Research Timeline

03/21
04/21
05/21
06/21
07/21
08/21
09/21
10/21
11/21
12/21
01/22
02/22
03/22
04/22
05/22
fictinalpolitician.jpg
New work: Fictional Politician. Video, 3 min.
Creating character voiceovers for AI-generated portrait images of people that don't exist. 
Screenshot%202020-09-23%20at%2013.58_edi
New work: The Hospital of Happiness. Video, 12 min.
Creating character voiceovers for AI-generated portrait images of people that don't exist. 
Supervision report (M)
Question: What is the relationship between a code and 'running' it, and how can that inform an attempt to script for an agent in fiction?
Reading: Dawkins, R. The Blind Watchmaker (1991). My reflections on algorithmic design in cumulative selection found here.
Experimented with simple evolutionary algorithms that evolve 'English sounding' sentences.
Reading: Frow, J. Character and Person (2014). Ward, M. Seeming Human: Artificial Intelligence and the Victorian Realist Character (2018).
CHASE proposal for departmental stage of selection (successful)
Supervision report (G)
Question: Can the dual mechanism of a code and its ‘expression’ contribute to a revised model of autonomous systems broadly and agents or persons specifically? Could this model be used to engineer a fictional character that could pass a Turing test?
Supervision report (M)
Reading: Dennett, D. C. Real Patterns (1991)
Experiment: Use GPT-2 to generate autocompletions of my performance text, which starts with the phrase, "Are you aware, that between 20-22% of things that happen, actually don't happen?" with varying substitutions for that percentage.
ars_edited.jpg
Art Research PresentationBreathing Space for Voices by Rowena Harris, Erica Scourti & myself. I presented a performance in which I become a fictional character, and followed this with a presentation called Accommodating Others: The Role of Author as Medium, which later formed the basis of a thesis chapter.
Teaching: Began teaching BA CS Y1
Rehearsing & developing three short performances for exhibition at Elephant West: Twenty PercentLong Term Ethics and The Widow.
Supervision report (G)
Supervision report (M)
Screenshot 2020-07-05 at 13.41.27.png
New work: Preparation. Video, 12 min.
On the morning of my performance at Elephant West I was feeling nervous, and decided to talk to myself about the task at hand through the prism of another fictional character.
Screenshot%202020-07-05%20at%2013.43_edi
I exhibited drawing, film and performance at Ridiculous! curated by Paul Carey-Kent, at Elephant West. The three performances involved assuming three different characters that expound passionately on a potentially dubious view.
Screenshot%202020-07-05%20at%2014.44_edi
Art Research Installation: Here I presented Personal Metrics, in which I performed three characters and then asked the audience to fill out personality questionnaires based on their impressions of each fictional character.
Met and started conversation with psychology researcher Sylvia Terbeck of Liverpool University after her talk at Goldsmiths (Whitehead Lecture Series)
Idea: To collaborate on an experiment to test potential therapeutic benefit of my performance method (ST) and to find out about the relationship between the self-estrangment method and the self-complexity psychological measure (KR).
Question: Is ‘character’ a technology of the self which both enables and demarcates the limits of what is thinkable to a person? If so, could a fictional character be a prototype of general AI?
Covid-19 Lockdown begins
Joined an independent research groupIntelligence Debiased, run by Exposed Arts. Over a period of a year, we will research and discuss non-human or unconventially considered forms of intelligence - my focus is on 'character intelligence'.
Thesis chapter: Completed first draft of Accommodating Others: The Role of Author as Medium.
Idea: Maybe method comes before question in an art practice? A question might be the final outcome of an art PhD. I might present my thesis in chapter 'pairs': artwork paired with reflection/theory (e.g. Pseudo with Accommodating Others)
selfestrangement_edited.jpg
New workSelf-Estrangement as Method, Pt I
In the Intelligence Debiased research group, we decided to share some of our artistic methodologies for others to try unfamiliar methods. I the 'self-estrangement' method I use in my performance making. Part 1 is a tutorial.
