Richard Taylor

Richard Taylor


Affinity Drone ♦
She/Her/Herself: Lila Matsumoto

Drone: a river in Dronfield, Derbyshire


I grew up with the river Drone

She did not

I cannot recall learning grammar. To me speaking is delineated from words on a page. Myself being from Derbyshire feeling really English slightly dislocated from proper intonation—yet fervent about other terms of expression. Herself Japanese moving to the US at an early age, learning structured English in Florida. We find affinity with how written language accesses paradigms of object and idiosyncratic form.


I demolished water wheels at the river Drone

She had a room in Tokyo, then an Atlantic palace

I wrote a piece for it to look good on a page. After seeking her input on paragraph alignment, the page became an arena for reading aloud. She joined me in a subsequent performance. The text was read to a cinema audience. The populated room created a killing floor to negotiate words and their delivery. Through interruption and mirrored movement we reviewed one another.


I constructed train lines over the Drone

She can inflect how it is to tread in dog shit there

I have an affinity with the characters of Margaret Atwood, but do not ‘read’ anyone modern. She has a PhD in Modern Scottish Literature. I have an affinity with William Gibson, but have been told cyborgian theory is uncool. She loaned me Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. I only care for Levin the farmer his character is much closer. What she says flies the nest from her straw hair over my head. She questions every word said. I reply by accentuating the name of a vegetable. She says ‘aubergine’ better than I can slice one. We realise: spoken misunderstandings reach ulterior language.


I no longer remember Drone

Language comes from the water in her adjusted tone

We found a pair of wooden stools in the street that were perfect as plinths for an assemblage. She produced a composition for the piece and committed it to memory. Collaboratively the work was infiltrated with spoken word and musical chords, being smooth or short next to the plaster; the glass decorations; the entombed Nintendo; the gifted coat I no longer wanted. Affinity was accumulated. Together we reached intertextuality.


Now I remember the river Drone, there’s less dog shit, more trees

She says, ‘Words come from how far you roam’

As an academic and poet she publishes a mini-magazine using a typewriter and Xerox machine. It is distributed at events, sold in selected bookshops and is similar to the artist’s journal or whatever the zeitgeist whispers as a definition. For her it brings disparate people together. For some it is an experiment. For others it is a means of gleaning ideas and hanging with friends. I care but do not care; I enjoy words just as my father relishes walking along a forest path. I find art writing shares affinity with way-marked paths within conceptualism’s tract. We take the routes our collaboration chooses.


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The artist and writer Richard Taylor (b. Sheffield, 1985) grew up in Derbyshire. After studying in Leeds he moved to Scotland in 2009 where he now lives and works.


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