A/Folder at assessment

Over the summer I edited the a/folder padlet and researched how this can exist beyond my student status.

I added the various other forms of communication by which material returned to me, group and organised the different strands.

This is its current state (previous posts are here and here; I reflect on its status as interactive web platform (and not a screenshot documentation in a PDF here):

Made with Padlet

Crucially, I include the padlet for the three events which each in turn engaged with a different a/folder.

I also include on the far right and bottom the various processes of myself exploring #8 Go to the meadow, inviting others to join me and over a series of months going to the meadows that have featured in my own work over the years. This is in fact the first time that I, myself, test the a/folders in depth to explore where their methodology leads me to (I also did to some extend with #3 Detach and #6 Drawing/Machine before but not in such depth.

Over the summer I also begin to explore physical, offline manifestations of a new a/folder, #13 a circle completed, which involves a mail art post-and-return process with some cyanotype/chemistry to explore latency and exchange. This so far is not included on the padlet but I have included the visual below in the assessment portfolio.

6 #13 a circle completed a/folder returned to me with various additions

I have for this, like for most other items, continued to write both privately in Evernote, and publicly in Facebook as this blog has fallen out of use. I am transferring my notes on the A/Folder process here to indicate the levels of notetaking and reflection I am engaged in:

The site is, as those before, a padlet, limited as such but also variable and it allowed for text/visual 3rd-party posting. 

Most of the zines formed part of group projects/activities and events, it’s these that generated by far the most return. (for the www residency/exhibition project; as part of the three events I ran in early Spring, as part of my existing GSARD crit group). There are also a few individual enquiries that stretch or exist outwith these group settings. For these I am particularly grateful, most came from existing friendship and/or longer working relationships (i.e. the ones I loved going to the pub with to discuss methodology), but also some newer, less familiar ones. 

After concluding the course module I took those instructions and investigated them myself: some crossovers like fir hide x drawing machine; like go to the meadow (as in: all the meadows I have ever known and loved); like drawing machine x make a pocket. Many of these involved others: with A on Tempelhofer Feld, with L&A on the urban edgeland by the Clyde; with C on her not/meadow; with J in Crosspark, with L in a meadow that was entirely new to me. I didn’t go to Institutional Green for this so far. And I didn’t go to the meadow that is the meadow for this.

While all the For Cover was singular, individual work with me and some contact media, a transformer station, a lot of tree and field, some birds, some burning birch scented air; this became the interactive, participatory enquiry into drawing/contact that sat first off at the heart of what i wanted to do with this cycle of work. It wasn’t comfortable, sometimes decidedly strained, but also lush, tender, funny, insightful, considered, banal and cosmic. It animated in ways I would not have considered possible. It’s super simple in that, some of that workshop feedback was right, yet, more a strength than a weakness. Oh: brainy and gutsy too. Now: how can that translate into a new form/method?

Today I am amazed by the richness of the Kaleidoscope explorations: so many contributed. So varied too in modality. I didn’t download all (still need to do that) but many; also a few moving image pieces.

Changing perspective into introspection, what light/distance can do. 

I seem to remember some thoughts/questions over what contextual distance would mean; possibly also some confusion over the haptic/erotic argument?

In retrospect I got so distracted by Anna’s struggle of wanting to take part, not taking part. Why was she there? I still don’t quite get it (and may need to revisit notes again).

I hadn’t done the investigations that I instructed. They all developed out of the methods, the glossary, the PaR, but as such they were also new. 

So, taking April-June to explore these myself was really useful.

I was deliberate in varying clarity and obscureness. 

I made them often dialogue pieces, well, not often: with Chris, who had taken the make a pocket to make it a drawing machine for some time; with John I hadn’t talked about it; I mentioned it to Liam and Amelia, but didn’t unpack it; with Angela we also talked about it but in almost all cases then it was my own private enquiry in these meetings. 

