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Disinformation in “Sounds & Shapes” ****

Matchett & Page’s summer exhibition, Sounds & Shapes, is installed across the site of Shatwell Farm. The exhibition includes two site specific works: a sound installation by Disinformation in one of the disused grain silos, and a geometric patio-courtyard designed by Denman + Gould. The geometric theme continues into the Haybarn gallery with silkscreen prints that explore colour and shape by Lucy or Robert.

Open weekends, 11am to 5pm
17 July to 1 August 2021
… and by appointment

Matchett & Page
Shatwell Farm
Shatwell Lane
Yarlington BA9 8DL

Exhibition guide –

Poster design: Denman & Gould

Disinformation “Closed Circuit” – kinetic audio installation at Shatwell, Somerset ****

Disinformation – “Closed Circuit” – architectural + immersive sound installation in “Sounds & Shapes” exhibition, curated by Matchett & Page, July 2021

“If we sit and talk in a dark room, words suddenly acquire new meanings and different textures. They become richer, even, than architecture, which Le Corbusier rightly says can best be felt at night.” – Marshall McLuhan “Understanding Media” 1964

“Architecture is the simplest means of articulating time and space, of modulating reality and [of] engendering dreams” [1], and, perhaps paradoxically, in the silo at Shatwell, a familiar architectural form is re-purposed to create a kind of strange laboratory, within which, through the manipulation of architectural acoustics, of auditory and haptic sensations, the formal aesthetics and symbolism of pure geometry, interact with (equally primal) tactile resonances and symbolism, to evoke long-forgotten reflexes, sense memories, and (arguably, to some extent) even dreams. Extrapolating the assertion that “architecture in general is frozen music” [2], the installation at Shatwell is created not only within the building, but by the building, with the building itself functioning as a massive loudspeaker, as a kinetic artwork, and as a musical instrument, generating “sound” which is heard through the fingertips, drawing visitors into an amniotic sound world of gently pulsing vibration and breath-like rhythms.

In geometric terms, the curvilinear surface of a cylinder is effectively infinite, while in projective geometry, a cylinder can be defined as a cone whose apex rests at infinity [3] – a grain silo is in effect a giant tin of beans, and every child who’s built a tin-can-telephone is familiar with at least some of the acoustic properties of plate steel. “In every art it is the most elementary and primitive means that achieve the most profound and beautiful effects” [4], and “Closed Circuit” – the sound installation by artist project Disinformation – uses simple microtonal tuning techniques to create a rhythmically active and dynamic sound mass, which oscillates around a core frequency of 40Hz. This is, in neurological terms, the exact frequency of so-called Gamma waves which is most strongly associated with the integration of visual consciousness and dreams [5][6], and is the exact frequency most used in the field of vibro-acoustic therapy [7].

“We move within a closed landscape whose landmarks constantly draw us toward the past. Certain shifting angles, certain receding perspectives, allow us to glimpse original conceptions of space, but this vision remains fragmentary. It must be sought in the magical locales of fairy tales and Surrealist writings: castles, endless walls, little forgotten bars, mammoth caverns, casino mirrors…” [1]

“Arnold began telling Alan about his recurrent childhood dream, or nightmare rather, in which he felt himself suspended in absolutely empty space while a strange noise would start, growing ever louder, until he woke up in a sweat. Alan asked what kind of noise it was, but Arnold could not describe it… Alan imagined the old hangar on the RAF camp… and made up a science fiction story… in which the hangar was itself a brain.” [8]

[1] Ivan Chtcheglov “Formulary for a New Urbanism” October 1953
[2] Friedrich von Schelling “Philosophie der Kunst” 1802
[4] Rudolf Arnheim “Radio” 1936
[5] Francis Crick and Christof Koch “Towards a Neurobiological Theory of Consciousness” Seminars in the Neurosciences, vol. 2, 1990
[6] Rodolfo Llinás and Urs Ribary “Coherent 40Hz Oscillation Characterizes Dream State in Humans” PNAS, vol. 90, 1993
[8] Andrew Hodges “Alan Turing, The Enigma” 1983

“Closed Circuit” by Disinformation is commissioned and installed at Shatwell Farm, Somerset as part of the exhibition “Sounds & Shapes”, curated by Matchett & Page. The installation is open by appointment at weekends, 11am to 5pm, Saturday 17th July to Sunday 1st August 2021.

