Buried in Dreams
The summer may almost have arrived in London with sunshine and bright blue skies creeping in when we least expect it. Another month of airports, deadlines, rushing, crushing and dashing around the globe, watching, listening and reading. It’s also been a terrific opportunity to enjoy live music, everyone from The Notwist, Coco Rosie, Kim Cascone, Max Richter, Jóhann Jóhannsson and My Bloody Valentine, the last of whom I saw at the ICA in London, a tiny warm up show for their forthcoming tour. Having not played for 16 years their mythical status was worthy of attention but it was the terrorizing volume of the concert that I’ll never forget. Wearing professional earplugs and with my hands suction cupped over my ears nothing could have prepared me for this shell-shock wall of pervading noise for 90 minutes. Now I’ve experienced LOUD before having seen the original Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Throbbing Gristle, Non, SPK and Merzbow but this was a full body-bones-vibrating-inside-an-airplane-engine volume. I was virtually trampled underfoot by noise.
Giving a talk about sound at the Contemporary Art Centre (CAC) in Vilnius in June was also a time of celebration as I arrived on the very day that the Lithuanian government gave the go-ahead for construction of a new art museum in the country's capital. The $117 million Zaha Hadid-designed building will be a joint venture between Lithuania, Russia's State Hermitage Museum, and the Guggenheim and is scheduled to open in 2013, so that was an exhilarating moment to share in.
Continuing the talking, Harmonography at the Purcell Room was a great success in association with the Hayward Gallery’s Psycho Buildings show, where the directors of Rubelo and myself gave a talk without words, sitting at a panel as if ready for discussion. Using projections with abstract sound and image, it was a very playful postmodern theoretical game that looked at the parallels of music and architecture. AND there were no questions to answer afterwards.
I recently contributed material to Radio Web MACBA (RWM) at MACBA (Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona), Barcelona, Spain for their Radio Action III: Online Radio Programme. Radio Action III is a special program for Radio Web MACBA and the next free103point9 Audio Dispatch CD Release. RWM is a radio-phonic project on the MACBA (Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona) website that explores the possibilities of the internet and radio as spaces of synthesis and exhibition. Featuring five-minute sound works especially conceived conceptually to radio as an instrument or theme my collaboration with artist Tom Roe can be heard until the end of August 2008 as part of this series.
The first edition of ok parking magazine in The Netherlands has just been published and features a series of found photographs that I’ve been collecting for many years, including photobooths of unknown figures, faces and characters. Perhaps you might recognize some of the people even, now that would be very curious.
I’m off to Drachten in the Netherlands to begin this month, located in the municipality of Smallingerland, in the province of Friesland, which effectively means it’s a tiny little place, mostly recognized for two details. The first is my reason for visiting, to work with Philips Design on a new product, but Drachten also received international attention for a traffic experiment known as shared space. All traffic lights and road signs were removed in the city centre in an effort to improve traffic safety, based on a theory that suggests that drivers pay more attention to their surroundings when they can’t follow signs.
I can assure you I’ll be looking both ways when I cross the road, just in case though.
::: listen :::
::: read :::
::: diary dates :::
Radio Action III: Online Radio Programme
Curated by: free103point9 in collaboration with Barbara Held
Artangel Interaction invited writer and historian Sukhdev Sandhu to write a nocturnal journal unfolding over the course of 2006. His postings will appear sequentially at this microsite specially designed by Mind Unit. Sandhu's forays see him prospecting in the London night with the people who drive its pulse, from the avian police to security guards, zookeepers and exorcists. Acclaimed artist and musician Scanner has collaborated with Sukhdev and Ian Budden of Mind Unit to compose the sound for the site.
Bittersweet Songs for the Sleepless City
NightJam is the latest project in Artangel Interaction’s Nights of London series of artist-led collaborations with people who have a special view on a hidden side of the nocturnal city. Scanner invited young people at New Horizon Youth Centre in King’s Cross to collaborate on a creative project that expresses how the city at night looks and sounds to their ears and eyes. Through music and voice workshops they explored the sense of freedom and fear, celebration and solitude of the concealing darkness. Meanwhile, they captured their nights on disposable cameras, taking images that are at times eerie, startling, contemplative and funny. NightJam presents two elusive visual and musical journeys through the city’s ‘quiet’ hours.
NightJam presents two music tracks, a film, photographs, that can be experienced and freely downloaded. A limited edition CD is also being distributed for free through the website. Now featuring remixes of NightJam by Stephen Vitiello, Hakan Lidbo, Troy Banarzi, Si-cut.db and Pete Lockett.