Posts Tagged ‘Paul Antony Carr’


In Uncategorized on November 4, 2011 at 9:32 pm


“He has yet to complete a single pushup, though he has been attempting for a while without interruption to perform one from start to finish. Embarrassingly, his arms seem content to maintain an involuntary shuddering motion that only affects the rest of his body along a horizontal plane, rather than aid in accomplishing the task at hand. Is this uncontrollable vibration in fact a perpetual motion, or is it a friction? It resists progression, yet remains ceaselessly frenetic (or so it seems to Nathaniel, who cannot currently conceive of a conclusion to his discomfort and toil).”

2011. Ink on paper. 3.75 x 3.5 in.





“All the while his pet project (still a work in progress) is playing through the terminal’s speakers. The sounds of double bass, trumpet, and xylophone are completely unrecognizable as they play overlaid but artificially extended chords. The track reaches the point that exceeds the portion Nathaniel has been manipulating, and immediately the playback returns to its native and unaltered tempo. This sudden change of melodic flow steals Nathaniel’s focus from the perceived almost-eternity of wobbly exertion, and he drops limp-armed a few inches down to the ground (his body would have given up right about now even if he hadn’t been distracted by the music).”

2011. Ink on paper. 3.75 x 7 in.





“He is lying on his stomach again for the second time this evening. To the left of his head is a glob of saliva half-absorbed into the carpet. It fell there from his mouth while his efforts were absorbed in defying the gravity tugging at his entire body – under the circumstances, oral spillage was a necessary concession. Once he stops feeling so weak in the arms, he will get up, find his shit sponge, and clean up the little, watery mess on the floor.”

2011. Ink on paper. 3.5 x 3.75 in.




This is the fourth and final post of Paul Antony Carr’s 3-month residency in the VerySmallKitchen. This followed on from Paul’s VSK Project here, which presented one aspect of the ongoing  EXCERPTS.

Nathaniel’s Perpetual Motion was a new strand of this project, and a series of image-text pairs have appeared on VerySmallKitchen since August. See part one here, part two here, and part three here.




In Uncategorized on October 2, 2011 at 12:25 pm


“An individual need only possess a single sponge during the span of his or her lifetime. The sponges neither wear out nor diminish in absorbency. Most of the original models are still in circulation. Nathaniel inherited his from his father, who had previously acquired the sponge from Nathaniel’s grandfather. [ . . . ] The sponge compacts all that it absorbs into its core. Such is its efficiency that the area occupied by the compacted matter gains no measurable increase in volume during the course of a generation. Nathaniel envisions a future in which a sponge passed down a bloodline eventually accumulates, after many centuries, so much human detritus that it collapses into a shit singularity, and ultimately devours whole solar systems.”

2011. Ink on paper. 7 x 7.25 in.




“The extreme absorbency of these sponges guarantees that they are perpetually sterile. For this reason, it is common practice to both wipe up household messes and clean one’s genital and anal territories using the same sponge.”

2011. Ink on paper. 7.5 x 7 in.




“Nathaniel recalls his grandfather’s tales of toilet paper use; of how at times one could wipe and wipe and wipe after defecating with no indication of a progression toward cleanliness. Of course nowadays toilet paper has been replaced by superabsorbent synthetic sponges, which leave no trace of solid matter, nor liquid, nor even bacteria, upon their surfaces after wiping.”

2011. Ink on paper. 7 x 7 in.




This is the third post of Paul Antony Carr’s 3-month residency in the VerySmallKitchen. It follows Paul’s VSK Project here, which presented an aspect of his EXCERPTS project.

Nathaniel’s Perpetual Motion is a new strand of this project, and a series of image-text pairs have appeared on VerySmallKitchen since August. See part one here  and part two here.


In Uncategorized on September 1, 2011 at 9:40 am


“The music gets slow quickly, and gets slower slowly.”

