Forthcoming Materials by JL Williams

We asked guest artist JL Williams about the idea of collaboration within her practice and UNFORESEEN. She replied though the language of poetry….

PS: Collaboration is a central theme in UNFORESEEN as it is in your own work. How does this affect your work as a poet?

Forthcoming Materials

In order to interrogate the open, to collect future knowledge,
enter the burning library.

In the thudding heart of uncertainty is the failure of the populace
to overthrow the fact-making of newspapers.

Uncertainty leads to growth.

Independence is every man’s right, the right to be immoral.

The roots of the uncertain extend from the trunk of each problem.

The gift that tears the fabric creates the extravagant open.
Through this tear the uncertain event occurs.

Nothing is ever finished.
Feigning is the truth. The growing tree
lifts its gravestones with it.

Making love is uncertainty, living is uncertainty, fucking is uncertainty.

Your heart resides where the question is conceived.
Electrocution of flesh is the disease.

Desire of workers distracts the listener.
Noise is dust on the glowing screen.

Micronoise. Microinformation. A coating contains memory.

Experience is a cloud of dust.

The future is an anagram of the present.

The specimen is a multichannel environment.

In the future we speak the distorted
echo of the present. This continues to break the infinite cycle.

Poetry and the internet have one purpose: pleasure
provided to the mental foreground.

Our joint mind creates a noise.

The words spoken in the future
are the soundtrack of the present, listen: lit pools of water vibrating with opera singers’ voices, opera singers as angels, a cascading overflow of beauty, layers, exploration of the bodies of the opera singers as they sing, physicality of the body and voice of the opera singer, singers hanging, arced, upside down, lying, in positions, how words affect this – vowels, consonants, moving around a small space where opera singers sing, positions of the singers, positions of the listeners, listeners on beds, listeners moving during the performance, maintaining exquisite notes and altering loudness/quietness, tones, rhythm, music that can make the listener/singer cry, revelation this way, uncertainty, resolution (or lack of) in the listener, the open (leaving it open), honey, flowers, feathers.

The relation between ourselves and the rupture is open.

Naming allows breath.

Classification allows fascism.

As we dance our chemicals leave a rhythmic smear.

Scientists of the future will touch our materials, measure
the chemicals in our blood.

In these photographs I see the dead. In these photographs I see the building of a building whose terraces I walked many years ago on a mission that was destined to fail. The beauty of the building was greater than all others. The child who fails is not the adult who fails.

The ephemeral material of memory has the potential of musical structure.

The circle contains the open.

The women’s pitch is disembodied.

Imagining a beautiful future is creating a beautiful present.

If I care for you I make you.

The transhuman is capable of symphony.

We do the machine in different voices, preserve the disavowal.

To measure impact is to tell the future,
to tell the future is to create fiction.
All art-making is love-making.

You have to do this
chance I never
this moment you begin
impossible to be
either that how
to understand.

To live is to vibrate.
Life is one possibility among many.
Death is unknowable only to the living.

JL Williams October 2014
First published in Alex Hetherington’s Modern Edinburgh Film School Anthology


UNFORESEEN?: a question in progress…

We asked each of our resident and guest artists a question about their work and its potential within the indeterminate situation of the unforeseen.

Their contemplations, expectations, and apprehensions will in turn be reconsidered and reflected upon after the event.

Check out their thoughts below…

PS: The physicality of your work inversely reflects the intangible nature of the relationship between artist, idea and audience. How do you feel this might manifest itself within the boundaries of UNFORESEEN?

