Monday, 5 November 2012

Byes for now

I am mainly writing on here right now.
But 'I will return' as Arnie once said.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Poetry Corner

Poetry by Flaps Huarneck

Horse with No legs

The meat was good,
My belly full,
But my horse had no legs.

Don’t Drink Bleach

I saw him in the distance,
Beautifully Poised
Beautifully dancing
Beautiful collapse
My Grandpa drank bleach

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

I found a lost friend

"In a moment, when I throw myself down among the absinthe plants to bring their scent into my body, I shall know, appearances to the contrary, that I am fulfilling a truth which is the sun's and which will also be my death's. In a sense, it is indeed my life that I am staking here, a life that tastes of warm stone, that is full of the signs of the sea and the rising song of the crickets. The breeze is cool and the sky blue. I love this life with abandon and wish to speak of it boldly: it makes me proud of my human condition. Yet people have often told me: there's nothing to be proud of. Yes, there is: this sun, this sea, my heart leaping with youth, the salt taste of my body and this vast landscape in which tenderness and glory merge in blue and yellow. It is to conquer this that I need my strength and my resources. Everything here leave me intact, I surrender nothing of myself, and don no mask: learning patiently and arduously how to live is enough for me, well worth all their arts of living." (N, 69)
Nuptials at Tipasa
Albert Camus

I found a lost friend 

who reminded me how to see.
I found him with the bats in the attic. 
I say I found him, but really, he found me. 

Monday, 3 September 2012

Go figure

Dance dance dance dance

Hendoooo (SQUAWK)

Just got back from my best pals hendoooo in 'The Big Smoke'.
High points of the weekend are as follows:

1. Our massive pink inflatable unicorn named Andre (RIP)

2. Wearing so much glitter it caused minor disruptions when dancing
3. The moment when some guy called me a bird and I spent the next half hour shouting "AM I AN OWL? AM I A SPARROW? at him. (Obnoxious twittering)
4. The early morning tribal dance routine with sparklers in the dark (never witnessed so much raw emotion)
5. My girls face when we showered her with liquid adoration (sweaty hugs)

All in all, tip top, summed up by the fact that I keep finding bits of glitter in my mouth.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Squid Spermatophores

I totally did not expect anything to come up when I typed 'Pregnant in the mouth' into Google.

You gotta have faith

I believe her


Signing into Ebay is always a good indication of my own personality as the recommendations pop up on the left hand side. Generally it is a musty selection of old suitcases and veggie cookbooks however yesterday they were of an entirely different nature. All the items recommended seemed to be either gimp masks or gagging balls. As far as I can remember I have never looked these up on Ebay before, however it did remind me of a project I did many years ago on the idea of silence, freedom of speech and gagged women in pornography. I spent the day gagging myself in various different ways (for anyone considering the papier mache technique I wouldn't recommend it- far too itchy). 

The concept of freedom of speech is currently being questioned in various ways in the press, one of which being the controversial pictures of Prince Harry in the buff on holiday in Las Vegas. The Sun 'Britain's favourite newspaper' (in their own words) are defending their right to publish nudey pictures of Harry cavorting in a hotel room and *gasp* having fun during a game of strip snooker. "It is freedom of the press to publish these photos!" they bleat, brandishing copies of their 'special collectors edition' rag to the weary camera.  I slow clap at the Sun's attempt to argue the importance of the role of truth and freedom of the Press (Leveson Enquiry anyone?). I wonder if it is instead due to their earnest sweaty need to make money money money more money ahhhh money more please yum money. 

Back to Harry or 'Hanky Panky Hazza' as I think he should be known. "How dare he?" I hear you ask. "He is a Prince! Third in line to the throne! He should bluddddy well act like it! I myself am appalled by the shocking nature of these pictures. They make me want to wring the necks of every God fearing swan in the country in a fit of blind anger. I see why Sun readers must be spinning in their white van seats. But this is more due to the fact that: 1. They are pretty bad quality and so therefore impossible to wank to 2. I personally don't really want to see HP Hazza in particular clutching his scrote. I am sure it is a lovely scrote, however it's not really my favourite one. I would much prefer The Duke of Edinburgh's  for example. Much more entertaining.

