New month…new month…meetings and meetings and work waiting to happen. Trying to lose weight and looking for a new suit. Three covered buttons, two and one on the jacket pockets with frogmouth opening on the trousers. Wish I could afford Jump The Gun in Brighton but Long Eaton Tailor will be cheaper. SWITCH Sarah Z needed work for the Wolverhampton Photofest and I wanted to support so quickly arranged a large print of the ‘backstage’ shots in a grid formation. Forwarded the text required I can trust Sarah Z to take what she needs from it. All work in progress but I’m not one for being worried about testing ideas in shows. Asylum Gallery is the venue and although I won’t make the opening it will be interesting to see how people respond to a very young idea SWITCH Sunny Moseley Record Fair with Sonny…it’s scorching today. The boy always gets good deals as traders can’t equate his age with his knowledge. Store one and a familiar face, Liam from The Diskery – a good, good man and he gives free album and free single to Sonny as part of a deal to bring Brian Jones Rolling Stones into the boy’s collection SWITCH Meeting my oldest friend in the world later to see The Stairs at the Hare & Hounds in Kings Heath, Steve played the other Likely Lad in my early experiments for the 70’s sitcom work – guess he’s always been the other Likely Lad to me and my connection to that sitcom was certainly driven by associations and recollections from our younger days SWITCH The Stairs were as good as I wanted them to be (and that rarely happens) Edgar ‘Summertyme’ Jones and the boys were in great form. “…in a great big flying machine!” my friend and I enjoyed a catch up in between sets and despite the pain in our respective knees after three hours standing we had a skip in our step as we hit the dark grey orange pavement and made our way home with the sound of ‘Weed Bus’ ringing in our ears SWITCH Monday morning train and feeling the strain of a busy weekend. Chatted with one of my train acquaintances all the way to New Street station and then put in the headphones as I headed on to Wolves SWITCH Student show looking good finishing touches taking place. Paperwork ahead for the afternoon and then back on the train but not before I’ve stopped off at the library to collect new books that the mighty Tom Hicks has ordered for me. ‘Chance’ by Margaret Iversen looks to be the pick of the bunch…Bas Jan Ader on the cover…has to be a good sign! SWITCH Meeting Dr Connie at the Birmingham & Midland Institute tomorrow to discuss possible residency. Put the proposal in a while ago and believe it was received well by the Trust panel but I don’t know what will happen yet in terms of length of residency if and when it goes ahead. I am desperate to get working on the Slapstick/Pain performances. SWITCH Broken night sleep…hot…tired…amazing how many helicopters can be heard flying over when you keep your windows open all night SWITCH Dr Connie asked me to sit in on meeting with Flatpack festival directors – it was great to meet as I’ve always hoped to work with them. “Dean is going to be Artist in Residence for a year, at least, so can we fit him into the programme of events for Flatpack?” Pinch myself…far more than I could have expected from Dr Connie and the Flatpack guys agreed to look at the proposed work and see how we can collaborate. Ian from Flatpack says “Do you know about the latest Chaplin news?” I shake my head honestly because I don’t know. “Turns out he was born in a caravan in Smethwick!” After the meeting Dr Connie shows me the studio space I can use for the residency and I am already getting that buzz that I felt when Zoe showed me the studio at New Art Gallery Walsall prior to that purple patch in 2013. SWITCH After a massive thank you and farewell to Dr Connie I head to Swordfish in Dale End for a celebratory vinyl purchase…Public Service Broadcasting “The Race for Space” in the bag. NEWSFLASH…BREAKING NEWS…NEWSFLASH…BREAKING NEWS…One Year Artist in Residence secured at the Birmingham & Midland Institute…Scheduled to begin in September 2016! SWITCH Watching ‘Kinvig’ (ITV 1981) on DVD at the moment, a truly lost sitcom, one series and now pretty much forgotten. I used to watch this when I was 7 or 8 years old on a Sunday night on the old B&W portable with the coat-hanger aerial. Des Kinvig…another failed male figure that I rooted for when I was young! SWITCH Did some more work on the funding bid for the ‘Falling Slowly’ work, need to put together a plan of proposed activity and then get supporting statement. SWITCH Picked up a couple of things from the library on Valie Export and Gunter Brus. Looking at this idea of pain in performance for the residency and the Viennese Actionists seem a good place to start SWITCH Speaking at Central St Martins on the 22nd about my PhD – have put Friday aside to put the presentation together although I am pretty