I have been interested in ideas relating to the ‹model›for many years and this has been expressed in my explorations of model (‹scaled-down› and ‹ideal›) landscapes. The computer programming that lay behind the collaborative alife project that I made with Gordon Selley, TechnoSphere [1] (1995) included Gibsonian affordances, with both the artificial creatures and the environment modelled algorithmically such that creatures perceived one another and the landscape in terms of what they could afford one another (for example, grass or other creatures as potential food). In the interdisciplinary Cell [2] project this was taken further as we developed a complex and highly detailed (though necessarily partial) formal model of how stem cells behave in the adult human body. The importance of embodied, situated and distributed knowledge and behaviour was central to the resulting computer simulation of stem cell behaviour. In mapping the knowledge domain of stem cell theory we had previously discussed the ‹situatedness› of the then-current theories themselves (the impact of the environment of the lab, the available technology and the researchers) in the scope of the hypotheses that they proposed. Recently I have become interested in compulsive writing: what ‹rules› might define that behaviour – how might I make a model of compulsive writing? I have experimented by conducting my own compulsive writing projects, ‹modelling› myself on one compulsive writer (Emma Hauck) in order to understand another. I have also analysed the components of some compulsively written texts (the form of the handwriting, the objects described in the texts) to gain insights about the author.

Over the course of 25 years I have been the unwilling recipient of hundreds of letters, ranging in length from two words, to almost a hundred pages long. All have been written to, and about, me by a delusional stalker diagnosed as suffering from psychosis. My interest in ‹modeling› psychosis is driven by this experience - I feel compelled to understand his state of mind, the better to protect myself and as a way of facing my fear. To induce a psychotic episode in myself is to close the gap between us, to resist the urge to make the man who stalks me ‹other›, to immerse myself in my own unconscious, however uncomfortable. This active exploration of my ‹inner› space is contrary to the way I have outwardly lived the last 25 years: refusing to succumb to fear by travelling and working when it was suggested I go into a witness protection scheme; continuing my life as an artist though Press coverage of my shows can trigger an escalation in my stalker’s threatening behaviour; not speaking publicly about the experience of being stalked. The letters are a starting point for me to ‹model› psychosis: to consider the ‹rules› that define psychotic behaviour (as evidenced in the letters-as-objects) and to ‹execute› these rules, like a computer program might execute a code, in order to try and trigger a psychotic state of my own.

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