Practices of Research

In February 2014 an exhibition was held at the Level 4 Gallery, Hartley Library on the University of Southampton’s main campus. The exhibition presented the work of 16 PhD students and two members of staff from Winchester School of Art (WSA). Taken together the works offered a series of images, texts and objects, helping to think about different ways of seeing, thinking, writing and making. WSA is dedicated to the exploration of diverse practices and creative research methods. Studio-based researchers in art and design work alongside those engaged in humanities and social science research, covering areas of art history, critical theory and curatorial practice, as well as the management and marketing of design, media, fashion, and textiles. All researchers at the School are engaged in the critical making of new knowledge: each moving in and out of complex and disciplined modes of activity. Whether it is reading, writing, looking, making, coding, speaking, recording, and much else besides, each are forms of imaginative and critical engagement, developed and extended within the context of a collaborative and inter-disciplinary research community.

Works shown by:
Richard Acquaye
Bedour Aldakhil
Hazel Atashroo & Oliver Peterson Gilbert
Najla Binhalail
Jane Birkin
Rima Chahrour
Ian Dawson
Kate Hawkins
Ben Jenkins
Sunil Manghani
Kay May
Nina Pancheva-Kirkova
Nicky Athina Polymeri
Walter van Rijn
Elham Soleimani
Lisa Temple-Cox
Simiao Wang

Notes on Practice

Practice [ˈpraktɪs] trans. To test experimentally, to put to the test; n. the actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method, as opposed to theories relating to it; v. to perform an activity or exercise a skill repeatedly or regularly in order to acquire, improve or maintain proficiency. ORIGIN late Middle English to mean ‘a way of doing something, method; practice, custom, usage’; also ‘an applied science’ (late 14th Century); similarly from the Old French of practique to mean ‘practice, usage’ (13th Century) and directly from the Medieval Latin practica, meaning ‘practice, practical knowledge’; with the underlying root from the Greek praktike to mean ‘practical’ as opposed to ‘theoretical’. Yet, equally, practice encompasses understanding, relating, for example, to the knowledge of the practical aspect of something, or practical experience, which arguably underpins all forms of enquiry, research and the creation of new knowledge.

In everyday language we refer to practice as the application or use of an idea, belief or method. For example, we can speak of the principles and practice of teaching. It also means exercising a profession. The lawyer practises law, the doctor practises medicine.  We’re familiar with the idea of business practices, which may differ across sectors of an economy and alter over time. Practice can also refer to the premises of a business, such as the doctor or solicitor’s practice. Perhaps most frequently, however, we refer to practice as the repeated exercise of an activity or skill so as to acquire proficiency in it; a child practises a musical instrument and if they complain we gently remind them: ‘Practice makes perfect!’ Practice, then, can mean a customary, habitual, or expected way of doing of something: a technique or set of techniques that end in a particular result (as Aristotle claims for praxis). In the university setting, the practice of a subject, such as law, medicine, art or music, refers not simply to attaining of a certain degree of proficiency, but to becoming situated and expert within a field of study. Furthermore, practice in this sense can refer to speculative endeavours, which allow unexpected outcomes and help challenge established ways of thinking, thus making it both repetition and variations based on, and in response to, the repetition required to hone a skill. The artist’s studio, for example, is a site of sustained practice in making and re-making images and objects of culture. The writer, as a practitioner of words, works and re-works texts in pursuit of new thoughts, images and meaning; while the ethnographer, as participant observer, reports on the knowledge and the system of meanings in the lives of a cultural group, which otherwise remain unarticulated.

As a set of interacting centrifugal and centripetal forces, research practices take us simultaneously and paradoxically toward and away from disciplined ways of understanding and fashioning the world we inhabit. We look, ponder, write and make; always prompting practical forms, engagements, and processes. To get beyond a practice/theory divide, we might usefully pair the Greek praktike not with a single term for theory, but two philosophical terms: theoria (contemplation) and theoros (participation), the latter emphasizing an act of witness and participation in an event or activity. Together these terms help us consider a more fluid notion of theory and practice, whereby the two become inextricably intertwined and one impossible without the other. In experiencing an artwork, for example, theoria helps conceptualise the interface between art and its viewer. The artwork does not possess an intrinsic ‘truth’ claim, but does have a claim upon us – at its simplest, the artwork demands it be considered an artwork, to which the viewer must respond, even if the response is to deny it such status. The artwork, then, places us immediately into both a practice of thinking and a thinking of practice.