sure that it will focus on a ‘reverse’ narrative that leads back from the recent Tommy Cooper commission to the first time that the idea of using comedy within my practice first materialised with the very early Hancock performance at the statue in Old Square…the key difference between the two works? I guess I didn’t know what the work meant back then when I started…now…I guess I do SWITCH Met up with Susan, Robert Luzar and Pat Naldi prior to the talk, I’m on third…tough acts to follow. I did my best and talked with some passion about the opportunities that had come from undertaking the PhD. As planned I went for the ‘reverse’ narrative and focussed on the role of the sketchbook work in relationship to the research and practical resolutions. I always look for Susan’s approval and I think she was pleased with the way the presentations went and afterwards I showed her the Tommy Cooper film (which had been subject of a minor technical fault in the talk itself) and she gasped before describing it as ‘a really powerful piece’ and that will do for me…SWITCH Just met Roger and another lecturer/artist Simon Hollingworth in the CSM bar after the presentations and, following our introduction, got talking about The Jam (usual banter with Roger about the punk/non-punk debate) More importantly it turns out that this colleague of Roger’s is putting together a film festival exchange programme with a venue in Australia. ‘Did you know I have made a couple of performance films about Tony Hancock?’ I gently enquired ‘Yeah…and?’ responded Simon. ‘Well, Hancock did commit suicide in Australia.’ I replied. ‘Ahh…I really like that link…can you get me those films by tomorrow morning?’ SWITCH Woke up at five-twenty-something this morning with the forthcoming September residency rattling around inside my brain. I looked at the angular shaft of light all burning intensity across the wall outside the bedroom and pondered the work that I want to make there. The ideas have been in stasis whilst the sketchbooks have been on display in London and I desperately want to get working on the ‘fall’ performance. The light beam I had focussed on was now creating painful shapes behind my early morning eyes and I closed them for a moment - head still throwing ideas around. I then watched Suzanne sleep for a few minutes before heading downstairs for a cup of tea. Our cat ‘Marriott’ quickly stirred on the landing at the sound of my decent and followed. SWITCH Have ordered a Turquoise/Purple Tonic Mohair suit, it’s taken a while to save for it and I had to sell a few things on eBay to fund the final lap but you don’t half get a lift from a new suit and after a tough couple of weeks I thought it was time. SWITCH Just got home and the electricity and lighting has been installed in the studio…let the light get your sight back baby…brilliant news I can get more work done at night now. SWITCH Funding application all signed off and submitted. It’s fingers crossed now but the responses to the quality of the application have been positive. Marketing meeting this afternoon…my mind strayed badly towards the end and I started to consider how to set up the lighting at the BMI for the first tests of the ‘Chair-Fall’. Turned over the hand out we’d been provided with and whilst everybody competed to have their ideas heard I sketched out a plan for a couple of different set ups. SWITCH Met Cat Fuller today at Wolverhampton Art Gallery and discussed plans for an exhibition proposal on masculine representation…we immediately strayed toward the POP Gallery and stood instinctively in front of ‘Adonis in Y-Fronts’ by Richard Hamilton…could be a great exhibition but we have to get the proposal sorted to include a whole variety of external links…I trust Cat…she’ll know what to do SWITCH 1.12am can’t sleep and the laptop is near so I am typing… sketchbook work planned for tomorrow…I mean today…after I’ve slept and woke up. Got a few texts to work through as well. I’m thinking that there has to be something in the BMI library…something hidden…something very special that will trigger something very special or very ordinary but worth doing either way. Maybe I need to read now…maybe I don’t? Got an earworm - that new tune by Nathaniel Rateliff. One of those songs that just makes you move ‘I needed to try, Needed to fall…’ SWITCH Every now and again a car goes by outside and the wet surface of the road lifts the sound momentarily to a crispy crunchy crescendo and then gone - all quiet and silent again apart from the tapping sound of the laptop keys peppering these words out onto the screen. Now I’ve got the theme tune from ‘Taxi’ in my head, Andy Kauffman – alive or dead? Richard Beckinsale’s poetry book is next to the bed – page 50 ‘…but there’s no sense in failure, and not much use in fear, and there’s not much use in lying, when it’s only you who hears, it’s your life of sprinkled bathsalts.’