The Substation/ We Are Oscillators/
Sound artist Gail Priest and designer Thomas Burless will be working on curious and ingenious ways to fill The Substation galleries with visual and sonic vibrations. Based on their 2019 performance installation A continuous self vibrating region of intensities (Liveworks 2019, Performance Space), Gail and Thomas will be exploring ways to reconfigure their bespoke voice activated cymatic instruments into a multi-room installation.
Cymatics is the visual representation of vibrational properties of sound registered through the patterned movement of liquids and fine grains. Working with automated systems, assemblages and video and photographic documentation the artists will explore ways to present the objects and instruments originally used in the performance as a self-playing audiovisual environment.
They will also be researching the materials and content for a new installation based on the history of telephony. In this they will be experimenting with the transmission of acoustic and amplified sound through long wires.
The installation will explore the shifting role and format that the telephone has had over a number of generations, from the communal street telephone to the family room landline, to the individuated mobile experience that offers the “information super highway”. This research will result in a large scale-installation and online audio essay.
Gail Priest has a multidisciplinary practice that focuses on the aural realm. Working across installation, composition, recording and performance she is interested in creating works that dwell in a liminal zone between figuration and abstraction. She has performed live electro-acoustic compositions and exhibited sound-based installations nationally and internationally including in Japan, Hong Kong, Germany, France, Norway and the Netherlands. She also curates events and exhibitions and writes fictively and factually about sound and media art.
Thomas Burless is an industrial artisan whose practice is centred on the design and manufacture of limited run, bespoke products. His deeply considered approach to design and an ever-present curiosity about new, old and sometimes forgotten materials and processes, gives his work a unique character. Tom is also a photographer and an archivist of industrial paraphernalia and detritus. He has collaborated with Robin Fox, MESS, Speak Percussion, Efterpi Soropos, James Mcalister and Hola.
Commissioned by The Substation and Performance Space. First performed under the title A continuous self-vibrating region of intensities, at Liveworks (2019), Performance Space.