Artist Statements

Hazel Atashroo & Oliver Peterson Gilbert

[PN 3331]  Heteroglossia 

[401 BAR]  ‘We know now that a text is not a line of words releasing a single ‘theological’ meaning […] but a multidimensional space in which a variety of writings, none of them original, blend and clash. The text is a tissue of quotations drawn from innumerable centres of culture’ – Roland Barthes, ‘The Death of The Author’, Image-Music-Text (1977)


[069.01 ODO] This is not a ‘white cube’ but a library.

[B 2430.D4]  A repository of knowledges; an archive of experience.

[727.7 TAT ] Both demand a silent reverence and share the same architect.

[Z 696.D7 CHA] The Dewey Decimal System was introduced to police the shelves

[BD 161 FOU ]     to bring order to the chaos of learning.

[700.74 CUR]                    The Didactic Informational Panel was introduced to police the                                                                                                           gallery walls

[PR 4550]                            to bring order to the chaos of learning.


[401 BAR]                            The authors in this exhibition are dead,

[P 85.B25 CUL]                 Dead as Barthes,

[709.44 BAU]                    Dead as Baudelaire,

[PR 2900 SHA]                                    Dead as Ophelia.

[PN 6080 STI]                    Leaving behind but a tissue of quotations.


[PR 5438]                            “ My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
lone and level sands stretch far away’

– Percy Bysshe Shelley, ‘Ozymandias’  (1818)


Richard Acquaye
Surface design innovations from indigenous West African Adinkra symbols

Adinkra symbols are West African ideographs that represent popular proverbs, maxims and historical events that express particular attitudes or behaviour related to the depicted figures. These concepts are uniquely expressed in abstract shapes. The endearing Adinkra as an art form has been in existence for at least two centuries. Its technique of production in its present form has existed essentially the same as it did in the early nineteenth century. The symbols are categorised according to six sources, namely: creatures, celestial bodies, the human body, man-made objects, non-figurative shapes and plant life. One of the most important and interesting uses of Adinkra symbols has been its usage for the designing and production of funeral cloths. However, overtime the symbols have found application in corporate mottos, seals in logos and crests of churches and important institutions i.e., banks, financial institutions, insurance companies and other businesses. Artistically, they also are used to decorate household goods ranging from plates, glassware, silverware, furniture, and as the base of lamps. This presentation projects Adinkra as a dynamic art form not only to give order and meaning to the social, political, economic, aesthetic and religious practices of West Africa but to the world at large. It seeks to give more credence to the popular saying that, ‘there is an Adinkra for everybody on the face of the earth’. Surface designs have been produced (computer generated and rendered) from these indigenous symbols with varied innovations and colour schemes. The presentation has particular sub-themes such as ‘there is an Adinkra for everybody’; ‘3D Adinkra’ and; ‘Adinkra in Southampton’.


Bedour Aldakhil
Text, Textile and Knowing

In the academic world of marketing and branding to research consumers and consumption the typical way of knowing is through ‘text’. The common domain for understanding tends to focus on the mind.

However, I call into question the assumptions about knowing human experience through text (i.e language and image). For this project I explore the idea of ‘design as a way of knowing’. The etymology of the word ‘text’ shares with word ‘textile’ the same root of the Latin texere, meaning to weave. Partly in response to this idea I experiment with weaving as a form of textile design, to raise the questions about what we might refer to as ‘designerly ways of knowing’. What do we come to know through textiles? Here, an embodied way of knowing is in tandem with knowing in the mind. I pull threads and strands of social and cultural theories and concepts from texts. They become the experiential wrap through which I weave my thread to construct a model. The woven model is analogous to a conceptual or theoretical framework in the academic world but, engaging physically, there are multiple experiential modes of engagement with world.


