Saturday, July 04, 2015

Our Painted Soles - Hughes and Conneally 2015

“Our painted soles, walking or running with no regard to where they land down a long roll of paper” - Paul Conneally

from ‘Involuntary Painting 1 New Parks : New York’ Millree Hughes & Paul Conneally and people from New Parks community with and for Soft Touch Arts and New Parks Library, Leicester, UK

Friday, July 03, 2015

On the Passage of a Few Persons Through a Rather Brief Period of Time - Guy Debord

On the Passage of a Few Persons Through a Rather Brief Period of Time

Guy Debord

Dansk-Fransk Experimentalfilmskompagni (1959)

Translated by Ken Knabb

Voice 1 (male “professional announcer” type): This neighborhood1 was made for the wretched dignity of the petty bourgeoisie, for respectable occupations and intellectual tourism. The sedentary population of the upper floors was sheltered from the influences of the street. This neighborhood has remained the same. It was the strange setting of our story, where a systematic questioning of all the diversions and works of a society, a total critique of its idea of happiness, was expressed in acts.

These people also scorned “subjective profundity.” They were interested in nothing but an adequate and concrete expression of themselves.

Voice 2 (Debord, monotone): Human beings are not fully conscious of their real life — usually groping in the dark; overwhelmed by the consequences of their acts; at every moment groups and individuals find themselves confronted with results they have not wished.

Voice 1: They said that oblivion was their ruling passion. They wanted to reinvent everything each day; to become the masters and possessors of their own lives.

Just as one does not judge a man according to the conception he has of himself, one cannot judge such periods of transition according to their own consciousness; on the contrary, one must explain the consciousness through the contradictions of material life, through the conflict between social conditions and the forces of social production.

The progress achieved in the domination of nature was not yet matched by a corresponding liberation of everyday life. Youth passed away among the various controls of resignation.

Our camera has captured for you a few aspects of a provisional microsociety.

The knowledge of empirical facts remains abstract and superficial as long as it is not concretized by its integration into the whole — which alone permits the supersession of partial and abstract problems so as to arrive at their concrete essence, and implicitly at their meaning.

This group was on the margins of the economy. It tended toward a role of pure consumption, and first of all the free consumption of its time. It thus found itself directly engaged in qualitative variations of everyday life but deprived of any means to intervene in them.

The group ranged over a very small area. The same times brought them back to the same places. No one went to bed early. Discussion on the meaning of all this continued...

Voice 2: “Our life is a journey — In the winter and the night. — We seek our passage...”

Voice 1: The abandoned literature nevertheless exerted a delaying action on new affective formulations.

Voice 2: There was the fatigue and the cold of the morning in this much-traversed labyrinth, like an enigma that we had to resolve. It was a looking-glass reality through which we had to discover the potential richness of reality.

On the bank of the river evening began once again; and caresses; and the importance of a world without importance. Just as the eyes have a blurred vision of many things and can see only one clearly, so the will can strive only incompletely toward diverse objects and can completely love only one at a time.

Voice 3 (young girl): No one counted on the future. It would never be possible to be together later, or anywhere else. There would never be a greater freedom.

Voice 1: The refusal of time and of growing old automatically limited encounters in this narrow, contingent zone, where what was lacking was felt as irreparable. The extreme precariousness of the means of getting by without working was at the root of this impatience which made excesses necessary and breaks definitive.

Voice 2: One never really contests an organization of existence without contesting all of that organization’s forms of language.

Voice 1: When freedom is practiced in a closed circle, it fades into a dream, becomes a mere representation of itself. The ambiance of play is by nature unstable. At any moment “ordinary life” can prevail once again. The geographical limitation of play is even more striking than its temporal limitation. Any game takes place within the contours of its spatial domain. Around the neighborhood, around its fleeting and threatened immobility, stretched a half-known city where people met only by chance, losing their way forever.

The girls who found their way there, because they were legally under the control of their families until the age of eighteen, were often recaptured by the defenders of that detestable institution. They were generally confined under the guard of those creatures who among all the bad products of a bad society are the most ugly and repugnant: nuns.

What usually makes documentaries so easy to understand is the arbitrary limitation of their subject matter. They describe the atomization of social functions and the isolation of their products. One can, in contrast, envisage the entire complexity of a moment which is not resolved into a work, a moment whose movement indissolubly contains facts and values and whose meaning does not yet appear. The subject matter of the documentary would then be this confused totality.

