A live recording of Crowd Control Vol 1, including a series of interlinked preparatory studies, is up for pre-order on Bandcamp now. The release will drop on Saturday 10 October 2020 after the show at TUSK Virtual.
Crowd Control Vol 1 is a 23-minute installation, film and live sound performance examining themes of privacy and protest in the age of surveillance capitalism.
Our digital communications and social posts feel private but are in fact mined for information and predictive behavioural data by third parties, from supermarkets to state agencies. Similarly, crowds feel like a safe environment in which to find solidarity and take action, but are in fact intensely watched, with individual people identified and criminalised later on the basis of social media posts and video footage.
A voltage-controlled laser is trained on a vase of flowers, lit candles and curiosities sitting on a silver tray. The movement of the laser is controlled by the sound waves created during the performance.
A film plays, heavily featuring the colour yellow. Wildflowers are inspected under a microscope; crowds of people process slowly through city streets.
A live sound piece is performed using my Innalog modular synthesiser and a drum machine. I open the piece by layering white noise over recordings of crowds gathered at social justice protests: the resulting mix of sonic data – ‘signal’ and ‘noise’ – is then sculpted over time using different types of filtration and FX, including granular and spectral processing. Melodic elements start to appear: oscillators bleep, rising and falling; drums; the sound of a female voice is looped to create rhythm. Gradually the mix is peeled back to the foundational building blocks of the piece: white noise and crowd noise, people and data, information littered across the digital panopticon; but who is controlling the laser?
Lock East, Sound City Ipswich, Friday 2nd October 2020 – livestream performance
TUSK Virtual, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Saturday, 10 October 2020 – pre-recorded livestream performance
‘Freeness’ on BBC Radio 3, Saturday 10 October 2020 – an excerpt of the pre-record for TUSK
HERE, The Art Station, Saxmundham, Saturday 21 November to Sunday 13 December 2020 – livestream performance; gallery showing; online exhibition; framed prints for sale.