2011. Ink on paper. 8.5 x 7.25 in.





“The tune will not loop, but instead continue to play toward its unattainable termination while steadily reducing speed. Nathaniel attempts to achieve this by creating points on the sound file’s timeline and stretching them apart. The first point is a nanosecond from the start of the track. The second point is initially a nanosecond from the first point, but Nathaniel increases this distance to two nanoseconds. The distance continues to increase in ever larger proportions between each successive point. Eventually, there will be a distance between two points that is too long for Nathaniel to comprehend. Nathaniel refers to this as Segment X. Inconceivable is how much greater the length of the subsequent segment is to that of Segment X. Equally inconceivable is how far less the length of the preceding segment is to that of Segment X.”

2011. Ink on paper. 8.5 x 7 in.






“After wasting several hours working on this musical project, Nathaniel realizes that there is no possibility of ever listening to a completed version of the track. For the music to become infinitely slower as playback progresses, it can never reach its end. To listen to the work in progress would be to listen to something both  incomplete and complete at the same time. The unfinished project has not accomplished what is intended of it, and yet it will play to a point of completion. The completed project has attained a goal, a conclusion, but an infinite repetition of technique is required of Nathaniel to enact the proposed design. To declare “done” is to quit the project. In all ways conceivable, the work can never be finished. To listen to it at any stage, no matter how close – or not close – to being what he wants it to be, is indicative of failure.”

2011. Ink on paper. 8.5 x 6.75 in.



This is the second post of Paul Antony Carr’s 3-month residency in the VerySmallKitchen. It follows Paul’s recent VSK Project here, which presented an aspect of his EXCERPTS project.

Nathaniel’s Perpetual Motion is a new strand of this project, and a series of image-text pairs will appear on VerySmallKitchen between now and October. See the first post of this residency  here.





In Uncategorized on August 4, 2011 at 10:48 am

“Nathaniel awakes early this morning. He sits up on the edge of the bed and looks around his minuscule broom closet of a bedroom. Today he finds himself paying close attention to the unoccupied space of the room’s carpeted floor. Nathaniel recalls once telling a friend that he didn’t need much more living space than the minimum area required for him to do a pushup on the ground. This morning he gets down on all fours beside his bed to test if his current digs meet the criteria set forth by a younger, different Nathaniel. He finds it so happens there is exactly enough space for him to do pushups comfortably. But Nathaniel has never done a pushup in his entire life.”

2011. Ink on paper. 9.5 x 6.25 in.


“Each additional pushup will expend energy and cause damage to muscle fibre, but will also make Nathaniel a little bit stronger at the same time. If he could endure the fatigue and pain, the accumulation of strength would eventually nullify the unpleasantness of exertion – the more pushups he does, the easier they will become. He could do pushups all night, on his first try, without stopping for a single break. Piece of cake.”

2011. Ink on paper. 6 x 4.25 in.


“He has been lying on his stomach for the past ten minutes. Feeling dejected, he lifts himself up from floor, and powers up the computer terminal in the wall. He swiftly navigates through a tree of subdirectories and starts up a hidden rudimentary sound editing program that he had discovered just last week. Once the software is running, he opens one of the three sound files contained on the hard drive – this one is a nondescript piece of soft jazz, most likely preloaded for demonstration purposes. Nathaniel begins to edit the timeline of the tune, attempting to slow it down gradually so that it will never play through to its end.”

2011. Ink on paper. 9.5 x 6.75 in.


This is the first post of Paul Antony Carr’s 3-month residency in the VerySmallKitchen. It follows Paul’s recent VSK Project here, which presented an aspect of his EXCERPTS project.  Nathaniel’s Perpetual Motion is a new strand of this project, and a series of image-text pairs will appear on VerySmallKitchen between now and October.

More about Paul’s work is here.


In Uncategorized on July 7, 2011 at 9:14 am


“Tadeusz stands behind the diagram. He is brandishing a pair of safety scissors borrowed from an office down the hall. Disassembling or destroying the pattern ought to liberate Gregory. But using this barely effectual cutting implement to mechanically sever from each other the linear connections that infest the sheet of paper will be a clumsy affair, and it occurs to Tadeusz that obliterating the diagram could irreversibly damage Gregory’s eyes. Thus Tadeusz stalls momentarily, and then he steps out of the room. He returns swiftly with a proper set of scissors. He holds them open over the top edge of the eerily suspended chart. He pauses again, and looks at his colleague’s lifeless face. No, even with these sharper scissors, the process of cutting up the diagram will be too excruciatingly slow and deliberate for Tadeusz to follow through with. He feels squeamish and afraid. If Tadeusz is going to blind Gregory in the rescue attempt, Tadeusz will need to do so in a hasty and forceful manner from which there can be no turning back. He suddenly raises his right knee until it almost touches his chest, and then aims his foot at the seat of Gregory’s chair.”

