My Book THE UNSPEAKABLE FREEDOM DEVICE – an experimental fiction that parallels (but is different from) the film of the same name, is published by Book Works and for sale HERE!
On the same project a
Jennet Thomas in conversation with Kyran Joughin
I have a chapter in this book called ‘SCHOOL OF CHANGE: Re-dreaming Past Futures
Below are some of my scripts /prose poems/experimental writing- whatever you would like to call them. They were written either to be performed in the video – performed (usually by me) alongside a projection of film/ etc. as a live performance work, or as printed matter.
As part of Publication/show curated by Shaun Doyle and Mally Mallins at BANNER REPEATER 2011
PIGDOGANDMONKEYFESTOS has been conceived as a collection of contemporary artists manifestos. Celebrating the stupidity of declaring your intentions to the world with the hope of changing it
“This is about a man who knows more than other men.
How come he knows more than other men ?
Because has had three remarkable experiences.
What experiences has he had?
He has been Outside, he has had a Baby, and he has won the Game.
Tells us more, tell us more.
This Man was the first one to go outside, and the only one to return.
What was it like outside?
He can’t tell us what it was like out there, he can only tell us what he saw looking back.
What did he see looking back?
He says it looked like a huge set of shifting structures and inter dependencies, that folded into itself a vast number of complex planes to produce recognisable outlines.
Tells us more, tell us more! Tell us how to have a Baby.
How to have a Baby
This is the first man to have a baby.He says that in order to have a baby you need to understand what a baby is. And that to get the baby started you need a good idea of what kind of baby you want.What kind of shape and colour? How is it going to move? You need to consider whether you want your baby to have arms as well as legs, whether you want the eyes to be fully or just partially open, and if they are open, what would you like the baby to see? Blue eyes see very different things to brown eyes.
There are six different types of blue: Sea Blue, Celestial Blue, Steel Symphony, First Dawn, Wild Water. A blue eyed baby with a symmetrical shape will see the quality of reality more clearly, and could go on to achieve a high rating. There are 4 different kinds of brown: Velvet Truffle, Rich Chestnut, Tutor Oak, Good Earth. A brown eyed baby can be very charming if left incomplete or asymmetrical, but will never achieve a high rating.
He says, don’t be alarmed; when the first baby first comes out to greet you, it may make unwelcome gestures: The Pain shape, the Lost shape, the Broken shape. The colours may appear different to those on the diagram. Don’t be sad, as after the 6 month fixing program the baby will take on the shape and colour that matches your original choice.
Tell us more, tell us more, tell us how to win the Game!
HOW TO WIN THE GAME
This man was the first man to win the Game. He says, in order to win the game you need to understand what is the game and what is NOT the game. You always need to be aware who else is playing the game at any given moment that you are playing the game. You must never play the game alone. If you are seen to be playing the game alone you could loose the game.
When did we start playing the game?
Some people start as early as 5, most people begin around10. Everyone plays the game although some people believe that they have never played the game. These people do not know when they are ‘on’ and when they are ‘off’. They have no control over their lives.
What is the game?
He says we all know that the game is the mechanism for achieving credits. The game can be described as a set of shifting structures and interdependencies. The game folds into itself a number of complex variables in order to produce recognisable, measurable outcomes. So at one moment the Game is: Car, Emotion, Job, and then it can shift to Holiday, Politics, Localised pain.
Tell us how to win the Game!
He says in order to win the game you have to maintain a high level of Game Awareness during all of your life. You have to love the Game, you have to give yourself to the Game, whilst consistently maintaining the ability to notice where the game is moving to next, and what has ceased to be the game.
Digital video 2005
Because of the war, things were changing.
Very few toys or games were left, and music was almost over.
Tap water was tasting female and television only came in nasty spasms.
Popular foods were found to be unstable- additives that had been put in there some time ago, to keep the flavours and shapes strong, had started telling; weeping, crying out.
This was disturbing people, ruining their appetite.
Everyone was getting really thin.
The thinkers acted, and strategies of self- help were disseminated, through the radio, leaflets, and public science demonstrations.
People found that there were other ways to get the things they needed.
Men and women from all walks of life made experimental diggings.
New planting and fertilization exercises began.
A whole new philosophy of farming was emerging.
