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The Unexpected Guest, 64pp book, 203mm × 127mm. Edition of 300. Floor installation. Commissioned by VERBureau for Pokey Hat, an exhibition that explored the social history of ice-cream in Glasgow for Glasgow International Festival 2016.

A reading based on the book with accompanying gelato was given at Jaconelli’s on the 16th April 2016, 5pm. 

Reading (pdf)

The Unexpected Guest explores the socio-cultural aspects of ice cream in relation to the Italian ice cream cafés of Glasgow.

The text mixes fact and fiction to imagine an alien micro-organism present in ice-cream, driven here by the radiation pressure from distant stars. The alien, however, is revealed as a positive force that creates states of affection and love. The work draws on multiple sources, from scientific texts and horror/science fiction film (The Andromeda StrainInvasion of the Body Snatchers) to the recipes of the Italian Futurist’s.

The short story is presented in the gallery as an evolving sculpture, changed by audience pick-up, as well as being distributed by local cafés and online. Photographic imagery and diagrams accompany and support the text: scoops of ice cream interspersed with chrome sticks, foil decorations and cut-crystal bowls create an intimate view that can be read as both alien terrain and microscopic specimen.