The Sussex Open and Rejection

After I had received the rejection letter from The Towner Gallery for the Sussex Open exhibition the other day, rather than feel disappointed at ‘another’ rejection, I thought about writing something based on the context which is in fact, half fact and half fiction. Well, I’m assuming the fiction part is fiction.

I have a friend who is a practising artist, lives in Eastbourne and has submitted work to the Sussex Open since the open call event began about six years ago. He told me he won’t be submitting any artwork for this year’s exhibition and by the sound of his tone, I could only assume that he was becoming resentful about the exhibition. I thought about this, trying to draw up some conclusions. The Sussex Open is solely for artists living in Sussex though it used to be for Eastbourne residents only. The art circles round this area seem quite close-knit so I’d imagine it gets quite competitive even if you have been friends for years. So, imagine being rejected, then, when going along to the Sussex Open exhibition, you see your local rival’s work triumphantly decorating the walls with hoards of art appreciators looking, gaping and admiring these wondrous spectacles but not yours. Then, this whole nightmare starts to get worse as one of your rivals spots you, calls out and proceeds to walk towards you. You clearly notice the smugness on their face added with that reptilian smile.  All you can mumble is, ‘Er yeah, nice one’ though it half chokes you to say it. They reply, ‘Can’t understand why your work isn’t on show, it’s totally insane’ Though you know that that comment is just a blatant lie!

I wonder if this playful scenario was cold reality for my friend?

The Towner Rejection Letter (2017)

For those that haven’t seen these, here’s 50 % of what I would have exihibited:



Title: Once I Was Useful: Mikajima, Saitama, Japan (2016)

Medium: Graphite on paper

Dimensions (Framed): 424 cms x 348 cms

Price (inc. 35% commission):  £250



Title: Once I Was Useful: Horinouchi, Saitama, Japan (2016)

Medium: Graphite on paper

Dimensions (Framed): 424 cms x 348 cms

Price (inc. 35% commission): £250



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Reflections on Unit 2 Symposium Talk

Like for many of us that morning and afternoon or evening as it was for me last week, I imagined there would be a feeling of anxiety in the air as we waited our turn in a marathon six-hour symposium. I wasn’t wrong, well, for me anyway. The time had arrived to step up onto the stage and to show our peers a microcosm, in the form of a five-minute video, which in theory should encapsulate our practice over the past year. Here’s what the panel had to say about my practice (in italics), added with my own comments and replies to comments and questions. Comments begin from 6:10. Could anyone out there tell me what the first word said is at 6:10? Sounds like ‘awful’ !




Sharon: Is it still going to be a public information message?

Ed: Is that what you think?

Sharon: That’s what I’m asking

Ed: I’m not so sure it is, I think it’s deviated wildly from…Is it still going to be a public information film concept? So, just to repeat

Sharon: Because in the beginning he was saying about that warning, doing as a public information about boredom and the dangers of the internet, is it still that kind of direction it’s going?

Ed reads my Skyped comment

The project began with the intention of making a persuasive film which documents an Internet-related issue. However, through the process, the project resolved as being a, to be honest, a personal attack on over use of devices and lack of engagement. Viewpoints and research are a mixture of objective vs subjective. There was a danger that I would get too bogged with all the context and theory aspect of the project. The art-making and journey was the primary focus.

Ed: This has evolved definitely evolved quite a long way from…..

Jonathan reads Yi’s message

Yi: It’s hard to talk about distraction through a work that catches our attention. I like that comment, I didn’t notice the irony here! Good point.

Celine: (unable to hear her comments clearly…the amount of work , 450 images isn’t…….

Ed: He’s taken the mature decision of doing all the images (meaning: completing the animation) and saying ‘no’ basically and the work on the cacophony where it actually began to reflect on what I was talking about earlier ….theory as sound as colours …different soundbites and…..(describes particular soundbites) and if you start mixing it all together, they become not really a…..but cluttered, you can’t pick one thing out ,the whole malay (?) of sound , which I think he’s trying to do with the images as well, because the final things he comes up with are like Miroesque collages in a way

Some of the frames are then analysed

Sharon: A pop abstraction

Jonathan then reads another of my Skyped comments:

During the art making, the more deviations I was making in the rotoscoping process, the more I was giving myself a headache as to what would be finalized. Again, I was fretting too much about the ‘end product’. I suppose if that’s my usual way of working, a leopard doesn`t change its spots over night. It was texturing sequence 5, that I thought, ‘That’s it, finished’ but no, I wanted to keep pushing the boat out. You could also argue that had I experimented with more mediums, such as painting or sculpture, the project could have been dramatically different. For better or worse, does that matter?

