In March 2012 I decided to dream an impossible dream. The final chapter of the dream would be an email from the School of the Arts at Loughborough University. The email would tell me that I’d been awarded a studentship – and that I’d be paid to make mischief on their 3-year PhD programme. The epilogue to this impossibility: that I’ll be Dr Mischief by 2016.
I decided I needed a badge. A badge-to-make-the-impossible-dream Real. Tangible. Embodied. I also decided that the yeehaaYes email would taste like strawberries and black pepper.
After more drafts than I care to remember, and with the support* of inspirational friends, colleagues and peers, In June 2013 got *that* email. And yes, it did taste exactly how I imagined it would.
From October 2013 – 2016, I’ll be making Beguiling Mischief. This will be research that employs strategies of pranks and embodied critique to facilitate the production of publics and counter-public spheres. In creating opportunities for playful defiance and participatory discourse, mischief will provide the potential for unconventional methods of protest, inveigled into the everyday.
(In many ways, it’ll be an extension and development of the work I’ve been making on my MA Art and the Public Sphere.)
*I owe a huge dept of thanks to my family (who have also suffered/patiently endured many of my early mischievous pranks – whoops! – sorry about those), my friends, particularly Caroline and Vic, and to Ian Bruff, Mel Jordan, Johanna Hallsten, Marion Arnold and Gillian Whiteley. Thank you – you’ve all been epic.
…always Dream Impossible Dreams.