DIY alternative reality Hut: a participatory art-structure for customising post-normal living.


Wednesday 22 – Monday 27 April

Follow on Instagram for step-by-step guidelines on how to customise your lockdown zone into a smaller but more friendly Alternative Reality Hut. Share handy hints on ways in which you might reconfigure the things (objects, materials, furniture and other stuff) with whom you share your covid19 bubble. share photos of your hut-in progress on the Alternative Reality Hut community Facebook page

Saturday 24 April – Collect the things you would like to share your alternative reality with. make a plan for how these things could make a hut that you could fit inside.

Be Kind and inclusive (Consult and involve all who inhabit the space, animal, vegetable or mineral.)

Build small and intimate. (just big enough to accommodate those who share your bubble sitting close together.)

Sunday 26 April – DIY: ALTERNATIVE REALITY HUTMAKING DAY! build your alternative reality hut with the things that you have in your home.

Thought experiment: what happens if you think of it as collaborating with the entities with whom you cohabit and constructing an alternative reality hut together?

share pics of your alternative reality hut, along with a one-sentence speculation on your hopes for a new normal here in Aotearoa on

relax and dwell with the quiet kindness of things: spend some time in this dwelling within a dwelling. Let your mind wander. Take time to see your things from a literal and metaphoric new perspective.

8pm – 9.30pm Together Apart #1 meeting the neighbours: a zoom drop-in session to share your alternative reality hut

 Monday 27 April – relax and dwell with the quiet kindness of things: Let your mind wander a little further. Take time to see, sense, think and feel your things from a literal and metaphoric new perspective.

11am – 1pm Together Apart #2: alternative reality stories. Zoom in from the comfort of your hut and share an alternative reality story. It might be something you have dreamed of in your hut. It might be an alternative reality you would like to see as our new normal. Or you might choose to share the experience dwelling in your alternative reality hut or to reflect on the quiet kindness of things. (bring a picnic, a coffee, a glass of wine)

I Don’t Know.

I don’t know if the water knows how it will make its way to the sea.

I don’t know if the road knows that I run over it. I don’t know if the trees know that I breathe their breath.


I don’t know if the water knows how it will make its way to the sea.

Installation trial, 16 August 2018


I don’t know how to access the access modes of other entities.  Thinking with Timothy Morton I am attempting to adopt a position outside of anthropocentric humanism, I consider the possibility that thought, while currently the primary mode through which humans access their surroundings, is not innately the highest or most valid access mode in existence. We have many other access modes, such as imagining, dreaming, tasting, feeling, though we consider these less valid. Similarly, nonhuman entities have access modes that may be inaccessible and foreign-seeming to us and consequently deemed invalid. The possibility that nonhumans might have access modes that we had failed to notice was, for the longest time, invisible beneath the mantle of our own thought-dominant world.

The advent of the geological era of the Anthropocene, with its grudging acknowledgement that human activity has been the driver of geological epoch change, leads humans into an imaginative crisis of world. It is the end of the Human World, the end of the world effect within which we have been living for the past 10,000 years, in which humans are separate from, and autonomously act upon, the Natural world. The Anthropocene empties out this singular world effect. Now we have to acknowledge that everyone has a world, water, running down the gutter or into my bath has a world. Rocks have a world, albeit a world in which timescales are vastly more massive than our own, so vast that we have perceived them as static. The Anthropocene makes us realise that when we look at a rock, we are a human looking at a rock; the shape of us in there in our looking.

Interestingly we are comfortable to scientifically imagine rocks as moving liquid over a vast timescale, however, we are less comfortable to philosophically imagine a rock as acting within its own world and world time. We accept scientifically that we are, or tellingly, our bodies are made up of an array of received and inherited DNA, that bacteria living in our gut are essential to our ongoing life, yet we feel uncomfortable to think ‘I am a heaving pile of entities cohabiting’. To acknowledge that not only do I have a microbiome, I am a biome.


 I don’t know if the road knows that I run over it.

I don’t know if the trees know that I breathe their breath.

Installation trial at Massey University, 26 July 2018


Experimentaion at pearce Gallery June 2018

Conversation pit #4: Blanket Hut: sharing in an intimate world

blanket pile

Blanket Hut: sharing in an intimate world acknowledges the impossibility of maintaining an anthropocentric worldview[1] in an era of eco-crisis and invites us to tease out ways to orient ourselves within a biosphere in which we are continuous with the network of entities we previously called nature. If you are interested in joining this conversation please message me or leave a comment here and I will get back to you. full details for this Conversation here.