But REALLY. The only Prince I suscribe to is the Little one. (although I don't really want to see him naked either in case all the loveliness stores in my mind are destroyed) And wait, I forgot! I don't buy the Sun (Britain's 'favourite' newspaper) anyway so I can just sit back with a tasty gag and a copy of Antoine de Saint- Exupery's classic tale.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Prrrosti- tootin'

The other day some Columbian dude- a friend of a friend- asked me what my new job was. 
I told him that I planned on becoming a prostitute. (LAUGHS)
He asked me my going rate and I said £50. (LAUGHS)
I assumed that we were having ALL the laughs until he sidles up to me later, tells me he has £50 and asks if I could meet him in his bedroom in ten. 
This is the third time in my life that I have been mistaken for a prostitute. 

Maybe the joke's over. 

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Yellow- bellied

Today I tried to buy someone a sweetie snake. The long foamy fruity chewy ones. So I went to WH Smith and picked up the one with the biggest grin. I took it over to the counter where a women with scraped back hair and a serious gullet was sticking boxes onto other boxes. After five minutes of carefully ignoring me, she eventually looked up and squawked 'Yi cannae hev wan hen, howma ginny weight it?' and before my very eyes she yoinked the dangly confectionary out of my hand, rolled it into a ball and plopped it into the bin.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Pot bellied

Reading about the history of Diets (in order to get me in the mood for beating my friend) whilst eating Vanilla Vegan Ice Cream with bananas, maple syrup and crunchy cereal bits. Very happy right now.

Stole this picture RIGHT off the article. Yoink!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Girls just wanna have fun

 I was asked to do a performance for the recent Engendering Dialogue symposium held in Dundee on the 30th and 31st of March 2012. I have been looking at the classic anthem sung by Cyndi Lauper 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun' for a while now. I love the fact that it was originally written by a guy named Robert Hazard and was originally slightly misogynist through the way it portrayed woman. Lauper changed the lyrics and became a feminist icon. She reclaimed the lyrics and re-appropriated the song, imbuing it with new meaning. I watched the video and played the song constantly, singing at the top of my voice when no one was watching. For the performance I decided to make public this very private moment, listening to the song at top volume on my Ipod and belting out the lyrics in front of an audience whilst wearing my pyjamas.

I can't sing by the way, but damn it felt good.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Cherry chocolate cake on my chin

Today I didn't eat this vegan cherry and chocolate cake.
But I did eat a very similar version from T Ann Cake, bought for me by my lovely lovely friend.
It made my day better and my face fatter.

This means that I am going to lose the calorie bet, but if I am going down, I am going down in style, with chocolate all over my happy fat face.

picture from

Handbags at dawn

I tried to do this when I was at art college.
Unfortunately all my friends needed their bag shite and I didn't have a spare £500 bribe.
Oh to be a rich artist.

Still love you though Feldmann.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Calorie Gamble

I have made a bet with my male friend that I can lose a stone faster than him. 
I am now no longer able to look like this:

I should stop gambling.

The contemporary anxiety of CCTV

The exhibition by Jane and Louise Wilson at Dundee Contemporary Arts is finishing up. 
The photographs are coming off the wall and the sculpture is being packed away. 
The walls are being repainted and the concepts are being captured and returned to their cages. 
I am a Gallery Assistant so I sit staring at it for long periods of time a day. 
This leaves me with a lot to ponder. 

As soon as we are born our file begins. It starts with a birth certificate, carries on with school and medical records and develops into registration plate recognition cameras, mobile phone triangulation, store loyalty cards, credit card transactions, London oyster cards, satellites, electoral roll, personal video recorders, phone tapping, clocking in at work, mobile phone cameras, internet cookies, social networking sites and of course most evidently, CCTV cameras. There are up to 4.2 million CCTV camera in Britain- about one for every 14 people. Britain is in the top five most watched countries in the world and Dundee is the third most watched place in Britain per thousand people.

