One of my favourite teachings on life comes from a cartoon squirrel called Tufty. Often interpreted as a message on road safety his message was overlooked by many. After all, the seventies was an era in which the spiritual teaching of cartoon squirrels simply weren’t taken seriously. His message is the simplest I have ever encountered. It is succinct and to the point: Stop. Look. Listen.

Remain where you are. Stop trying to be something. You are perfect as you are, you just haven’t realised it yet.

Look at the world. It is what it is, and you are it. it is a reflection of you. Wondrous, horrific, beautiful, malign. As soon as you stop trying to change it to fit the you you think you need to be, or change yourself to fit the world you think it is, you will begin to see it for what it truly is.

Listen to the others. They all have something to tell you. It might be about what they think they are, or what they feel they should be, or would like to be, or don’t deserve to be. It’s all just stories, but they are their stories. Listen enough and you will learn to tell the difference between the stories and the experiences. The same goes for yourself.


So yeah. All that from a Cartoon Squirrel. Peace and love.


Take it easy,

Mr X



                        all material © 2015

Dark Night and the Soul

There are some who believe that the cognitive functions of the brain can somehow be abstracted out to computational processes, that science can define the activity of thought as sets of sequential effects. That this is a good measure to explain our experience of life.

But is it?

The model of the brain as a biological computer fails to account for certain states of being that people appears to be subject to (or the subjects of). The reductive arm of science might have us take the experience of love for example as a sequential mode of bio-chemical and bio-electrical stimulation.

“But I love her.” I say.

“It’s your neurochemestry, besides, she’s just a canvas of your projections.”


But is she more than that?

What about my experience?

Is anything ever just ‘just’.

The soul of a person is as much a product of the physical world that we sense as it is the thing that does the sensing. For what would we be without that which we observe in the world. Without it we would be void, would we not?

And this thing that senses being, this thing we call ‘I’, the totality of it; remembered, recalled, forgotten, embedded – this is what I mean when I say  Soul. This totality of being has it’s own agenda, it is the  you behind the mask, the you who you do not always see, that sometimes your forget, but that always walks beside you. You can never see it’s entirety, but it whispers to you, it drops hints. Sometimes it creates a crisis to try and wake you up to yourself.

Also, I believe, it carries with it something within the code that seeded us, as it did our predecessors, spiraling back through generations. Diluted? Yes. Determined? No, but impelling.

Our Souls fill the gaps between the world we perceive and the internal dimensions we create to make all the disparate aspects of it appear as a coherent whole.

More than this, because, like Venn diagrams, there are areas where our souls overlap. Areas where we share interpretations and perceptions. Whether these exist in an  etheric medium, or whether they are the consequence of the structure of the way we organise information in the brain I’ll leave for you to decide. But the effect is there. Myth is one of it’s evidences. And if you begin to look for your soul in the soul of the world then be prepared for what you might find looking back at you.

As a final note I’ll share an example:

The sun, the solar deity, the eye of Horus (the eye of god – the sun of god – the son of god), father of all things, bringer of life, upon returning to the underworld that is night, steals our ability to see the world.

Without the sun we are left in the dark.

While the sun rules earthly affairs the night holds an alternate truth for our senses.

“Here you are.” Says the silent vastness.

“This is where you really are. Look.”

And the depth of night stare back. At least it did. Once.

When the sun returns at dawn we return to the day with new found knowledge; new understanding of the world and our place in it. The routine of the day continues, as it must, but our place in the world is now shaped by our perception of the world’s place within the cosmos. We have returned with a deeper understanding of both the world and of ourselves.

The sun, often connoted with the ego, represent earthy concerns, principally  because it’s light gives shape to the mundane world and obscures the stars. In the same way our own concerns can obscure our ability to comprehend the scale on which the concerns of our lives are conducted.

What happens to a culture and the psyches, the souls, that inhabit it when the night is stolen by artificial suns. What happens to people when they loose the memory of the true brightness of the stars. What does the world become when it’s darkness is taken from us?



Mr X



                        all material © 2014


There is a world behind the world, full of forgotten absence and undesirable presence.
A recognition of this inhabits some. Their task:
To smooth the creases,
To unfold the folded,
To return the measureless to the measured.

There is no charge for this service.
Other than you sacrifice your beliefs on the altar of yourself.






Yours Archetypically,

Mr X



                        all material © 2014

Transcinematics: Collaborative Transformational Filmmaking

Transcinematics. The origins of the term emerged with the inception of The Grey Man project: The project that eventually became The Gaps Between.

If you prefer bullet points there is a list below that you might find helpful, otherwise this is as good a place to star as any.

As I say, transcinematics is cinema that goes beyond, it was the first time I had felt the idea with a certain conviction. I was overwhelmed. It happens sometimes when I get an idea, or at least, when I perceive the range of an idea. Inevitably feeling marooned by the inadequacy of language; forced to communicate a coexistent manifold of potentialities in a linear sequence of utterances.

Oh well, beggars can’t be choosers I suppose.


So, definitions…

O   Transcinematics is about transformation.

O   It is about you and it is about me and it is about us.

O   It is about using film as a medium to reflect people, as individuals, or as a group, back to themselves and/or to others.

O   It is about exploration and a collaboration.

