanics of infrastructure.
  • reports on encounters and situations that she sets in motion 
  • work amounts to a systematic laying bare of reality: her own or other people's, a limited portion left to chance -control, like john smith, looking at human behaviour
  • Taking photographs as a sequence – the sequence of continuous reactions and interactions, in a stalker like style - mysterious
  • Takes on the role as a detective, how it is like being a spy
  • investing much of her life to projects - highly personal and performative 
  • compelling narratives -narrative skill: Writes about the image to tell the story along side the photo itself, simplicity but effective narration
  • The documentary manner
  • suggests a high degree of factualness, directness of her formal approach
  • the conceptual enrichment in process of creation
  • power to draw in the observer with all his or her abilities and experiences
  • uncertainty expressed in her works is what makes them so compelling.
  • the way the photographs are set out in grids, adds interest to the series -presentation of this repetition adds something extra than if images were viewed individually

Maybe ask questions to viewers instead of stating a viewpoint I have?

I wanted to look at Sophie Calle as she uses photography in unique and original ways, a constant source for inspiration in terms of working conceptually. I'm interested in incorporating a bit of type and layout design, a graphic element, into my work. I was first drawn to the sleepers, the way the text accompanied the photographs – and the photographs itself, I thought that finally someone seemed to have a similar understanding to mine of the fascination of just watching people, observing, something socially frowned upon.


Address Book, 1983

  • most controversial work of art
  • found an address book in the street, photocopied it before mailing the original back to its owner. –how much privacy is invaded here, it is uncomfortable, not very socially acceptable, but inarguably interesting.

Should I work in such an interactive level? So far I have just been strictly observing from a third person point of view

  • called the numbers in the books, speaking with people about its owner, eventually trying to assemble a cohesive portrait of a stranger comprised of interviews with intimate friends, mere acquaintances, and photographs of things like the chair he always sat in when he visited.-don't necessarily have to take a traditional portrait of an individual, but to photograph the people and objects engaged in his favourite activities and everyday life to assemble a better understanding beneath the face
  • newspaper Libération published the results, owner threatened to sue for invasion of privacy -newspaper, a place to retrieve information, expose information

"Thus, I will get to know this man through his friends and acquaintances. I will try to discover who he is without ever meeting him."


The Sleepers (1979)

A project where Calle invites 23 persons, friends, strangers, neighbours, to come and spend 8 hours in her bed consecutively, so it is occupied 24 hours a day -approx. 8 days These invitees had to accept to be photographed whilst sleeping and to answer some questions -knowingly photographed in an unconscious state. Here Calle noted the important elements of these short encounters:

  •       the subjects of discussion
  •       positions of the sleepers
  •       movements during their sleep
  •       a detailed menu of their breakfast she was preparing for them


Suite Vénitienne, 1980 

A book of surveillance photographs of a man, with a daily diary of events and documenting her resistance to falling in love with the man as a result of so much of her life revolving around him everyday. It began when Calle followed a man whom she lost sight of a few minutes later in the crowd on the streets of Paris.

‘For months I followed strangers in the street. For the pleasure of following them, not because they particularly interested me. I photographed them without their knowledge, took note of their movements, then finally lost sight of them and forgot them.

The same evening, the two were introduced at an opening by chance. During their conversation, he told Calle he was planning an imminent trip to Venice. Calle, the narrator, decided to shadow him, photographing him and what he photographed, disguised in a blonde wig,

She had to phoned hundreds of hotels until she found out where he was staying, and then persuaded a woman who lived opposite to let her photograph his comings and goings from her window. Of course nowadays there are stricter laws on this type of stalking, so I’ve looked at people collectively, instead of an individual. As a result I see people like herds of animals, sheep/ ants, groups of similar frustrations during commutes, actions – the same.

  • The resulting pictures were enticingly enigmatic, with the accompanied texts similar to detective reports or a psychiatrist's case notes.
  • Opposites: control and freedom, choice and compulsion, intimacy and distance.
  • She follows rules as a break from the endless work of choosing: "Establishing rules and following them is restful. If you follow someone, you don't have to wonder where you're going to eat. They take you to their restaurant. The choice is made for you."


Exposed herself in Take Care of Yourself, 2007

A project inspired by rejection, surrounding an email Calle received from a lover ending their relationship. The letter ended with the phase "Take care of yourself." Often taken as a passive aggressive line synonymous for “have a nice life.” Calle asked 107 women of different professions, from a ballerina to a lawyer, to use their professional skills to analyse and dissect the email, giving their interpretation. Calle created a large-scale installation that transcends the personal to provide a monument to the women involved. This inspires me to think about scale: Large to create the impact, or small for the personal touch that can fit into everyday life? The result is amusing and poetic, it is also interesting to see how careers impact the opinion, in my judgement it seems perhaps lawyers may take a more neutral stance whilst ballerinas, or other professions in the arts, may be more emotional and passionate towards decisions. This project also sparks another element of revenge between humans -the anger that exists so great in our society. 

  • Influenced to take on the role as a stalker/ spy, not as extensive as to follow strangers
  • have a side effect of therapeutic reason: would be interesting to make something therapeutic to the everyday life, the modern pressure to earn more money. An object that can help with that at home.
  • take on her process: take photographs and write down everything everyone said, enjoy the process of photographs with accompanying text 
  • Reading more, I realized my curiosities were very similar to her body of work
  • examining the sleeping habits of strangers whom she invited to sleep in her bed; following the paths of people she met randomly;
  • building up, layer by layer, the identity of a man who lost his address book, by interrogating his acquaintances whose names appear in it; questioning people who were born blind on their ideal of visual beauty.
  • penetrates her subject’s privacy to develop suspense stories (like janet Cardiff) of sorts, which often assume the characteristics of a ‘photo-romance’.

PRACTITIONER: Sophie Calle, The Address Book, 1983

PRACTITIONER: Sophie Calle, The Sleepers, 1979

PRACTITIONER: Sophie Calle, Suite Venitienne, 1980


The Humument

A Humument has been a work in progress since 1966, when Tom Phillips first set himself the task to find a second-hand book for threepence and then alter every page by painting, collage and cut-up techniques to create an entirely new version. Phillips chose the 1892 ‘Victorian obscurity’ A Human Document by W.H. Mallock because he liked the title and the yellow cover, thus commencing an artistic enterprise that is 45 years-old and still actively transformed, revised and developed ever since.

