April 12th, 2013 |  Published in Blog

BtBXVI: Displacement Activity

Bang the Bore XVI: Displacement Activity
Featuring: Neil Chapman, Seth Cooke, Sarah Hughes, Dominic Lash, David Stent and Will Montgomery and compositions by James Saunders and Manfred Werder
7pm – 10pm, Saturday 15th June 2013
John Hansard Gallery, University of Southampton, SO17 1BJ
Free entry/donations gratefully accepted

The John Hansard Gallery presents the work of two leading world figures within the Land Art movement – Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson – seeking to examine a short but significant moment within their working life together. Developed in consultation with curator Ben Tufnell and Dr Joy Sleeman, who together are co-curating a major exhibition titled Uncommon Ground: Land Art in Britain 1966-1979 at Southampton City Art Gallery from 10 May – 3 August 2013, the John Hansard Gallery continues a story started in the 1960’s.

In August 1969, prompted by Smithson’s inclusion in the seminal exhibition at the ICA, ‘When Attitudes Become Form’, Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt came to the UK and spent one month travelling together to various sites throughout England and Wales. The exhibition will provide a thorough overview of this journey, showing photographic and film works by both artists, made during – and resulting from – their visit. 

The exhibition will run 10th May to 17th August 2013. On 15th June, Bang the Bore will present their contribution; a concert featuring composed music, improvisation and field recordings that are directly inspired by the work – and working methods – of Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt. There will also be a special edition of Wolf Notes, published by Compost & Height, to coincide with the event.

The poster art for Displacement Activity is made from overlaid rotations of Junction 2 of the M3 / Junction 12 of the M25, taken from Google Maps.

2012(2) and 2012(4) – Manfred Werder
Will Montgomery will perform a realisation of two scores from Manfred Werder’s ‘found words’ series: 2012(2) and 2012(4). Werder is a composer associated with the Wandelweiser collective who often works with fragments of found texts. Some of his recent work draws on the writing of Robert Smithson and his inclusion in Displacement Activity arises from similarities in how both subvert conventional hierarchies of representation, positioning their work in between text and specific material instantiations.

Location Composite #1 – James Saunders
James Saunders’ Location Composite series hides text scores in the environment and makes their location known via geocaching. Those who find the scores are invited to take part in a listening exercise in which they describe the submodalities of what they hear, which then becomes the basis for a new text score to be used for subsequent performances. Saunders’ process is reminiscent of Smithson’s conception of the non-site, in which “one site can represent another site which does not resemble it.” Location Composite #1 will be performed by an ensemble that includes Dominic Lash, Sarah Hughes and Seth Cooke.

Title TBC – David Stent and Neil Chapman
Over a number of years David Stent and Neil Chapman have worked together on inquiries related to visuality and writing. For Displacement Activity their work takes as its starting point Hotel Palenque, a publication and audio/visual piece by Robert Smithson in which photographic images are used as cues for deviant narratives. Stent and Chapman will produce a pamphlet publication of writing and images made in response to a series of found 35mm slides, using this material for live readings and improvisation.

City of London Corporation Mirror Displacement – Seth Cooke
Cooke’s sonification of Smithson’s mirror displacement methodology positions reflective glass as resonance object, the primary building material of London’s financial district and broken mirror as a symbolic technology for redirecting energies while reconfiguring the displaced earth of the non-site as the disinterred goofer dust of hoodoo ritual. Deploying elements of field recording, composition and sounding sculpture, the piece draws inspiration from Stephen Grasso’s serialised treatise Smoke and Mirrors, locating parallels between Smithson’s conception of the non-site and sympathetic magic while asking whether a similar strain of magical thinking or displacement activity lies behind online activism, financial systems and magicoreligious practises.

Will Montgomery works with field recordings and electronic music. His releases include CDs on the nonvisualobjects and Entr’acte labels and a vinyl 12″ on Winds Measure. He is currently collaborating with the poet Carol Watts. He teaches at Royal Holloway, University of London.

David Stent is an artist, writer, curator and musician. His diverse practice draws on various media including drawing, photography, digital and print publishing, film and video, sonic and sculptural installation. He regularly performs with the Set Ensemble and is a Programme Leader for the Sculpture Department at West Dean College.

Dominic Lash is an improviser on double bass, composer and writer. His CV of collaborations reads like a who’s who of contemporary free improvisation, and as a recurring member of the Set Ensemble he has performed many contemporary experimental works, particularly those of the Wandelweiser collective.

Sarah Hughes is a sculptor, improviser and composer based in West Sussex. She performs contemporary compositions in the Set Ensemble, is the co-founder of the netlabel Compost and Height and musical publishers BORE and is the editor of the Wolf Notes journal.

Seth Cooke is a percussionist and sound recordist based in Bristol, UK. He frequently uses improvised, process and location-driven methodologies and often works with materials happened upon by chance. He has been a contributor to the Bang the Bore collective since its inception.

Neil Chapman is an artist and writer. His work explores material textual practices, questions concerning visuality in art and writing, collaborative method, and the histories of these themes. In June 2013 his book Diagrams for Seriality will be published by Copy Press, London.

Want to discuss this article? Click here to visit our Forum

April 12th, 2013 | by | Published in Blog