Diachroncrete Paranoia, 2012
Diachroncrete Paranoia, 2012

Diachroncrete Paranoia, 2012

a psychogeologic art fair conspiracy theory

The work takes the form of a guided tour around the SUNDAY art fair, located in the Ambika P3, a 14,000 square foot space developed from the former concrete construction hall for the University of Westminster's School of Engineering.

It considers works in the fair as a series of dense resonances with blocky histories of concrete, proving, beyond doubt, that we are all hydration binders for its granular aggregate.


extracts of written version below




1. Come Close
2. Composition
3. Tour, What Do You Want From Us?
4. Any Questions

[It’s after the end of the world, don’t you know that yet]

Come Close

[move somewhere quiet]

What I’m going to present starts as a deviation from the advertised description. I wanted to start with a betrayal. Or perhaps it’s not a betrayal, and more of an unknown complicity – a bedding in which you have all become part. Our starting point is the history of this space – built in the 1960s, it was used by the university of Westminster engineering department for the construction of concrete. Concrete tested here was used in building Spaghetti Junction in Birmingham in 1965, and the Channel Tunnel in the late 1980s / early 1990s. Cement, water and aggregate flowed in here, was shaped and shipped out, drifting into narrative histories of raw appeal, blocky allure and functional utopianism.

Colluding with this history, I was interested here in thinking a kind of Concrete’s revenge - trying to write this tour from the perspective of concrete - not just how humans have shaped concrete but also how concrete has lured us here as gravel binding puppets for its extension and constant polymorphous reforming…
This is a deep earth conspiracy theory extending this narrative where we and the art works here are all subjects of its flows and solidifications .

To approach this, though, I needed to close off from concrete a bit, angle an approach, actually to open up the tour to other collectives and procedures, turning us into an interface between the art fair and its deeper ecologies

The problem is, the more you close off from concrete the more it infects your narratives and silts up your desires. I had a dream once that I was standing in an art museum, in front of Breughel’s painting from 1565 The Hunters in the Snow I was immobile and fixed, not through rapture or terror, or even through cold, but simply because my body was encased in a concrete block, or my body was a concrete block, I don’t quite remember. ‘Something must be done’ I remember thinking, while at the same time a motif ricocheted around the room and stopped abruptly at the concrete surface, ‘there’s no way back….there’s no way back…’

There is no way back for concrete I suppose – you could smash it into smaller and smaller bits of dust but what’s the point of that?

[It’s after the end of the world, don’t you know that yet]


This guide has been written in collaboration with 2 groups. The first is the MIT Lincoln Laboratory Spectral Imaging Exploration Group (LL*SIEG). Within their work, they use of techniques of remote sensing. This can be understood as using technologies as a way of getting information about objects without making physical contact with them, for example, using sensors to detect objects, picking up on signals like electromagnetic radiation through active (bounceback) and passive modes. This has a history of military use - during the Cold War, for example, it was used to collec data about dangerous or inaccessible areas - and it has contemporary uses such as LIDAR – measuring distances to a target through lasers. Through remote sensing, processes (or bigger objects) like pollution or erosion can be modelled and tracked through processes of machine perception. The second group is & the Traumatic Neuroplastic Dissociation Research Laboratory (TeNDRiL) of the University of Tulsa. Alluded to by their research , I asked them to experiment with techniques of remote viewing. This is a psychic sensing of objects hidden from perception. Again this has a military history, used during the Cold War, with the USA and USSR simultaneously funding research , and was explored in the US military Stargate project in the 1990s.

Both of these processes - remote sensing and remote viewing - claim or appear to get information about objects without making physical contact with the object – and as such, it could be argued, are not too dissimilar from processes of writing about an art fair, or talking about it with the authority of the tour guide. What I mean, is that the artfair, ultimately, with all its economies, meanings, parties, money, satellites and stuff, is a kind of very big object that, like the flow of concrete, we can never contact all at once – to guide, we have to send out sensors and narratives to bounce back , and these become part of our materials here.

So, I wanted to use these collaborations as a way of engaging with the art fair - not just as works on display and gallery stands but as as a bigger object that we have no full physical contact with or distance from. Combining these, as a recipe, remote sensing and remote viewing - I am calling it a remote stewing, and we are its remote stew. What I did was to give these groups all available information about the site and the exhibited works – this was all the information made available to me as guide, everything assumed I would need, all I had to go on. My role as guide becomes a kind of catalyst to start sensing and receive bounceback
- these groups worked together remotely to make a map describing the site and a tour around it, drawing on this information. his has led to a text that I will perform by tuning into. I play the role, then, not of tour guide but of antenna for signals, and you play the role of its sonic public, stuck to my bandwidth like dispersed ears on a wave.

