From the archive: A Porky Prime Cut

Just found this pic by Bournemouth photographer Diane Humphries, taken on a damp and misty morning in 2010 on Turbary Common, Bournemouth and Poole. I was spending time in the area to work on a commission from the (now sadly former) digital arts commissioning agency SCAN.

Alongside inspirational approaches by artists Kevin Carter and Simon Yuill, the main output of my research was a short story called ‘A Porky Prime Cut’. It’s a story set in and around Turbary, a story about art schools and Acid House, about mistaken identities and the musical and publishing subcultures of Bournemouth. It is also part of what I realised only relatively recently is an ongoing series of stories that I’ve been writing for a while about class and access to arts education; something that it turns out has been a recurring theme in both my fiction and my life. I’d love to talk more about this sometime.

I’ve  performed ‘A Porky Prime Cut’ live a few times. First with musical accompaniment from bass player Simon Edwards (ex Fairground Attraction, Talk Talk, Billy Bragg and the Blokes, etc.) for Electra’s Dirty Literature programme at the National Portrait Gallery, and then with Richard Norris (The Grid, Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve, ex-Jack the Tab era Psychic TV) at the Free University of Glastonbury. Both recordings are available on the Audio page on my website.

Richard and I reprised our performance at the October Gallery, London, for the events programme accompanying the exhibition William S Burroughs: Can you all hear me? That performance was broadcast on Swedish radio.

‘A Porky Prime Cut’ was commissioned as part of Digital Transformations, an arts project coordinated and curated by SCAN with Bournemouth Libraries and Arts, and Bournemouth Adult Learning, funded and supported by The Learning Revolution Transformation Fund, Bournemouth Borough Council, SCAN, Bournemouth University, and the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education.

When SCAN’s initial publication plans fell through, and with their blessing, we put ‘A Porky Prime Cut’ out on Piece of Paper Press.

It was also published as part of a rapid-prototyped ebook platform set up by James Bridle, called Artists Ebooks, which I think is now offline. Although as a result the ebook edition of ‘A Porky Prime Cut’ is still listed on Apple Books here, together with three other of my short stories: ‘Bring Me Sunshine’, ‘Include Me Out’, and ‘How We Made “An American Legend” (part 1)’. (Although NB some of the other titles listed on Apple Books as ‘also by Tony White’ are false atttributions…)


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