I think here there was some ambiguity with Sequence 5. No, it wasn’t the still image which happened to be titled Number. Sequence 5


Sarah Scicluna: Will the work be moving image?  Yes, Sarah

David: The sound cacophony… its a journey…. not an information film…

That’s right, David. A journey from one environement to another, collecting sound disturbances along the way

Sarah R: Jason, I really enjoy the animations you made of your daughter trying to concentrate on her homework, it worked really well as a moving image study. With your fragmentations, these also became more and more mesmerizing. However, seeing stills from these and knowing your drawing abilities and enjoyment of sketching…have you thought about taking the stills into painting, drawing or physical studies?

Thanks, Sarah. Yes, the prospect of re-working the animation into graphite drawings would seriously be my cup of tea, pencil drawings, my chosen medium too. Though time was sadly not on my side as I knew I had to have pretty much everything done and dusted before I returned back to work here in Japan. Even though I said it is now a resolved body of work, which caused a stir (oddly), that’s not so say that I may do a few odd pencil drawings from this project.

Leonie: The starting point and the end seem worlds parts even though they say the same thing.

I was hoping that someone would notice that. Well observed, Leonie!



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May 2017 Activity Summary

The final term for the MA course began a few weeks ago. The Skype chat involved discussing the planning for MA summer show. I’m doing my best my best to get excited about the summer show yet it’s painfully disappointing for me as I’m unable to attend. Thankfully I have someone who will curate my work. A big thank you to Terry.  Also, I’m going to take Sir Peter Mansell’s sound advice and hopefully show The Making of Disruptive Technologies.

Last week we were required to submit our requirements for the show. Here’s mine:


  • Exhibiting: One rotoscoped animation (MP4), played on a loop. Two digital prints on canvas (both are frames from the animation, 16 x 12”)
  • Equipment Needed: One very large (if possible) LCD monitor and a good set of Powered PA Speakers. I was thinking Behringer-Eurolive-B112D Speakers. If not, value Argos will do.
  • Space Preference: For the rotoscoped animation, preferably in a dark corner of an interior. Crucial Point! As the audio carries the weight of the animation, if possible, could there be no or little sound intrusion from videos/animations. I know it’s a big ask, but would be very grateful. As for the canvases, I don’t have any space preferences.
  • Thank you for your assistance


And now for something, a little more engaging for this post,  The Making of Disruptive Technologies Complete (2017)


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Unit Two Symposium Talk

Unit 2 Symposium Talk, June 2017 (shortened version, 5 mins)





Unit 2 Symposium Talk, June 2017 (longs version) 



Disruptive Technologies (2017) 

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In this extract from The Secrets of Drawing: All in the Mind (episode 3)  Art critic, Andrew Graham-Dixon touches briefly on  underdrawing . Using drawing as my main tool and central in my process, I found this extract of the series particularly interesting and I’ve not read or found much on celebrated underdrawings. Here, Graham-Dixon informs us that during World War Two, an American fire bomb was dropped in Pizza, just missing the tower but landing on the nearby chapel. As a result, the lead roof melted, dripped down the walls damaging the 14th century frescos. But that wasn’t the end for the frescos as they now hang and are celebrated in a shoddy condition in the anti-chamber of the chapel. However, what became more astonishing and spectacular by pure fortuity, was that from the resulting blast, the frescos now reveal beautiful, detailed underdrawings made by Francesco De Triano. Probably one of the first instances where drawings reveal that order of raw consciousness, thinking and planning.  This made me consider what other hidden treasures could be found under great works of art? The extract concludes with a very engaging experiment conducted by John Tchalenko, Head of Drawing & Cognition at an educational institute I’ve become familiar with over the past three years, Camberwell University of Arts in London.

