Simon's Weblog

Sunday August 4th. Day 1

I arrived in Sway without any great incident. It took us three hours on the nose from London. I rode roughshod with the kit in the van.

However tightly packed it was, it still needed one of us to be in the back to make sure some of the more sensitive equipment didn’t slip, and if it did, that we could stop right away.
Kip was lucky and pulled the long straw, and so he went down by train.
Luckily there was only a little seepage, and that was from the drum of dichloroethyl ether, but it is only minorly corrosive, and so it was a quick and basic clean up.
The cops stopped us only once, just outside Winchester.
As I searched my bag for the transport permits I soon realised that they were not interested in what we were carrying, but more in the roadworthiness of the van. Admittedly it was an old GPO van, on its last legs, driven by our trusted driver Jim, (who due to an extra ordinary sounding night out the night before was also on his last legs), but it and he was cheap and cheerful, and all that we could afford.
Anyway the police kicked seven bells out of the tires, casting expersions on the exhaust and demanding to be shown that every light and indicator worked independently from each other.
Due to an extraordinary stroke of luck, they all did, and we were released to continue on our journey of no more than 50 mph due to a faulty yet officially un-questioned faulty thermostat.

When Kip arrived we were sitting in the pub garden waiting for him to turn up to help in the delicate operation of unloading the equipment.
It was five p.m. and still a murderous 32 degrees in the shade, and none of us had the energy to unpack the gear, so we merely carried it to the studio, stacked it up and relocated to the pub to toast our minor, but first victory, that of all of us arriving in one piece.
I’m going to bed now, but I suspect I will not sleep.
It’s not the seepage of the dichloroethyl ether, which should be contained until the morning that was worrying me, nor the opportunity lying ahead, the opportunity of finally making the force field that was keeping me awake. The reason I would not sleep was one of displacement. It’s a long way from London to Sway, and in a way the silence of the countryside is disconcerting and almost eerie.

Monday, August 5th. Day 2

I managed to awake without sleeping a wink. I got up, bathed and dragged my computer up stairs and then plumbed it in. It all still worked. I was relieved. I offered up a prayer to the slave labourers who had built it. I went downstairs to the kitchen and breakfasted. It was at this point that I realised it was still only 6:30.
So sleep deprivation is one of the many things the New Forest has to throw at me. No matter, there is much work to do and early mornings
Will help the day be productive.

We got to the studio about 10 o’clock. The staffs were busy taking down an exhibition and understandably had no time for pleasantries, but were helpful in advice but were unable to proffer any support.
We spent the morning unpacking our equipment. Most of it made the journey, a couple of pieces, mainly the RCX and a couple solenoids on the decompression unit were bashed about a bit, but most of it looked fine. We were still too disorientated to test anything, and it was hot as hell, and so we merely kept ourselves busy by ticking of our inventory to make sure that we had brought everything with us that we needed. There was a slight panic when we could not find an essential bit of kit, the magnatron, but it was, as always in the last box we opened, stored away in the bathroom, where we had quite rightly, but absent mindedly put it the night before, away from any of the electrical equipment that it would almost definitely ruin.
Luckily I had remembered to recharge the battery on the refrigeration unit, and so the magnatron appeared to be holding up well.
The biggest job was moving the back up generator to shed 5 (our studio is made up of five separate spaces), and it pretty much takes up all the space, but shed 4 was slightly bigger and the magnatron fitted in comfortably.

The heat was un-bearable, so we blacked out the windows and called it a day. I guess it still hasn’t sunk in yet that we are here, and finally get to test all our theories. It’s taken so long to get anyone to believe in them, that I’m not sure if I believe in them myself anymore, but I have been through the maths a thousand times and it all seems to add up. In theory, that is.

Tomorrow we have more work to do in the studio. I guess I should start calling it the laboratory, as that is what it will become, but I’ve never understood the division between the art and science thing.
I blame the renaissance for that one.
Still, another day waits, and so to bed.