The crossovers were interesting, very insightful. As if mapping the terrain more fully, as if re-assembling the village edge. An assembly kit? This felt illicit: that early instruction not to mix my series, my work enquiries; and yet: these were of the same site, same project, same enquiry.

The pieces that aren’t: the more explicit relational pieces, concerning desire, presence, violence. I name them and number them but they then don’t really appear. Which is fine, it’s like a ghost and my work is quite full of ghost. A sense that there is something else here, hovering, given space for those who may want to recognise it.


I can actually write something much bigger on the #8 Go to the meadow. And I probably should.

How the image with John C. tells of the start of me sitting on that bench in Lockdown 1; of the work that originates from the first pandemic wave.

I like how generous and generative this simple writing and noting is. Why do I so rarely make time for it?


This has lingered. I didn’t go back to it, didn’t draft the blog. And still: it feels resolved and good.

I have spent much time exploring the asemic/vispo/ciphers of the PS course. Did in it turn to the meadow as archive and how enso circles can teach me about the different plants growing on the meadow. 

In this I also thought of wanting to send something to GSARD to explore the archive/distance: of making a plant drawn circle with cyanotype; fix it; coat the back, send it unexposed. Perhaps to print on it another A/folder instruction: to send two iterations and a return label to invite them to keep one (fix it? don’t fix it?) and return one (fixed/unfixed?)

I also order Tawnya Renelle’s Prompts — what a lovely way to alter ‘instruction’ ‘score’. I think I can learn much from the poets to be more playful, nuanced with my use of language.

She also told me she was using Fond as way of ordering/disordering an archive. 


I talk about the archive and Susan mentions directory; but also how it needs care and can be a variety of things, it doesn’t need to all fold into the same structure.

(I may have gotten too concerned with finding the master key here).

I have a fruitful exchange on my final submission to the PS course: of the frustrations in the form. I use it to trace where frustrations do lie, as I felt very happy with having made the PDF as closing piece for the course itself.


A/Folder update at the end of SYP

I created and circulated further A/Folder since I tested them first at the end of 2021. The most recent edition is #12 a Kaleidoscope, there exist a couple more drafts.

This is the expanding platform for the series:

Made with Padlet

I tried and tested a series of engagements, the losest being a general tweet, the closest printed out zines posted to colleagues or as this part of the tutorial discussion shows, being attached DM conversations with friends.

Tutorial report SYP A5, 25/3/2022

There is much more in this project as to engagement, contact, instructions and obligation. I have begun to draw out a number of these issues since inception and they have been discussed throughout the tutorials 3 and 4.

At this point I am intending to let this project continue to run, I have created a section in the Portfolio for SYP and will update accordingly for the assessment (Autumn 2022).

I recorded the changes to the padlet (however only since I moved from blocks to canvas, I had initially set it up as a post wall but found that didn’t work when I begun to receive longer text submissions). Today, 2 April, I have removed the need to approve posts, none of the submissions have been spam and I want to give those who submit posts more choice over placement, sizing and engagement with the site.

I also received a whole series of post for #8 Go to the meadow, as response to one of my three DM inputs discussed above.

Here a gallery with the existing screenshots:

exercise 3.3: recent feedback (to a/folder)

I offer a/folder at various stages but then with a series of finished PDF to print zines in two crit group sessions and individually also. This below traces these and responses and reflections:

1/ OCAEU December tutor-led crit: a/folder PDFs to print (several, deposited with a series of Qs in a padlet ahead of the tutor-led session)It’s an interdisciplinary OCA student group, a mix of levels and disciplines, with possibly a sizeable number of textile students, a few native English speakers living elsewhere in Europe, age-wise I am in the younger half of the group.I ask for a slot, despite being on the organising team (there were however three spare slots still available and we needed to fill them). I prepare carefully a short set of posts, along with two pdfs and questions as to format, engagement invitation, actually content/process and upload these well ahead of the meeting,I am second to present, am asked to introduce the work, take one of my folded zines and show it on camera.I struggle with the distance and struggle to conceal my surprise that noone has printed these. I am offered that these are too intangible, as PDFs, while they know I make some wonderful work, this seems abstract. But also intimidating: the instructions for the PDF seem to be set out to make them fail, so they step away. I struggle with this: I didn’t at all anticipate that the first point ‘PRINT’ wasn’t enacted; nor that the PDF format would through people out entirely. I also struggle with not being too sarcastic at this point as to materiality.I am also asked what people would get back from it? I am surprised: here’s a free piece of artwork from me for you, and you ask what you will get from me for engaging with it? That that exchange would be conceived mean hadn’t occurred to me. What would people get back from going to a gallery? The tutor asked me to contextualise the work: who was I inspired by or was it my brainchild? That comment jarred similarly, and I brushed her off. Someone offered multiples and artist books.What it showed was the delicacy of exchange and distance: that the format shift moved it out of art object to critique; there was a sense of obligation, but also uncertainty over exchange, of being fearful of not getting it or failing. Interestingly, this all foreclosed the materiality of actually having a tactile hand-sized object that would move from my screen to your screen to your printer.
Follow-up 1: OCAEU cafe early January with three who were also at the crit.The two who were most sceptical as to the abstract nature of my work brought the work up again and we ended up talking through the PDF and the process: how big? can I fold this? The process was warm and interested, I was offered how my work is so full of integrity and very much my own work to which I stay true. But also: it seems just so much work at L3 (the two are in the final parts of L2 and considering whether to proceed or not). (I had hoped to find some more notes on this but I don’t seem to have any in writing nor audio).Oh, but what was interesting too was that I talked about my incredulity that the objects failed at the very first instruction: print. And that I struggled to process that and to stay involved. We talked further about distance, the haptic and materiality.
Follow-up 2: OCAEU exhibition group WIP (I circulated #6 drawing/machine as collaborative proposal to the 20 who are part of the exhibition project.We each prepared a slide for our WIP as part of this group project. I introduce mine and the idea  behind engagement via a/folder. I preface the request being extensive (other projects involve a digital photo being sent; a couple of leaves collected and posted, a canvas received, dipped in water and returned). We use, for the presentations, the chat to offer comment, feedback, association to the themes the others present. I see the chat floating by and it almost in its entirety sits with expressions of commitment of contributing. I remember being surprised by this, as I was confident that one or no return at all would also be a good outcome and no sign of this not working.

Follow-up 3: the first drawing machine is offered: a FB post, an email and blog post. ‘This was such fun!’ — There is much more in this, and I will collect alongside further responses. The joy however: again, one who was most critical of the abstract nature of the object, and then it offered such enjoyment. I myself had forgotten the joy that resided in many of my earlier projects and also in the objects that I devised around Trafo and meadow. And here it returned as the first comment, along with two A3 tracing paper, a custom-made string, a set of notes and a bit of background about the tree who drew, a hundred year apple tree (cooking variety) somewhere in the vicinity of Kopenhagen.The FB group post yields yet more of : oh, this is exciting and an enticement to participate. Later, another email tumbles in requesting my postal address (while a windstill but dry day doesn’t move their pen currently all that much) — my two colleagues who worried about the intangibility of the PDF now made drawings to be posted to me.

2/ GSARD crit/making session: proposed #3 detach back in October as part of a first set of instructions for some collaborative work; then asked for a session in late January to navigate a refined #3 detach as shared project of the preceding four weeks.We use email and a shared google file for the collaborative work.As part of this process, I choreograph #3 detach on site, around the fir hide, make an audio file, a couple of photographs and other work is tumbling in on the google drive ahead of our meeting.I will report back. 

