Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Finishing Up

Vectis is finished. The book is completed. There are a last few things to be done, that I will link to here as I finish them off over the next few hours.

Contents Page:


A contents page is available here.

PDF Download for the completed work:



A Lulu purchase link, and a link to the blog for my next project, will be posted here sometime in the next couple of weeks.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Vectis Presentation

This is a video version of a presentation I gave this Tuesday on the subject of Vectis as part of my MA course. It explains a lot of the thinking about the work, including giving a more clear idea of the thinking behind the re-imagined Winter section. A full script follows after the cut.

Friday, 25 January 2013




Austen, J. (2007) Mansfield Park. London: Penguin Classics. ISBN 0140623140
Benjamin, W. and Underwood J.A., trans. (2008) The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. London: Penguin. ISBN 0141036192
Blake, W. (1977) The Complete Poems. London: Penguin Classics. ISBN 0140422153
Coverley, M. (2010) Psychogeography. 2nd ed. London: Pocket Essentials. ISBN 1842433478
Danchev, A., ed. (2011) 100 Artist's Manifestos. London: Penguin Classics. ISBN 0141191799
Drucker, J. (2004) The Century of Artist's Books. 2nd ed. New York: Granary Books. ISBN 1887123695
Flanders, J. (2011) The Invention of Murder. London: Harper Press. ISBN 0007248896
Jones, J. ed. (2004) The Isle of Wight Bedside Book. Wimborne: Dovecote Press. ISBN 1904349366
Keats, J. (1994) Complete Poems of John Keats. Ware: Wordsworth Editions. ISBN 1853264040
Keiller, P. (2012) The Possibility of Life's Survival on the Planet. London: Tate Publishing. ISBN 1849760720
McDonough, T., ed. (2010) The Situationists and the City. London: Verso Books. ISBN 1844673642
Mitchell, V and Keith, A. (1998) Isle of Wight Lines. Middleton Press: Midhurst. ISBN 1901706125
Moore, A. and Campbell, E. (2008) From Hell. 8th ed. London: Knockabout Comics. ISBN 0861661411
Rackham, O. (1986) The History of the Countryside. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 0460044493
Searle. A. (2004) Walking Isle of Wighr History. Wimborne: Dovecote Press. ISBN 1904349315
Sinclair, I. (2003) London Orbital. London: Penguin. ISBN 0141014746
Sinclair, I. (2002)  Lud Heat and Suicide Bridge. London: Granta Books.
Smith, K.A. (1994) The Structure of the Visual Book. New York: Keith A. Smith Books. ISBN 0963768212
Watkins, A. (1988) The Old Straight Track. 2nd ed. Abacus: London. ISBN 0349137072


Crickenberger, H.M. (2007) The Structure of Awakening. (URL http://www.thelemming.com/lemming/dissertation-web/home/structure.html). (Accessed 26th January 2013).
Davis, D. (1991) The Work of Art in the Age of Digital Reproduction. (URL http://classes.dma.ucla.edu/Winter09/9-1/_pdf/3-Davis_Work_of_Art.pdf). (Accessed 26th January 2012).

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Backdated entries.

I will edit this post with links to the backdated entries as I make them.

Consummatum Est

Vectis, the book, is essentially finished.

I am still proofing it for errors and small corrections, but every page is full of content that I am satisfied with, placed in its correct place. Now I have time to work on adding new entries to the blog (and expanding old entries) before the project must wrap up on the 29th of January. Probably the last thing I add will be an index or contents page in order to make the navigation of the blog a little easier.

The full colour version will be sent off to be printed on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

The Final Stretch

It may seem that I have dropped off the face of the world in the last month or so. This is not so. I have, however, had little time to be working on this blog. I have always struggled, in my academic work, with the problem of the extra work that it takes to adequately record the process of creation, and I've fallen off the wagon a bit here. Basically, I have been too busy actually finishing Vectis to write about finishing Vectis. Now, however, I am nearing the endgame, and I can make a progress update.

I have made a great deal of progress, and in the process made many changes. The fourth section (Winter) has undergone a complete overhaul in its layout and contents. The original idea I had (a succession of photographs of the coast) never quite gelled together; the seasonal structure gave me a limited number of pages in which to realise the concept, which could very easily occupy a whole, larger book. There was no way to present all the coast in such a way. Furthermore, the actual process of walking and exploring the coast proved to be too great a task given my time. It didn't seem like I would be able to do the process any justice; I was also not entirely sure whether it would fit in with the rest of the book. Instead, I decided to resort to a completely different idea, making instead two virtual journeys; not the endeavour of a flâneur but of a robinsonneur, one who travels without moving. One of these journeys is visual (a procession of heavily treated aerial or satellite images), one textual (a procession of the names of settlements around the coast), though both are composed aesthetically on the page.

As well as making much other progress with the content, I have also (I believe) sorted out the problem with the bleeds, which was down to Indesign incorrectly exporting the bleed settings. I have sent off for another black and white test printing, which should arrive some time in the next few days. If my fix has been successful, I should be ready to have the book finally printed, in colour, some time next week.

Friday, 21 December 2012


"In 1894 Joris-Karl Huysman wrote Against Nature (the novel that inspired Oscar Wilde to write A Picture of Dorian Grey) at one point, the Parisian hero of Huysman's tale, fascinated by the novels of Charles Dickens, orders a taxi and visits an English pub in Paris, before embarking on his trip to London.

Except...he finds himself unable to complete the journey and returns home.

Whereupon he realises that the imaginary experience is more than a preferable substitute for the real thing."

A robinsonner is a traveller who does not travel. A cousin of the flâneur, the robinsonner takes their name from the character of Robinson Crusoe. Daniel Defoe wrote Robinson Crusoe without ever having visited a desert island himself, or indeed having ever left Europe. Defoe has a special place in the history of psychogeography, with Merlin Coverley claiming that his 1722 novel  A Journal of the Plague Year represents the beginning of the psychogeographic tradition. Patrick Keiller, of course, references this in his character of Robinson, who's (adopted) name is also a reference to his being 'marooned' in Britain. 

Thursday, 20 December 2012

More selected poems and images.

The work ploughs on, with some major tweaks in the overall content and layout which I shall hopefully be able to go in to more detail about later. In order to keep things moving here, here's a selection of some of the more recent poems and images from the book.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

I Dream of Colour Music

One of the most important unifying elements of Vectis is colour. Building on the ideas set out in this post I have designed a colour scheme that gives each season, each month and each journey its own colour.

Each of these three colour schemes form a progression, a spectrum, and could be linked up into wheels to reinforce the circular structure of the book.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Patrick Keiller - 'London'

"It is a journey to the end of the world"

'London' is the first entry in what has become a trilogy of films by British film-maker Patrick Keiller. London is of particular importance to Vectis, more than the other films ('Robinson in Space' and 'Robinson in Ruins') as it was after attending a screening of that film as an undergraduate that I first began thinking of the idea that would eventually become Vectis, and because of its tighter geographic focus. I also feel that, for a number of reasons, London is the most successful of the trilogy; the focus on a more particular area gives the film more depth, more space to explore poetic digressions; visual themes have more time to develop, and the use of sound and music is, to my mind, more interesting. Though I have partly reacted against the work of Keiller (at least in the sense that he represents part of a tradition which sees London as a focus of Britain, though his later films soften this somewhat) I have great respect for his work, and rank him highly. Some of the particular methods he employs (or appears to employ) are similiar to my own. It has been a pleasure to rewatch what I consider his best work in order to make some observations on it.