Tuesday, 6th August. Day 3

Another day of setting up the lab. There is a lot of kit to fit in a small space, and we have to be very particular of the zones. The zones are the different areas where we will carry out different levels of experiments. Each level is based on possible danger. As a sweeping generalisation we have come up with these three colours coded zones. Yellow for low risk, red for medium, and blue for high. As this is still un-chartered territory for us, we most probably made some mistakes in our risk assessments, but it’s better to start with something than nothing. The storing of the magnatron is proving to be difficult, as even when not plugged in it is still very powerful and so keeps on causing fluctualations in our monitors. However most of the gear seems to be working, but we are
Still waiting on some of the most important parts to arrive from Cambridge. We haven’t heard from some of our more important suppliers, which are a worry, but I guess it is still early days.

Still, we have created enough space to work in, and set up the first stage of our apparatus. All we need now is the rest of the gear to arrive.

I still can’t feel that excited about the project until we start the experiments, but these obviously cannot be rushed, as we need the results to be verifiable, and so the set up is all-important.

Apparently the hottest day of the year so far, with very high humidity, which we still do not know whether is a good or bad thing. We know we need the humidity, but we also need to control it to carry out the tests properly, so it is still all a bit trial and error.

Due to the heat we clocked off early again today, and so another frustrating day, but until the rest of the kit arrives our hands are tied.

Wednesday 7th August Day 4

Still no much needed essential kit. Spent the day on the phone to Cambridge and setting up this website.

Thursday 8th August Day 5


I need to return to London tomorrow, and so it feels like a week has passed and that we have achieved very little.
I Feel I don’t have much to write about until it all begins, but hopefully next week we can start for real. We really do not know if the experiment will work, and even if we do manage to create the force field I have my doubts that it will be invisible, but we have it on good advice that it will. However we need the rest of the kit, and it is frustrating waiting for some idiot to send it to us.
Next week is when it all begins, I’m damn well sure of it.

Monday 11th August .Day 9

I have just returned from London, I feel I must mention the unusual occurrences of the weekend.
Essentially this was the hottest weekend in England since records began. Friday’s temperatures only being surpassed by Saturday, with Sunday finally achieving above the 100 degrees mark. It was quite remarkable. London was burning; it’s inhabitants driven to new levels of animalistic and chaotic behaviour. Six people are alleged to have died of the heat alone; god knows how many died at the hands of fellow humans, driven to murderous extremes by the insufferable temperatures.
The infrastructure is collapsing, and with the developing extreme metrological patterns I feel no government will ever take on the necessary work to upgrade it, even by piecemeal.

It was so hot that, for the first time, the citizens of my street left there front doors open in the vain attempt to illicit a through draft, a draft, that did not exist. In the cities we no longer breathe air, but thick, humid smog, devoid of oxygen. It is more like a soup, a primordial soup rather than an atmosphere fit for modern Homo sapiens.
I can’t speak for global warming, as I have not travelled the globe, and so have only scientific orthodoxy and un-orthodoxy to rely on, but one thing is for sure, that times are a changing.

What we, me and Kyp are investigating could be part of the solution, or could be part of the problem. I don’t really know, there is not enough verifiable data out there. There are lots of cranks, who claim force fields are all part of the clean energy / perpetual motion machine/ Tesla axis that makes up one of the central planks of fringe science and it’s unwarranted adoption by conspiracy theorists.

Often much of the time the maths of fringe science just doesn’t add up, and it seems that a lot of these people have skipped both the first and more importantly second law of thermo dynamics. However, maybe this is needed to progress our understanding of the universe, after all didn’t Einstein, at the end of his life recant his dismissal of dark matter, and consider his original stance his greatest mistake. Some laws are just there to be broken, and without the dismissal of accepted orthodoxy, humans would have been unlikely ever to have left their caves, let alone land on the moon.

For me, science like art means nothing unless there is a utopian intent, and with the displacement of Newtonian physics by the far more, in a way, philosophical quantum mechanics, art and science are at a strange cross roads.

Everyone understands art these days, even if it is by total dismissal, where as science feels like it has just entered it’s maturity and so has replaced the traditional modernist position of art, that of extending the boundaries of human philosophy.

I just feel that it is not just our reason or logic that is being stretched, it is our ability to act upon it. Karl Popper talks of ‘ Clocks and clouds’ in relation to Newtonian and quantum physics, and that neither allow any scope for true free will. We are either trapped in the pre-ordained mechanical ‘Clockwork’ universe of Newton, or are cast adrift in the abstract and chaotic sea of a quantum universe, where our individual actions amount to an exhalation of breathe in a hurricane.