‘A Humument’ – the title of an ongoing project created by folding the title-page, contracting ‘A Human Document’ into the neologism Phillips liked: ‘An earthy word, I like even the effortful sound of it.’

a strange, beguiling work, found within Mallock’s long-forgotten novel

A collection of many different styles over the course of rendering for 50 years. 

glimpsed in elliptical, non-linear fragments: ‘more like a pack of cards than a continuous tale’.

uses mise-en-page, spreading sparse text over the space of the page, to control our reading speed. The spatialised text makes for perfect comic timing. Gaps between the words create a delay that brings to life the final, unpredicted



  • Mallock has influence over the book, supplies the material.
  • Conditions the book entirely but doesn’t have incluence over it, doesn’t supply the rules
  • extremely funny, and the comedy depends on what Phillips calls Mallock’s ‘complete lack of humour’ 
  • The reeling comic voice that Phillips finds buried inside Mallock
  • a plot: Toge is the creation of one of the rules that govern much of Phillips’s creativity: words ‘together’ or ‘altogether’ appear the only words from which ‘toge’ can be extracted
  • conceals all the letters necessary to leave ‘toge’ standing alone
  • Phillips discovers in Mallock’s novel a version of his own life -in part, a kind of autobiography, and a reflection on growing old (‘memory, turning seventy, renewed, with a muse of quaint treated news’)
  • a novel of quotation: not only in the sense that all of its words were written first by Mallock but also because Phillips pieces together Mallock’s words to produce other writers’ lines: Shakespeare,
  • also lines from books that in 1892 had not yet been written
  • Mallock’s words are made to speak prophetically in other ways, too
  • invokes recent technologies: including Facebook and the iPhone 
  • own strange genre
  • the text shuffles through an array of terms
  • descriptions of the repurposed, treated curiosity in our hands



  • began a process of remaking or ‘treating’ the book
  • painting over most of each page with acrylic gouache or ink, he left visible a stream of text which, in dialogue with the images he added, told a new story.
  • effacing most of the text, generally by painting, occasionally by cutting, slicing, or even in one instance burning the page, to leave an alternative narrative 
  • ‘invited accident’ -love games and chance and rules
  • in the 1987 edition, coin tosses dictated which words should be struck out on page 99 of Mallock, until there were only two left standing: ‘something already’

Encourages viewer to “read between the lines”

“I plundered, mined, and undermined its text to make it yield the ghosts of other possible stories, scenes, poems, erotic incidents, and surrealist catastrophes which seemed to lurk within its wall of words. As I worked on it, I replaced the text I’d stripped away with visual images of all kinds. It began to tell and depict, among other memories, dreams, and reflections, the sad story of Bill Toge, one of love’s casualties.”


Similar process: Blackout Poetry

Instead of starting with a blank page, poets take a newspaper and a permanent marker and eliminates the words not needed. Results are humourous, profound and even unsettling - never boring.

  • Sort of like Michelangelo carving away the marble that imprisoned what he saw within. -Cleveland Plain Dealer
  • Rorschach approach to reading newspapers -Wall Street Journal

Tom Phillips' work remained very memorable to me because of my amazement to how an individual can be so consistent in continuing a project for over 4 decades; repeating the same practice over and over again.

I first saw The Humument at the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition. It was displayed at the final room of the show before exiting, and thus may have strengthened its lasting impact on me. Rows and rows of the pages were lined across the room, displaying each of Phillips’ rendered pages. It struck me because although the idea working over the extant text to create something new wasn’t new, having seen blackout poetry been done occasionally – the amount of detail put into the drawings of each page, and then it’s accompanying effect along with the text, made not only the new reinvention more amusing and poetic literally, but also visually.

Thus I chose to research and learn more about the process and background of this project, as I feel inspired in attempting the same to the Mass Observation Diaries I had seen at The Keep over the weekend. 

The idea of found art, the beauty found within, offers an alternative way of seeing. Taking an everyday object -the newspaper - and transforming it's original intentions. Interpret this to a visual method/ process, eliminating the elements of the image not needed, simplifying down the image, transforming subjects into a new space.


  • Influenced by these winning and witty artistic experiments
  • The idea of the remade
  • idea of authorship: always there in Mallock, just lost amid the torrent of other text. also interesting how people now will read Mallock after reading A Humument, and so they’re reading Mallock as a secondary text. Tom Phillips has become the original. A ghostly presence.
Like Janet Cardiff, one voice reheard is very different.
Humour is an important element I want to keep in my work

Revises the text to reflect current events 


Tom Phillips, A Humument

PRACTITIONER(S): Klara Källström & Thobias Fäldt, Wikiland

a tabloid with images from the house in Norfolk, England, where the Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was in house arrest 2010-2012

images from outside the Belmarsh Court in London during the Assange case, February 24-25, 2011.

Doesn't reveal any close portraits of Assange, turn the gaze towards media reporting and questions expectations on documentary photography under these events - looking at environments and surroundings rather than the individual -seeing how this reflects his presence, what was important is what he leaked, not the individual himself.

PRACTITIONER: Janet Cardiff, The Missing Voice (Case Study B), 1999

  • highly distinctive body of site-specific work comprising walks, sound-pieces and installations.
  • audio-walks
  • multimedia practice

taking place London's East End: tracing a route according to her narrative. Brought to some kind of space - dramatised greatly, enhanced fear and consciousness of surroundings. What was that sound? Who is speaking to you? Where does reality end, and what’s imagined begin…?

entwines you in a narrative that shifts through time and space

psychologically absorbing experiences - for an audience of one at a time. 

It was also surprising how the majority walks' landmarks remain present even after a decade. Occasional similar occurences, like the police sirens, depend the psychological experience tremendously, as if someone was watching me. Influenced by it's mysteriousness and psychological effect.


  • walk around and take notes on my mini voice recorder.
  • relistening to these notes in my apartment I realised how this voice became another woman, a different character from myself, a companion of sorts.
  • Also this voice seemed metaphorically to represent how we all have multiple personalities and voices.


Sunflower seeds

  • a total work made up of millions of individual pieces which together from a single unique surface
  • made up of millions of small works, each apparently identical, but actually unique.
  • However realistic they may seem, these life-sized sunflower seed husks are in fact intricately hand-crafted in porcelain.
  • Each seed has been individually sculpted and painted by specialists working in small-scale workshops in the Chinese city of Jingdezhen. Far from being industrially produced, they are the effort of hundreds of skilled hands. Poured into the interior of the Turbine Hall’s vast industrial space, the 100 million seeds form a seemingly infinite landscape.

