Fireworks and clouds of smoke greeted my return to London last week as the spirit of celebration struck London - Diwali, an unforgettable and extraordinary sight, as my flight slowly maneuvered across the skies. Spoilt for such distractions, we also have November 5 with its firework night to look forward to as well. And here I sit in the Jutland Academy of Fine Arts in Aarhus Denmark, sheltering from the storms outside as I run workshops all this week for artists.
October began in Aix-en-Provence with my ‘Colour Planes’ installation opening as part of the Arborescence festival at the beginning of the month, which grew in scale the longer I installed the work, finishing with 12 digital prints, sound, the smell of the Saint Victoire mountains and 300 glass bottles arranged in a sculptural form on the gallery floor. A day trip over to Marseille to play with German electro-poppers Schneider TM (a charming experience repeated a little later in Athens), offered a chance for some witty conversation and shaking beats.
Anyone wondering what my rock and roll alter-ego, Githead, had been up to recently, can take a look at http://www.githead.com/gallery_Oct_06_studio.html, to view the amusing photographic documentation from our recent recording sessions at Metropolis 22 Studios in Rotterdam, where we continued writing and recording towards our second, as yet untitled, 2nd album. With titles like “These Days”, “Drive By”, “All Set Up”, “Jet Ear Game”, “Drop”, “Lifeloops,” and other unnamed little gems we hope it will be ready for a summer hit in 2007.
For the next few months in London you’ll be able to experience my ‘Friendscan’ installation as part of Game On at the Science Museum, in collaboration with Friendchip. For nerds, kids and historians alike, it’s a chance to explore the history, technology and culture of computer games in this special exhibition. From the PDP-1 of the 1960s to the latest consoles, Game On examines the technologies that have revolutionised the gaming world. See the ten most influential consoles of all time, learn about the design process behind games such as Tomb Raider, investigate the relationship between films and gaming and play over 100 games including classics Space Invaders and Super Mario Brothers!
Inspired by a handheld computer game from the early 1970s, Simon, ‘Friendscan’ is an interactive work that playfully uses sound and image in unison. Simon was one of the first games to incorporate music as a key element, where you would have to remember and follow an ever accelerating pattern of tones and coloured lights, but here the game remembers your body movements for you. Your route across the grid is recorded and combined with the movements of previous visitors to create sound and images.
‘Night Haunts’ (http://www.nighthaunts.org.uk) continues in November with The River, as Sukhdev Sandhu writes about London’s remaining night bargemen. In tandem with this, ‘NightJam: Bittersweet songs for the Sleepless City’, (http://www.nightjam.org.uk), my project with MCs and photographers from New Horizon Youth Centre for young homeless people in King’s Cross, continues with new mixes of NightJam by Stephen Vitiello, Hakan Lidbo, Troy Barnazi, Si-cut.db and Pete Lockett. More to follow.
For even more passionate nocturnalists, ‘Because the Night,’ a special performance, screening and talk event dedicated to darkness, will happen for one night only on Friday 24 November, at Bethnal Green Town Hall, Patriot Sq, London E2. I’ll be premiering a live collaborative performance with Sukhdev, entitled ‘Haunted Lullabies: A Psalm for London’s Night Souls.’ Gentlewoman Naturalist Bridget Nicholls will expose to our ears the sonar clash of the feuding moth and bat that hatched the evolution of the buttefly. Special guests will also include experimental comedian Simon Munnery and ghost expert Alan Murdie. Screenings in the Library of the Night including Hitchcock’s The Lodger (A Story of London Fog), Dupont’s Piccadilly starring Anna May Wong and Francis Alÿs’ The NightWatch.
Before all your pennies are spent before Christmas, iTunes is now presenting ‘Occasional Offices’ for purchase – my collaboration with producer Roger Elsgood originally broadcast on BBC Radio. Based around the 1662 Book of Common Prayer it features some of the most beautiful passages of seventeenth century English from Thomas Cranmer’s Book of Common Prayer which was the handbook of the pre-20th century Anglican Church. The work itself features a succession of passages from the Occasional Offices: the Thanksgiving of Women after Child-birth, the Solemnization of Matrimony, the Visitation of the Sick, the Burial of The Dead and the Baptism of Infants. These texts were delivered by the Reverend Dr. Peter Mullen in services and celebrations in the Church of St. Michael’s Cornhill, a bastion of the King James Bible and the 1662 Book of Common Prayer in the City of London, and edited into a soundscape created exclusively for this work.
