I wrote this as part of my thesis to explore the formative years of my practice (Tabletop Experiments) and its subsequent reimagining through the thesis research. Which emerged as workshops, boxed kits and instructional work). This text was meant to supplement the introduction and precede the methodology section, which stands as a more forward-looking exploration of my practice. The question, "But, what is that you actually do?"  was posed to me as an impressionable master's student  after having presented my entire portfolio of work; the question perplexed me because, at that time, my practice was still developing, and I still wasn't entirely sure what it was that I was doing. Later as an emerging professional artist discussing practice, this straightforward yet wise advice was
17/09/2022 Second Workshop at Longdendale Environmental Centre as GUIDEline project with Glassball Studios: In this workshop, we continued to work on our boundary detectors; moss terrariums with carbon and aluminium layers which act as electrodes. In my test, I used moss growing on a carbon graphite felt layer (the anode), over a granular substrate of Zeolite (the electrolyte, but in the workshop, we used grit and mud collated from the boundary). The base of the jar is covered with aluminium foil (the cathode). As the moss photosynthesises and microbes do their thing - electrons are exchanged between the two electrodes generating electricity (more info on the science at end of this post). However, it is as yet unclear exactly how
Exploring the nature and origins of the first National Park and its boundary. I have been commissioned as part of the GUIDEline project by Glassball Studio. Over the summer Alison Lloyd and I will be working alongside Glassball, continuing a conversation that started back in 2021, bringing our practices to the boundary of the Peak District National Park, using the Longdendale Activity Centre as a base from which to explore. Here are some outcomes, ideas and works in progress so far... Walk with Tim Cambel-Green View this post on Instagram A post shared by Dr. Antony Hall (@tonazoid) Walking with Tim - exploring these
Thanks to Revolution Works revolutionworks.com for supporting my project with one of these Revos Ebike conversion kits. See my review here when it's done. https://revolutionworks.com/ Field Station is a mobile resource [a bike trailer] used for pop-up interventions and workshops developed as part of a Climate Change Awareness Project With Manchester Art Gallery. As Field Station develops, the trailer structure is getting increasingly heavy [see the work in progress here]. Towing a heavy trailer on the flat is was no problem - but slow going. Luckily for me, sub-urban manchester is relatively flat, but there are a couple of key hills and numerous steep inclines that are particularly challenging. So I decided to look to get some electrical assistance. I didn't want
This page shows some of the motivation, inspiration and design ideas used in the Field Station project, see the work in progress here. Over the last few years, I have been loading my bike with increasingly heavy loads for field research style workshops sometimes in remote locations. More recently I have been mapping my local 'research realm' that I can access from my doorstep by bike, the sub-urban postindustrial outskirts of south manchester, interesting ecological sites, reclaimed rubbish tips, canals rivers and obscure ponds. These are often less picturesque in-between spaces that have been neglected by the local council, often prone to fly-tipping. Middlewood Trust WorkshopUnder the Darkest Sky [Above some more remote areas to which I travelled to by bike with insanely heavy loads of
Para-lab workshop 25th April with the Materials group. Material scientist Aled Roberts led a workshop based on his work exploring how new sustainable materials can be created from bio-based waste materials, potentially as a form of carbon capture. He brought some fascinating material samples one of which was created from bone powder, compressed and heated into a hard ivory-like substance that could be machined or sculpted into any shape. The idea of the workshop was to forage for materials in the urban environment, which could then be mashed up and mixed. We collected moss, orange peel tree sap. Aled brought a number of extra materials he had previously experimented with such as marmite baby powder, dried mealworms, and muscle growth powder. The materials were mashed up
At the beginning of the project with Gallery Oldham, I was given a list of local sites to visit, which would have been popular in the 19th century for collecting bryophytes. I have been collecting my own specimens from these sites, which will then be sent to Anthony Gregory, an expert Bryologist, for formal identification. These will then be sent back to the museum to be catalogued and become part of the museum's collection for posterity. I met up with Anthony for a riverside walk to get a crash course in bryology. We met at Greenbank train station and made our way to a footpath alongside the River Tame. We walked slowly, stopping regularly at tress and venturing down to
I wanted to examine samples of moss collected in the local area around the gallery where I have been working amazingly some were 150 years old. I was experimenting with time-lapse films of rehydrating small samples but need better magnification. Moss is stored in these paper envelopes, and if someone has worked with a sample (and rehydrated it) it is dried and returned to the envelope in a smaller paper wrap. I added a couple of my own to the collection, I like to think someone might stumble across these in a hundred years time! See more about the Gallery Oldham Bryophytes project here...
