Finding my voice



“A theme of our times is the fear that our voices will be heard less and less.”


24 hours before standing on a theatre stage in a white suit speaking these words, I had lost my voice.

I mean it was gone.

A gasp.

A gap, where my charisma usually comes out resonantly.

Weirdly, I didn’t panic.

If anything, I thought this was so narratively timed to perfection it was compelling. Caroline said to me in bed that Saturday morning: “I don’t think I can remember you ever losing your voice.” In, let me remind you, almost 32 years of a very very chatty marriage.

By lunchtime, she was commenting how weirdly quiet the house was.

I was wondering whether lipsyncing to Daniel on the Mac text speech would keep my audience in the auditorium for as long as maybe ten minutes.



Creating the show.


In prepping for my Bournemouth Writing Festival talk, I’d kept perspective the whole way there. Glad to say still have, even days into the far side of it. Didn’t get stressed out, haven’t crashed into a funk since. It was just a test of a new format, no great public event that would fill the theatre and transform my inbox on the Monday morning. And I was right, which meant a useful lack of pressure.

But, y’know. It was kindofabigdeal – Unsee The Future’s first ever one-man stage show. In which I was deliberately stuffing out the format to see if it worked.

And it did work. Even if my voice didn’t properly.


I’ve often said that the main thing I’m looking for in delivering an event is for the spirit of it to land – did everyone feel it? Get it and receive it enough? The technical details just don’t matter, if they don’t actually get in the way of that spirit landing.

It was my main hope in Five Songs To Help Us Unsee The Future. And, though that was technically more ambitious and closer to home for me creatively, it also did land. People could see that show was a real stick & string test production and suspended their disbelief a long way for it. It was my most significant artistic live experience and it told Andy Robinson and I the main thing we wanted to know – that the format could work.

I still don’t quite know what to do with the perfect narrative timing that that experience we created was almost five years ago to the hour before I stepped on stage on Sunday.

Five years since Five Songs. No live Momo:tempo since.

I did sort of premier some new music on Sunday, though.

Though I didn’t fill the auditorium of the Palace Court Theatre with ticket-holders or my usual stentorian tones, The planet is f****. So what was a significant moment for me. That Dominic Wong offered me a chance to “go for it” back in the autumn did feel like a sort of wake-up signal to me at the time. This carried me through to a rather produced conclusion.

I ran the whole thing off a Keynote document. Made up music cues, images and footage into MP4 video files and dropped them in around the script and structure I’d developed, which we then ran through a big screen and sound system set up for the festival.

To my eternal private delight, the two very capable 18 year-olds, James and Dan, running sound and light said “WOW!” to my show-opening slide and obviously this will always feel like the main win I suspect.

It sounded and looked pretty good, I was on a big old fashioned theatre stage and had room to run around, I just about hit my marks and remembered the gist of my story. And, though I conspicuously didn’t make two of my costume change timings, I turned these tiny fails to amusement well enough. And yes, there were effectively four costume changes in 75 minutes.

I suppose the main thing is really that after 75 minutes the audience still seemed engaged and ready to applaud, rather than leave. I do sound a bit like an elderly Richard Hammond on the recording, but it was still an effective run through and… well, job done.

The significance is probably that I’ve managed to edit and print preview copies of the book alongside the show – fresh copies of UTF: How to think like an artist and change the world from DCS in London were on my stage the whole time and I waved one around at the end to more applause. That book + show 1-2 might prove something I can get out and sell a bit.

As Marcus John Henry Brown said to me this week on a call, I should be expecting to rinse this for about three years. I quoted back my friend Jamie Lee, life-long church pastor: “By the time you’re getting bored with the message, it might be just beginning to hit home.”

I sincerely hope to get very bored of this message. Because I think humans across the planet could do with having the story they think they’re in interrupted by it right now.


Understanding the experience.


The voice thing is weird, though. A central theme of the talk, a central gift in my work, to lose my own voice right then could be deemed spooky. I’m holding it lightly, but noting too that the audio recording of the show is also essentially unusable.