Najla Binhalail
Traditional Bridal Costumes in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia & their Implications for Contemporary Fashion

This research examines traditional bridal costumes in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and explores the opportunities of creating contemporary bridal wear in the following ways:


  1. Highlighting traditional bridal costumes in the different provinces of Saudi Arabia.
  2. Identifying traditions and customs that accompany such costumes.
  3. Looking into the factors that affect the choice of fabric, style, design and decoration of the traditional bridal wear.
  4. Creating contemporary wedding costumes inspired by the traditional model.


The research shows how across Saudi Arabia each province offers unique bridal costume designs. These costumes are rich in textile, embroidery and decorative styles. Moreover, the study reveals that in many parts the traditional bridal costume continues to be used for important social occasions. Nevertheless, the cities in the western provinces of Saudi Arabia are exceptions to this phenomenon because the bridal costumes in those areas are usually rented due to the high costs that result from the expensive embroidery and decorations.  In consideration of such economic contexts, the practice element of this research explores design that may revive and conserve the heritage of bridal costumes. Through hybrid and diverse designs we can seek to ensure traditional costumes are not lost.




Rima Chahrour


Letters to Houriyat Al Janna


This work gives you the opportunity to send dirty letters to Houriyat Al Janna; the perfect way to turn their interest on and to take things to the next level. What would you write to the Houriyat? How would you excite them? If I was with you right now, I would push you down on the grass, climb on top of you, kiss you slowly, passionately, running one hand through your hair, and my other hand would work its way quietly down your silky body. But these are just examples from the internet. Unleash your wildest fantasies in written letters to the Houriyat Al Janna; the 70 or so virgin wives offered in paradise as a reward to martyrs. The Houriyat Al Janna are a recurring theme in current political and religious flux in the region referred to as the Middle East. Provoking various Islamic groups and sub-groups these invisible Houriyat present an ultimate aim to a large number of young boys joining these religious groups. I used to feel very envious and jealous of these women of paradise but right now I fantasize about how they might end up being my best friends and only wish for my husband to get lots of these beautiful Houriyat. This artwork provokes lyrical and imaginary spaces associated with the Houriyat Al Janna starting from the belief of their existence as the ultimate delights and pleasures offered only to those most faithful believers; the martyrs.







Jane Birkin


El Rastro de Madrid


El Rastro is a flea market in the barrio de Embajadores, a working class area of central Madrid. Antiques and bric-a-brac sit beside stalls piled high with cheap second hand clothes. Tourists visit these clothes stalls as they follow ‘the trail’ (el rastro), while locals search out bargains in a more directed way.


This set of eight films is a continuation of research into the writing of the photographic image. It is research that defines the photograph as an intrinsically de-contextualised and frequently re-contextualised object, where visual content is the stable element that can be described without confusion. Working with typologically classified sets of images, content-based text descriptions are employed and the images themselves are often withheld or obscured. Reader becomes writer.


In this piece the moving image is used to scrutinise the still, as fragments of individual frames are picked out and described. The still image offers up an event with an invisible and uncertain ‘before and after’. Here the ‘before and after’ are visible — and the described object is not withheld this time, but is obscured as the action flows around, over and through it. The resulting units of description locate these discrete events, sets within sets, that relate neither to the narratives that are playing out around the stalls, nor to the wider context of the Spanish economic situation. Instead, they disrupt the temporality, re-writing, forming ‘… discontinuities, ruptures, gaps, entirely new forms of positivity, and of sudden redistributions.’ — Michel Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge (1969).


These descriptions are transmutations between the language and conventions of archival description and the more intimate visual content description used by Alan Sekula in his work Meditations on a Triptych (1973-8), which is also a focus of my practice-based research.


The music used in this piece was heard and purchased at el Rastro.