Voice 2: The era had arrived at a level of knowledge and technical means that made possible, and increasingly necessary, a directconstruction of all aspects of a liberated affective and practical existence. The appearance of these superior means of action, still unused because of the delays in the project of liquidating the commodity economy, had already condemned aesthetic activity, whose ambitions and powers were both outdated. The decay of art and of all the values of former mores had formed our sociological background. The ruling class’s monopoly over the instruments we needed to control in order to realize the collective art of our time had excluded us from a cultural production officially devoted to illustrating and repeating the past. An art film on this generation can only be a film on its absence of real creations.

Everyone unthinkingly followed the paths learned once and for all, to their work and their home, to their predictable future. For them duty had already become a habit, and habit a duty. They did not see the deficiency of their city. They thought the deficiency of their life was natural. We wanted to break out of this conditioning, in quest of another use of the urban landscape, in quest of new passions. The atmosphere of a few places gave us intimations of the future powers of an architecture it would be necessary to create to be the support and framework for less mediocre games. We could expect nothing of anything we had not ourselves altered. The urban environment proclaimed the orders and tastes of the ruling society just as violently as the newspapers. It is man who makes the unity of the world, but man has extended himself everywhere. People can see nothing around them that is not their own image; everything speaks to them of themselves. Their very landscape is alive. There were obstacles everywhere. There was a cohesion in the obstacles of all types. They maintained the coherent reign of poverty. Everything being connected, it was necessary to change everything by a unitary struggle, or nothing. It was necessary to link up with the masses, but we were surrounded by sleep.

Voice 3: The dictatorship of the proletariat is a desperate struggle, bloody and bloodless, violent and peaceful, military and economic, educational and administrative, against the forces and traditions of the old world.

Voice 1: In this country it is once again the men of order who have rebelled. They have reinforced their power. They have been able to aggravate the grotesqueness of the ruling conditions according to their will. They have embellished their system with the funereal ceremonies of the past.

Voice 2: Years, like a single instant prolonged to this point, come to an end.

Voice 1: What was directly lived reappears frozen in the distance, fit into the tastes and illusions of an era, carried away with it.

Voice 2: The appearance of events that we have not made, that others have made against us, now obliges us to be aware of the passage of time, its results, the transformation of our own desires into events. What differentiates the past from the present is precisely its out-of-reach objectivity; there is no more should-be; being is so consumed that it has ceased to exist. The details are already lost in the dust of time. Who was afraid of life, afraid of the night, afraid of being taken, afraid of being kept?

Voice 3: What should be abolished continues, and we continue to wear away with it. We are engulfed. We are separated. The years pass and we haven’t changed anything.

Voice 2: Once again morning in the same streets. Once again the fatigue of so many similarly passed nights. It is a walk that has lasted a long time.

Voice 1: Really hard to drink more.

Voice 2: Of course one might make a film of it. But even if such a film succeeds in being as fundamentally disconnected and unsatisfying as the reality it deals with, it will never be more than a re-creation — poor and false like this botched traveling shot.

Voice 3: There are now people who pride themselves on being authors of films, as others were authors of novels. They are even more backward than the novelists because they are unaware of the decomposition and exhaustion of individual expression in our time, ignorant of the end of the arts of passivity. They are praised for their sincerity since they dramatize, with more personal depth, the conventions of which their life consists. There is talk of the liberation of the cinema. But what does it matter to us if one more art is liberated through which Tom, Dick or Harry can joyously express their slavish sentiments? The only interesting venture is the liberation of everyday life, not only in the perspectives of history but for us and right away. This entails the withering away of alienated forms of communication. The cinema, too, has to be destroyed.

Voice 2: In the final analysis, stars are created by the need we have for them, and not by their talent or lack of talent or even by the film industry or advertising. Miserable need, dismal, anonymous life that would like to expand itself to the dimensions of cinema life. The imaginary life on the screen is the product of this real need. The star is the projection of this need.

The images of the advertisements during the intermissions are more suited than any others for evoking an intermission of life.

To really describe this era it would no doubt be necessary to show many other things. But what would be the point?

Better to grasp the totality of what has been done and what remains to be done than to add more ruins to the old world of the spectacle and of memories.


1. This film, which evokes the lettrist experiences at the origin of the situationist movement, opens with shots of the Paris district frequented by the lettrists in the early 1950s. (KK)

Paul Conneally

Monday, June 29, 2015

Wave Cabinet by Sebastian Errazuriz

Wave from Sebastian Errazuriz Studio on Vimeo.

This is an amazing piece of sculptural furniture from Sebastian Errazuriz.