intelligence_2_edited.jpg
New workSelf-Estrangement Methods, Pt II
While part I attempts to neutrally introduce my method, part II demonstrates its application to the topic of our research: intelligence. In this video I switch into a different character. But in the 'neutral' tutorial, I also seem to be performing. When am I not?
Funding: received departmental Research Support Award to translate a performance text (A Ritual Resuscitation of Eternal Lovers) into Arabic, Italian and Lithuanian.
Idea: My efforts at direct activism over the past couple of months seemed futile. My art practice is the best way for me to intervene politically in the world, even if indirectly. My practice seeks to estrange the ideological foundations of personhood. Maybe that's not a superfluous ambition, even in crisis.
Annual Review Panel: I presented the first chapter of Anomaline and Self-Estrangement as Method: Part 2.
Supervision report (G)
Supervision report (M)
Ethics Form
Writing for Practice Forum: I read two chapters of Anomaline alongside Dennett's Real Patterns (1991) with the group, and with artist Andy Holden as respondent. 
empathy-drawing-horse-square.jpg
New work: Horse. Ink on paper, A3.
I'm not sure that this is connected to this research project, but I spent some of lockdown returning to older work, such as these empathy drawings. It's been about five years since I made the last one. They conjure for me some of the sensibilities running through Anomaline.
Free writing for Anomaline
New IterationA Ritual Resuscitation of Eternal Lovers.
This older-than-the-phd project helps me think about the play script as a computational mechanism for cultivating agents.
sofia_matteo_still_1.jpg
Teaching: Completed Academic Practice module (passed). Created a BA Critical Studies 1 lecture with commentary.
Lecture: Authors and Agents (video rehearsal)
New IterationA Ritual Resuscitation of Eternal Lovers.
This older-than-the-phd project helps me think about the play script as a computational mechanism for cultivating agents.
sasha_ola_16.jpg
neighbour1.jpg
New work: Neighbours. Video, 15 min.
Improvised video performance playfully processing a soup of recent readings and experiences.
Took over as organiser of the Writing for Practice Forum from Rowena Harris & Kate Pickering.
Question: Can performance art / acting show that roleplay (both the kind we do automatically in the daily practice of living, and the more deliberate kind), in the sense of ‘taking on a character’, be a factor in the discrimination of ideas, or a factor in ideation?
Anomaline: Wrote Reclaiming the Pen chapter.
Method: reflections on the role of practice in research
Do my characters have an 'agenda'?
06/22
07/22
08/22
09/22
Aim: submit examination entry form 20/06/2022
Teaching: presented my BA lecture, Authors and Agents at to WCA and Camberwell students.
Reading: Dennett, D. C. Freedom Evolves (2003)
CHASE college internal selection (unsuccessful)
time off_3.jpg
New work: Time Off. Video, 4 min.
beyond_recognition_2.jpg
New work: Beyond Recognition. Video, 19 min.
play-is-play-2.jpg
New work: Play is Play. Video, 42 min.
I converse in realtime with one of my fictional characters on the subject of distributed personhood. Presented as my Art Research Presentation on 27 Oct 2020.
Supervision report (M)
Performed Pseudo at the Online Performance Art Festival
Supervision report (M & G)
compartments.png
New work: Compartments. Sound and AI-generated portrait image of imaginary person. 19 min.
Reading: studies on bi/multicultural frame switching 
Thesis chapter: Drafted sections of Distributed Person chapter: Play is Play + frame switching
Anomaline: began finishing first draft of the novel, picking up from “Reclaiming the Pen”.
Teaching: Attained PG-Cert Qualification
Teaching: PG-Cert Module 3 Submission
Online ResidencyFailures and Repetitions; Five Years Gallery. 15-21st Feb 2021
Anomaline: First draft of the novel completed.
Reading: critical pedagogy theory (By Freire, Carpenter & Mojab) 
Anomaline: Revised final third of the novel.
Anomaline: Second draft of the novel completed.
Supervision report (M)
Supervision report (M)
Annual Review Panel
Thesis: New abstract
Supervision report (G)
hqdefault_edited.jpg
New work: Homo Horizontalis. Video, 14 min.
traitor_8_edited.jpg
New work: The Trickle Traitor Effect. Video, 6 min.


