Simon Yuill

Simon Yuill is an artist, writer and programmer based in Glasgow. His work includes the use of interview and research processes, film, publishing, and custom software systems.

For FiR, Simon wrote four essays, which were published by SSW. ‘The Uncommonality of the Commons’ was launched during the SSW Incubator. ‘On a Proletarian Soil’ was launched during Edge Effects: Glasgow in addition to an in-conversation with Nuno Sacramento and Emma Balkind.


The Uncommonality of the Commons relates to themes of the commons, labour, and nature. The talk was originally presented as part of Estovers Part 1: Urban and Rural, Historical and Contemporary, Commons and the Common, a public discussion produced and chaired by Emma Balkind in Glasgow, 2013. The Biconditionality of Craft and Kraft explores how the divergent evolution of a single word in English and German reconnects to the emergence of contemporary understandings of creativity, labour, and nature.

On a Proletarian Soil is written in the style of a walker’s guide following routes to two destinations on the outskirts of Lumsden, the essays explore and question the relations between politics and nature through sources ranging from Aristotle’s Athenian Constitution to Robert Kirk’s Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies and drawing on the work of Donna Haraway, Sarah Jacquette Ray and Alexander Reid Ross.

Natural histories are political writings in which nature defines the limits and possibilities of the political. Nature is interrogated in order to understand what the political might ‘properly’ be, structuring the limits and possibilities of power, whilst our understanding of the limits and possibilities of nature are themselves constrained by the politics we already have or lie within their existing desires.

Essay downloads:

The Uncommonality of the Commons

The Biconditionality of Craft and Kraft

On a Proletarian Soil. Part I: Stones

On a Proletarian Soil. Part II: Tree

Further Reading on the project:

Simon Yuill website: here

Frontiers in Retreat website: here

Edge Effects Discussion with Emma Balkind, Nuno Sacramento and Simon Yuill

Don’t be Normal, Don’t be Fascist!

Frontiers in Retreat was a five-year collaborative project that fostered multidisciplinary dialogues on ecological questions within a European network formed around artist residencies. The project set out to examine processes of change in particular, sensitive ecological contexts within Europe, to reflect them in relation to each other and to develop new approaches to the urgencies posed by them.
Scottish Sculpture Workshop facilitated research and production residencies for six artists.  These artists are Brett BloomSylvia Grace BordaFernando Garcia-DoryCarl GiffneyMari Keski-Korsu and Simon Yuill. During the course of FiR, SSW worked closely with each artist to support and develop their individual projects.


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