April 2019

Hello 

Back to life and most certainly back to reality. Curiously by the time you read this perhaps the entire political upheaval in the UK will have shifted once again. History books are certainly going to be flourishing, telling the tales of these days!

And now back from the other side of the world, via Singapore. What an extraordinary adventure this was to be too. The joys of such travels were many, yet tainted by tragedy, as literally a week after we returned this terrible incident took place in Christchurch. We recognised the strength and warmth of the New Zealand population in this moment more than ever and my heart goes out to everyone affected by this terrible incident. 

So, I just premiered my new audio-visual performance Mass Observation at Centre Pompidou in Paris, the prestigious centre of art, to a capacity crowd, at the invitation of IRCAM. The show itself used live radio transmissions, picking up voices, music, French broadcasts and more combined into the mix, exploring the role of surveillance in our society today, accompanied by a projection that drowned me in scale! Hopefully I’ll have the opportunity to perform this again elsewhere to see how it changes dependent on the location as I’m reliant on live radio that is sampled into each performance. The original music that it is based on is available at Bandcamp here, and here. An edit of the performance will soon be uploaded to my YouTube channel too. 

In March, I also played a very intimate show at London’s Iklectik, a beautiful space in which to present my work. Again I used live radio transmissions as part of the performance, so to open the show I tuned through the airwaves and looped up a choral work that I happened to pick up on a classical radio station. You can watch back excerpts of the show here at YouTube. I embrace such chance encounters with the airwaves for my performances! Thanks to everyone who came along! 

Scanner live at Iklectik 2019

By the Code of Soil finally launched into the world last month, my new digital artwork with Kasia Molga. By the Code of Soil entails an application for personal computers which creates an artistic interpretation of soil moisture, temperature and light data from the cluster of GROW sensors closest to you. Configurations of shapes and sounds emerge from audio-visual textures and frequencies to create a data portrait of soil properties. This artwork appears unannounced on your computer each time the orbiting Sentinel-1A satellite passes overhead – approximately twice every 24 hours but never at the same time of the day.

We have also recently been very occupied developing the next physical manifestation stage of this art project, which will involve giant wormeries filled with soil and hundreds of happy living worms, triggering sound and light. As yet we’ve been unable to teach them to sing or play any instruments but I believe in time they will be more forthcoming! 

Interestingly as part of Earth Day 2019 at Somerset House in London, Kasia and I will be delivering a free workshop. Open from 13.00 – 17.00 the workshop will focus on making connections from the soil to the sky, considering earthworms as natural living technology and giving soil a digital voice. Hope to see some of you there then!

Staging Silence (3), the new film I scored for Belgian artist Hans Op de Beeck, has been received extremely positively after its premiere at the Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York City. As Staging Silence (2) continues to travel the galleries and museums of the world, this final instalment has been described as ‘infectious and understated’ where ‘an antic beauty keeps finding ways to rise from our equally antic ashes.” The show closes in early April in NYC, but keep an eye on the dates in the newsletter here or on my website to check for future showings.

Quite a few people have emailed me asking about this special release, out on very limited vinyl. It features an unreleased work of mine recorded live in San Francisco back in the 1990s, a surprisingly energetic rave like tune, alongside new material from Brainwaltzera, Christ, D’Arcangelo and many more! Play it loud and put on your dancing shoes!  

Creative writing remains a pleasure for me and to combine it with music is even a greater joy. I was recently invited to write the sleeve notes, or ‘blurb’ as some people like to call it, for the new album by d’Voxx, out now on limited CD on DiN, with vinyl to follow later this year. As I wrote: “Télégraphe invites the listener to enter into a world of suspended disbelief, through an exquisitely elegant series of recordings that swirl forwards, ever in motion, refusing to rest in one place. Using machines that demand a tactile relationship, Eurorack modules and synths that invite constant manipulation, the album landscape becomes a transitory domain. ” Treat yourself to a copy now then!

 An old artwork of mine with Austrian artist Katarina Matiasek is currently on show at the Kunstverein in Schwerin Germany. The two-part group exhibition “REDEFINE RELIEF” picks up the art historical term relief and raises the question how far it (still)remains applicable to contemporary artistic work – going beyond the classic, pre-defined idea as a reference. The show continues until 19 May so hope that some of you might get the opportunity to see it installed. 

April is a month in the studio, battling away at deadlines, productions, and the endless stream of admin that simply refuses to stop. I’m sure it’s a familiar feeling for many! Just to alert you to the fact that I’m going to performing a very special show in Cologne at the MAKK Museum in early May. This accompanies a new installation with Dutch designer and artist Erik Kessels that I’ve scored. The museum will be selling a very special art edition release of the exhibition with a cassette and pack of cards featuring all of the artworks. More on this next month.

So, let’s embrace the sunshine over here and move forwards as positively as possible. As ever, thanks for your support. 

Sunny greetings  

Professor Scanner 

::: listen :::
Abul Mogard: And We Are Passing Through Silently (Houndstooth)
Test Dept: Disturbance (One Little Indian)
Matthew Shaw: Totemic Topologies Vol. 2
Ragnar Grippe: Symphonic Songs (Dais)

::: read ::: 
Laurie Anderson: All the Things I lost in the Fire (Skira Rizzoli)
Don McCullin (Tate)
Emma Kunz: Visionary Drawings (Serpentine)
Notes on Other Music (Edition Festival)

::: watch :::
Den Skyldige: Gustav Moller
Destroyer: Karyn Kusama
Keepers: Kristoffer Nyholm
Lilyhammer: Eilif Skodvin/Anne Bjornstad

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