De-constructing The Domestic Carcass

We spend so much time in houses, in our domestic setting, wallowing in these shells. I’m so bored of houses, we have no choice. This is the illusion of choice in capitalism: You can live in any type of house! There are so many innovations! So many styles in the Ikea catalogue! And so many other catalogues! The sheer variety of catalogues is so overwhelming, don’t you see how many options you have!



This is the array of choice you have, from a thousand different toothpastes to a long Google search for the best kitchen unit carcasses (that’s apparently what a kitchen unit with out a door is called, go ahead and click the link and check it out, it’s a carcass). What kitchen unit carcass will best express your domestic identity? Which one will tell the story you want your kitchen to tell about you and your family and your life? Which microwave best expresses the narrative you have around your families journey?


I just feel it really gets across where we want to be in ten years…’

But you don’t have actual choice, you can only really live the one type of life the one which is forced at us from every angle, from every billboard and every magazine, from every television screen, from every bloody screen! Every tweet and every instagram account, it’s all screaming one world into your raw heart, and it’s a world that needs you but doesn’t care about you. It wants your involvement, it wants your energy, it wants your life, but it doesn’t care about your happiness, it doesn’t care about your love, it doesn’t care about the type of world that you want. It just wants you to buy in and spend, to through yourself away. That’s all it needs, are you going to give the machine what it needs?


Will it be worth it?…


The flash of a neon light

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone,
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp,
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

From ‘The Sound Of Silence’ By Simon and Garfunkle, covered below by James Blake and Bon Iver, with visuals from Andreij Tarkovskij’s ‘Ivan’s Childhood’

One of the wonderful things about artists who work with neon, is that they are undertaking an art form that has risk inherent with in it. Julia Bickerstaff, a veteran of working with neon:

“Essentially, there are only three risks – cutting yourself, burning yourself and electrocuting yourself,”


Neon has a distinct appeal, it is consistently otherworldly and ethereal, raising any statement written in it to a new plane where it takes on a meaning and a reverence it did not have before. This can be somewhat misleading though, because words have a meaning in themselves as well as in their context, but there are many ways to give new or more or some meaning to words by presenting them in a certain way. Sometimes this contextualization provides a genuine contrast that does draw out a meaning that was lying dormant in the original text.



Just because something is written in neon does not make it deep and meaningful though. It’s similar to putting something in speech marks and attributing it to a unheard of foreign sounding name. For instance we all know that neon is a dream sequence made by the universe to chill the worries of the modern mind. And we all know that that is meaningless nothingness. But…

“Neon is a dream sequence made by the universe to chill the worries of the modern mind”

Petrioano Pretentiousalai, Italian Writer and Philosopher, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1956.

Owwwwwwwwww, all of a sudden that’s really rather interesting. Light is a dream sequence  is it? Hmmmmm, to chill the worries of the modern mind? Hmmmmmm. Perhaps though, meaning and interest already lies with in you, the viewer of the thing, all you need is enough signifiers to tempt your brain into seeking out that meaning. It’s lazy art in a way, as you’re doing all the work, but it is an interesting experiment in the relationship between the artist and the viewer, and where in that relationship meaning arises. Who makes the experience? It takes two to tango…


Neon is also interesting because it is so modern and technological, but completely hand made every time. As Paul Wright at Icon Neon ( writes: ‘With Neon, the Art goes into every single piece – by hand. That is why when you hang 2 copies of the same sign side-by-side there will be differences‘. It is a art form that has been commercialized and become a wide part of popular culture but has retained the role of the artist. Which is good.



On The Need For Blood

“The air thin and pure, danger near, and the spirit full of gay sarcasm: these go well together. I want to have goblins around me, for I am courageous. Courage that puts ghosts to fight creates goblins for itself: courage wants to laugh.” Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Nietzsche

The true artist should want to be surrounded by goblins. They should not just accept the goblins, they should want them. They should cultivate them. They should strive for them. Where is the courage of an artist surrounded by friends and admirers? Surround yourself with goblins. Don’t preach to the choir, preach to the murder squad.

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From The Manifesto of ‘The Hatchet Job of The Year‘: ‘Hatchet Job of the Year is a crusade against dullness, deference and lazy thinking. It rewards critics who have the courage to overturn received opinion, and who do so with style.’

Dullness, deference and lazy thinking. Nothing could be further from what we need right now. We need excitement, we need passion, we need activity. We need blood. Hot blood. Hot blood that can overwhelm the cold and boring. That is what we need. Where will we find it?…