Friday 30 December 2011

Bodmin Moor Zodiac: Capricorn, the Polyphant Sea-Goat

If one places an abstract composition - which is simply a fragmentary purification of the former object - in (or alongside) a figurative structure, this second composition digests the first one - transformed into a decorative motif - and then the whole work becomes figurative. However if one places a letterist notation on (or beside) a realist "form," it is the first one which assimilates the second to change the whole thing into a work of hypergraphics or super-writing."
Isidore Isou
The Force Fields of Letterist Painting

The sun is in this sign from 23rd December to 19th January. An earth sign.
Key words: aspiring, responsible, cold, prudent, self-contained, persevering, methodical, plodding, modest, exacting.
Light or planet: Saturn.
Body parts: skin, bones.

Capricorn is in an ocean-oriented part of the northern autumnal sky, along with Aquarius the water-carrier, the Whale, the Dolphin, the southern Fish and the two fish of the zodiac sign of Pisces. 2500 years ago the winter solstice occurred in the sign of Capricorn which was then a water sign. Records from around 600 BC describe the Sumerian vision of the world as a round plateau ringed with mountains which supported the domed sky. It floated on primordial water which broke through the earth’s surface as fresh water springs. The god Ea told the Uta-Napishtim to build an ark, in an earlier version of the biblical story of Noah. Ea emerged four times, at long intervals, in human form wearing a fish-tailed coat. Later Capricorn became an earth sign, associated with the Greek goat god Pan. Pan was feasting with other gods when suddenly the monster Typhon appeared. To escape it, the gods changed into beasts. Pan however panicked and jumped into a river before he had properly changed into a goat. So his lower extremities changed into a fish tail. This arrangement was so much to Zeus’ liking that he placed the Sea-Goat in the sky. There was a belief in the Middle Ages that everything on land had a counterpart in the sea; we find bishopfish, monkfish, dogfish, catfish, swanfish, the horsefish/ seahorse and the goatfish which also represents the time of Christmas, the winter solstice and the New Year. Alpha Capricorni, known as Giedi or Algiedi is an optical double. The stars are actually far apart from each other in space, but as they lie in nearly the same direction from earth they appear to be next to one another. The brighter Alpha 2 is 109 light years away, the fainter Alpha 1 is about 690 light years away. Both are double stars.
Celestial bodies are not where we see them, light beams are refracted by the many thin layers of the earth’s atmosphere. Temperature differences and movements of atmospheric layers cause fast and irregular changes in the direction of light beams. For the same reason scintillation, the twinkling of stars occurs. Time also doesn’t actually move in a straight line. It is cyclic. The modern linear concept of time strikingly resembles the traditional Judaeo-Christian concept, and it strikingly differs from that of the ancient Greeks and Indians. The cosmological ideas of several prominent Greek thinkers included a cyclic or episodic time similar to that found in the Vedic literature of India. For example, we find in Hesiod’s Works and Days a series of Ages (Gold, Silver, Bronze, Heroic, and Iron) similar to the Indian Yugas (Ages). In both systems the quality of human life becomes progressively worse with each passing age. In On Nature, Empedocles speaks of cosmic time cycles. In Plato’s dialogues, there are descriptions of revolving time and recurring catastrophes destroying or nearly destroying human civilisation. Aristotle is often quoted as saying that the arts and sciences had been discovered many times in the past. In the teachings of Plato, Pythagoras, and Empedocles on the transmigration of the soul, the cyclical pattern extends to individual psycho-physical existence. The great circle of the Bodmin Moor Zodiac becomes a succession of impressions that leave their traces across the subjectivity of the walker. To experience the Moor in such a way is to formulate, describe and articulate a renewed subjectivity; it is to once again lose one’s way to recreate and display oneself in the otherworldly environment. The problem here is that to lose one’s way seems to be to configure a subjectivity by aligning one’s path with those already inscribed upon the landscape by those who maintain, through the authority of their accumulated capital, the capacity to structure it. It is a matter of leaving a solid base in the present, to lose one’s way in order to find those potentialities already inherent in the Moor as it is currently perceived.

Friday 23 December 2011

Twelve Ritual Walks on Bodmin Moor

Expressed as Astronomical, Astrological and Global Positioning Satellite Data

Images from Google Earth
Soundtrack "Soul Zodiac" by Cannonball Adderley (1972)
Timestretched remix by Nigel Ayers (2006)

Sunday 27 November 2011

The British Art Show 7: In the Days of the Comet

Nigel Ayers casts a sceptical eye over The British Art Show (for

Up the marble staircase of the Plymouth City Museum and past all the natural history stuff and there’s bits of window frames on wheels that look like they’ve been salvaged from skips. It’s the British Art Show, but times are hard and the quality of found objects has dropped: so much for readymades, it’s cheaper to paint on canvas these days.

