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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Re: Kurt Vonnegut on US vs. Iraq

Quote from Kurt Vonnegut,

I myself feel that our country, for whose Constitution I fought in a
war, might as well have been invaded by Martians and body snatchers.
Sometimes I wish it had been. What has happened, though, is that it has
been taken over by means of the sleaziest, low-comedy, Keystone
Cops-style coup d


Re: Omaha Steaks

Hey lewis

You are flying in the moment!

/ / / / / /
/ /


__ __ / /


lewis lacook wrote:

> Cubism made me turn a corner
> in my relationships with women.
> I was living in a box of an apartment
> on third street; thus ensconced,
> the reverberations of backward
> compatability reached chutney
> fingers through my pillow at night.
> Accordingly, I never slept. Most days
> it snowed curry.
> She was not just
> knee-deep she was totally deep when
> she did the freak with me. Though
> she had the more current operating
> system, I was able to slide through
> her registry and announce myself in
> a tiny, uninvited dll. He somehow
> mapped a drive between us, a hub
> of LAN sparkling pugnaciously under
> the risotto sky we'd come to call
> Reudens together. He always seemed
> particularly eager to see my flesh,
> especially in motion, but when I suggested
> we meet he backed off quickly. He
> suggested a restaurant that served only
> steak, and that quite rare; filets as
> pinks as embarassed dusk. Knowing
> full well that I'm a vegan,
> he
> directed me to sites that sold
> "Omaha Steaks," told me
> it excited him very much, the thought
> of forkfuls of tender veal in
> my mouth. I got a thang, you got
> a thang, ev'rybody got a thang.
> I sat at that restaurant all night,
> thumbing nervously the pages of
> a book on Pop Art; to this day, there's
> a print of A1 sauce on some of James
> Rosenquist's finest work. She never
> showed. A similar streak
> of mustard, undoubtably from
> a yesteryear lunch of salami on rye,
> adorns my copy of Derrida's
> Grammatology. What did the author
> mean by it? After a while I got up,
> paid the bill, and went home. Outside
> the sky was twisted all over itself like
> black licorice. Once back in my apartment,
> wholly separate, I started boxing up
> my things. It was time to keep on movin'.
> 2003/02/10 07:34:35
> =====
> NEW! Zoosemiotics
> ARCADIA: long poem serialized in the muse apprentice guild:
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Re: Re: RHIZOME_RARE: soliciting thoughts on guidelines for rhizomeraw

Hello Rachel,

Why are we discussing filtering now?
This issue came up and was well discussed a couple of months ago when it was
By devising more long term policies than are absolutely necessary Rhizome risks
taking another step towards traditional institutional inflexibility. I propose
that rather than devising a policy in the abstract we decide on these issues
collectively as and when they arise (perhaps by secret ballot when consensus is
impossible to gauge).
I dunno it all feels a bit weird.

all the best

Ruth Catlow


Rethinking Wargames

Question to all chess players- under what conditions could the pawns

Suggestions on an (e)postcard please.

Ruth Catlow


Re: Your role in stopping the war against Iraq

Hi Dyske

>This particular sentence on your website puzzled me:
>"I am an artist but on this day I was one among 400,000 (or there abouts)
>What is implied in the use of the word "but"? Is being an artist supposed to
>be mutually exclusive with being a protester?

My initial motivation for making this piece was not to make a piece of "art" but
to document and communicate my experience of the protest to whoever was
I own that the sentence that you quoted above is a bit sloppy and plays to the
popular conception of 'the artist' as concerned with an internal or
institutional dialogue, a search for beauty, a philosophical line of enquiry,
cultural criticism or commercial endeavor. It is hard to reconcile a commitment
to these concerns with participation in a popular protest to stop the war
against Iraq.

>I do not mean to offend you, but it seems natural that if you feel you are
>outside of the category of "human beings", your experience of the world will
>necessarily be "passive and mediated".

Or perhaps I give away more than I intended. As you so acutely pointed out, I
do sometimes feel alienated. I am disturbed by the barbaric image of human
society that I have shoved down my throat as I pass billboards or news stands or
catch the TV news and I do KNOW that it serves the self interest of many vain,
greedy and power-driven people for me to be "passive and mediated".

> >"It seems more relevant these days, for me as an artists, to jump in with
> >both feet, to be in the middle of a crowd of human beings when so much of
> >our experience of the world is so passive and mediated by TV and film."
> >This sentence is puzzling as well. It seems that you remove yourself from
> >the category of "human beings" as if an "artist" is a different being. The
> >sentence will sound natural if I wrote:
> >"It seems more relevant these days, for me as a Briton, to jump in with both
> >feet, to be in the middle of a crowd of Iraqis when so much of our
> >experience of the world is so passive and mediated by TV and film."
> >This makes sense because you are not an Iraqi.

No you're missing my point here.
The point I was trying to make was about a experiencing a different kind of
'local' news; creating a distinction between that information that we get
through a screen, paper or radio and a distinct type of information gathered in
proximity to a diverse crowd of 'other' living, breathing, human beings. People
with a clear purpose, who have come together to express their dissatisfaction
and disagreement with the politicians they voted in to serve their best
interests; and very eloquently too.

At the protest to stop the war against Iraq, I heard and joined in their their
shuffles of agreement (and sometimes discomfort) as I listened to informed and
impassioned speakers reveal their arguments, their oratory skills and their

I saw other people absorbing and responding to news, according to their
different views. I joined families, groups of friends and individuals of all
races, ages and political perspectives on a grand scale news gathering exercise.
A different level of communication entirely than I have experienced recently
through any of our mediated forms of 'news'. More complex, more meaningful.
This is the kind of news you can use.

This is no small issue for two reasons:-

Firstly there is the issue of bias when news media necessarily becomes a
powerful tool for national propaganda (not the kind of news I can either create
or use).

Secondly to witness how a group of people you have never met before, respond to
this different kind of news and the way it is presented. And to know that they
will inevitably go on to share their experience with many people who they meet.
The news has emotional and social context.
One of the most important pieces of news that I received that day was that
400,000 people in this country were prepared to be unconventional in their
actions and to risk another expression of their minority status. In the weeks
running up to the march, the news media reported steady, popular support for
Blair's policies.
That afternoon 400,000 "normal" people stepped out of their "normal" everyday
activities and then returned to their everyday activities with a different kind
of news. (Ivan helped me get this one straight- thanks Ivan).

> It is also possible that I am misinterpreting your statements.
> The reason why I bring this up is because I personally feel that the art
> world is becoming increasingly removed from real world and real life. So
> much so that art has nothing to do with anything else but itself. Any
> reference to real life is a mere symbol: as removed as writing a Chinese
> character and saying, "In Chinese, this is supposed to mean 'happiness'".

I know what you mean, but don't you think it's funny that you should chose to
pull me up on semantic issues when the "real world and real life" are, right
now, threatening to explode into violence and that this is the relevant and
functional subject of the website that I created.

Also, I don't think that you have to look very far to see many artists who work
in the "real world" with "real people" and with everyday themes. At Furtherfield
we are always especially interested in work that connects and communicates
functionally with a wide range of people who wouldn't necessarily consider
themselves to be interested in ART.
Unfortunately these artists tend to be less visible in the 'art world' perhaps
BECAUSE they have different concerns and priorities to many of the more visible
and well known artists.

Thanks for your thoughts
You're welcome to misinterpret my statements any time- it's been useful to bash
out some kind of response to your questions.

All the best