Grampian is a collection of sonic experiments using modular synthesis. The tracks are all performed live, and therefore include the inconsistencies and errors inherent in the medium. The tracks are released under the pseudonym _R.
If something is worth listening to, it's worth listening to slowed down ten times so it lasts longer, the harmonics become emphasised, and all the intricacies between the notes are given the space to breath.
Apart's four tracks use music by Arvo Pärt as a palette to create new pieces that are drawn out over time. It suits the cold, snow-covered months of winter particularly well.Read More
A series of photographs illustrating wasted industrial and public lighting, shown alongside governmental advice for families on how to save energy.
Three-Legged Trouser Work (For Keith) is a piece inspired by Keith Arnatt’s 1972 work ‘Trouser-Word Piece’. In his original work, Arnatt offered an ironic commentary on his own position through the use of a philosophical analysis of the word ‘real’. ‘Three-Legged Trouser Work’ extends this analysis to deconstruct certain aspects of artistic production in relation to my own current position. In addition to the implications involved in the use of the word ‘real’, the work also discusses the alternative meanings implied through a definition of location (Lapland / Finnish / British) and the discursive context of the term ‘artist’.
A set of three images are each accompanied by a textual ‘diversion’ which both analyses and deconstructs the images and the texts themselves. The meaning of the artworks, the artworks themselves and the spectator’s role in creating meaning are thus brought into question and challenged.
Series of three images/text combinations, printed on photographic paper.
100cm x 50 cm
Foreign Apples is the second work in the Scenograph series, and examines the way that nationalism secretes itself into the everyday.
Beside the video, the latest edition of Kotiruoka - a Finnish home-cookery book - is open to a recipe for apple pie, the first line of which instructs the cook to "Wash the apples and peel the foreign apples."
The video consists of a scene in which a foreign man repeatedly washes and then peels foreign apples.
The work is presented as 7'30" loop.
Terra Incognita is the first in a series of single-screen video works grouped under the title ofScenographs.
The aim of the each work is to explore one issue in a single scene. As the title suggests, the intention is to combine the static elements of the photograph with the temporality of video and the idea of a scene as a container for actions or conflict.
In Terra Incognita a car negotiates a roundabout infinitely, unable to reach a conclusion about which direction to take. The work examines the difficulty of making life-changing decisions in a mundane world.
The video is accompanied by a map extract on which all identifying names have been removed.
The work was premiered in Rovaniemi Art Museum in 2008, and an edition was subsequently purchased by the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation.
Happiness is written only on history’s blank pages
- Henri Lefebvre
‘Context #5’ (2006) is part of an ongoing project of textual spatial interventions. The works employ a mirroring of form and meaning, exploring and illustrating concepts of history, space, and the ideological production of meaning within them.
In each of the work, text is inscribed into the landscape within a specific locale. The text is intended to be perceived only partially by the people who live in and use the location’s spaces. The work is completed in another form through photographic documentation, where the ultimate meaning finally becomes clear. It is only through the re-construction of the texts produced under other circumstances that the ‘truth’ is made evident – in much the same way that the reconstruction of historical events transforms them into historical ‘truth’. In the same way that history is reconstructed for ideological motives, so the works of ‘Context’ are reconstructed for other – but not necessarily dissimilar – motives.
Series of 8 images
Towards the end of the second world war, the city of Berlin—like many other German cities—was largely razed to the ground by allied bombing campaigns. What was left standing was destroyed by the Russian advance in the ground battle for Berlin.
This devastation left Berlin in ruins. The city, whose boulevards and buildings were home to one of the most vibrant and influential cultures of the 19th and 20th centuries, was reduced to 100 million tons of rubble.
Following the end of the war, a decision had to be made as to the future of Berlin. Several possibilities were put forward by the allies, the most shocking of which was to drop anthrax on the ruined city, and to rebuild it from scratch some 60 kilometers away.
Finally, however, the decision to rebuild the city in its original location was made. But before this could begin the rubble had to be removed. Because the war had decimated the male population of Germany, the job of clearing up the remains of the city fell to the women. Beginning in 1945, the Trümmerfraun (“Rubble Women”) began the long process of removing and transporting over 25 million cubic meters of the old Berlin.
The rubble from the old city was taken to three main sites, the largest of which isTeufelsberg (Devil’s Mountain) in Grünewald, a large woodland park to the south-west of the city.
The photographs in this series were all taken from Teufelsberg. Beneath the trees and undergrowth lies what remains of old Berlin. Occasionally, in a few locations, the remains of the historic city can still be seen; a brick or a small lump of concrete might work its way to the surface once again, a small reminder of the Berlin underground.
‘Untitled Colour Photographs’ highlights the descriptive nature of the photograph by – literally – describing photographic scenes. Each ‘image’ is printed on photographic paper – it is a photograph. But as with any photograph, we only get a part of the story. There is much left unsaid. Each work emphasises the role that the spectator plays in imagining the scene; in fact, the entire image exists only in the mind of the spectator. The meaning of each image is left entirely up to the viewer and how he or she chooses to ‘read between the lines’. The momentous ‘truth’ of the photograph is exposed as a myth, and the image is transformed into pure interpretation, unique to each person viewing it.