In this way, some people began to transform the war slowly, from the inside. They buried and burned many kinds of things, and grew the things they really needed with the New Philosophy.
Lovely music started happening spontaneously in the most unexpected places- so no one needed to pay for it anymore.
But for some, it was hard to clean out all the old connections.
They said they were too full of memories to make the change.
For these people things could only get worse- the complexities started to build up in their guts and mixed with their longings to form addictive, bittersweet enzymes.
This chemistry switched connections in their heads – they found that the difference between the anticipated and the actual was becoming increasingly unclear.
For them the war will never end; it is visible even in small places- in the movements of dying insects, in the way children hold their bodies in the night.
Some people think that there is no war at all.
For most it is similar to the experience of falling in love
For a few, it is so alien, it is like the beginning of Hell.
what’s the point of staring at this thing?
it’\s not good that’st me, it’s not bad, there are no reasons to get upset.
all the yellow in the world won’d talk away the fear
YELLOW LOVE SONG
( and Sara, this is Meant to be bad)
never mind the world is bad
never mind you killed our dad
all the pain is flowing from my head
never mind it’s all wrong
never mind they broke this song
all the pain is flowing from my head
oh oh oh oh
god is made of love
oh oh oh oh
war is made of love
yellow love, bile love, yellow love, vile love
yellow love vomit love
god is made of love
digital video 1997
It usually starts with something in the corner of your eye when you are half-looking. Don’t be afraid, he’s been here before, and he never really goes away. I think he is probably some old person who is finding it hard to die completely,and bits of him are going everywhere. He usually spreads out after a while, and turns into something else…
2) It sometimes goes on to happen like this- a shape gets formed and comes down in the wrong places and get lost.
And when they are found here no one knows what they are for. Because communication is bad, the meanings keep slipping and he keeps repeating the same thing.He keeps repeating the same mistake with the shape- thinking you understand what it means, but you really can’t understand what he is trying to tell you.
3)And when it’s gone on for a while there can be a great build-up of pressure, and he often picks on objects that looked like him.
He sometimes makes music come to try and make things more cheerful but there’s a danger this can make things worse.
He can use pressure to force things through, to attract your attention, but this is a very bad sign.
This can mean that he’s on his way back.
I mean that man, that is the man that I mean. He is the one, he is the one that I mean. That man is mostly vegetable, he grew back up through the earth after they had buried him, and now he’s causing the buzzing noise.
That man has something wrong with his head, you can see the thoughts come out from here.
Oh that man has a special stick
that stick has your name on
Oh that man has a special stick
and he can poke it in your switch.
It usually ends if you take the stick away from the man and if you make it clear to him that you didn’t understand at any point what he was trying to tell you, and that also you don’t care.
This makes the man so ashamed of himself that he remembers how to die properly.
But he never really goes away.
1999-2000 Digital Video
Sharony, we dug you out of the back garden. Yellow and squishy in some kind of egg, we see you through the jelly walls glowing pink. Sharony, two and a half centimetres high, and stuck to yourself like velcro.
Because I am thirsty I put you in my mouth, I suck you till you go sour, I spit you out.
We take you inside, to where it’s going to be warm.
We put you under the pillow so we can think about you through the feathers.
Now that you’re safe inside the special incubator, we know you’re going to grow-
Oh Sharony, your curves will have the potency of mass production, from you we can smell the ecstasies of advanced industrialisation,
you’ve hardened up now- pink and blonde – and you’re ready to be popped.
Oh Sharony, we lock you in a room wallpapered with pornography, we photograph you through a lens smeared with vascelene.
We feed you through a tube in the door.
We watch as you go through the changes,
the pornography makes you speeded up.
Now you are ready to come out and play.
Oh Sharony! I want to take you right inside the disco, sellotape your hands to mine, take you on the dance floor and make you happy for a little while.
Sharony, we want to ask you how it feels to be so light and empty,
we want to ask you about processes of suction moulded plastics, and polyester,
we want to know the secrets of how to keep you clean.
Oh Sharony, as we dance, we want to know just for a second what it’s like to be as close to nothing as you
Sharony we’d like to take you out into the neighbourhood,
give you the sweets that you like, hold your body in the sunlight
But instead we take your measurements, hanging you from a wire in the ceiling to keep your back straight.
