Category Archives: Lighthouse

A residents reading list

I have recently completed my residency at the Lighthouse Studios, where I developed a couple of projects, evolving Emotional Infrastructure and Palindrone.

Since I was trying to be at the studio at least two days a week and I live in London, this involved some train time. Not unknown for people to commute along this line but for me it was an extra couple of hours on the train. I thought I would list the books, reading material that I had with me on this journey too and from Brighton.

In no particular order:

  • Paul Virilio: Desert Screen
  • Paul Virilio: War & Cinema
  • Paul Virilio: Speed & Politics
  • Paul Virilio: Pure War
  • Steve Goodman: Sonic Warfare
  • Manuel DeLanda: War in the age of intelligent machines
  • Michael Ignatieff: Virtual War
  • Raymond Wacks: Prtivacy, A very short introduction
  • Eyal Weizman: Hollow Land
  • Geoff Manaugh: BldgBlog Book
  • Muhammad Yunus: Creating a world without poverty
  • Ethan Zuckerman: Rewire
  • McKenzie Wark: The beach beneath the streets
  • Guy Debord: The society of the spectacle
  • Slavoj Zizeck: A year of living dangerously
  • Patrick Kieler: The view from the train
  • Adam Greenfield: Against the smart city
  • Medea Benjamin: Drone Warefare: Killing by remote control

I have probably forgotten some things, papers read and books which I dipped into rather than read cover to cover, but the list shows where my head was at for the last couple of months (and now).


Last night at an event at the Lighthouse in Brighton, Cathal Coughlan and I unveiled publicly for the first time a piece of work we have been collaborating on called Palindrone. We installed, for the evening, v1.0 of the work in the conference room at the Lighthouse venue.

Palindrone is a work that was conceived during my residency at the Lighthouse Studio programme. Whilst at the studio I started playing around with some of the Buddha Machines that I have and started a discussion with Natalie and Honor about drones. The two started to come together quite quickly, initially with an idea to create a circle of sound objects, like the Buddha Machines, each playing different samples to create a soundscape. The idea became simplified to create a background drone and using code, monitors the reports on drone strikes that the Bureau of Investigative Journalism maintains. If a new report is added to the database (which gets reflected by the twitter feed @dronestream, which is run by artist Josh Begley) it triggers an interrupt sound over the background drone.

Whilst playing with the Buddha Machines I remembered a story I had read earlier in the year about the psychological effect the drones were having, specifically on the children. They would not sleep, afraid of the drone in the distance. The drone was a terrorising object, above communities it installed a state of control where activity had to be curtailed, self censored for fear that it might ‘attract the attention of a drone’.

I found a press release from Reprieve, about the psychological effect the drones were having and this was presented along with the piece at the installation.

This is the panopticon, the idea that a central body of control might be observing your activity, so you modify your behavior in case it is watching. The drone though imposes American/British/Western military control over communities in Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia and Afghanistan.

Installed, the piece is a sound in a room, at Lighthouse the conference room had subdued lighting and on a table we had some texts that I have been investigating whilst developing the work.

The main sample loop has been constructed by Cathal, we have currently sourced a number of drone samples from the internet and laid these together to create the main loop, the interrupt sound is again a sample based on the sound from a military encrypted message.

Version 1.0 is still a work in progress, we are developing how the sound should be constructed, how much detail and noise we want in that main sound and clearing the use of samples as well as investigating the possibility of capturing our own samples to use in the piece.

The work is an artistic response to a situation that has come to our attention, from investigating this further and in constructing the work we are also highlighting possible responses from a design perspective.

We will document the evolution of the piece here, as well as notify of any installations. If you have any questions on the piece then please get in touch.

Palindrone (2)

Emotional Infrastructure

I am working on this small project, its called Emotional Infrastructure and lives over at the Friendly Crowds site.

A set of paper diaries, produced using Bookleteer.

Record your thoughts on that piece of infrastructure as you interact with it in your everyday life and when you have finished a diary send it back to join the archive.

The first was called ‘The Surveillance Diaries’ but I have added ones on power, water and communications.

A few people are currently filling in some of these early prototypes, including me.

It is whilst I am at the Lighthouse as a part of their beta residency studio project that I am working on evolving these diaries into something more formed.

Please do make and complete a diary and feedback your ideas on the structure of the diaries and concept as well.

Central Saint Martins and Lighthouse Gallery

Just a quick note, about some of the things I am up to at the moment, I am now no longer acting in the role of research fellow in digital design at Central Saint Martins Design Against Crime research centre. I have been working out how to work in academia, investigating research calls, publishing routes and the likes.

Today I am also visiting the Lighthouse gallery in Brighton, where I am starting a two month residency as part of their new studio programme. This is a prototype stage where a small group of us have been invited in to work here, on projects that should feed into the Lighthouse’s future programme.

Both are very exciting and lots of learnings and experiences to be shared. So, sorry if I go on about things here :)