This page has three walks that took place as part of the Gallery Oldham Bryophytes project. Two Loops around Kinder reservoir, starting from Hayfield [with a short 6k and long 14k option] the other from Edale [17k]. Both are challenging walks with plenty of hill climbing. Sturdy shoes, waterproofs and a map are recommended. Both of these walks centre around the River Kinder. Rain falling on the kinder plateau is absorbed into the blanket bog and slowly trickles out into a series of tributaries and gullies which slowly seep through the peat. These conjoin and meander across the plateau toward Kinder Downfall - a rocky outcrop where the river drops into the valley below eventually filtering into Kinder reservoir. In each walk, the diversity
Results from the Photography experiments, taken during the Contouring the Boundary Photography walk with Alison Loyd and Glass ball studios
A Live feed (the sound of woodlice eating and communicating) as the keynote presentation for the 'Hopsitality' symposium/conference 2021. This text talks about how this came about, and outline the presentation and details of the 'paper' that was produced. As part of 'Hospitality' a residency project with Proximity hosted by the UoC Fine Art writing group, a conference was organised as a final outcome and reflection on the project. The idea was that we would speak about our various practices and explore cross overs concerning the theme of Hospitality. Unfortunately, as the deadline drew near, we found ourselves having to find a keynote speaker at the last minute. At the time, I had been working on some sound recording experiments, listening
Reflections on Contouring the Boundary I took part in ‘Contouring the Boundary’ a walk with Alison Lloyd [part of ‘Guide Lines’ [https://guideline.org.uk] and Glassball as part of their Guideline project. Alison described the walk as a 'micro navigation. We slowly walked part of the Peak District National Park boundary. During the walk, we were introduced to the idea of navigating using contours and a compass. It was good to be out with others since I have become so accustomed to working at a distance from others in recent times. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Glassball Studio (@glassball.studio) In particular,
I was honoured to be invited to contribute to WEDDING RITUAL an amazing curatorial project by Wes White / Wes Viola. I wrote about something Old [Plinth with unseeable object] Did something new [See the obscurist edition], proposed something borrowed and invented something blue [sort of]. "...Antony Hall is an extraordinary artist, experimentalist and thinker. His work frequently plays with our perception of reality, sometimes presenting as everlasting magic tricks (for example, his Perpetual Coffee Vortex and Continual Slow Drip). Hall is also one part of Owl Project, the sound-art collective responsible for the iLog, at least one incarnation of which Bjork is rumoured to have added to her collection of instruments. The ENKi project explored the limits of human interaction with electric fish. I was fortunate to study at Strode College with Tony (on the course now led by Duncan Cameron, then our sculpture tutor), and have followed his artistic
“I find it has been helpful to break away from the thesis writing and experiment with other ways of writing just for fun. Recently taken part in several creative writing courses and have learnt some great exercises such as; thinking about the thesis as a story, writing your thesis in 9 sentences, writing a 1 min and 5 min thesis talks. I found that trying to get all the ideas in the thesis across in a short space really helps work out the key messages I need to communicate. Since I enjoy science fiction and my thesis is on the subject of science and art; I thought it would be fun to try writing my thesis abstract as if it were a catchy back
Reactor model for collaborative practice / Work in progress 2020 / Drawing 2020
"In an artistic exploration, clay hands and non-hand-like, unfeasible clay objects were created by the participant and used to perform an alternative version of the rubber hand illusion. Most participants felt ownership even over these unfeasible objects, raising questions about the embodied experience of objects that we make." https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0301006620948502
A meander workshop proposal written for Para Lab, in response to a walking workshop by Ann Carragher with Proximity collective The meander like the ‘bimble’ is a method of walking research characterised by its semi-‘aimless nature’. The intention is that the multisensory relaxed and ‘rhythmical’ nature of walking allows for ‘slow observation’ and enables the participants to make new connections with the environment and between the participants though the discussions and actions along the way. Crucial to the meander is A the extraction of materials [physical samples, data, ideas] from the environment; this action demands a counter focus which cuts into the otherwise aimlessness of the walk. And B, The creation of the Delta Object; the subsequent sorting
“...embrace that which is unknown, derive wonder from illogical consequences, and then carry out experiments, derive further empirical observations based on the resultant emergent properties in that very moment of experience… make conjectures based entirely on the confusions about what was to be obtained, and generate questions which wh remain unanswerable…” Extract from ‘The Pressure of Ideas'
