ALL PROJECTS ——  OBLIQUE/OBLIKE is a collection of essays devoted to obliquity. Texts include: a speculative etymology, O-OB-OBLIKE, which reads into the conceptual, logical, textural and metaphorical potential of the word “oblique”; a contextual history of the forward slash, A TYPOGRAPHIC CHRONICLE OF STOPS AND STARTS; a series of fragment essays with photographs (HOW TO CROSS A SLOPE) that consider definitions of spatial and architectural inclination on the body; AERIAL OBLIQUITY, a text exploring perceptual shifts, impostor landscapes and the military units set-up for photographic interpretation at the start of the 20th century; a critical reading of Richard McGuire’s comic HERE and other narratives in art and literature that open windows (or tunnel out or fold or fling) the past into the future; and an extract from a slideshow of images and ideas — things that prop versus things that lean — designated as OBLIQUE OBJECTS. This project follows a general notion that lines of thought may not be perpendicular but that does not mean that they are random.  ALBERTOPOLIS COMPANION is a book, website and series of podcasts that write around and over the South Kensington complex of Victorian institutes and museums that were built with the proceeds of the Great Exhibition of 1851 (an area colloquially known as Albertopolis). The essay, ALBERT-O-POLIS, draws a critical cross-section of the words facetious coining and usage.  OF AND FOR TURNER CONTEMPORARY is a series of essays, an event and a website generated in collaboration between Margate’s Turner Contemporary museum, David Chipperfield Architects and the Critical Writing in Art & Design programme at the Royal College of Art. Prompted by the lines “On Margate sands/ I can connect/ Nothing with nothing” from TS Eliot’s The Waste Land, GAPS is an essay that looks for architectural and figurative breaches in the museum and surrounding landscape.  ROLLING HILLS, ROLLING RS makes use of the multiplicity of the word “cadence”, from vocal modulations to topographic undulations. This text appeared in CRITICAL WRITING IN ART & DESIGN masters programme at the RCA: a very short and very disappointed REVIEW OF MAGNIFICENT OBSESSIONS AT THE BARBICAN; THE BELLS OF LONDON ARE TIME MACHINES (which also appeared on Londonist.com); VIBES, PROPER TO MAKE ANY TONE — part-etymology and part-retrieval for the word “vibes” in cultural criticism, as per the likes of Samuel Pepys and Woody Allen. [2010–2015] OTHER BITS of published writing include AN INTERVIEW WITH NELLY BEN HAYOUN for issue one of NOWNESS on the occasion of Trevor Paglen launching THE LAST PICTURES into geostrationary orbit. And here are all the articles I ever wrote for IT’S NICE THAT.
REVIEW OF MAGNIFICENT OBSESSIONS AT THE BARBICAN
The exhibition promised magnificent. Somewhat intriguingly, it also promised to ‘elucidate’ the work of individual artists through lots and lots of things. I wanted tchotchkes to choke an army! I like multiples of things! But I encountered more stuffed lambs than featured artists who are women. Are we supposed to assume collecting is inherently masculine? There was no work done to explain this particular psychology. And no work done to explain why, for example, Damien Hirst had bought a cast of a neanderthal skull (the deduction could be simple but this exhibition is so flat, so neat, so tenuous and tensionless, besides being utterly humourless, that the deduction could not be simple). Context for ‘collecting’ — the word, the pathology, the practice — was missing. As was reasoning for the selection of artists specifically post-war or contemporary. Without context or reason, the last leg to tip this cash cow of an exhibition was curiosity. (It had none.) NB. Some notes on the space: someone had done a stellar job of framing postcards to museum standards. The most interesting room was full of packing crates. There were things in vitrines (not well labelled). Things outside of cabinets, on shelves, in strategic piles (not well labelled). No ideas but in things or just no ideas. The arrangement of the walls on the first floor channeled me to the exit (twice) before I could go upstairs. On the second level I wished mezzanine was a drug. There was no smell.