Were was I?

It's been too long since I have posted anything here. My guilty conscience aches despite the low number of people who can even be bothered to read past the first page. I thought that I really should relieve my discomfort by giving a brief summary of some of the things I have been doing.

Motorcycle Lift part 2

I have been lazy in not updating this website for quite a while. I have been engaged in many othe (unfinished) projects.

Emgee (nom de plume, you may have heard of him already) helped me a great deal on this problem as he had provided all the engineering and much of the the thought to solving the issue of the fast dropping lift already documented.… More...

My Old Motorcycle Lift

  I've had this motorcycle lift for well over eight years and I haven't used it the last 2-3 years; it's been sitting in the garage ,covered in junk. More recently I have decided to drag it out and repair it. The reason I haven't used it is because it is quite dangerous.

It is dangerous because it drops like a stone.

Add This…

I stare through my laptop screen, unwilling – no determined not to focus.
My unshaved chin rests on my arthritic hand. My dry lips uninterested in the fresh coffee steaming under me.
I wait for the meds to kick in – it’s late now, 11:03 AM perhaps they are beginning to work – that is how I able to talk to you now.

Surveillance and Art

Essay written for MFA in June 2019 (James Tregaskis all rights reserved)

Surveillance has been with us throughout western history. The use of technology opens up opportunities for covert activities. Increasingly sophisticated methodologies are employed with each advance in technology.
In this paper I set out examples of surveillance, contrasting desirable and undesirable outcomes in its use. I present examples of recent and more sophisticated techniques of surveillance to raise the question – is surveillance out-of-control? Evidence suggests that the Internet has accelerated the advancement and aggregation of bad actors in the commercial arena to a toxic extent, a manifestation referred by commentators on surveillance as ‘surveillance capitalism’ . Could it be that the government-initiated high technology surveillance methods used on their populations are a good thing and perhaps necessary for the ultimate survival and benefit of mankind? The resultant asymmetry of power does not only lie in global corporations but is also held by governments. How has the evolution of surveillance and the questions it raised been dealt with by artists and how do they approach the subject?

A conversation on race

[old friend] …. sends me an email in response to my previous email containing a link to an obscure video ‘The Melting Pot’, written by Neil Shand and Spike Milligan in 1975 . It is very dated and poor quality, comprising the two main characters, played by Milligan and John Bird – both wearing brown makeup and speaking in typecast ‘stupid Indian’/’Peter Sellers-esque’ accents.

The pilot show never saw the light of day after its first broadcast, despite many episodes having been recorded. Perhaps the BBC thought it was well below Spike Milligan’s usually funny standards. Perhaps its racist humour finally propelled it into the dustbin of history… At the time, many TV shows were being broadcasted, reflecting in full sight, the public’s appetite for racist comedy accepted in the mainstream.

"...Milligan, for one, was undeterred - in 1975 he browned-up again for The Melting Pot (BBC), in which he and John Bird played a Pakistani father and son illegally arrived in Britain via Amsterdam and landed in a very racially-mixed London lodging-house, replete with a black Yorkshireman and a Chinese Cockney, among others. The BBC, fearing a public relations disaster, pulled the series after a single episode..."

Unwisely I sent it to the [old friend], he is a big fan of Spike Milligan.

So, in response to this, the [old friend] replies:

[old friend]

How about the fros [sic] in the audience in this? Come on…

(since posting this, YouTube has now removed this video.)


[I’m] Reading this at the moment…

[person_b] chose this excellent book for her book group. You might like to read it?

here is a taster…


Recap: MA Submission 2018

I graduated my MFA Computation Art at Goldsmiths University of London 2019. The graduation ceremony took place January 2020, before the Covid 19 lockdown.

This posting describes the end of year project 2018 for the MA as part of the two year MFA.

Forgiveness Machine



Open Rights Group July 2019

Orgcon 2019

Following my visit to IFSEC I spent the day at Orgcon 2019, organised by the Open Rights group. Meeting was held at the modest premises of the Friends Meeting House in Euston Road. Contrast this with the enormous IFSEC exhibition held in the Excel Centre in June. I’ve already written about IFSEC and recall how Tony Porter the information Commissioner ridiculed the efforts of the likes of Open Rights Group in the opening keynote session (during his question and answer session).

Peter Fonda RIP

With my usual bout of insomnia, I read the obituary of Peter Fonda who has died, aged 79. Fonda was made famous by the film Easy Rider. Just now, an old friend, Tony sends me a WhatsApp message this morning. Tony, like me, a keen motorcyclist and lifelong friend. Tony co-ran London’s largest motorcycle showroom in 70’s; we grew up together riding motorcycles. Tony writes: “another style icon of our youth Peter Fonda is dead; he is more responsible for you riding a motorbike than you think”.

Clearing my mind

It’s already seven days beyond my tutor’s deadline. I am recompiling for the umpteenth time dlib and opencv after multiple attempts. I have to clear my mind I am surrounded with detritus from the last 10 years in my workshop. I find bottles of tomato chutney from 2011 and noxious homebrew essences from previous production runs, dating back from five years ago. I collect together the various coloured alcoholic liquids of various colours to re-distil them and  bleach the distillation apparatus, running clean water through it.