Initial site visit 22 Feb 2020, installation date 29 May 2021
Text by Joe Banks, copyright © 2 June 2021

William F. Temple – “Electric Symphony” (1951)

“A dozen electric motors started humming in a dozen different keys. A spark-gap lit the place with a vivid, leaping blue light which chased the shadows out of the gloomier corners, constantly retreating and springing again… The noise was tumultuous now. The dynamo was not bolted down as securely as it might have been, and it seemed to be roaring in an attempt to free its fettered feet. The vibrations were setting the floor a-tremble, and they came through the soles of my shoes as though the leather were but paper. The electric symphony of the small motors was almost unendurable: I remember making the mental comment: “Thank God Mossolov never got into here!” The air itself seemed to be oscillating with electricity. My mouth was prickling with it, as though my tongue were on the prongs of one of those flat batteries for flash-lamps… A red lamp screwed on the coarse planks lit up like a traffic light. Automatically everything seemed to cut out. The spark-gap died in a last flash, all the motors stopped with choked growls like a pack of frustrated hounds, and the big dynamo began to run down with a note oddly sweet now, a falling cadence like the violins in the Largo of the New World Symphony, deepened into the realm of cellos, became a throb, a whirring, a fluttering, the breath of a sigh… and was silent.”

William F. Temple “Four Sided Triangle” Galaxy Science Fiction 1951

Use headphones –

Bruno Schulz – “Sklepy Cynamonowe” (1934)

“The metals dipped in acid solutions, salty and rusting in that painful bath, began to conduct in darkness. Awakened from their stiff lifelessness, they hummed monotonously, sang metallically, shone molecularly in the incessant dusk of those mournful and late days. Invisible charges rose in the poles and swamped them, escaping into the circling darkness. An imperceptible tickling, a blind prickly current traversed the space polarised into concentric lines of energy, into circles and spirals of a magnetic field. Here and there an awakened apparatus would give out signals, another would reply a moment later, out of turn, in hopeless monosyllables, dash-dot-dash in the intervals of a dull lethargy. My father stood amongst those wandering currents, a smile of suffering on his face, impressed by that stammering articulation, by the misery, shut in once and for all, irrevocably, which was monotonously signalling in crippled half-syllables from the un-liberated depths.”

Bruno Schulz “Kometa” (“The Comet”) from “Sklepy Cynamonowe” 1934

Use headphones –

Electromagnetic Sound Art – Disinformation and “National Grid”

“Communism equals Soviet power plus the electrification of the whole country” – Vladimir Ilyich Lenin 1921

Electronic music producer, researcher and installation artist Joe Banks discusses “National Grid” – the highly influential sound installation, recording and performance concept, which Joe produces under the aegis of the art project Disinformation. “National Grid” is a work of electromagnetic sound art, originally created using VLF-band radio technology, later using direct line noise from live mains electricity. “National Grid” was first performed live and published on LP in 1996, and first exhibited as an art gallery sound installation in 1997. “National Grid” has since been exhibited and performed nearly 40 times, most recently at the Fort Process Festival, Newhaven, in 2018. This presentation discusses technical, musical and symbolic aspects of “National Grid”, in relation to art history, to experimental and classical music, and in relation to literature, featuring short readings from the writers H.G. Wells, William F. Temple and Bruno Schulz.

Documentation + audio commentary, featuring – Disinformation “National Grid”, remix by Bruce Gilbert 1997; Disinformation “National Grid”, LP version 1996 (CD re-issue 1997); Disinformation “National Grid”, Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst (Leipzig) “New Forms” CD 2000; Disinformation, live at the Dom Culture Centre (Moscow) 28 Sept 2000, featuring Mike Walter + Andy Knight; Disinformation + Strange Attractor, live at New Corsica Studios (London) 19 Nov 2004, featuring Mark Pilkington; H.G. Wells “Lord of the Dynamos” (extract) 1894; William F. Temple “Four Sided Triangle” (extract) 1951; Bruno Schulz “Sklepy Cynamonowe” (extract) 1934; Disinformation “Barcelona” (unreleased) remix 2017. Total running time 41:19.