So we go into the gallery upstairs, and there are plain brown MDF oblong plinths, each with a pair of breezeblocks on them. On top are tights stuffed with kapok in a style typical of Sarah Lucas. And what I like is that they refer to the body in a very British way. We don’t have the same relationship with our bodies that they do in countries where people don’t giggle at nudists. These knotted tights, they are actually really good. Some critic mentioned an art-historical reference to Bellmer, but to me it’s more like Bill Brandt’s photos of arm-holes and folds of nude flesh that look like pebbles, and pebbles that look like tits and arses. Sarah Lucas rocks in the rock ‘n’ roll sense, not in the carved-in-stone sense.

Anyway, that stuff’s by the door. And you walk past it and there’s a load more old window frames that have been built up and made into a big tall kind of platform construction with some cushions on it. They remind me a bit of a 70's Habitat book I once had, where it was all platform beds, and bean bags and these little carpeted niches in the floor where you could do all your wife-swapping and drink Matteus Rose. In the handout it says its by Spartacus Chetwynd and that its influences include a load of things. Maybe I’ll look them up. Maybe I won’t bother...

There’s some paintings on the walls round the edges, but they don’t really register with me. There’s also some down the far end. They're a really dull colour of really boring scenes in Coventry: a football pitch beside council flats and graffitie’d walls. Places where nothing big and important ever happened, but where people live and kids grow up. I like these. The label says they're by George Shaw and they’re painted in Humbrol paint. Wow. I start doing mental calculations on how much all the little pots of paint must have cost. I’m thinking on hundreds and hundreds of those little pots you use for airfix kits in colours like British racing green and Pillarbox Red. Proper old fashioned colours you don’t get any more.

And on the right there’s a video playing and there’s some statue or something borrowed from another museum. And there’s a huge glass box with a life size mannequin in it and a stuffed lizard with two heads and a load of sand and tree branches. It's by Charles Avery and it looks a bit like props from Lord of the Rings.

At the Peninsula Arts Centre, Plymouth University across the road, the Brit Art art show continues. There are flimsy wooden trestle tables with magazine and newspaper cuttings under Perspex by Wolfgang Tilmans. The one image of all the dozens of images that sticks in my mind, like atrocities tend to, is one of two guys about to be publicly hanged in Iran for being gay. Makes you wonder what you can do about it. And there’s lots of other stuff about religious intolerance and the catholic church. And so this must be the research material Wolfgang Tillmanns has collected over the year. And what does he do with it? There’s a wall-sized digital print of green on green smears. Not my favourite colour. Not very well-mounted on the wall. I don’t get it. Is this abstract image a response to the horror? It’s sort of anti-humanistic, but wouldn’t exist without complex chemical processes and all that digital malarkey. And the way it hangs, you don’t really notice it.

And there’s a room that you can walk into through a curtain and it’s pitch black. It’s really black, not just subdued lighting. You bump into people but at least you can see the projection properly, for what it’s worth. There’s an old-school 16mm film loop running in a booth and some electronic sounds, and some images on a the screen but I can’t remember what they were. It could have been anything, whatever it was, I wasn’t taking notes at the time and I’ve forgotten.

Then over at the Art school, they’ve got this huge head made out of old canvas tents hanging on ropes and tarpaulin with lots of little sew-on souvenir travel badges on it. And it looks like Mickey Mouse, except it’s a teddy bear head. Brian Griffiths. I like it, but I’m childish. It brings out the infantile in me. And it reminds me of going camping when I was a kid, when tents were tents, proper solid, heavy, canvas things, not the farty non-degradable things Milletts sell for festivals.

Onwards I trek, to the worst-named art space in the west of England, The Slaughterhouse. It’s a 40 minute walk out of the city centre, out past the Brittany Ferry port, past the army base with the marine on the gate holding a bloody big gun, to Prince William’s yard. They’ve got some installations set up that are all a bit boring. Matthew Darbyshire’s one’s like a gift shop anywhere. Down at the far end there’s one of Marclay’s turntables, with a transistor radio on it and a DVD player instant retro.

Then there this other really dark room, which, when your eyes eventually adjust you realise is a proper little cinema, with proper seating. They’re showing Christian Marclay’s "The Clock". So I stand and watch, while my eyes adjust. I don’t really like watching videos in galleries, but this one really starts to draw you in. It’s lots of short bits of film, clipped from films dating back maybe 80 years and more recent ones like The Big Lebowski and every so often there’s a close up of a clock or a watch. And after a few minutes I notice that all the clocks are at ten to four, so I’m wondering how many films are there where the clock is a ten to four. Is this some stock footage that got used over and over?

Then I look at my watch and my watch says ten to four. Then the clocks and watches in the film move to five to four, then it dawns on me it’s been edited to synch to real time and it’s 24 hours long. So I take a seat and watch for half an hour, even though I’m short of time and need to head back soon. I could have watched it for hours and hours. I might go back and do just that. The guy has done something new and relevant using materials that are around us all the time. But he’s used them in a new way. You couldn’t really do this kind of thing without digital editing, and there being an incredible number of films easily available everywhere. Anyway you get these bits of drama and rising tension, and suspense around revolving around this clock motif. It’s profound.

