What Does Nothing Do?

2014 Programme Artist in Residence

Throughout 2014 Scott Massey has been working with The Telfer Gallery on a project asking “what does nothing do?” The project has developed from a talk in which Massey described buying magic spells off of Ebay. The talk dealt with the process of the purchases, concentrating on the faith and trust aspects of the transactions. It also discussed the objects that had been bought and speculated on the effect they had had. The project has also resulted in presentations of work during Annuale 2014, Edinburgh and at CCA, Glasgow. This December the project will culminate in an online project as Massey explores the research question through the online/offline relationship between objects and information.

Online project launch and performance

‘Originally the written word was secondary to the spoken word. The spoke word implied a relationship of mutual trust. Now the spoken words is secondary to the written word, a contract must be recorded in writing. In a time where everything one does is recorded digitally the performative utterance becomes an act of resistance.’

Friday 12th December
6-9pm, performance at 7pm

For the culmination of his year long research project with The Telfer Gallery we are delighted to host a launch event for Massey’s project on eBay. Here he has put up for sale 52 items related to his practice – the notes, ideas, sketches, recordings, websites and dead ends that have occurred while he has been asking the question “What does nothing do?”. The project has moved from it’s beginning of Massey buying magic spells off of eBay to him putting the marginalia of his practice up for sale on it. This creates an archive of material and allows for it to circulate and be exchanged. A new performance by the artist will also take place during the launch.

Ebay has been used as a way to archive and distribute a year’s worth of making and thinking, allowing these things to circulate and be exchanged. Massey has been interested in the idea of a dead end in a piece of work and how this can be put to use; an ecology of “stuff” is created and distributed through an existing online network.

Every 15 minutes from 18:00 until 20:00 on Friday 12th December new items will be going online. These can be accessed by going to Massey’s ebay shop at:

Items are available to bid on until Friday 19th December at 18:00.

Scott Massey is an artist based in London. He graduated with an MA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and Design in 2011. He has recently presented work at CCA Glasgow; Annuale 2014, Edinburgh; the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee; Granby Park, Dublin; TAP, Southend and Nurtureart, New York. This year he has also been on the Outpost/FKSE exchange residency to Budapest and on a research residency to Hospitalfield, Arbroath.


Scott Massey
12th Jan 2014 -
12th Dec 2014