April 2010


Spring momentarily arrived and I wandered around Parisian streets last weekend in a mild climate, only to return to London and find icy cold temperatures, snowfall in Scotland and little sense of rebirth and regrowth in this new equinox.


March began in the magical haunted environment of La Rosa Hotel in Whitby Yorkshire UK where I began developing a project with Australian artist Andrew Day aka Nightswimmer, graphic artist David Owen and interior designer Amanda Boorman. An extraordinary location and venue for a series of performances later this year, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carroll used to stay there between 1854-71 and the rooms are allegedly visited at night by strange ghosts. Directly in front of the hotel is the bench where Bram Stoker once sat and took the inspiration for Dracula so it’s a location loaded with symbolism and history. We shall return in October for some Gothic adventures.

It was over then to Londonderry in Ireland to give a Valediction vote of thanks speech to Professor Paul Moore at the University of Ulster, so a fine excuse to dress up in my smartest Jill Sander suit and bewilder onlookers in my crisp white shirt and tie. Returning to London for the premiere of the dance work 4m2 at the ROH2 my new look thoroughly confused some folks though, one of whom told me after a twenty-minute conversation that I reminded them of “Robin Rimbaud, Scanner.” Well isn’t that curious?

Githead adventures then took hold of the schedule as we drove through under the Swiss Alps in endless tunnels to play dates in Italy and Switzerland. Packed into a tour van with support act Sleeping States we snacked at too many Autogrills on the motorway and yet incredibly I lost weight on this trip. Must have been those all night groupie party sessions
Candid snapshots of the trip can be viewed here


Returning to Le Fresnoy art school in Tourcoing as Professor Scanner I was able to finish editing on my new short installation film Falling Forward that will premiere in June at the Panorama exhibition, and then closed the month in Paris at le Festival PRÉSENCES électronique in the industrial surroundings of the mammoth concrete palace of Centquatre. I was honoured to perform alongside such artists as Charlemagne Palestine, Christian Fennesz and François Bayle, as well as spend some time with the late great Pierre Schaeffer’s beautiful family, and take in the romantic sites of Paris itself for a change.

Documentation of my recent performance in Milano with the Live Video Ensemble is now online, where we all improvised around one another, as is a little demo I recently produced for GForce software using their Optitron Expansion Set for the M-Tron Pro synthesiser. Originally manufactured by toy maker Mattel®, the Optigan was an attempt to break into the burgeoning 'home entertainment' market of the 1970s, using LP sized plastic discs on which sounds, backing tracks and effects were stored and these were read by an optical sensor on the instrument itself. I assisted in acquiring a machine to be sampled and digitised from the band COIL and created a dark demo to show what's possible. It uses amongst other sounds Folk and Other Moods Rhythm, Singing Rhythms, Double String Section, Boys Choir and unforgettably Black Sabbath Orchestra sounds! If you are keen to read about this history of this instrument, tune in here.

For those who missed out on the extremely limited edition Conversations with the Dead vinyl EP on Dust Science in 2009 there is now one track for listening and download available at Hapax Magazine


Also this month Oops Wrong Planet my collaboration with Belgian filmmaker Anouk De Clercq will show at the European media art festival 2010, Osnabruck, 21 – 25 April. It presents an attractive, rolling alien landscape from a different planet. This short film draws on communications with an autistic man who calls himself "Landschip" (= Landship), talking about noise, music, space and communication, illustrated entirely with a soundtrack of choreographed noise and radio static. It will travel to Antwerp, Utrecht and Melbourne in the next months too.

April brings with it the London debut of my soundtrack for Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde at the Purcell Room on 17 April 2010 as part of the adventurous Ether Festival. Taking cues from composer Edgard Varèse's complete recorded work, I will present my new score for John S. Robertson's silent film version of Stevenson's classic horror story. I am still trying to decide whether to dress as Dr Jekyll or Mr Hyde though.

Until next month

Professor Scanner


::: listen :::

Various: Independent Project (LTM)
Alva Noto: For 2 (Line)
Bill Callahan: Rough Travel for a Rare Thing (Drag City)
Jimi Hendrix: Valleys of Neptune (Sony)

::: read :::
Guy Maddin: From the Atelier Tovar (Coach House)
Cabinet Magazine Issue 36: Friendship
The Velvet Underground: New York Art (Rizzoli)
John Baldessari: Pure Beauty (Tate)

::: film:::
Alice in Wonderland, Tim Burton, USA
I Love You Phillip Morris, Glenn Ficarra, USA
Outnumbered DVD series, UK
12 Stories about John Zorn, Claudia Heuermann, Germany


‘Awake Are Only the Spirits’ - On Ghosts and Their Media
Centre of Contemporary Art
Torun Poland
26 March – 31 May 2010

The exhibition ‘Awake Are Only the Spirits’ – On Ghosts and Their
Media is dedicated to a topic that appears, at first glance, timeless: it involves the presence of the supernatural – the appearance of ghosts and (trans-)communication with ‘the beyond’ facilitated by technical media.

The exhibition shows 22 international artistic positions questioning the existence of ghosts, exploring the integration of new media and technologies in spiritualist contexts, investigating the making-visible or making-perceptible of the invisible, and tracing the political implications as well as the aesthetics of such contemporary trans-communication phenomena. Artists include Lucas & Jason Ajemian, Sam Ashley, Kathrin Günter, Carl Michael von Hausswolff, Tim Hecker, Susan Hiller, Chris Marker and Scanner.


The Black Cabinet ­ Surveillance and Resistance
Post & Tele Museum
Copenhagen Denmark

09 October 2009 - 24 October 2010

Exhibition exploring a historical look at phone technology and developments. Scanner is presenting early examples of his controversial scanned mobile telephone calls from the 1990s.

Post & Tele Museum

Night Haunts
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 .


Bittersweet Songs for the Sleepless City
Artangel Interaction

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. Additionally it features remixes of NightJam by Stephen Vitiello, Hakan Lidbo, Troy Banarzi, Si-cut.db and Pete Lockett.