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The Goodly Mist
A Workingblog for Rob Sherman
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Books & Computational Art in 2018

There was a best-archived segment of my life when I got unhealthily – pathologically – interested in the concept of the ‘quantified self’, after reading Harper Reed‘s interview with The Setup. For somebody like me, it was an unfathomably stupid pursuit: poring over datasets about the statistics of my everyday life, and using those to […]

My daily lunchtime walk most often takes me out through Swansea’s Maritime Quarter, a tight, mostly white little knuckle of flats, restaurants and shops built out on the cold, curled land between the Bay on one side and the old South Dock on the other. It was built to be an isthmus between the regeneration […]

A few weeks ago we volunteered to have our house haunted. All in all, they’ve done a good job; in fact, I’ve yet to meet a single cowboy or cowgirl in this particular industry. We’ve watched our skirting boards swell and bow, heard something play the descant on the fins behind the fridge, and our […]

A Lifetime With Dom

A close study of Domino’s intelligent assistant, conducted ‘in the field’ while waiting for a Four Cheese. 17:43:06:04 Prep The world in which it lives, the world which it is, stands at about 400 pixels wide, and I’ve looked everywhere across them, but no matter what I can’t seem to find any genitals. This makes […]

Empathy Machines: Love, Guilt and Paracosmics in Interactive Characters

This is a short panel paper, with slides, that I gave to a non-specialist audience at the Bath Spa University Early Stage Researcher Conference. As is becoming tiresome, the creature was in attendance on the desk beside me housed in a portrait monitor. Hello everyone. This beside me is the largest fraction of my PhD […]

A Talk Given To The Bath Spa Empathy Research Group, 29th February 2016

I will try and include as much of what I covered as I can; but I will not try to write as I spoke, because I speak like a human being, and that’s dull. I’m also not going to abandon the opportunity to include some things that were flung off at the last minute because […]

I never saw the beater who brought the pheasants to Cob Cottage and slung them over the wall, like panniers full of cooling lunch. In my mind they are an utter stereotype, one I don’t need to describe to you, one that we can all picture as they disappeared around the keystone of the house […]

A Startling Realisation

Though there is a lot of academic writing and positivist chicanery to come in regards to my PhD project, diminutively named

My latest kitten has just learnt (or, perhaps less impressively, just grown) to jump clear from the kitchen floor and into the fridge. I have an irresponsible habit of leaving its cheese-thick door ajar when constructing lunch, and for the past week or so with almost no fail I have heard the corn-grind of his nascent […]

Ffu –

It would be very easy, if a little odd, to begin this piece with some final remarks; certainly far easier than dreaming up some opening words of my own. The done thing is to lead with a quote from somebody else, centred on the page like a cartouche. It’s a reassuring start, to have another […]

The Uncomfortable Gaze #6

She might have been a councilwoman; she had a municipal look to her. It has now been a span of many years, at least several, and I have forgotten everything about her from the head down. I think that she was large, but I have forgotten. I think that she was pale-skinned and mole-filled, but […]

The Uncomfortable Gaze #5

I was at a variety gig some time ago, staged in an former keeper’s lodge at the gate to one of Britain’s less provincial towns. As well as feeling London like a shadow on the lung, I could taste the soap in my beer. The doorman wore tattoos like eczema at the corners of his […]

The Uncomfortable Gaze #3

One day on the DLR, the monorail which runs gingerly through London’s drowned former docklands, was an example of what most would call an insane person, alongside me and another two hundred or so men and women and several children. He was dressed head to toe in orange cloth, the colour of cartoon radiation. Everybody […]

The Uncomfortable Gaze #2

A few weeks ago, a weather system boarded the train home from Birmingham New Street; vortices of hair hair, a cold front of white, white teeth and, walloping along at knee height, two screaming faces; a family, the silvered barometer of a buggy, and their voices. The train was busy, and so the mum took […]

The Uncomfortable Gaze #1

I am back from holiday, and starting a new series; descriptions of moments in my life, extended or singular, which held my attention longer than they should. Some of them might be small, some big, but I hope that I can show why I stood or sat or crouched staring at them for so long, […]

I Found A Hedgerow, Stationary In Air Like Water, Hung Like A Drowned Train

Of all the people who have ever written about the English landscape, and the trepanning pressure that such a landscape has on their own brain, distinct from everybody else’s, the most revelatory, and devoid of mawkishness, is the poet Ted Hughes. I have adored him ever since I found my mother’s copy of Crow, the […]


The village of Eyam in Derbyshire has hundreds of graveyards, like many settlements its age; but there are three of them, set in a triangle of vastly differing geographies and altitudes, that stick up bright and strident on maps, like the pins of a wall plug. Most of the others are minuscule, no more than […]

Little Sophie And Lanky Flop

My friend Sophie is little. I do not call her Little Sophie, but nobody would think it was unfair if I did. Our entire relationship has consisted of her treating me like a particularly stubborn rockface, gargantuan but still baroque enough that she could most likely find a handhold and someday make it to the […]

Crepuscular Solutions Limited

I had never considered my life as a machine until the early hours of one morning in winter, a few years ago. I knew that my body was a construction, one that should be constantly examined and maintained, and I had ignored that particular must. I was paunchy with a lazy, listless sort of misery, […]

The Morning I Tried To Feel Everything

This is a short piece I wrote after a particularly devastating night’s sleep, and the appropriately scouring shower in the morning. When I came to the shower, I was bottle-thrown by a mob of complaints; I got black leather caught under my thumbnail when peeling an avocado last night, and it remained tender as if, […]

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