Sunday, September 26, 2010


Somerset Art Weeks 2010 Special Event

Out of Context: Artists Talk & Live Performance
Event Date: Sunday 3rd October, 2010
Time: 2pm to 5pm
Venue: Cotley Barn, near Chard
Exhibition: 18 September to 4 October, open 11am to 6pm (Thur to Sun).

On Sunday October 3rd, the artist group, Hacker Farm will give a live performance at Cotley Barn between 2pm and 5pm, using hand-soldered electronics, circuit-bent toys and reclaimed local materials. During the event, Hacker Farm and artists Liz Fathers, Gary Dickins and Natalie Parsley will talk about their work in the ’Out of Context’ exhibition, most of them in response to the rural setting of Cotley Barn.

For the Out of Context exhibition at Cotley Barn, Hacker Farm have created a series of pieces designed to enhance and comment on the environment in which they are housed. The rear room has been converted into a makeshift medieval cinema showing modified footage of cows and milk-production - a post-modernist version of a tithe. In the main room, a “farm-yard sound-system” housed in rusting milk-churns and salvaged agricultural scrap plays extracts from Music For Imaginary Milking-Parlours, an audio-piece constructed from field-recordings made in local dairies and cow-sheds. The sounds were digitally ‘distressed’ until they became ghost-like and impressionistic, suggesting a spectral, sometimes unsettling post-rural landscape.

Elsewhere, an Atari Punk Console - a homemade noise-generator that emulates the sounds of a vintage 1980’s games-console - has been embedded in an old farm bucket, enabling visitors to create their own hands-on, site-specific soundtrack.

Liz Fathers creates two installations in response to the history and surroundings of Cotley Barn, including a cider apple spiral and 200 balloons. Gary Dickins will create new work using found objects from the abandoned farm yard. Natalie Parsley’s farm tools painting is inspired by her visit to her grandfather’s farm. By displaying her work, she gives the everyday object a new life.

For more information about the exhibition and artists taking part, please visit here.

About Out of Context...

Out of Context is an exhibition/project bringing together artists in Somerset to create new work in response to the environment, architecture and cultural background of a medieval tithe barn. Organised by Somerset Art Works (SAW), an organisation aiming to develop opportunities for Somerset artists, Out of Context aims to promote interesting contemporary art that is relevant to the wider public. Out of Context is part of Somerset Art Weeks 2010, a county wide visual art event featuring more than 300 artists in over 200 venues/studios across Somerset.

For more information about Out of Context and Somerset Art Weeks 2010, please email: artweeks [at]

Somerset Art Works (SAW) is a non-profit making organisation promoting the Visual Arts and creating opportunities for Visual Artists in Somerset through advocacy, promotion and development.

I'm looking for a publisher for my micro-novella "Tullis Immortallis" which - at 15k - is a bit of a bugger to find a home for. It's too long for a short-story antho and is too short to publish as a novella.

Stlylistically, it doesn't fit with my other 15k+ micronovellas (which could be categorised as 'hyperfiction' or something), so it doesn't feel right bundling it up with them and self-publishing or something.

This is a sort of West Country New Wyrd type thing, I guess. Very, er, 'English', I suppose. A bit quirky, but also fairly commercial too. Maybe I could try Weird Tales, but I doubt they'd bite. At this point an agent would be very handy, but I really don't have the sort of profile to attract one or the juice to reel in a mid-league editor / publisher.

If anyone is interested in putting it out, then mail me on my dumpmail address kekw10cc [AT] googlemail [DOOT] com. Some money would be nice, btw. You don't write something that long over a lunchtime, so would be cool to get some renumeration for my efforts.

Basically, the story follows the main protagonist thru 400+ years of life on the run from a secret cabal - maybe real / maybe imagined - who want to dissect him in order to learn the secret or eternal life. It's a mixture of dark pseudo-occult fantasy and psychological spy-thriller.

Here's a brief excerpt - a section set in (you guessed it!):

It was 1973 and they were tripping on acid down in John’s basement flat. John was playing something by Yes on the B&O deck and speakers he’d bought for thirty quid from the junk-shop on the corner. His pinched, weasel-like face was rigid with tension, lips protruding out in a half-pout as he air-guitar mimed a Steve Howe solo: breeanng-brakka-brak…pyoww! “Fucking ace, this bit!” he yelled, “Listen!”

Scott looked up from the electric bar-fire. He had been counting the glowing spiral ridges in the heating-element. It was like a tube of solid DNA or something. But a chord progression in the track had caught his attention. There it went again: a tricky, Baroque-sounding arpeggio that underpinned Howe’s fretwankery: m.1-I, m.2-V^6, m.3-vi&V^7/V, m.4-V…

Scott recognized it instantly. “I wrote that,” he said.

“Fuck off, Tully, you spaz…" John wind-milled his left arm, as if playing some monolithic, never-ending Pete Townsend chord. He made a strange, strangulated noise; a half-laugh that sounded like some new language. “You couldn’t have possibly written this. It was written by…written by…” He scanned the gatefold sleeve for clues. “Wakeman, Howe and - fucking hell! What the fuck’s that?” He dropped the sleeve and recoiled in horror from some invisible threat.

Brummie Dave grinned up at him from beneath the table. “You’re messing with forces beyond your comprehension, John,” he said, ominously.

John studied him suspiciously. “Don’t say things like that. You’re freaking me out.” He bit his thumb nail and laughed nervously. “You’re like a fucking elf sat down there in your cave.”

Elf? I’m bloody Sauron, you wally. I have pure evil running through my veins…”

“1687,” said Scott, resisting the urge to touch the bar-fire. “Blackfriars. That’s where I wrote it. It popped into my head. Just like that - ” He snapped his fingers and recalled the moment as if it were five minutes ago. The scene stretched out in front of him like a painting. He could even smell the horse-dung and the human excrement that littered the road. A Scratch ‘n’ Sniff landscape. Imagine that hanging in the National Gallery, he thought. “Now some fucking Prog band’s ripped me off….”

“I know you’re a mature student, Tully, but that’s just bloody ridiculous,” snorted Brummie Dave from under his “special table”. He looked like a pterodactyl now or the bloke on the back on that Amon Duul II album.

John put his hands over his ears. “Stop it, stop it - stop it! You’re sending me over the edge…”

“Watch out, John!" cackled Brummie Dave, brandishing a Yes album-cover. "You’re…Close To The Edge!” He laughed and the room turned itself inside-out.


Yesterday's radio interview was a LOT of fun to do. Simon Parkin - the breakfast-show host - was a really nice fella. We were chatting a bit off-air, before / after, during weather-updates, etc and he seemed genuinely interested in what we were up to.

I suggested to him that I might take an iPlayer stream of the interview (I'm told it's about 1hr 42 mins in - thanks, Nick!), mulch/mash it up and turn it into a track...and this is now definitely on my To-Do List.

In the end, we didn't play live, but we did demonstrate the Atari Punk Bucket (and use it as an amp to play a severely atonal John Cale-esque bowed-eukele skreeeeach). Simon also gamely re-played a slivver of our recent live performance on Jonny Mugwump's Resonance FM show. Which was exceptionally cool of him, considering his breakfast-time demographic.

Thanks to those of you who tuned in.

Afterwards, we went out to Cotley to do some work / prep on our installation and hold the fort while visitors wandered round the barn. Some much-delayed info on this later, soon as I get the kids to bed...