July 2010


The warmest imaginable month in memory has passed in the UK , and sporting events  have united and divided countries with the realisation that fragile and petulant sportsmen have been transformed into commercial products because their talent matters less than their image, something that all creative media needs to be concerned about.

We waited whilst the skies caught fire

Panorama 12: Soft Machine opened in Le Fresnoy France, a massive visual arts show, curated by Fabrice Bousteaud and Pascale Pronnier, that illustrated the wealth of work that I have produced in the last year as Visiting Professor. Once we had traversed the red carpet and eaten the free Italian ice-cream we calculated how many projects I had developed and collaborated on it whilst in residence there. There was the absurd realisation that I had created twelve new works, including original soundtracks for films Red Road (Jero Yun) and Appel Manquant (Oh Eun Lee) and audio-visual architectural motion installation Body Dysfuntional (Thomas Lock), as well as my own new installation work Falling Forward.

This feature a film that explodes an idea of time and presence. Filmed in extreme slow motion images of broken ice, glass, photographs and dust are captured at 1000 frames per second, whilst a solitary female figure passes the screen in one brief moment. The accompanying soundtrack maintains a hovering tension, creating an inviting, sensual yet melancholy presence. The work should be travelling globally so stay tuned.

A live performance evening, Soirée SCANNER, followed, with live cinema projections and sound projections, then swiftly back to London to perform at evidently trendy Café Oto, a show described as ‘an edgy evening with an experimental brief that celebrates Squarepusher every bit as much as Stravinsky’ which was a astonishingly surprising success and an evening when my noble new interns from Berklee School of Music proved themselves technologically savvy by addressing technical issues for the show that bewildered my naïve brain.

Light fusion

Curiously my interns have also been working on cataloguing and collating my archive of recording on various compilations and remix works, totally almost 200 compositions, a ravenous 14 GB of music largely unheard, and will now begin working on my absurdly prolific archive of cassettes, DATS and mini-discs running back to the 1980s. A public health warning relating to some of this material may well be issued in future.

Writer and critic Sukhdev Sandhu and I created and performed a new work this month too, ‘Sighs Wonders’ as part of the Spitalfields Music Festival, at St Leonard's Church, Shoreditch. Having previously collaborated on the expansive Night Haunts project with Artangel in 2006, this continued the union of spoken and sound on a drift through the yearning spaces of the East End: its dreams and disappointments, its fierce refusals and affirmation. It is as if eavesdropping into a misty day and falling into a plaintive dream, where Sandhu's libretto resonates against the brittle dark textures and ambience of East London. An excerpt from the work can be heard here

Whilst my heart beats aloud

The extraordinarily appealingly alien environment of the Optofonica Capsule, created by Italian media artist Tez in collaboration with Janis Ponisch is travelling again this month, as part of the BIO-RHYTHM show in the Science Gallery Dublin Ireland. The Capsule is a futuristic design/architectural object, whose shell-like shape encapsulates you within an immersive audiovisual structure. While resonating in surround and tactile sound and delivering specially composed visuals to your eyes, low frequencies are fed through the floor converting sound into vibrations through your body. You can experience your own personal surround synaesthetic cinema. “Waterfall,” my collaboration with filmmaker Ryan Jeffery, will be shown alongside works by Telcosystems, Richard Chartier, Ryoichi Kurokawa, Skoltz Kolgen amongst many others. A DVD of all the works is also available on12k/Line

I am also showing photographic work as part of the collective show Previously on Optical Sound… at Galerie Frederic Giroux Gallery in Paris France this month. Opening on 6 July the show will feature a wealth of visual works from the likes of J G Thirwell, Rebecca Bournigault, Serge Comte, Simon Fisher Turner, Sébastien Roux, Lionel Marchetti, Black Sifichi, Norscq, Cécile Babiole, Gérôme Nox, and many others. It celebrates 13 years of productions from the Optical Sound label in France.

I am off to São Paulo, Brazil this month to perform and present my work at the invitation of Itaú Cultural Institute, for the sixth edition of On_Off – Experiences in Live Image. It should be a entertaining adventure as I’ll be sharing festival time with filmmakers Charles Atlas, Bruce McClure and musician William Basinski in this wild city.

Until next month, take care

Professor Scanner

The threadbare art of the eye

::: listen :::

The Tivoli vs Cabaret Voltaire: National Service Rewind (Shiva)
Autechre: Move of Ten (Warp)
Oval: Oh (Thrill Jockey)
James Holden: DJ Kicks (!K7)

::: read :::
Stewart Home: Blood Rites of the Bourgeoisie (Semina)
Malcolm Gladwell: What the Dog Saw (Penguin)
Mark Kermode: It’s Only a Movie (RH Books)
Francis Alys: A Story of Deception (Tate)

::: film:::
The Ascent, Larisa Shepitko, Russia
Dead Snow, Tommy Wirkola, Norway
After Hours, Martin Scorsese, USA
Rec, Jaume Balaguero, Spain


Previously on Optical Sound…
Galerie Frederic Giroux
Paris France

06 - 25 July 2010

Photographic and other works celebrating 13 years of productions from the Optical Sound label in France. Featuring works by amongst others J G Thirwell, Rebecca Bournigault, Serge Comte, Simon Fisher Turner, Sébastien Roux, Lionel Marchetti, Black Sifichi, Norscq, Cécile Babiole, andGérôme Nox.


Dead Fingers Talk: The Tape Experiments of William S. Burroughs
iMT Gallery London

28 May – 18 July 2010

Dead Fingers Talk is an ambitious forthcoming exhibition presenting two unreleased tape experiments by William Burroughs from the mid 1960s alongside responses by 23 artists, musicians, writers, composers and curators.

Few writers have exerted as great an influence over such a diverse range of art forms as William Burroughs. Burroughs, author of Naked Lunch, The Soft Machine and Junky, continues to be regularly referenced in music, visual art, sound art, film, web-based practice and literature. One typically overlooked, yet critically important, manifestation of his radical ideas about manipulation, technology and society is found in his extensive experiments with tape recorders in the 1960s and ’70s. Dead Fingers Talk: The Tape Experiments of William S. Burroughs is the first exhibition to truly demonstrate the diversity of resonance in the arts of Burroughs’ theories of sound.

The exhibition includes work by Alma/Joe Ambrose, Steve Aylett, Lawrence English, The Human Separation, Cathy Lane, Eduardo Navas, Negativland, o.blaat, Aki Onda, Jörg Piringer, Scanner, Terre Thaemlitz, Thomson & Craighead, Laureana Toledo and Ultra-red.


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.