Programme commissioned by the Listening Arts Channel, 19 March 2021 –

Use headphones –

Image: “National Grid” montage from video by Joe Banks + Barry Hale – video installation commissioned by Fabrica Gallery, Brighton, Nov 2001

Electromagnetic Sound Art, 1996 to 2016 **

Disinformation on Resonance 104.4 FM – Wavelength – 4 November 2016 –

Disinformation on BBC Radio 4 – Broadcasting House – 15 June 2008 –

Disinformation on BBC Radio 4 – Broadcasting House – 2 November 2008 –

… all discussing work published 1996 onwards

“Theophany” by Disinformation – the world’s shortest sound installation ****

Electromagnetic sound art… Very Low Frequency (VLF band) radio interference… the Raphael Cartoons at the V&A… Hyōshigi and John Latham… a pistol shot in the Louvre… museology & audio convolution…

Waveform [above] + article [see link] © Joe Banks

Magazine feature –

“Theophany” by Disinformation was most recently exhibited in the “Language [as] Meta-Technology” exhibition, Passengers Offsite, Sluice HQ (London) Nov 2018. Previous installations include the Freud Museum (London) June 2015, the Burghley House Sculpture Garden (Lincolnshire) April 2007, Saltburn Artists Projects, Jan 2007, Canolfan Gelf Wrecsam, Oct 2006, The Foundry (London) May 2005, Derby Quad (formerly Q Arts) June 2004, South Hill Park (Bracknell) April 2004, Quay Arts (Isle of Wight) Feb 2004, Fabrica Gallery (Brighton) Nov 2001, and the Raphael Cartoon Room at The V&A (London) 3 Nov 2000.

“Spellbound” video by Disinformation ****

“The face is the mirror of the mind; and eyes, without speaking, confess the secrets of the heart” – Saint Jerome (Letter to Furia, AD 394)

Photomontage [above] + article [see link] © Joe Banks

Magazine feature –

“Spellbound” by Disinformation was most recently exhibited at the Light Sensitive Material conference, University of West London, Nov 2019, at the Moving Image Salon, Film & Video Umbrella (London) 13 Sept 2019, and in the “Language [as] Meta-Technology” exhibition, Passengers Offsite, Sluice HQ (London) Nov 2018. Previous gallery exhibitions include Goldsmiths College (London) Dec 2008, Derby Quad (formerly Q Arts) June 2004, the Huddersfield Art Gallery, Jan 2003, Fabrica Gallery (Brighton) Nov 2001, the Royal Society of Sculptors (London) March 2001, and the Raphael Cartoon Room at The V&A (London) 3 Nov 2000.

Disinformation at Museo Reina Sofía ****

Audiosphere – Sound Experimentation 1980 to 2020 – opens at Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid, October 2020, exhibition continues until January 2021. Audiosphere features works by Christoph Cox, Disinformation, Alessandra Eramo, Jez Riley French, Ryoji Ikeda, Caleb Kelly, Jørgen Teller, James Webb, Jana Winderen, plus many others. Audiosphere “looks to cover an historical and cultural void in terms of the recognition, exhibition and analysis of… recent changes… in the artistic conception of sound”, exposing artists “the majority unknown to the contemporary art spectator”.

Audiosphere – Audiosfera [Sound Experimentation 1980 to 2020]
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
Calle Santa Isabel, 52
28012 Madrid

Opens 14 Oct 2020 to 15 Feb 2021
Mondays – 10am to 9pm
Tuesdays – closed
Weds to Sat – 10am to 9pm
Sundays – 10am to 2:30pm

Exhibition curated by Francisco López

Sponsored by Audio-Technica

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