Oh Sharony!. there’s so many things we’d like to tell you, about Love and Shopping malls, but whenever we talk we just make noises, high and squeaky as plastic mice.
this is how my dead song goes
my empty body sings its space
I’ve trapped inside me the shiny pain
the new plastic smells
the strange and happy memories
I’ll keep them safe
I’ll keep them clean for you
I am not dirty
I want your love
I want your love
you hate me and you want my clothes
Sharony, we’re going to cut you up completely,
We’re going to wrap your bits up in Mummy’s nightie
We’re going to put you back
Sharony, we’re patting your earth down carefully
We’re going to plant flowers on your grave.
Sharony, as we look back now, we can see them twirling to the disco beat.
Live performance with Super 8 film 1996
This is the story of a man who had something wrong with his eye, and it effected what he could see, wherever he went he could see it, it was like a blockage but he also had a kind of an interest in it. He thought it might be inside of him, he tried not to focus on it but it was always there, even when he blinked, he always found it out. It was like a kind of a full stop.So he went to the doctor and the doctor said;
“have you ever sucked a gobstoppper right down to the small black seed at the end? have you ever looked close-up head-on at the tip of a black ball point pen? have you ever touched one of the fake cannon balls on display at national trust castles?”
and the man said;
“doctor I need a gorgeous operation, I need someone who can deal in atoms, I need nanotechnology with microscopic explosions, every time I look into a sheep’s eye I think of keyhole surgery”
and the doctor said
“have you ever got a black poppy seed from a bread roll stuck under your fingernail? did you ever as a child explode the black head of an ant with a magnifying glass? have you ever wanted an operation you couldn’t possibly afford?”
and the man said
“doctor I know what I need, I need a gorgeous operation, I need someone who can deal in atoms, I need nanotechnology with microscopic explosions, every time I see a sheep I want keyhole surgery”
And the man realised that the doctor couldn’t help him , and so he started to do the operation himself, and straightaway something happened to his vision, and he realised he’d made a tear through into nature, he’d torn right through into the workings of something, and he kept right on tearing, and he was exited by what he saw. And he kept on with the peeling because he was doing keyhole surgery, seeing as if through the sheep’s eye.
And he wasn’t a religious man but he realised something gorgeous had happened……….he saw a lamb’s heart dance………he saw a lamb’s heart weep………..
he saw a microscopic, sensitive, organic mechanism influencing things…………
he saw a unity in matter that terrified him…. and then he saw the sheep that had helped him, and he called out to the sheep , he caught its attention, it was nervous, but he beckoned it over and it came, he was amaised, it was like it was trying to tell him something, but then it sort of kneeled and it happened again – it was his old problem, it had come back, it had come back again , and it was punishing the sheep, he should have listened to the doctor, he should never have done the operation himself, but soon it would be all over…
Super 8 and Live performance 1994
When I was a child I had a hamster, now I need that hamster again, it has something to do with their breathing, it has something to do with their eyes.
Inside their minds there is something that moves, it moves around, something like this.
When you hold them by the hand their tiny bones can grip you like an x-ray.
There ears are too large, things could fall down them.
In their minds the things that move , they move around, something like this; it’s not known why.
When you hold them by the hand , when you’re dancing with them, their tiny bones can grip you like an x-ray. With their noses they can feel itchy discomfort and foreboding.
When hamsters die, and you bury them , their ears are not the first things to go.
When hamsters die , and you bury them in the garden , their eyes are the first things to go.
Now I’m no longer a child I know about the hamster planet. At the core of each hamster is the hamster planet and when hamsters die and you bury them, they don’t die really, not the ones you love, they slip down way inside onto the hamster planet.
On the hamster planet it’s almost real, they die and what’s left slips down and gets moulded by our whims, they move when we think of them, sometimes the air gets blown into them, and sometimes it gets blown out.
On the hamster planet it’s almost real- if you want it to behave like a real hamster it will- it can do the wheel , and it can do the hamster house.
On the hamster planet our every longing touches them, it can take on the shape of whatever you need; your favorite cartoon character or that special childhood teddybear.
But if too many people are thinking about their dead hamster at the same time, things can go badly wrong- all the longings pile up, and this can cause a build-up of fluids. This causes the dead hamster to suffer- and ist’s best if we all stop thinking about it then.