Friday 16 September 2016

Sebastian Buerkner at the Fabrica Gallery

OUR MACHINES II presents Sebastian Buerkner at the Fabrica Gallery
Sebastian Buerkner’s work pushes digital animation into new aesthetic territory, bringing together the narrative and visual traditions of cinema, painting and sculpture in highly original forms. His innovative stereoscopic works explore the otherwise unrealised potential of 3D cinematic technology.
Sebastian will perform a live soundtrack for this multi-projection installation, occupying the lofty surroundings of the former church, at the Fabrica Gallery in Brighton. The Tenants portrays a visually murky impression of the internal sprawl of life within a tower block. Several projections of animated vignettes combine into a single light sculpture. Through the use of multiple layers of projection surfaces, the emitted visuals attain a holographic volume.

Wednesday 17 August 2016


3rd- 18th SEPTEMBER 2016


Emma Hart
Sebastian Buerkner
Dara Birnbaum

David Blandy
Steina Vasulka
Luke Pendrell
Caleb Madden
Stephen Mallinder
Jo-Anne Bichard and David Kirk
Paul Sermon and Charlotte Gould
Matthew Noel-Tod
Vesna Petresin
Stephen Mallinder

This version of Our machines includes additional works:

Matthew Noel-Tod
A Season in Hell 3D (2014)
3D video, loop
In a blazing inferno turns a 3D image of the world orbited by four cartoon children. Encircling the globe is the Latin palindrome; In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni (We go in circles into the night, we are consumed by fire). The phrase, which is the title of Guy Debord’s final film, is originally attributed to the behaviour of moths around fire. In A Season in Hell 3D the children are in constant movement, never landing, never leaving. Purgatory is overwritten by the ecstasy of the spectacle.

David Blandy
Hercules: Rough Cut references the Greek myth, mutated and
distorted by countless tellers over the centuries. His history
of the city is related in a multitude of voices taken from across
the ages. Overlaid fragmented images of London culture spin
together with accounts from the Romans. Extracts from the
writings of Thomas More, William Blake, 1950s beat poets and
contemporary urban slang honouring the “mouse pushers” and
“shift time shitters” of today’s office culture.

David Chatting; Paulina Yurman; Jo-Anne Bichard; David Kirk
Family Rituals 2.0 Ritual Machine 'Anticipation'
The team team have designed and built a bespoke technology for a London based busy couple to create moments of reflection for them; allowing us to talk about their work/life balance and their attitudes to working away from home. We framed this around the everyday rituals of the home, which are missed in this separation.

Steina Vasulka With Joan La Barbara
Voice Windows 1990
For Vocalizations, the singer Joan La Barbara created sounds
whilst images of the US South west desert landscapes,
were inter-cut and combined by her voice pattern. Steina
added speed changes, directional variations, and additional
electronic voice processing to the final collage.
This integration of sound and image, in which the singing
voice produces energetic permutations in a grid of lines, is
reminiscent of the musical staff of traditional music notation.
The rifts, chants, and scat singing of La Barbara’s voice
become a visual dance in this electronic scape.

Luke Pendrell
Rictus inhabits a broken time populated with dislocated
fragments of the digital Sargasso. Stuttering jpegs, feedback
loops, glitches and fractures that thwart our navigation
through a world choked with it’s own detritus.

Sunday 7 February 2016

Observer Building Gallery

“Our machines are disturbingly lively, and we ourselves frighteningly inert.” 
(Donna J. Haraway)
Our Machines at the Observer Building, Cambridge Road Hastings in February 2016 included a live performance by Stephen Mallinder with a new track 'The Machine ' (Wrangler Mix) - Duke St. Workshop

video curtesy of Stephen Mallinder (Wrangler Mix) - Duke St. Workshop (lo res copy for blog)

Also work by: 
Emma Hart, James Richards & Steve Reinke, Sarah Angliss, Vesna Petresin, Stephen Mallinder, Sebastian Buerkner, Bea Haut, Saskia Olde Wolbers, Matthew Noel-Tod, 
Paul Sermon & Charlotte Gould, Jack Strange, Guy Sherwin & Lynn Loo, Dara Birnbaum, 
Caleb Madden & Bartosz  Dylewski and Semiconductor.  

Curated by Louise Colbourne   

Monday 1 February 2016


Emma Hart
M20 Death drives 2012

Extended wing mirrors reflect a concealed television playing a video describing a near-fatal motorway crash. A leatherette booth that looks a bit like a slashed, fat car seat conceals the screen. Protruding catering trays become service stations, serving up products from the traumatised places the video slips down to when the re-traced journey is broken by going into M20 service stations. One turns out to be a cocktail bar, but I can’t get served. This is the most recognisable station; the others journey to weirder places, maybe inspired by a bad game of Dungeons and Dragons.

James Richards and Steve Reinke
Disambiguation 2009
James Richards and Steve Reinke exchanged disks of music, stray footage and fragments of existing works for each other to remix, soundtrack and re-order. The result is somewhere between a compilation, a new work and a curated programme, an exquisite corpse forged from their attempt find a common voice.
Dissolution of self, dissolution of meaning, dissolution of image, dissolution of the original, raw, disjointed, free, abstracted, visceral, retinal, discordant, close, distant, disembodied, liquid, implacable, democratic, dub. 
Saskia Olde Wolbers
Pareidolia 2011
Pareidolia's narrative is based on the events surrounding the creation of Eugen Herrigel's book Zen in the Art of Archery, a popular book set in Japan in the 1930s that created a cult following in Europe during the post-war years.
Referencing computer-generated imagery, Saskia’s liquid visuals are entirely analogue, shot in real-time in model sets. Skeletal objects, architecture and living forms are given a ‘skin’ when dipped in paint and submerged underwater. These recordings of sculptural and chemical lo-fi processes subvert the truth telling qualities of filming reality.