A signal perhaps that this one is indeed about getting out and having to do it again.

The other signals may be simply who was there with me, however. Key dear family were in the room together for the first time in many cases, or significantly wishing me well from afar. I wasn’t alone. Simon, Andy and Lee fortified the soul over lunch and afterwards, having traveled from Exeter. Rich Parker helped to hold the arms aloft too, traveling from Reading with a bottle of medicinal damson gin. And Rina joined us from London to not only bring her voice to the stage with mine for a section but bring a forest wise woman’s poultice to my desperately recovering throat. Philimore, Eastham, Desmier, Evans – brothers and sisters I’ve ridden into creative battle with many times were there with me, also. Including my biological and particularly wonderful sister Melly, journeyed from the midlands to join us with Mama Momo herself whom I could namecheck with applause in the middle of the show. She did, after all, raise me in showbiz and scifi, setting me for life.

And very intertwingled new friend Sue Thomas joined me on stage as well, for an enlightening second guest chat. I felt surrounded and believed in. This is wealth for the soul – finding friends who so get you, they laugh at the jokes and understand your story.

Thank you, dearest family. You got me out of the shed for an evening.

Simon, Andy and Lee, the men from the ministry of Intertwingularity, I should say in particular have now counted four Momo shows they’ve piled into a car together and traveled 100 miles for. Alongside creating the most loving artefact A mixtape for Timo full of voices to creatively encourage me on my fiftieth, during the pandemic. And writing and filming a whole promotional short for Unsee The Future. That Andy was so quick to send me footage of the event, enabling me to share all these stills with you here, is typical of the creative enthusiasm he brings to everything he chooses to support, and typical of how all four of us respond to creative company. As we sat around lunch, you could see us feeling the relief of being “back in a Bluedot state of mind” – whenever we get together, it feels like an ideas festival.

Rina, meanwhile, has been down to join the lovely first lady of Momo and I more times than anyone in the last 18 months, as she and I have schemed and scribbled and developed structures for a joint evolution of both our work, between her Holy Handgrenades and my work with Unsee. This, I said to her, was my audition and creds for what we will come out with next. But mostly, we are needing the company of souls we don’t have to explain ourselves to.

Which reflects a theme to have emerged from the whole festival – writers need each other. It’s a lonely job, and that sense of community seems to be the heartfelt ask of everyone who attended the sort of phenominal first year. Dom and Ildiko drummed up a schedule of speakers too rich to get around and it’s clear that folk left feeling jazzed to keep going in their work. Though my talk was always going to be a meta slide for those seeking practical workshops, my talk’s call stands there at the finale of this event none the less: We must write the new stories of us. I wonder who will attempt my homework of writing a new solarpunk short fiction.

It’s likely to be an interesting Unsee live stream special, and an interesting theme to keep exploring – actually coaxing new songs and stories of us out of people.

At the end, perhaps the main professional headline is simply that Dominic and Ildiko, festival founders, and David and Lyn my show sponsors all seemed happy. Big hugs and thanks. So too, to my releif, did Anna Farthing, chief engagement officer for Arts University Bournemouth who were effectively hosting us and running as at the old Palace Court Theatre. She seems to be becoming a valued ally and mate in the fold here, to Caroline and I. Each of these leaders has supported my work with smiles and warmth and energy, investing in me with belief. Between them, they handed me stage and costumes and all said: Go for it!

At some point, someone else has to say that to you and push you out the aeroplane. Or onto the stage.



A theme of my own career is brave niche one-offs. It remains to be seen if I have just changed the story I think I’m in and finally really begun to find my voice in this work.



All stills courtesy of Andy Robinson.

A promotional cut of the show coming for subscribers.


To find out more about Bournemouth Writing Festival visit: >



Three little films about now

We might sometimes wonder what we’re all actually watching.

We’re usually wise enough to treat such speculation with the same English good sense as salaries – you shouldn’t ask and you don’t really want to know.