Nothing becomes a thing only when the experience of nothingness – or every thingness converge. Then and then only is the ‘thingness’ integrated within and demarcated from the general stream of other things or no-things… Such a thing is a whole and carries with it its own individualizing quality and self-sufficiency. It is a thing. Extract from 'The pressure of ideas"
"We do an experiment when the phenomenon experimented upon runs its course to failure or success. Then and then only is it integrated within and demarcated in the general stream of the experiment from other experiments… Such an experiment is a whole and carries with it its own individualizing quality and self-sufficiency. It is an experiment.”Extract from 'The pressure of ideas 2020"
On the 28th / 06/2020 para lab met up at Brunclough reservoir. Everyone was tasked with creating ’a device to test the material properties of a thing’. I produced an edition of 15 Meander~Delta objects [drawings and text contained within a petri dish] with which to collect things and make notes, I also brought a homemade tardigrade extractor [salad spinner]. The wind and rain on occasion proved to be too disrupting to do any detailed work – or too difficult even speak to each other… https://www.instagram.com/p/CB-3MrkllD6/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet https://www.instagram.com/p/CCBafc3F-2n/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet
Meandering is an experiential research method enacted through walking in the natural [or urban] environment whist being tasked with a specific activity [collecting, experimenting, sampling the environment]. The aim is that this process may lead to new ideas and discussions which cause the participants to meander from the planned course of action and in doing so reveal alternative routes and different ways of looking. During the meander, notes are made, and the process is recorded; The sorting of residual material generated become a "Delta object" an archive of the event. Meander 1. To slowly wander from a given course. 2. (of a river or road) follow a winding course 3. a journey that has no particular direction: ~Delta 1. The accumulation and sorting of material as
This diagram [a work in progress based on Fazey and Hardy, 1988] shows how sudden shifts in behaviour can arise from small changes in circumstances [See Rene Thom - catastrophe theory]. It is used here to explain the process of how increasing cognitive and somatic anxiety might lead to feelings of depersonalisation numbness or panic attacks. Since these often result from small changes. Could this model be used to explain the experiences of hallucination and perceptual illusion? Some links here to how this is used in sport science - in relation to somatic and cognitive anxiety/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSSpOfPoIf4 Theory of Catastrophes http://users.fs.cvut.cz/ivo.bukovsky/SBS/en/Catastrophes/Catastrophes1.html
A ‘Re/Action’ is a form of experiential art which resembles a workshop and consists of a series ‘actions’ performed or experienced by participants who interchange between roles of experimenter and audience. The focus is on reflection and introspection, for both the experimenter and participant. The process should generate new questions and evolving iterations for future action and re/action. 1. Initiation: Preparatory sub-actions, questionnaires and tasks that serve as cognitive primers which inform the following actions. 2. Action: The experience [an experiment] This should include qualitative and quantitative measures, further questionnaires, biometric data [sweat response / Heart rate] that feeds back into the experience. Importantly the process and apparatus of data collection are part of the experience. 3. Reflection: Interview and discussion. This should comprise of structured
A manifesto to celebrate 20 years of Tabletop Experiments. 1. The Tabletop Experiment is essentially amateur and DIY in its endeavour. It concerns science as recreation and as a practice that necessitates its own re-creation. 2. It is assembled from items readily available in the home, domestic technology; kitchen utensils, liquid soap or aquarium parts for example. 3. It is based upon a specific phenomenon of interest; an artefact of subjective perception, the physical behaviour of liquid, or the physical behaviours of an animal for example. 4. It is a discrete environment: a device, or instrument, within which a unique phenomenon can exist. Ideally this should be a rapidly developed prototype, which affords an aesthetic interplay between materials and technologies, driven by incidental function and serendipitous accident. 5.
Osmosis is the gradual permeation of ideas between different fields. It implies a passive slow diffusion, an unconscious assimilation of knowledge. In biology it is a process by which molecules tend to pass through a semi-permeable membrane from a less saturated medium into a more saturated one. This leads to two mediums of equal saturation through a one-directional flow, resulting in two different volumes. These illustrations explore the idea of osmosis as a model for ‘collaboration’ as an alternative to the idealised collaborative sciart model often represented through the vesica Piscis [Fig. 1 and 2]. One in which ideas permeate through osmotic proximity  created by collaborative environment and mediums separated by a ‘proximal membrane’ through which ideas and knowledge