Process/ Materials:

  • Porcelain is almost synonymous with China
  • manipulated traditional methods of crafting what has historically been one of China’s most prized exports
  • invites us to look more closely at the ‘Made in China’ phenomenon and the geo-politics of cultural and economic exchange today.
  • interaction of visitors with the sculpture can cause dust which could be damaging to health following repeated inhalation over a long period of time - not to allow members of the public to walk across the sculpture. 

The precious nature of the material, the effort of production and the narrative and personal content create a powerful commentary on the human condition. 

challenges our first impressions: what you see is not what you see, and what you see is not what it means.

Influenced by repetition: apparently identical but actually unique, similar to people, viewed them as ants, all looks the same and performs the same actions from lookign at the platform, but each unique.

On the contrary to previous 'readymade' works -seeds have been intricately hand-crafted by hundreds of skilled artisans

  • In China, when we grew up, we had nothing … But for even the poorest people, the treat or the treasure we’d have would be the sunflower seeds in everybody’s pockets.
  • It’s a work about mass production and repeatedly accumulating the small effort of individuals to become a massive, useless piece of work.
  • China is blindly producing for the demands of the market … My work very much relates to this blind production of things. I’m part of it, which is a bit of a nonsense.
  • For me, the internet is about how to act as an individual and at the same time to reach massive numbers of unknown people … I think this changes the structure of society all the time – this kind of massiveness made up of individuals.
  • Only by encouraging individual freedom, or the individual power of the mind, and by trusting our own feelings, can collective acts be meaningful.
  • I try not to see art as a secret code.



Ai Weiwei, Sunflower Seeds


Man-made structures

  • all man's scientific achievements an integral part of human evolution
  • a city is not less of a natural environment than the rainforest -an ever-present human desire to go further and leave some trace behind in the fraction of the time we are given.

Aim to grasp the devices at hand, push towards new frontiers by converting already existing technologies for photography in the hope of coming up with something new, a new device, a new language, a new frontier

Time -captures man's finite time in infinity

  • essential both in private history and for humanity as a community
  • the drama of our own transience -captures man's finite time in infinity
  • Images "stage" a situation where people are seen from a distance, depict them as particles in a system.
  • The observer of this scene is an imaginary person, looking at the whole as an outsider, as if being exempt from the laws of time. 


I scan rushing subway trains arriving to stations - The images record a number of tiny details of this moment. We see people staring towards their destinations standing at the doors framed by the sliding door windows. They are scrutinizing the uncertain future. Similarly to all my images, their main motivation is arrival. The darkness of the tunnels deep below the city turns these chemically clean mock-ups into fossils of our time.



  • a series of non-existent urban places. I created fake aerial photos and city vertigos by sequencing the same section of sidewalks and meticulously assembling collections of people.

Photographs appear to be seen from a height that makes them look like ants. Photographs are actually a composite of hundreds of individual photos, and none of the squares actually exist. 

PRACTITIONER: Adam Magyar, Squares

Adam Magyar, Stainless


emphasis on repetition, formal perfection and materiality

sculptures and environments thrive on the tension between the apparent impossibility of their construction, the seductive beauty of their surfaces and the often sinister implications of their subject matter.


establishing many of the social themes – such as labour, confinement and human endurance 

explore psychological spaces and structures of confinement & prtection


Liza Lou, Kitchen, 1996

PRACTITIONER: Richard Prince, New Portraits, 2015


  • taking other people's art, adding something new (sometimes very little), and selling it to wealthy collectors
  • Mining images from mass media, advertising and entertainment since the late seventies
  • copies of other people’s Instagram posts, a mix of images from celebrities and ordinary people - enlarged them, printed them out on inkjet paper, and added a cryptic comment at the bottom of each. Reportedly sold the images for $90,000 a piece.


  • redefined the concepts of authorship, ownership, and aura
  • Applying his understanding of the complex transactions of representation to the making of art
  • evolved a unique signature filled with echoes of other signatures yet that is unquestionably his own
  • raises a lot of fascinating questions: infringing others' copyrights?
  • A lot of people believe what Prince is doing isn’t right. Labeled as a “rip-off artist” and an "Instagram hijacker." Original Instagram posters whose photos were used were annoyed. Appropriation Instagram posts a "violation."

Pushing the boundaries of copyright law

  • Instagram shots function as a particular sort of twee self-promotion
  • a “readymade”—an ordinary thing that the artist had designated as a work of art, an attack on the traditional idea that art could be defined by formal aesthetic criteria.

"In his own act of abject appropriation, his refusal to make something “new,” Prince not only erases the chain of authors who came before him but also erases himself. ... [He] “orphans” the work, introducing it into a chain of re-users, none of whom ever really owned it, none of whom are original, and none of whom can control it." -Amy Adler, Fair Use and the Future of Art

 Authorship in a digital world:

  • body of appropriation art is provoking a reassessment of the meaning of authorship at a time when ownership of creative works in our digital world is tenuous.
  • Anyone with access to the Internet can take something made by others, copy it, change it, and distribute it at the click of a mouse - authorship is not a stable concept, but rather that it shifts as technology weakens the link between an “originator” and his work 
  • authorship is in decline, branding is rising to replace it? Prince’s work is valuable because he is an art world brand. That’s why he can take a bunch of Instagram shots and turn them into valuable art.  
  • we’re inclined to use copyright to censure Prince because of what his work tells us about ourselves right now.
  • how complicit we are in his actions by freely posting what we do on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.
  • start thinking about the autonomy interests not just of authors, but of everyone else. What rights do you have to use the images that come at you in a flood you cannot escape?