HC: I’ve recently been pondering the shadow side of an artist’s creativity, the potential that exists through creative endeavours to spoil something, to diminish the power and beauty of a place, object or atmosphere in an effort to make a creative intervention. It seems important, to know within the creative process when to act and when not to act, in sculptural terms to harness the tension between addition and reduction and the possibility of non-action. This is a dialogue that might play out in my contribution with Unforeseen. By its nature any ideas or notions I have today about Unforeseen may change tomorrow but at time of writing I’m hoping to find a way of reducing the control I have over my contribution through giving additional control and choice to the audience, I see my collaborative contribution as that of a creative conduit. I believe there’s power in incidental compositions and creative energy in spontaneity both of which are often lost, suppressed or sanitised in a gallery environment. I hope Unforeseen will give us the opportunity to harness this power and energy, the freedom to play within the landscape and sound-scape of a space while messing a little with the creative dynamic between artists, audience and ideas.

PS: How important is the development rather than just the outcome in your work? How do you think this will relate to the idea of UNFORESEEN?

JR: Working towards an outcome is the same as testing a hypothesis. It’s important that I have a vision of what I’m setting out to make, but what I’m really interested in is how this abstract ideal can be undermined by the construction process. A work often begins with a drawing; and here I am able to control all parameters of the idea as it rests on paper, but when I begin to develop the idea as a performance, sculpture or installation; a whole variety of environmental factors and forces come into play that are completely beyond my control.
One of my recent works Earth Rise is a good example of this undermining process. I began with a small idea on paper, a drawing that showed a piece of grassy turf being inverted and held aloft by a human figure. Attempting this idea as a performance piece required weeks of strenuous training doing headstands with a heavy clod of earth tied to my feet and mostly resulting in repeated heaving, toppling and exasperation. In the end it was completely impossible to achieve the triumphal inversion of my drawing, and the resulting performance became about the muscular strain required in order to hold the inverted piece of earth aloft.

UNFORESEEN sets up the parameters for a different way of working that feels new and experimental to me. Usually I work in response to environmental factors, but during this event I will be responding to environments or performances set up by other artists, which makes the process even less predictable. The potential for unanticipated moments where things somehow just work, as well as moments where everything falls apart is very exhilarating.

PS: One could describe your work as relational, creating a space for social interaction, rather than a mere spectacle. What problems do you foresee as unavoidable due to the forced nature of event in general, and specifically during UNFORESEEN?

CK: I like to think of the performance element of my work as a series of public experiments, testing out different ideas in different settings. I generally like to create a space for an audience to experience rather than a show for them to watch. These spaces do provide a context for social interaction but that is not really what I’m focused on. I am more interested in the relationship between the audience, the space and me as a performer.
I don’t think I have an issue with these performance events being in some way “forced”, indeed it is exactly that that I am interested in playing with. I design ambiance and construct experience through the diffusion of sound and light. How the audience responds is really up to them – there is no right or wrong reaction. Like I say, they are experimental in nature so i guess the only issue would be if no one turned up!
The most challenging – and I think most exciting – aspect of Unforeseen will be engaging in genuinely meaningful dialogue with both the wide range of different artists and guests as well as with the audience themselves. We will have to speak carefully and listen well to make it a real conversation rather than a group of individuals just sort of saying their bit. I often find clarity in these discussions quite difficult, especially face to face, in real time! But I think it should be interesting and look forward to it!

PS: Haptics is a way of experiencing and understanding an object virtually before it becomes tangible. Do you think this theory could translate to UNFORESEEN and the idea behind event?

AMS: As our package, Anarkik 3D Design, is more than haptics (which is virtual 3D touch) and experiencing and understanding an object virtually before it becomes tangible, the theory of virtual touch can translate to UNFORESEEN and the many ideas and interpretations behind the event. Yes, our package of software and haptic device is a great way of experiencing and understanding an object befor it becomes tangible but more than this, it is an easy to learn and use tool for exploring and playing with creating 3D forms in a risk free environment before making them in the real world. 3D printing is but one method to make the forms tangible.

Anarkik 3D Design presents a virtual 3D space as big or as small as you want and is about experiencing and exploring that space by creating forms within it, re-configuring and re-combining within the space to understand both content and context. Being in a risk free environment, and without real world constraints, mind-sets can be blown open, boundaries expanded and pushed, new ideas taken to the nth and the thoughts generated translated back into real world materials and media to inspire new approaches.

