ruth catlow
Since 2002
Works in London United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Ruth Catlow was born in London 1968.

Ruth is an artist and co director of She works with a range of digital and network media as well as sculpture, writing, music and drawing, exhibiting in the streets and other public spaces, in galleries and on the Internet. Most of the works connect with specific (often unsuspecting) audiences in a specific condition i.e. on their way to work, doing the shopping, taking the kids to school etc. Or they intersect strangely with dominant and pre established genres in the mass media such as pornography on the Internet. In this way Ruth communicates her intimate and often raw perception of the big human subjects of love, sex, community, responsibility and freedom.

'A Diary of Objects in the Streets' is a website which documents the impromptu siting of a series of portable sculptures in public spaces with photographs and diary commentaries. The sculptures, made from materials and objects found in the streets, break with the conventions of interaction in London's public spaces.

Other recent projects explore personal expressions/representations of sexuality both domestic and mythic. They are Domestic Idols (selected by Sarah Cook for Lo-Fi), Mesmerized and Time to Smell the Flowers. Latest projects include a series of short films for the web such as 'Responsibility is yours' featured by Zbooks and 'One Among 400,000' a javascript driven collage of text, image and sound about the protest in London to stop the war against Iraq.

Ruth is co-director of, formed in partnership with artist, Marc Garrett in 1996 as an alternative platform for the creation, promotion, and archiving of new work for public viewing and interaction. Furtherfield collaborates with independent visual artists, digital/net artists, writers, critical thinkers, musicians and noisemakers with a special focus on work developed and produced outside the recognised institutional support structures (colleges, galleries, corporate and public funding). explores new and imaginative strategies for communicating ideas and issues in a range of digital & terrestrial media contexts.

Furtherfield's activities focus on presenting works online and organising global, contributory projects, which exist simultaneously on the Internet, the streets and public venues.
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Big Conversation

In the new Labour Party sponsored Big Conversation website, we are all
invited personally by Tony Blair to submit a full range of personal
details including political affiliation before 'having our say' about
how to 'deliver a future fair for all'. The site fails to state it's
moderation policy and contributors are reportedly discovering their
detailed criticisms of various policies edited to a few lines of broad
praise for the government.

Anyway, there has been a kafuffle over the prior existence of another
more grassroots Big Conversation that has been going on online for a
couple of years. UK citizens expecting to have a friendly chat with Tony
are faced with uncensored and representative debate on community led
topics which turn out to be matters of War and Peace, Health,
Sustainablilty etc

heh heh


Re: Re: Thom Yorke / Howard Zinn

If we're talking in the abstract (without specific examples-lots of handy ones provided by ryan) the only problem that I can imagine with conceptual political works is if they are poorly or narrowly informed, inadequately synthesized or badly contextualised- just the same as for any other artwork really. An artwork might then be experienced by viewers as an 'opinion'. This might occur if someone has adopted another's ideas or concerns without
properly absorbing the significance of these ideas to their own life and circumstances. This then creates an impression of detachment from a subject and opens up the artist to the accusation of making capital from the oppression and misery of others.

I guess it's also possible that works are perceived as political didactic when the viewer does not appreciate the political standpoint of the artist.

I've heard Thom Yorke talking on the radio before and my understanding is that he has never felt moved to make 'political' songs. This is fine. One problem is that artists sometimes feel that (for many reasons) they OUGHT to be making political work. One reason might be to be taken seriously- an 'important' subject may lend a piece of artwork a kind of gravity, a raison d'etre.

Of course taken superficially, if we are talking about doing something objectively useful and important in the world, creating any kind of artwork might come pretty far down the list on a popular survey- as Heath Bunting said 'Most art means nothing to most people'. One of the great things about life is that one can never tell objectively whether what one is involved in is contributing positively to the continuum of life consciousness.



Re: two silent movies

I especially like the formal possibilities opened up by this piece of Michael's. A movie where the frame by frame changes are dramatically different but the overall image has a very simple continuity. It uses the fact that a Quicktime movie lends itself to a frame by frame viewing to suggest a
kind of quantum experience in the whole.

Are there other movies (net art, art or mainstream) that do this, other than as a reference to subliminal method?



Rethinking Wargames Low-fi Commission

Rethinking Wargames commissioned by Low-fi

This participatory net art project initiated by Ruth Catlow, uses the
game of chess to find strategies that challenge existing power
structures and their concomitant war machineries.

Activate:3 player chess is a new online game in which the pawns join
forces, subverting the usual hierarchical structure of the game. It was
made in collaboration with computer programmer, Adrian Eaton, with rules
that reflect the humour and blue-sky-thinking of early contributors to
the project: chess players, artists, activists and philosophers.

Those with a talent for strategic thinking, are invited to contribute to
the ongoing reevaluation of the game by playing the new game and posting
to the 'Pawns Unite' online journal-

Please come along to the live events or take part in the online

Live Events:
BALTIC Center for Contemporary Art
November 27th, 2003, 7pm

Limehouse Town Hall
November 29th, 2003, 7pm


Tonight-Live-FurtherStudio Critical Forum

Tonight-Live-FurtherStudio Critical Forum

Jessica Loseby will be interviewed live online by Lewis LaCook tonight,
Tuesday, October 21, at 18:30 GMT (19:30 BST and 14:30 NY),
as part of Furtherfield's FurtherStudio artist residency.


Once you are logged on please click on the critical forum icon (top
right hand of the screen).
Here you will be able to witness the live interview, after which you are
invited to visit the chat facility for further discussion with Jess,
Lewis and the Furtherfield team.