At this point, now back in The forest, where it is still to hot to move, and I think of my neighbours in London, their doors wide open waiting not for a murderer, or a burglar to enter there house, but a simple, breeze, I am reminded of a quote from the situationists (who may lack in substance had a damn good way with words), and it again brings into focus why I got involved with the invisible force field experiments in the first place, why extreme science seems so important.
‘To make the world dance, first you have to turn of the music.’
Maybe the best way to truly open people’s eyes, we need to create the invisible.

Enough already, I need to sleep. The heat will not let me, but I need to try. The silence of the forest still disturbs me. There is no human sound, only that of animals, wailing under the moon and the unbelievable temperature.
I know I have only been here for one week, but I feel I could never get use to the quiet.
At least in a city you are never allowed to hear all of your own thoughts.

Tuesday 12th. Day 10.

Today the temperature had dropped a little, not enough not to cause a slight overheating in the refrigeration unit, but enough for us to monitor it without constantly wiping the sweat from our eyes.
With minor tweaking it held up, and the magnatron seemed to be in working order. In the afternoon we tried some minor experiments with the auxiliary electro magnets. They held up fine, but again the temperature levels in the main coil was a bit high, but it is hard to tell in this heat whether it is a technical malfunction or environmental conditions.
I must admit, I’m not sure if Kyps maths adds up. I need to go through them with him again tomorrow. There is something, and I am not quite sure what, that I feel uncomfortable with. The ampage is fine, I’ve been through that with a fine tooth coomb, it’s the required humidity levels that leave me un-convinced. However I am sure by trial and error we shall know soon. I think it may just be the heat, but I am becoming increasingly worried that we have missed something very important in our calculations.

Tonight was a full moon, and so an excellent opportunity to test just how sensitive our light receiving diode circuit is.
There are no streetlights round here, and all the other residents seem to go to sleep early, so it was just the moon and the stars.
Luckily, there was no wind, and so the bushes and trees were stoically silent which gave us pretty good testiting conditions.
These diodes picked up not only the merest hint of cloud travelling in front of the moon, but also a strange formation of military helicopters
Flying in formation, in some strange stealth operation, one tiny light each flashing on their fuselage.
You could hear them way before you could pick them out in the dark sky above us.

Kyp reminded me of the story of the development of radar at the beginning of the Second World War. Basically, it was a minority sport, and the military and the Government put very little faith in it and allocated funds accordingly.
Anyway these two chaps managed not only to develop one, but finally got the top brass down to witness it. Not relying on chance, the said top brass organised a flyover of I think a Lancaster bomber, a big machine that should be easily detectable.

So all these chief of staff are in this cramped room, with these two scientists, looking at a small round screen, a flat line on a grid waiting for a peak and an audible beep.
They waited for something like ten minutes, looking at their watches, knowing that the aeroplane should be overhead any minute.
The display remained stubbornly static.

It was as the sound of approaching droning engines were heard clearly inside the bunker that the radar finally woke up and gave a solitary ‘blip’ and went back to it’s rest.
Obviously, on hearing the aircraft fly almost overhead before the radar reacted, the military top brass left in disgust, and refused to
Fund the project any further.

Eventually the radar experiments were funded to a far greater degree, and put into production within a years time, but only after they had been proved to work by two blokes working in a shed.

Wednesday 13th Day 11.

Finally the temperature has dropped to a bearable degree
Our refrigeration unit was on its last legs, and if it blew, so would the magnatron and belly up goes the experiment.
The power fluctuated a couple of times, and the back up generator failed to kick in. and so most of today was spent tinkering with it.
It seems that one of the sumps had given in.
By chance we had another sump and the replacing of the faulty one was quite easily, although as we did it there was a brief electrical storm, and so it was quite a worry that the grid would be taken out, being as we are, in the country.
Our worries were ill founded, and we got the generator
up and running and back on line within a couple of hours.

Thursday 14th day 12.

The day started with a difficult breakfast with Kyp.
We heard on the world service that half of the electrical grid went down in the northeast seaboard of America.
I’m not surprised it did, it was an accident waiting to happen. The state of the ailing infrastructure and the power hungry habits of our American cousins has been apparent for a long time. I mean it happened a couple of years ago, all be it on a lesser scale in California, and it was caused purely by demand outstripping the ability to deliver.
Kyp got a bit agitated over this and almost spit out his toast.
Kyp, for all his natural intelligence, always allows the personal to be secondary to his logic, and his logic is often based on, what some would see as paranoia, and others would see as the deep and ugly truth. Anyway, Kyp claimed that some cult armed with Tesla coils took out the whole network, and it was no accident at all.
Now, I’m not saying this is not possible or indeed probable, but I need more evidence to let me believe this.
When I explained this to Kyp, he merely did the old the gag about measuring a circle from any point, which I have heard many times before, and although momentarily arresting, and often applicable to many abstract conundrums, does not mean that just because the American Government has finally been forced to admit (although they are still blaming the Canadians, which I suspect will be proved false) that they are running the power delivery system into the ground due to non interventionist policies and to keep up short term profit margins.

Now Kyps logic, which is not without it’s basis in truth, is that All governments constantly lie, and if they are admitting that they and the big energy companies are all part of the same cabal, with shared interests and agendas, that it is all a double bluff, the reality of the situation being something like some terrorist cult have launched a spectacular attack on Americas economic infra structure armed with home made Tesla coils. We’ve all heard that one before, and I’m sure will do again. The truth of the matter is that most empires fall due to the inertial decline of their political, bureaucratic and trade systems, and not due to the intervention of any form of revolutionary science. Japan maybe have been the only exception to this.

Anyway, after we breakfasted we went to the lab.
I spent most of the morning running through our maths.
Most of it seemed to be bang on. I must admit that I am glad we decided on the static induced force field as opposed to the cold plasma option.
At least the static way has a chance of working, not that cold plasma does not, it has been proved to work, but our initial theories of ways of producing the amount of cold plasma needed would have proved to have been totally inadequate, and we just could not have manufactured anywhere near the volume needed.

I guess we just got excited about producing it in a table top Pyrex bowl, like NASA have. However we soon realised that we are not in the business of rocket science and do not have two million dollars to throw at it. Ionised particles, whatever the ampage seems far more reasonable. In the end of the day, it’s just electricity, humidity and air, which unlike our American cousins, we in England have plenty of all three.
Unless of course you are in London, then you have an abundance of two, but a stiffeling lack of one.

The Maths took me most of the day, while Kyp booted up the magnatron and tested the oscillator coil
By the looks of things we will be able to run an active test next week, but not here. We will need to go into the heart of the forest, away from any kind of built up area. However much Sway gives me the creeps, I don’t wish to wipe out an entire village due to a misplaced decimal point.
Kyp is a bit more gun-ho, but this is not always a bad thing.
I guess he drives the experiments on, and he has a vision of achieving the impossible, which he believes only takes a little more time than achieving the possible. For example, at the local pub, this evening, he has convinced me to reconfigure the magnatron, and do some anti-gravity experiments.
For some reason, (that’s a lie, I know the reason, I have always been obsessed with replicating a static zero G environment I made, all be it briefly a few years ago) I agreed, and so now we are carrying out two experiments instead of one.

Tonight I will not sleep. Not due to the heat, which thankfully has ebbed, or fear of failure within the invisible force field experiments, and not of nightmares of falling, but of fantastic thoughts of flying. To escape ‘ the surly bonds of earth’, we do not need to go to the moon, but in a way, we need to bring the moon to us. We should not send the chosen few ordained to act for all man kind to tell us what we are missing, but it should be made available to all of us, every single being on the planet.

The birds have started singing, so dawn is near.
I think this might all turn out well after all.
I need to go back to London again tomorrow, I have several meetings to attend throughout the weekend. You never know, there might even be a breeze awaiting me back in the city.

The menu has downgraded. It is at the bottom of this page.
About SCAN»
SCAN News»
Archived News»
Training Archive»
Organic Rationalist: Rapid Prototyping»
Entrepreneurial Models»
KMA Congregation»
Steina & Woody Vasulka»
Data Golem»
Big Screen Artist Film and Animation»
hair+spit v1.0»
Promised Lands»
Dark Places»
Portable Radio»
MultiChannel 2008»
Perfect Citizen»
Wearable Futures»
Invisible Force Field Experiments»
Close Proximity»
Data Agency»
Doing It In Public»
the colour happened on the inside»
Igloo Summerbranch»
Venice Biennale»
White Air Festival»
MultiChannel 2007»
Distributed South»
members login