[It’s after the end of the world, don’t you know that yet]

Before we go on, here is a brief extra section called:
10 didactic figures for the remote stew, or megaphone check with music

1. in the remote stew, human perception is not prioritized but is one object among many
2. subjective processes of looking at, interpreting and giving meaning to the object are flattened out alongside other approaches
3. machine perception models broader ecologies (which may include concrete, let’s see if it comes back in)
4. art extends as a series of contexts, affects, meanings, economies and more that impact out of our control, a very big object that we can’t quite grasp
5. this does not make it ungraspable (or infinite), we can build interfaces to model it
6. Some kinds of information (e.g. interpretations, narratives of explanation) are freely chopped up and stirred into the mix .
7. Other kinds of information (e.g. economic) are kept on the shelf to keep them tasty.
8 Meanings are seen, within the art fair ecology, as inherently stewable, and we are part of this stew
9 Concrete is always lurking in the background
10. listen to me and do what I say

What do you want from us?

move into the open space and look around you, there are sacks of heat milling around. Horizontally, vertically, diagonally.

we are unable to ascertain much data

but, you will see two things at once, separate artists. You will feel lonely and confused, held together with a fragile layer of excitement
works are open to interpretation, creating hypotheses for alternative realities, rather than solutions for the accepted known reality.
You see a concrete wall to your right, move toward it
A bit more
Not that much
the artist is not interested in the physical presence of the object itself. Rather, she is attracted by its abandonment,

pause, think about it for 10 seconds

your mind drifts, to other abandonments


in front of you there is a concrete wall

move towards it slowly





Look at that object. Through various degrees of obstruction, it mirrors the polemics of engagement within the context of an art fair.
This is a conceptual investment vehicle unmitigated by oppressive EU tax schemes, and the fickle tastes of the art market.
There is a cluster of three similar sized objects

It is likely that this idea will change significantly through its development. However, the basic idea of sculpture(s) made from brightly coloured swimwear will not change.
turn ninety degrees and focus on the patterns of light [moving erratically in a confined space]

this is an attempt to illuminate the eternal and the mundane - the quest for knowledge, genetic modification and the Fountain of Youth meet Powder coated mild steel
Look at that
her practise is informed by two major themes: form and language.
Move toward that concrete wall
Closer, Closer, Closer, Touch it
Calicite and aragonite. Skeletal fragments of coral fomanifera compressed and crushed to aggregate, bound by fly ash and slag. Water causes a reaction bonding components together into high thermal mass and low permeability. This results in the interruptions of thoughts, broken chains of communication and incomplete sentiments,
Stay there
the sound of an 'Ah' is formed by raising your arms over your head in a v-shape, designed to show the open quality of that sound. Its bounceback resonance is registered as the continuation of concrete’s chunky frost apron glaze, pre-stressed singlespan desire
Stay there
Both Remote sensing and remote viewing techniques are being used today in attempts to locate hidden nuclear research facilities
This has created maps to guide the US military Massive Ordnance Penetrator – a bunker busting bomb designed to shatter radiation-soaked concrete through nano-fragmentation
In may 2012, according to US news reports, Iranian engineers developed smart ultra-high performance concrete doped with quartz powder and silica fumes to resist these deformations
concrete is the membrane protecting us from meltdown, [at least it wants us to think]
Stay there
[fast] the shape of the fingers of rubber gloves. From this puzzle, begins a riddle of magic geometry,the balance between the perception of the invisible and logic. Shafted by other times. You will feel nothing. / some are entirely new, self-employed, The overall intent lies in experience and transmission of language, the ambiguity of words and phrases, and the way in which context contributes to meaning. / the performance of the ‘gaze’ is a re#ection upon the system of representation and its points of failure. Using the temporal/rhetorical strategies of fading and disappearance, the subject of representation becomes allusive./ symbols remain evocative but delay any conventional meaning. /[slower] You will feel delayed failed faded and disappeared, riddled, gazed, open and strategic.
Stay there
[fast] the work is simultaneously familiar and anonymous, an eerie sense of capitalist memento mori, forcing us to remember our mortality and reminding us of a state of ritual, underpinning our experience of everyday objects. / it accentuates a shift in feeling, attitude and approach to thought processes inviting the viewer to experience a body of work through a particular softness. The work deconstructs language as narrative form, proposing alternate strategies and redefinitions. A continued exploration of politics, morality,humor and glamour.
Stay there