It’s pretty unlikely I’ll get anything else done this year now, as I’ve hit my New Year-period wall prematurely, from which I can never imagine the possibility of making anything new again – until I make something new again. Perhaps I do my own yearly roundups because I somehow feel that I’m unjustifiably forgotten about. When I regain my bearings from the egotistical gravel pit, I recognise that it’s likely over 90% of us feel this way. But all the same, no choice but to play The Game.
So here’s a list, in a more or chronological order, of the best bits of what I have done in 2015; and believe me, there’s a lot of bits I’d rather regret. Regarding the visual works, I feel THE LONG NIGHT OF A NEEDLESS STORM is my strongest piece, both in visuals and title, it’s the best attempt I’ve made all year of interlinking all the problems of today indirectly back to the dominant political agenda.
Not Humanly Possible (A4, ink on paper)
A Cognitive Austerity (A4, ink on paper)
Five MORE Years… (A4, ink on paper)
“Hardworking Tax-payers, Inconvenienced” (A4, ink on paper)
Pain is Barred an Outlet (A4, ink on paper)
“Sad, LONELY, Frightened” (A4, ink on paper)
Everybody’s Fracking (95X130cm, mixed media on paper)
The Self [ie] Under Siege (A4, mixed media on paper)
“Can We Stop Now, Please?” (A4, mixed media on paper)
Debtland (2015, 110X77cm, mixed media on paper)
Artwork for Wear Your Band T-shirt to Work Day (explanation here)
Sounds that made up my year…
“the rotten soil of nowhere land”
Zomby – Where Were U in 92′
Real McCoy – Runaway (Tory election victory-sting-soother)
The Fall – Frightened
New Order – The Village
Goat – Let it Bleed/Gathering of Ancient Tribes
Sleaford Mods – Double Diamond
Wu Tang Clan – C.R.E.A.M
Sleaford Mods – Mcflurry
Sleaford Mods – Jobseeker
Sleaford Mods – Tied up in Notts
DMS – vengeance
Sleaford Mods – Teacher Faces Porn Charges
Rufige Kru – Menace
Congress – 40 Miles
Chumbawumba – Tubthumping
Sonz of a Loop Da Loop Era – Far Out
The Chameleons – Don’t Fall/Second Skin – (again)
This is a spoken word/video version of notes and mapmaking from earlier in October this year, over the weekend the Tory Conference was held in Manchester
It is part of a series that has thus far have largely centred around times/spaces where gatherings/events have felt like ample territory for my thoughts on the past (my past), present, and longings for a future decisively different from the present.<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/150320900″>Manchester and The Morning After (Stories From Forgotten Space)</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user18137640″>john Ledger</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
…and other Year-Sapping issues that self-righteous simplification responds to by saying: “don’t do it then…”.
If such a complaint was raised in, say 1997, when the Internet had about as much centrality to contemporary life as a praline Latte does now, then “don’t do it then” would be an appropriate response. In 2015 the Internet is at the beckon call of our every thought to the point where it has a say in everything little thing we contemplate, whether we use it or not. We don’t need to have Wifi to be thinking in ‘Wifi’.
I’m not career savvy, I’m not go-getter, and I’m not desensitized enough to the deluge-broth of horror and envy that constitutes social media. I overthink (a fatal error in our ‘just do it/don’t look back’ competitive age), I have an obsessive personality, and my pre-Internet-age-damaged sense-of-self constantly needs recognition/acceptance from others; 3 traits that made have the Internet a destructive intrusion into my life.
I don’t claim to be a great analyzer of our (non)times; if any respectable theorist had enough free time to Google their own name, they’d probably be laughing at my overuse, and misuse of a handful of their ideas.
What I do claim to be is somebody who is all-too-aware how the Internet heightens, even mushrooms, pre-existing issues I may or may not have. But, yet, how it encompasses the horizons of now, so that it more or less seems impossible to do anything without it. Yet when I’m on it, it is impossible to do anything with it, as my ability to think properly is ambushed by an hasty anxiety that seeks recognition as if I was a drowning soul seeking oxygen.
‘Fuck Up’ doesn’t even get close; “don’t do it then” warrants outspoken anger.