Rules and Regs at Milton Keynes Gallery 30 March 2006
MKVH (Milton Keynes Vertical Horizontal)
Artist's website: www.hayleynewman.com
Driving a coach round the grid system of Milton Keynes until it runs out of diesel.

MKVH (Milton Keynes Vertical Horizontal) is the name of a one and a half day road trip where myself and a group of eight volunteers were driven around the Milton Keynes grid until our coach ran out of diesel. It was, in part, a re-enactment of an unverified story about a guru called Gurdieff who drove his car until it ran out of petrol. Gurdieff used such experiences as the basis for his teachings and it’s easy to see how going from full to empty can become a universal statement of truth about life and death. Driving an intercontinental coach round and round, going nowhere – stuck on American style roads with pagan names like Midsommer Boulevard – seemed like a good way to debunk this.

A bit like a school outing, relationships were forged and individual characteristics emerged over one and a half days days. People came onto the trip for various reasons; one person wanted to give up smoking, others wanted to party.

In the last hour of our trip people drew together and the bus started to jitter and felt like it was going to stall. Eventually it stopped very quietly; the engine cut-out and the bus drifted to the edge of the road and everyone got off to see where we were.

The end was an anti-climax, with nothing to mark it or make it special. That was how I wanted it to be.

-Hayley Newman

Photos: Above - detail from GPS drawing by Jeremy Wood
© 2006 Jeremy Wood

Top © 2006 Milton Keynes Gallery
Right by Hayley Newman
© 2006 Hayley Newman