Listen to the city with Sonic Graffiti

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Plug into an alternate sound of the city

Supersonic happens at the Custard Factory complex in an area of Birmingham known as Digbeth. Built around the nearby River Rea (for easy access to transportation), the first settlement of what is now Birmingham was in fact established here in the 7th century.  Come the Industrial Revolution and Digbeth becomes one of the first centres of industry in Birmingham, beginning a long and important history of successful trading and manufacturing.  Nowadays, light industry and creative businesses sit alongside each other in the area.

It’s these interconnected histories and threads that the Sonic Graffiti project explores.  All around the area, set into a decaying walls, there are a headphone sockets. Unplug yourself from your own world and plug into sounds from this place and beyond, dark and decayed sounds, pulling you beneath the surface and into the fabric of buildings, past lives and multi-layered histories. The project features sound works by Mr.Underwood – these are contained within the installations with each piece based on a field recording taken close to the site in which you find it. The pieces will require you to interact with them in a variety of ways to trigger or manipulate the sound.

Sonic Graffiti is a co-commission between Capsule and VIVID and is part of an experimental season entitled Crash, stimulated by the vision of J.G. Ballard.  Ballard’s writing, particularly on urban utopia/dystopia, frequently covers ground from ecological fears to the sexualisation of technology and from urban ruin to suburban alienation. His universe pervades music, film, fashion, visual arts, architecture and recent philosophical constructs such as psychogeography.

The artist Sam Underwood will tour his Sonic Graffiti project during the festival.  Meet him on Friday 21st October at 8pm or Sunday 23rd October at 8pm outside VIVID – and bring headphones.

vivid.org.uk
VIVID | 140 Heath Mill Lane | Birmingham | B9 4AR

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Sonic Graffiti

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Walking the streets near to VIVID and Supersonic Festival, the ubiquitous signs of neglect passing you by. Set into a decaying wall there is a headphone socket. You unplug from your own music and plug yourself into the city. The sounds you hear are of and from this place, dark and decayed.

Artist Sam Underwood will tour his Sonic Graffiti during the festival, meet him on Friday 21st October at 8pm, or Sunday 23rd October at 8pm outside VIVID – bring headphones.

Sonic Graffiti is a co commission between Capsule and VIVID and is part of an experimental season entitled Crash, stimulated by the vision of J.G. Ballard.

http://www.vivid.org.uk/

VIVID | 140 Heath Mill Lane | Birmingham | B9 4AR

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Sonic Graffiti

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Tomorrow will see the launch of an exciting new commission between VIVID and Capsule:

MR. UNDERWOOD
SONIC GRAFFITI 2011

Walking the streets near to VIVID and Supersonic Festival, the ubiquitous signs of
neglect passing you by, your attention is captured by a symbol you’ve seen somewhere
else before…

Set into a decaying wall there is a headphone socket. You unplug from your own music
and plug yourself into the city. The sounds you hear are of and from this place, dark
and decayed. As you listen you examine the surface before you more closely. You’ve never
paused here in this way before. What beauty you have missed.

A special “Crash EP” featuring four compositions by Mr.Underwood will be
contained within the installations. Each piece is based on a field recording taken
close to the site in which you find it. The EP will be available for download but you
are encouraged to listen to the pieces in situ, as the chance sounds that surround
you at the time of listening are considered part of the compositions. The pieces
will require you to interact with them in a variety of ways to trigger or manipulate
the sound. Go explore! Headphones are available from VIVID during exhibition
opening hours for a small deposit.

Join Mr. Underwood for a special tour, leaving from VIVID on Friday 23
September, 6pm. Meet at VIVID reception at 6pm. Bring your own headphones
.

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Seeing Sound

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Seeing Sound Curated by Laura Coult
12PM – 7PM Fri – Sun
VIVID I 40 HEATH MILL LANE I BIRMINGHAM B9 4AR www.vivid.org.uk

Seeing Sound is an exhibition exploring the ways in which we experience sound as light, movement, noise, and colour. Spanning 70 years the programme draws together historical and contemporary moving image works including Ben Russell’s Black & White Trypps No. 3 (2007) which documents an audience’s collective freak-out during a performance by Rhode Island noise band Lightning Bolt; and Tony Conrad’s seminal work The Flicker (1966) a 30-minute film exploring the possibilities for harmonic expression using a sensory mode other than sound; audience reactions to the film ranged from disorientation, temporary hypnosis, and intense experiences of colours and patterns, to headaches and violent bouts of nausea, all seemingly caused by the pulsating light’s interaction with the brain’s alpha waves. Other artists include Stefan and Franciszka Themerson and Benedict Drew.

Live performances
Classical percussionist Joe Snape performs: Lärmlicht #1, for percussionist, 4-channel tape and 8 lightbulbs.

Mr.Underwood will stage a rare performance of Steve Reich’s Pendulum Music. Originally scored for “For Microphones, Amplifiers Speakers and Performers” this specially adapted version will be performed using four Noise Boxes / Optical Theremins, similar to those made in the workshop, and four torches.

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