Spike Island

Exhibition: Paul Simon RichardsQuasi-Monte Carlo


6 April to 16 June 2019


Free entry

Event type


Paul Simon Richards explores the potential of thought to describe and make present in language that which cannot be physically experienced. Working mainly with spoken word, performance and film, Richards’ work draws together immersive narratives that incorporate elements of spectacular entertainment and moments of enlightened consciousness that come about during mundane daily tasks.

For his exhibition at Spike Island, Richards presents Quasi-Monte Carlo, a new film work based on anxieties surrounding the preparations to go on holiday. The film is set in the hazy duration of an early morning alarm clock and the subsequent snooze time before getting up to catch a flight. 

The title of the film is taken from the name of the algorithm which Richards has used to produce the CGI footage featured in the work. Quasi-Monte Carlo works by repeatedly drawing from random sequences of data to simulate the physical properties of light. The equation was originally devised in the late 19th century in and around the Monte Carlo casino, where Richards has filmed. Using techniques borrowed from hypnotic induction and structural film, Quasi-Monte Carlo draws a link between the creation of an image in our minds (which involves rapid processing of random information), and the creation of an image using the Monte Carlo algorithm, relating human error to questions of probability and random access.

Quasi-Monte Carlo is commissioned by FLAMIN Productions through Film London Artists’ Moving Image Network with funding from Arts Council England. With additional support from Monte Carlo Société des Bains de Mer; Ranch Computing; Central Saint Martins College, University of the Arts London and Gasworks. Co-produced by Paul Simon Richards and Spike Island

Paul Simon Richards

Paul Simon Richards (born 1981, UK) is an artist based in London. He studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, London and holds a MA Philosophy from the University of Greenwich, London. Recent solo exhibitions include Love’s Hidden Symmetry, AND/OR, London; and The Earring, Nile Sunset Annex, Cairo (both 2016). His work has featured in group exhibitions at venues such as Frieze projects (with Lucky PDF) London; Kunstbuero, Vienna; Jerwood Space, London; and Modern Art Oxford, Oxford; and film festivals such as BFI London Film Festival, Experimenta section. In 2017 Richards was selected by FLAMIN Productions to make his forthcoming video work Quasi-Monte Carlo, and he was awarded the jury's special mention for his work L*a*b at the Fokus video art festival, Kunsthal Nikolaj, Copenhagen.

Supported by
  • Gasworks
  • Ranch Computing
  • SBM Monte Carlo
  • University of the Arts London