So we live in a Digital Cage? (part 2)

Back to the digicage symposia-um at firstsite Colchester*. OK it was indeed a fascinating syncosie-um with about 40 attendees. I was pleased to talk to Elli who said she regularly pops down from London town to the gallery, ‘It’s just like another part of London on the train (but you’ve got the lovely countryside on the way)’. I really hope she is a pioneer, a scout. Once Londoners and Liverpudlians and Mancunians and all points of the compass hear that the Romans have been ousted, maybe they will beeline for firstsite Colchester. It needs to be frequented. It is a wonderful occurrence. A gallery like that is a boon to the whole nation, I kid you not, you can count galleries like that on, maybe, two hands, there’s not that many. It is akin to a Tate or a Hayward. But they do need a public face-lift. The connect is dis-connected. Unlike tate mod it didn’t hit the ground running and still suffers in the local press and community, it is not a trend place to go yet, I say yet cos am really hopeful this changes and the forthcoming Bruce McLean may help ease the gallery into a better space. Actually if it had been built on a hill or somewhere folk can see the damn thing it may have caught the imagination more quickerly.

This syntoesinium was another daring display of forward thinking by people there in the gallery’s innards who tap into the pulse of what is happening in the world out there away from firstsite Colchester, but also IN every area, digitally. firstsite Colchester brought Kim Dotcom (watch this face) to ‘us’ in this phase of its development by Simon Denny and the Gallery of Modern art Vienna , who I believe own the stuff. Is it art? Yes it is (not?), well it is alright, cos you see in the 1970s even receipts became ‘art’ and DimDot Bom has received a few unwelcome guests in his time, many from that quiet little colony across the Pacific from his New Zealand home in the good ole boys drinkin wiski and rye land the USof A FBI with machine guns and all the other stuff thay used to corner Bin Larder. The Fedbis were a bit annoyed wit Dimboy cos he wer pirating movies and making millions of, dollars. He lived in a mansion complex similar to the dictatoe wat got ousted in Ukraine and they say that nice man in Russia (wat our Bonnie Prince don’t tink much of) also has a Brimdotbomb stately home too too. Funny how they all want what Dimbo has got. In fact I tink I shall settle on Dimbo as it has a resonance with a flying elephant and I like that. So Dimboy’s fortune, which is in the exhibition in piles or heaps like Carl Andre bricks in the Tate, is REAL, it’s physical dollar bills, now confiscated and now returned to him as his lawyers battle it out in America. The model he used to make film and music available on its release for free (ish) is now adopted by some of the companies which own the copyrites, he showed them how to market in the Digicage.

Then James Bridle stood up and talked about Wikipedia (did you know , Jimmy Wales said, a wiki is a website that anyone can edit (whitch can be changed), and wiki-leeks is nuttin to do wit wiki-pedias) and drone spyplane-bombers which he had drawn out with tape in various places. He also makes abstract art designs in books from the ‘maps’ all your smart phones create as you journey around and they connect with all the other users in any area you pass. This was a fascinating day in which many of my blindnesses, failures to ‘connect’ or stay in touch and oversights were adjusted. Two women even tried persuading me that Traced Ear Hermin is not as bad as she seems. Well one woe-man’s sealink can be anudda man’s flaw.

It’s not going to help any of us to say I’m not joining in or I won’t be effected cos you’re already in it. Everything has a digital input, from the design of this pen (yep I prep mi blart wit a pen) to the news on your screen (I wer on Anglia news once fer abart 2 minute minutes, my andy Wahol minit o fame). Being a late-Luddite who is still wonderous as to how these aeroplanes can stay up ,in th’air, I find it astounding how in some cases a photo can be taken in papua new guinea then it can be on my breakfast table in say, the Guardian (if I could afford it) within hours or on my tv (?) within minutes. For me, who used to go to, say, Earls Court to see and photo the Stones (1976) on a Nikon F film camera, come home, develop the film, go into my darkroom & print it in B&W then try to sell it and mostly not succeed,

stone 76 earls crt

in fact always not suck seed, to see everyone now can clik their favourite pop band tonite, send it up to the cloud within seconds where someone in papua new guinea fowl can can pick it up on their mobile digiting and print it as a paper copy if they want to be bothered, why bother (thanks Mark Knopfler) why bother when you can view it at will on an ipad then skim on to , say, a new Hockney tree thingi or a film released by Warners after they learned from Dimcombo-Notso-Dim-as-he-looked.

And then you get to tinkin abart values. What’s a ting worth? That dress that Marilyn Monroe wore is worth more than the same design worn by my Auntie Rosie. Jo Beuys suet is Wirther Haftmann more than mien. That provenance ting! One day this pen will be wert more then your pen yawort? (don’t call yer vreedas warts, it’ll put them orf- get lost Blarty Wartman- sorry, am having troble wit my altered eagle) STOP


Dis could be heaven

Or this can be hell

Like old Leadbelly once said

It’ll make yu wonder

It’ll make ya worry

Abart tings to come

But don’t go do wat he did

Unless you’re running aways

Form that old digicaged werld?

Cos he had a greet notion

Ter jemp in th’a river and

GROUND (listen at 40 seconds in)


The nice ting is I real eyesed we’re in it (digicage) am no longa bovvad (concerned consternated) cos I know it dusn’t matta. There is no matter (for this mad hatter). There is no real money (Dimboi gorrit all) It’s gone digi. So as long as I can afferd a loaf & a cuppa, I need no more.

It, th’obsession, becomes extreme. Why am I sitting here blArting at 4 am? Becos you becom obsessed. You are drawn in. in to that digital world which is co-habited by Tron & Bruce Willis (Fifth Elepants) And why do we still use the old language? Based in Latin wot those roman aliens brought is it not?) wi (fi) (fo) hum hmmmmm do we yewse dat ole langwich? No, I wont, I wont yewse it no more, no moor, no mare no mur.. I re-fews. I (am) refuse, I meen ref-use I mene thet’s rub-isht. The old ones ar da beast STOP, stop agen. St-art. It’s art. It’s a blArt.

pete shaded

But when yu try to brake…free from the auld langitch, it’s ard. There’s formal ties. Form all he tees. For all its tease. You see the auld langwitch has its uses, its youses, its you ses, you sed, you say to bed we go, to bog on off. I extemp-poor-eyse. I bleev there will there will be a move away from the old constrictions of the auld lang signs. After all was it Bartays or that other bloke who said language is power, yep it werim, he said langage is powwow. And by spellin crectli yu ar in a power-clutch. So this is my revolution. My revolt shun. But be careful, revoltin leeds to exploding. Witness most evri revolution exploding; French, Russian, Egyptian and so on.

I play wit werds yu know (altho yu may not av noticed?) I was pleying wit wirds for this blArt and beeb 4 did a doc on Dylan Thomas. He played wit werds too tout two or tree or henry moore. I know his play was so much better nay greater than minah berd words I hold mi hand up to that. Give us a big hand. I do. I don’t know much about poetry (altho yu may av noticed?) BUT I recognised Under milk wood as Dylan’s masterwork. Look out for Under Milk Wood on iplayer.


And I gave up once before in the 60’s I thought I would leave the music ‘form’ alone cos nobody would better Lennon and Zimmerman and all so I chose 2b an artisbloke…the rest is His Story (not mine). But this time I’m not for stopping chasing my dreams and skeems to be the big blArty poet too

Toot toot to you

And the same wit nobs on

To you too toot.


I thought you’d like to share my pride in what Krzysztof Fijalkowski said on seeing one of my recent blArts ‘Your blog is certainly a treasure trove of ideas ! I’m impressed with all that work and thinking.’ Krzysztof is Senior Lecturer, Fine Art at Norwich University of the Arts which is rated top Specialist Arts Institution in the UK (National Student Survey 2013). No wonder when its doctors dish out such confidence boosting descriptions!

Also me old mate Duncan has reacted to this blArt, I love how these tings strike chords and energise folk to get up and go,  and he ses i can post his feelings which are:

Sublime bursts of blarty wordplay which project out of your orb like solar flares reaching across space, mostly to be deflected by Earth’s magnetic field, but some get through:



The blarty rearrangement of words just creased me up and my amusement was just an entrée into seeing how an expected word arrangement that habit has frozen, is massaged into an alternative meaning that pokes fun at or questions the frozen form. It is a liberating experience- equivalent to listening to a great comedian’s skewed view of the world, a jester’s jestering……





Traced Ear Hermin

Blarty Wartman

wi fi fo hum hmmmmm


Mangle on, big blArty poet

Other goodnight Irenes Duncan likes, which you’ll have to find in utube cos am unsure how many links am ‘allowed’ to mek here:

Jerry Lee Lewis and Van, Tom Waits, Leon Russell, Ry Cooder, Johnny Cash, Bob Hope,

And Bing Crosby and Judy Garland:


Goodnight Irene

*Not sure why the Roman invaders called colch Camalodinum? Maybe their camels didn’t like the weather there? Maybe they were sent peculiar by Boobicca’s incursions. For that matter I’m not sure where ‘col’ came from? There’s a river Colne, maybe that’s it. But as always I digress.

A lady called Max has answered my blart with som info on how Colchester got its name. She also made some lovely encouraging comment on the blarty ting:

Your mind is amazing Pete. All that knowledge roller coasting in your head and soaring from one thought to another.  I can see how hard it would be to switch off and meditate. I look forward to reading your blogs. The way you play with words and the brilliant humour that shines through.
By the way, the Saxons called Colchester Colneceaster, the Roman fortress of ‘Colonia’. In folk etymology, Colchester was thought of as meaning Cole’s Castle. In the legend, Helena (now the patron saint of Colchester) was the daughter of Cole. She married the Roman senator Constantius Chlorus, who had been sent by Rome as an ambassador and was named as Cole’s successor. Helena’s son became Emperor Constantine.Helena was canonised as Saint Helena of Constantinople and credited with finding the true cross and the remains of the magi.
This is recognised in the emblem of Colchester: a cross and three crowns. Still can’t find out where ‘Col’ came from.
So you see, you’ve got me investigating on my digital device and I really should be reading extracts from Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind!
Thank you.


Max said it were difficult to leave a comment so am adding a contac form below-

They mentioned at the symposium about how printing 3D machines can be used to make guns, but, a better future use is they can now make a cervical cancer camera on a digi-printer! That means in remote areas of the world they can ‘print off’ a camera to help detect cervical cancer and treat it early. See click, about 7 mins in!.


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