Letter to the Workers

Text animation on monitor, in collaboration with Andre Guedes.

First shown in English and Portugese at “Prospectus IV” Gallerie Municipas Lisboa 2017
(Accompanying catalogue publication due 2018)

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Dear Colleague,

Rather than struggle to sustain or envision a factory from the traces left behind in the wake of
the textiles we produce, we look towards our own deployment as the texture of the workplace
itself.

The texture of the factory, of what is not required, almost precisely echoes the apparatus of
aesthetics and gestures required to maintain it. The hollowness at the centre of this factory –
a hollowness we might work to fill but must first provide hunger adequate to it in ourselves – is
the core from which the aura of its greatness will resound. The activity within that gives
meaning to the most insignificant moment without….

The Rereader

an interactive installation by Nathan Jones, Sam Skinner and Tom Schofield

A book scanner which transforms the physical book in to a series of algorithmic, semantic and aesthetic text performances. Every book scanned contributes to the training of a neural net, producing new texts.

Installed at the Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool as part of “Torque: Re-Learning to Read”, April/May 2017

 

New Death

Surround sound audio, installed in ceiling grid.

Story by China Meilville
Concept and performance by Nathan Jones
Recording and production by Carl Brown

Taking its title from a newly commissioned piece of writing by China Mieville, New Death is an audio interpretation of Mieville’s thoughts of what the future of death might be; his imaginings of how our bodies may die differently.

The work looks to draw out the uncanny implications for time, physics and digitality in the qualities of this New Death. Working with sound designer Carl Brown, to carefully rearticulate Mievelle’s narrative, I presented an ambiguous, complex and contradictory interpretation of the original story.

The audio work is an extension of my practice exploring the notion of error in writing and language, and how this relates to technology.  With New Death, I introduced a variety of linguistic and para-linguistic quirks to the computer voice – for example adding ‘accent’ and ‘breath’, at the expense of clarity.

This has an effect of degenerating the normally slick communication of the computer voice into something which is more human and affecting.  The dialogue is situated even more ambiguously by the addition of filters and performative gestures which make the artist’s own voice less recognisably human.

Listen to some excerpts here:

Many thanks to Kazimir for installing the work in flattering surroundings.

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This was a new commission for FACT, and the world premiere of the piece.

 

The Escaped Zoo – with Sam Skinner

This piece was a concept Sam and I developed for Mercy’s project in the Liverpool City Council ‘Shops Up Front’ programme.


Stretching across two windows in the old Lewis’ building in Liverpool
The Escaped Zoo is a re-working of a page of type for a ‘street’ context.
By layering up levels of text and imagery, 
and playing with the textural nature of his medium,
Sam Skinner has created a piece which reflects the ‘layers of meaning’
and physically reproduces the themes of paranoia and wildness in my poem.

I am interested here in the manifestation of imaginary space in real space, using text.

Here is the full text of the poem.

Various _ with Scott Spencer

Scott Spencer has done some beautiful settings for my poems over the last couple of years.

These prints use bi-lingual text, referencing the composition method of the poems –
in which I translated poems by Dan Beechy Smith into Spanish and Italian respectively, using Google translate,
then wrote my own translation from these foreign languages, of which I have little or no knowledge.
The presentation of the poems was designed to produce an enigmatic question
over the heritage of the text.

Scott’s settings are large scale prints. They are available as limited editions from the Mercy shop.

 

We also collaborated on these huge mind-warping prints for installation outside one of Mercy’s church events.

The original text is a latin palindrome (and title of a Guy Debord film)

The second panel is a bastardisation of that piece.

The prints look like this up close:

 

Our earlier collaborations for page were simpler, like this setting for a ‘google poem’ for Mercy’s Flatline Zine

 

School Desks _ at the Bluecoat Bistro

I was asked to come up with a permanent installation for this newly refurbished art centre bistro.

The Bluecoat famously used to be a school,
so we got some old desks and got down to some good old fashioned graffiti.

Contributors to this project included
Markus Soukup / Tabitha Moses / Joe Bramall / Phil Marsden
and many more uncredited visitors to the Bluecoat since…

images © Alex Wolkowitz


 

Tim Brunsden also made this cool little video of the process