Just one example of our approach to developing our product that fits Unforseen’s consept is serendipity. Serendipity is a majorly important feature in Anarkik 3D Design and is the default that enables happy accidents, unforeseen consequences and form creation. Being quick and easy to learn and get into being creative is also fundamental as is having a non-complex interface for ‘flow’.
We have the haptic device as it makes navigating the 3D space easy: with ‘touch’ it has movement in all directions to zoom in and out of the space and rotate the whole space to explore it all from all angles and magnitudes. Touch and proprioception tap into our natural ways of interacting in the real world and these senses introduce a comfortable and familiar element in to the virtual environment so can we can concentrate and be open for exploring the unforeseen.

PS: Audience participation is an important question within the context of UNFORESEEN. How important is audience interaction within your work in order for it to achieve its purpose?

MS: Audience participation? with a question mark. Is how I like to label my work.
The sole purpose of my work is to engage with the audience and it often brings people together with a sense of play.
I like to hand over control to the audience, so the visual element is not controlled by me but the audience instead.
I build in interactive elements to the design but I don’t like to give the audience instructions. I prefer the audience to use their logic to figure out how they can interact with the work and use visual hints to guide them, but often the audience can miss these hints.
This is ok though, you get out of my work as much as you are willing to give to it. If you want to play the option is there.


It’s all free! Tickets available here:


King’s Stables Road, Hidden Door Festival 2015

Sunday 24 May – Wednesday 27 May @ 1 – 2pm daily

An adventurous, multidiscipline collaboration between musicians, artists, academics and audience. Running concurrently for 4 days during Hidden Door Festival 2015, Edinburgh.

The content and structure of each day will be informed and shaped by the outcomes of the preceding day. Barriers between performer, medium and audience will be challenged, as will the nature and context of collaboration, inspiration, creative methods and time constraints.

The outcome, a complete unknown, will be documented and discussed further to the series of events creating an ongoing process, exploring key themes in the evolution of art and culture at the intersection of sound and sight.

Check out the Facebook event for ongoing updates and info!




martin parker - chair SMALL

Martin is a senior lecturer and program director of the MSc Sound Design program at the University of Edinburgh, artistic director of the Dialogues Experimental Music Festival, and director of outreach at Edinburgh College of Art. He has a PhD in composition and recently used his four month curatorial residency at Talbot Rice Gallery to exhibit ‘gap in the air’ which aimed to bring technicians and curators together with artists and audiences in order to examine the challenge of sound in gallery spaces.



Sunday 24th – Wednesday 27th May



‘I am interested in the ‘thingness’ of things; in the visual vocabularies, narrative qualities and emotive associations of ubiquitous objects.

The interaction between people and material culture has become a recurring area of enquiry in my artistic practice; how we look, how we read visual language, how we make sense of our material world and how the stuff that surrounds us becomes us. I am intrigued by the provenance, meaning and power of objects and by the forces of materialism, marketing, consumerism and obsolescence. Through the language of ‘stuff’ my work attempts to examine the relationship between artist, object and viewer and to challenge the conventional notions of authorship and consumption, thinking, making and creating.’




Charlie is a sonic artist based in Glasgow working on the fringes of house, techno and more abstract sounds. He creates emergent interactive systems that drive DIY modular synths and DSP processing to create immersive audio-visual installations and performances.

He is interested in creating new contexts for experimental sound practices. Through the creation of immersive and interactive audio-visual environments he explores synaesthetic experience, interactive systems and creative multichannel audio diffusion.




By day Martin create user experiences for print and screen. By night he creates interactive audio visual environments/installations that are reactive to sound, incorporating projection mapping.

