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Norfolk and Norwich Sonic Arts CollectiveShelflife - Norfolk and Norwich Sonic Arts Collective


NNSAC are proud to support our first installation of 2018 with David Ross and Andy Cox’s ‘Shelflife’.

”During my visits to Andy’s place over the years, I slowly became aware of the proliferation of tiny found-object constructions inhabiting home-made Perspex shelves, neatly installed between large panes of secondary glazing within his workshop windows.

Andy is the ‘Faberge’ of the found-object. He fashions discarded everyday ready-mades like buttons, washers, batteries and pins, into things of rare beauty. He creates emotive objects full of charm and invention, solely from detritus collected in the street. Having spent much time playing music together, I couldn’t help but see the objects as being imbued with Andy’s unique musical sensibility. The desire to want to respond to these inherently musical objects therefore came very naturally to me.

As an experiment, I asked permission to photograph the pieces to use as reference material for composing at home, just to see what might happen.
The fragility and miniature size of the objects necessitated they be photographed in-position, ‘at home’ on their Perspex shelves.

The resulting images inspired the creation of 44 audio ‘portraits’ composed using control-voltage electronics.The music was generated using a prototype non-linear ‘Jump-Step’ sequencer as the primary control-voltage source, processed through a self-designed voltage-controlled time modulator called the ‘Davestation’. Contrapuntal evolving rhythmic/harmonic structures created within the Davestation describe a single shifting centre of gravity in a state of continual rebalancing, as an expressive analogue to the physicality and personalities of the objects.

Most unexpectedly, I found that I had become attached to the ‘reference’ photographs themselves and after sharing the images and audio with Andy, we both agreed they should be presented in combination. I see the objects as being ‘social animals’, living amongst each other. Size and population density mean that its not really possible to look at a single object on the shelves without also acknowledging its neighbours.The idea was to present them in groups, ‘interacting’.

The installation presents 44 motionless short-films combining audio with the image of the object that inspired it. The films are divided between 4 suitably small monitors facing inward to each other.There are blank interludes of 3 differing time lengths inserted into the randomly shuffling programme on each of the display monitors to ensure that different combinations of the material are presented over time. This creates a collective, randomly evolving sequence-behaviour to events, in character with the nature of the audio. Curiously, you may notice these still images appear to start moving a little, as you look and listen.

Visitors can utilise available breakout headphone sockets installed into the display posts to isolate a chosen source for closer listening, if desired.

The displays were created, like the object themselves, from recycled ready-made materials.”

Shelflife will be open at Nunnsyard on the 21st and 22nd April (11am – 4pm) with a private view on the 20th.

We look forward to seeing you there.