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Which do you want first?


The good news or the bad news?

Well, I suppose it’s hardly news any more, but then again, what’s new in a museum?
What I’m trying to say is that I had a very constructive meeting with the Collections Development Panel back in September 2009. It seems like ancient history now. At that meeting all contributions to this blog were thoroughly assessed. And based on this assessment a number of recommendations were made for the next steps. I’m quite excited about some of the initiatives that may come to fruition (and I do mean fruition). I will get round to following through on these initiatives with the museum, and writing about them here.

That’s the good news.

Unfortunately I was slightly thrown just as I was going in to that Collections Development Panel meeting because I found out that all video documentation of my hermitage had been unwittingly destroyed. It was an administrative error. Misplaced enthusiasm and unusual efficiency. But there you have it. Or don’t. A documentary archive erased. For a live artist it’s a big deal to lose all your video documentation. And in a museum, where so much of my negotiation over the past many months had been focussed on saving and cherishing, storing and restoring. The irony was not lost on me.

I was put off my stride a little but then the headlong rush of my life resumed and I was swept away. Many of you will be keen to hear what has happened, or will happen to the objects I presented on this blog. Be patient a little longer and their continuing stories will unfold. There is no simple story of destruction or preservation, but a complex of conversations and activities in which many people are participating.

In the meantime you may be curious as to what became of me. You may even miss me…

Well, to complete this bad news sandwich here is some more good news. You can watch me on a webcam again! Hurray!

During the Manchester Hermit project I wrote a lot about acquisitions, about our deep volitions, and about the nature of ownership. This thinking led me onto a new piece of work which deals even more directly with the process of giving. I would like to invite all of you to come and be involved in the new project. It is called ‘Present’.

I am living for a week with nothing but what you give me. You can find out more at

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