FOR THE JOURNEY
The thousand sites on the surface of the earth were originally selected by darts thrown or fired by blindfolded members of the public between September 1968 and July 1969.
The original world map was extensively damaged and the sites were transferred to a new one. The point of each arrow on the new world map just touches the edge of a hole made by a dart in the original one. In the event of any discrepancy whatsoever the original map is the one we'll go by. Then we got a hold of all these admiralty charts and detail maps and for interest sake we've given people a rough idea of where the site will be on these. The arrows on the detailed maps are just an approximation, they do not show the actual sites. We're going to get or make larger scale maps of the immediate area of each and select the actual spot with a dart so that you can stand on the actual spot, sling the right angle away and wherever it falls produce the lines of the right angle to form a square of randomly determined size. In this way we can get 1000 completely random squares on the surface of the earth.
On the question of distribution I notice a certain concentration around the centre of the map, perhaps the consequence of giving people who missed the map altogether a chance to shoot again. We could have had a more even distribution using a computer, but maybe we'd just have been substituting an electronic distribution pattern for a human one.
1 MINERAL, SOLIDS
(a) First random studies
(b) Shepherds Bush (London) Studies
1965-68 and First Camber Beach Studies 1966
2 MINERAL, SOLIDS
The London Series
3 MINERAL, SOLIDS
4 MINERAL, SOLIDS
The Tidal Series
5 MINERAL, SOLIDS
The Snow Studies
6 MINERAL, LIQUIDS
Son et Lumiere for Earth, Air, Fire and Water
Seeds for a Random Garden
Son et Lumiere for Insects, Reptiles and Water Creatures
9 HUMAN, PHYSICAL
Son et Lumiere for Bodily Fluids and Functions
10 HUMAN, PHYSICAL
11 HUMAN, PERCEPTUAL
12 HUMAN, PERCEPTUAL
13 HUMAN, PERCEPTUAL
14 HUMAN, UNCONSCIOUS
Lullaby for Catatonics 1967
Studies towards an experiment into the Structure of Dreams 1967/68
15 HUMAN, SOCIAL
Suddenly Last Supper
16 HUMAN, SOCIAL
17 HUMAN, SOCIAL
Event for Judge, Jury and Prisoner at the Bar
18 HUMAN, SOCIAL
Any Play or No Play
19 HUMAN, SOCIAL
'O What a Lovely Whore'
20 HUMAN, SOCIAL
Notes On Requiem for an Unknown Citizen.
(a) First random studies.
A series of random studies of the demolition site at Norland Road, Shepherds Bush, London 1964. (1)
1. Make a frame for a board found on the site.
2. Throw the frame away across the site.
3. With a grid system, transfer and fix down on the board all material found within the frame.
Notes for Appendix 1a
(1) Letters in the local paper complaining about the site described it as a rat infested eyesore that attracted unsavoury elements to the neighbourhood. I wrote to the paper as 'one of the unsavoury elements' and suggested that the site should be preserved as an area of outstanding natural beauty. The letter was never published. The site was fenced in.
(From a lecture at Watford)
(2) I felt that the method was crude and unsatisfactory. I was never particularly involved with the conceptional gesture of using what others rejected. I was interested in using everything but at that time junk was all that was materially and technically available to me.
(From a lecture at Watford College of Technology 1967)
(b) Shepherds Bush (London) Studies 1965 - 68 and First Camber Beach Studies 1966.
A series of studies in the Shepherds Bush area of London, at first, transitionally on boards found near the site, eventually on square boards of pre-determined size. The size was dictated by the amount of wall space available. The method is described by Jasia Reichardt 1966") (1). This series included sites on streets, roof tops, banks of the River Thames, and public parks. A further series included random sites on the beach and dunes at Camber Sands, near Rye, in Sussex. Presentations from both these were exhibited at Indica Gallery London in 1966  for which the poster consisted of a sheet of white paper from which a square was cut out 13 1/2 inches by 13 1/2 inches with the words "Presentation by Mark Boyle" printed underneath. Throughout the Exhibition these posters were given free to the public to put up wherever they pleased.
Notes for Appendix 1b
On chance and Mark Boyle
 Contemporary Account:-
Comment by Jasia Reichardt
"Among the manifestations based on chance during the past ten years, including those of Mathieu, Dali, Monzoni, Klein and Burroughs, the aleatory systems applied to interpretations of concrete poetry, musical composition and transformable works of art, one of the most interesting and moving solutions has been that reached by Mark Boyle. The essential attitude at the basis of his activities is the total acceptance of results which these provoke. In relation to the recent pictures which he calls presentations, this may not seem surprising they are aesthetically pleasing (which is irrelevant), and they are original (which isn't, except to Boyle himself)....
