Tate Times and The Number Nine

Through The Pinhole, Down The K Hole And Back Again…

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When I first started out with ETC, I reckoned it would take a good five years to fully convert the vehicle and a further ten or more to truly master the art of pinhole photography. We got off to a roaring start and our first creative work adventure was off to the Tate Modern of all places.

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At that time, I’d been progressing very well as a self-employed artist in education and was doing a lot of work with Creative Partnerships in Kent and other arts groups too. I’d wanted to go back towards my roots and hopefully inspire other young individuals to choose a creative route through life and not just settle for the local town status quo conform scenario.

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It was beyond belief when the Tate Modern offered me anything I wanted and so I proposed the design and manufacture of a Mini Flatpack Pinhole Eileen The Cameravan to teach and facilitate others in the beautiful world of pinhole photography during their Bank Holiday Long Weekend in May 2007. The results were spectacular and I got to meet so many amazing people too.

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We were parked up outside for three days with St. Paul’s Cathedral obscured within Eileen and with the very special help of my friends Lucy and Tim and many more also, we enthralled visitors to the van and the world turned upside down.


After the weekend, we drove along to the Tate Britain for some pinhole workshops and then drove back to the  Tate Modern again to spend the night in the Turbine Hall with 120 or so secondary school students all sleeping in tents that they had previously decorated. They were on a creative consultancy mission called ‘Artists Of The Future’ to help designing a massive extension of the Tate Modern

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All in all, it was pretty far out. I hadn’t tested the cameravans until the day I arrived and it was all one big experiment in process. There were a lot of opportunities I missed as there have been since also but perhaps they’ll come back round again.

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It had been a struggle to find a good lens to capture better images with and I ironically forgot to actually get it out in time for full effect and exposure over the weekend-sorry to those of you who turned up as you only saw the half of it but I hope we get the chance for a repeat event sometime in the future.  I’m always working in a somewhat frantic, last minute manner and alas some things get left out, lost and forgotten.

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Still, it was a grand trip, a dream come true and we then set of to a field with the Bimble Inn Crew at the Sunrise Festival down the A303 somewhere west.

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This is where the Number Nine comes into things. For some reason, at the end of that very hardcore season I was left with two remaining footprints in my mind, the word ‘Abuse’ and the ‘Number Nine’. My mind gives me particular backdrops to contemplate and consider until I come across a given meaning for it. They come in various forms of transmission but this one was plain and clear, ‘abuse9’.

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I didn’t much like thinking about the word Abuse and all of its many negative connotations and so I focused more on the Number Nine until one day I realised that whenever you multiply something by the Number Nine, the digits in the answer always add up to the Number Nine. Not long after, I manifested myself to The Spike Surplus Scheme to find that all of the padlocks were programmed to the Number Nine. This was because Donna is well versed in yoga and well-being, amongst other things and ‘everybody knows about the Number Nine.’

The Number K-Nine

As for Abuse, well I was clearly living and demonstrating it. There was a moment containing ketamine and a lot of phlegm and a point of perspective that drew me into purposedly pushing the point because I felt there was something there to teach me.

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Furthermore, I couldn’t be dealing with representing such abuses of power, namely the organisations that were at that point funding me like the Labour Party and the United Bank of Switzerland. I was invited back in 2008 but it coincided with the first big public declaration by UBS about large amounts of money having gone missing and my somewhat upfront and Fluxus proposal was not accepted.


“UBS goes back to 1854 when six private banks based in Basel pooled their resources to form a single Bankverein, which underwrote local and increasingly broader European businesses. Mergers with other banks led to the English-named Swiss Bank Corporation early in the 20th century. The three keys logo symbolised the bank’s aims of confidence, security and discretion. It embodied everything the cliché of Swiss banking was meant to be.

On the eastern side of Switzerland, another organisation was developing. Bank in Winterthur, formed in 1862, made a fortune lending to industry, and in particular speculating on cotton during the American Civil War. By the First World War, it had emerged as the Zurich-based Union Bank of Switzerland. During the Second World War, it traded in gold and other assets stolen by the Nazis, but this only came to light in the 1990s.

Union Bank of Switzerland and Swiss Bank Corporation merged in 1998, creating UBS – a powerhouse in Swiss banking, international investment banking and global wealth management.”

Quote taken from http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/swiss-heads-roll-the-demise-of-ubs-8262207.html


Which then draws my attention to this: http://rub.fm/   and http://www.ratical.org/ratville//CAH/warisaracket.html


It all got me thinking, seeing the world so close and personal and upside down too and by the end of 2008, I was an unprofessional postcard vendor spreading my arse in the name of peace.


One thought on “Tate Times and The Number Nine

  1. Captain Fozztastic

    What a cheeky way to raise awareness…. 😀
    ok that was Puntastic. My apologies.
    Having worked and lived in Basel for some time I can heartily concur. The sigils spread all over Switzerland tell an interesting story.

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