Additionally, each photograph is accompanied by a map reference, locating the source of the image in real geographic space. The grid reference – much like the photograph – is simply another form of spatial representation. It describes a location, but at the same time it also acts as a quotation – a reference for the description. In this way, the authorship of these images is brought into doubt; if the geographic grid reference is the quoted ‘author’, what is the role of the photographer?
Ongoing series, printed on photographic paper
John Court & Mark Roberts
8-Hour performance with live sound
‘Working Space / Surface Time’ is an eight-hour performance with live sound which carries out an intense investigation of a specific, local space and time. Working within a defined and limited space, John Court slowly rotates, twists and contorts his body over an eight-hour period, while Mark Roberts uses sounds generated by Court’s movements to create a live soundtrack.
About the performance
It has been argued that the vast distances that once limited global movement have now collapsed into our everyday, local spaces. Today, we are able to immerse ourselves in events taking place around the globe as they happen – on television, on the Internet and even on our mobile phones. Paul Virilio argues that this collapse of space has resulted in a reduction of the importance of movement; that is has made the body insignificant.
However, even with the world available in our living rooms, we remain firmly rooted in a specific locality – our homes, our offices, our towns and cities – places which we often hardly know. In their performance ‘Working Space / Surface Time’, John Court and Mark Roberts interrupt this condensation of space and time by taking a segment of time familiar to many people – the 8-hour working day – and spreading it thin.
Court’s slow movements are an attempt to fully engage with a finite space, to investigate it’s every permutation. It is as if he slows down time to reveal something from within space itself – as if he is showing something which has been missed in our everyday rush to get things done. Court has described his intentions as trying ‘to be in space instead of trying to bring something into space.’ In effect, Court is dramatically over-emphasizing the here, and stretching the now.
Mark Roberts has attached contact microphones to the underside of the wooden platform on which Court performs, picking up the microscopic sounds of every miniscule movement he makes. His role in the performance extends the limited space in which Court performs to include the larger area in which the performance takes place – be it a gallery or other location. Roberts processes the sounds and projects them back into the space from a series of loudspeakers placed around the room. In this way, the audience are themselves drawn into the circle inscribed by Court, or to put it another way, Court’s working space is extended to include the audience. A swirling, ghostly soundtrack comprised of the scrapes, creaks and whispers circles around the room, emphasizing every movement Court makes, amplifying the grandeur of movement and, as a consequence, the emotional relationship of the viewer with the work.
'Surfaces' is an edited selection of tracks from the performance 'Working Space / Surface Time' by John Court and Mark Roberts.
The sound sources used were generated entirely by the movements of Court's body as he moved slowly over a raised wooden platform. The sounds of his movements were picked up by four piezo microphones, amplified, and processed live. Each performance lasted exaclty 8 hours, and the material presented on this album was selected from four separate performances made during 2004.
The album contains 11 mp3 tracks edited into a continuous soundscape.Read More
'The Fact of the Matter' was a live, four-hour sound performance in the abandoned Lokstall (train depot) of a closed iron-ore mine in Kirkenes, Norway. The sounds used in the performance were sourced from field recordings around the mine and depot. Narration is provided by an ex-worker reading extracts from a 1950s promotional book. The texts boast of the machinery, techniques, and large export product of the mine, which today sits abandoned and desolate. The community of Kirkenes still feels the effects of the closure of the mine.Read More
'How Everything Turns Away' is a mini-album of guitar experiments recorded by Mark Roberts under the pseudonym '_R'.
The album presents 4 tracks of entropic decay.Read More
Vanishing Point is a series of images which deals with the socio-political role of public spaces – specifically ‘monumental spaces’. The work deals with the role of history in defining space, society, and the individual – how the monuments of the past are called upon to define the present, and to define our morally ideal roles within that present.
A public space becomes a monumental space through the appropriation of classical modes of representation – space is organised with the help of perspective to establish the monument as a central focal point. This operates as a first step in establishing the space of the monument as the space of established authority. In such spaces the inhabitants – the people – are subsumed. They become unwitting participants in a historical representation.
The images in ‘Vanishing Point’ are of significant monuments in the London and Helsinki, however in each image the focal point – that is, the monument itself – has been ‘removed’. This has the effect of emphasising the spatial relationships which exist between people and monumental spaces, rather than the monument itself. In the images the public appear to be gathering around an apparently empty space – but it is precisely the appearance of emptiness that draws the spectator’s attention. The normally unnoticed relations between people and spaces are emphasised and made highly significant. The homogenising effect created by the vast space of the monument is removed, allowing the people to be seen as individuals rather than ‘the masses’.
The image of the removed Mannerheim memorial from Helsinki was created specifically for exhibition in Finland. With much of my work I prefer to deal with issues which relate to the location of exhibition – thus I felt it was necessary to include a significant monument from Helsinki while exhibiting here, as many of the London monuments might only be recognised by long-term visitors to London.
It is hoped that the series will soon be continued and exhibited in other European countries.
Lambda digital prints on photographic paper
Image area 50cm x 50cm
Framed area 80cm x 100cm