Extract times: 12:00-24:33 or a better idea would be to engage in the whole thing! It’s a cracking documentary.



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Disruptive Technologies: Layering & Augmentation

From Symposium Talk transcript

During that pressure period in the art making process, I was analysing our relationship with device engagement or life support machines as I refer to them. Observations in urban environments, city streets, cafes, public transport, restaurants, etc. It’s amazing what you can see when watching with purpose. It got me thinking about fragmenting form as a way to communicate distraction of a mental state. Again, more experiments, more reshuffling and rethinking though at least the project was moving again.

The fragmentations later become much more intensified when layering the rotoscope work. By doing so, I felt this captured distraction and disruption which was the objective.

For the audio, after consideration, a voice-over was vetoed in favour of a soundscape which sounded much more exciting to compose. For diversity, the collected material was recorded when traveling from Tokyo to London. As with the rotoscoped work, the sound bites were also layered. Automated and notification sounds predominate the arranged soundscape, fading in and out, some played simultaneously. The end result being a cacophony and chaotic assemblage triggering a sensory intrusion.

I feel now that this is a resolved body of work. I’ll read an extract from Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking, which for me sums up this whole exploration and artmaking process:

‘But if asked to describe how it felt during the artmaking process-well that often comes out a bit like Dorothy trying to describe the Land of Oz to Auntie Em. Between the initial idea and the finished piece lies a gulf we can see across, but never fully charter. The truly special moments when concept is converted to reality- those moments when the gulf is being crossed. Precise descriptions fail, but it connects to that wonderful condition in which the work seems to make itself and the artist serves only as a guide or mediator, allowing all things to happen’

Bayles & Orland (2001)

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Unit 2 Assessment

A requirement for the MA Fine Art Digital course involves participants to provide notes and links to all the assessment evidence required (note: in order to see the progrssion of the project, I’ve tried to make links ordered in chronological order).

Links regarding the following:

Tutorials, Exhibitions and Monthly Summaries etc, can be found as sub-headings on my blog homepage.


DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGIES PROJECT (formerly known as Public Information Film Project): Experiments, Drawings and Rotoscoping.

Storyboarding , The Drawing Process

Rotoscoping: Sequence 1 , Rotoscoping: Sequences 1-5 , Rotoscoping: Sequences 6 & 7

Rotoscoping: Sequence 8 , Rotoscoping: Sequences 9 & 10

Rotoscoping: Sequence 11 (and consultation) , Collage Graphic Interchange Formats Experiments

Rotoscoping: Colour Tests Sequences 1 & 10 , Adobe Premiere: Panning & Zooming

Persuasive Narratives (part 1) , Persuasive Narratives (part 2)

Project Discussion on Skype (September 2016) ,

Rotoscoping & Live action Tests , Rotoscoping & Motion Tween Tests: Sound & Visuals

Curating Sequential Narratives,  Motion Tween Animation: Sequence 5

Sequencing ,  Self-reflexivity & Black & White Aesthetics


Disruptive Sounds Experiments , Composing Soundscapes

Disruptive Technologies: SMS Alerts (test)/Soundscape Notes

Disruptive Technologies: Stand Clear of the Doors!


70s Public Informations Films

70s British Public Information Films: Broken Glass (1973)

70s British Public Information Films: Searching (1974)

70s British Public Information Films: Fatal Floor (1974)

Artists relative to contexual research 

Ashleigh Nankivell-Helping Johnny Remember , Evan Baden-Technically Intimate

Internet culture writers, lectures, radio programs & news articles

Persuasive Narratives: Steven Johnson

Contextual Research Notes: Mcluhan, Carr,Mangen,Doctorow, Bell

Digital Human: Series One

Will Self – Isolation, Solitude, Loneliness and the Composition of Long-Form Fiction

Synthetic or human? The changing voices behind transport announcements


Rotoscope: Montage (complete animation)

Rotoscope: As a motion tween (complete animation)

Rotoscope: Layering & Augmention (complete animation)


The following links are not project-related. However, I feel they are important in my development on the course . A side-project, ‘Cyclogeography’ explores Showa period (1926-1989) architecture in Tokyo and Saitama in Japan.