Richard Prince, New Portraits, Gagosian Gallery New York

Between the Lines

"Between the Lines" was a past group exhibition of language and text-based works -


  • Exploring the complexity of language and its manifestations in and as art
  •  the works on view incorporate text and the spoken word in new ways

  • language in this exhibition resists immediate readings, becoming instead a pliable medium and point of departure for different practices and narratives

  • pushes language beyond the constraints of grammar, logic and communication

  • reconfigures language as both a fluid material and conceptual device

  • considers the evolving relationship between language and art across a wide range of practices and media

  •  Many explore the physical and cognitive properties of sight: the shift between looking and reading


Text and speech are used as ways to engage with popular culture, politics and social ideologies-

Explore the material qualities of language by physicalizing text through repetition or displaying it as an object


  • Presentation bringing together sculptures, installations, paintings, photographs, videos and works on paper that include elements of text and speech
  • Dissected, recombined and transformed into patterns, shapes, objects and expressions
  • abstracted both visually and verbally to explore semiotics and the structure of language
  • through a series of visual and verbal puzzles made up of shapes, patterns, alphabets and even elements of an eye test

  • Exploit the relationship between context and meaning: repurposing found text and speech as poetic statements, personal expressions or as part of elaborate assemblages

  • Extracted from familiar sources such as literature, logos and periodicals


  • the words, phrases and notations that appear in these works probe the nature of communication itself, revealing its effectiveness as well as its limitations
  • Questioning what we see, how we see and understand it, address assigned meanings and modes of interpretation as they apply specifically to the written or printed word.
  • Symbols and phrases inspire new readings as formal elements, at times pared down to their most elemental forms
  • Merging form and content, both acknowledge and complicate the accessibility of language, derailing traditional readings while at the same time encouraging new ones.

Between the Lines

Martian Museum of Terrestrial Art

Mission: to interpret and understand contemporary art

Anthropologists from outer space set out on a mission to understand life on earth. Imagine that they begin their mission by examining the curious phenomenon that human beings call ‘contemporary art’. What does Art tell them about human life and culture?

  • Presents contemporary art works under the fictional guise of a museum collection conceived by and designed for extraterrestrials
  • Playful and irreverent: The Martian perspective opens up fresh interpretations + humorous misunderstandings - understand an unfamiliar culture, parodies the way that Western anthropologists historically viewed non-Western cultures through alien eyes.
  • Believing these objects to have a real or functional use - eccentric classification system, treat artworks as artefacts.

Questions about what I think is a representation of human existence, of everyday life -social media/ mass media is an integral assistance to humanity - perhaps look from this perspective.

HISTORICAL CONTEXT: Crime - Ohio Slave Girls

The story of 3 girls who were kidnapped and kept captive for over 10 years. The 3 woman were rescued May 2013 from a house in Cleveland Ohio USA.

Kidnapper Ariel Castro had been looking for vulnerable woman: Michelle Knight’s vulnerability was that she was too trusting; Amanda Berry put her guard down - Castro made her feel comfortable; Gina Dejesus knew Castro as he was her best friend’s father – she must have trusted him. 

I found this very distressing to watch, but this extreme case of constrain and confinement, the conflict of personality and the fact that we really don’t know people around us – gives a more clarity to why I was interested in human behaviour in the first place. Must be careful in how I visually interpret this - not make it too graphic and horrifying.


Control - his primary motive, absolute and total control psychologically – mind, body and soul

  • Property – reclaim people as theirs 

Community & kidnapper: Public & private

  • a wolf in sheep's clothing
  • so close that you could touch him – have no idea that you could be deceived/ betrayed by your friend
  • “the guy next door”, “very normal”, 
  • a monster behind closed doors
  • “we don’t know our neighbours”
  • “we all knew each other by face” –fake name/ identity


  • cut off from what makes them human, every normal maturation process, what makes their identity real
  • emotional struggle - the stalkhom syndrome / capture-bonding, is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with the captors.
  • learn what to do with freedom –something many of us take for granted
  • Chained to the wall –use of metal, constraint

The fear, the adrenaline –all of these thoughts that rush through your head: being alert at all times

  • How they pass the timewhat was going through their minds?
  • A spectator, disassociated

Systems – is it failing on people?

  • “personality disorder” / mentally disabled


The mystery of human behaviour that goes on. I'm particularly interested by this idea of fake identities, and the ease of this especially with social media.

My research and experiments have been my way of trying to understand the people I’ve been watching, but this crime just proves who knows what really is going on. The truth is only known to each individual, and they, like Castro, might even fool themselves, and try to justify their actions and conform with society’s ideas. Who really knows the truth? 

HISTORICAL CONTEXT: Ohio Slave Girls - Documentary

HISTORICAL CONTEXT: Ohio Slave Girls - Interview


Looking particularly at the aspects freedom from control and constraint - what are the rights for surveillance?


POLITICAL CONTEXT: Laura Poitras Sues U.S. Government to Find Out Why She Was Repeatedly Stopped at the Border

Over six years, filmmaker Laura Poitras was searched, interrogated and detained more than 50 times at U.S. and foreign airports.

When she asked why, U.S. agencies wouldn’t respond to her Freedom of Information Act requests

Poitras is suing the U.S. government for systemic targeting

Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence release any and all documentation pertaining to her tracking, targeting and questioning while traveling between 2006 and 2012.

Inspiration and influence on control, confinement and surveillance, provoke a sense of fear knowing this is reality.


SOCIAL CONTEXT: Most common fake name - 'John Smith'

Continuing from my interest in the name “John Smith”, I wondered if it would be the most common fake nameused. Personally I feel as though “John Smith” has become such a commonplace name, so ordinary that very few, if any, parents would choose to name their child that, presuming most parents would want something unique to suit such a life that they had created. Thus personally the name seems fake if used in modern day, as was confirmed statistically; according to social search solutions provider Rapleaf, out of no less than 100 million public Facebook profiles out of 200 million registered users, the 10 most common first name and last name combinations are: 

Full Name Count

1. John Smith (75,980)

2. Joe Smith (14,648)

3. Bob Smith (13,846)

4. Mike Smith (11,199)

5. Juan Carlos (10,254)

6. Jane Smith (10,023)

7. Mike Jones (10,014)

8. David Smith (9,322)

9. Sarah Smith (8,534)

10. James Smith (8,397)

Facebook is definitely a giant on the web, I can also look into other social media profiles like Instagram, and Twitter to make a compilation of both real and fake accounts of “John Smith”, investigating the enormous amount of raw data about individuals. Also surprising to find some female profiles going as the name John Smith as well.

The concept of social media too is complex. It relates back to the theme of public presentation versus private performance. Private profiles are not even always as private as we’d like to assume – theres a lot of data that you can extract from what’s openly available to the public.

BOOK: John Berger, Ways of Seeing

Very powerful conceptual background in relating vision with knowledge:

 3 of 7 essays contain purely pictorial images -visual essays

I believe it raises the same, if not more questions as the verbal ones

pictorial images distract from the points being made


"aspects thrown into relief by a modern historical consciousness."