But I want to share three videos I’ve watched within the same 24hours that together I think paint a certain picture. One that Murdoch surely keeps in his attic.*

Because, while I am still trying to gather dumb wits enough to find any regular useful words about *@!everything!∆* I figured other people’s more honed and commited communications skills pitched against the hell of now might be, dunno, something to take note of.

In fact, these three little films are a little comparing of notes that evidences an image of the world I have currently. They’re not hot futurism trends or specialist names from cultural academia. This is not about diffusion models – I’ve told you to ease up on that stuff or you’ll go blind.

These are just three little typical lunchtime washing up watches for me, voices who use the impenetrable art of writing jokes to cut through the crap.

I shall then wang in a fourth video at the end that I found later, because perhaps I’m just trying to take the board in (the increasingly fictitious) liberal media Monopoly.


Hanging by a frame.


Writing and compiling my talk for Bournemouth Writing Festival, I’m thinking of the framing of stories a fair bit in the background, conscious that everything we say and see is of course just one take. One reckon into the wind, shouting silently with our flies open in a wood under a falling tree. But the frame is what everyone banks on – and the most powerful… >checks notes< arseholes of our times are making the most out of a very particular window on the world.

A view so edited it’s a freakshow collage.

No wonder Cold War Steve’s work (and Sleaford Mods’, for that matter) feels so squinting-with-sick-in-the-mouth real.

I never liked collage.

I have referred to the 2020s’ entry into the one day forthcoming An Amusing And Brief History Of The 21st Century as The Nazi Theme Park Years. And it’s a flatly good way of looking at it, if you want to get your cultural bearings properly here.

I see it. Surely you can? The great Upside Down being constructed next to reality by the billionaires in our media – an inverted world where every fact is backwards, every economic crime means nothing, every victim of it deserves a good upskirting. It’s a Babel tower, an Olympic park sculpture, a black mirror, a 1000 metre gibbet for kindness and decency and what’s left of the natural world.

It’s purpose is not ideological. At least, not any of the vile ideologies it pedals to draw in therightly worried, the genuinely aggrieved and the vaguely niggled to trigger contextless sociopathy it isn’t. It’s just a thing so boring I can barely type it. A power thing. Which by now is so grotesquely deranged it is long past sentencing to a nuke-proof secure hospital.

Below, shows and people I have grown much respect for illustrate aspects of this Upside Down. This perverted, dead-eyed, slack-jawed world. You don’t want to see it. I don’t want to see it. It’s like that Midjourneyed image of a fused Beyonce and Michael Gove that a mate on thread put on the thread. It’s like all AI art.

But y’know. If you don’t clean out your own attic, someone else will have a go at your portrait.

Don’t worry, next week I shall take you for a long walk in the woods and talk about nature. It is a portal out of this scissors & glue nightmare.








(*You may well quip that Murdoch must be living in his attic with a cloth over his head and is sending his picture on public appearances, judging by the fearful look of him now, but I would simply point out the scale at which his haunted art must be working to keep him alive at all.)

(**And you’re right too – YouTube apparently isn’t taken in by my flimflam talk of equity and representation and continues to serve me an old white sausage fest. But the point is, none of these people are talking with their sausages.)

(***Also yes fine, it’s five little films if you rightly count the UK Grim video, which you absolutely should. As you can see from the still in the header image, it’s horrifying.)

Why celebrate? NYE22 and Momo’s still coming coming of age.

Why celebrate?

Who are we kidding with all the bunting and baubles?

I don’t think I’m known for my sombriety or humbug – I for one have been looking forward to the end of the year and it’s lengthening excuses for winter’s many toasty pubs. But is there a time we should just say: put your knees DOWN, Mother Brown

In some ways, I’m a believer in ringing solstice bells no matter what is filling our news streams and robbing our bank accounts – diurnal rhythms keep us grounded. But this summer I felt like I had to ask myself this opening question.

For this October was the 20th anniversary of Momo.

