Category: Blog

Schrödinger’s radio


The radio in my room has started to develop a phobia of me. It works perfectly, except if I am in the room alongside it. Standing on the left hand side of the room produces crackling, and the right side just kills all of the signal. Tuning it in is a bit like seeing if the cat is dead

I rarely work without Radio 4 harping away in the background. My ‘office’ will thus have to relocate to bars, cafés and other more sociable places.

Copenhagen Workshop

Unit 14 went to Copenhagen earlier this year. Here’s a video of the installation we built, along with students from Bartlett’s AAC course and the Royal Danish Academy‘s Unit 1.

I also made this rough video of my journey home. It’s a time-lapse and shows an approximate location, mode of travel, and what I saw (through the “eyes” of a Canon G9). It shows my travel by plane, train, bus and foot, and finishes with the first thing I do when I get home: make a cup of tea.

Oyster melting

As part of another project (as-yet-unblogged), I’ve been looking at RFID tags – and more specifically, how they can be used within robotic and entomological systems. The wasp below is sporting an RFID tag that costs €3 as part of a study of wasp movements (image credits: ZSL – for more on that, click here…). RFID is becoming an everyday commodity…

One of the most commonly accepted RFID systems in operation is the Oyster card. I put mine into a glass full of nail varnish in order to remove the chip inside.

After a few hours, the adhesive holding the components together was degraded to such an extent that the whole thing was a floppy mess, ready to be peeled apart.

This is version 2.6 of the Oyster card – previous versions contained copper wire, but this one uses conductive ink as the arial. The flexible centre is now ready for embedding into anything – e.g. a jacket sleeve – ready for use. The pencil points towards the “ID” part, which contains the chip’s all-important frequency.


Good news – Ollie’s photography is now available to license on The “by” library will grow over time! on

It is a privilege to be invited to be part of one of the world’s great photo-libraries. Now a global audience is able to buy photographs that I have taken from around the world to use and re-interpret creatively. It’s fantastic to know that your work could be helping others create.

If you like my photography, my hideously unorganised Flickr stream has lots of nice images (along with lots of other, less pretty pictures).

Peacock House

I’ve just moved house to a converted hospital in Camberwell Green. Brilliantly named Peacock House, there are high ceilings abound, plenty of room to swing cats, and a lot of old graffiti by the patients who were treated here.

New room. New bed. Old other stuff.

Two polystyrene globes on the shelf waiting to be used in experiments at the zoo.

This Player’s Navy Cut cigarette box has followed me around since I was about ten – I think it belonged to my grandfather at some point. I instantly feel at home when I put this into a new house.

A consequence of the ex-institutional nature is that the whole place is securely gated. There’s a lovely big balcony – the perfect place to eat/relax/work when it’s sunny. Being southeast England, I dare say this won’t be a regular occurrence.
The wall to the right is covered in graffiti with the names of patients who were treated here, dating back to the early 1900s.

Layers and layers of scribblings.

A lot of the chalk graffiti has survived.

At some point I’ll have some sort of housewarming, I guess. Until then, you’ll just have to make do with these photos on Flickr.

iPod cardboard casing

People keep asking which designer boutique my iPod case came from. You wouldm’t believe it, but I made this myself.

Custom sound system

This “sweet” stereo has all the kids dancing to the latest “pop tunes”. Materials: speakers, circuitry, cardboard, red electrical tape. Built February 2009.

Home-made iMac

If you don’t have an iMac, you can always make one. I did the other day. Here it is.

Dayvan Cowboy

I love this video. It uses archive footage from Project Excelsior, an early-60s experiment by the USAF that fed directly into space programmes. Joseph Kittinger (seen below) conducted all of the jumps – from a height of up to 31km. He was also the first man to make a solo crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in a gas balloon.