[1] In which Humans are separate from the Nature, a construction in which the natural world exists over yonder, providing both resource and backdrop for human activities.


Golden American Saddlebred


I got this horse in a mixed set of plastic animals at a $2 shop. He stands 14cm high and is slightly unbalenced, requiring a firm bend to his rear legs to get him to balence. He has become something of a muse for me, summing up the blend of fantasy, romance, deceit,  history and genetic manipulation that forms the basis of our relationship with the natural world.

The latest incarnation of my muse, curently in process, is to be a lifesized version sewed from tulle. To understand my horse more fully, and to find out what size to make him, I decided to seek out his bloodline. after extensive research i have concluded that he is a Golden American Saddlebred. Standing upright he would be 16 hands (1602mm). rearing up he is 3m in height, a 21:1 scale from my model.

The Oklahoma State University Breeds of Livestock, Department of Animal Science, describes the Golden American Saddlebred thus:

What does one look for in a Golden American Saddlebred? First and foremost, is conformation. A beautifully shaped, well-proportioned head is a must. The ears are small, alert, and placed at the top of the head. The neck is long, and well-arched, with a smooth clean throatlatch. The eye is bold, bright, and intelligent. Well-sloped shoulders and sharp withers well above the height of the hips is characteristic. The croup is long and level with the tail coming out high, and the hind quarters are well muscled to the hocks. The back is short and strong. The long legs are straight with long sloping pasterns that are so necessary for an easy, well cushioned ride. The shallow, full-sprung rib cage make the barrel of the Saddlebred more rounded than in other breeds. Height is generally from 15 to 17 hands and weight from 1000 to 1200 pounds.

The complete picture of Golden Saddlebred should be one of refinement, smoothness and strength. Coloring can vary from cream to copper and all shades in between. However, the ideal color is that of the untarnished gold coin. Eyes must be brown or dark. White markings on the face and legs are allowyyed, but no spots. Mane and tail should be white and purity is desirable.

Hope Leaves The Body Slowly: the end.

Time Based project #1

Hope Leaves The Body Slowly

At its inception hope fills the body in the way that air fills a balloon.

From this point hope leaves the body. Slowly, imperceptibly at first.

Hope leaves the body slowly.

Long after the mind has made the cognition of failure the body still holds hope. The body reminds the mind to hope, the mind informs the body of failure.

Long after the mind has acknowledged disappointment the body still contains hope.

Hope and disappointment form a contracting loop between mind and body. slowly the cognitive gap between hope and disappointment shrinks to nothing. At this point hope can be said to have left the body.

All that remains is disappointment

Disappointment is carried in the body like a scar, or perhaps more like a souvenir. The place where hope once lived.

Hope Leaves The Body Slowly Day 1
Hope Leaves The Body Slowly
Day 1

Hope Leaves The Body Slowly Day 30
Hope Leaves The Body Slowly
Day 30

Resisting Societal Norms: Resisting Failure is Futile continued

Book 1 continued:

page 12

In art, the problem of both success and failure rests on judgement. A judgement of either success or failure is by definition based on an expected outcome, either achieved or missed. In either case the assumption behind the judgment is not challenged. However, if judgement is postponed, the possibility of a third option arises, a position that that wavers between the two: the shaky territory of the provisional. The provisional allows for a mitigated success; something that holds together, just, but contains its own failure within it. It holds the door open to uncertainly, to multiple attempts, to self-doubt. It acknowledges the very human   possibility that this is one of many tries at solving the problem on hand, and that this attempt is not necessarily the best but merely the most recent. 

Resisting Societal norms  pages 12 & 13
Resisting Societal norms
pages 12 & 13


Resisting Societal norms  pages 14 &15
Resisting Societal norms
pages 14 &15

page 17 & 18

Modernism and the entire project of modernisation of the developed world has tried to write itself as a success story, a series of improvements and developments in the direction of Betterment. However nowhere is the dubiousness of this claim more evident than in the increasingly dysfunctional relationship between the Western individual and the so-called Natural World.  The black and white barometer of success-or-failure is useless here, as our mandate to subdue the world has evidently not been an unmitigated success, but nor can it be said to have failed completely. We occupy an ad-hoc middle ground cobbled together from our inherited roles of protector, exploiter, owner and consumer. A provisional space that can be neither tolerated, nor addressed, by the dominant cultural model and subsequently exists as an ongoing state of crisis. If art, as we claim, sits alongside life as a testing ground for ideas and things, there is some possibility that the things tested and trialled could educate life in the subtle mid-ground of the mitigated success and the partial failure.


Resisting Societal norms  pages 16
Resisting Societal norms
pages 16