2011. Ink on paper. 8.25 x 8.5 in.


Paul Antony Carr writes: I am very much interested in certain relationships between image and text. This interest is not only concerned with final forms, or products, but also with the processes “drawing” and “writing” through which the results are arrived at. I see parallels between grammatical structure and delineated form, especially within the sort of mental and physical groping exercised when working toward their refinement. The pictorial and verbal connections I attempt to handle in my practice are often nebulous at best, yet apparent enough for me to negotiate conceptually. However, once momentum has died down and all that remains is the final draft – the residue of process – it is the specifics of fiction, with its requisite plot and character(s), which tie together disparate visual and textual elements. Formally disconnected images band into a unified series through a titling system which reads like excerpts from an overarching narrative. At the same time, uncertain illustrational relationships between text and a visually cohesive set of images can be reinforced through the repetitive application of narrative continuity.

Tadeusz & Gregory are most certainly fictional, and possess potential for fluid identity. The idea of Tadeusz & Gregory is an intentionally vague set of relationships which can be played with in a variety of ways. Regardless of what is written about them, Tadeusz & Gregory may or may not be alike Mason and Dixon, Mason & Dixon, Harrison and Wood (but neither Harrison nor Wood), Reeves & Mortimer, Mark and Jeremy, or any of countless other (and not necessarily British) duos. However, Tadeusz & Gregory are definitely self-serious intellectuals whose research, of no fixed academic discipline, is likely insignificant to both their peers and the population at large. Yet the pair carry on while maintaining an impeccable work ethic. In turn, they celebrate their achievements and bemoan their failures.

Tadeusz & Gregory’s pairing as a duo carries with it the expectation of an act or routine. The nature of this enacted relationship is informed by what is committed in writing about the two colleagues, but is also influenced by expectations carried over from popular culture. The implied missing, or extra, identifying narrative information that is inherently present in excerption as a format lends itself to the malleability of the two characters’ association. This facilitates the conceit of the Excerpts series: that the titles are written as though excerpted from a greater completed story. However, there is largely no premeditated continuity in Excerpts. Thus flexibility in both the identity and interactive tendencies of the characters is useful for allowing the introduction or de-emphasis of landmarks and trajectories within the expanding fiction. And because the drawing and writing are so structurally and procedurally interwoven, enabling verbal improvisation encourages similar leeway in the realm of the pictorial.



VerySmallKitchen writes: Paul Antony Carr’s Excerpts is an ongoing project which VerySmallKitchen first encountered on his website, where it is regularly updated, usually on Fridays.  The EXCERPTS project as a whole can be read in various ways, and Carr’s own website organises the archive either chronologically or into four sections: Tadeusz & Gregory, The boy changes his name again, The Winding Cave, and Untitled.

It is this first strand that forms the basis of Paul’s VSK Project, which presents a new text-image combination above, and a glimpse into the archive, below. How projects shift between contexts is an ongoing interest of VerySmallKitchen, and perhaps the archive here acquires a new narrative quality in condensing together sequential blog posts and removing them from their original temporality. I wondered, too, whether to keep those page and material dimensions for each image, those references beyond the screen to a (prior) paper life and scale.

Paul will also be in residence at  VerySmallKitchen over the next three months, and a new section of the EXCERPTS project will appear here between now and October.



“Tadeusz kicks the seat of the chair. The chair rolls away from him on its casters, carrying with it Gregory and the diagram (despite the latter having no physical connection to anything at all). It doesn’t take long for the chair to slow down, but momentum keeps Gregory’s inflexible body moving and he begins to fall sideways from the seat to the floor. Of course, the chart precisely matches Gregory’s movement and descends perpendicularly towards the linoleum with a force that, Tadeusz hopes, will shatter the cursed sheet of paper to smithereens.”