"our principal aim has been to start a process of questioning"


Chapter 1


"seeing comes before words. the child looks and recognizes before it can speak"

"it is seeing which establishes our place in the surrounding world; we explain that world with words, but words never undo the fact that we are surrounded by it. The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled."

"...the knowledge, the explanation, never quite fits the sight"

The Key of Dreams by Magritte, "always-present gap between words and seeing"


the way we see things is affected by what we know or what we believe

conceptions of people saw in the middle ages, who were extremely religious, would have been different from what we would perceive things nowadays


the way we see things change with time according to our beliefs and contemporary opinions -the dominant majority of social opinions 

"we only see what we look at. to look is an act of choice. as a result of this act, what we see is brought within our reach" 


the faculty of sight: "we never look at just one thing; we are always looking at the relation between things and ourselves. our vision is continually active, continually moving, continually holding things in a cicle around itself, constituting what is present to us as we are

not static/ limited as touch

"soon after we can see, we are aware that we can also be seen. the eye of the other combines with our own eye to make it fully credible that we are part of the visible world."

the reciprocal nature of vision is more fundamental than that of spoken dialouge

often spoken dialogue is an attempt to explain how

 all images are man-made": an image is a sight which has been recreated or reproduced. it is an appearance... which has been detached from the place and time


in which it first made its appearance and preserved.

every image embodies a way of seeing

 photograph: not a mechanical record, the photographer selecting this sight from an infinity of other possible sights.

the photographers way of seeing is reflected in his choice of subject

painters way is reconstituted by the marks he makes on the canvas/ paper 

our preception/ appreaciate of an image depedns uon our own way of seeing

BOOK: Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera

The word “exposed” in relation to the idea of surveillance makes me think about the duality of being exposed but protected at the same time. In response to this idea I begin to relate back to self-portrait artist Francesca Woodman, who usually represents herself by exposing her body nude, yet the sense of absence and mystery protects her from feeding too much information to the viewer: we see so much yet we know so little.

The Unseen Photographer

pictures made on the sly, without the explicit permission of the people depicted

photographs present a shocking, illuminating and witty perspective on iconic and taboo subjects

Sex and celebrity is an important part of the exhibition - Ways celebrities are exposed, gossip magazines?

Including photographs of:

  •       Paris Hilton on her way to prison
  •       assassination of JFK 


The UK is now the most surveyed country in the world

an obsession with voyeurism, privacy laws, freedom of media, and surveillance – images captured and relayed on camera phones, YouTube or reality TV

 Focus on surveillance

  •       works by both amateur and press photographers
  •       images produced using automatic technology such as CCTV

Issues and their implications raised: particularly relevant in the current climate, topical debates raging around the rights and desires of individuals, terrorism and the increasing availability and use of surveillance.

Looks at the difference between capturing human behaviour naturally  and unknowingly than to staged smiles –an idea I have personally found intriguing when taking unauthorised pictures of commuters and passengers on the underground, there is this magnificence to the way people behave in their most raw state,

Rather than unnaturally in front of the camera, when people attempt to present the best versions of themselves, to stage the capture of a moment that would be recorded and can be reviewed back upon forever.

The differences between public and private space, the behaviour of individuals and the hybrid of the two.

e.g. NY street artists, people sitting in front of artists and constantly smile as artists are drawing them

Can look at comparison between photographing portraits when they are unaware, and photographing people after asking for permission, and they understand the context of it’s surrounding purpose


the camera has been used to make images surreptitiously and satisfy the desire to see what is hidden

examines photography’s role in voyeuristic looking

It includes pictures taken by professional photographers and artists, but also images made without our knowledge on a daily basis through the proliferation of CCTV.


divided into five thematic sections:

The Unseen Photographer

considers ways in which photography can reveal the world unawares

show people caught with their guard down


idea begins with the technologies that have allowed images to be made surreptitiously

nineteenth-century cameras hidden in walking sticks, shoes or inside suit-jackets

twentieth-century devices such as the lateral view-finder which allows the photographer to apparently face one direction while taking a picture in another


This I find very interesting –the possibilities of different angles to take of people who are aware you are taking pictures of the environment they are participating in with you, but believe that you aren’t photographing them as the camera is pointed to them –there is a nervous reaction to be pretty when the camera is facing you, as it will be there forever, an especially daunting feeling with technological advancements have allowed photo sharing at a global scale.

Can adopt both 19th and 20th century methods of “spy cameras”, e.g. photographing with spy pen camera, and using the lateral viewfinder


Using a right angle viewfinder:

Interesting if used with a film camera: one party is aware the photographer is  taking photos, but unaware of the fact that the photographer is photographing them, believing it is of another subject because of the direction the camera is pointed at.

The other party: the photographer, is aware of the situation and purpose, but there is still an unknown element to how the photograph actually turns out

This marks my interest in using photography and moving image as part of my research and process 

Added possibility of communicating in secrecy in the event of being aware of being watched?

Topics to foucs on: Celebrity and the Public Gaze, Surveillance


In each case, the nature and character of invasive looking is evident

not only in the images themselves, but also in the ways in which the viewer is implicated in acts of voyeurism

Rather than blame the camera for showing illicit or forbidden material

explores the uneasy relationship between making and viewing images that deliberately cross lines of privacy and propriety.

MAGAZINE/ JOURNAL: Inventory, Issue 12 - SS15


Altering and distorting the physical object into something we no longer recognise.

Playing with vision and perception - questioning what we know

Manipulating the use of light and shadows to enhance creases, increased abstraction

layout - subject/ focus of the series is centred and deducted in scale - background brings out the colour (same/ contrasting/ black and white) and detail (texture of the knit material, lining, its construction)


Mysterious Mister Blue

Example of a following piece

a mixture of subject knowingly acknowledging the camera, but also at times unaware



Lina Scheynius 

A beautiful, very intimate collection of photographs, capturing beauty in everyday mundane items that we see, but do not notice

magazines: visual reference, how editors choose to present information on opposite pages

FILMS/ TV PROGRAMMES: TED Talk by Tony Fadell, The First Secret of Design is... Noticing


A catfish is someone who pretends to be someone they're not using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances.

A Tv programme solve cases of online identity fraud: expose people lying about their bodies.