Ian Dawson




The book-like objects shown here are formed by a partially parallel process.  A large and ornately illustrated book is first vandalised with a sharp knife, revealing a pattern or an illustration on the page or pages beneath.  That vandalisation is then repeated according to ‘rules’ of cutting that include boundary-following, shape-repetition, and the abrupt termination of a rule once a given visual or tactile limit has been encountered.  Both regular and random, these effects mimic what happens when natural systems ‘slip’ from stability to instability, or when forces erupt on scales that are either microscopically small or unimaginably large.  These self-regulating tendencies of material encountered at extremes of scale, or under extremes of pressure, came close to what the scientist, fictional or otherwise, finds mesmerising and even threatening to his or her identity as an observer.






Kate Hawkins


Perception is Leaky


In the cut-out eye and the inclined hinges ‘perception’ leaks through and from the canvas. Through the eye it pours into the space behind the painting at the same time as sliding from the angled, right-hinged edge onto the adjoining side wall. The cut-out eye itself enables a performative transition to take place. Akin to the way in which an idol might be understood to be a vessel acting as link between the divine and secular worlds, the open eye might similarly be conceived as a link between two worlds: those of beholder and artwork. In the case of Perception is Leaky the eye provides an active (the cut itself was a dynamic gesture or ‘act’) and performative bond between these two worlds. Notions of objecthood and spectatorship are simultaneously destabilized. As Ranciere acknowledges, emancipation (which I equate to performativity) ‘begins when we challenge the opposition between viewing and acting’ i.e when we break down these binary worlds.


The painting’s hinge also mimics a book’s spine. In the same way as the spine of a book bonds a collection of pages together, a hinge also acts as a joining mechanism. The qualities of a hinge­­­ are not dissimilar to those of hyperlinks. Hyperlinks constitute the nuts and bolts of these online networks. To some extent the use of hinges is analogous to the use of hyperlinks. Both are mechanisms that influence reading – be it of online text or paintings. Hinges embed themselves within a context enabling objects to sit side by side that would not normally be permitted to do so. In this uneasy juxtaposition they help engineer fragmentation and distortion. Similarly hyperlinks fragment, distort and scatter, yet paradoxically they also connect. And perhaps this is the key. Conceivably painting needs to achieve both a disruption and connection in order for it to succeed in contemporary frameworks.




Nina Pancheva-Kirkova


How to Create an Ideal Past


When does the ‘past’ end and the ‘now’ start if we look at a country which was under a totalitarian rule 24 years ago? Travelling around Bulgaria, one can still see Socialist Realist images throughout the country. Displayed in different forms – as sculptures, portraits, even on billboards – sometimes they dominate the urban space, leaving the question ‘did the communist past actually end?’ valid and open. As part of my current research, my installation, How to Create an Ideal Past, is situated in the context of these questions, although far from the ambition to answer them. The work seeks to explore approaches for constructing notions of the past by means of images, a peculiar ‘repainting of the past’ which has taken place after the fall of the communist regime in Bulgaria, supported by the ex-official artists and the main art institutions in the country. The installation focuses on one aspect of ‘repainting of the past’, namely the constant repetition of the same Socialist Realist images in the post-communist situation as signs that are claimed to represent a ‘whole and truthful’ notion of the past. To reflect on this subject, I used as source material popular photographs and sculptures of the Bulgarian communist leader Todor Zhivkov from the communist era. Using one of the sculptures as a model, I have created three almost identical paper sculptures, which I have then cut into pieces and arranged in a way that obstructs their perception as an ‘entity’. In this way they constitute chaotic fragments of a ‘past’, or maybe a ‘present’…





Ben Jenkins




‘Now, here is the image which I call a material object; I have the representation of it. How comes it that it does not appear to be in itself that which it is for me? It is because, being bound up with all other images, it is continued in those which follow it, just as it prolonged those which preceded it. To transform its existence into representation, it would be enough to suppress what follows it, what precedes it, and also what fills it, and to retain only its external crust, its superficial skin. That which distinguishes it as a present image, as an objective reality, from a represented image is the necessity which obliges it to act through everyone of its points upon all the points of all other images, to transmit the whole of what it receives, to oppose to every action an equal and contrary reaction, to be, in short, merely a road by which pass, in every direction, the modifications propagated through the immensity of the universe.’ – Bergson, Matter and Memory (2004)