Posteverything.com will be hosting copies of an extremely rare 12” vinyl of my Parallax Beat Brothers project – Exhalation. Released on Terre Thaemlitz’s Comatonse label in Japan, it features exclusive remixes by DJ Sprinkles and myself. Buy it in time to work off any excess fat before Christmas!
I’m also proud to have my writing and music featured in "VJ: Audio Visual Art + VJ Culture," the first wide ranging guide to the global phenomenon of A/V and VJ culture, published by Laurence King (UK) and Chronicle Books (USA) later this month. Edited by D-Fuse and Edith Garcia, it combines how to, showcase and reference elements this book explores artists at the forefront of this audio-visual experience. Featuring over 130 global contributors, an extensive hardware, software resource section, it includes a free DVD featuring documentaries, live performances + videos from featured artists.
Enough of the rain here, so next I’m popping over to Brisbane Australia to perform ‘52 Spaces,’ to Italy for the premiere of my re-processed adaptation of Jean-Luc Godard’s Alphaville, and Belgium for ‘Blindscape,’ so keeping out of trouble overseas as always.
Until next month
::: listen :::
Various: Jukebox Buddha (Staubgold)
Lilian Hak: Love's Victory March (Steamin' Soundworks)
GTO: Kill the Pedagogue (Brainwashed)
Rosy Parlane: Jessamine (Touch)
::: read :::
Joan Didion: The Year of Magical Thinking (Harper)
Chris Darke: Alphaville (I.B.Tauris)
Guy Deutscher: The Unfolding of Language (Random House)
Jean Baudrillard: Utopia Deferred (MIT)
Drift, Lee Renaldo & Leah Singer, USA
Merce Cunningham Films, Vol. 1, USA
Code Unknown, Michael Haneke, Germany
Marie-Antoinette, Sofia Coppola, USA
::: diary dates :::
04 Nov-Ground Control: Aarhus Denmark
11 Nov-52 Spaces:Powerhouse Brisbane Australia
18 Nov-Blindscape, Beursschouwburg Belgium
21 Nov-Alphaville;Teatro Miela Trieste Italy
24 Nov-Because the Night Bethnal Green Town Hall London
30 Nov-Parallax Beat Brothers: Colchester Arts Centre
03 Dec-Broken Blossom with Pierre Bastien: Palais des Beaux-Arts Lille France
06 Dec-Future of Sound: Presentation FACT Liverpool
18 Jan-Untitled work with Shobana Jeyasingh Arts Depot London
25 Jan-Future of Sound: Presentation Sage Gateshead
31 Jan-Light Turned Down with D-Fuse BFI London
01 Feb-Untitled work with Shobana Jeyasingh Brewhouse Taunton
01 Feb-Plexus/Praxis-Théâtre le Vanves Festival Art-Dan-Thé France
05 Feb-Untitled work with Shobana Jeyasingh Royal Northern College Music Manchester
08 Feb-Future of Sound: Presentation Norwich Arts Centre Norwich
13 Feb-Untitled work with Shobana Jeyasingh Hawth Crawley
21 Feb-Untitled work with Shobana Jeyasingh South Hill Arts Park Bracknell
06 & 07 March-New work with Shobana Jeyasingh QEH London
17 March -Présences electronique Salle Olivier Messiaen: Paris France
27 March-Plexus/Praxis-Les Ondines Changé France
30 March-Plexus/Praxis-Théâtre la Licorne Cannes France
12 April-Future of Sound Queen Mary’s College London
19 May-Shots in the Dark with D-Fuse/Alter Ego, Wroclaw Poland
::: exhibitions :::
By Sukhdev Sandhu
Design Mind Unit
Sound Design Scanner
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. If you would like to be kept informed as each episode is posted, join artangel‘s mailing list by clicking here.
21 October 2006 - 25 February 2007
From the PDP-1 of the 1960s to the latest must-have consoles Game On examines the technologies that have revolutionised the gaming world. Friendscan is an interactive installation, inspired by a handheld computer game from the early 1970s, Simon.
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 resents 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. A series of remixes by other artists will be available over the forthcoming months.