Monday, 1 December 2008

A Game to Play on Friday November 14th 2008 between 2pm and 6pm at A Foundation, Liverpool (2008)

In November 2008 at A Foundation, Liverpool, Carson & Miller played a game of their own devising based on the principle of question and answer (founded in the surrealist game of exquisite corpse).

This one-off live event was the first time Carson & Miller had played one of their games within a gallery setting, allowing the audience to not only view the playing of the game but also to be invited to take part. The game explored some of the principles of Carson & Miller's artists' book The Exquisite Fold (2007), a publication developed by the artists in collaboration with Dr. Patricia Allmer and Dr. John Sears. These four practitioners collaborated again in 2008, writing the journal article Your Turn: experiments in narrative and play in The Blue Notebook: Journal for Artists’ Books (Vol. 3 No. 1: October 2008) - see below.

Your Turn: experiments in narrative and play (2008)

Your Turn: John & Your Turn: Patricia, each image 210 x 297mm, digital photographs

Published in The Blue Notebook: Journal for Artists’ Books, Patricia Allmer, Jonathan Carson, Rosie Miller and John Sears explore the making of the artists’ book The Exquisite Fold in their article Your Turn: experiments in narrative and play. Alongside the article are artists’ pages (pictured above) recording the narrative game playing undertaken by Patricia Allmer and John Sears under the instruction of Carson & Miller. Copies of The Blue Notebook (ISSN 1751-1712 - print, ISSN 1751-1720 – online) are available at

Sunday, 30 November 2008

A Game We Made Up (2008)

In A Game We Made Up (a new work they have completed during the first half of the Swap/Vaihto exchange project) Carson & Miller have created a series of bespoke narrative games, designed to be played in specific locations matched to particular players (drawn from the people taking part in the exchange). The resulting work - on show at Bureau Gallery, Salford until 9 August, 2008 - documents the playing of the games in audio and text format.

Presented here are a series of documents which detail the questions asked and the rules they played by. Also available are short audio files from some of the games played - to hear these excerpts click on

Carson & Miller thank all of their fellow players - they know who they are!

For more information regarding the Swap/Vaihto project go to

Stories We Have Been Told (2008)

Stories We Have Been Told starts where A Game We Made Up (see above) ends. In this multi media work - presented in audio and print - Carson & Miller reconsider the results of the games they played in A Game We Made Up, condensing and re-telling the narratives they documented when they played.

A partner work to A Game We Made UpStories We Have Been Told is produced specifically for the second half of the Swap/Vaihto project. Both works will be exhibited in the Cable Factory, Helsinki until 19th August 2008.

To hear selected excerpts from this work please visit

Carson & Miller thank all of their fellow players who inspired Stories We Have Been Told - they know who they are!

For more information regarding the Swap/Vaihto project go to

Thursday, 13 November 2008

A Reading, Recalled (2008)

111 x 175mm, inkjet printed on paper

As part of Carson & Miller’s exploration of re-telling, A Reading, Recalled borrows the principles of their previous works synopsis and A Tale Re-told. Here, Carson & Miller have negotiated the meaning of a novel resulting in an abbreviated, single text. Using letters cut out from two different copies of the novel in question, the sentences Carson & Miller have negotiated are laid out in alternating font. The resulting fractured aesthetic represents the settling of the artists’ negotiation.

synopsis (2008)

148 x 210mm, edition of 20, inkjet printed on 150gsm cartridge paper, bound by hand.

This work considers the experience of reading a book and then, in turn, recalling it. Carson & Miller have used the idea of ‘synopsis’ to distil the relationship between the reader and the text being read. Each page captures a narrative that is filtered through the prism of memory and the language of the authors.

Things We Have Seen (2007)

100 x 190mm, edition of 3, text set by hand using transfers, stickers, rubber stamps and typewriter on blotting paper. 32 unbound pages contained in a card sleeve.

The loose leaved volume, Things We Have Seen, considers the manner in which we look and the way in which we remember. The contents of the VHS-style sleeve are remembered fragments of films, television programmes and news footage, interspersed with “real” memories that belong to Carson & Miller. Each page records a pivotal moment in a narrative which, through the process of recollection, has been transformed and re-presented.

Might you be lost and not know it? (2007)

594 x 841mm, laser printed poster.

Do you pretend things are OK? (2007)

594 x 841mm, laser printed poster.

Are you beautiful? (2007)

594 x 841mm, laser printed poster.

The Exquisite Fold (2007)

170 x 170mm, edition of 100, set in Gill Sans and inkjet printed on 125gsm cartridge paper, bound with paper strap. ISBN: 978-0-9557181-0-6

The Exquisite Fold takes as its starting point the surrealist game of exquisite corpse (more familiar to some as the parlour game of consequences), and explores the ideas inherent in playing this game - exchange, belief, narrative – through the very act of playing itself. Pivotal to both the content and the structure of the book is the fold, a deceptive device that hides and reveals meaning and understanding. The Exquisite Fold features the results of Carson & Miller’s exquisite corpses, accompanied by Dr. Patricia Allmer and Dr. John Sear’s essay Dare You Play On?, a text which explores the context of Carson & Miller’s games and the outcomes they have produced.

some inscriptions we made up (2007)

130 x 220mm, edition of 10, found pages inscribed by hand with pen, pencil and pencil crayon, bound by hand.

some inscriptions we made up is a companion to the book some inscriptions. In this edition Carson & Miller write imaginary dedications inscribed on pages excised from real books. some inscriptions we made up frames within the page a frozen moment in the narrative of a fictional or half-remembered relationship. In “falsely” claiming the page, Carson & Miller further their exploration of the book as a container for memory whilst investigating the nature of memory itself – as something that can blur what is real and what is imagined.

some inscriptions (2007)

148 x 210mm, edition of 10, inkjet printed, bound by hand.

some inscriptions draws together a number of hand written inscriptions that Carson & Miller have found in their personal collections of books. This slender volume traces the interaction between those who have given a book as a gift and those who have received it, as well as the subsequent history of the book as it is passed on between families and friends or through the second-hand bookseller. Perhaps most importantly, some inscriptions re-renders the moment of inscription, of claiming a book and investing it with a meaning that goes beyond its content: the least important page becomes the most valued one.