Tuesday, October 19, 2021


Theatre of War: Everywhere Cloud Oil on linen 92 x 112 cm 2021



My interview with Mick Cook from the Dead Prussian Podcast  is live. We discuss my work, research, creative practice and the future of war. I am thrilled to be given opportunities like this! 

The term 'Dead Prussian' refers to nineteenth century General Carl von Clausewitz, who wrote the famous tome On War. Regular readers will know that I reference Clausewitz in my Theatre of War series of paintings. Clausewitz uses the term 'theatre of war' variously and often in On War.

Theatre of War: Everywhere Cloud 
My new painting Theatre of War: Everywhere Cloud is number 12 or 13 in my series Theatre of War. Clausewitz has been a great inspiration! The title also refers to Derek Gregory's idea of the everywhere war ie: war has reached beyond geography into the cyber world and space. 

Gregory's concern for people on the ground, the victims of war, is obvious in his very detailed analyses of events, such as a 2010 US drone attack that killed 23 Afghan civilians. You can hear him describe and talk about his forensic analysis of the attack in his recorded keynote speech for the Aesthetics of Drone Warfare conference, University of Sheffield, February 2020. I spoke at, and attended, this conference too - just before the pandemic derailed the planet! Gregory's keynote was riveting and disturbing - a detailed analysis of US forces' misunderstanding of data, lack of experienced personnel and more.

Theatre of War: Everywhere Cloud is preceded by a number of other paintings that 'speak' to the idea of The Cloud, fake clouds, notions of interoperability, networking, interconnection and military joint force. Three of my most recent paintings are Paradox  and Theatre of War: The Cloud and Theatre of War: Infrared

Come Fly With Me!
As with my other two paintings, and indeed, most of my paintings, the viewer is invited to fly in imagination. Are you above, below, beside or inside the 'cloud'? I call this an act of imaginational metaveillance

Glimpses of technology are visible from behind cloud-like formations. They are painted red to indicate blood, danger, violence, fear, contagion. The red colour connects them visually across their multiple domains, from under the sea to space. Red and white circles, denoting the use of, and reliance upon, frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum draw everything into the war-play, the theatre of war - everywhere. With light-speed signal transmission within networked systems, I argue that Gregory's notion of the everywhere war needs now to be extended in to time and speed.

If you would like to know more about what I think of speed, time and contemporary war, please listen to my Dead Prussian Podcast - Mick asks all his guest the same last question - which is - Can you please finish this sentence "War is......" 


PS. Oh, and another podcast - this time my interview with Dr. Beryl Pong. lead researcher for the Aesthetics of Drone Warfare project, University of Sheffield. 

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