Dara Birnbaum
Technology-Transformation: Wonder Woman 1978

Explosive bursts of fire open Technology/Transformation, an incendiary deconstruction of the ideology embedded in television form and pop cultural iconography. Entrapped in her magical metamorphosis by Birnbaum's stuttering edits, Wonder Woman spins dizzily like a music-box doll. Through radical manipulation of this female Pop icon, she subverts its meaning within the television text. Arresting the flow of images through fragmentation and repetition, Birnbaum condenses the comic-book narrative.

Sebastian Buerkner
Installation 2016
Cognitive behavior studies, neuroscience and the contemporary discourse of media, result in the conjuring of memory and association, subjectivity of experience and multi-narrative possibilities.
Flashes of abstracted imagery, representing a distilled essence of a family photo album, are paired with a scrambled, rearranged and synthesized version of Mozart’s Requiem.
This installation offers a very distinct porous, unsettled rendition of a 3D film
using multiple layers of projection surfaces, where the emitted visuals will attain a hazy volume. Three projections will conjure into a single light sculpture.
Band 9 2015
Band 9 is an installation that considers nature within the framework of science. Nine light boxes show scientific cloud data, which have been captured from space by a remote sensing satellite, orbiting the Earth. Using optical sensors it collects reflected light in various wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum. By focusing on very thin slices of these, scientists can pinpoint individual phenomena such as the band we see here, which is designed to reveal high-altitude clouds called Cirrus.

Charlotte Gould and Paul Sermon
Screen Machine 2016

‘Screen Machine’ offers public audience participants the opportunity to co-create chance encounters and self direct spontaneous performances between two separate installation locations. These unique transitory events will rely entirely on the roles and performances the participants bring to these telepresent screens and the experiences they choose to live out. Inspired by our urban and cultural surroundings and re-contextualized in a diverse array of digital milieus, ‘Screen Machine’ aims to allow these public audiences the agency and control over the outcomes of this intervention, akin to a telepresent fluxus happening.

Jack Strange
Consciousness Combi 1 2011
Strange’s work re-contextualizes and re-imagines the functions of everyday objects and ideas in a manner that is humorous, clever, surprising and at times revelatory. Strange invites new meanings and interpretations of their uses that challenge human logic and the limits of human consciousness at large.

Vesna Petresin

Audiomorph 2011

Audiomorph [Can I Wear My Song] explores the topology, boundaries, immersion through embodiment, and the notion of gaze. It situates the space of the body in relation to its environment, and the sound of human voice in relation to technology. Particle fields informed by the body geometry interact with the space that surrounds the body; their transformation is driven by acoustic parameters of the piece of music performed by the artist.
The pattern shaped by the body and the voice becomes a crystallised sonic pattern.


The opening event:


Stephen Mallinder  

‘It was quite serendipitous really as shortly after being asked to participate in the Our Machines exhibition and series of events, Wrangler, the analogue electronic group I’m part of, had just completed a mix for a collection of electronic artists from Manchester called The Duke Street Workshop. The name of the track was ‘The Machine’. We kept the tempo and melody of the original and the simple voice sample repeating the phrase ‘the machine’ but everything else was composed by us. It seemed appropriate to build images, film clips and the sort of ‘retro’ aesthetic of the track into what I was doing for ‘Our Machines’. The idea was to expand the sense of movement and progression inherent in machines and lost idealism of technology, our often misplaced utopianism, that technology seems to infer'

Bea Haut 

The 16mm  films manifest and behave as sculpture, installation, projection, photography and printmaking. Multi dimensional in media and often site responsive, these works allude to perceptions of inter-related moments, spaces, and actions in between. Regarding the mutating dialogue between the self and the surroundings, using the stuff of the everyday as material and subject.

Guy Sherwin and Lynn Loo  
Sherwin and Loo present a selection of 16mm films that explore sounds made from light, using either light-sensitive microphones or hand-made or photographed ‘optical’ soundtracks. Creating a clear distinction from the smooth predictability of HD projection and embracing film as material and projection as process - with all the glitchy sounds that film produces - the rough edges, the mechanical irregularities, the flare-outs. 
David Leister and Lucy Harris 

16mm film screening of Crèmer - an abstract document of a lost studio, not easily catagorised, occupying the spaces between a photograph, a document and a film. It is a collaborative record and examination of the fire and resulting smoke damage that took place in the studio in 2006. As film is exposed to light, the studio was exposed to smoke, leaving a shadow or imprint on all surfaces. These appear almost as ‘x-ray’ images, with the results also reflecting personal circumstance of the time.

Sarah Angliss  

‘These days I rarely appear on stage without a robot by my side.
Fashioned from found objects, my robots have more the air of faded variety performers than high-tech machines. I’m aware this ragbag of automatic accompanists makes my act look out of place on the electronic music scene, where minimal movement, disembodied sound and deliberate anti-performance are very much in fashion. At first glance, the set seems to exist somewhere between experimental electronics and 1930s cabaret. Yet, when the robots move and become part of the performance, I hope any thoughts that this is a novelty act are dispelled.’

Matthew Noel-Tod 

A Season in Hell explores the spectacle and its contemporary forms, from the whimsical innocence of childlike animation to the apocalyptic sci-fi blockbuster.

Caleb Madden and Bartosz Dylewski  
Existing in an exiting new position at the intersection between gallery installation and live performance. Madden/Dylewski present an immersive audio-visual piece. Incorporating extreme audio noise, field recordings taken at working power stations, and heavily processed electromagnetic signals combined with intense, reactive projected visuals originated from self-authored, error based software. Expect machine rhythms & turbine noise in conversation with error-born colour & form.