There’s another dark room and there’s a more narrative kind of film running, with actors in a pub, some sort of mildly surreal things going on. In the corner there’s an animatronic rubber head with rolling eyes constantly spewing out white liquid that’s pumped round and round. It's by Nathaniel Mellors and I like that too.

And that’s about it.

When I look at art like this, which has great deal of art historical precedents, I find myself thinking things like: who is this art for? Rich people? Academics? Why do the Hayward Gallery curators consider it important and British and relevant? Aren’t a lot of these artists just up their own arses in a big farty art bubble? They call it The British Art Show, but at least one of the best artists in it isn’t British and doesn’t live in Britain. And it’s nothing much at all to do with any comet, unless “Comet” means the electrical shop. A high percentage of the pieces in this show are, art historically self-referential hyper-specialized, dry, academic and incredibly pretentious. The references to other existing art is stifling. The painting styles are labored and dullsville.

The downside of this kind of art is you come away from it feeling very baffled and switched off. There isn’t a way into it without specialised knowledge. On the plus side, they’ve got this great thing going where the projections are in very, very dark rooms, without any of that health and safety nonsense. And you could while away a rainy day watching that Marclay film. And it’s free.

The British Art Show Plymouth 17 September – 4 December

Bodmin Moor Zodiac: Sagittarius, the archer of Coad's Green

The sun is in this sign from 23rd November to 22nd December. A fire sign.

Key words: travel, philosophy, religion, tolerance, walking, space, freedom, aspiration, idealist, moralist, optimist, justice, exaggeration.
Light or planet: Jupiter.
Body parts: liver, hips, thighs.

The mid December solstice marks the beginning of winter in the northern hemisphere and summer in the southern hemisphere. While the beginning of summer marks the longest day of the year, the winter solstice brings the shortest day of work and the longest night of sex magick of the year.

The Archer’s stars can be seen in the brightest part of the Milky Way in the direction of the centre of the galaxy. The constellation offers a richer display of star fields, cluster and nebulas than any other constellation. The diffuse nebula M8, the Lagoon Nebula, M20, the Trifid Nebula and M17 the Omega or Horseshoe all lie within this constellation. Sagittarius (the Archer), is drawn in the form of a centaur. The half-human and half-animal composition of the centaur has led many writers to treat them as liminal beings, caught between the two natures, embodied in contrasted myths, and as the embodiment of untamed nature. The most common theory holds that the idea of centaurs came from the first reaction of a non-riding culture, as in the Minoan Aegian world, to nomads who were mounted on horses.

In the middle of Sagittarius’ horse body on the B3254 a signboard points to the Racehorse Inn in North Hill, a free house offering local homemade quality food and local real ales. The point of the centaur’s arrow lies on Example Cross, the hand holding the longbow is on Longdon’s Cross, The centaur’s tail lies on Coad’s Green and its feet lie on Berrowbridge.

While on older star maps Sagittarius is represented as a centaur, on modern maps of the southern hemisphere it is usually represented by a drawing of the Teapot. Steam appears to rise from the spout, thanks to a star cloud.

Sunday 20 November 2011

Compost: Live at Tate St Ives

Field Club & Friends - late at the Tate St Ives
Friday 25 November: FREE ADMISSION

Multimedia artist Nigel Ayers, will perform a live psycho-acoustic set to accompany his new work 'Compost' – a forty minute digital animation that visually isolates biotic elements of a compost heap and subjects them to crypto-zoological distortion.

Friday 11 November 2011

Nocturnal Emissions live dates in Germany

Saturday 12 November

Nocturnal Emissions (UK)
Shiny Toys-Festival für audiovisuelle Experimente
Samstag, 12. November 2011 / 19:00 Uhr
Bollwerk 107
Homberger Strasse 107, 47441 Moers

Sunday 13 November
Nocturnal Emissions (UK)
Broken sound 10
w/ Mohammad / Konrad Kraft (GR / D)
Sonntag, 13. November 2011 / 20:30 Uhr
Eintritt: 12,00 EURO

Wednesday 16 November
Nocturnal Emissions (UK)
Mittwoch, 16. November 2011 / 20:00 Uhr
Eintritt: 5,00 EURO
Institut für neue Medien (INM)
Schmickstraße 18, 60314 Frankfurt
Thursday 17 November
Nocturnal Emissions (UK)
w/ Emerge / Sustained Development (D / D)
Donnerstag, 17. November 2011
Ganze Bäckerei
Reitmayrgäßchen 4, 86152 Augsburg

Friday 18 November
Nocturnal Emissions (UK)
Geräuschwelten #62
w/ 1000schoen / Moloch (D / D)
Freitag, 18. November 2011 / 20:00
Eintritt: 10,- EURO
Black Box
Achtermannstr. 12, 48143 Münster