Surviving this long as a creative independent seems worth a glass of fizz or two with some of the people I’ve met during that time, no? They did change my life, after all. But I weirdly found myself doing the opposite. I switched off all the lights and went to the beach and didn’t do anything to celebrate it all. No party, no announcements, no fireworks. It just didn’t seem quite like a standard fizzy success moment. 

What I did was take my first sabbatical. I bought a sketch book and mostly just wrote in it, to let in or out all the sillybollocks of private journaling and look for clues. Let the brain go cool after all that trying. Listen in to what secretly really wanted to do with myself next. 

And what did come out of that time? 

That is a big question. 

One to which I cannot give a big answer yet. Even now. Now on the last few hours of the year.
I suppose the very simplest headline was: Don’t celebrate twenty years – celebrate Momo’s 21st. 

This will take a step of faith. Because Momo is, as far as my recent VAT returns are concerned, on ice. Scant invoices in months, and a sole employee apparently not returned from leave. A company creative director dangerously adrift mentally, surely. 

Yet, I’m not sure I’ve felt quite like this before – lost but like something is very purposefully prepping in me. 

Come April, I feel a rather crushing shame to say, it will be five years since Five Songs. And not a single live music show since. Just two singles releases. I can’t explain it. But it feels like folding paper and stepping through a door – I don’t believe it is so long. And that evidence trail of my work is pretty terrifying to dwell upon. So I don’t for long.

 Because over the last seven fasmagorically fast seven years, I’ve been effectively retraining.

Learning about the planet I live on, finding a take on it, exploring that and meeting people to learn from them about it and turning those conversations into blogs and recordings. I’ve been building a thesis of the world and experimenting with lots of components of storytelling. Sort of instinctively, sort of intentionally. And finding out what my working values really are, to lock in all I’ve been trying out to those and to a surer purpose.

Learning about emotional truth. Its centrality to all human motivation, including mine.

Still trying to flee the demon of incredibility, not helped by the loving stability of my life for half a century; great artists seem to allow themselves to go mad from seeing life’s fundamental Absurdity, yet I have still Kobayashi Maru-ed it. Death will catch up with me, of course – which only affirms my personal lifelong conviction to be a man of joy, in the moments I am able to.

The summer ran into the autumn and buffered into Christmas for us fast. So I am starting 2023 like a graduate getting out on his bike; renewing and starting again. Unsure of what I have that will work.

But what I have is simple – a desire to help people get more excited about crisis and change. To use my creative voice to speak for the world of possibilities out there beyond this present narcy darkness.

Speaking for nature a bit, encouraging leaders to see new stories ahead, not old ones, and to find their voices in this hour. I want to help do that.

I said I wanted to focus. Defrag the freelance hardbrain. Let the engine go properly cool. In the balmy warmth all across Europe this summer, from London, to Paris, to the south of France to Milton Keynes, back home to the south coast of England, I felt that cool breeze and began to write in that blank sketchbook.

I let the pencil nib follow the breadcrumb trail of excitement. Not overthink anything. Just note it. Feel into the quiet guided ooh! and not analyse it for a while.

The result was a conviction.


Time to make it now. Renew your vows to the thing you preach and scare off the eternal worried dilettante.


I followed this into a number of things that now sit on my desktop underneath this browser window, to go with last spring’s first draft of the book of my thesis.

2023 will be about The Shape of Things To Hum. I know the LP now – it is a six-sided vinyl experience and I have still some lyrics to write, some sessions to record, some segues to figure out, but I know it. I feel it. I think I believe in it again. I cannot explain it’s loooong gestation but I have a first draft of a megamix sitting on this desktop alongside everything else, and it… might yet be brilliant. If my creative experience can pull rank on my inherent naffness and snap to life the right locked cut.

But the summer also produced a complete script for a full cabaret musical around it.

This is essentially trying to make two different experiences at once, in order to make both better.

Picturing as clearly as I do now how this could be brought to the stage, building on Andy’s and my work with Five Songs filled me with manifestatory confidence, I have to say – and gave me some direction on unfinished tunes.

