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PERFORMANCE INSTALLATION: February 2004, Modern Art Oxford. Presented as part of Brookes Contemporary in association with Oxford Brookes University, Fine Art Department.

Visitors to the gallery at Modern Art Oxford were invited to make drawings as they listened through headphones to a 13-minute spoken monolgue by the theoretical physicist Dr. Jim Al-Khalili. The drawings were made on tracing papers placed on a specially constructed glass-topped table with video cameras mounted both above and below. The under-mounted camera relayed the image of the participant's arm as a ghostly silhouette rendering a stream of ciphers in response to the scientist's verbal descriptions. An extra set of headphones was made available for a viewer to listen to the monologue as a soundtrack to the drawing performance. The physicist's monologue was a progressively complex desciption of micro-physical nature spoken in the jargon of contemporary physics that rendered it incomprehensible to the lay person. Drawing From Perplexity, through an interpretive process that was largely imaginative and intuitive, created a potential space for fictions generated through the laity's attempts to re-connect with the specialised language of science .

The resulting science [fictions] were edited and collated for edition #18 of PIECE OF PAPER PRESS - POPP.018 - as an alternative description of sub-atomic nature. Selected video stills from the performance drawings are juxtaposed with the sections of monologue the participants were listening to at the time of drawing. Click the thumbnails on the left in chronological order [1->5] for examples of a selection of pages from POPP.018.

PIECE OF PAPER PRESS: "Minimalism has seldom been so minimal as in the production of the Piece of Paper Press' Times Literary Supplement.

All images by Bruce Gilchrist