3/ conversation with JW about a/folder zines and mail art circulationJW and I have been talking about our respective art, while one time being concurrent Drawing 2 students, over the years. She also contributed to my earlier request to make a viewing device. We caught up a little in late autumn and I asked her again about mail art, my PDF to print zines, she in turn is curious about what I will do after.We talk and then she turns to: ‘So, no one has given you feedback yet (I told her of 1/, before its further iteration occurred). She said: First, this isn’t a zine. I expect more pages and also: it doesn’t fold right, the printer edge muddles it and the text spills to the next page. If you had called this an activity sheet, I wouldn’t have minded but for me this is too scrappy. She also offers:

  • if you want others to send you something, then it’s mail art
  • how she introduced me elsewhere are a mix between walking artists and performance artist

And the most generous comment concerns participation, it develops following a recent show of a large piece of collaborative work, shown in a gallery space nearby, and she said it all very much reduced her to being a spectator. She continues as says that my work wasn’t private; that while I initiate it, it is collaborative; it’s very different to standing and looking at a photography. She ponders that she possesses the work, it’s quite private but she can then also decide to do more with it.I send her another PDF, Make a pocket, and ask if she is interested in exploring the instructions, the content of the not/zines. She says yes.

a/folder: an instructive glossary (update 1)

I set up an Indesign file where I keep adding page spreads (A4) to make new iterations of a/folder PDF to print zines.

I tested a few of the early ones with artist friends and refined and edited. I then circulated 3 so far, 2 within my Crit group, one in the OCAEU exhibition group.

The format of the the a/folders has a single A4 page as inside, as the specific object of the a/folder; it then on out the outside has a title page, a folder instruction (with links to the project padlet and a contact email address), there is a notes page and a short statement specific to each iteration too.

I am currently experimenting with

  • audience: single, specific, groups; artists and/or other publics; anonymous/general online posting/reposting
  • content: method, site, relationship between object/maker/participant
  • aesthetics/design: various forms of photographic images, as such, of sketchbook pages, using font or handwritten text (immersive to detached)
  • types of invitation, instruction: direct, subtle, disinterested

The post on feedback concerns a series of responses to the a/folder work presented in a couple of group/crit contexts and individually.

All of these so far are strongly mediated by my own relationship with the recipients, and I am interested in the responses to the digital distance, but also concerning the nature of exchange and sense of obligation involved; there are also all sorts of misunderstandings and different response to direction/control or lack thereof.

I have started to receive a number of responses back from the group processes, concerning #5 Make a Pocket; #3 detach and #6 drawing/ machine. They are vastly variable from each other, and quite distinct. Part of that is of course also who responds, but I start to sense the role opacity of instruction plays in this.

Possibly the most interesting response to date is the one from a durational group process among OCA students (working on an exhibition for June 2022), where collaboration is one of the shared working methods. It’s also the one context where the nature of a/folder was most sceptically received: its abstract, intangible nature as PDF format but also concerning the exchange modality. The a/folder invites a response of setting up a drawing machine on a plant, twig, bush, branch or tree and trace wind and other movements on tracing paper to return to me by post. It is one process I used quite a bit during Research but didn’t include in the BoW portfolio and the first responses were: ‘This is so much fun!’ — I had forgotten my own fun with this and other processes and was quite happy to see that surface so strongly and clearly as so much of my pre-Level 3 work was strongly informed by joy and playfulness and a bit of mischief. These seemed to have gotten a little lost with all the contact restrictions but here they were quite at the heart of my archiving process.

Within the collaborative group process I have also made two a/folders in response to one particular request by a colleague: to help preserving a leaf. She asked for different methods/routes towards trying to do so and I was intrigued how the a/folder process can work reactively but also for how my methods can circulate in such a manner.

I am inviting responses to any of the a/folders to post to this padlet and will write further updates on the process as it unfolds.

Next steps:

  • how to post on FB, twitter and Instagram (it needs a couple of containers for each of these)
  • to continue making further a/folders and exploring their modality and content
  • to post to e.g. mail art groups or wider OCA discussions to invite more of the distanced responses to it
  • to consider a mail drop to some of the people on my commuting walk and living adjacent to the site

Inside view of #6 drawing/ machine