This in turn lead to a small but world-shifting additional development – the logo. The Shape of Things To Hum has a logo now and when it fell into place on my screen in the autumn I couldn’t stop staring at it. It felt – it feels – real. Like a mad alternative West End show waiting to explode.

I turned all this into a lovely one-off episode of UTF: The Hopeychattybits in which I talk with three of the dearest creative mates Momo led me to – Simon Brett, Andy Robinson and Lee Rawlings. In it I reveal a first little brand sting to them and how I rashly sent them the show script draft #1 to look awkwardly at each other about – all as part of my ongoing mission to discuss how practically to fashion new stories of us in these times of distinctly buzzkilling crisis.

Through the summer as well, however, I found myself easily scratching out concepts for how to get from one to the other – from a musical headphones experience to a live cabaret media event – and I have focus for some intriguing one-man street sketches and for a one-man character talk for corporate events as much as artistic ones.

I found people who might be able to fashion me the Ghost of Future Shock’s shocking hot pink costume and then discovered what colour 2023 is meant to be. Hot pink.

I feel sure about the three parts of my creative life – art, research and consultancy. Experiences, ideas and advocacy; Momo:tempo, Unsee The Future, Momo:zo. And so I finish this year with a clearer idea of what I am knocking on doors with, and who’s doors. It’s frightening.

I start the new year alone. Unresourced, unsure who needs me. But with a suite of developed creative experiences and skills bound by a now deep conviction in my world view. And so many incredible people met and learned from before I took to the beach to think.

We are in a time of gross corruption, injustice, failure and apparent collapse. A time of illusions and isolations and wonderings.

What the hell, you might say, do we really have to celebrate this NY?

I think all we can do to take more active part in this era of fearsome unrealities and unknowable change is dream much more intentionally – and step into those dreams with dumb-ass have-a-go to-hell-with-it.

This is what I am about to do on the other side of this evening of more fizz and bells and wonderings.

Wish me luck. But it’s not luck. It’s art. And I wish it to you too.

Thank you for upholding me through all this. I hope I can better encourage you too next.

Here’s to coming of age this year.


Taking an end.

Finishes can be healthy.


The little campaign I’ve run for myself at the start of this year has finished. The 2202:2022 weeks began with a sort of creative statement of intent as an artist – How Big’s release. Which happened to come out 24 hours before the current Russian leadership launched an invasion into Ukraine and started a war. An especially sickening and incompetent one as it’s so far unfolded, three months later, still without finishing.

The night we heard, I was on duty for The Global Goals Music Roadshow and we managed to get a Russian student onto the show who spoke with barely contained anger at her own government. At the end of the show, signing off as I usually do, I found I couldn’t hold it together. And then I couldn’t get it back together.

I am still wondering what my little Ukrainian flag is for on my Twitter page, or my tears that night.

I am lumping it all together, in my head, into the one story of us right now. I’m think of the war, I’m thinking of the economics of energy and its price hikes crippling homes around the world, I’m thinking of the culture of corporate robot thinking keeping brakes on a faster transition from oil & gas, I’m thinking of the gun controls America can’t pass as children in school pay for it with their lives, I can’t stop snapping back to thinking of how naked is the corruption and incompetence and emotional disconnection of conservative politicians currently running my own country into the ground. I’m thinking of race and gender in our society and wondering how the hell some of us keep getting out of bed with any creative energy. I’m carrying around all of it, as I suspect you are in your own way. And I know it is a story of valuation.

A story of how we don’t. Value life – and our place as a unique part of it.

And I don’t know how to help end that story.

As friend Natasha Player said with tears on a post in the last 24 hours, change takes so much longer than we hope.

We value life when we’re cradling it in our arms, but systematically, structurally, habitually, it’s poverty and extractivism and corporate ownership we prefer to keep alive.


The front end.


I was trying to demonstrate my identity as an artist with a wonky bit of electro-clash scifi satire by starting with How Big back in February, but I was actually launching two concurrent other things as you know – a podcast series and a book series.

