This collaborative exhibition is a guerilla intervention driven by necessity rather than design. In Sept. 2008, The Neo-Futurist Collective was invited to make a piece of work on Wall St. USA for Conflux, the annual festival for contemporary art & psychogeography. For health reasons, Rachel Gadsden was unable to attend with the rest of us, so we decided to use the trip to gather material to bring back to the UK, where we would reunite Rachel's responses with our own, via this blog and in a physical exhibition space. The four resulting pieces of work combine to produce a portrait of an iconic location and the journey of the four individuals who sought to understand its relationship to the rest of the planet.
"Crashes, Bangs and Other Matter" - text
This text was written on our third day in NYC after wondering around the Wall Street area observing people and place. Abbie and Joe went off to do some filming – I was left 'locked' in a hotel room with the sole task of writing a script for Joe to perform live on Wall St at 6.30am the next day. This is what I came up with.
Rowena graduated from the University of Brighton with a degree in Critical Fine Art Practice. Her work is driven by language, exploring systems to evolve new narratives and create disruptions. She constructs a poetic space, which investigates the interplay between formal and organic systems. In recent years her work has become increasingly concerned with architecture and public space. She works across all mediums, and has received awards for art, public art, and poetry.
"Wall Street Chaos" - time-based video
An artwork that responds to chaos caused by the recent Wall St. crash. Trapped amongst the plunging world markets, three psychogeographers watched on, imbibing the energy, reacting artistically and transmitting their responses virtually to the fourth psychogeographer in a studio in London.
Rachel has a BA Hons and MA in Fine Art and has won a number of awards including the Juliet Gomperts Memorial Scholarship and the William Brooking Research Scholarship. In 1999, a series of Rachel's drawings were exhibited in the Dostoyevsky Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. More recently, in 2007, Rachel was appointed Artist-in-Residence at Hampton Court Royal Palace, and was commissioned to make a series of artworks for the Beijing-London Paralympics handover Ceremony.
"Derivatives" - single screen video
In the making of this film, I became fascinated by the city as an enormous weight of concrete that man has created about himself, almost as if identity and notion of self has become embedded within the fabric of the buildings. The kingdom of man is made of concrete. What set this in motion? Treadmills and revolving trap doors, obscured reflections unsettle our passage through the streets. Where has it all come from and where is it going? Stop and look.
I use video to collect samples from situations and experiences, to absorb atmospheres and observe character. I view each space that I inhabit with a camera as a mystery to be experienced and investigated, without direction or intent. I capture the subjects that present themselves. I see myself as a gatherer of information and a collector of evidence.
"This is where the money is ..." - sound installation
A series of audio polaroids in conversation between two sets of speakers. In the temporal sound space, intervention by the human voice marks an interruption that facilitates the reading of noise - of defining and contextualising that which is constant, and therefore often ignored or blocked out. Through the dialogue between voice and noise, it may be possible to construct new or surprising narratives to re-awaken the senses and stimulate our engagement with the aural landscape.
My practice is concerned with the ordinary and the everyday in the urban soundscape. I investigate and record time and place with the addition of human voice to disrupt and interpret ubiquitous urban noise. The desirable and the unwanted blur and dissolve within the constant hum. Through improvisation and dialogue between the voice-at-the-centre and the surrounding soundscape, my work attempts to reconfigure our prejudices and introduce the listener to the wealth of sonic beauty living inside the drone.
Curated and produced by Joseph Young for The Neo-Futurist Collective, with much needed support and guidance from Rowena Easton.
Wire Derive: Mike Blow
Publicity Design: Sara Popowa
Limited edition T-shirts and posters by Rowena Easton, courtesy of BDI Screen Printing - available from Joseph Young on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07973 714589.
Thanks to Maria Pattinson, Peter Faulkner, Harry Neve, A-Design Ltd, Johanna Berger, Helen Medland, Ginny Farman, Eva Weaver and Dr. Adam "Foot" Taylor for their help and generosity.