The Gribbler: On Etymology

Language is a medium with which communication is achieved. Language is a collection of signifiers that are used to explain, inform, et.c. Language is created and only means as much as it is understood to. Language has a tendency to be understood differently by different people, which leads to language meaning something that was never intended for it to mean.
The Gribbler offers examples of how language often communicates in a way that is counter intuitive to its intention.




You can find these two guys (they’re sort of book-type things) in .pdf form by clicking through the respective images.

There’s also…

A tumblr:
A facebook page:
And an EP available for download:

Show us who you are… / That’ll be me, someday

Show us who you are…

Shown on North Great George’s Street as part of “Four Floors Above”, this is an interactive installation that looks at people’s cultural dependence and how it is evident even in the simplest of things, like pretending to cloth a naked blob on a sheet of acetate.

That’ll be me, someday

Moving on from the above work, this piece looks at the figures who dictate what is acceptable and not culturally: the televisual gods, if you will, whose influence only lasts as long as their time as ‘FLAVOUR OF THE MONTH’ (which may or may not be a month).

Educating the Masses

“Educating the Masses”, 2012

Educating the Masses” is a piece consisting of a video, “Television and You” (linked above), and a notepad, “What Did I Learn?“.

Television and You is an obvious parody of a typical, educational film. The video stars a narrator who talks nonsensically about the negative effects of television, making them up as he goes along, as well as Timmy Valdez (TV) who is an example, according to the narrator, of a typical person who has been afflicted by television’s devious ways. The video looks at the influence of TV on how a person dresses, acts and their expectations in life.


What Did I Learn? is a notepad left in front of the the television which the film is shown on. The viewer is given the option to write down what they have learned from watching the educational film.

The idea is to point out that television is bad, but to do it without being either for or against it. The video takes the debate and makes a joke out of it which would in a sense be a negative take, whilst it is also a video against television making it stand on both sides. It exists as an example of both sides. The viewer can then write out their understanding, but will always make a funny remark because of the entertainment quality seen in the video due to them not acknowledging there being a point behind something that is so ironically funny/assuming they know everything because of how the video is presented without reading the the deeper meanings.

Dead Receiver

Dead Receiver – Sound recording (2011)

Almost a parody of radio broadcasts through the exploitation of the vague definition of the word ‘synonym’. Synonyms are words that share meanings, but when applied to a statement they tend to render it, in its entirety, meaningless.

The language heard from the imitation-radio-segments is correct by the definition of a synonym, however the speech is undecipherable and, at times, completely illogical. Examples include a news report about a sandwich-eating dog, a man singing about rainbows and a politician avoiding an issue with a prepared, self-glorifying, motivational speech.

The piece was originally written by myself (Dary Gregg) and then edited by way of substituting nearly every single word with a synonym. The scripts were then read, recorded and edited to create a pseudo-radio-broadcast.



Calamity by Dary Gregg

(You can view the entire gallery at the following link )

The above image depicts an incapacitated man in front of a banana peel. Instantly one assumes the banana caused the incapacitation (regardless of whether or not incapacitation is a word) due to the influence of cartoons and tv shows that most of us – if not all of us, at this stage – have grown up watching on a weekly, daily, hourly, half-hourly basis… Depending on how thriving one’s social life has been. We believe in a world where the underdog always prevails, the hero always wins, everything always works out and banana peels are the most treacherous of all the slippery things – and most frequently encountered as well.

I deal mainly with memetics – the idea of a “meme” (essentially any idea, but as an evolutionary term where ideas compete and adapt like a gene would). The “banana peel slip”, or whatever you want to call it, is an example of a meme – an idea that caught on like an infection to mass, human consciousness – and it has gotten to a stage where it’s less whimsical and unrealistic and more.. The opposite, people think it’s a real thing that happens (I’m sure it probably has happened at some stage, but the circumstances where obviously ridiculous).

I’m not making a major, awe-inspiring statement here. What I tend to do is acknowledge a meme that is particularly nonsensical and present it without opinion so it gets both reactions; the ironic acknowledgment and the “that really happens” one.

The subject is lying in such a way that he couldn’t have slipped on the banana in the frame, anyway.

I fully intended to do a series of cartoon calamities featuring pies, anvils and so on, but (excluding the pie, which I could do) that’s not entirely feasible. I did, however, (poorly) photoshop Matt Damon into some of these scenarios which you can find in the gallery – linked above.

The name “Calamity” was chosen because of it’s cartoon-ish connotations despite its grim definition; An event causing great and often sudden damage or distress; a disaster.” The relationship between such a heavy word and a jolly medium is likely based on consonance – or it could be a meme that solely affects me. In my head it is the perfect title.

Additionally, the above links you to a “video re-enactment” of the events leading to “Calamity“. The video is a crude animation of what one might presume happened having seen the image. The standard of animation is linked to the legitimacy of the notion that the event could have actually taken place like that. (In a sense it could, but it is still unrealistic).