Tuesday 25 October 2011

Scorpio, the scorpion of Pensilva

If the slope of a hill comes between the eye and the horizon, sloping towards the eye, while the eye is opposite the middle of the height of this slope, then that hill will increase in darkness throughout its length. This is proved by the 7th of this which says that a tree looks darkest when it is seen from below; the proposition is verified, since this hill will, on its upper half show all its trees as much from the side which is lighted by the light of the sky, as from that which is in shade from the darkness of the earth; whence it must result that these trees are of a medium darkness. And from this [middle] spot towards the base of the hill, these trees will be lighter by degrees by the converse of the 7th and by the said 7th: For trees so placed, the nearer they are to the summit of the hill the darker they necessarily become. But this darkness is not in proportion to the distance, by the 8th of this which says: That object shows darkest which is [seen] in the clearest atmosphere; and by the 10th: That shows darkest which stands out against a lighter background.
Leonardo da Vinci
Of Painting in a Landscape

The sun is in this sign from 24th October to 22nd November. A water sign.
Key words: creation, birth, death, sex, regeneration, passion, research, secretiveness.
Light or planet: Pluto.
Body parts: sexual organs.

Scorpio is one of the few constellations whose shape corresponds to its name. Scorpio is the scorpion which killed Orion the hunter at the command of Artemis, the goddess of hunting and the moon. The Scorpion was also thought to have stung the horses of the sun god’s chariot when Phaeton drove them, causing them to bolt and career through the heavens, drying up rivers and scorching the earth below. In around 5000 BC, this scorpion was sacred to the god of war and was a symbol of the darkness and decay of the waning year. A scorpion-man who guarded the gates of the sunrise challenged the hero Gilgamesh. For alchemists, November, the season of Scorpio was the busiest time of year. This was when spirit could be released and base metal could be transmuted into gold. The pincers of the original Scorpio reached as far as the present-day scales of Libra. The present Scorpio lies between Libra and the centaur Sagittarius. Alpha Scorpii is known as Antares meaning “against Mars” because its red colour rivals Mars. It is a red super giant of the spectral class M1 which changes its brightness irregularly from 0.9 to 1.1 Magnitude. Its diameter is about 950 million kilometres but its mass is only 15-25 suns, as a result the density of the giant is extremely low. In the open star cluster M7-NGC 6475 of total brightness 3.3 Magnitude, it is possible to see 50 to 80 stars, the brightest of which are of 7.0 Magnitude. It is about 800 light years away from us. North of the Scorpion’s tail lies the Butterfly star cluster, appearing to the naked eye as a fuzzy patch half the diameter of the full moon.

Friday 14 October 2011


12.11. 2011
Shiny Toys Festival


13.11.2011, 20.00h, tickets 10 eur presale, 12 eur on the door
aufabwegen presents:
Broken Sound #10


Studio 672/Stadtgarten
Venloer Str.
50672 Cologne


18.11.2011, 20.00h tickets: 10 eur
auabwegen presents:
geraeuschwelten #61

1000SCHOEN (D)


Achtermannstr. 12
48143 Münster

Friday 23 September 2011

Libra, The Scales of St Cleer

The scales are an analogue device that measures continuous information in an infinite number of possible values. The only limitation on resolution is the accuracy of the measuring device. By contrast, a digital system is one that uses discrete values, representing numbers or non-numeric symbols such as letters or icons, for input, processing, transmission, storage, or display.

The scales lie around Rosecraddock and close to the Wheal Tor Inn, the highest inn in Cornwall. The handle of the scales is formed by the road that runs from St Cleer through Tremar Coombe past Polwrath to Darite. From the church at Darite, through Crow's Nest to Higher Trethake runs the cord that suspends the northern scale which is formed by a system of fields on Fore Down. Below the northern Scale lies Newton Farm, this reminds us of Newton's discovery of gravity as the force that works the scales. The process of weighing is suggested by hamlet immediately below the scale, known as Wayland. The cord which suspends the southern scale is formed by the road that runs from St Cleer Post Office across St Cleer Downs, past the water works. The southern scale itself is formed by a complex of fields enclosing Trenabe and Treneath.

St Cleer is one of the larger Cornish parishes and has been inhabited for more than 6000 years. The village has two public houses, a post office and a general store. For thousands of years metal ores have been dug from the ground in this parish, first tin ores from open works and later copper ore from deep mines. In the nineteenth century 3000 men, women and children were employed in mining, a boom that led to the building of new villages like Darite and Minions. St Cleer Well, sanctified by St. Clarus, was said to cure insanity and blindness when a patient was ducked in the water.