His studio page describes him thus:

Sebastian Errazuriz is a New York based Artist and Designer. Tackling everything from political arworks to giant public art projects, from functional sculptures to experimental furniture, from women’s shoes to racing motorcycles. Sebastian Errazuriz explores the border between the sculptural, symbolic and functional qualities of both art and design.

Find out more about Sebastian here: Sebastian Errazuriz Studio

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Act of the Spartan Boy (excerpt) - Stuart Layton

The Act of the Spartan Boy (Exceprt) from Stuart Layton on Vimeo.

"The Act of the Spartan Boy is a new film by Stuart Layton (born in Walsall, lives in Malvern, UK). The title was found on the internet but is fitting as the film draws on Stuart’s memories of growing up in the Black Country. However, this is not a linear narrative. The film is constructed of both shot and found footage and both written and found texts.

The viewer cannot settle as scale and viewpoint continually alter and the screen size constantly changes. The sound incorporates both Stuart’s vocal contributions with what sounds like an absurd commentary by a TV or radio presenter.

As the film gathers intensity, a pulsating sound based on the Taos Hum ramps up the tension. (A strange humming was heard by inhabitants of Taos, New Mexico. Despite scientific interventions, there has never been a clear explanation for the humming, which has since been heard in other places, notably in Cradley Heath). Sometimes funny, sometimes touching, at others sinister,

Stuart offers a complex and layered exploration of time, memory and history where seemingly random recollections, both real and imagined, collide and conflict."

Text is from the web catalogue for the show Small Worlds (May to September 2015) at The New Art Gallery, Walsall, UK where the full version of The Act of the Spartan Boy film is featured

Small Worlds - New Art Gallery Walsall

Small Worlds

21 May - 6 September 2015

Floor 3

Today, we live in a fluid culture where, within our towns and cities, different languages are spoken, different cultures and religions prevail and we can consume materials and goods from throughout the world. TV, the Internet, advertising and new technologies bring the whole of the world to our doorstep. High streets are becoming more generic with local distinctions and characteristics becoming increasingly obscure.

The artists in this exhibition focus their attention on the urban environment. Their work allows us to reflect on a variety of considerations. How do we understand the concept of the local within an increasingly globalised context? What impact does the transformation of our local environment have on our identity and our communities? For some artists, Walsall provides a focus for a consideration of the impact of social and economic change in those areas on the periphery of our major towns and cities.

Participating artists include AirSpace Gallery (Andrew Branscombe, Anna Francis, Glen Stoker), Graham Chorlton,
Rita Donagh, Richard Forster, Cameron Galt, Andreas Gefeller, Naiza Khan, Stuart Layton, Lucy McLauchlan,
Laura Oldfield Ford, Mark Power and Rashid Rana.

Many of the works selected are from Walsall's Permanent Collection including an international collection of works on the theme of the modern metropolis jointly acquired by The New Art Gallery Walsall and Birmingham Museums Trust, in partnership with Ikon Gallery, and with the support of the Art Fund through Art Fund International.

Join Head of Exhibitions and curator of Small Worlds, Deborah Robinson for an informal tour of the exhibition. 
Just drop in!

Image credit:  Rashid Rana, Language Series 3, 2011, lightjet print + DIASEC, 270 x 360cm. Presented by the Art Fund under Art Fund International for joint ownership by The New Art Gallery Walsall and Birmingham Museums Trust, 2013. Image courtesy of the artist and Lisson Gallery.  

Saturday, June 20, 2015

SKEP Hive Mind - Culhane and Conneally 2015

hive mind

Performative, Participative, Collaborative Installation
Anne-Marie Culhane and Paul Conneally
Fruit Routes Loughborough University
18th June 2015

We share our lives with and our very existence depends on the bees - a keystone species in the natural world.

Building on the tradition of Telling the Bees, where beekeepers informed the bees of significant events in their communities or lives, you are invited to share something of your personal thoughts on community, cooperation and the future of our relationship with the ecological community (animals, insects, plants).

Speak out loud

Share your thoughts in silence

Write in the book

Monday, June 15, 2015

Anne-Marie Culhane on Art as Collaboration

Click the above to listen to Anne-Marie Culhane in convervasion with Rob Hopkins talk about art as collaboration and her wider work.

Anne-Marie Culhane during Fruit Routes at Loughborough University Photo: Paul Conneally

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Wet Weekend

wet weekend
the garden centre fills
with resentment

Paul Conneally
June 2015

World's First Splacist Training Camp - Birmingham 2011

What Are The Splacists? The World’s First Splacist Training Camp
Conceived and led by splacist Nikki Pugh with Hannah Nicklin at MADE Birmingham November 30th 2011 with Paul Conneally in attendance.

