Estragon: What about hanging ourselves?
Vladimir: Hmm. It’d give us an erection.
Estragon: (highly excited). An erection!
Vladimir: With all that follows. Where it falls mandrakes grow. That’s why they shriek when you pull them up. Did you not know that?
Estragon: Let’s hang ourselves immediately!

Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot.

pencil and oil pastel on paper(s), 160 x 50 mm 2013
pencil, burning and oil pastel on paper(s), 160 x 50 mm 2013


drawn from ‘pound notes



Every time we add our labor to a product or perform a service we expend energy and increase the overall entropy of the environment.  Every time we exchange money for a product or a service, the legal tender we use represents payment for previous energy that we expend.  Money, after all, is nothing more than stored energy credits…

Jeremy Rifkin. More here.


watercolour on paper,340 x 420 mm, 2013
watercolour on paper,340 x 420 mm, 2013


watercolour on paper, 230 x 420 mm, 2013
watercolour on paper, 230 x 420 mm, 2013



Twelve design principles of permaculture (as taken from the wikipedia page).

Generally regarded as the following:

  1. Observe and interact: By taking time to engage with nature we can design solutions that suit our particular situation.
  2. Catch and store energy: By developing systems that collect resources at peak abundance, we can use them in times of need.
  3. Obtain a yield: Ensure that you are getting truly useful rewards as part of the work that you are doing.
  4. Apply self-regulation and accept feedback: We need to discourage inappropriate activity to ensure that systems can continue to function well.
  5. Use and value renewable resources and services: Make the best use of nature’s abundance to reduce our consumptive behavior and dependence on non-renewable resources.
  6. Produce no waste: By valuing and making use of all the resources that are available to us, nothing goes to waste.
  7. Design from patterns to details: By stepping back, we can observe patterns in nature and society. These can form the backbone of our designs, with the details filled in as we go.
  8. Integrate rather than segregate: By putting the right things in the right place, relationships develop between those things and they work together to support each other.
  9. Use small and slow solutions: Small and slow systems are easier to maintain than big ones, making better use of local resources and producing more sustainable outcomes.
  10. Use and value diversity: Diversity reduces vulnerability to a variety of threats and takes advantage of the unique nature of the environment in which it resides.
  11. Use edges and value the marginal: The interface between things is where the most interesting events take place. These are often the most valuable, diverse and productive elements in the system.
  12. Creatively use and respond to change: We can have a positive impact on inevitable change by carefully observing, and then intervening at the right time.


applicable as design principles – long term, nourishing; timeless design principle – across human activity.

any complaints or changes need making – let me know.


…theft is a vice involving the slave-idea that one’s neighbour is superior to oneself.

Aleister Crowley.

crayon on paper, a2, 2013
crayon on paper, a2, 2013


seeing the world in terms of slaves… though of course that is only one identifiable linguistic device for representing systems in terms of subjugation, ‘alphas’ and ‘betas’ (comparing with a pack mentality), hegemony…

hegemony is interesting because it is posed as a process in which free will is sanctioned by outside interests, the individual will act in a way contrary to their own interests because they believe their master wishes it that way. essentially the subject is in a position where they will always act in the way the master appears to require. it becomes an ethic.

that the master has never directly given an order for life to go on in this way not only absolve them of responsibility (in their eyes) for the employees conduct but also ensures that the employees are even more conservative – reacting to the ‘master’ out of fear – than would be explicitly acceptable in most cases. so for all that is acknowledged it is quid pro quo salary in exchange for services, but the reality could never be further from the truth.

society being held up as a natural system means that; hegemony is held up as a irreproachable actuality.


pencil in sketchbook, a5, 2012

[conceptual and contemporary. as control words.]

where capitol is held in reserve credit is used however if you were to take your five pound note to the bank of england (or the queen) to exchange for the equivalent in whichever mineral is favoured as our standard, they will laugh at you, possibly have you beaten. capitol is energy, energy which can be valued; by say (for the sake of argument) gold. food is energy, the work you put into growing the food is energy, maintenance is energy – the direct application of energy is capitol but it is not worth a penny. capitol is not worth money unless it is conceptualised as product i.e. someone is willing to buy it or someone with a ‘name’ is willing to endorse it

i have not mentioned resources or technology.

resources are finite – though they fall into categories of ‘very finite’ and ‘finite / sustainable’. the first category, for example coal, will require an ever expanding and massively increasing amount of energy to claim it from – wherever it is it comes from – earth perhaps and that energy

remember the second rule of thermodynamics. the one science fiction is constantly inventing new ways of breaking, or ignoring. of energy transformed from one state to another some energy will become unavailable for work. the more energy consumed the more is ‘lost’. the more difficult it is to claim oil or coal the more energy is expended in extracting it and the higher the entropy.

whereas ‘finite / sustainable’ requires more work-as-energy than finite does resources-and-work-in-massive-quantities-as-energy. just so we are clear.

then of course you have ownership of resources which is a conceptual energy source but the only one which has value in our economy – the only thing which everyone will accept as ‘hard’ currency. paper currency is based on ‘ownership’ the value of the item is equal to the value of the paper the credit market will stretch the estimate of both paper and item until… neither have value. so coal will become more expensive to extract than it’s value on the market – the energy put in is more than the energy to be taken. but due to clever currency exchange, clever investment, clever speculation, clever brutalising of competition, there are people expecting to make vast profits from it

profits are currency and profits are power and also authority, and these are energy that have to come from somewhere. authority is the awesome actuality that the system exists – the contemporary system – the system we all contribute towards because that is currently the state we exist in i.e. these are the forces acted upon us, the forces which we must (because they are) reinforce.