Tuesday 30 August 2011

Virgo, the Virgin of Dobwalls

The sun is in this sign from 24th August to 23rd September. An earth sign.
Key words: work, diet, natural, harvest, corn, animals, health, teaching, precision, analysis, handiwork, details, criticism.
Light or planet: Mercury.
Body parts: nervous system, intestines.
In mythology Virgo, the Virgin, is associated with the goddesses of justice or crops. Justice is symbolised by the adjacent scales of Libra, the crops are represented by the corn ears that Virgo holds in the area of the bright star with the Latin name Spica which means corn ear. Spica is known as Alpha Virginis, of 0.9 Magnitude, with variations of about 0.05 Magnitude and 1,600 suns in luminosity. Gamma Virginis, or Porrima of 2.9 Magnitude is a binary of a 171 year period. The components are closing in at present. Porrima was a Roman goddess of prophecy. The large cluster of galaxies in Virgo extends far beyond the boundaries of the adjacent Berenice’s Hair (Coma Berenices). The origins of the cult of the great goddesses, who was both virgin and mother, are prehistoric, but for recorded history she has been associated with Virgo, through which the sun passes around harvest-time. She is known as the ancient Babylonian goddess Ishtar, Queen of the Stars, lover of the corn god Tammuz. She mourns his death every autumn when he is cut down in his prime. During the winter, she journeys to the Underworld to bring him back after which he appears as new, green corn every spring.
Stories of the Roman Venus and Adonis and of the Egyptian Isis and Osiris, and the Asiatic Cybele and Attis are all variations on this theme. As Virgo follows Leo on the zodiac cycle, the chariot of Cybele is drawn by lions. Virgo is also Demeter, the goddess of the corn as well as her daughter Persephone who spends the winter in the Underworld and returns to earth each spring. Virgo is also Urania, the muse of astronomy, placed in the sky by Apollo, the god of music and prophecy. Virgo was known as Astraea, the goddess of justice and of the laws of nature, the last of the immortals to leave after the Gold, Silver and Bronze Ages gave way to the modern Age of Iron. Her promised return, and the imminent birth of a child who would restore the Golden Age, made it easy for the Christians to see Virgo as the Virgin Mary.

Monday 22 August 2011

Imaginary Time

Tuesday 9 August 2011

Friction and Dirt

Recorded in 1995.

Saturday 30 July 2011


Released in 1996.

Sunday 24 July 2011

Futurist Antiquarianism

First released in 2000.

Leo, the Lion of Goonzion

Leo (The Lion)

Many sightings of the Beast of Bodmin Moor say that it is lion-like, this could be a thought form emanation from the Leo Zodiac outline, which in turn may indicate the boundaries of a Mesolithic (and later Celtic) tribal area.

Leo’s body lies over Goonzion Downs, he is the Lion of Goonzion. Leo also stands on the village of Ley, it could be said that he is a “Ley lion”. Another place name that makes up his outline is Luna. Luna is the Latin name of the Earth's Moon as well as the Roman moon goddess Luna. Leo also stands over the 1412 Pant(h)ers Bridge.

The 'Roaring Shaft' in the complex of mines on Goonzion Down has been said to make a roar like 'a battery of stamps falling regularly with thuds and reverberated through the ground'. These noises may have been natural in origin, but they served to feed the dark images of monstrous beasts and spirits in the minds of those who worked to mine copper, silver and gold.

The sun is in this sign from 24th July to 23rd August. A fire sign.
Key words: kingship, fatherhood, jewels, gold, regal, warmth, fire, sunshine, drama, happiness, command, courage, size, creation, breadth.
Light or planet: the sun.
Body parts: heart, back.

In common with our predecessors Katherine Maltwood (Glastonbury Zodiac), Mary Caine (Glastonbury & Kingston Zodiacs) and Sheila Jeffries (Lizard Zodiac), we begin our exploration with the sign of Leo. The constellation of Leo has been known for more than 5000 years. It was identified in Mesopotamia, when the sun stood in Leo at the time of the summer solstice, its symbol expressing the power of the sun god. Leo is one of the few constellations whose shape clearly corresponds with its name. Alpha Leonis is known as Regula, of 1.4 Magnitude, one of the stars of the Spring Triangle. It is about twice as big as the sun, with 120 times the sun’s luminosity. It is a blue-white star of spectral class B7 with surface temperature of 14,000 K and lies about 78 lights years away from us. Gamma Leonis known as Algieba is one of the most beautiful binary stars. Its components of 2.4 and 3.6 Magnitude are both golden yellow and orbit each other about every 600 years. Their distance is 126 years away from us. R Leonis, a red giant is among the long-period variable stars of the Mira Ceti type. It changes its brightness between 4.4 and 11.3 Magnitude in a course of 310 days. Leo contains many bright galaxies.

According to Greek mythology the first labour of the solar hero Hercules was to kill the Nemian Lion. His enemy, Hera, queen of the heavens, sent it from the moon. A lion is the symbol of St Mark. According to the Bestiary, lions sleep with their eyes open. Lions when hunted would cover their tracks to avoid pursuit. Lions are born dead. Human beings do not enrage a lion so long as they do not harm him. A lion is afraid of a white cock. A lion spares prisoners and those lying on the ground and will eat an ape when ill. Leo is a Lion of Goonzion, whose body lies over Goonzion Downs. Ras Elased Borealis and Ras Elased Australis lie in the parish of Warleggan. The star Zosma lies near the holy well in St Neot.