This image shows the street sign for the square in Barcelona named after George Orwell. Orwell famously wrote 1984, a novel well known for its description of the dangers of an authoritarian state. This ironic image shows the street sign obscured by the presence of a security camera and implies that we are sleepwalking into this world of official surveillance critiqued in Orwell’s fearful story. In January 2010 Hamas operative Mahmoud Al- Mabhouh was assassinated in a hotel room in Dubai. The assassins were thought to be Israeli Mossad operatives using stolen British and Irish identities. They were caught by Dubai police within 24 hours using collated CCTV footage and facial recognition technology. This footage was edited by Dubai state police and released onto Youtube 3 days later where it was watched by millions of people. The subjects were identified and outed. The only place not included in this CCTV film is the hotel room itself where the assassination took place. Artists Jane and Louise Wilson booked themselves into this room and filmed the interior forensically. Using specialist lenses and extreme close- ups their film creates a 'file' of the room. 

In Discipline and Punish, philosopher Michel Foucault describes the genealogy of punishment. He describes the period at the end of the 1700s where torture disappeared as a public spectacle. Punishment became less immediately physical and the body was no longer the main object of repression. The Christian practice of confession was utilised within a scientific framework in which experts analysed the subject in order to gain information. Reports, surveillance and detailed medical files became the process of maintaining power over a prisoner:
“(punishment) leaves the domain of more or less everyday perception and enters that of abstract consciousness; its effectiveness is seen as resulting from its inevitability, not from its visible intensity; it is the certainty of being punished and not the horrifying spectacle of public punishment that must discourage crime”
This ideological manipulation of the mind transforms the prisoner into a delinquent. Power and knowledge become entwined. Foucault utilises the architectural ideas set down by Jeremy Bentham in 1791 concerning the ideal prison as an illustration for his debate. The prison is called a ‘Panopticon’, translating literally as ‘to see everything’

It is circularly designed so that an inner tower overlooks each cell. Due to this spatial distribution, cells can be seen clearly and individually from this looking post, resulting in each prisoner becoming individualised. Prisoners are aware of the fact that they may be observed by a supervisor at any time and so they act accordingly: “He is seen but he does not see; he is the object of information, never a subject in communication”. Discipline is therefore applied via visibility and a fear of surveillance means that prisoners begin to monitor their own behaviour. The resulting actions then become normal ways of being.
This idea of architecture as controlling and manipulative is mentioned in the film with the voice over stating: “If architecture is the editing room, the door is the cutting blade”. There are cameras at every door, acting to edit life into a watchable film.

There is little need for the tower to be occupied, it is merely the concept of being watched which results in the prisoners beginning to scrutinise their behaviour. Prisoners are not forced to repress their desires, they are taught to merely incorporate the law onto their bodies. Instincts are isolated, investigated, corrected and categorised. Disciplinary power succeeds in creating normalised judgement, and behaviour that does not agree with this ‘norm’ is corrected. In modern society power is subtle, faceless and pervasive. No longer does a single authoritative king regulate society: power comes from everywhere and anywhere.

Michel Foucault describes ‘Power’ as a pervasive, multifaceted situation that is working within everything and coming from everywhere. It follows that if power is everywhere then there can be no escape from it. Foucault states: “It seems to me that power is ‘always there,’ that one is never ‘outside’ of it, that there are no ‘margins’ for those who break the system to gambol in”. Here Foucault’s analysis seems problematic. If there is no ‘outside’ to power, then how can it be resisted?

Within the film 'Face Scripting- what did the building See?' the artists can be seen with dazzle paint on their faces. The accompanying text describes how the measurements of facial characteristics are used to build up an identity:

"Algorithms identify individuals by extracting and analysing landmarks from the image of the face"
"Architecture of the human face, taxonomy of eyes, noses and the distance between them"

The face described as 'architecture' could be seen as referential to the planned architecture designed by Foucault in the design of prisons as well as other buildings such as schools and hospitals. Dazzle paint could be a way in which to subvert this 'architecture' and manipulate the power of facial recognition technology. Dazzle camouflage, also known as 'Razzle Dazzle' was a military paint job used on ships during both world wars. It consisted of geometric shapes in contrasting colours, confusing and intersecting each other. Instead of camouflaging the subject, dazzle paint acts to disrupt and confuse visual rangefinders. An observer cannot tell where the bow or the stern is situated on the ship or how fast the ship is moving. Dazzle paint could be used to scramble the images captured by facial recognition technology, as the measurements between facial characteristics cannot be measured. 