A group of artists and architects make and use the camp as a base to interogate Splacist Manifesto 2.0 planning and then undertaking direct actions on the streets of Birmingham.

Later they meet with others on the rooftop of a multistorey carpark in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter to experience DUST a splacist work by Hannah Nicklin and Nikki Pugh.

splacist (splā sĭst)
A contemporary mode of practice proposed by Paul Conneally. A new set of ideologies defined by Hannah Nicklin and Nikki Pugh. A hop, skip and a jump away from phsychogeography and the works of the situationist international. Think space, place and splice.


Pecha Kucha Coventry | Vol 8 | Paul Conneally from MINDRIOT PRODUCTIONS on Vimeo.

Artist and Cultural Forager, Paul Conneally, talks in Coventry, UK, on his psychogeography / splacist exporation in partnership with artists Nikki Pugh and Kev Ryan 'INIVIGILATOR : DERBY'.


Photo: Kev Ryan

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Soar Valley Netball Centre

Soar Valley Netball Centre - Leicester UK

The Soar Valley Netball Centre is the first of its kind in the Leicestershire region and offers two high-quality covered courts with spectator areas that can be used all year round.

Paul Conneally
June 11 2015

Friday, June 12, 2015

Surveillance - Paul Conneally 2008

still from 'Surveillance' Paul Conneally 2008

Surveillance comes out of INVIGILATOR : DIGBETH the 5th in the INVIGILATOR series conceived by artists Paul Conneally, Nikki Pugh and Kev Ryan.

The piece features the text of a poem which is a direct transcript taken by Paul Conneally as he heard it of INVIGILATOR : DIGBETH participant artist Harry Palmer in the discussion workshop which formed part of INVIGILATOR : DIGBETH and took place after the Invigilators had returned to VIVID art gallery in the heart of Birmingham's Digbeth area. The sound track is made from a snippet of Harry saying the word ' surveillance ' combined with the ambient sounds of the VIVID space that the artist led discussion was taking place in.

The soundtrack contains backmasked material that may reveal hidden messages to some listeners.

Producer Paul Conneally
Audio/Visual sound, color
Language English


Camera: Paul Conneally
Sound: Paul Conneally
Starring: Harry Palmer

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Bees + Moths + Trees + People

Open and Shut
Artists Anne-Marie Culhane and Paul Conneally
Photograph: Christopher Mear

Now gearing up for Fruit Routes Summer 2015 'Bees + Moths + Trees + People' on Wednesday 17th June 2015 - it's free!

Friday, June 05, 2015

Horse Chestnut Tree in Flower

reading your letter
under a horse chestnut tree
thirteen small rabbits

Paul Conneally
Ilam, Peak District, UK
May 30 2015

Friday, May 29, 2015

LIAR - The Psychogeography Of Silent Reading


LIAR - Paul Conneally Avignon Festival 2008

In LIAR Conneally explores cities and other spaces through the act of reading in public places.

Silent reading as psychosplacist intervention.

Originally performed in Avignon as part of the Avignon Festival 2008 Conneally has gone on to read silently in many other locations exploring the line between where it's acceptable to read silently in public and where it is not.

What are the messages given out when someone decides to read to themself in a paticular place - home tube cafe shopping mall busy street sat down stood up top of a hill in a stream?

And how are the spaces and people passing through them changed by such reading?

LIAR Eccentric City May 2009  LIAR - Look I Am Reading - Paul Conneally - Extract from Eccentric City May 2009

Monday, May 25, 2015

Jobs Fair

She tells me she's tired. Her sandwich board is heavy and she's got three more hours of street pounding to complete before lunch. I see more and more young sandwich board men and women, often stationary at the intersection of two busy thoroughfares or roads, usually advertising one pizza chain or another, sometimes in fancy dress.

This young woman is kinetic, in civvies, not carrying a fast-food chain message but boards emblazoned with the slogan 'Jobs fair today - Free to attend - Hundreds of jobs'.

She smiles and walks on. I take her photo from behind and my mind rearranges the words to align with my thoughts:

Fair Jobs

Paul Conneally
May 21st 2015
Leicester UK

Sunday, May 24, 2015

HELTER SKELTER - A Proposal To Alter Carillon Tower

HELTER SKELTER - Paul Conneally 1999

HELTER SKELTER is a splacist art work from 1999 where I faxed Charnwood Borough Council's Director of Planning and Technical Services, Jonathan Hale, a proposal to form a Helter Skelter for peace around Loughborough's famous Carillon Tower war Memorial.

