Category Archives: art/bouldering research

down by the river

Down by the river. A large mouse crawls out of the undergrowth oblivious to my presence as I sit motionless. Over the summer spiders have colonised the cracks and holes in the rock, brambles and ferns hang over the lip of the boulder. Out of the half dozen or so moves that I tried I couldn’t do any of them. Is this a meditative practice or a huge waste of time…I expect I will never know.

Satre et poule


Today I decided I would introduce our chickens to some philosophy. I wasn’t really sure where to start, after all it’s a broad subject. Context is everything, so in the end I thought I would start with Satre, after all they are French chickens.  I’ve been thinking a little bit about context and wondering if ‘reading philosophy to chicken’ is performance art?

I tell Ambre I’m going to read some philosophy to the chickens, she says ‘can I come’, she’s six.

What Is Subjectivity, Jean Paul Satre. Verso 2016.

I began with this; The true problem is, in fact , that of knowing how, through an objective knowledge of the real, we who exist subjectively can transcend ourselves in order to have a relationship with reality.

The chickens seemed quite interested, I feel they must in a chicken kind of way, have a daily existential crisis. I look forward to reading to them again.


image by Graham Gaunt

Performing Mountains, Boulder Being, Leeds, March 2018

I was invited to take part in;  Performing Mountains, An international symposium on Mountain Culture at Leeds University in March.  Unfortunately I couldn’t attend so worked up a remote presentation. I  put something together quite quickly, I guess it’s not necessarily the most captivating video, but it does include a chunky section of text derived from my Doctoral thesis and recently extrapolated into a book called ‘boulder being’. It reminded me of a presentation I made at art college, after which I was met with a three minute silence, this at the time I thought was either a stunned audience reaction to the brilliance of the work, or a polite pause as the staff and fellow students thought of something nice to say. Good luck to anyone that tries to watch the full 17.38 mins.




Featured image by Graham Gaunt