Martin is currently completing the Design & Digital Arts degree at Napier University. Focusing on the ever developing relationship of design and digital technologies, Design & Digital Arts provides an opportunity to develop skills specifically for the creative industries – building environments both physical and digital, producing design visualisations, challenging preconceptions in developing interfaces and digital environments, creating digitally enhanced propositions for a variety of designed scenarios.



Monday 25th May



JL Williams’ first collection, Condition of Fire (Shearsman, 2011), was inspired by Ovid’s Metamorphoses and a journey to the Aeolian Islands. Her second collection, Locust and Marlin (Shearsman, 2014), explores the idea of home and where we come from, and was nominated for the 2014 Saltire Society Poetry Book of the Year Award.

She has been published in journals including Magma, Stand, Poetry Wales, Edinburgh Review and Fulcrum. Her poetry has been translated into Dutch, Spanish, Polish, French and Greek. She plays in the band Opul and is Programme Manager at the Scottish Poetry Library.



catherine street

Catherine Street’s work consists of layers of experience: she often incorporates her own body into an installation setting that has video, audio, drawn, sculptural, and written elements. The atmosphere is usually unnerving, tense, sensual, comical. Intense breathing sounds give the viewer the feeling of moving inside the lungs, the body’s cavities – whilst her writings often describe a desire to break apart the flesh and return it to its constituent elements.

Street focuses on her body because of its multitudinous natures; on the one hand simply matter subject to physical laws, and on the other a potentially limitless field of meanings: social, political, sexual, spiritual. She pays particular attention to themes of transformation and to the relationship between matter, thought, emotion and sensation.

Catherine Street is an artist based in Edinburgh. She has made work for performance festivals and exhibitions around the world including in Prague, Bergen, Berlin, Wellington and New York. She collaborates widely, maintaining long-standing collaborations with poet JL Williams and with composer and performance-maker Greg Sinclair. Her most recent project is a solo show at the Reid Gallery Glasgow School of Art – on until 30th April. She has contributed to a number of publications, most recently the Modern Edinburgh Film School anthology Queer Information.


Tuesday 26th May


jess ramm

Jessica Ramm gained her BA Hons from Duncan of Jordanstone in 2009 and her MFA Contemporary Practice from Edinburgh College of Art in 2014. Her research consists of a series of ongoing, sometimes haphazard experiments that examine contemporary civilisations ordering of nature through technology and science. Using her body to test the mobility and resistance of matter, she constructs performance videos and sculptural installations that manipulate the environment. Recent exhibitions include: Earth Rise, Tramway, Glasgow (2015); Remote Possibilities, Timespan, Helmsdale (2014); Convocation, Glasgow School of Art (2013); Leave the Capitol, The Fleming Collection, London (2013).


Wednesday 27th May


anne marie

Ann Marie is a contemporary designer jeweller & maker, teacher, lecturer, research fellow, founder & CEO of Anarkik3D Ltd, software developers of award winning haptic 3D modelling software, Anarkik 3D Design. (‘Best Consumer Software’ at the 3DPrintShow Global Awards in 2013 and finalists again in 2014).

Author of ‘Digital Crafts: Industrial Technologies for Applied Artists & Designer Makers’ and a Fellow of the RSA, Ann Marie is passionate about enabling non-CAD using designer markers, 3D artists, applied artists, creative amateurs, hobbyists, & young-uns to engage with 3D digital making using technologies such as 3D printing.

Ann Marie’s company, Anarkik3D, develops haptic (virtual 3D touch) enabled software. Haptics is an emerging technology that enables people to feel digital information.

As part of UK Innovate grant-funded collaborative research project, Ann Marie is currently working on defining the requirements for vivid learning experiences that link directly to the national curriculum, with a particular focus on ‘hard to teach’ topics.


Monthly @ The Mash House, Edinburgh

An experimental night of audiovisual collaboration emerging monthly @ The Mash House, Edinburgh…

PARADIGM: Crossing disciplines and subverting senses; Creating immersive environments through audiovisual collaboration; Redefining space.

Expect the unexpected.

Past Events:

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