Mikel Horl and his revolving name


How Michael Hall became Mikel Horl. How Mikel Horl became Mikel 'orl, and how Mikel 'orl became Mikel Horl again.

And, eventually, how and why Mikel Horl became Michael Hall and Mikel Horl.


Michael Hall is sometimes known as Mikel Horl and has also been known to use various other names.


Mikel Horl evolved through the practice of "signing in" as a student at art college. Students were required to write out their full name each morning which was a repetitious and cumbersome practice, made mildly more acceptable by adjusting the spelling each day. Therefore Michael went from the subtle but irritating Micheal, to the more flamboyant but contrived Myquoul. Hall became Hawl, Hoarle, Haull and finally Horl.

Mikel Horl became adopted as a nom de plume, as a phonetic rendering of the perfectly adequate but somewhat common original.

Some years later, the name having adorned publications worldwide, it was decided to revisit the name, particularly in the phonetic, dialectic aspect, and drop the "H".

The "H" was dropped, literally and ceremonially from the Hungerford Bridge and commemorated in a limited edition of haspirate boxes, sold at the Artists' Book Fair, Royal Festival Hall, to 20 visitors, each paying five pounds for the privilege of assisting in the removal of the aspirate.

Almost immediately the new name brought several unforeseen problems. Several cheques from the Book Fair were returned uncashed due to the "different "surname. It had taken several years to persuade the bank that Mikel Horl and Michael Hall were one and the same. Mikel 'orl was clearly a step too far. Another issue raised was in the world of lists, a frequent occurrence for writers and artists. No longer found listed under "H", it was widely assumed that the person who created Mikel Horl's work no longer existed. For those who stumbled across "'orl" at the head of the listit was assumed the name was an error, a misprint or an impostor.

All of this occurred some time before computer directory structures, lists and databases fully furnished our lives. And long before the ne mail and chat room alias became a requirement of contemporary living.

Two books were published under the name of 'orl and it may still be used in future for colloquial effect, but for the most part and for everyone's convenience, Horl is the pseudonym and Hall is the legal name.


This interest in "naming" has extended to several continuing conceptual art projects:

Pseudonyms Anonymous Direct mail leaflet campaign to sell the idea of changing one's name on a temporary basis. Broadcast on BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio Scotland. For a free new name click here.

The Names of Leaves A game, puzzle, alphabetised list inspired by The White Goddess by Robert Graves. Exhibited in Forest at the Bull & Last in London. Still available as a piece of wall art, consisting of a clipboard, digital prints, card index box and cards.

Tree of Life A living novel, in progress in London, Canterbury, North Yorkshire and San Francisco. Soon to be serialised on a website near you.


The Decadent Epoch. ... His name was Horl.


Horl longed to wield power,

but he did not want to be emperor

and a potential target of assassins.


Horl - Mutations/powers:

Dissolving juices, poison, quills

Horl is a man of average build,

standing nearly six feet, one inch in height


Horl is a pedigree of European barley.

Horl is a planner with a background in

affordable housing


Horl, Kochen, Musik und Noten von Brot

bijouterie horl, bijouterie, joaillerie, horlogerie

Ketting met horl Klícové slovo HORL


"De strijd die zich ...

Driemaal hulde aan onze leider, Horl!'.