Simon Whetham | Active Crossover.
Exhibition – 10 August - 01 October 2011 | noon-6pm | free | SoundFjord, Unit 3b - Studio 28, 28 Lawrence Road, London, N15 4ER.
Performance: Closing week event – 28 September 2011 | doors 7:30pm | entry free. Secret location - email us for details! With crossover performances from Douglas Benford, Martin Clark, John Grzinich, Kaffe Matthews, Jo Thomas & Simon Whetham.
Workshop and presentation – 01 October 2011 | 1pm | free | SoundFjord, Unit 3b - Studio 28, 28 Lawrence Road, London, N15 4ER. Simon will also present past and present work, and introduce participants to ‘Active Listening’.
Active Crossover is an electronic circuit used in speaker construction, which enables a speaker to transmit sound information consistently and accurately across space. Simon Whetham’s project reflects this process, both in terms of the way the space is actually set up, and in the way the work continues to emerge out of social relationships formed through travel and communication. Simon’s work is as much about the ‘social’ as it is the ‘sonic’.
The installation consists of two darkened, acoustically treated spaces that can be entered into from the main exhibition space. In one space is a surround sound composition created from field recordings made while Simon was artist-in-residence in Tallinn, Estonia, and also from Bristol, Brighton, Bracknell, Reading, Liverpool, Leeds and now London, charting the journey the project has taken so far. The second space features pieces by artists that Simon has performed and collaborated with through running the project, and through their ongoing cultural exchanges, recordings and events. If you stay in the main exhibition space you can hear the sound bleeding out and mingling from both spaces, forming a new and evolving communal work.
Integral to the project is a series of performance evenings which investigate improvisation and collaborative working methods, as well as an ‘active listening’ workshop. The experience of listening reflects the conditions of the work’s creation, and the conditions of his own journey – one of interpersonal exchange and interaction – around Eastern Europe and now the UK.
Simon composes with ‘field recordings’ – sound recordings made of the immediate environment using an array of microphones and a recording device. Field recordings are a form of sonic documentation, but by overlaying and reordering them Simon has created a new configuration, no longer a straightforward representation of a real place or situation, but rather a collage of places and times. It acts a lot like memory; based in real experiences and places, but altered by one’s personal and emotional recollection of them; reordered and recomposed – like memories – by influences other than the pure data involved. The work, purely sonic, may remind you of listening to a film without seeing the screen.
Simon Whetham has performed extensively and shown in many galleries in the UK and in Europe. His sound compositions have been released through specialist record labels Monochrome Vision, Unfathomless, Dragon’s Eye, Impulsive Habitat, 1000fussler, 3Leaves, Kaon, Trente Oiseaux, Entr’acte, Gruenrekorder, Con-V, Mystery Sea, Install and Lens Records, with forthcoming releases from Cronica and And/OAR.
Image: Iris Garrelfs | Opening Active Crossover Performance | 10 aug 2011 | Cafe Oto