  •  breaking through to people and getting them to see themselves and understand their decisions and their actions

follows people who have been in passionate online relationships as they meet their would-be soulmates in person for the first time. Based on the original 2010 documentary “Catfish," where Nev and filmmakers travelled to meet the girl he had met online -  discovered the woman had been lying to Nev about who she was.

  • guides the show’s subjects through their journey

They’re real people and they’re exposing themselves, making themselves vulnerable

We then want to know why they are doing it, who they are, what they are feeling, what led them to this place, and why that resonates with thousands of other young people who have the same feelings, who don’t have someone to talk to or don’t know how to express themselves.”

stories of deception.” “We’ve also stumbled into some love stories,”

SOCIAL CONTEXT: Dangers of Social Media

Child predator social experiment, showing the vulnerability and how gullible and exploitable young girls are. Further evidence of the ease of creating fake profiles online, which do not reflect the individuals true self in reality. Whilst watching this I felt a fear that I wanted show communicate in my work.

SOCIAL CONTEXT: Dangers of Social Media

FILM: Inside Out, Pixar, 2015

Film was influential when I was studying the evolution from a child to an adult, also influential in informing ideas about communicating feelings in my work.

“Ever wondered what goes on inside someone’s head?” The movie begins looking from the perspective of a newborn baby through the slit of the eye -

  • Feelings: works as a technical mechanics
  • Joy being the core emotion at the beginning, & sadness
  • As child grows up: Fear, keep safe / Disgust, keeps from being poisoned physically and socially / Anger cares very deeply
  • Core memories, important time from past, kept in a safer place – powers a different aspect of personality – islands, what makes a person a person

Grows up older

  • Goofness becomes less and less active – becomes deconstructed with bad memories, this is growing up, maturing
  •  Imaginations dictate how you feel - visualisations
  • Interactive with feelings

 a pit of permenant state of sadness: cant make her feel anymore

as you grow older, compromise joy for sadness


guided by her emotions, struggle to adjust


  • feelings soley dictate the running of daily life -analyse every single thing, it’s a very complex process
  • interesting how director manipulate viewers feelings so well
  •  also noted that every human has these same 4 emotions
  • showing that as much as we strive to be differently and build our own personal identity, we are very much the same.
  • What if I interpret everyday life as a uniform? Represent each day with a series of words, opportunity to work with typography
  • The most materialistic, selfish, consumerist sayings to have people reflect on the attitude towards everyday life

FILM: Inside Out, Pixar, 2015

EXHIBITION: We Want More: Image-Making and Music in the 21st Century, The Photographers' Gallery

Explores the methods and processes of photography, it's manipulation and subsequent presentation:

EXHIBITION: We Want More - Gareth McConnell

EXHIBITION: We Want More - Ewen Spencer

EXHIBITION: We Want More - Jason Evans

EXHIBITION: We Want More - Jason Evans

EXHIBITION: We Want More - Jason Evans

EXHIBITION: Alice Anderson, Memory Movement Memory Objects, The Wellcome Collection

Sound effects of blocks

Rediscover things you thought you know already

Luminous half recognisable shapes
Process of mummification 
Objects are in transition, divested of purpose
Appear suspended in time as of preserved for a pharaohs tomb
The art of remembering seems almost obsolete
Digital world Appears to offer Instant access to past through information that is endless led uploaded and reproduced
Idea that memories might soon become first bodied and live exclusively online
Decisively sculptural
Process of rhythmical movement 
Express her belief in art as a powerfully charged communal ritual
Often in collaboration
Memory exists only when it is recalled 
performances and sculptures are strategies for remembering, creative an archive of movement and moments for our digital age
Eceryday things that surround us that will outlive us and that we often barely acknowledge
Therapeutic to see such beauty on such a large scale
Strange hybrids of everyday objects
Complex structures take appearance of museum artefacts from other worlds, a tower do repeating symmetrical elements
Vocabulary of modern abstract sculpture to remind that history has a way of converting artworks into relics
Distorted objects
After a while pressure of copper wire distorted
Reveal rhe force originally applied in their making
Tension and is recruit of the weaving affects everything from the large architectural elements like door frame and satellite dish to shoes
Like us objects and shapes and altered by their experience do time 
Particularly liked the long rectianlcug panels here lying on the surface, interesting to see how tension and pressure of confinement has led to different shapes forming, very effective when seen as a whole 
Pattern of weaving- contrast, juxtapose img smooth middle with rtough and unplanned weaving texture
Recently focused on the impact of the digital revolution in relation to how we remember and record the present 
Undertook research and developed technique of weaving thread around objects originally using copper wire embed from inside an old alarm clock

EXHIBITION: Alice Anderson, Memory Movement Memory Objects, The Wellcome Collection

EXHIBITION: Notes from Barbara Hepworth, Tate Britain

Text box

Cycle of human behaviour - aspects to take note of during primary research, observation and stalking.

VISIT: Mass Observation Archive

Seeing everyday life through the perspective of the government

Mass-Observation is concerned with ordinary people’s lives and experiences and has, over the years, solicited opinion on topics from wartime rationing to the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.

  • measure social change and gauge popular opinion through the study of highly subjective responses
  • traditionally made no distinction between the personal and the political and values topics traditionally thought of as too ‘trivial’ for academic study as highly as the more usual subjects which concern sociologists. The Mass-Observation Archive now
  • represents a unique sample of public opinion and experience which demonstrates across its hundreds of boxes that everyday life is anything but ordinary


  • collected material and opinions
  • material is diverse in form: photographs, readers’ letters to national newspapers, personal papers donated by individuals, including private diaries.