Ten weeks on, I have actually finished them. Ten conversations with remarkable people I’m very proud to have talked onto my show, and ten chapters of a book I’m satisfied to have at least drafted out into first life. And between Unsee The Future: The Hopeychattybits and UTF: How to think like an artist and change the world, I’ve been attempting to interrogate the implications of everything in Unsee that led to EP31: Solarpunk.

Is another world possible? And can art, storytelling, bring it to life in us in the era we need it to? The era of crisis? The era of life collapsing under our refusal to change.

Weeks on, test bed makings finished, I wouldn’t say that I know the answer to that. I know I spent two days with theatre artists this week, and a day with wealth leaders last week and a night at a nostalgic electro pop concert last night and I am left feeling daunted and silly for talking about how we can truly value – verb – the creativity to do something new. The new we currently seem incapable of seeing, to believe in enough to try.

And I am feeling none the wiser about my own effective place trying to encourage anything.

So I am embracing a sense of finishing, myself. In, be assured, a creative way.

A needle is scratching at the end of a record as I type.

The end of Heaven and Hell by Vangelis. As I lift the 70s lid and then the needle, it seems a moment to look forward personally with one note from personal history.

Something about his music put soul into mine at its very inception. And last week he died, aged 79.


The deep end.


In the obits to the music legend Vangelis, everyone mentions Chariots of fire, because it is as iconic a piece of film music as anything ever made – audaciously simple, evocative, electronic, soulful. By comparison, I regard his highest creative work as the score to Bladerunner in 1982 – it turns Ridley Scott’s incredible visual cyberpunk feast into a fairytale. A sweeping fantasy of sentience fighting for the right to childlike wonder. A musical feat suspended effortlessly between epic dystopian space opera and intimate magical emotional truth in a way Bladerunner 2049’s skillful pastiche of a score didn’t even attempt. It kept it cold. Vangelis was always warm, at least as I heard him in his music.

I do, however, think as much of another LP of his, from all those I still live with every day. Direct. Given to me on cassette by friend Jo, for my 18th birthday, it seemed nuts-confident in its musical ambition, creative freedom and melodic sure-footedness but most of all in its natural combination of analogue and digital synths. Roll your eyes at the geekery, do, but N O  O N E was using analogue synths in 1988, never mind alongside Emulator IIs. But, while Direct does suffer from the Great Bass Drought of the 1980s, it still reminds me how fundamentally Vangelis fanned the flames of my first inspirations into making original music.

And he showed me that music could be as soulful, as it could be transportively atmospheric.

And now his cannon of comforting creativity is also finished.

Our heroes do die. Finding myself at a Pet Shop Boys gig last night, I’m reminded how soulful their post-modern Englishness actually is and that I’m grateful they’re not done yet. But I had a political micro panic attack walking into the BIC for the show, looking around at an audience who all looked older and whiter and straighter than me.

After two days meeting remarkable people in the Dorset Artists Festival and hearing how audiences aren’t turning out for challenging live storytelling right now, I think my snobbery shock was a cattle prod to my growing hatred for nostalgia.

How the hell are we going to tell the new stories of us when no one wants to hear them?

And how the hell can I help? I am sitting with the knowledge that I don’t know. Which isn’t a great feeling with the twentieth anniversary of Momo looming.

But I think I’ve walked away from the last week’s conversations and news, and this personal season’s test work, reminded of where art starts. I find myself wondering whether artists shouldn’t be desperately trying to crank up the making machine again right now, perhaps especially while wondering how they will eat next. I am returning to the feeling that the most useful thing we can do at the moment as art-literate explorers is listen.

So I’m going to take some time to try this.

The tail end.


Having drafted a book that’s very hopeychangey in its description of art – a primal lost right of all humans – I am beginning to wonder if I just drink the Koolaid too readily. As one performance artist said straight away to me, after I’d shared about the book impromptu at the Artist Festival at Lighthouse Poole: “What about the wanky art?”

It’s dawning on me there might be a whole tandem story about how ridiculous art is.