French philosopher Henri Bergson uses the term ‘image’ in relation to all objects and environments as well as the perceiving body itself. He describes how the image is influenced and realised through not just its ‘external crust’, the immediate perceptible form, but from its relation to all other images. The object can only be realised through a process of location amongst all other objects. The ‘image’ can not be seen in isolation for this would leave only the ‘representation’ of the image. Our own image is realised only through a relation to other images. We are not granted a contained present representation of our form but are in a constant procession from our past to our future. The objects and environments which we are presented with and inhabit only obtain meaning when they are assessed in relation to where we have come from and our intentions toward them.




Elham Soleimani


‘S’ like ‘Silent’


– A woman should be covered. A woman should be shy. A woman should not raise her voice nor soften it. A woman should not leave home alone.

– I cover my body to save your soul from sin. I should take my steps in a way that does not excite you.

– I have been listening to you and your father’s commands for centuries, but I wonder how much longer I can put up with it. Will I become visible or more invisible? That is the question: visibility or invisibility?


My project represents a critical view of the cultural, political and social issues concerning female representation in Iran. The artworks have been designed in the hope of making visible what has been invisible and denied, the silence, repression, restrictions and frustrations that are created by the culture, religion and the government towards Iranian women and how they have dealt with this through the years. Photography has been my key to this secret garden, my tool to dig up hidden truths and my glasses to reveal previously unseen issues in my own country. I believe it has been the best equipment for transforming the inner words and vision to an outer reality.


My work tends to focus on the issue of the compulsory Hijab in Iran and its physical and emotional effects on Iranian women’s lives and personalities. The photographs are a way of attempting to depict the patriarchy and hierarchy that have been ruling and controlling these women for centuries. As a result, some verses from the Quran and traditional sayings have been used in order to demonstrate how the religion (Islam), along with the culture and tradition, expect Iranian women to behave particularly in public spheres.

Sunil Manghani


You are so good as to have a theory about me which I don’t at all fill out


‘…language is not a tracing of reality’ – Roland Barthes, Systeme de la Mode (1967)


‘As we are drawn to sit down by the stream just here, or to pause at just this painting along the wall, so too anomalous individuals, people and things, draw our lives out … And letting yourself be drawn requires that you not be focused on any point. It will be active, for you have to prepare yourself, but it is not intentional. Being drawn in by the music or the smell is a way of losing yourself as you dissolve into scent’s sensuality.’ – Gordon C.F. Bearn, Life Drawing (2013)


The work presented is a tracing (and enlargement) of a life drawing, marking the first iteration and emblem of a new project, The Making of the Image. Inspired by Simone de Beauvoir’s 1959 essay on Brigitte Bardot, the project ‘draws out’ from a recent book reimagining Roland Barthes’ Mythologies. The book invited ‘writerly’ accounts of contemporary culture, yet arguably the machinations of editing such a volume reinforce the didactic, theoretical language that comes before reading myth. The work on show is part of a project to divest the article, ‘Kylie Ecriture’, from its original publication in Barthes’ “Mythologies” Today (2013). While the text (which deliberately reworks ‘The Face of Garbo’ line-by-line) might be said to have failed as text, the tracing upon the wall serves to provoke the plurality of its image: no image is the opposite of another image. We try to ask what the image is that an idea isn’t, yet too readily we’re drawn by a desire, an objet petit “an”, to theorize the image as singularity. Here we go back to the drawing board, quite literally.




Lisa Temple-Cox


False Membranes


There is a symbolic order within the conceptual architecture of a space that exists, in potentia, in both clinic and altar. What is the relationship between these systems? Both have relevance to our exploration of self, during which we invariably encounter something primal, unconscious, alongside the scientific – here represented by the supposedly objective medical gaze. We use art in our search for self, and art uses media that not only signify the body – flesh, blood, faeces -­ but invoke a sense of the abject: a separation of subject from object, a rejection of death. The aesthetic of the medical museum and its exhibits may have similar psychological effects on its visitors, containing specimens that simultaneously attract and repulse. In the casting of the face the eyes of necessity remain closed, thus blurring the distinction between life mask and death mask, in much the same way that the preserving fluid and curve of the glass jar further distorts the teratological specimen.


