Pockets of [ ] is an interactive derive and assemblage project that comments on art as exchange; on randomly and collaboratively exploring, framing, experiencing, generating and transmitting a sense of interconnected, inhabited place and on the relationship between art, collection, value and vestige. The method is as follows:
- Whoever is approached is asked to participate by giving away to the collection a possession that is either carried on their personage or that is at hand, close by
- Participants then sign their name on the picture frame and write the next location and person, or ‘pocket’ for me to visit and extract an item from.
- Objects received from a participant are attached to the picture canvas so that their positioning on the canvas corresponds to the relative location at which they were obtained. For ease of reference there is a map at the back of the canvas.
In the fashion set out above, and with the continuous goodwill of participants, a sense of a place is randomly generated, framed and depicted from within itself. By using preconditions of randomness I try to reduce selective prejudices in my focus and experience of a place. I try and allow a place speak for, explore and connect to itself through its occupants. My role becomes that of a passive and privileged explorer, collector and curator. The object content of the picture is not controlled by me in any way as I am not able to select for what is provided to me. However, the positioning of the objects on a canvas is geographically determined so that the link between object and location is visually identifiable. It is only due to the practical constraints of transporting pieces of frame, that groupings of objects are limited to a framework of 25 “pockets.
”My experiences have been varied and interesting. I have been referred to listen to and approach the world’s foremost violin virtuoso: Maxim Vengerov. Alternatively, I have been directed to look for someone with a cold at Rhossilli beach and then a six foot blonde woman at an old man’s pub. I smile thinking about the time I spent sitting in Mac Donalds looking for someone with multi-coloured hair or the time I asked at a sports centre about Tufa, a husky dog I was directed to hug. I conceived  Pockets of [ ] in Bristol and constructed  Pockets of [Bristol] as my first collection. After moving to work in Swansea, I applied the concept to Swansea and Cardiff.
Recently, I relocated to Oxford and am now using the idea to explore Oxford. Oxford’s location allows me easy access to Reading, Swindon and London and I now have the goal to explore the remaining cities down the M4 corridor so that I have a collection of: Swansea -> Cardiff -> Bristol -> Swindon -> Reading -> London.
If every so often you want to follow how the journey progresses, google “25 Pockets of” and click on the links at the top of the search. The wordpress blog aspires to evolve into a proper website soon and apologizes for appearing a bit unfinished.
There is now also a Facebook page
There are also links to various other cities I have explored or am exploring. I will shortly be exploring Swindon and Reading while working my way down the M4 toward London. If ever you fantasized exploring Oxford, Swindon, Reading and London at random, do google “25 Pockets of” and check up on my progress from time to time.