Mass Observation Wheel

VISIT: New North Press

VISIT: Donlan Books - Covers, Umbra & One Language Traveller, Fos, In Other Words

VISIT: Donlan Books - Umbra, printing on black paper

VISIT: Donlan Books - Printing on black paper & combining different coloured paper

VISIT: Donlan Books - Mono. Kultur #35, Autumn 2013

VISIT: Special Collections at Chelsea College of Art

method of deconstructing pages to disrupt and reinterpret information through layers of the pages


Edward Ruscha, 26 Gasoline Stations

Dialogue and relationship with audience
  • What happens after 
  • Using the book as the canvas
  • Rhythm, caption on left, photo on right, periodically breaks this 
Edward ruscha, Every building on the sunset strip, 1966
  • Not bound by spine, long roll structure
  • Find medium thy accommodates la boulevard
  • Physically corresponds
  • Two sides of street, facing each other
  • Limitations in technology -physically glued, element of handmade
  • Idea of history, documentary
  • How to record space in book format
  •  Book, but also artwork interesting format
Dieter roth, Gesammelte werke band 5
  • Interested in material and process
  • Cutting pages of newspapers and hounding hen as books
  • Reusing 
  • Highlighting both physical property of paper and quality of printing -reframing painting
  • This has previous story
  • Can only see part of story-reframing
Dieter roth, Gesammelte werke band 7
  • Comics: holes on pages, can see all pages of comic
  • Beautiful narrative of colour, light, shadow
  • Reading a book not only intellectual but also physical- Movement of pages
Spoerri, An anecdoted topography of chance
  • A plan of the contents on his desk
  • Catalogue, encyclopaedia of objects -numbered 
  • Particular moment in time
  • Exploring in huge detail, exhaustive
  • Collages of objects then moved to language, another tool as part of practice
  • Book becomes something of a performance, a prop -instruction?
Richard long, Sixteen works
Text, descriptions rather than visual imagery
Xerox book
  • Book is both artwork and exhibition - also catalogue of exhibition 
  • Complex status
  • Artwork, the way you interact, presentation
Gerhard richter, 128 Details from a picture, Halifax 1978
  • Visual essay exploring the canvas of a single painting 
  • Detail
  • Surface quality
  • Interesting black and white as painting is not 
D hawrysio
*Cutout -(anonymity) from casting book
Ideas were raised about digital media wildy changing and the permanence for eternity and physical form of books - bridge the gap between the two?

WORKSHOP: Bookbinding

Researching as many different types of existing binding methods. I think only by knowing these can I use this information to innovate new ones appropriate for my project.

WORKSHOP: Bookbinding - Materials

WORKSHOP: Bookbinding - Fabric

WORKSHOP: Bookbinding - Shape, & lining

WORKSHOP: Bookbinding - Z-binding; 3 part books

WORKSHOP: Bookbinding - 8 page saddle stich inner folds

WORKSHOP: Bookbinding - Envelope content pages

PROCESS: Types of Bookbinding

PROCESS: Types of Handsewn Bookbinding Methods

SUSTAINABILITY: Material/ Product 1 - Ecocradle

SUSTAINABILITY: Material/ Product 2 - Recomouss

SUSTAINABILITY: Material/ Product 3 - Eco Ultra Board

SUSTAINABILITY: Nike’s New App Shows Designers What Materials Are Most Sustainable

Making - apparel-related entries of that massive dataset in a simple, finger-friendly package

  • Cataloging the 75,000-some items found in the company’s vast materials library and giving them each a score based on their environmental impact and long-term sustainability
  • Materials ranked by different criteria. stack up based on energy use, water consumption, and recyclability,

Materials Sustainability Index (MSI)

  • A “cradle-to-gate index” of everything and anything that could conceivably go into making a windbreaker or a pair of shoes. 


  • Tool that encourages designers to think of sustainability not just as a fashionable approach or icing on a concept’s cake but rather as a fundamental aspect of their job
  • Many environmentally oriented efforts end up concerning themselves with production and manufacturing
  • “We decided to go back upstream and really try to impact the designer.”
  • "Help make real-time predictive choices around the materials they use.”
  • “helping the designer understand that every choice they make actually have a massive ripple effect on the downstream side of things.”
  • More useful a reminder than an actual reference

SUSTAINABILITY: Cradle to Cradle Design

What is a bird? 

  • A rubber duck - comes in California with a warning: "This product contains chemicals known by the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm." 
  • What kind of culture would produce a product of this kind and then label it and sell it to children? I think we have adesign problem

Design & sustainability

  • Design has to occur within a world, understand that world in order to imbue our designs with inherent intelligence
  • Look back at the basic state of affairs in which we design: need to go to the primordial condition to understand the operating system and the frame conditions of a planet
  • News of abundance, and not the news of limits - our culture tortures itself now with tyrannies and concerns over limits and fear.
  • Add this other dimension of abundance that is coherent, driven by the sun, and start to imagine what that would be like to share.
  • Design assignment of something that makes oxygen, sequesters carbon, fixes nitrogen, distills water, accrues solar energy as fuel, makes complex sugars and food, creates microclimates, changes colors with the seasons and self-replicates. 

Design is the first signal of human intentions: what would our intention be as a species now that we're the dominant species?

  • Not just stewardship and dominion debate - dominion is implicit in stewardship: how could you dominate something you had killed? Stewardship's implicit in dominion: you can't be steward of something if you can't dominate it
  • Guardians - eg. the state, which reserves the right to kill, the right to be duplicitous
  • Asking the guardian: how are we meant to secure local societies, create world peace and save the environment?
  • Commerce is relatively quick, essentially creative, highly effective and efficient, and fundamentally honest, because we can't exchange value for very long if we don't trust each other
  • Develop a strategy for change -  concept of design humility
  • What is justice, and is justice blind, or is justice blindness?
  • Throw things “away” – what’s away? Pacific Gyre, Hawaii - "It's kind of like a giant toilet that doesn't flush."

Cradle to cradle

  • The book itself is a polymer. It is not a tree.
  • Developed a carpet that is continuously recyclable, no finish line -there is no endgame: an infinite game

  • Water, a human right

  • Air quality –obvious for anyone who breathe

  • Clean soil, nitrification


Growth - economic

  • Question becomes not growth or no growth, but what do you want to grow?
  • Instead of just growing destruction, we want to grow the things that we might enjoy


Closed Cycles

  • Two metabolisms: biological nutrition and technical nutrition (take materials and put them into closed cycles)

Supply chains

Analyze materials down to the parts per million for human and ecological health:

  • cancer, birth defects, mutagenic effects, disruption of our immune systems, biodegradation, persistence, heavy metal content
  • Knowledge of how we're making them/ production, etc.


New green cities in China

  • Lifted the earth up onto the roofs - farmers have little bridges to get from one roof to the next
  • Inhabit the city with work/live space on all the ground floors

SUSTAINABILITY: Paper beats plastic? How to rethink environmental folklore

biodegradable. It's reusable. In some cases, it's recyclable. 

