Ptarmigan is no longer operating in Helsinki.

Ptarmigan existed as a project space in Vallila from 2009-2011 and a mobile curatorial/creative platform until 2014. We no longer exist as an organised collective, but this website will continue to serve as an archive of the activities produced as/at Ptarmigan during these years.

Usurper: Ali Robertson and Malcy Duff (Scotland)
02 May, 2010 - 11 May, 2010

You're A Winner


Two SuBo wrestlers: 

"You're a Winner. We mean you!" 

A netted goal, a bedroom door.

Dice so multi-faceted that we can hardly tell who we should stick with the "LOSER" pin.

At half-time The Who take the stage, but their instruments are already broken.

There is a trap door in the medal podium to duck the celebratory fly by. Not to worry: the plane has been caught in a flag. It's coming down like a bird wearing too many clothes.  

The Nobel Peace Prize got crushed in the post-match barroom brawl later that eve.

If you keep at this sandpaper we should have this medal podium leveled in a week. The week of May 5th - 10th 2010.

Under achievement lies hobbies: underachievement, lies, hobbies.

Under hobbies lies USURPER.

File under: hobbies, lies, USURPER.


Winners/ Losers/ Music/ Drawings/ Workshops/ Readings/ Games.


USURPER (Ali Robertson and Malcy Duff)

at Ptarmigan, Helsinki

May 5th - May 10th 2010.


If you choose to surrender turn to page 63.

If you choose to accept The Warlock's challenge turn to page 86.



Malcy Duff (b.1978) is a cartoonist from Edinburgh, Scotland.  His work includes 'The Blackest Gnome,' 'The Heroic Mosh of Mary's Son,' the 'Rrobots' anthology, and 'The Caddy.'  He has exhibited all over Britain, and in Melbourne Australia, and in 2008 he was awarded a Donald Dewar Arts Award for outstanding work in the comic book form.  In 2003 he co-founded Usurper with Ali Robertson.  They have toured throughout Britain, Europe and America.  Duff continues to collaborate with Robertson, and contributes artwork for posters and album sleeves, including a cover and comic book set for their recent LP on Rel Records. 

Malcy’s phobias include sight of blood and polystyrene.

He’s a winner.


Ali Robertson (b.1978) is an improvising musician from Edinburgh, Scotland. He has been releasing music and promoting events via his Giant Tank label for a decade. He works alone and in collaboration with others such as Dylan Nyoukis, Adam Bohman, Fritz Welch and most notably in the duo Usurper with Malcy Duff.

Since 2005 he has been involved in Arika’s annual festival of experimental music Instal in Glasgow as both a curator and a performer.

In 1987 he was awarded a school prize for his painting ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Fruit ‘N’ Food’, but was unhappy that his teacher had chosen such an inappropriate title for his work in his absence. He was informed that “it serves you right for skiving”.

He’s a winner.