The intervention was based around the fact that all planning proposals have to be responded to by the council. The piece generated several press reports and a number of responses from the public. Contrary to Jonathan Hale's view that the public might find it controversial and be against it many were broadly in favour of it, at least as an idea. The official Carillon player, who fisted out songs from the shows and such on the Carillon keyboard in among the bells at the top of the tower, told Loughborough Echo that it was a fun idea, the bells playing as Loughbohemians slid down the helter skelter in the name of peace and in memory of those who died in the First World War.

I'm now revisiting engagement with Loughborough's Carillon Tower, an amazing building and now on all the signs heralding entry to Loughborough by road. Watch this splace!

Extract from The Splacist Manifesto:

We will own this city.
We will take it back.
We will link and shift; across time, space, people, places and processes
We will weave throughout the fabric of people’s lives.
We will unpick it.

We will affect and be affected.
We will glory in the moment, the collage, the marking and then passing on.

We reject your shopping centre, your pavement, your cultural quarter;
We will undermine pre-defined spaces. We reject them.

We will reclaim the city, not for you, but with you.
We are you.

Splacism is a contemporary mode of practice proposed by Paul Conneally. A new set of ideologies defined by Hannah Nicklin and Nikki Pugh. A hop, skip and a jump away from phsychogeography and the works of the situationist international. Think space, place and splice. Developed empirically by whoever’s interested.

Paul Conneally
May 24 2015

Loughborough Carillon:

Loughborough Carillon Tower War Memorial, Paul Conneally, 2015

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Across The Far Bank

this late spring evening
a streak of kingfisher blue
across the far bank

Paul Conneally
The Boathouse
May 2015

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Rising Excitement - King Power Stadium

rising excitement
the turnstile assistant
gives me a wink

Paul Conneally
King Power Stadium
Leicester May 2015

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Visitors

The Visitors

It's early May. Leicester City FC are hosting south coast opponents Southampton, The Saints. Both clubs need a win. Southampton are hunting a place in the Europa Cup and Leicester fighting relegation from the Premier to the Championship League.

Many of the Southampton fans are in shorts, some coupled with flip-flops. Maybe it's living by the sea, it's surely not shorts weather today here in the English East Midlands.

They arrive in coaches, buy burgers and drinks from the vans outside the ground and then make their way into the visitors' end. The atmosphere is good.

season's end
police share nods and smiles
with away fans

Paul Conneally
King Power Stadium
Leicester, 9th May 2015

Sunday, May 10, 2015


Roll-up - Paul Conneally, King Power Stadium, May 10 2015

Two young Leicester City football fans have a roll-up, a cigarette, before City's fixture against Southampton. The Foxes (Leicester City) came out 2 nil victors and a step nearer towards escaping relegation to the Championship from the Premier League.

when Saturday comes
a pint a pie
and a game of two halves

Paul Conneally
May 2015

Monday, May 04, 2015

May Day

Haiku Photography Paul Conneally

May Day
a bag of French fries
and a Big Mac

Paul Conneally

Photo: Loughborough - Paul Conneally May 1 2015

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Loughborough Carillon Tower and War Memorial

WWW1 Paul Conneally Cultural Forager Poet Artist

'Loughborough Carillon Tower & War Memorial was built after WW1 to commemorate the men of the town who gave their lives. Unique in Britain, it is the only purpose built carillon tower.

Set within the beautiful Queen's Park the tower is also home to a museum, 3 rooms packed with military memorabilia. Including one room dedicated to the Leicestershire Yeomanry.

Climb the 138 steps, past the 47 bells and you are out onto the balcony with fantastic views across Loughborough.'

Above text from Go Leicestershire

In 1999 artist Paul Conneally proposed to Charnwood Borough Council planning committee that the Carillon Tower be turned into a Peace Beacon with the addition of a helter skelter slide around the external walls of the tower. The proposal itself was the artwork as Conneally knew, correctly, that the proposal would be rejected but would have to be considered. The proposal was made in the form of a poem and resulted in newspaper coverage and media discussion of the piece.

As Britain embarks on a frenzy of state funded events between 2014 and 2018 to commemorate 100 Years passing since the carnage of World War 1 Conneally will formally once again propose the transformation in some way of the Carillon Tower War Memorial into a more upfront peace proposing landmark whilst still remembering all those from all sides that lost their lives in the conflict, the war (Conneally will not call it the 'Great War') of 1914 to 1918 and all other wars too.

Photograph: Paul Conneally May 1st 2015

Pedestrian Zone

Pedestrian Zone
Paul Conneally
May 1 2015