As long as new technology is created, new attempts to deviate it progress. This interruption of signal could show an attempt to resist. The surge in availability of plastic surgery and botox means that the ability to change your face and therefore your identity in terms of facial recognition technology has become more accessible.  

One one hand, social media could be seen as a positive method of resistance. The recent riots in Egypt, Syria and London were helped by regular tweets and Facebook updates. Information can be updated worldwide in seconds meaning that it is less likely to be misinterpreted or silenced. The power of the Internet was clearly seen when the Egyptian government closed it down during riots. China has a firm grip on censorship with the country's Internet sites. 

Nevertheless the explosion of online social networking recent years could also be negatively received. Our online social presence serves as a personal Panopticon. We construct our virtual identities, constantly editing and refining the way we are perceived socially. Any unacceptable comments can be taken down from your page, any unflattering photographs from the night before can be untagged.

As well as this anxiety of social status, Facebook also serves to remind us of how closely we are being watched by potential employers, as well as capitalist and consumerist businesses. For example, as soon as a particular topic is mentioned, relevant advertisements appear in the bar on the right hand side. 

Foucault states in Discipline and Punish:

"To begin with, there was a scale of control- it was a question not of treating the body, en masse, 'wholesale' as if it were an indissociable unity, but of working it 'retail', individually; of exercising upon it a subtle coercion, obtaining holds upon it at the level of the mechanism itself- movements, gestures, attitudes, rapidity: and infinitesimal power over the active body"

This clampdown on personal freedom and free speech serves to control and maintain society. We are 'given' protests and Twitter etc so that the facade of free speech can be maintained, forgetting the heavy monitoring and surveillance which takes place. There has been a lot of talk about companies and universities using Facebook to analyse your character before hiring you or offering you a place. 
When we forget about our place within these 'false freedoms' we are punished accordingly. 

Paul chamber’s conviction this summer caused massive controversy amongst Twitter followers and civil liberty lawyers due to its implications for public social freedom. Chambers was charged £2,000 with £600 legal fees after posting this comment on his twitter account: 

"Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You've got a week to get your shit together otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!!"

Interestingly, in order to convict Chambers, the Crown Prosecution Service used a law aimed against nuisance calls- originally created to protect ‘female telephonists at the Post Office’ in the 1932 rather than bomb hoax legislation, as this would require stronger evidence of intent. 

CCTV itself is not seen as an effective crime deterrent. 500 million was spent on the cameras in the decade up to 2006. A study, entitled 'Big Brother is Watching' found that 418 local authorities control 59, 753 cameras- 10 years ago the total was 21,000. 
Allegedly the quality of footage is frequently too poor to be used in courts, the cameras are often turned off to save money and control rooms are rarely manned 24 hours a day. This is a description of street cameras however, remember it only took Dubai police 24 hours to track down several people within a busy airport hotel using the surveillance system. 

This Big Brother feeling exists throughout all areas of society. During political protests police use video cameras to film protestors and social networking sites are used to assemble portfolios of people. It is common for police to walk up to members of a protest and ask them a personal question.

As is evidenced in the Panopticon the feeling of constant surveillance works to control bodies in space. It could be suggested that this feeling has been internalised. We maintain an ‘Inner Panopticon’, judging and controlling our own actions in order to maintain our role within society.

As personal freedoms and civil liberties continue to be threatened, as technology progresses, the resistance against these technologies will also shift and change. Power as a multi- pervasive, shifting entity works with resistance, developing and changing with each other. As surveillance increases, so does plastic surgery and botox. Protesters and rioters become accustomed to covering their faces more and more- the mask from V for Vendetta seems to be a popular option.

This exhibition attempts to display this modern anxiety of constant surveillance and the loss of personal freedoms that result from this. We clock in and out of our lives, signing away our location, entering our details into the internet which identifies our personalities and sells us products and advertisements accordingly. 

There are ways to resist this, however if you do not comply with these regulations, you actions can be considered deviant and you are outcast as a social body. Foucault claims that one can never escape from this power. It is therefore necessary to use and manipulate it in order to resist it. 