On 21st July 2006, at 14.36 travelling from Fletchers Bridge towards the sign of Leo, we glimpse a fairy in the bushes on the right hand side of the lane. We stop to investigate further. The fairy wears a lace tutu and pearly earrings and is approximately two feet tall. She has red lips and blue almond shaped eyes. She is smiling and has her arms raised in what would be a ten-past-nine position on a clock face. Her left leg is outstretched and her right leg is bent so that the left foot touches the back of the knee of the right leg. The fairy appears to be made from scrap materials such as old nylon tights and pieces of fabric cut from old curtain material. She is filled like a soft toy and suspended from the bushes by further scraps of material hidden behind her. We continue in a winding, roughly southeast direction, passing Tredale Farm, Pinsla Garden and Nursery, through Pinsla Downs past Gwel An-Nans Farm. At 14.43 we see a wooden signpost, mounted with wrought iron supports on a stone base. The top wooden part of the sign points in four directions, CARDINHAM, WARLEGGAN, and BODMIN are visible, the words on the fourth arm of this sign are slightly obscured but we can make out …DENWELL & CABILLA MANOR. The woodwork of the sign post is painted white, the lettering in black. Rather than having pointed ends, the ends of the signposts are cut with rounded ends, forming semicircular domes rather than points. There is fifth lower post, also cut in this manner, which is set into the wrought iron below the main cross section of the sign post. This post reads: MOUNT and the word is followed by a small painted arrow. We continue down the road through the small village of Mount. In a gap between two dry stone walls at the right hand side of the road, nine stone steps lead up to a small iron gate. Two signs are fixed to the gate. One reads:
in red lettering. The other larger sign reads
A circular filter bed lies in the enclosed space behind the gate. We pass Bofindle Farm on our left and then South Bofindle Farm on our right. We pause at Panters Bridge. On a stone to the right of the bridge there is a green metal sign with a white rounded edge. Some of the white lettering on this sign is missing. It reads:
IR A 1415
Grass, stinging nettles and other foliage surround the sign. A rectangular Highways Department sign is fixed to a stone beside the bridge. The sign is painted in white and grey sections. The section with the white background takes up the top one third of the sign and the section with the grey background takes up the bottom two thirds of the sign. In the top section written in black letters are the words WEAK BRIDGE, in the bottom section a smaller white area is enclosed by a red circle. Within the circle are the black letters
We continue onwards to the village of St Neot. Two old millstones lean against the wall of a building in the street, they are of equal size. There is a quantity of lichen on the millstone on the left. The bottom edges of these stones are flat, so they rest neatly upon the tarmac without rolling away. To the right of the millstones is a white plastic drain spout, draining rainwater from the roof of the property into a gutter beside the millstones. Behind a public bench constructed from concrete sides and wooden seat supports we see a group of three sculpted figures. There are two pieces mounted upon a stone wall and both approximately two feet in height. They are made from scrap materials in a similar style to the fairy we saw near Fletchers Bridge. These figures sit on the wall and are clothed in coloured fabric. They both have heads made from papier-mâché onto which stylised details have been a painted using a palette of primary colours, with shades of brown to represent skin tone. The left sitting figure wears a blue knitted hat striped in shades of blue and purple. Yellow cord-like fabric extrudes from this hat to suggest two pigtails. The left pigtail stands straight upright, while the right pigtail forms a semicircle. This pigtail is attached to the branch of a bush growing above it. The figure wears a pink jumper with a light blue and green patchwork design sewn to its front. It wears white trousers; a green and black scarf is knotted around its neck. Straw extrudes from the wrists and ankles of this figure. The straw is tied at the wrists with orange baler twine. The wide blue eyes of this figure stare straight ahead. The seated figure on the right has been fitted with a wig made from black wool. Its head faces over its left shoulder and its eyes are closed. It wears a dark woollen hat. Navy blue material covers its arms and legs, with two white stripes on each of its arms. Brown fabric covers the body of this figure. A necktie decorated with parallel red, white and black diagonal stripes is tied around its neck. It wears candy-striped leggings, from the ankles of which pieces of straw extrude. Straw also extrudes from the wrists of this figure. Between the legs of this figure, there is a yellow object of a similar size and shape to a lemon. It stands on one of its narrow ends. There is a face painted on this lemon-shaped object. A third figure stands to the left of the two seated figures, by the side of a stone water culvert. This figure is wearing a hooded cape made of brown fabric, over dark coloured undergarments. It has a leather belt buckled around its waist. It is wearing the black headphones of a walkman or personal hi-fi around its neck. Straw, tied with orange baler twine, also extrudes from this figure’s wrists and ankles. This figure has a papier-mâché head and its eyebrows are raised as it looks up at us. Its right arm is holding a freshly cut green stick, which has some leaf buds attached. A fishing line is fastened to the end of the stick and hangs down into the culvert. Three plastic fishes are attached to this line; they have red heads and white bodies. Ferns and mosses grow in the culvert. At 15.12 we notice an arrangement of stones set into the wall on the opposite side of the road. A large, irregular shaped stone is set in a niche formed into the wall, enclosed within an arch consisting of three dressed stones. Above it is a small rectangular carved stone. There are three notches or grooves cut into the rear of the irregular stone.
A sign written in Gothic script marks ST NEOT VILLAGE STORE AND POST OFFICE. There is a red post box marked GR set into the storefront. The window contains a display of craft pottery and sunflowers. The shop front is painted white with a black edge skirting at ground level. A hanging basket with red poppies and other blue flowers hangs beside a red Post Office sign. There is a house nearby with a slate nameplate reading SERENA HOUSE. Across the road many colourful floral baskets hang from the front of the London Inn. The London Inn is the only public house that lies within the sign of Leo, on its front doorway is a brass lion’s head cast in brass. Outside at the front of the inn is low walled enclosure fitted with a wooden bench and two bench seats. The enclosure is paved with irregular shaped pieces of slate. There is a blue ashtray in the centre of the bench. Beside the Inn there is a churchyard which we now enter. A stone carving of a crucifixion stands on a lichen-covered stone memorial. Two rusted iron balls rest on the base of this construction, each ball has a one-inch diameter hole drilled into its centre. A slate set into the side of the church has a skull carved at the top of it. Carved into the slate is a Latin text:
Omne Participes
Nemo praecellit nili que sequendus,
Serior patres ego sum secutas
Me secuturus meditetur unus
Qilque seqentum
Inside the church porch there is a notice board, fixed to this is a plastic-laminated sign headed GRYLLS SUNDIAL. There is a diagram of the sundial and more explanatory text. Pinned to the church door is a smaller sign, also laminated in plastic, it reads:
We wonder what this ecclesiastical authority wants to hide as we enter the church. We become aware of a plenitude of leonine imagery within. In a stained glass window, a saint holds a small winged and haloed lion. In another window a round-eared lion is shown on the deck of Noah’s Ark. In two other stained glass panels showing the life of St Neot, a golden lion’s face features on the side of fountains, spewing forth milky water. In another stained glass, Jesus and his disciples sit around a round table, of the sort more often favoured by King Arthur. At 15.36 we notice a sundial attached to the outside of the church. It is dated 1682. According to this sundial the time is now 2pm.