But I don’t have the heart to write that now.

I am thinking of a number of things on the bench in front of me now. I’m thinking of the LP I have to finally finally finish, as the art that started everything for me in the last few years. I’m thinking of the grain of an idea for a one-man show I could develop, to move it out into the world and get back on the stage at long long last. I’m thinking of the lists of guests and technical upgrades I have in mind for a second series of The Hopeychattybits. I’m thinking of the blessed GG Show and what place it will have in my life, having paused it with AY for time pressures a few weeks ago. I’m thinking of my work making sense of futury storytelling for corporate clients. And I’m thinking of the book, and whether finding a publisher could unlock new worlds for me.

But what I am thinking and feeling with peace is to step back from the bench and leave all those possibilities there for a short season. In fact, step out of the room all together.

Twenty years of Momo has been a rich creative schooling. I’ve survived it, earned a bob or two along the way, made lots of things, some for me and some for others. It’s been wildly unglamorous and I’ve not yet found my place to plug in and light up my own talents exactly. It’s been a largely ignominious but often fun and skills-boostingly varied freelancer’s odyssey – and it’s left me a bit in need of defragging.

So I am taking my first ever sabatical.

A few weeks out. Off social media, away from the Memos, not trying to find work. Eking out the modest funds in the Momo account. Trying to listen in.

What is the story I think I am in? And can I, in the end, really change it?

After all, as Rina Atienza just said in a keynote speech:“Everything is a LARP – we are, live, playing roles in this game of life.”

After all the things I’ve learned finishing, I am wanting to sense the one thing I should finally begin.

Being sure of how we feel.

None of us know what is going on.


I’m recalling the words of Jay Springett FRSA from his podcast 301: Permanently moved to online, no 2208: Say Act Feel.

“What can we do about things we can do absolutely nothing about? ..In order to act, one must be sure about how one feels.”

Across our work channels we are supposed to be doing things. Acting. Making. Including *a difference*. When all the signals about the futures ahead of us seem loudly inevitable.

How do you feel about that?

I have felt drained of doish energy, right in the middle of all I am doing.


The Jaymo was first onto my new show Unsee The Future: The Hopeychattybits in which I follow up how to write new stories of us, as the old ones around us burn life and hope. It builds on a UTF intro to Solarpunk – if it’s a genuinely helpful new framework for imagining alternative futures, right when we need such, how do we actually do it?

H O W do we write, make, test, live the new songs and stories of us?

How do little old you and I make life from death?

I’m exploring this first series while simultaneously writing first book – UTF: How to think like an artist and change the world. This is a big question I’m asking of all of us, because why should we imagine we can change the world? As I say in the intro to the whole thing, it sounds infantile to consider such a big act of response.

I feel it’s weight very personally, conscious that I’m not sure I can change a thing about my own life. The little world I live in.

But Jaymo suggests this: “Instead of living in a permanent end time, we must learn to live in the mean time – where we must live with the confusion and make do with partial answers. – a recognition that not one of us knows what the f*** is going on.”

This is responding like an artist. From emotional truth.

As Andy Robinson put it to me on a thread discussing Nora Bateson’s profound episode weighing up how to interact with complexity all around us: “Before you can take positive action to save anything, you first have to grieve. To understand loss. And as I have found personally,” he said, “it is perfectly possible to grieve for something not yet fully lost. And in that place, you can begin.”

My latest guest on The Hopeychattybits is well practised at beginning. Working through. Bringing to life. Founder of the Near Future Laboratory, Julian Bleecker. And his simple call, from a very intersectional creative view of life is:

“I want us to remember we have an imagination… It’s maybe the tool we can use deeply to save ourselves from ourselves.”

We live in the worlds between worlds, as Rina Atienza highlighted in episode 3. None of us know what is going on, but each of us has a truth to follow – a story trail to live into. Learning how to feel that truth’s value can bring light and warmth to you and those near you.

How else do we change worlds?

Where else can we start?

Do listen and share.


#UnseeTheFuture #Storytelling #crisis #art