Environmental damages 


produce materials, we need to extract them from the environment, and we need a whole bunch of environmental impacts

Human Systems: 

  • Humans like really simple solutions, and so we often ask for simple solutions.
  • The human systems of how we communicate and interrelate and have our whole constructed society
  • Industrial systems: the entire economy
  • Both human and industrial has to operate within the biggest & the most important, the ecosystem
  • Interlocking those complex systems and making better choices that result in net environmental gains

  • Learn to do more with less


  • Everything at some point comes from nature, and it's how you use the material that dictates the environmental impact 
  • Call that intuitive framework ourenvironmental folklore
  • Choices tends to be based on our experiences, the things we've heard from other people. It doesn't tend to be based on any scientific framework  

net environmental impacts that our actions as individuals and as professionals and as a society are actually having on the natural environment?

Process of life cycle thinking

everything that is created

stages –interaction with environemnt

monitor how that interaction is actually affecting the systems and services that make life on Earth possible

life cycle assessment/ analysis

clearer picture of how everything that we do in the technical part of those systems affects the natural environment.

extraction of raw materials, and then we look at manufacturing, we look at packaging and transportation, use, and end of life,


Biodegradability – a material property

when something natural ends up in the natural environment, it degrades normally. Its little carbon molecules that it stored up as it was growing are naturally released back into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, but this is a net situation

Most natural things don't actually end up in nature. Most of the things, the waste that we produce, end up in landfill. Landfill is a different environment. In landfill, those same carbon molecules degrade in a different way,because a landfill is anaerobic. It's got no oxygen. It's tightly compacted and hot. Same molecules become methane, 25x more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide

If made out of biodegradable, end up in landfill, contribute to climate change

"Let's ban plastic bags. We'll give people paper because that is better for the environment." But if you're throwing it in the bin, and your local landfill facility is just a normal one, then we're having what's called a double negative.



As refridgerators grow in size, more food wated. especially in Western cultures, because it makes it easier.

40 percent of food purchased for the home is wasted.

Half of the world's produced food is wasted –UN 1.3 billion tons of food per annum.

Soggy Lettuce Report

second biggest offenderof wasted food in the U.K. is the soggy lettuce

crisper drawers are not designed to actually keep things crisp

airless environment to prevent the degrading that would happen naturally

life cycle impact of that lettuce is astronomical. We've had to clear land. We've had to plant seeds, phosphorus, fertilizers, nutrients, water, sunlight. All of the embodied impacts in that lettuce get lost from the system, which makes it a far bigger environmental impact than the loss of the energy from the fridge.

started to reconsider how we designed things

design-led system change,design dictating the way in which the system can be far more sustainable


Electric kettle

 Ninety-seven percent of households in the United Kingdom own an electric tea kettle

technically efficient –obviously energy

green materials

wrong problems

the problem is with the use

Sixty-five percent of Brits admit to over-filling their kettle when they only need one cup of tea. All of this extra water that's being boiled requires energy, and it's been calculated that in one day of extra energy use from boiling kettles is enough to light all of the streetlights in England for a night 

product-person failure

designed kettles, you actually found a way to solve these system failures,because this is a huge amount of pressure on the system, just because the product hasn't thought about the problem that it's going to have when it exists in the world.

minimum fill lines

between two and a five-and-a-half cups of waterjust to make one cup of tea

boiling chamber, and one's the water holder. The user actually has to push that button to get their hot water boiled,

behavior-changing products: products, systems or services that intervene and solve these problems up front.


Mobile phones

keep designing, buying and using and throwing out these kinds of products at the rate we currently do

Every single year, 1.5 billion mobile phones roll off production lines, and some companies report their production rate as being greater than the human birth rate.One hundred fifty-two million phones were thrown out in the U.S. last year; only 11 percent were recycled.

find smarter, more systems-based, innovative solutions to these problems, if we're going to start to live sustainably within this world.

closed-loop systems, or product system services

identifying that there is a market demand and that market demand's not going to go anywhere, so you design the product to solve the problem. Design for disassembly, design for light-weighting. 

Consumption is the biggest problem. But design is one of the best solutions.

identifying alternative ways of doing things, we can actually start to innovate, and I say actually start to innovate

paper is worse, and the paper is worse because it weighs four to 10 times more than the plastic,

life cycle perspective, a kilo of plastic and a kilo of paper, the paper is far better, 

functionality of a plastic or a paper bag to carry your groceries home is not done with a kilo of each material. It's done with a very small amount of plastic and quite a lot more paper. 

functionality defines environmental impact, and I said earlier that the designers always ask me for the eco-materials. 

all about application, and at the end of the day, everything we design and produce in the economy or buy as consumers is done so for function. We want something, therefore we buy it. 

So breaking things back down and delivering smartly, elegantly, sophisticated solutions that take into consideration the entire system and the entire life of the thing, everything, all the way back to the extraction through to the end of life, we can start to actually find really innovative solutions.


Self-publishing is the publication of a book by its author, without the involvement of an established third-party publisher. Distinguishing charcteristic: publish independently, author responsible for and in control of the entire process/ outsource all or part of the process to companies that offer these services.


  • Self-publishing is tied in with the advent of movable ink
  • Ben Franklin used letter press and was first and foremost a self-publisher

Zines - derived from magazine, self-published periodicals

  • A underground culture phenomenon, significant part of cultural landscape - radical literature
  • Customarily created by physically cutting and gluing text and images together onto a master flat for photocopying.
  • Emphasis on autonomy and independence, often confrontational relationship with mainstream culture and communication media
  • Not for commercial ventures, few publishers expect to make a monetary profit, yet invests considerable amounts of money and time into publication.
  • Publishes for essentially personal reasons


  • Original term: 'fanzine' - small-circulation science fiction fandom publications beginning in the late 1920s, wrote about themselves/ interests for a close-knit readership
  • Usually appealing to audiences with highly specialised interests.
  • Rise of punk subculture: used to promote a music scene that received little attention from the larger music press
  • Punk covered the happenings in the New York music and arts scene; Sniffin' Glue, second most recognizable
  • Played a key role in the development and organization of wide-spread musical movement
  • Many believed the widescale adoption of web browers (1996) ended the most abundant age of zines

SELF-PUBLISHING: Matthew Birchall, Photograph Converted into Morse Code, 2013

Text box

Interest in secrecy & hidden aspects - coding is one of these forms of communication. The book is also based a lot of belief. Audience wouldn't know whether it is really morse code for the photograph or not, purely assumes it is true due to the title.