Alec SHEPLEY + Paul JONES One-hour dérive around a district of Huddersfield 4th World Congress of Psychogeography, 10th September 2017

Artistic Research, Documentation, Reflective Practice / Studio


The project statement:

Shepley and Jones will take as their starting point Michael Philipson’s provocation to uncover those spaces that culture has not reached and to take Philipson further, to excavate those spaces or gaps that culture has somehow forgotten or that progress has left behind[1]. Through the everyday practice wandering, Shepley will sweep-trace the ‘ley-lines’ left by architects and urban planners, and Jones will conduct data-collection experiments. They will be joined by fellow artist Paul Heppell and an invited group of members of the public.

Through tracing and sweeping they will contour urban features, cracks and gaps, delineations and boundaries, exploring differences in the infrastructure precipitated by utopian and dystopian templates, and in-so-doing expose something between art and life – even if only momentarily. Data sweep drawings are often by-products of this process and the artists would hope to produce some for the Congress as a record of their dérives.

They propose starting from a pre-determined location (tbc) 1pm, 9th September, with a group of up to 20 to join, and then proceed – drifting through a district of the city. The walk will last one hour (within a two-hour slot) allowing time for introductions, the walk, and then discussion.

[1] Phillipson, M. (1995) Managing ‘Tradition: The Plight of Aesthetic Practices and their Analysis in a Technoscientific Culture. In Jencks, C. (Ed.) 1995 Visual Culture 202-203. Routledge, London and New York.



Redefining the Artistic Canon: Aesthetic and Cultural Communication in a Global Age

Artistic Research

Just pulling the final elements together for the exhibition ‘Redefining the Artistic Canon: Aesthetic and Cultural Communication in a Global Age’ at the Jing Shi Gallery, Beijing.


The three drawing works in this exhibition are from my involvement in ‘New Models for Common Ground’ at the Indira Gandhi Centre for the Arts, Delhi February 2014. The film is a document of my various ‘sweep walks’ contouring the pavements and gutters, streets and back lots around Connaught Place in September 2014 as part of my project reimagining of cultural sites of Delhi, called ‘A Place of Possibility’. The drawings map my various drifts in and around the sites.

As an idea the work seems filled with painstaking futility – there is little evidence of actual cleaning – it appears to be purposefully purposeless. However, the sweeping is carried out with a diligence and attentiveness to the job that seems at odds with the apparent situation at hand. This activates a potential for meaning to be created by a viewer through a continuous process of purpose forming which is initiated and then refuted, and discarded (Hughes).

This is an ongoing project – a work in progress – which draws the viewer into direct encounter with the artist’s considerations about how to take art closer to the place of making and in so doing, disclose a poetic of space and encounter.