Diving Everydayness: Wolverhampton Aqualung Society

RND/ To imagine informally joining the ‘Wolverhampton Aqualung Society’.

Another cigarette, another day
From A to B, again avoiding C, D, and E
– Wire, The Lowdown (Pink Flag, 1977 Harvest Records)

Official logos – 2006 x 2838, 256 col .png edited in Gimp:


Wolverhampton Aqualung Society Manifesto

Official Motto: “Diving Everydayness.”

Modern existence has been found wanting, to say the least. Singularly unexceptional and disturbingly uninteresting, too often raised to the status of a paradise by the fawning-yet-yawning, complicit and willingly beguiled. That is, the conservative.

Founded or rather locally manifested in 1983, the Wolverhampton Aqualung Society represents strong active resistance to the intolerable tyranny of the mundane Middle, via imaginative responses against ‘Terminal Boredom’ as well as the passive-aggressive avoidance of vulgar public celebrations of the Ordinary and Obvious. Of subjects (such as Existence) often correctly considered trivial and pointless – that, when clearly examined reveal themselves as they in fact are, in all their beige poverty:

  • Tedious, dreary, uninteresting, unsophisticated – banal, bland, humdrum, lacklustre, monotonous, tiresome, unexciting, uninspiring, characterless, affectless, rab, insipid, ponderous, slow, glaciated, tiring, uninspired, unremarkable, vapid, wearisome, dry, flat, heavy yet weightless – nondescript, pedestrian, soulless, spiritless, tired, trying, uneventful, wearying, jaded – lame, mechanical, sterile, unalluring, weariful, mind-numbing, run-of-the-mill, without excitement or genuine interest – routine, quotidian, commonplace, utterly normalized and totally zombified

In short, absurd – incomplete and often monstrously useless. Depthless, dismal and deserted.

There’s also just the crummy, generic realities that aren’t special in any way, that are sort of random. They’re infinitely removed from nothingness, but they fall infinitely short of complete fullness. They’re a mixture of chaos and order, of mathematical elegance and ugliness. So I would describe these realities as an infinite, mediocre, incomplete mess, a generic reality, a kind of cosmic junk shot.
– Jim Holt, Ted Talk “Why does the world exist?”

However, unlike other ‘R&D’ crews, the W.A.S does not fetishize boredom; rather, we strive to continually demystify the violent dullness of modern, synthetic “Daily (so-called) Life” – the ‘Woolworths value brand of reality’. Ours is not the ‘rediscovery of the sublime in daily minutiae’ or some B.S. appreciation of ‘the magic in the mundane’ but a rapid deconstruction of what it means to (barely) exist in a miniature cardboard diorama universe – where endless bus queues, dreary small talk, empty car parks, violent (synthetic lemony) disappointment and slightly stale Garibaldi biscuits hold sway over our naked emotions and barefoot dreaming. “Celebrity golfing anecdotes.”

But no more. For members of the W.A.S ‘live’ (and are still yet to live) in the woefully inadequate “World Of Naff” (specifically within the vast sprawling confines of the ‘Chicken Aspic Towers’) and always ready to dive past our meager given lot in irregular, wayward fashion. We make explicit the arcane and habituated condition of ‘everydayness’, in order that we may dive right past its constraints. Fuck Martin Parr. Oh yeah, one more thing – members of the W.A.S don’t clap; we’re not performing seals.

W.A.S Factoids

The key existential watchword of the W.A.S is “Naff.” As well as the recently undated one-word entry in The Hitchhiker’s Guide for the backwater Brexit island “Endland” (aka “Dismaland”) it implies all that is cheap and ‘crap’ – as deficient, faulty, incompetent, lacking, scarce, sketchy, weak, depleted, dry, feeble, inapt, insubstantial, lame, small, sterile, thin – poorly formed, defective, makeshift, ramshackle, rickety, shoddy and jerry rigged.

The unofficial W.A.S icon symbolizing their approach that of “A slightly damp 1970’s British Railway Sandwich being tossed into a nearby bin with mindful intent after a single distasteful bite.”

Quintessential W.A.S TV shows:

  • Sean’s Show
  • Shelly
  • The Rise And Fall Of Reginald Perrin
  • Bergerac
  • Sapphire And Steel
  • Minder
  • Fred Dibnah

Movie wise, it’s:

  • ‘Itch (Alexie Sayle, 4 Play, 1991)
  • Conquest Of The South Pole (1989)
  • The Man Who Sleeps (1974)
  • Weekend (1967)
  • 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her (1967)
  • The Bed Sitting Room (1969)
  • The Rebel (1961)
  • The Desert of the Tartars (1976)
  • Withnail And I (1987)
  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1990)
  • Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

The spiritual literary hero of the W.A.S is author Magnus Mills. It’s existential anti-hero is Mark E. Smith of band The Fall. Aqualung art by George Tooker. Favourite food: New low fat spreadable “Soren” – combines Angst, Ennui and Weltschmerz with semi fresh Acedia and non-organic Aboulia to provide a gritty, stale taste.