Our relationship with our bodies and selves is reflected in the mirror of the operating theatre. The theatre of medicine becomes the stage: the speculum becomes spectacle, the looking-glass of self turned outward.  The work shown is a visual exploration not only of the way in which the museum specimen can seem to reflect, in some measure, residues of the human, but return the gaze of the spectator to create a deeper reflection of self: from object to abject, self to other, and back. Here, the artist becomes both subject and object. The eyeless faces, made diseased and necrotic by the rough textures of the materials, serve to connect the contemporary concerns of anatomy with an unconscious atavism – a simultaneity of the pure and the profane. There is a realm of sympathetic magic in the territory between form and misform: somewhere in these anachronistic juxtapositions of scientific paraphernalia and animistic object, the clinic and alter may be revealed to be synonymous.

Kay May




‘Weapons act as fetishes of phallic power, as security against the overwhelming castration anxiety brought about by war.  They are hard items that will not fail; they hold out the promise of continual erection’ – P. Vettel-Becker, Shooting from the hip: Photography, Masculinity & Post-war America, 2005


Since its inception in the mid-nineteenth century, photography has been a means of recording our fascination with the human condition. And as war, and its collateral damage, form a tragic, recurring and very masculine part of that condition, so the photographer has turned his lens upon it to warn and inform. However, documentary war photography no longer illustrates, to the satisfaction of the viewer, how war feels to those who wage it; photographers are now attempting to photograph that which cannot be photographed – the experience of its (mostly) male combatants, not only in the theatre of war but also in their aftermath of a sometimes insurmountably difficult civilian world. My research into how photography has contributed to the changing face of masculine military identity in the 21st century began when my son fought in Afghanistan as a Royal Marine.  Now a Navy officer, for his wedding in December 2013 I bought his ceremonial sword. I spent a day in Sheffield photographing the traditional process of making a sword. Blades are forged from a single billet of high carbon steel, from Sweden, ground by hand in Sheffield to the final shape, hardened and tempered, hand-polished and acid-etched with patterns and inscriptions. In the images I have chosen, the masculine potency intrinsic to the archaic manufacture of an instrument of war – the phallic flame and the cathartic spurt of sparks from tempering steel – mirrors the act of war itself and its inherent virility.  The men doing the tough and dirty work are all nearing retirement and apprentices cannot be found.  Meanwhile, the ceremonial swords are handed down as trophies from generation to generation, unbloodied metaphors for heroic manhood.




Nicky Athina Polymeri


Soundtrack to your escape


Heavy metal: loud, powerful, provocative. Ever since I was 15 years old, I had to confront people who would say that it is not a genuine form of music. In a conservative country like Greece, where I come from, walking around in long hair, black clothes and weird jewellery would at least characterise you as a freak. However, there has always been one place where all these ‘freaks’ would feel like home: concerts. A place where the power of music makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck, where individuals at the audience become one, and together indulge in tribal dances and gestures that only they, the metalheads, understand.


This music has millions of fans worldwide, and yet since the ‘70s, it has been regularly stereotyped, marginalised and judged. For metalheads, it is more than just music. It is an identity. Metal is a philosophy of outsiders, which connects with people regardless of their political, social or cultural backgrounds and expresses an explicit sense of rebellion. It is a subculture of the popular music, having its own particular set of sociological significance. My exhibit is a visualisation drawn from my doctoral research, which concerns the economic recession in Greece and how heavy metal concerts have evolved within recent economic and social changes. The recent heavy metal zeitgeist is encapsulated in a song by the band, In Flames, and demonstrates that within a landscape of social transformation and financial oppression, for the past 5 years, the Greek metal scene has been adjusting and progressing. The metalheads themselves take forward the metal scene and hence the most important manifestation of this music, which is the concerts. All fans would agree: in hard times, there is a soundtrack to your escape.

