Photos and Names

10 August 2007

Tim Etchells and Adrian Heathfield

At Hugo’s for a couple of days, which in part involves a speedy photo-shoot of Adrian Heathfield and I, for a project we’re working on in Vienna later in the year. Photos against a black screen held up on poles that stands on the tarmac outside the open double doors of the studio. Natural light. While Hugo shoots, his son L. runs around the place, a human ‘watch the birdie device’ that keeps our focus in constant motion. For photos I can do maybe three varieties of not-really-smiling. Sometimes though (but not here) I manage to look as though I might be nice, or even kind.


Hugo said a while back that the most recent Douglas Coupland book Jpod has a page using the names of the developers of Photoshop; names which you see on-screen each time the programme starts-up. Weird ‘cos for a long time I’ve really wanted to do a story using them – I love it that the names Thomas Knoll, Seetharaman Naraynanan etc etc have a kind of ghost familiarity for many people, just from seeing them there as they slip by during Photoshop’s start up sequence. I’m pretty obsessed with names as a way to tell stories – the Forced Entertainment piece 12am: Awake & Looking Down is all names in combinations and the video Starfucker is simply a list of Hollywood A and B list celebs each involved in strange, dangerous or banal events. A kind of minimalist short story I’ve been working on for ages – titled The Chapter – is basically the membership list for a fictitious motorcycle outlaw gang. A version of the story was published ages ago at Another Magazine, but I’m still adding names and nick-names to the list which is now comprises something like 1,500 bikers and their girlfriends.

Once upon a time there were a group of Hells Angels called Dave, Skull, Chip, Twig, Mr Max, Mender, Davey, Rocko, Tommy, Whimple, Turkey Neck, Cooler, Kev, Porker, The Big Lift, Freddie, Ed, Hamster, Doggo, Norman, Mr Peach, Sandy, Crapper, Bender, Twister, Mental, Boner, Leathers, The Old Man, Randy Andy, Reefer, Smackhead, Lifer, Dodgy, Crackerjack, Speedo, Greaser, Handy, Viper, Dustbin, Paul O’ Grady, Piper, Bonnio, Beergut, Shandy, Bezzer, Boolio, Fritz, Dr Who, Punt, Jarvis, The Wilmslow Boy, Charlie, Tiny, Cookie, Sparrow, Benton, Burger, Jobbo, Sharko, Scalpel, Dickhead, Tanker, Bongo, Dongle, Donut, Dibble, Grudge Bucket, Skippy, Rommel, Shithouse…