Improvised video performance.
Teaching: Delivered Authors and Agents lecture and drawing experiment to MA Drawing students, Camberwell College of Arts, 5th July
Supervision report (M)
Submit thesis 23/09/2022
Upgrade: Completed my upgrade submission materials.
td-mountain-face.jpg
New 'talking drawing' experiment, 30 min.


Making a drawing and talking about it whilst 'in character'
paradolia.png
New work: Paradolia. Video, 8 min.
ideas_management.png
New work: Ideas Management. Video, 5 min.
exhausted.jpg
Began experimenting with using 'inconventient emotions' to inform the choice of character.

This one is made after feeling exhuasted, 6 min.
melody_mountain.jpg
Began experimenting with using dance in the development of character.

This is one of many takes. I am trying to use subtle movements, 3 min.
man_on_ceiling.jpg
New work: The Man on the Ceiling. Video, 9 min.

This work took advantage of an 'inconvenient emotion' (see right), in this case 'exasperation'.
research.png
Began experimenting with making video research notes 'in character'.

Simply talking aloud about my research from the perspective of an invented persona.
Published The Shape of a Thinking Thing in Goldsmiths PhD publication 
individual_relic.png
New workIndividual Relic. Video, 4 min. Video by Nina Davies and text by me.

This was a collaborative experiment in which I wrote a text response to TikTok memes Nina showed me.
ReadingEnacting Others, Cerise Smith & My Mother Was a Computer, N Katherine Hayles
suburbia.jpg
New work: Suburbia. Video, 8 min.


Improvised video performance.
Exhibition: Old and recent work shown in Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2021, Firstsite Gallery, Colchester.
Exhibition: Old and recent work shown in Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2021, South London Gallery.
Aim: Complete print thesis
Screenshot 2021-11-03 at 18.13.23.png
Began writing video thesis: This video introduces me to students at Glasgow School of Art, following an invitation to teach there for the autumn semester. The video presentation provides an initial sketch for how I might write my video thesis.
Idea: Write a video thesis. This will be a playlist of video lectures in which I speak my thesis. It will be a more accessible and intuitive version of the thesis.
Teaching: Began teaching at Glasgow School of Art
mq1.jpeg
Autobiography of the Question: I presented a response at this postgraduate seminar held at Goldsmiths. It got me thinking more deeply about the idea of "occupying a position" and examining some assumptions that underlie this phrase.
mq2_edited.jpg
Art Research Presentation: For my art research presentation, I created a section of my video thesis called "Running Over States of Mind". This part of my thesis later helped me formulate my contribution to knowledge. In the presentation, I ask: which character(s) ought to be doing the thinking in this project?
mq3_edited.jpg
Video Thesis Methodology: I made this video for my supervisors and Edgar Schmitz, but it functions as a draft for an introductory passage in the video thesis.

By now I have developed a clearer idea of the form the thesis should take.
Formulated my contribution to knowledge: I present the case for the extension of concerns about diversity beyond the level of the social agent and toward the human being itself. This has implications for how we think about "positionality" and personal authenticity. It opens the potential for a politics of 'inner self'.
Art Research Installation: "Letter to the Dominant Character". A screening of recent video works and a text written 'in-character'. Followed up by a conversation with curator Clara Rodorigo.
A Ritual Resuscitation of Eternal Lovers showing at South London Gallery, 19 Feb, as part of New Writing with New Contemporaries.
Online Course: Mathematics for Machine Learning by Imperial College London
Aim: Complete video thesis

Structural Outline

Upgrade Homepage