Eileen Simpson and Ben White challenge conventional mechanisms for the authorship, distribution and ownership of art and music. In their ongoing project Open Music Archive the artists source, digitise and distribute out-of-copyright sound recordings. These shared resources are used as a vehicle to initiate further creative collaborations.
Auditory Learning, Simpson and White’s contribution to British Art Show 8, is part of the artists’ ongoing project to distribute out-of-copyright archival material. Sourcing vinyl records of chart hits from 1962 – the last year that commercial recordings can be retrieved for public use, due to recent copyright revisions – the artists have extracted 50,000 sounds to produce a ‘public sonic inventory’. This inventory is available to download at openmusicarchive.org/auditorylearning.
Within the exhibition, lathe-cut vinyl records play a composition assembled from this inventory of individual notes, percussive elements and vocal phonemes. This composition provides the ‘copyleft’ soundtrack for the artists’ new audio-visual work, which will change and develop throughout the exhibition’s tour.
For British Art Show 8 in Edinburgh Eileen Simpson and Ben White's work will be exhibited at Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh.