The Last Tree is a sound sculpture/installation that uses almost entirely second hand materials (except for one cable), paper and recycled technology(a second hand dvd player, amp and a bunch of old forgotten ear phones, collected form the draws of friends and family. It is a comment on the ecological “deafness” that seems dangerously present in much of society. We are often caught up in our own worlds both figuratively and acoustically. It seeks to explore that which has no voice. When all to often see ourselves as separate for our environment rather than intimately tied to it. The multi-channel audio arrangement or overheard sound that comes form the earphones tiny speakers consist: of interviews of children speaking about trees; an extract from author Herman Hesse’s Bäume: Betrachtungen und Gedichte (Trees: Observations and Poems) and a track from Bartolomäus Traubeck’s Years which is constructed from a record player that plays slices of wood and interprets the strength and grain of the wood into piano music. What I wanted the viewer/listener to consider with this work was the direction in which technology is leading us and what implications that has not only for the future but also for future generations.
Domesticity 1.0 is a sound installation. The audio comprises a polyvocal arrangement of assertions of compliance by women in multiple languages, mixed with sounds of water and washing machines. The audio plays from a speaker under the drainage hole of an old 1950s Clark sink and cabinet, enticing the listener to seek out the source of the voices.
Domesticity 1.0 seeks to question the historically patriarchal idea of selfless domestic servitude. The physical component, a 1950s Clark sink, is an object of domesticity refurbished in a deep, almost menstrual red colour, pearled and gilded evoking both the suggestion of intimacy and hyper reality in order to exaggerate the conceptual ideal expected of women. But what is the contemporary ideal? What is Domesticity 2.0? Has it changed and how much is perpetuated by the legacy of earlier concepts; that is Domesticity 1.0?
Domesticity 1.0, after being selected for entry in the competition, won first place in the International Women’s Day Art prize in Ryde 2014. Above is a picture of the installation.
This audio piece was created as part of an exhibition entitled “Profits of Doom” that I made with my partner, Alessandro Berini. The work invited people to reflect on the real price of high-end profit and loss, forcing them to experience a palpable sense of dis-ease that comes with such blatant depredation. It consisted of a box mounted just below head height with stereo speakers inside. The adjoining image is the interior view when you put your head inside. The work was about making the viewer/listener feel a sense of discomfort: the positioning of the entry; the vulnerability of placing your head inside the box along with the relentless nature of the audio work seeks to convey the feeling that the concept of vulture capitalism is likewise relentless, unfeeling and devoid of humanity. The desert scene inside the diorama depicts a bleak and distopic future landscape picked clean by these vultures of capitalism.
The audio lists the net value of the richest sixty companies in the world as well as the net value and profit(or loss) of a single day for the top 100 richest individuals in the world to the backdrop of by various drones, factory and machine noises: the legacy of the industrial revolution, free market capitalism and progress-at-all-costs. It is about the reduction of life to mechanised functions and numeric values engendered by vulturistic economic endeavours.
The work itself is constructed from secondhand and recycled materials, except for a low voltage LED light. Photo by Pierre Cavalan (thanks Pierre!)
This multichannel Radio work was created to be broadcast over two stations. It is a humble reflection on love based on Roland Barthes’Fragments d’un Discours Amoureux- a Lover’s Discourse and falls into three parts: Souvenir/remembrance, Mutisme/silence and Magie/magic the last leaf. Each side can be listened to independently and work together as a quadrophonic work.
The picture is an excerpt taken from a Thailandese artist, whose work I saw in a gallery in Bangkok a number of years ago. Unfortunately, I don’t have her name recorded!! If any one recognises it, I would love to know!
Love Bytes recently aired in Sweden as part of the DubbelRadio festival in conjunction with Konsthalle and mobile-radio.
Here is what they sound like together: Listen on a surround system for extra effect!