2011. Ink on paper. 8.25 x 5 in.



“Tadeusz cautiously rolls the chair, with Gregory on it, a few feet back from the drafting table. Sure enough, the diagram follows Gregory to maintain the distance between itself and the seated scientist, while defying the laws of gravity at the same time. Fearful of looking directly at its pattern lest he fall victim to whatever has afflicted Gregory, Tadeusz walks around to the back side of the hovering diagram and examines its surface. The paper is thin and fragile, but also rigid. It is as solid as a brick wall to the touch. Tadeusz smiles to himself. The diagram will also be as brittle as a sheet of ice. Tadeusz knows what to do.”

2011. Ink on paper. 8.25 x 5 in.



“Tadeusz, while deep in thought, unbuttons his cuffs and begins to roll up his sleeves. A series of interrelated solutions has presented itself to him. Tadeusz could physically remove the diagram from the vision of his unmoving colleague, and this might be accomplished by simply rolling up the chart, folding it closed, or picking it up off the drafting table and placing it elsewhere away from Gregory’s relentlessly focused eyes. But Tadeusz is reluctant to attempt any of these methods, for he knows the inadequacies of his own athleticism – if the deadlock between the diagram and Gregory’s retinae cannot be so easily broken, any attempt to move the chart would require shifting Gregory’s body at the same time along a parallel vector. Such would be an unwieldy undertaking, both heavy and unbalanced. Indeed, if the assumption holds true that the distance between, and relative positions of, Gregory and the surface of the diagram are fixed, it would require far less effort to instead directly move Gregory and allow the sheet of paper to follow suit (especially considering that Gregory is seated on a chair with casters). Although, this alone would not be a successful way to rescue Gregory from the clutches of the chart’s petrifying visage.”

2011. Ink on paper. 10.75 x 7.5 in.



“It is just a few minutes past 7.00am when Tadeusz unlocks the office door and steps in. He flicks the lights on, rests his briefcase against a bookshelf, strolls past Gregory, and sits down on the worn Le Corbusier-inspired sofa. Tadeusz examines his colleague. Unsurprisingly by now, Gregory sits motionless at the drafting table with eyes fixed on the complex geometric chart laid out before him. Gregory does not move, blink, breath, eat, drink, defecate, or urinate – though he sometimes sweats, his hair and beard do not grow. Gregory should be dead, but three weeks have passed since Tadeusz discovered him frozen in the office, and still Gregory shows no signs of decomposition. So, despite all commonsensical objections, Tadeusz surmises that Gregory must yet be alive. Tadeusz would almost allow himself to be overjoyed by this conclusion if he could but determine a method to successfully reclaim his friend from the visually-induced stasis.”

2011. Ink on paper. 10.75 x 7.5 in.



“Gregory rolls the chart flat onto the angled drafting table. The plot laid out on the surface of the paper is a complex pattern that occupies the entirety of the sizeable sheet. He begins to study it intently. But fear sets in before long. Although his intellect tells him the graphic pattern physically ends at the perimeter of the chart, with his vision focused at its centre, the repetitious uniformity of the diagram begins to encroach upon his peripheral vision. What normally serves as a visual buffer at the edge of his sight is effectively abolished, and he finds his eyes locked into place in relation to the ubiquitous diagrammatic matrix presented before him. Furthermore, panic ensues when he realizes his predicament extends beyond the ocular, and that he is rendered incapable of wresting his body from it’s current position less than two feet away from the chart. ‘I can’t move,’ is what he’d like to say, but not even his lips are able to escape the solid grip of delineation.”

2011. Ink on paper. 8.25 x 5.25 in.



“Their next project – it’s more like a frivolous challenge really, but somebody is actually funding the research – is to devise a system by which a pontoon plane can stay airborne without recourse to aerodynamics. The requested solution is to have the plane counterintuitively stay ‘afloat’ in midair upon downward falling rain.”

2011. Ink on paper. 8 x 5 in.



“Tadeusz stops writing mid-word, not to sharpen his pencil – though it could do with sharpening – but rather because he just now realises he might finally understand the eagle-thing analogy Gregory incoherently expounded the other evening.”

2011. Watercolour on paper. 9.5 x 7 in.