Cyclogeography 2: Sumigawa River Drift

Cyclogeography 3:Tokyo to Saitama Drift

Cyclogeography 4: Spinning Tins & Rusty Ruins

Cyclogeography 5: Somewhere in Asia

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April 2017 Activity Summary

I’m suffering with watery, stinging eyes as well as constantly sneezing (something I rarely do!) since I’ve been back. I think this old sketch, Welcome to March, sums up my current condition. By the way, the person pictured isn’t a doctor, surgical masks are commonly worn by the Japanese in order to prevent catching germs. Strange but true!

Welcome to March (2003)


What’s been/is going on:

Well, Brian from Pixels 2 Canvas  will print two canvases I’m planning to exhibit for the Summer Show. I’ve decided on 12 x 16, as opposed to a 12 x 12 square format. We spent quite a bit of time discussing size and resolution in his studio before I left the UK. I’m so grateful for his suggestions.

Disruptive Technologies (No 3, 2017)

Disruptive Technologies 3 Rectangle (2017)


One of the MAFAD course members, Leonie is kindly organising a booklet for the MA  Summer Show. She received, and quite rightly, a big response and such enthusiasm from everyone on the course. I’m dead pleased about this too, just having a paper document will be a fantastic memory and also for the public, you never know who or where that document will end up. The more exposure, the better. Sadly though, I won’t be able to experience the event in the physical. Now I know how the French footballer, Laurent Blanc felt, he had to sit out the 1998 World Cup final! Se la vie

The Guardian published another article of mine last week, Maki’s Tempura Udon, British Style . I was really buzzing about that. However, I forgot to include Soy sauce in the ingredients which didn’t go down well with the Master Chef (Maki), and as a result, I got earache!         You             can’t                win                        them                         all





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Japanese Comics-Manga

In a previous post, My Beautiful Laundrette , I made comments on Japanese laundrettes with comparisons to ones in the UK. England. As with most interiors which require a waiting action, there is plenty of literature to keep one occupied, which brings me to the topic of this post, Japanese comics.

Japanese comics have been a very popular form of pop culture over here since the early 1950s and are read by all ages. Manga, as they are commonly known, is big business, making millions and the comics are translated into many languages across the globe. A typical manga comic is printed in black and white and on very thin paper. They come in various size formats, which caters for the consumers young and old. For instance, the One Piece   B5-sized comic, popular with students, can be easily stored in a student’s school bag. Then, there are the bulky and cumbersome-looking comic books, very uncharacteristic in Japanese design in my view. They have the appearance of an old telephone directory or car manual . Seeing middle-aged businessmen taking these weighty-looking objects out of their suitcases fascinates me.

Manga comes in a wide range of genres such as romance, sports, school life, gangs, mystery and fantasy. The comics range from the tame to the ones with a high violent and sexual graphic content. You also have to bear in mind, what we think in the West is explicit might be considered tame in the East. It’s the comics which depict Japanese social realism which I find engaging. Just by leafing through this comic at the laundrette, I see familiar themes and issues in the narrative- high school girl titilation, yanki and bosozoku subcultures, sexual behaviour, noodle slurping, suicide, modern living, dinky interiors, mansions, communting to work and educational environments.

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Experimenting: Time-lapse

Back in Japan now and a little earlier than usual. Like in the UK, it’s been quite hot these past few days and the cherry blossom season has almost ended.  A few days ago I headed to Zushi beach. During the afternoon, with a friend, we experimentied with a time-lapse photography. Haven’t done this for years! 

The videos were set at a very low frame rate, about two frames per second. The recordings duration were roughly 30-50 seconds. The play back is set at around 30/40 frames per second which speeds the film dramatically. I found myself having to remember the rule- the longer the recording, the fewer frames captured.

Keeping the camera still, I’m walking very slowly from left to right of shot. The play-back is around 30 frames per second. However, the video is about 15 times faster.

After editing, the video frame rate has been slowed down considerably.



Focusing on contrast: Here is a frame taken from a time-lapse video. The frame captures the still and the moving (me). The effects are very engaging, seeing my fragmented movements at various stages of the lapse is something else!

Zushi 3 (2017)

And finally, zooming in on a particular area of the above frame which captures movement and the interval and passage of time.  Zushi 3.1 (2017)

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