see also

Collateral Salvage

Recorded in 2002

Friday 15 July 2011


First released in 1994

Thursday 14 July 2011

Invocation of the Beast Gods

Sunday 10 July 2011

Sunspot Activity

First released in 1997.

Friday 24 June 2011

Bodmin Moor Zodiac: Cancer the Cabilla Crab

The sun is in this sign from 23 rd June to 23 rd July. A water sign.
Key words: memory, home, antiquity, food, motherhood, tides.
Light or planet: the moon.
Body parts: breasts, stomach.

Cancer is the least visible sign of the zodiac. In Greek mythology, the goddess Hecate sent the crab to kill Heracles. Hecate’s equivalent, known as Trivia in Roman mythology, was the goddess of witchcraft, the three-way crossroads, and the harvest moon. She was an underworld Titan-goddess who assisted Jove in the Titanomachy and was therefore able to keep her powers. She was a friend of Ceres and helped her find Ceres’ daughter Prosepina. As a part of her role as an underworld goddess, she was known as the Queen of Ghosts. Images of Hecate, as a liminal goddess were placed at borders as a ward against danger. The liminal state is characterised by ambiguity, openness, and indeterminacy. One’s sense of identity dissolves to some extent, bringing about disorientation. Liminality is a period of transition, during which normal limits to thought, self-understanding, and behaviour are relaxed, opening the way to something new. People, places, or things may not complete a transition, or a transition between two states may not be fully possible. Those who remain in a state between two other states may become permanently liminal. It became common to place statues of the Hecate at the gates of cities, and eventually domestic doorways. Over time, the association of keeping out evil spirits led to the belief that, if offended, Hecate would also let in evil spirits. Thus invocations to Hecate arose as the governess of the borders between the normal world and the spirit world. The hero Heracles stepped on the crab and killed it, but the goddess rewarded the boldness and devotion of the crab by placing it among the constellations. Two or three millennia ago the sun stood in Cancer on the summer solstice, after which it returned south. Cancer is an example of star motion in both directions. Alpha Cancri known as Acubens of 4.3 Magnitude is a double star, the smaller star is 1,000 times fainter than the larger star and is of 11.8 Magnitude. They are about 174 light years away. The triple star Zeta Canceri is about 83 light years away from us. Its components A and B revolve over a period of 60 years, component C revolves around them in about 1200 years. Cancer also contains the stars Asellus Borealis and Asellus Australis which represent two donkeys, the northern and the southern.