W.A.S O.E.S Original Existential Soundtrack

Original existential soundtrack for the Wolverhampton Aqualung Society:

  • Corduroy – The Wedding Present
  • Louie, Louie – by The Kingsmen
  • Why Aye Man – Mark Knopfler
  • Everyday Is Like Sunday – Morrissey
  • Nothing Ever Happens – Del Amitri
  • Patience of Angels – Eddi Reader
  • Time Stand Still – Rush
  • Making Plans For Nigel -XTC
  • It’s My Life – Talk Talk
  • Mas Que Nada – Sergio Mendes
  • Ghost Town – The Specials
  • Paris, Texas – Ry Cooder
  • Another Green World – Brian Eno
  • Love On A Real Train – Tangerine Dream
  • Halcyon On and On – Orbital
  • Restless Natives OST – Big Country
  • Time – Pink Floyd

Wanking away the moments that make up a dull day in the North of Endland
Listening to Pink Floyd “Time” in my encrypted ear-beads
Education fritters and wastes my hours in an offhand way
Kicking someone around on a piece of ground in a crap town
Waiting for some weird thing to show you the way – sucker

“Tired of lying in the artificial sunshine – why not home to watch the data
We were never young – but Life is endless, so Time must be killed today
But then one day (ie. now) we find ten buckets of tears have fallen behind
No one told us when to stop running nowhere – we’re self-starting guns
So we run to catch up with the sun but it’s always there, fool
Racing around to come up behind us again
The sun is the same (in a relative way) but we’re always old
While we still think in the same way
Short of breath and always one day closer to Life
“One step at a time, Martin”

In Endland’s dreaming every year is getting shorter due to recent cutbacks
Nobody ever seems to find the time to rebel
Plans that either come to nought or half a page of scribbled lies
Hanging on in quiet desperation truly is the Endlish way
Their time is gone, the old songs are thankfully over
Thought I’d something more to say? – Shit I’ve barely begun, motherfucker


Coming soon via W.A.S member Robert What: a mashup of Guy Debord’s Society Of The Spectacle (in plain English) and The Revolution of Everyday Life by Raoul Vaneigem.

W.A.S conceptual associations & philosophical affiliations

// how to play big science

Super Bland Retro 80s Corporate Office Art Poster

RND/ to consider super bland corporate office art posters, direct from what Robert What calls “The Near Future Retro 80s”

4032 x 2352, 256 colour .png, edited in Gimp – from an office screenshot

Super Bland Retro 80s Corporate Office Art Poster

Wow, look at that. Effective image based summaries of innate existential dehydration, often seen quietly existing on the reception wall of some terminally boring, hyper-bureaucratic backwater Mcjob Lozenge your shitty “Send more bodies” temp agency posted you to.

// how to play big science

The Existential Dryness of Historical Fiction Paperbacks

RND/ to consider the extreme existential dryness of (inherently old) Historical Fiction paperbacks, so utterly dessicated in their very conception that even billygoats are unable to digest them. The textual equivalent of an intensely annoying, hacking dry cough experienced while pushing an old squeaking cart of dead, ungrateful wooden peasants uphill.

3600×5760, 12MB .jpg, edited in Gimp, most images via Amazon

The Existential Dryness of Historical Fiction Paperbacks

Every second hand book / charity shop in the land features several, lightly foxed and long abandoned copies of these cosmically dull, dried out meisterwerks, which almost always feature an old ring, a sword, a crest or a seal. Or some grand nautical vessel style bullshit in full sail. Rogering the cabin boy for 6000-odd pages, etc. Garish, often silvery typefaces announce the brain searingly dull contents therein. While the intended effect is to install a sense of epic scale and adventures bold and true, the narrative innards feel as parched as a stale fart listlessly floating over a desert sand dune in the uncaring, affectless gaze of an alien midday sun. “Blah blah in an age where extra manly All-White men did wholesome dangerous things in / for officially sanction his-story.”

Zzzzz.. who the hell reads such deadening doorstops anyhow? Why do they love Garabaldis so much? It seems one would get far more genuine narrative excitement via accidentally sticking one’s nuts in a golfball cleaner than deliberately forcing oneself to plough through such infinitely mediocre mountains of inherently laborious, reactionary Conservative time dust. Rose-tinted vaseline smeared on the scratched historical time lens, deliberately out of focus. In which merely thinking about such novels and their hammy, overwritten ways reminds one of endless stretched Sunday afternoons around your Uncle’s house, stuffed with strictly enforced social rules, Mother’s chintz and cat fir – cloying memories of lavender and pipe tobacco stink wafting among endless shelves stuffed full of such crap grimoires somehow still overpowering. A slow, papery death had by all.