The presentations which Boyle started working on in 1965 deal with yet another type of exploration of chance. These consist of real street, beach and bomb site surfaces, permanently fixed with a plastic, and shown vertically, i.e. hanging on the wall. The other deliberate act of transformation in this procedure is the placing of a horizontal surface vertically. The presentations are made as follows: with his house as the centre, Boyle has chosen a strip of London, approximately one mile wide and extending one mile north and one mile south of Shepherd's Bush. This strip cut out of a map, scale fifteen inches to the mile, hangs on a wall in his studio. The selection of a site is made by throwing a dart at the map. When the site is located as exactly as possible, Boyle throws down a rod which represents a pre-determined side of the picture, and thus the exact area is established....
Boyle aims at making as perfect a presentation of a given area as possible. Ideally there should be no difference.....
Several points of great interest emerge from Mark Boyle's recent works. The viewer is presented with images which are intensely lyrical and aesthetic, although these qualities are as unintentional as any other effect which they create. The relationships of leaves, cigarette butts, bricks and shells are there by virtue of being isolated from their general environment. The process employed discards both art conditioning and anti-conditioning it runs parallel to conscious attitudes to what art is or is not, should or should not manifest. If one finds the lack of such attitudes permissive and lacking in heroic declaration, then a whole sphere of creative activity as yet unexplored will be cut off from one's experience. Seeing Boyle's presentation in a gallery, one accepts them as an art experience but what in fact happens is that the spectator is invited to look at something in a way to which he is not accustomed to respond to and to examine nature in a critical way.
Studio International October 1966 Extracts.
I am not trying to prove any thesis and when one is concerned with every thing, nothing (or for that matter anything) is a fair sample. I have tried to cut out of my work any hint of originality, style, superimposed design, wit, elegance or significance. If any of these are to be discovered in the show then the credit belongs to the onlooker".
From the catalogue of the Indica Show
Mark Boyle 1966
The London Series
A series of 100 studies, taking the actual surface, the earth, the moss,
the grit, the pebbles, the grass, the film of dust etc., that coats everything
and reproducing as exactly as possible the undersurface, in the Notting
Hill/Shepherd's Bush area of London began after the house Mark Boyle and
Joan Hills lived in in Shepherds Bush was demolished in January 1969.
The sites were selected as before, but the area was a little different,
so that their new flat was more or less central to the area. The area
was also chosen to include a very varied cross-section of London. A number
of studies from this series were exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary
Arts, London, during an Exhibition to launch the journey to the Surface
of the Earth.
2. A photographer friend of min had called round to see us for the first time in a long while. It was the first time he had seen the London series. Afterwards I walked up the road with him and he kept on drawing my attention to bits of road and pavement. Finally he stopped at one bit, and said, "look at that, wouldn't you say, from the point of view of design, that that is very good? "I said that when I was at school there was this wee boy in my class who was asked by the teacher 2+2 was. He said 4. The teacher said "Very good, Robert". "Very good!" said Robert "Very good!..... it's perfect."
3. Contemporary accounts included:
"Anyone still convinced that art must represent the visible world should
be well satisfied with mark Boyle's pictures at the Institute of Contemporary
Arts. You can't get more realistic than that: full-scale recreations of
selected areas of God's earth, detail by detail, enough to make a Pre-Raphaelite
look like an Impressionist.
"Mark Boyle's "Journey to the Surface of the Earth" at the ICA (Nash
House in the Mall) is a grand celebration of the everyday. It is really
a presentation of commonplace things in terms where they become a great
spectacle. The next part of the exhibition is of Boyle's London "Studies",
parts of the surface of London, alley-ways, streets, yards, cindertracks,
copied with the mimetic perfection of the resin process and hung
on the wall as paintings, are hung. These bits of London were selected
by throwing darts into a street map."
"the most remarkable of these examination procedures, and the only one
completely free of any subsequent need for performance. The results are
not only beautiful as aesthetic objects, as fragments of natural texture
are almost bound to be. The fact that the process removes and retains
the actual surface film at the moment of casting makes them particularly
moving witnesses to the role of the two elements out of which they have
been lifted....time and change.. inasmuch as they are simultaneously frozen
images of reality and fragments of that reality itself, they enforce Boyle's
constant preoccupation with a need to look beyond and experience more
than just the image in isolation. Avoiding any of the arbitrary fantasies
of image association that cling to the objet trouve, these records of
actuality, by the very scrupulousness of their detachment and objectivity,
start inclining towards the opposite of what they appear to record not
an objective but a subjective experience. Boyle would not admit in fact
that an opposition was involved. Experience, of heightened perception
and awareness. Of the sort his activity sets out to chart is necessarily
a seamless garment in which all so-called opposites are woven of the same
fabric. Hence the ease with which his best work absorbs in practise what
can appear to be contradictions."
Notes for Appendix 3
Notes for Appendix 4