September 20th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink


George is a red phone box. People used George to talk to each other for over 40 years before they switched to using their mobile phones instead. First he was loved, then neglected and then finally abandoned.

George has woken up for the Brighton Digital Festival, and is keen to meet new people and play them some of the conversations he’s heard over the years, as well as share recordings of some of his more recent visitors and collect a new generation of thoughts and feelings.

This interactive artwork, created by The Fortunecats, is located in a red phone box on the corner of Pelham Square towards the bottom of Trafalgar Street.

By enabling the discussion of personal feelings in public, this modern relic aspires to invoke an egregore of potential community with no regard for its otiose condition, nor its place in the evolution of our communication strategies.


A report by the Near Future Foundation on the subject of Wellbeing highlighted five methods by which wellbeing could be improved: Learn, Connect, Be Active, Give and Take Notice. Each of these represents a reasonable solution to the various feelings of depression, inadequacy, alienation and loneliness that seem to be rife among us. Unfortunately it also seems that without a certain level of self-esteem it can be frustratingly difficult to adopt these practices as habits.

It seems, in fact, that the obvious stresses of the global capitalist human (from whichever social stratum) lead to habitual and addicted behaviours which prevent these actions of wellbeing. Our attempt to interrupt this had to exist somewhere that could literally and metaphorically stop someone in their tracks. Hence the phone box, a ubiquitous, yet redundant object of street furniture, an unusual but safe, private but public space.

We discovered through our previous work “Broken X” (BDF 2013) that members of the public were prepared to share details of their inner landscape with a synthetic human in a way they might be reluctant to with a biological one. As a result we realised that the mechanism used to ‘hold’ such disclosures from visitors needed to be built from our own practical experience. We decided therefore that it was necessary and desirable to explore the relationship between emotions as they occur and our habituated avoidance of them.
Strategies used to do this included Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg, the works of Dr Richard Moss, C G Jung, Alan Watts and the practices of the ManKind Project.

And so we come to George. The prospect of engaging with spiritual or personal growth through contact with a machine has long been a theme of our work. George is perhaps an attempt to put a ‘village elder’ back into a modern community, a role which is absent in our contemporary societies. He is modelling inquisitiveness (Learn), vulnerability (Connect), self-care (Active), compassion (Give) and awareness (Take Notice) which may be the prerequisite qualities for those wishing to improve their sense of wellbeing.

Great thanks are due to Robert Hewitt, Duncan Henderson, Chris Hope, Jim Harris, Deborah Turnbull, David Mounfield, Heather Urquhart and the Cats Cabal.

George was in part supported by a grant from Brighton & Hove City Council.


April 27th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink


Mammon is a giant mechanised replica of a Maneki Neko, the Japanese talisman of wealth and popularity, thought to bring good luck.

The Fortunecats have made many iterations of this work, the version at The Art of Bots is a comical, male, God of Capitalism created with poet Deborah Layzell. You can wake Mammon and hear his generativity composed wisdom and thoughts on the power (and vacuity) of wealth. You will also receive your own unique commandment.

Mammon was shown at Art of the Bots, at Somerset House, London – 15 &16 April 2016

The New Sublime 2014

June 5th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

The New Sublime 2014 from sam hewitt on Vimeo.

The New Sublime

August 28th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink


The Degenerate Art GONG Show

June 19th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

The Degenerate Art GONG Show

May 7th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink


We are delighted to be holding another GONG Show as part of The Brighton £5 Fringe

ART in many forms that is BROKEN and dangerous will be JUDGED by a panel of experts. YOU the audience will ask questions and VOTE. The winner will get a CASH PRIZE and the artist in last place will be BANNED.

The third in a series of GONG shows by the mischievous Fortune Cats, this is a rare and random chance to contextualise your experience of art.

When: 23rd May 2013 7:30 doors, show starts at 8pm

Where: The Latest Music Bar Brighton

How much?: £5

Degenerate Art Gong Show

March 29th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Open call to degenerate artists.

Are you a Degenerate Artist?

Are you A Degenerate Artist?

Yes? Good. This suggests your work fails to reach the physical, mental and moral qualities considered normal and desirable.

The Nazis invented the term (Entartete Kunst) and confiscated any art they could apply it to. They then toured over 650 works from some of the most influential artists of the 20th century in the bizarre hope of showing it’s moral and aesthetic shortcomings.

The Degenerate Art GONG Show (the third in a series of Art GONG Shows) aims to draw a new line in the sand between modern concepts of decency in art on one side, and the degenerates on the other. Who are the new Nazis? The Arts Council? The Curators? The Daily Mail?

We are looking for visual art, sound, digital or performance work that shows evidence of, or deals directly with, physical, mental or moral decline.

The work will be shown to a panel of experts and a voting audience at The Latest Bar, Brighton on May 23rd. You may speak about the work and you will be asked questions.

The winner gets a cash prize and the artist with the fewest votes will be banned from showing such work for one year.

For further information please contact: gongshow@fortunecatproductions.com

The Conscious Machine – Orientation Film.

September 23rd, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

The Conscious Machine v3.1

September 18th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

#BDF12 Digital Art GONG Show

September 12th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

The Brighton Digital Festival Digital Art GONG Show was held at Fabrica on the evening of 10th September 2012.


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