Austerity (The Gambler)

To the German method of heaping up riches. I have not been here very long, but I can tell you that what I have seen and verified makes my Tartar blood boil. Good Lord! I wish for no virtues of that kind. Yesterday I went for a walk of about ten versts; and, everywhere I found that things were even as we read of them in good German picture-books — that every house has its ‘Fater,’ who is horribly beneficent and extraordinarily honourable. So honourable is he that it is dreadful to have anything to do with him; and I cannot bear people of that sort. Each such ‘Fater’ has his family, and in the evenings they read improving books aloud. Over their roof-trees there murmur elms and chestnuts; the sun has sunk to his rest; a stork is roosting on the gable; and all is beautifully poetic and touching. Do not be angry, General. Let me tell you something that is even more touching than that. I can remember how, of an evening, my own father, now dead, used to sit under the lime trees in his little garden, and to read books aloud to myself and my mother. Yes, I know how things ought to be done. Yet every German family is bound to slavery and to submission to its ‘Fater.’ They work like oxen, and amass wealth like Jews. Suppose the ‘Fater’ has put by a certain number of gulden which he hands over to his eldest son, in order that the said son may acquire a trade or a small plot of land. Well, one result is to deprive the daughter of a dowry, and so leave her among the unwedded. For the same reason, the parents will have to sell the younger son into bondage or the ranks of the army, in order that he may earn more towards the family capital. Yes, such things ARE done, for I have been making inquiries on the subject. It is all done out of sheer rectitude—out of a rectitude which is magnified to the point of the younger son believing that he has been RIGHTLY sold, and that it is simply idyllic for the victim to rejoice when he is made over into pledge. What more have I to tell? Well, this—that matters bear just as hardly upon the eldest son. Perhaps he has his Gretchen to whom his heart is bound; but he cannot marry her, for the reason that he has not yet amassed sufficient gulden. So, the pair wait on in a mood of sincere and virtuous expectation, and smilingly deposit themselves in pawn the while. Gretchen’s cheeks grow sunken, and she begins to wither; until at last, after some twenty years, their substance has multiplied, and sufficient gulden have been honourably and virtuously accumulated. Then the ‘Fater’ blesses his forty-year-old heir and the thirty-five-year-old Gretchen with the sunken bosom and the scarlet nose; after which he bursts, into tears, reads the pair a lesson on morality, and dies. In turn the eldest son becomes a virtuous ‘Fater,’ and the old story begins again. In fifty or sixty years’ time the grandson of the original ‘Fater’ will have amassed a considerable sum; and that sum he will hand over to, his son, and the latter to HIS son, and so on for several generations; until at length there will issue a Baron Rothschild, or a ‘Hoppe and Company,’ or the devil knows what! Is it not a beautiful spectacle—the spectacle of a century or two of inherited labour, patience, intellect, rectitude, character, perseverance, and calculation, with a stork sitting on the roof above it all? What is more; they think there can never be anything better than this; wherefore, from their point of view they begin to judge the rest of the world, and to censure all who are at fault—that is to say, who are not exactly like themselves. Yes, there you have it in a nutshell. For my own part, I would rather grow fat after the Russian manner, or squander my whole substance at roulette. I have no wish to be ‘Hoppe and Company’ at the end of five generations.


Fyodor Dostoevsky. From the gambler (1867, translation by C. J. Hogarth, 1914 wikisource).

i do not see this as a german problem mind. it’s an english problem. or a global problem. i’d forgotten how perverse Dostoevsky is – not having read from him for ten or so years. he’s great.


It makes sense, right? The sovereign individual, responsible but free, legislates reality through a million momentary choices. It’s the essence of democracy, the Enlightenment, of America itself, very similar to the honest answer Nicolette Stanley gave about Shell and the Nigerian army: “Ultimately, I’m responsible for my own behavior.” And Zilnik, like Stanley, seems like a very decent person.

So why does the CO2 keep rising?

“I can only be responsible for myself,” Zilnik says.

Read more: 10th August 2012. Article by John H. Richardson. A beautiful analysis of  an environmental catastrophe in the making but also a great example of rationalisation.

i will put this into context. the affable, gentle, environmentally concerned individuals working to extract oil in canada can justify themselves by positioning themselves within the process. if one cannot see cause and effect then one cannot feel responsible, and the size of the operation is staggering – too much to take in, too much to rationalise – so the mind stops, relieved that it has done as much as it can do to justify a substantial pay check. in the background there is the supporting wall of rationality, the inescapable actuality that places all alternatives; and all opposition, in the world of the abstract and the immaterial.

the world: is as it is, and therefore the world economy is righteous in it’s actuality – in material fact, there is one economy and that is the system we must function within.

but the economy is not such an ‘actuality’ it is fantastical, and the annihilation of all modes of living which do not fit with the fantasy is the only way the fantasy can be maintained. otherwise it is not a system but a construction. and this is pursued through the manipulation of credit – the deification of a concept which can only be defined by a few…

pencil in sketchbook, a5, 2012


I am interested in the creativity of the criminal attitude because I recognize in it the existence of a special condition of crazy creativity. A creativity without morals fired only by the energy of freedom and the rejection of all codes and laws. For freedom rejects the dictated roles of the law and of the imposed order and for this reason is isolated.

Joseph Beuys.

pencil on paper, 420 x 297 mm, 2012


not that criminality is necessarily creative, it may be the laziest, nastiest, dullest, route of least resistance. for example market rigging. or currency speculation.