Derren Brown: The Secret of Luck

‘In The Secret of Luck, the final show of the series, Derren investigates what makes some people lucky and others attract only misfortune.

This episode takes the form of a documentary fronted by Dawn Porter, who acts as Derren’s secret agent, and this time the subject of the experiment is an entire town.

Together, Dawn and Derren plant a rumour about the lucky powers of a local statue and watch as it changes the lives of the residents.’

I found this episode of The Experiments series particularly interesting as I am intrigued by belief systems and the way in which people think about objects or places which have a certain set of ideas assigned to them.

In this case it was a local statue which the idea that when touched would bring luck to the person, was attached.


Exhibitionism A Symposium on Queer Curatorial Practices

I attended the above titled symposium yesterday at The Old Courthouse, Brighton.

‘This symposium will explore the cultural, political, art historical and artistic implications of queer curatorial practices. The international art scene has witnessed an increase in queer exhibitions That have shed new light on LGBTQ art and on the sexual and social dimensions of innovative curating. This symposium gathers together curators, theorists, film programmers, journalists and artists working in queer exhibition practices across a variety of institutions and contexts. We intend to investigate and debate the diversity of curatorial perspectives on historical and contemporary queer art and film and to examine a wide range of issues, among them: the role of the curator as authorial force; the queering of visual fields; the discovery and recovery of repressed queer histories and desires in museum, galleries and cinemas; the political work of curatorial practice.


Sam Ashby, Michael Blyth, Niranjan Kamatkar, Pawel Leszkowicz, Richard Parkinson, Lara Perry, Michael Petry, Michael Pierce, Kate Smith, Matt Smith, Simon Watney  

The event is organised by Pawel Leszkowicz and John David Rhodes, and sponsored by the Centre for Visual Fields and the Centre for the Study of Sexual Dissidence and Cultural Change (University of Sussex), and the Brighton Museum.’

I was most intrigued with what Pawel Leszkowicz had to say about queer art being accepted now, and that it’s ‘been done’, so in the UK it ends up shrinking out of view again. And that in Eastern Europe for example it is still too dangerous and that they should wait to exhibit works dealing with themes. He then went on to say that we are either in a state of thinking that it is ‘too late, too boring, or too early and too risky.’

Michael Petry spoke about the fact that prejudice has not gone away, and that at the exhibition Hidden Histories – The 20th Century Male, they were asked to remove a piece of work which was made up of sweets as it would be seen as a pedophilic way of luring children in. Even when it was explained that the sculpture was made up the artist’s dead lover’s weight in sweets the piece was still banned.

Petry also had an interesting point about how the artist has the right to be stupid but the institution does not. His example was of The Art Guys who married a plant as a perhaps homophobic response to gay marriage, which was then purchased and added to the permanent collection of The Menil Collection.

This reminded me of a very recent article in The Guardian about two t’shirts that Topshop was forced to remove from their shelves after complaints of sexism. I completely agree with Petry in this example as these sorts of slogans on t shirts are common, but by putting them into a large establishment it then allows a wider audience to purchase them without even thinking.

What do you think of the shirts or about prejudice in general? Any thoughts welcome!


Just had our first Processing workshop, would love to be able to use it for something like this:

Strata by Quayola,

My first attempt at Processing:

There were two versions, both eventually using the colours of each area of the picture to make up the whole picture. One version let you make the the picture by moving the mouse and the other quickly made the shapes appear and created the picture for you.

The picture that I used was A Sweet Lullaby (c.1915) by Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale (no copyright infringement intended, was testing out an idea!) Which looks like this:

White Night

For White Night in Brighton I was invigilating Alex May’s work at the Phoenix Gallery. The exhibition, titled Like Shadows: A Celebration of Shyness, was exploring ideas of participant interactivity and the different levels of participation people are willing to get involved in.

Interestingly enough I agreed to invigilating when slightly tipsy, and when I actually thought about it, I was nervous that I would be expected to force people to interact and generally be a pushy invigilator. Luckily this was not the case. Alex’s work, was a kinect sensor which sensed the persons shape and projected it as a colour onto the wall, with a dripping paint effect, the shape became more solid the longer that the person stood there.

It was a contemplative piece of work, which gave the viewer a chance to stop and and see the work take shape right in front of their eyes. It was quite a romantic piece of work with sad, solo silhouettes being joined by others as time went on, only to drip away and leave a smudge as the only trace that anyone had been there.

As the night went on, and the drinks flowed, it was amusing to see people come in and run in front of the sensor expecting an immediate result. At one point we also spelt out YMCA……..



I have been thinking of using PIR (Passive Infrared) sensors for a future project, where I plan to project images onto a photo album and have the images change when the pages are turned, this is the photo album: