As an artist I have spent a lot of my life working on my own and I am quite comfortable in my own company. I’m not sure where the idea came from, but during lockdown I started doing some work on redoing the soundtracks of classic movies, such as Close Encounter with puppets, so what you see is the puppets and what you hear is the original soundtrack from the film. I did this for a number of things like The Big Lebowski, just in my back room, come studio.
I spent the early part of it all involved in creativity and then I broke out and decided to check the local green. There were a lot of pallets about on the green and people were bringing food there and they needed somewhere to sit, so I started building tables and other things. I was joined by residents who were on furlough, or students that were bored and lonely. To some extent Covid was somewhat of a sabbatical, a treat, one could have chosen much better circumstances though! As a community we managed to push forward with the green and we were able to construct what is essentially an urban park for everyone to use.
What was probably the most challenging was looking out on the world and seeing everyone losing their fucking minds. Covid is a terribly human, physical, horrible, mortal condition about organisms and viruses, viruses that have been around since millennia. We are just the latest hosts for them but this has led to this total crisis in mental and intellectual health.
People suddenly began to realise that they were just this unit of energy and economic worth so people went crazy in different ways. Some of them got very isolated and became very troubled for lack of social contact and others manifested their issues and philosophical struggles into crazy conspiracy theories. As primates we make patterns whether it’s voodoo and mythology or whether its consumerism come capitalism, we make patterns to organise our world or to make sense of our world and understand and place ourselves within it. This gives us peace of mind and allows us to carry on and do things without thinking about it. Once we are doing things and starting to think about it, like during the Covid crisis, we think it’s all a fucking con, a flimsy paper screen in front of what is not a terribly productive, positive or good system for human beings. So some people that hadn’t spent their lives thinking, suddenly had this revealed to them and started going fucking crazy and saying oh my god the government is acting in a way that is authoritarian and fascist and they are putting masks on us and it’s all part of some global conspiracy. What’s happened is these people have bought into the new creation that of an old, old lie, that there is some form of dragon people, call them illuminati or whatever it’s the new world order who are running things. It’s actually quite reassuring for those people because there is actually still a god, we have created these new masters of the universe, they may be malign and bad but you can say that if your life is shit it’s their fault.