Ten things that have been in, or around our life – definitely particular, and possibly trivial.


By Brian Griffiths and Frank Kent

Brian Griffiths and Frank Kent, Life and its most trivial particulars, 2021, installation view. Photo by Fleur Dempsey

About the Text

This reading list was compiled by Brian Griffiths and Frank Kent in October 2021 to accompany the artists’ exhibition ‘Life and Its Most Trivial Particulars’. The artists have also chosen to pair each selection on their list with an anonymous quote, comment or review.

Find out more about the exhibition through the link below:

Find out more

Handmade mitre joint put to the test (2012)

by Paul Sellers

Handmade mitre joint put to the test, 2012. Still from video by Paul Sellers

‘1 litre of water = 1 Kilogram (at 4 degrees C, and at sea level)’


In this video self professed ‘Lifestyle Woodworker’ Paul Sellers demonstrates the strength of a hand-planed mitre joint. Using a five litre bottle of water Paul puts an increasing amount of pressure on the joint until it finally breaks.

Watch the video here ⟶

To Tell A Story (1983)

John Berger and Susan Sontag

To Tell A Story, 1983. Still from episode by Channel 4

Berger: A passionate attempt to grasp an essence.

Sontag: A measured reflection on possibilities.


In this 1983 footage, aired as an hourlong episode of Channel 4’s ‘Voices’, John Berger and Susan Sontag exchange ideas on storytelling, the ethics of photography and the shifting role of the storyteller from oral traditions to modern writers.

Watch the full conversation here ⟶

Hour of the Star (1977)

by Clarice Lispector

Hour of the Star, 1977. Photo © Waterstones

‘I swear this book is made without words. It is a mute photograph.’


Published shortly before the Brazilian author’s death this strange and haunting novella follows the life of Macabéa, a young impoverished girl facing a difficult life in the slums of Rio de Janeiro.

Doormaking and Window-Making (republished 2013)

Doormaking and Window-making, 2013. Photo © Lost Art Press


‘Doormaking and Window-Making” starts you off at the beginning, with simple tools and simple assemblies; then it moves you step-by-step into the more complex doors and windows.’


This book is a reprint of two rare manuals originally published in the early 20th century magazine ‘The Woodworker’ and guides the reader through various manufacturing techniques, all following standard early 20th century practice.


Feeling Things (2012)

by Steven Connor

‘Thinking, we feel, is what we do, while feeling, we think, is something that occurs to us, something we encounter rather than originate, even, perhaps, something we come up against, or comes up against us.’


‘Feeling Things’ was a talk given by Steven Connor given at Objects of Emotion, Wellcome Collection, London, 16th June 2012.


The full transcript can be read here



The Moon and The Sledgehammer (1971)

by Philip Trevelyan

The Moon and The Sledgehammer, 1971. Still from film by Philip Trevelyan

‘Brill, strange.’


Philip Trevelyan’s 1971 documentary follows the lives of the Page family. Deep in a wood in Swanbrook, near Chiddingly, Sussex, the family live without mains gas, electricity or running water and are unaware of man having reached the moon.


Watch the documentary here ⟶


Donuts (2006)

by J Dilla

‘1:57 Changed my entire perspective on life…’


‘Donuts’ is the second studio album by the American hip hop producer J Dilla. Twenty-nine of the album’s thirty-one tracks were recorded from J Dilla’s hospital room, using a 45-rpm record player and a Boss SP-303 sampler. The album was released on the day of his 32nd birthday, three days before his death.


Listen to the album here

Holy Motors (2012)

by Leos Carax

Holy Motors, 2012. Still from film by Leos Carax

‘I like weird and this is that…’


Released thirteen years after Leos Carax’s last feature-length film, ‘Pola X’, ‘Holy Motors’ is a rich and surreal film following Monsieur Oscar as he is chauffeured through Paris in a variety of guises, role-playing in an endless search for identity.

Making Things Work: Tales From A Cabinetmaker’s Life (2017)

by Nancy R. Hiller

Making Things Work, 2017. Photo © Lee Valley

‘She seeks to run an honest business, make beautiful things and be fairly paid. Doing all three things at once is an immense challenge’


First published in 2017 ‘Making Things Work’ is a personal reflection on Hiller’s life and career as a cabinet maker. Comprised of a series of short essays, the book spans Hiller’s musings on the technicalities of woodworking to the strains of running a one-woman business in a field traditionally dominated by men.

Sports, Official Video (2018)

by Viagra Boys

Sports, 2018. Still from official video by Viagra Boys

‘I seriously want this to be the only evidence that humans existed.’



Watch the full video here