O   It is about challenging oneself; to do that which you would not normally do, to say that which you might not normally say, to make that which you might not normally make: To play beyond the edges of your own assumptions.

O   It is about expressing yourself freely, but not without direction.

O   It is about doing something unique, participating with people in a way that generally doesn’t happen in day to day life.

O   It is magic.

O   And it is about a search

for joy,

or meaning,

or value,

or strength,

or all,

or some,

or none of the above.

It is sort of what you choose to make it

And you are sort of what it chooses to make of you.


Of course none of this is binding, or even guaranteed. It does however illustrate that this mode of working does go beyond what most people do with video cameras, both in the scope of how our content is created, how it is filmed and framed, and how it is delivered; how it finds it’s way back to the world.

It is not quite like anything else. At least not yet.
Yours in anticipation,


Clive Austin



                        all material © 2014

Film: Human Nature

Human Nature was a commission through a department of the NHS that deals with mental health in Devon. It was very low budget, covering one days filming and two days editing (plus expenses).

Our interpretation of the brief was to trace a line from the south coast to the north coast in a single day, approaching random strangers we encountered on the way and asking them an approximation of the following question:

“What is your philosophy on life?”


We paused halfway and filmed the sky until the sun broke through. We had planned that much. Why? Well, because that was what the day suggested to us, and because there is beauty in the sky, and it is symbolic of thought, and the sun breaking through the clouds works as a metaphor, and so do the silver linings on the clouds, and the camera left on auto going in and out of focus. It wasn’t planned that way. We shot it like that because it felt like the right thing to do. Pretensions to cleverness can abound in the wake of such moments of inspiration. It can be all too easy to take credit for something, that in truth was suggested by the world, by the subconscious responding to it; the intersection of elements, time and space conspiring.

It was a good day. If nothing else it reminded us of how generous people can be, how open and how genuine. How we have all overcome something to get to where we are. What value there is to be found in reflection and what beauty in the stories of lives.


Yours in reminiscence,

Mr X


                        all material © 2014

The Magic of Film: Children of the Tide

Back in 2005 I became involved in a collaborative arts project with Phil Smith and Maggi Squires located at Shaldon Primary School, which sits at the mouth of the river Teign in South Devon. We worked with them for a week running a series of workshops that included a mythogeographic survey of the village, the creation of a puppets from gathered materials, poetry making and the creation of a piece of music. These creative explorations culminated in a ritual act of performance which saw 130 children process their puppet avatars to the sea shore and set messages, folded into paper boats, afloat on the waters for the tide to take away to the waiting world. Sadly, due to a omission of planning on our part, the tide, which was coming in, washed straight back onto the red sand in waterlogged clumps, but the sentiment was there, and the rest of the day went as smoothy as these things can.

My role, in part, was to provide a document of the performance in the shape of a film. Of course, I declined to make this a straight forward affair and attempted to integrate as much of the process into some sort of narrative, shaped by the general theme,  described by the children narrating the film.

One month later we returned to show the finished film at the school. We drove through torrential rain to get there, only to discover that the school and much of the village had been evacuated due to a freak flash flood combined with a high tide. Once you have seen the film you will be better placed to understand why this felt quite so significant. It was not until we collectively viewed the film a couple of weeks later that the significance of the films theme came home. It felt  as though we had collectively, albeit unintentionally, designed a magical act that would summon the sea to us in an act of unity.

Of course the whole thing was just a coincidence. Yes, of course it was. Cinema is not a magic act. There just happened to be a high tide combined with a flash flood on the day we planned to show the film. Nothing strange there. Nothing strange at all. Other than the film perhaps. I can’t remember what the children thought of it. I seem to remember a lot of fairly blank stares. I do remember one of the parents telling me that they felt it was a cross between a David Lynch movie and the Blair Witch Project but I can’t remember whether is was supposed to be a critique or a threat. I took as a compliment and have kept it to this day, to share it with you, here.



Yours dubiously,

Mr X



                        all material © 2014


Economy and Revolution

There are many ways in which Art can be perceived as a revolutionary act. The most powerful for me is through the internal revolution of the self; to engage in experience in a way that shifts our perspective, that transforms our understanding of ourselves and the world. In this way we expose that which is submerged in our subconscious: attitudes, opinions, beliefs; complexes that drive us. We bring them to light, reflected in the attention we bring to the things and the events that we create, that we craft into being. In doing so we discover more about who and what we are. It is a path to self knowledge. 

So to say “I am an artist and my life is my art” is to ally oneself to the idea of being an attentive and reflective producer of your own experience of living. Without this sentiment we are destined to become consumers of our lives and not the producers of them.

This sentiment is the core of all economies and the soul of every revolution.


Yours tenderly,

Mr X




all material © 2014

Caution: Wet Floor

Yesterday I watched a man walk into a shop and trip over the ‘Caution: Wet Floor’ sign. I pondered that perhaps a larger sign signalling the potential danger of the first sign might be an amusing addition, finally concluding that if we were to take all the danger out of life there would be no challenge to it.


Thank you for listening,

Mr X



all material © 2014

Confronting Fear

Confronting fear is less about taking risks that cause you to face the potential of your own death but is more about taking risks that cause you to face other people with the potential of your own life.

Here in thejauntycontinuum existential crackers are all the rage this time of year.


With fortitude,

Mr X