Of course conceptually speaking the only genre of writing worse then historical fiction novels is Military Science Fiction.

Example Reference Links

Email Feedback

> Robert

> I wholeheartedly recommend “Memoirs of Hadrian”, if you haven’t already read it. Grace Frick’s translation is fluent and lyrical.

> Love, Alejandro

– What a polite and considered email response to such a dismissive post!

// how to play big science

Boring Social Media themed study

RND/ Social media themed art study, based around terminally dull media:

Amazon Reviewer

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Amazon Reviewer

To imagine a weirdo Amazon reviewer and their bizarre product list.

An Unremarkable Image

Seemingly simply no more or less than precisely that.

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An Unremarkable Image

Example Artistic Statement via Theorist Robert What:

Straight from the hideousness of mundane everyday existence: an unremarkable image via semi undecidedly non professionals.

Bland juxtapositions half set against a drab modern palette: tools of the postmodern hyper war, digital typography architectural shadows and rendering glitches – the unstated ideology however being that such images are somehow ‘no more or less than they appear’, ie. wholly unremarkable – when in fact they might simply be far less even than that.

False promises and deep time; all that does not glitter still might not be golden.

Crayzay Rich Brats Online

Via some foul young Instagram munt.

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Crayzay Rich Brats Online

Consider ‘Get Money’ art – via some kickable rich brat on Instagram.

Example Artist Statement via Theorist Robert What:

Every day as exactly the same; punching the life clock until death – except how to recognize any difference?

An endless mechanical process of filling up hollow days with deluded illusion that something-anything is happening.

– In which I want to be stinking filthy rich; my life seems extraordinarily ordinary, terminally boring and unbearably lonely.

At least with some dirty money in my sweaty, greasy palm I can pay to work with some actual, real artists and together create something of some minor Meaning, vague beauty and-or temporary intellectual engagement.

All I need is one breakthrough – one chance, one foot in the door.

Only thing is, the world is already Theirs, baby – these strutting credit cards with legs.

Given chance I could change reality itselves.

With some serious money I could reinvent myself; become famous, admired, a cool person I’ve secretly dreamed about for years.

With unlimited resources, with cultural position and friends I can live a new life of ease, fun and high adventure – finally escape this pathetically dreary null space, a half-life still as yet un-lived.

– At least at university [1] there was lite beer, shit dope and beautiful intelligent young people.

Best of all perhaps was staying up late to discuss Life, Polyverses and Everything.

The Internets are now all there is now for me – an undead virtual substitute.

I visit the same kind of sites daily – pretending to feel remotely interested in stuff.

Pretending to write for and on some random anonymous backwater art blog nobody reads or remotely cares about.

It’s all a bit of a cosmically useless farce without a punchline and only a listless audience of one.

Going through the daily motions of having emotions.

– All I need; some immensely wealthy patron or benefactor – some group of equally forward thinking, intensely artistically inclined visionaries to pretend to take me seriously long enough to adequately fund an artistic lifestyle to which I could so easily become accustomed – free instant access to artists, thinkers, supercomputing social networks.

– In other words, a brought ability to treat information as global capital flow – to plunge sticky clever fingers into the digital matrix and directly interface with mass global culture at speed of collective artistic thought.

– In some small way I might already be doing that right now -‘hyper advanced postmodern theory-fiction’ evolving consciousness realtime (kinda.)

– I just want someone – anyone – to think I’m ‘really on to something’ – whose clever enough to ask questions.

Nobody around here ever asks me any questions; my intense sadness over not feeling needed or admired for strange thoughts in and channeled via this brain makes my silent sadness an existentially weighty burden I could do without.

– Note: a couple of £ doesn’t buy a lot nowadays; I’d probably just spend most of it on sophisticated shameless self advertising and promotion for even more serious startup capital, in order to perform some truly hardcore ‘Big Science’ RND.

*mild listless, uselessly wistful sigh*

Does The Sky Exist

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Does The Sky Exist

Wow, good question.

EDT: Existential Depression Test

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EDT (Existential Depression Test) Results

To consider existential depression test results.

Social Media Message Wall

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Social Media Message Wall

A modern media collage.

Your Answer To Solving Media

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Your Answer To Solving Media

In which your answer to solving modern media.. sounds like Double Dutch.

Ideal / Idealized Cost for such Conceptual Work: £20K each – contact Robert What today for details.

Reference Link

  1. Tales Of English University Life

// how to play big science