Slides and a game of chance

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A while back, I made myself a game to play.
After chancing upon an slide projector in a charity shop, I started to collect old slides, asking for donations from friends, and buying any I came across in second hand shops, markets and online. I soon developed an addiction, spending hours in a darkened room, pressing click.
Around this time, a friend (thanks Ivan!) gave me a slide scanner and I accidentally discovered that you could put two slides in the tray at the same time, which gave a double image. After trying this a few times, I discovered some beautiful combinations. Many of the slides, which by themselves might be seen to be quite mundane – photographs of landscapes, family birthdays and holidays – developed a new life when combined randomly with another slide, and the two images together said something new. Sometimes this thing was funny, weird, or sad, often it was just an indefinable feeling of surprise and strangeness.
I developed a game and set myself some rules. I could pick six images from my (now huge) box of slides – no looking at them before I put them in the slide tray, or even seeing if they were the right way up. Often the combinations weren’t very interesting, or were too dark to be seen. – then I wouldn’t scan them, but just put them back into the box, and keep trying. But now and again, something magical happened, and a combined image would happen that made me stop breathing for a second. Then I would press ‘scan’.
I’ve been keeping and adding to these scanned images for months, not quite knowing what I wanted to do with them. This week, after getting a new batch of slides from The Shop, Nelson, a fantastic new creative shop space in Nelson, Lancashire – I started to play the game again.
Today, for some reason, feels like a good day to share these hybrid images – so here is a small selection. I’d love to know your thoughts.

WE ARE ALIVE AGAIN at Dark Matter Institute, Oastler Market, Bradford

A selection of images from a site responsive installation commissioned by Art in Unusual Spaces for Dark Matter Institute, a temporary gallery at Oastler Market in Bradford which took place on 15th May 2014.

Comprising of collections of archival family photographs, posters, makeshift dioramas, assemblages, collages, everyday objects, zines, found props and projections, this work evolved from an experimental period of making at the Fabric Arts Lab (Bradford) earlier this year exploring performative and collage processes in working with personal and family archival materials. Market users were invited to ‘tamper with the work according to their needs, to perform a story for that moment, or that day.’


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25 contributors wanted for zine project


Wanted: 25 people to contribute £5 each to help fund the printing of issue 1 of WE ARE ALIVE AGAIN, a new zine series.
My aim is to get 25 contributors by 3rd March to allow me to get the zine printed and ready to launch at Leeds Zine Fair on 16th March.

Each zine in the series will be a  32 page, hand made, full colour, limited edition run of 50 copies only. I aim to produce 3 issues this year.

In return for your support,  each person will receive a hand -editioned copy of the  zine, will be named and thanked within it,  and will be offered a contributor only opportunity to buy Issue 2 at £2.50, half the retail cost.

The print costs of the zine is £125. I will sell the remaining 25 copies of Issue 1 at £5 each,  which will pay for the print costs of Issue 2. Normally I photocopy my zines  in black and white but I would really like to have  this new series printed in good quality full colour.

WE ARE ALIVE AGAIN, the zine, is part of a wider ongoing art project which takes family photography as a starting point for artworks, conversations and collaborations. More about the project here and here

To see examples of previous zines I’ve made, visit my zine blog  here

How to contribute:

Send £5 to my Paypal address Please include your postal address, or email this to me. I will send you a confirmation email, giving you your edition number (1 – 25). I will then post you a  copy of the zine when it comes back from the printers in mid March.