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.
The fourth manifestation of A Crossing Bell took place at the Antwerp Art Weekend in May. A selection of bells bought from flea markets in exchanges with recent residents to various cities in Europe (Paris, Chania, Brighton, Bruxelles, Lisboa) were made available to gallery goers to ring and offer a prayer of safe passage. The struck bells were recorded. Also exhibiting in the show curated by Sam Watson were Jani Ruscica (FI) and Christian Jendreiko (DE).
Two workshops: the first with Alice Eldridge at the University of Oulu, organised around field recording, sound mapping, sound walking and sound writing; the second, with Sasha Englemann and Mark Peter Wright, was our 'field' contribution to a TECHNE: Conflux programme that involved seminars and workshops during the year and culminated in a summer school in Bude, Cornwall.
After the original A Crossing Bell at the Estuary Festival in 2016 and a later iteration at the "What Has To Be Done" exhibition for the Beijing Today Art Museum in 2017, another adaptation of the project was developed as a contribution to one aspect of Tomoko Hojo's "Unfinished Descriptions" exhibition at the Hundred Years Gallery. Tomoko invited scores to respond to the undocumented material catalogued under "O14" for Yoko Ono's 1966 show at Indica. I thought a gentle version of "A Crossing Bell" could work here, shown in first two images with some shots of Tomoko's own work for context.
"THINGS" is a show produced by Tamara Projects which involves writers and artists responding to an object chosen for them by the curators; their response has to be formatted in the style of an eBay listing, conforming to that site's rules but otherwise open to approach. I chose to connect my object, an oil lamp, to my ongoing research into Krakatoa through an overwrought and hand-wringing account of a writer's rejections:
To hear Dalby’s voice on that winter’s London afternoon, to be lured into his tale, raised the hairs on the back of my neck, setting off a shiver that has only just subsided nine months later, sending me on a trail to discover more about Krakatoa, to understand the eruption not from today’s remote vantage but through a lens fashioned nearer his own time, hence the props: this lamp to light the books that piled the desk in the garden shed, the tight blue jacket with its missing button and rough material that rubbed a rash into my neck, the coils of rope on which I rested my feet, the tin of coal tar creosote I would open to suffuse the shed with scent, the music hall songs and shanties I played at first, later substituted by a sound effects score I composed to honour the sonority of Dalby’s memories, to honour the “weird groans and whistles …the loud rumblings [that] got louder, they seemed all round us, the gusts increased to such a hurricane as no man aboard had ever experienced … the winds seemed a solid mass, pushing everything before it and roaring like a huge steam engine, shrieking through the rigging like demons in torment.”