In Spanish cabilla means treenail. A treenail (pronounced “trunnel” rhyming with “tunnel”) is a cylindrical pin of oak, or other hardwood, used to secure the planks of a wooden ship to the ribs. They were used instead of metal nails or bolts because they did not rust or loosen or because metal was not available. Also in Spanish, the word cabilla describes the masculine sexual organ. In Hebrew Cabbala, means reception, Standard Hebrew Qabbala, Tiberian Hebrew Qabbālāh; (also written variously as Cabala, Cabalah, Kabala, Kabalah, Kabbala, Kabbalah, Qabala, Qabalah) is an interpretation, exegesis, or hermeneutic key of the Torah, or the religious mystical system of. The Cabilla crab is decapod having eyes on short stalks and a broad flattened carapace with a small abdomen folded under the thorax and pincers, simultaneously it represents a crab apple on the Tree of Life. The Tree of Life is an important notion within the Kabbalah of Judaism. It was later adopted by some Christians, Hermeticists, and even some pagans and is also found in evolutionary theory. A page from Charles Darwin’s notebooks around July 1837 shows the first-known sketch by Charles Darwin of an evolutionary Tree of Life. The origin of the symbol or glyph of Cancer has been given diverse interpretations. Some sources describe it as a representation of the breasts, an area of the anatomy ruled by Cancer and which is also indicative of the inherent nurturing nature of this Sign. Other sources liken the glyph to a pair of crab claws, intertwined in such a manner as to represent the dual nature of the Cancer individual. In this latter interpretation, it is similar to the Asian symbol of the Yin and the Yang. In Vedic Astrology, this glyph signifies the Womb of Time, in which all manifestation takes place and is symbolic of the caring qualities associated with motherhood, as well as spiritual creativity.

In Egypt, Cancer was represented by two turtles known as the Stars of the Water and occasionally as an obscure aquatic creature known as Allul. Perhaps more than any other zodiac sign, Cancer is symbolic of the passive, receptive but profoundly powerful and encompassing female force in nature, the all-nourishing or all-devouring mother. Judaism is a monotheistic religion, strongly connected to a patriarchal God, Yahweh. However, a goddess was associated with Judaism from its conception, and has continued to play an important part, in various forms, to the present. The goddess is best known as Shekhina, a Talmudic term describing the manifestation of God’s presence on earth. While the name Shekhina has been erased from the Bible, she is nevertheless bound to extremely old traditions, and closely relates to ancient goddesses. Particularly significant is the Canaanite goddess Ashera or Ash Ra who, at the beginning of the Israelites’ settlement in the land of Canaan, was often referred to as Yahweh’s consort. In Kabbalistic astrology Cancer is known as Tammuz named after the Babylonian corn god. It is one of the three negative months of the year: Tevet, Tammuz and Av. In Tammuz the walls around Jerusalem were penetrated. The Kabbalah teaches that the course of history transpires from the cyclical energy processes of the year rather than because of physical events. Therefore, by looking at the time at which each moment in history occurs, we can better understand why it happened. Each planet controls two signs, except for the sun, which controls only Leo (Av) and the moon, which controls only Cancer (Tammuz). Because the sun and the moon control one sign each, an unbalanced situation is created in each of these months. This imbalance causes the crab, the symbol for the month of Tammuz, to walk sideways rather than forward and backward. This could explain the many deviations that have occurred during our ritual walks in the sign of the crab.

Cancer is the only astrological sign named after a disease. Nearly all cancers are caused by abnormalities in the genetic material of the transformed cells. These abnormalities may be due to the effects of carcinogens, such as tobacco smoke, chemicals, infectious agents, or radiation. Many modern astrologers consider it significant that the first atomic bomb was detonated when Saturn reached the longitude of 20 degrees Cancer. Cancer-promoting genetic abnormalities may also be randomly acquired through errors in DNA replication, or are inherited, and thus present in all cells from birth. Complex interactions between carcinogens and the host genome may explain why only some develop cancer after exposure to a known carcinogen. New aspects of the genetics of cancer pathogenesis, such as DNA methylation, and micro-RNAs are increasingly being recognised as important. Under the tropical zodiac, Cancer is occupied by the sun from June 21 st to July 22 nd and under the sidereal zodiac, it is currently from July 21 st to August 9 th. The sign opposite to Cancer is Capricorn.

Piecing a ritual walk together from the remnants of the Cabilla crab, through gorse bushes and stone tracks, is like retrieving a false memory, the visual evidence for truths we prefer to forget. The crab defines the limits of the imagination of Mesolithic Cornwall, to try and get a sense of the original shape by tapping its ruins, following our designated route, is futile. We are contradicted, misinformed, fenced out for every inch of the journey. But the perversity of that desire, to pick up on the energy field, is a strong as ever.

Thursday 23 June 2011

Earthworm (Lumbricus terrestris)