For Sale

Bright and attractive top floor flat.
Close to City Centre, beautiful views
Two large, well furnished bedrooms with study areas
Fully fitted modern Kitchen/ Dining Area
Bathroom with shower and 3 piece bathroom suite
Electric heating
Communal garden to rear

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Camper Plan

Since I have decided to move
I have had so many offers of a place to lay my hat.
I have also been swayed by the idea of living in a camper van for a month.
I hope it looks like this:

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Love me please, love me

I can't stop listening to this song.
It was sent to me by a lovely dark eyed boy and every time I hear it I am reminded of his vigour for life.
I don't know him, but I do.

Bag lady

I have realised that I cannot afford to live in my old creaky 
sunny happy plant filled flat. 
So I have done it; 
I have messaged my landlord and I am moving out at the end of the month.
When I was younger my mum and dad called me their wee bag lady. 
They used to give me a plastic shopping bag so that I could pick up everything I wanted to keep from the street. 
I picked up silvery chewing gum wrappers, 
discarded objects,
hundreds of shiny yellow dandelion heads. 
As I got older I began to horde everything and now I live in a room the equivalent of a junk shop. 
I collect clocks and cameras and suitcases 
and sticks and sandy shells and old musty books and woolly blankets and framed pictures .
I middle names.
I am now going back to being a bag lady. 

Sofa Life. 

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Tat tits

Men before women

I went to see Martha Marcy May Marlene last night.
The film is about a religious cult living sustainably on a farm in America.  
In it, the women serve the men their dinner.
Only once the men have finished are the women allowed to eat.
The boy I went with came home with me and I made him pancakes.
He ate them first and I ate them second.
Then we both felt a little strange.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

I like elephants.

A man came up to me the other day and started talking to me about elephants. He told me that they have the same average life as a human being. They have a full set of teeth and spend their lives grinning and gnashing. As you do, with teeth.
Over time, like humans, the teeth of the elephant fall out. They begins to look a bit gappy: less happy.
The man told me that when all the elephants teeth fall out, it can't eat anymore.
So it dies.
I want to know why we haven't developed elephant soup recipes. Or maybe elephant dentistry?
We could make massive sets of false teeth and then see how long they live for.
I'm not saying this is true. I'm just saying.

When I was younger my grandfather asked me what my favourite animal was.
I told him that I loved elephants.
He bought me a gold bracelet with small elephant charms linked on.
I wore it every day.
One by one I lost the charms; they clinked off in between cracks, onto pavements, at the bottom of my bag.
I stopped wearing it so that I wouldn't lose them all.
Where are they now? I hope they managed to learn to drive and went on a road trip around America.

Friday, 3 February 2012

This is rad

Entitled 'Venus de mom'

Cleaning tips

So now I'm a cleaner.
I got the job from a conversation with a drunk man on a Tuesday evening.
He took my number and now I have a job.
His first text told me to stand outside the Tower Bakery at 8.15 wearing clothes that I did not care for.
I had to wait for a blue fiat van.
At 8.30 the van rolled up spewing soap suds out of its exhaust pipe and mops out the windows.
My first job was to clean the radiators in an office up the Conchie Road.
I brought in my own toothbrush to get into the wee cracks.
I didn't brush my teeth afterwards.
A woman told me that she had never seen a radiator so vigorously and emotionally cleaned.
I wanted to tell her that I had a degree.
Yesterday I cleaned a flat in the hilltown.
I had to make an oven sparkle using only Harpic and some Tesco Value dish cloths.
The grease was 3cm thick and there was no running water in the house.
Henry my hoover maintained his smile for the whole day to keep my spirits up.
Thanks Henry.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

So my bed is sinking

So, my bed is sinking.
The slats are cracking one by one by one by one.
My body sinks lower and lower to the floor and my blankets are all disappearing down the hole.
So far I've lost six pillows, three books and a slipper.
Sometimes I look down the void and shout hello to see if anyone answers.
Sometimes I hear the faint twit twoo of an owl but when I stick my head in to look I can never see him.
Sometimes I hear the rustling of sweetie papers but they never share with me.
Tomorrow I am going to tie my dressing gown cord around my waist and jump in.