Objects for the Street.
Should you trust your gut when buying a house?
Smart Home, Dumb Home, Ignorant Home
Longing After Two Years Ago
Smart? Don’t ThinQ so!
Your dumb home is about to become smart
Should I put my property into a trust?
The Internet Has Altered the Meaning of “Truth” and “Trust”
From Dumb Appliances to Smartness
A Few Tips on Making your Dumb Appliances Smart
How to build a smart home with your own dumb stuff
From Dumb to Smart
Learning to Trust an Addict
In an era of ‘Smart’ things, sometimes dumb stuff is better
Six reasons why your adult child should not be on the title of your home
Smart speakers, dumb lightbulbs.
Smart solutions for dumb buildings!
Smart robot falls dumb
The future of smart things is dumb.
The New Work
In a bite-sized courtyard, granite benches are intermingled with young silver birch trees. The courtyard has the feel of a cropped, cut, and pasted segment of a much larger plan that was never fully realised. Most of the benches are occupied by people on their own, except for one where two people sit side-by-side. They are talking to each other, their conversation could be a commentary on the people that move past them, but they are actually talking about their holidays. On occasion, they become animated and the people seated nearby look around at them, warning them with a turn or tilt of the head. On the paved surface of the courtyard a strange amalgamate collects. A tumbleweed of matted hair and fabric lint. It gathers in corners and rolls in small clumps from bench to tree to bench.
It is ten minutes past one in the afternoon and most people here are eating lunch alone. One person bites the end of a baguette that sprouts from a bag made from a composite of paper and plastic, that will take up to 1000 years to fully decompose. Several other people have laid out next to themselves a drink and a sandwich. One of these is a man who’s crossed his legs whilst holding his sandwich in one hand and is squinting into his phone which he’s holding with the other. He looks up from his phone as another person enters the sandwich space.
From the ticket hall at Green Park station take the Royal Academy exit. At street-level turn left on Piccadilly and walk straight, passing by the Audi dealership. You will see the Ritz across the road. Remain on the left-hand side of Piccadilly, you will walk past Boots, a tourist gift shop, a discount suit shop, and finally, Cafe Nero and Cafe Concerto. As you pass Accessorize cross over the other side of Piccadilly towards Pattiserie Valerie, Pret, and Itsu. Continue walking on this side of Piccadilly, you pass Cath Kidson and cross over Duke Street until you reach the main entrance of Fortnum & Mason. Walk inside passing through their tea and fine chocolate sections, you’ll see a flight of stairs ahead of you. Walk up the red velvet carpeted stairs to the second floor. Upon entering the second floor take a left and walk past the soap and makeup aisles and carry on walking towards the back of this room. Once you’ve reached the children’s clothing section you will find a sign to the toilets on the left-hand side.
A lie for a sculpture…
The E, missing for several months, but you wouldn’t even know what I meant, would you? You, with your suit on, trying to move across the carpet without making a noise so you can hatch a spiky word bollock from your mouth, a hermeneutics cloaca. The one you vomited on that group just now had hairs of exclamation marks and a spine made of capital I’s. If the E was missing from your keyboard, you would immediately replace it, wouldn’t you? Well this one has been gone for months, I wish you could find it, in a lame, helpless voice, one resigned to never being able to use any words containing the letter E. A small fish jumped from the water rendered on a model engine, on its simulated rear-end there is a small spiral that more than coincidentally looks like a lower-case e in something like Georgia or maybe it was Gill Sans.
I once had an extra-large spot on my hip, a few months after having an operation to remove a femoral pin from my right femur, put there after a car crash broke my bone. The spot ripened slowly and promised to be an experience. The removal of the pin, which held my femur together as it healed makes me think of typography, like I was having a serif removed and becoming once again sans. The moment language was dragged from my hip, the structure slid out so the bone marrow could grow again. The word pin is I, a bit like a pin is I and it always struck me how onomatopoeic the operation was. As soon as the pin was put in, I had become an idea, it became an antenna for thought about the surfaces inside a body. The penetration of this stick slightly arched like a light italic. You couldn’t even imagine this, with your snotty nose and filthy, privileged position. You became too conscious as a civilization, prickling for information, desperate to be doused in the sensation of words, you have all fallen at the hands of commonality, reduction and categorization. The operation went to plan, however, I was lucid, I could hear the surgeons talk amongst themselves.
“…the thing is with fossils on that bit of coastline, is they are all much the same, and you don’t see much new or interesting.”
The other replied;
“mmmm…have you ever been to the Dorset beaches? They are fascinating, I found a few things and took them to a local expert to see whether they meant anything.”
The squelch of the flesh against latexed thumb and index finger, as the surgeon drilled the very tip of my femur in order to locate and retrieve the titanium femoral rod, seemed to jar with me in my semi-drugged state. I imagined my thigh as the white cliffs of Dover and revelled for a small moment at how simple life would be, if only I existed. And then the intangible, tacit things which I felt an unending desire to dig at and share with others would not be about effective communication but instead function as self-satisfaction, life becoming one elongated act of onanism.
The spot…on my leg first began to appear as the wounds from the operation had almost entirely healed. The day came, and I squeezed it fully, the gunk splattered down my thigh, there was so much of it, I thought. Then I realized an unfamiliar post-spot-pop sensation, there was the tip of something sticking out of the hole, my head went fuzzy, I thought of fossils, my cranium tingled, I thought of the way barnacles grow, my scalp animated, and I pinched between my thumb and forefinger the end of a piece of thread that came directly from the middle of the spot. I dragged about 10cm out and then it became harder to pull and I feared snapping it. I was later to find out that it was a sub-cutaneous suture, used to minimize scarring, my body was ejecting it. I pulled some more and with gunk of blood and a widening of the whole, a small black letter e came out attached to the end of the thread with a bowline knot.
I was back in the cliff face, as I looked out I could see men and women with brushes, coming over to me, one smashed me over the head with a small, very clean axe, I split open and inside I was a small letter e, the archaeologists gasped.
The problem with all this is it is not true, it is a lie for a sculpture, you need to lay off language, purge it for a bit. It was all a lie, I make these things, but you knew that, you’re fully engaged, aren’t you? You write about it don’t you? He showed me his sculpture, in his back garden, he said he had wanted to make something in glass and make it about liminal space, transience, betweenness. He commissioned a writer to write a writing about the writing he did when he wrote about writing. A text to write this proposal to research some texts so he could make this liminal sculpture and commission a writer to write the writing and dream about dreaming, and dream, dreaming a thought that could dream about a thought, that could think of the dreamer that thought, that could think of dreaming and getting a glimmer of God, I be dreaming a dream in a thought, that could dream about a thought, that could think about dreaming a dream, where I cannot, where I cannot, let’s be frank. In the Ocean of words, the words of words wave E’s over E’s until it started with so much language, the liqueur of the brain and ended with language the hangover of the brain. I pulled this e from my body, it came out of solid flesh into the air and it is a sculpture, a lie for a sculpture, but then you already knew that, didn’t you?