Walter van Rijn


Of Fig Untitled No In To Title I Portrait With Series Concetto Self Joy (2014)


A project which consists of: the artist at work creating and dispersing stuff; the materials and tools generating the visual work; and the exhibition events.


The materials and tools generating the visual work that might be exhibited on different locations consists of:

– TD014HansardGallery: a database of artwork titles, collated in collaboration with the John Hansard Gallery;

– msgfile-mag.pd: a Pure Data software, which generates the visualisation of this database, using computer and AV equipment;

– SymLogiDIN: font software created with Fontforge ;

– Of Fig Untitled No In To Title I Portrait With Series Concetto Self Joy: the title of this work in the form of a book.


The individual words of the title, in the sequence Of Fig Untitled No In To Title I Portrait With Series Concetto Self Joy, are the fourteen most frequently used words (if one would omit the words the, a, and, on, from, at) in the titles from artworks exhibited at the John Hansard Gallery and some offsite projects. The exhibitions from which the author collated about twelve hundred titles took place between 1 March 2003 and 17 August 2013. The artist database of artwork titles serves a different purpose than the source archive of a gallery and should be seen as a separate entity. For aesthetic or technical reasons the titles and artist names may have become formatted in a different way.


In the context of my research, Of Fig Untitled No In To Title I Portrait With Series Concetto Self Joy (2014) is a work that exemplifies what I call a dispersed object. It aims to rethink the status of the art object from a material perspective. The project as artwork is conceived as a dynamic entity that is located between multiple sources, temporary visualisations and possible manifestations. By creating an archive of artwork titles, re-ordering the data, and dispersing it digitally as an algorithm, the author generates new work which only materialises temporarily as a projection of titles. As such the status of the art object is contingent on being performed and being conserved.


What is being performed and conserved? The titles are generated and visualised ‘live’ one after the other by a software & hardware apparatus, which means that any photograph or video of the piece should be understood as documentation only. Besides the temporary events of visualisation that bring certain elements together, these elements (see the materials and tools of this project above) are if possible, made public and archived as separate entities. An online search will lead potential users of these tools to the sites where they can be downloaded. Materials and tools are all created by the artist and published with a creative commons licence (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0) to allow free non-commercial use and adaptations if the artist is credited.


With thanks to individuals and organisations whose support have made this project possible. In particular: the John Hansard Gallery; Members of the user forums of Pure Data and Fontforge to help out when I got stuck; University of Southampton, and Winchester School of Art.







Simiao Wang




My drawing is based on a book, Taming the Tiger Within: Meditations on Transforming Difficult Emotions, written by Thich Nhat Hanh, a great contemporary Buddhist. His words flow like a river heading for the sea – the grandeur of a peaceful world where love grows. Anger is one of our common physiological manifolds. Yet, like the sense of intuitions, intangible and beyond our spatiotemporal, what is anger? Where does it come from? How to tame it? Anger, to me, is a crystal buried in darkness. Once a light beam reflects upon its facets, it shines like a star. No matter how bad an effect anger causes, it releases our consciousness and opens an emotional outlet in its aftermath; it is a ‘nitty-gritty’ methodology to know the internal mental thoughts in the mirror stage, the recognition of self, and a form of decision-making changing the status quo. Anger, is an agitated monologue per se. Somehow, those are my humble cerebration about anger itself. Religious comfort, to me, is a rectilinear unidirectional way of looking forward to incarnations to calm anger down and realize the essence of life: learn to love. Love is the best medicine to cure the soul.





Farewell, my happiness and sorrow,

Sent my best regards to the good old time

Anger has adumbrated my fate

Tickling chains and shackles escorting me to him


The almighty anger, the new landlord of my destiny

He is a willowy shadow, a fierce ambitious monster

Quiver mourning echoes in his empty palace

Surrendered to his unfathomable omnipotence


But anger, the cruel tyranny in the world

Has a human heart, as the rose petal on the blood

The hibernating seed in frozen land

Chasing the lumen within


My anger finally lay down under my feet

A simple lullaby and arms around

How dear my anger is! Like a flower

Bearing the beauty of mundane






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