Fun - if slightly nerve-wracking - to be involved in one the reading sessions for Irene Revell and Anna Barham's A Year With Stein project.
On New Year’s Eve of 1974/5 Stein’s 925 page novel was read aloud in a ‘marathon’ 48-hour reading at Artists Space in New York, organised by Alison Knowles, Annea Lockwood, Ruth Anderson and Jean Rigg, starting a tradition that has continued into the present. After a ‘mini-marathon’ in London last Summer as part of Longplayer Day we proposed to slow down the format and are committing to read the book over the whole of 2020, in 4-hour chunks roughly every four weeks on a weekend afternoon.
Three poems and four photographs from the forthcoming Makina Books publication "Night Blooms" published in Hotel, "a magazine for new approaches to fiction, non fiction & poetry ... which provides the space for experimental reflection on literature’s status as art & cultural mediator". More here.
Chairing a Q&A at Tyneside Cinema on February 13th, 2020 with Siân Hutchings who led a performance to introduce her new film 'Quietly Beneath.'
Photographs: Adam Pugh
"Dew Pond #1" was a talk and listening session that was part of "Acoustic Ecologies: Hildegard Westerkamp and Environmental Listening" at the Attenborough Centre of Sussex University on January 31st, 2020. The sheets of paper I am holding in the first image and the participants have in subsequent photographs were letter-pressed by Alex Cooper and used to respond to the listening environment of the dew pond, marked with chalk to create soundmaps, scores, listening diaries.
Photographs: Tunde Alabi-Hundeyin
Dusk brings a shift of the senses, a change to how the world is known. A similar recalibration can happen when we choose to settle down somewhere and map what our perceptions find there.
Pictures of Alex Cooper's letter-pressed Dew Pond sheets and examples of what participants did with them.
Screening of Rupert Cox, Kozo Hiramatsu and my film, Zawawa at the Salon for Alternative Social Science Strategies at Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations (Mucem), January 10th, 2020.
Durant le bombardement d’Okinawa, en 1945, les habitants ont cherché refuge dans les grottes et les champs de canne à sucre. Ils ont forgé des souvenirs qui habitent aujourd’hui les sons de ces lieux. Un paysagiste, un acousticien et un anthropologue ont travaillé ensemble pendant dix ans pour écouter, enregistrer ces sons et leur donner sens, à travers les récits d’individus qui expriment, comme tant d’autres à Okinawa, l’expérience d’une vie suspendue entre les guerres américaines, le passé, le présent et le futur.
"Atom Place The Site" is a constrained text for "Atomic", the third edition of Im-Pressed, designed and edited by Tim Hutchinson Design and Alex Cooper. The text takes 63 words from Aristotle's expression of an 'atomist' position he attributes to Leucippus and Democritus and subjects it to a series of manipulations. The following explanation comes from the text's preamble:
"my first constraint involved reconstructing an orthodox timeline of atomic science, then expanding it beyond Leucippus and Democritus and the more modern usual suspects to include contributions from sub-Saharan African, from Maghrebi and Vedic thought. Each node on the timeline was associated with the most proximate written language (Marathi for Sanskrit, for example) and Aristotle’s rebuff was then translated into that language through an automatic translation engine and then back again to impromptu English. This process proceeded in twelve steps from the most recent script to the most ancient, the meaning of subsequent transpositions of the original mutating ever unpredictably. With each iteration, a second constraint came into operation, this time determining the erasure of a single word from the resulting text, emulating Democritus’ parable of the stone cut once, then cut again, smaller and smaller and smaller, as much as it does the radioactive decay of the half-life (albeit without a strictly exponential quasi trajectory). A third (soft) constraint governed the grammaticality of the transformed texts; a fourth and a fifth constraint (and potentially a sixth) remain undisclosed, once more'."
Photos: Daniela d’Arielli
The Manifesto of Rural Futurism was an exhibition at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura Melbourne that ran from 26.07.19 - 11.10.19. Curated by Daniela d’Arielli, Beatrice Ferrara, Leandro Pisano and Philip Samartzis, the show was "an invitation to experience rural locations and abandoned places as spaces in which to question our approach to history and landscape, our sense of living in a specific place and the relationship that we have with it. The sound of environments, spaces and landscapes reveal the challenges and territorial transformations that inform the ideology, infrastructure and biological ecosystems to which we form a part. In this sense, listening practices are deployed as a way to critically traverse the 'border territories' of rural territories, challenging persisting notions about “inescapable marginality”, 'residuality' and 'peripherality''.
"The Manifesto of Rural Futurism comprises sound and visual recordings undertaken by artists undertaking fieldwork in Southern Italy including: Daniela d’Arielli, Enrico Ascoli, Angus Carlyle, Luca Buoninfante, Jo Burzynska, Enrico Coniglio, Alejandro Cornejo Montibeller, Nicola Di Croce, Fernando Godoy, Miguel Isaza, Raffaele Mariconte, Marco Messina, Mollin + Voegelin, Alyssa Moxley, Philip Samartzis, Vacuamoenia, David Vélez and Sarah Waring".
Read more about the show.
"Before Eternal Silence" was a text commissioned for the LP version of Jani Ruscica's work "Felt The Moonlight on my Feet." In the work, a "tap dancer is presented with poetry chosen by Ruscica for reasons including their political and social censorship during the course of their existence. Each poem has been translated into Morse Code, itself further translated and interpreted by the tap dancer into a dance piece". Inspired by the ambitions behind Ruscica's work and by my previous research into sonic codes, the resulting text involves the most complicated (and least legible) constraints that I've used.
Above is the cover for a cassette tape which I had held onto since January 28th, 1996. The cassette contained a track in lieu of a paper for the Haçienda Must Be Rebuilt conference held at Manchester's nightclub, The Haçienda (RIP). The track, "Swarmachines" was attributed to "switch/***collapse/CCRU" and featured my voice, alongside those of Sadie Plant, Mark Fisher and Nick Land. Urbanomic digitised and posted the audio track, the text for which had appeared in Abstract Culture, later in nomadsland (and I believe it was translated into Serbo-Croat, though can find no evidence of this). It was republished in #Accelerate: The Accelerationist Reader, being mentioned in the 2017 Guardian review of accelerationism. The CCRU connections seems to be stirring at the moment with me being asked questions about this period by Simon Hammond for his excellent article in the New Left Review about Mark Fisher.
September 12th, 2019: at Cafe OTO for "Animal Sounds" - part of their Music and Other Living Creatures Programme, a performance-lecture that dug back to the 90s to find those points where I'd written of encounters with the more-than-human.
March 21st, 2019: at Felix Art Museum, Brussels, talking about "Concealing and Revealing The Field," Igloo White, sound as camouflage, masking, etc.
January 24th, 2019: at Iklectik for launch of Salomé Voegelin's The Political Possibility of Sound, another performance-lecture, this time mining my archive for "Thirty Years of Height," finding those moments across three decades where I'd found myself with new friends at different points above ground.